MultiState Lawsuit Filed Against Orbital Publishing Group

first_img 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 Heraldlast_img read more

Snowball the dancing cockatoo gets serious scrutiny from science

first_imgEnlarge 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. Commentcenter_img 11 spectacular suits of animal battle armor (pictures) Curious critters Share your voice Tags Sci-Techlast_img read more

Samsungs Galaxy Home Mini makes appearance in South Korean beta test

first_img4:05 A Samsung beta test website is providing our first look at the Galaxy Home Mini.  Samsung Samsung appears to have a Galaxy Home Mini after all. While we saw the product make its way through the FCC months ago, Samsung has been quiet about its smart speaker plans in recent months. Now it appears that at least one of its devices is starting to be rolled out to consumers, with the company starting up a beta in South Korea to let interested users in its home country try out the new smart speaker. The beta test, first spotted by SamMobile, also gives us our first real look at the Home Mini, which looks a lot like the larger Galaxy Home that Samsung announced last year but still hasn’t shipped. Galaxy Home Mini Samsung Beta SmartThingsSamsung’s SmartThings will be present on the Galaxy Home Mini.  Samsung We don’t know much else about the presumed Bixby-powered smart speaker, though from the beta page it’s clear that the Home Mini will work with Samsung’s SmartThings platform for controlling smart devices in your home, with infrared for controlling your TV. Interested applicants in South Korea can apply until Sunday to try to take part in the program. It remains to be seen when Samsung might release its two smart speakers and how much they’ll cost. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The battle for the best smart display: Google Home Hub… Samsung Galaxy Home Samsung’s first Bixby speaker, the Galaxy Home, revealed Preview • A Galaxy far, far away? Samsung’s Bixby speaker is still a no-show 0 Now playing: Watch this: Smart Speakers & Displays Mobile 12 Photos Share your voice Post a comment Tags News • Samsung Galaxy Home reportedly delayed to later this year Mini Samsunglast_img read more

Sri Lanka explosions Jacqueline Fernandez Alia Bhatt Virat Kohli and other celebs

first_imgJacqueline Fernandez condemns Sri Lanka explosions.TwitterThis Easter Sunday (April 21), Sri Lanka woke up to a series of explosions at churches and hotels in the country. Over 359 people have been reportedly killed, and more than 600 injured in the deadliest terror attack in recent times in the island nation. The Sri Lankan police confirmed that terrorists attacked three churches and three hotels, including the Shangri-la hotel in Kingsbury, Colombo, and the St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade. The church attacks occurred around 9 am when devotees had gathered for mass on the occasion of Easter Sunday.Bollywood celebrities condemned the Sri Lanka blasts, in messages on Twitter. Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandez, who was Miss Sri Lanka and is now an established actress in Bollywood, tweeted, “Extremely sad at the news of bombings in Sri Lanka. It’s unfortunate that one is not able to see that violence is like a chain reaction. This has to stop!”Other Bollywood celebrities like legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, directors Madhur Bhandarkar, Shekhar Kapur, and Kunal Kohli, actors Vivek Oberoi, Kamal Haasan, Siddharth and Boman Irani. Actresses Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra, Parineeti Chopra, Swara Bhasker, Huma Qureshi, Dia Mirza and Raveena Tandon also expressed shock and grief over the serial blasts in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the “horrific” incident.Cricketer Virat Kohli also condemned the blasts, saying, “Shocked to hear the news coming in from Sri Lanka. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. #PrayForSriLanka.”Alia Bhatt said on Twitter, “Heartbroken at the news from Sri Lanka. Why do innocent people have to die? What is the point of all this meaningless violence? If only all this energy went into bringing peace, it would unite the world rather than dividing it.”Lata Mangeshkar tweeted, “I am deeply saddened to see the appalling attack in Sri Lanka. My heart goes out to the people there and I share their grief. Praying for peace to prevail.”Priyanka Chopra said on Twitter, “Heartbreaking scenes from #Srilanka. A day of celebration turned into one of tremendous loss. My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone affected by these horrific attacks.”Madhur Bhandarkar said on Twitter, “It’s a extremely shameful act of terrorism to attack innocent civilians. My heartfelt condolences to the one who lost their lives and praying for the safety of everyone affected in #SriLanka. Stay Strong!”Vivek Oberoi tweeted, “Deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic and terrible attacks in #SriLanka. An act of cowardice on a day of prayer, shame on these terrorists. My sincere prayers with the victims and their families. We are all with you #SriLanka. Please stay safe.”Parineeti Chopra said on Twitter, “Could never have thought a quiet country like #Srilanka could be attacked like this. What is the world coming to? Thinking of all the families affected. All my love and prayers always …”Kamal Haasan, actor and politician, said, “Violence can never be the final solution to human disagreements. Ironic that the island that spawned the word serendipity is not able to find it. My deepest sympathies to those affected by the bombs in Srilanka. The government should be impartial and swift in rendering Justice.”Huma Qureshi expressed sadness, saying, “What a sad day !! To attack families and children going to church on #EasterSunday ??!!! This is terrible … what is happening to our world ??? #SriLanka.”Siddharth tweeted, “What a tragic Easter Sunday. The devil knows no mercy. To attack families and children when they are most vulnerable… This is beyond comprehension. #PrayForSriLanka.”Director Kunal Kohli said, “Heart goes out to the people of #srilanka. Another cowardly terrorist attack. #Wearewithyousrilanka 80 Injured In Six Blasts In Sri Lanka Churches And Hotels On Easter.”Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar tweeted, “While condemning the serial bomb attack in #Colombo, we express our solidarity with the people of #SriLanka and the families of the victims. Let’s pray that they have the strength to move through this tough time.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed solidarity with Sri Lanka. He said on Twitter, “Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.”Swara Bhasker tweeted, “Heartbreaking & tragic news from #SriLanka Curses upon the monsters who carried out this inhumanity! On a joyous festive day! What is the world coming to????? Prayers & strength to the victims & families.. #SriLankaTerrorAttack.”Raghava Lawrence, choreographer, actor and filmmaker, said, “My heart and prayers are with the ones who got affected in the tragic incident happened in #SriLanka. God be with u all !!! Raghavendra swami gives strength to all to recover from this incident. #SpreadHumanity #PrayForSrilanka”.Boman Irani said on Twitter, “Shocked to hear the extremely disturbing news coming in from #SriLanka. Had stayed at the hotels & it’s heartbreaking to even imagine the situation. My heartfelt condolences to the near & dear ones of those who lost their lives & praying for a speedy recovery of the ones injured.”Shekhar Kapur tweeted, “Latest reports say 150 people killed in SriLanka in terrorist attacks on Churches, Hotels. While none has admitted to this, it was a well coordinated attack at Easter. When Churches were full. Terrorism remains our number 1 global enemy. No one, nowhere is safe #SriLankaBlasts”.Dia Mirza said, “My heart goes out to #Srilanka. Thoughts and prayers for all the families who have lost their loved one’s… #SrilankaBlast”.Raveena Tandon expressed shock over the polarisation. She said, “polarisation on twitter over #SriLankaTerrorAttack is saddening disgusting.While communists/leftliberals #lalsalaam hysterically ranting insinuating “hinduterror”while in same breath claiming terror has no religion,while rightwing extremist gleefully gloating on a “I told you so””.Heartbroken at the news from Sri Lanka. Why do innocent people have to die? What is the point of all this meaningless violence? If only all this energy went into bringing peace, it would unite the world rather than dividing it.— Alia Bhatt (@aliaa08) 21 April 2019 Heartbreaking scenes from #Srilanka. A day of celebration turned into one of tremendous loss. My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone affected by these horrific attacks.— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) 21 April 2019 Extremely sad at the news of bombings in Sri Lanka. It’s unfortunate that one is not able to see that violence is like a chain reaction. This has to stop ! — Jacqueline Fernandez (@Asli_Jacqueline) April 21, 2019center_img Violence can never be the final solution to human disagreements. Ironic that the island that spawned the word serendipity is not able to find it. My deepest sympathies to those affected by the bombs in Srilanka. The government should be impartial and swift in rendering Justice.— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) April 21, 2019last_img read more