Tag: Company

Sex Toy Company Sets Up ‘Masturbation Station’ On New York City Street

Masturbation Booth Pops Up On NYC Street To Help With Mid-Day Stress – Gateway Pundit

There’s now a Masturbation Station in New York City for men to relieve some stress during the workday.

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The company said 100 men used the booth on its first day.

Mashable reported:
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On Tuesday, Hot Octopuss erected what it called a “GuyFi” booth on 28th Street and 5th Avenue in New York City, where men could, in theory, go to “relieve stress.”

The company simply put a cloth over a phone booth in what amounted to a marketing gimmick. Inside was a chair and a laptop.

Hot Octopuss was inspired by a Time Out survey, which concluded that 39% of the New York men it questioned admitted to masturbating while at work. A more expansive Glamour survey of 1,000 men in 2012 suggested 31% of its readers have done so.

Hot Octopuss created the booth so men can “take this habit out of the office and into a more suitable environment designed to give the busy Manhattan man the privacy, and the high-speed Internet connection, he deserves.”

“We may be insinuating that these booths could be used in whichever way anyone would like to ‘self soothe,’” a representative tells Mashable, “but the brand is not actively encouraging people to masturbate in public as that is an illegal offense.”

The company claims approximately 100 men used the booth on its inaugural day.

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Federal Assclowns Fine Energy Company For Lowering Costs And Improving The Environment

What Happened When One Company Lowered Its Costs and Improved The Environment? Government Fines. – Daily Signal

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Here’s how the federal government rewards an energy company for upgrading its power plants to lower costs for families and businesses and improving the environment: slap them with a nearly a million dollar fine, force them to close power plant units and lay off employees and make them millions of dollars in environmental mitigation projects.

If that sounds backwards to you, well it is.

In a lawsuit that lasted 15 years, Duke Energy and the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) reached a settlement where Duke “will pay a civil penalty of $975,000, shut down a coal-fired power plant and invest $4.4 million on environmental mitigation projects.”

The EPA and Department of Justice brought the suit against Duke Energy in 2000 arguing that the company failed to comply with the Clean Air Act when the company modified 13 coal-fired units in North Carolina.

At issue is the New Source Review (NSR), one of the 1977 Clean Air Act amendments. Power plants must meet certain air quality standards, and companies must follow Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) rules to demonstrate that the construction and operation of new projects and major modifications will not increase emissions above a specified threshold.

Therefore, if a company wants to make plant modifications that improves the power plant’s efficiency, it will trigger New Source Review and the EPA will regulate the plant to meet the most recent emissions standards.

However, what constitutes a significant modification is subjective under the rules. The amendment excludes routine maintenance, repair, and replacement, but what falls under the definition of significant modification remains murky, despite multiple administrative attempts to clarify the meaning. The lack of clarification also forces companies into years, if not decades, of litigation over NSR violations. Such is the most recent case with Duke Energy.

Companies could be allocating resources to invest in new equipment and provide jobs that benefit energy consumers, but instead have to waste resources fighting ridiculously long and unnecessary lawsuits. Even though companies argue in court they complied with the law, the result will be a settlement where the federal government hands down millions of dollars in fines, and forces the closure of power plants, killing jobs in the process.

New Source Review is a cost to both the economy and the environment. Plant upgrades can improve efficiency and reduce operational costs, thereby lowering electricity costs for families and businesses, increasing reliability, and providing environmental benefits.

Nevertheless, because those upgrades trigger a New Source Review, the policy discourages new investment and keeps power plants operating less efficiently than they otherwise would.

Although increasing the efficiency of a plant will likely cause it to run longer and consequently cause the plant’s emissions to rise, NSR does not account for the emission reduction that would occur if a less efficient plant reduced its hours of operation to compensate for increases in operation of a more efficient plant.

That is why Congress should repeal New Source Review.

New Source Review is a bureaucratic mess that prevents plants from operating at optimal efficiency. Power plants are already clean because companies equip them with sophisticated, state-of-the-art pollution prevention technology to ensure safe operations no matter how long the power plant runs.

Repealing NSR would not be a free pass for companies to pollute but instead allow them to improve plant efficiency, reduce emissions and also increase power generation to meet U.S. energy needs.

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Company That Maintained Hitlery’s Server Illegally Accessed Database, Stole Military Advisors’ Phone Numbers

Tech Company Which Maintained Hillary’s Secret Server Was Sued For ‘Illegally Accessing’ Database And ‘Stealing White House Military Advisers’ Phone Numbers’ – Daily Mail

The Internet company used by Hillary Clinton to maintain her private server was sued for stealing dozens of phone lines including some which were used by the White House.

Platte River Networks is said to have illegally accessed the master database for all US phone numbers.

It also seized 390 lines in a move that created chaos across the US government.

Among the phone numbers which the company took – which all suddenly stopped working – were lines for White House military support desks, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, a lawsuit claims.

Others were the main numbers for major financial institutions, hospitals and the help desk number for T2 Communications, the telecom firm which owned them.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of T2 claims that the mess took 11 days to fix and demands that Platte River pay up $360,000 in compensation.

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TROUBLE IN CHAPPAQUA: Hillary Clinton faces new questions and new levels of outrage as messages on her private email server were found to contain top-secret signal intercepts and information from spy satellites

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Platte River Systems was used by Hillary Clinton to maintain her server. Its website boasts that the Denver, Colorado firm, offers to ‘build better networks’

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BOAST: The firm’s website describes it as having ‘connections in all the right places’.

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National Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough told members of Congress in writing that two of Clinton’s emails were so sensitive that it would have been illegal to show them to any foreigner

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The claims raise questions about the competence of Platte River, which is based in Denver, Colorado, to handle Mrs Clinton’s highly sensitive personal information while she was Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State’s emails would have been potentially a target for foreign espionage.

Mrs Clinton installed the system at her home in Chappaqua, upstate New York, and did not even have an official email address until the year she left office.

Earlier this week it emerged that she has handed over the server to the FBI which is investigating her and a number of her top aides.

Mrs Clinton acted after the Inspector General for the intelligence community said that he had found four emails that were stored on it were classified and two of those were Top Secret, the highest level of classification.

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DOCUMENTED: The claim made against Platte River Networks and its co-contractors

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KEY SECTION: The passage in the claim which makes clear that the White House’s military support desks and the Department of Defense had their phone numbers allegedly taken

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Until now Mrs Clinton has insisted that none of the emails were classified at the time she sent or received them.

The lawsuit was filed by T2 in November last year and relates to a deal that went through in June.

By that time Mrs Clinton has left her post as Secretary of State; she was in office between 2009 and 2013.

T2 alleges that it had provided 16 phone lines to an insurance broker called Cambridge until they decided to switch providers and signed up with Windstream Communications, who worked with McLeod USA, a local exchange carrier owned by Windstream, and Platte River.

But instead of taking over the 16 lines, T2 claims that the companies asked for 390 more lines in what they called ‘intentional misappropriation’.

T2 alleges that they did this by illegally accessing the database for the Number Portability Administration Centre, the master agency which manages all US phone numbers.

The lawsuit states: ‘Under NPAC regulations, telecommunications providers are only allowed to access the NPAC data base for the exclusive purpose of routing, rating of calls, billing of calls, or performing maintenance in connection with the provision of telecommunications services.

‘Contrary to these NPAC regulations, Defendants accessed the NPAC database to find T2s 390 telephone lines as well as to obtain T2 and its customers’ proprietary network information for use in marketing T2’s lines to their existing and prospective customers.’

The lawsuit describes at length the chaos that resulted when the 390 numbers used by T2 customers suddenly stopped working.

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SAFE FOR NOW? Clinton signed a statement under penalty of perjury, but there’s no indication when or whether her top staffers will follow suit

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EYE IN THE SKY: The classification acronym ‘TK’ stands for ‘Talent Keyhole,’ a kind of taskable satellite that delivers high-resolution imagery like this from 200 miles or more above the earth

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Among the lines which went dead was that for T2’s main number and its help desk, which meant customers were unable to contact the company at a time when they needed it the most.

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THE AGENCY: The CIA’s headquarters campus in Langley, Virginia (shown) is likely buzzing over the former secretary of state’s apparent casual management of sensitive information

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T2 employees’ numbers also stopped working as did lines for: ‘The Department of Defense, Department of Energy; multiple medical emergency facilities as numbers used for general, pre- and post-surgical contact, and obstetric or gynecological emergencies; Federal Contract Support Desks; White House Military Operations support desks, several financial institution’s main telephone numbers, multiple Denver-based Charter schools’ main and backdoor phone numbers, a US-Based telephone number for IBM China, multiple other information technology companies and their support and internal telephone numbers, as well as T2’s main telephone numbers’.

The lawsuit states that the lines were dead for at least 21 hours and that it took the company at least 10 days to ‘unwind’ the mess and get the numbers back.

Among the legal documents filed in the case is a third party complaint filed by Thomas W. Snyder, a lawyer, on behalf of Windstream and McLeod.

It goes into more detail about Platte River’s role in the deal and claims that the company worked as the sales agent for Windstream in connection with the Cambridge account.

It says that Platte River was responsible for ‘spotting any red flags’ and for ‘resolving any inaccuracies’ with the deal.

The document states: ‘Platte River acted negligently and breached this duty by failing to identify that the 390 additional lines were improper.’

The lawsuit adds a new twist to the row about Mrs Clinton’s email server that is refusing to go away amid intense pressure from Republicans.

Mrs Clinton has said that she exchanged about 60,000 emails over the four years in office on the system, of which half were personal and were deleted.

Mrs Clinton turned over the other half to the Department of State in December last year and they are being reviewed and slowly released to the public.

She has until now refused to hand over the server – which she has wiped clean – but changed her mind when it emerged that some of the emails were classified.

Mr Snyder declined to comment.

Daily Mail Online has reached out to Barbara Wells, a Denver lawyer who represents Platte River, Mrs Clinton’s campaign and T2’s lawyers for comment. We have not received any response.

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Assurant Health Insurance Company Fined For Charging Healthy Customers Less Money

Health Insurance Company Fined For Charging Less For Healthy Customers – Weasel Zippers

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No fines for charging smokers a higher premium. Single payer here we come.

Via Helena Independent Record

A health insurance company will refund roughly $1.7 million to Montana customers who have been forced to pay what the state calls unfairly high prices.

Wisconsin-based Assurant Health finalized a settlement with the state this week agreeing to pay the restitution and a $25,000 fine.

An investigation by Montana’s Insurance Commissioner found Assurant charged lower prices for healthy customers and higher prices for about 1,600 sicker customers with the same coverage.

State law prohibits health insurance companies from imposing higher prices based on any factor other than age.

“Our allegation is that they discriminated against people who were in poor health,” said Jesse Laslovich, deputy state auditor.

The commissioner’s office found Assurant subsidiaries John Alden Life Insurance Co. and Time Insurance Co. offered a “healthy discount” of 10 percent off premiums to Montana policyholders who claimed less than $500 the previous year and completed a questionnaire.

“That $1.7 million, that represents the amount that the other people who didn’t get the discounts should have gotten,” Laslovich said. “These folks don’t know they’re getting a check in the mail, so that’s something we’re excited about.”[..]

The company announced in April that it will be leaving the national health insurance market amid declining revenue. Montana customers were notified last month.

Assurant Health’s profit began dropping when the Affordable Care Act was implemented in 2010. The company attributed its projected first-quarter losses of $80 million to $90 million to higher customer claims under the ACA and a reduction in what Assurant could recover through the health law’s risk mitigation programs.

Keep reading

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Day After Obama Mentions eBay As Example Of Booming Economy In SOTU, Company Lays Off 2,400 People

eBay Lays Off Thousands After Obama Touts Company In State Of The Union Address – Washington Free Beacon

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The POLITICO reports that President Obama, during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, gave shout outs to a number of American companies in an effort to highlight the strength of the U.S. economy. Nearly all of those companies, it turns out, are big political spenders and have contributed heavily to Democrats.

One of those companies was eBay, which Obama cited as an example of how “millions of Americans [are working] in jobs that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago.” That now seems like an unfortunate choice, because less than 24 hours after Obama’s speech, eBay announced it was cutting 2,400 jobs, or about 7 percent of its workforce. Investors welcomed the layoffs, and the company’s stock jumped more than 4 percent on the news.

The company has spent millions of dollars lobbying the federal government, and has contributed mostly to Democrats over the years. Its president and CEO, John Donahoe, has donated almost exclusively to Democrats. He gave thousands to Obama’s campaign in 2012, and has contributed more than $90,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Here’s a picture of Donahoe leaving the White House after a meeting with President Obama last year to discuss, of all things, unemployment.

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Company Fired By HHS Over Botched Healthcare.Gov Rehired By IRS To Provide Support For Obamacare Tax Program

IRS Has Active Contract For Millions With Company HHS FIRED Over Botched Healthcare.Gov – Daily Caller

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Seven months after federal officials fired CGI Federal for its botched work on Obamacare website Healthcare.gov, the IRS awarded the same company a $4.5 million IT contract for its new Obamacare tax program.

CGI is a $10.5 billion Montreal-based company that has forever been etched into the public’s mind as the company behind the bungled Obamacare main website.

After facing a year of embarrassing failures, federal officials finally pulled the plug on the company and terminated CGI’s contract in January 2014.

Yet on Aug. 11, seven months later, IRS officials signed a new contract with CGI to provide “critical functions” and “management support” for its Obamacare tax program, according to the Federal Procurement Data System, a federal government procurement database.

The IRS contract is worth $4.46 million, according to the FPDS data. The contract expires Aug. 15, 2015.

Prior to terminating CGI’s contract, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress, “I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov.” She called the CGI-designed website a “debacle.”

A joint Senate Finance and Judiciary Committee staff report in June 2014 found that Turning Point Global Solutions, hired by HHS to review CGI’s performance on Healthcare.gov, reported they found 21,000 lines of defective software code inserted by CGI.

Scott Amey, the general counsel for the non-profit Project on Government Oversight, which reviews government contracting, examined the IRS contract with CGI.

“CGI was the poster child for government failure,” he told The Daily Caller. “I am shocked that the IRS has turned around and is using them for Obamacare IT work.”

Washington was not the only city that has been fed up with CGI on healthcare.

Last year, CGI was fired by the liberal states of Vermont and Massachusetts for failing to deliver on their Obamacare websites.

The Obamacare health website in Massachusetts never worked, despite the state paying $170 million to CGI.

Massachusetts, the state that pioneered government healthcare through its Romneycare health insurance program in 2006, could only enroll 31,000 people in 2014. Most enrolments were through paper applications.

And in Vermont, state officials pulled the plug on CGI after its system failed to work for 10 months. Vermont had paid $66.7 million to CGI. The state imposed a $5 million penalty on the company for shoddy work.

CGI’s 2014 annual report says nothing about the disastrous rollout of online healthcare websites in the United States.

Curiously, CGI features its online health work in Helsinki, London, Alberta, Saskatchewan and for the New York State of Mental Health, but says nothing about its ruined rollout of Obamacare web sites.

In Canada, CGI’s parent company, Montreal-based CGI Group, was just as deficient.

Ontario health officials fired CGI after it failed to deliver a flagship provincial online health registry.

About 7 million Obamacare policyholders and about 20 million Americans who don’t have healthcare coverage will depend this year on the proper IRS processing of their 2014 income tax returns.

Improper processing of health information could cause some Americans to receive smaller tax refunds, or even pay more out-of-pocket for their government-issued healthcare policies.

A September 2013 audit by the IRS inspector general criticized the tax agency’s software and computer systems aimed to process Obamacare tax return forms.

Michael E. McKenney, the acting deputy inspector general, found many problems with the IRS software, including lax security and fraud controls.

Government auditors found “Many of the vulnerabilities in information systems can be traced to software flaws and misconfigurations of system components.”

The IRS did not reply to numerous inquiries to the agency about the CGI contract.

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Japanese Company To Sell Humanoid Robots In U.S. Within 12 Months (Video)

SoftBank To Sell Robot In U.S. Stores Within 12 Months – Bloomberg

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Billionaire Masayoshi Son will start selling his humanoid robots named “Pepper” at Sprint Corp. (S) stores in the U.S. by next summer, part of SoftBank Corp.‘s push to take the technology beyond factory floors.

SoftBank also has received between 300 and 400 inquiries about Pepper from companies in finance, food service and education, Fumihide Tomizawa, chief executive officer of SoftBank Robotics, said yesterday. The 1.2 meter (4 foot) robot dances, makes jokes and estimates human emotions based on expressions. Pepper will go in sale in Japan in February for 198,000 yen ($1,900) while the company hasn’t set a U.S. price.

SoftBank, which paid $22 billion for control of Sprint last year, is investing in robotics as Japan seeks to double the value of domestic production to 2.41 trillion yen by 2020. SoftBank has developed an operating system that controls robots in the same way Google Inc.’s Android software runs smartphones, with the platform open to customization for use in construction, health care and entertainment industries.

“We will sell Pepper in the United States within a year after gathering information in Japan,” Tomizawa said. “I won’t be surprised if Pepper sales will be half to business and half to consumers.”

SoftBank Robotics was established as a subsidiary in July to direct the company’s business and sell Pepper, which is equipped with a laser sensor and 12 hours of battery life.

Shares (9984) of SoftBank rose 1.3 percent to 7,541 yen at the close of trade in Tokyo. The stock has declined 18 percent this year while the benchmark Topix index is little changed.

The robot was initially targeted at families and the elderly before getting attention for business use since its June unveiling.

Tomizawa declined to specify the company’s sales targets for robotics. SoftBank expects to generate revenue through applications and original content as customers personalize their robots.

“The basic premise is to produce profit,” Tomizawa said. “Son is aggressively involved in the project and we report to him one or two times a month.”

Son said in 2010 his vision was to create a society that coexists with intelligent robots. The SoftBank chairman has said Pepper is a result of his time spent watching the TV show “Astro Boy,” an animated 1960s series based on a character who couldn’t experience emotions.

In July, Son said he expects to improve labor productivity by replacing 90 million jobs with 30 million robots.

“We could enter the robot business for industrial use in the mid or long term,” Tomizawa said.

Pepper was initially developed by SoftBank subsidiary Aldebaran Robotics SA. The robot operating system, which isn’t currently used by Pepper, was developed by its Asratec Corp. division. The businesses continue to operate as separate units of SoftBank.

SoftBank’s development of robots comes as Google acquired robotics companies, including Schaft Inc., a Tokyo-based maker of two-legged humanoid robots. Other robot makers include Honda Motor Co. (7267), which has the soccer-playing Asimo, and Panasonic Corp. (6752), which created Hospi-R machines to deliver medicines to patients in hospitals.

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