Friday, July 19, 2013

U.S. Passport Card


PURPOSE
The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air.
VALIDITY AND COST

Adults (Age 16 and Older)

Validity: 10 years
First-Time Applicant Cost$55
Previous Passport Holder Cost: $30

Minors (Under Age 16)

Validity: 5 years
Cost for All Minors$40
 
HOW TO APPLY
All U.S. citizens may apply for a passport card.
If you have a U.S. passport book and are eligible to use Form DS-82, you may apply for the card by mail. You can use Form DS-82 to renew your passport book at the same time that your apply for your passport card.
If you have never had a U.S. passport book or are not eligible to use Form DS-82, you must apply in person using Form DS-11.
All passport cards will be returned using First Class Mail. Passport cards cannot be shipped to you using overnight delivery.
SECURITY
To increase speed, efficiency, and security at U.S. land and sea border crossings, the passport card contains a vicinity-read radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. There is no personal information written to the RFID chip. This chip points to a stored record in secure government databases.
With RFID technology, Customs and Border Protection inspectors will be able to access photographs and other biographical information stored in secure government databases as the traveler approaches an inspection station.
The passport card uses state-of-the-art security features to prevent against the possibility of counterfeiting and forgery. A protective RFID-blocking sleeve is provided with each passport card to protect against unauthorized reading or tracking of the card when it is not in use.
HISTORY
We began production of the U.S. Passport Card on July 14, 2008. As of March 2010, more than 2,700,000 Passport Cards have been issued to U.S. citizens.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

RIAA Updates Rules Before Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta'



The trade organization will allow digital album certifications to be handed out on an album's release date instead of after the traditional 30-day waiting period.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has heard Jay-Z's #newrules loud and clear.
our editor recommends Jay-Z Reveals Track Listing For 'Magna Carta Holy Grail'

Billboard: Albums Jay-Z Sold to Samsung Won't Count for Charts

Jay-Z Announces New Album 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' (Video)



The music industry's trade organization will update its policies to allow digital album certifications to be handed out upon an album's release date rather than after the 30-day waiting period still applicable to physical releases.

"We think it's time for the RIAA...to align our digital song and album certification requirements. That's why today we are officially updating this rule in our [Gold & Platinum] Program requirements," RIAA communications and Gold & Platinum Program director LizKennedy wrote in a blog post.

STORY: Albums Jay-Z Sold to Samsung Won't Count for Billboard Charts

Digital singles have been eligible for such certifications since the Digital Single Award was established in 2004.

Kennedy wrote that the change was "prompted" by Jay-Z's deal with Samsung, in which one million free downloads of the MC's Magna Carta Holy Grail will be offered via an exclusive app.

Jay-Z publicly questioned how the deal would be received in a rare use of his Twitter account:

As Billboard editorial director Bill Werde wrote last month, Jay-Z's giveaway million will, in fact, not count, at least on Billboard's charts.

"It wasn't as simple as you might think to turn down Jay-Z when he requested that we count the million albums that Samsung 'bought' as part of a much larger brand partnership to give away to Samsung customers," Werde wrote in a letter from the editor. "True, nothing was actually for sale -- Samsung users will download a Jay-branded app for free and get the album for free a few days later after engaging with some Jay-Z content. The passionate and articulate argument by Jay's team that something was for sale and Samsung bought it also doesn't mesh with precedent."