How to start a business in Nevada | NCET Biz Tips - Reno Gazette Journal

How to start a business in Nevada | NCET Biz Tips - Reno Gazette JournalHow to start a business in Nevada | NCET Biz Tips - Reno Gazette JournalPosted: 18 Mar 2020 11:05 PM PDTDave ArcherPublished 10:44 p.m. PT March 18, 2020 CLOSE Subscribe:Stay in the know with a digital subscription to -- and get 3 months for just $3!NCET helps you explore business and technologyNevadans start several thousand new businesses each year. If you'd like to be one of them, NCET and the Reno Gazette Journal are pleased to introduce a new monthly column designed to help you start your business.Each month, our local business experts will explore a key part of the business planning and decision-making process as we walk through the areas that can make or break your business.Overall, these monthly columns will follow the same format used in creating a business plan. If you're a regular reader of NCET's columns, you've seen me standing firmly on this soapbox before. A business plan is th…

Nigerian man, not Lis Smith, says he runs Buttigieg supporter account - Business Insider - Business Insider

Nigerian man, not Lis Smith, says he runs Buttigieg supporter account - Business Insider - Business Insider

Nigerian man, not Lis Smith, says he runs Buttigieg supporter account - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 16 Feb 2020 02:17 PM PST

  • Lis Smith, a senior communications adviser for Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign, was accused of running a fake account that appeared to be a Nigerian Buttigieg supporter.
  • Screenshots of the account surfaced Sunday that included a tweet that identified the author as Smith and matched the language of a letter the campaign sent to supporters.
  • Smith acknowledged the theory on her official account, and the campaign denied she was behind it.
  • Insider reached out to the owner of Instagram and LinkedIn accounts that appeared to be associated with the Twitter account, and he confirmed with photos and notification emails that he was not Smith but a Nigerian Buttigieg supporter who had deleted the Twitter account after fear of being doxxed.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A senior adviser for the Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg got caught up in the Twitter rumor mill on Sunday when she was accused of running a fake account purporting to be a Nigerian supporter of the former mayor, but the person who Insider confirmed owned the account said it was a misunderstanding.

The theory that Lis Smith, the senior communications adviser for Buttigieg's campaign, was behind an account for someone named "Chinedu," who was described in the profile's bio as a "Pete Buttigieg supporter from Nigeria" who loves "wine and dancing," was surfaced in a series of screenshots that included a tweet from the account seemingly identifying the owner as Smith.

In the one tweet presented as evidence that Smith slipped while running the account, the author wrote on January 30: "Team Pete. Hey. It's Lis. It's Phase 4. Time to leave it all on the floor. Phone bankers, we need you."

The language in the tweet appears to match up with some lines from an email sent to supporters from the Buttigieg campaign, which announced "Phase 4," or "time to leave it all on the field."

After the theory began making the rounds, the "Chinedu" account tweeted to mock the allegations, blaming "Bernie Bros." The account appeared to have been deleted by Sunday afternoon.

Insider identified Instagram and LinkedIn accounts with associated usernames and similar profiles to the @easychinedu account, and when reached for comment via LinkedIn message, the person behind the accounts said they were not affiliated with Buttigieg's campaign and that the person had run the Twitter account before deleting it Sunday for fear of being doxxed.

The man, who said he was Nigerian and a supporter of the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also told Insider he had posted the "It's Lis" tweet as a joking reference to the campaign email, which he saw circulating on Twitter.

Insider confirmed the existence and identity of the man behind the accounts through requesting and receiving a photograph of the man holding a sign with the date and phrase "I am not Lis Smith" written on it. He also verified his ownership of the account through email screenshots.

Insider is not revealing his identity to protect his privacy.

By Sunday evening, the Jewish Currents editor David Klion apologized on Twitter for his role helping spread the notion that Smith was behind the account.

Smith acknowledged the allegations on her official account, brushing it off as an "absurd" conspiracy theory.

Matt Corridoni, the campaign's deputy rapid-response communications director, emailed a statement to Insider denying that Smith created the account.

"Nigerian shadow account conspiracy theories are the new rat emojis," Corridoni wrote. "Sad but not surprising."

Asked whether the campaign was officially denying that Smith had created and posted from the account, Corridoni confirmed it was regarded as "an online conspiracy theory."

"Of course we are because this is very obviously an online conspiracy theory," Corridoni wrote in an email. "Quite shocked you'd think otherwise."

Other journalists chimed in to joke about the theory, with New York magazine's Olivia Nuzzi alluding to email scams, writing that Smith "asked me for my social security number and the name of the street I grew up on...or else I couldn't have a press credential to cover Pete."

Smith is a well-known political adviser who partially made her name as a campaign aide for Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York and has been credited for the media strategy responsible for Buttigieg's rise in the polls, which she has described as "going out everywhere, meeting voters where they are, not turning our noses up at nontraditional outlets."

The account's identity as a black Buttigieg supporter touches on one of the campaign's widely reported points of vulnerability, as an Insider poll last fall found the former mayor was satisfactory to only 27% of black voters.

Those results came a month after a report from The Intercept said the campaign had falsely said three prominent black figures in South Carolina supported his Douglass Plan policy proposals when only two had and none had supported him as a candidate.

Update: This post has been updated to include statements from the man found to have run the Twitter account.

Citizen quarantined in Wuhan won't leave her cat, stuck on lockdown - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 03 Feb 2020 12:00 AM PST

Kristina Shramko hasn't been outside in a full week.

The last time she left her loft in Wuhan, China, officers in the supermarket across the street checked her temperature before she entered the store to buy groceries. She wore a mask — a requirement in Wuhan as of late January — and officers patrolled the store to make sure patrons complied, Shramko said. 

Wuhan has been under lockdown since January 23 because the 11-million-person city is the origin point of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The COVID-19 virus, as it's now known, has so far infected at least 67,000 people and killed more than 1,500. (For the latest case total, death toll, and travel information, see Business Insider's live updates here.) The majority of those cases are in the Hubei province, where Wuhan is located. China has quarantined more than 50 million people throughout the province. All transportation in and out of Wuhan has been halted.

Shramko is Canadian — she grew up in Vancouver, where she studied fashion marketing. She met her boyfriend, who lives in Wuhan, while on a month-long trip to the city. She moved there to be with him about eight months before the coronavirus outbreak began. When the city shut down, Shramko's boyfriend was on a business trip. The quarantine rules mean he can't return, so he's staying with family in a different province. 

That has left Shramko alone with her ginger-colored cat, Kitya. 

When Canadian authorities started chartering flights to evacuate citizens, Shramko registered. But then she learned there was a strict no-pet policy on the plane. She wouldn't leave Kitya behind.  

"I don't know when the epidemic will be over so it's kind of abandoning her in a way, even if I give her to a friend," Shramko told Business Insider.

But life under quarantine hasn't been easy. 

"After a month of just being alone and not having that much human interaction, it really takes its toll mentally," Shramko said.

Life in a ghost town

The grocery store across the street from Shramko's apartment was basically empty, she said. A few bags of noodles and some condiment packages remained on the shelves, but for the most part, they were bare. Still, the supermarket is the place Shramko has seen the most activity since Wuhan residents were quarantined, she said.

Supermarket wuhan kristina
The supermarket that Shramko visits, during the quarantine.
Kristina Shramko

"It's pretty much a ghost town outside," she said. "I live directly across from a huge mall and this mall was always packed with people. Even the street to get into the mall's parking lot was always busy. Now, there are no cars at all and nobody outside."

Shramko, who is 21 years old, lives in Wuhan's Hanyang district. She said she's passing the time under quarantine by working on her YouTube channel. During the day, she films and edits videos or watches videos from other users. 

"If I'm not working on videos, I'll watch a movie," she said. "China has something similar to Netflix so I've been able to watch American movies here." 

Shramko inside her loft.
Kristina Shramko

She said she has also been reading books and playing with Kitya. 

The person she talks to most often, she added, is her boyfriend, though friends are checking up on her from time to time. Shramko talks to her family almost every day, too.

"They update me on what they're hearing about the coronavirus in Canada and I let them know what's going on in China," she said.

For now, the Chinese government has offered to extend foreigner visas for those under lockdown. 

But money is getting tight, she said.

"Nobody is working right now so there is no income," Shramko said. "I'm trying to save as much money as possible since we don't know when all of this will be over."

She said she has heard rumors that the quarantine could last until April or May.

'They are doing their best'

Shramko wasn't too concerned about the coronavirus at the start of the lockdown.

"In my mind, a super contagious and deadly virus just didn't seem real," she said. "It seemed like something you only saw in movies. After a few weeks, it really kicked in that this was a serious matter."

But she added that some of the fear surrounding the outbreak is still over-dramatized. 

"I can't tell you how many times people have messaged me on Twitter or Instagram in a panic, asking me to leave China right now, as if if I didn't leave, I would die," she said. "If you are careful and take the necessary precautions, you'll be fine."

A man crosses an empty highway road on February 3, 2020 in Wuhan.
Getty Images

Shramko said she has been washing her hands constantly and trying not to leave the house unless it's absolutely necessary. When she does, she wears her mask. Toward the start of the outbreak, she said, her sinuses started acting up and she worried she might have contracted the virus, but the symptoms were short-lived.

The majority of coronavirus patients so far have been older men with preexisting health problems, according to a recent study of nearly 140 patients in Wuhan. Chinese authorities have reported that 80% of the cases in China are among those ages 60 and older, and the World Health Organization estimates that 14% of the reported cases in China are "severe."

Shramko said she understands why the Chinese government has struggled to quash the outbreak.

"I can't say that I've put all my faith in the Chinese government, but I can say that they are doing their best," she said. "It's a highly contagious virus, so it's hard to control."

But that doesn't mean she wants to stay in Wuhan. Shramko said she's getting restless to return to Canada and wishes the government would allow her evacuate with Kitya. 

"She's been there for me throughout this whole quarantine," Shramko said of her cat. "I should be there for her, too."

Have you been personally affected by the coronavirus epidemic? Is your city or community on the front lines of this disease? Have you or someone you know been tested or diagnosed? Tell us your story by emailing

Read more about the coronavirus:

Manhattan developer ordered to remove top floors of a luxury high-rise - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 16 Feb 2020 01:48 PM PST

  • A New York City Supreme Court judge has ordered a Manhattan developer to remove an undetermined number of floors from a residential tower currently under construction.
  • According to community advocates, developer SJP Properties gerrymandered the city's zoning code by using a hodgepodge of land lots to build more floors.
  • The developer is appealing the ruling, citing the numerous prior approvals by the Department of Buildings.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A New York Supreme Court judge has ruled that a Manhattan developer must remove an undetermined number of its top floors from a construction project on the Upper West Side after abusing the city's zoning codes to build more stories, CNN reported.

The tower at 200 Amsterdam in the New York City's Upper West Side is in its final stages of construction, currently standing at 51 stories out of its planned 55 floors. Justice W. France Perry ordered the city to revoke the project's building permits and for the developer to remove all floors that exceed legal zoning limits. The judge also ruled that the permit for the development project never should have been issued in the first place.

In 2017, community advocates discovered that the developer, SJP Properties, manipulated the city's zoning code and achieved additional height for the tower by owning a unique combination of land lots. New York City's 1,600-page Zoning Resolution doesn't cap the number of floors for new construction — height is instead determined by floor area per lot.

A joint lawsuit was filed in 2017 by nonprofits Municipal Art Society and the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development who argued that the developer had illegally used a process called "subdividing tax lots" to gain permits to build more floors than is allowed in its zoning region.

Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the Municipal Art Society told CNN that it's "a big deal" and unusual for part of a newly constructed building to be taken down, though it's not unique. It will be a "complex and expensive endeavor," according to the developer's lawyer, Scott Mollen. The developer is appealing the ruling based on numerous prior approvals by the Department of Buildings, according to CNN.  

New York City's Department of Buildings approved the permit and was challenged in addition to the developer. The department is now tasked with sifting through the Zoning Resolution to determine how many floors need to be removed, according to CNN. A spokesman for the city's Law Department, Nick Paolucci, told CNN in an email that the city is reviewing its legal options.

Goldstein also told CNN that she hopes the ruling will be an example for other developers who might consider using the zoning code in a similar fashion.

The building's offerings include $3.1 million one-bedroom apartments and $21 million four-bedroom penthouses.

What we know about Facebook's new oversight board that can overrule Mark Zuckerberg - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 15 Feb 2020 08:04 PM PST

  • In late 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced an ambitious plan: to create an independent oversight board that could overrule Facebook's content moderation guidelines, and even Zuckerberg himself.
  • The board is independent from Facebook, but Facebook is funding the board's operations to the tune of $130 million.
  • If users believe their content was removed from the service unfairly or without cause, they can appeal to the independent board directly. If it decides to reverse Facebook's decision, that decision "will be binding," Zuckerberg said, "even if I or anyone at Facebook disagrees with it."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With over 2 billion users, Facebook has a major moderation problem on its hands.

Whether you're talking about the platform's use by Russian government-backed trolls in the 2016 US Presidential election, or to spread propaganda during the 2016 Rohingya genocide, or when a shooter livestreamed a mass shooting in New Zealand, Facebook has faced moderation issue after moderation issue across the past few years.

And the company is well aware of the enormity of its problem. "One of the most painful lessons I've learned," CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in late 2018, "is that when you connect two billion people, you will see all the beauty and ugliness of humanity." 

As a result, Facebook is establishing an oversight board that it says is outside of Facebook's control, that can ultimately overrule Facebook's own policies on content management. The company has even pledged $130 million to get the board funded and operational, with plans to launch in 2020. 

Here's everything we know so far:

Disney's Pixar sued by artist for alleged stolen art in 'Onward' movie - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 16 Feb 2020 11:42 AM PST

  • A San Francisco artist is suing Disney's Pixar for allegedly not only stealing her artwork for the studio's upcoming animated film "Onward" but also for doing so under "wickedly misleading pretenses."
  • Pixar rented Sweet Cicely Daniher's van emblazoned with a unicorn for a company event in September 2018 as a visual prop, only for Daniher to watch the film's trailer months later and spot an animated van that she says is identical to hers.
  • In the filed complaint, Daniher said the film's producer Kori Rae called her in mid-2019 to apologize.
  • Daniher also said in the complaint that Rae admitted the studio intentionally didn't inform her that her van was to be used as inspiration for "Onward" because they couldn't have her sign a non-disclosure agreement since there was no working movie title at the time.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A van with a celestial unicorn emblazoned on its side is slated to play a role in Pixar's upcoming 'Onward' film, whose story centers around two brothers' quest to resurrect their dead father for 24 hours and whose cast includes Octavia Spencer, Ali Wong, Chris Patt, and Tom Holland.

But the van is also central to a lawsuit against the animation studio after a San Francisco artist Sweet Cicely Daniher accused Pixar of ripping the unicorn design from artwork she painted onto her 1972 Chevrolet G10 van, "Vanicorn." Daniher, unicorn fanatic and tattoo artist, is suing the animation studio for copyright infringement, as The Hollywood Reporter reports.

Disney and Pixar did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

"Vanicorn," which has been featured in San Francisco Magazine and is a beloved sight for some in the city, is also prominently featured on Daniher's Instagram account. The van has red shag carpeting, red velour walls, and a white shag carpet roof, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Pixar eventually took notice of it and, according to court documents published in The Hollywood Reporter, inquired about renting the van for a company event for employees on September 4, 2018. 

"We just stumbled upon a badass photo of you and your amazing van in San Francisco Mag and shrieked with joy ... I'm working on an event over here at Pixar Animation Studio next week and was wondering if you'd be willing to rent us your Vanicorn for a couple of days. I have no idea if you get inquiries like this ever, but it is incredibly perfect for the theme of the event we're working with — kind of a fantasy/rocker sort of thing," Pixar employee Jane Clausen wrote to Daniher according to the complaint filed.

For an undisclosed amount of money, Pixar rented the van from Daniher. She said the company intended to use it for "a one day music festival/activity day for Pixar employees and families" and that van would be used merely as a visual prop. The rental contract used explicitly prohibited photos or visual representation of the "Vanicorn" for any purpose outside of the event, according to The Reporter.

But months later, as Daniher watched a trailer for the "Onward" movie where two characters, brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot, use a van named Guinevere in their mission to reunite with their dead father, the artist said she noticed the van looked identical to her own, right down to the make, model, and color of her "Vanicorn" — not to mention the unicorn painted on its side.

According to a post published in June 2019 on Daniher's Instagram account, the film's producer Kori Rae called Daniher to apologize for the incident. Rae's reasoning, according to the complaint filed, was that the production team didn't have a working title for the film yet and, without a title, couldn't have Daniher sign a non-disclosure agreement.

"Well, SHIT! The producer of "Onward" just called me. She wanted to know HOW I'M FEELING...(?!) and to apologize..." Daniher wrote in her post.

Disney Pixar, she continued in the post, "just tried to smooth things over with a phone call, instead of putting their art dept to work, or asking."

The complaint also describes Daniher's "Vanicorn" as a "validating act of recovery from toxic masculinity and a former marriage." Daniher painted her van as a way to heal from a divorce with her former husband, who allegedly refused to allow her to do so.

According to the complaint, "[T]hey have altered this Plaintiff's highly personal and public transubstantiation of her lifelong artistic interest in unicorns into the Vanicorn (a uniquely San Franciscan work of public, mobile, automotive art, and a redemptive and validating act of recovery from toxic masculinity and a former marriage) and which has, instead, been pilfered by the Defendants as a commercial and corporate conduit for the aspirations of a pair of blue boy elves looking for their father in a mass marketed Disney film, and was accomplished by the Defendants under wickedly misleading pretenses."

In addition to the damages, Daniher is also seeking an injunction barring Disney Pixar from distributing, marketing, or selling infringing advertisements, merchandise and the film itself.

"Onward" is slated to hit theatres on March 6. 


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