The suit charges that the companies sent solicitations without indicating subscription expiration details, so consumers were paying fees without realizing their subscriptions weren’t actually up for renewal. Other consumers said they paid for subscriptions they never received. Other companies named in the suit are Liberty Publishers Service, Inc., Express Publishers Service, Inc., Associated Publishers Network, Inc., Publishers Payment Processing, Inc., Adept Management, Inc., Customer Access Services, Inc., Consolidated Publishers Exchange, Inc., Magazine Clearing Exchange, Inc., and Henry Cricket Group, LLC. The suit alleges that Orbital and a group of other companies have been sending illegal solicitation notices as far back as 2010. Orbital and its principal, Laura Lovrien, were named in a similar suit brought by Wisconsin AG J.B. Van Hollen in late 2014. Lydia Pugsley, alleged owner of Adept Management, was also named in the New York suit. In an affidavit filed as part of the New York lawsuit, Dow Jones said it spent $3.5 million to deal with the scam. Part of that money went toward free subscriptions. American City Business Journals estimates its subscribers collectively lost as much as $120,000 from the scam. According to court documents, the companies received payments from the customers and then sent checks to the publishers, pocketing the difference. Some Consumer Reports subscribers were being charged $59.95 for a one-year subscription that actually cost $29.95. The New York Attorney General’s office, along with the Attorneys General of Oregon, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas, have filed a lawsuit against Orbital Publishing Group, Inc.—a periodical subscription agency—and a number of other related businesses for mailing millions of allegedly misleading subscription and renewal notices. The notices were being sent without the permission or knowledge of publishers. At least 44 publications were used in the scheme, according to the suit. Customers receiving the notices were being told they were getting the lowest possible rates when in fact Orbital and a network of other entities were often charging more than double the subscription price. For their part, publishers had been sending cease and desist letters to the companies. Others ran full-page ads and alerts on their websites to warn customers of the illegal solicitations. “It is illegal under New York law to trade on the name of reputable publications and use deceptive advertising to trick consumers into overpaying for goods and services,” says New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “New York is home to the largest media market in the country and serves as headquarters to many of our nation’s most important newspapers and magazines. My office will work hard to protect New Yorkers from swindlers and to protect the business of reputable companies who play by the rules.” The publications that Orbital Publishing Group allegedly used to overcharge customers: 1. America Magazine 2. American Association Individual Investor 3. Car & Driver 4. Catholic Digest 5. Country Woman 6. Daily Word 7. Discover 8. Entertainment Weekly 9. Farm Show 10. Forbes 11. Foreign Affairs 12. Harvard Business Review 13. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance 14. Mother Earth News 15. National Geographic 16. New York Magazine 17. New York Times 18. Old Cars Weekly 19. People 20. Popular Science 21. Science News 22. Shooting Times 23. Smithsonian 24. Southern Living 25. Sports Illustrated 26. The Atlantic 27. The Economist 28. The Nation 29. The New Yorker 30. The Sun 31. The Wall Street Journal 32. The Word Among Us 33. Time 34. Turkey & Turkey Hunting 35. TV Guide 36. US Catholic 37. W Magazine 38. Woman’s World 39. Consumer Reports 40. The Nation 41. Kansas City Star 42. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 43. Tulsa World 44. Omaha World Herald
Enlarge ImageSnowball got down for a Taco Bell ad. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET Ha, ha! Check this out! It’s a dancing cockatoo! This is how Snowball, a bird with a passion for dance, made the rounds as a viral video sensation getting down to the Backstreet Boys back in 2007. But Snowball is more than an amusement, he’s also the star of a new scientific study.Researchers are studying Snowball to learn how dancing can transcend the human condition and extend to our avian friends. “Spontaneity and diversity of movement to music are not uniquely human” is the title of a paper published Monday in the journal Current Biology.A previous parrot study (and one with a sea lion) showed some animals can keep a musical beat, but this new Snowball research suggests the bird is inventing moves as he goes. 1 The science team, led by cognitive neuroscientist Aniruddh Patel of Tufts University and Harvard University, filmed Snowball dancing to Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust and Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun. They analyzed the bird’s movements.The researchers counted 14 distinct dance moves and two composite movements. Snowball’s skills included a body roll, head bobs, foot lifts, head banging and a move reminiscent of Madonna’s ’90s Vogue dance craze. Snowball’s dance snippets tended to be performed for several seconds each, and he changed up his routine each time he heard a song again. “What’s most interesting to us is the sheer diversity of his movements to music,” Patel said in a statement on Monday. The study suggests Snowball may be displaying creativity in his dancing. The research team is currently investigating if the cockatoo’s capers are a form of social interaction with his human caregivers. Sea lion may be first nonhuman mammal to keep a beat Cussing rescue parrot forges sweet Amazon Alexa friendship 11 Photos The researchers said a collection of shared traits between humans and parrots might be responsible for Snowball’s dancing prowess: “(1) complex vocal learning, (2) the capacity for nonverbal movement imitation, (3) a tendency to form long-term social bonds, (4) the ability to learn complex sequences of actions, and (5) attentiveness to communicative movements.”Snowball’s talent first came to light after he was taken in by the Bird Lovers Only rescue agency in South Carolina in 2007. Besides his viral fame, he also starred in a Taco Bell commercial.Snowball seems to be showing that cutting a rug and getting creative with it isn’t just for people. Perhaps he’ll earn himself an invite to Dancing with the Stars. Comment 11 spectacular suits of animal battle armor (pictures) Curious critters Share your voice Tags Sci-Tech
Kolkata: The Majerhat bridge caving-in incident cropped up at the meeting held at Nabanna on Thursdayover preparations for Gangasagar Mela as it is one ofthe crucial routes that pilgrims take to reach the transitpoints in South 24-Parganas through Diamond Harbour Road.With the caving-in, the concerned officials have started pondering as to how exactly around 20 lakh pilgrims would reach the place from Kolkata. Gangasagar Mela takes place in January every year in the Sagar Island. But the planning begins from September onwards and Chief Secretary Malay De held a preparatory meeting in this regard at Nabanna on Thursday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSenior officials from concerned departments including Public Health Engineering, Health, Public Works Department, Transport department, top brass of South 24-Parganas district administration, Kolkata Police personnel and BSNL authorities were present during the meeting.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will also hold a meeting later to review the preparations and to ensure that pilgrims from all over the country do not face any inconvenience.Sources said the alternate roads including one through Garden Reach flyover have come up as the routes through which vehicles of pilgrims will pass by in the absence of the Majerhat flyover. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Though it is not known yet whether the Majerhat bridge will be reconstructed or not, preliminary discussions were held on Thursday on the basis of the present situation,” said an official adding that the Kolkata Police officers have also come up with their suggestions in this connection.Sources added that there were also discussionson the issues related to the dredging in Muriganga River which is quite essential for smooth operation of vessels to transit pilgrims. The state Irrigation department has assured that all steps would be taken for proper dredging.The state government also needs to make arrangements for buses and vessels.Additional buses are also sent to Sagar Island normally in which pilgrims travel from transit points to the venue.