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Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits – NYTimes.com

Posted: July 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits – NYTimes.com

"On Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay," Tara Siegel Bernard reports. Google says its own employees—they call themselves Gayglers—brought up the issue. "On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage." That doesn't sound fair to many people, who see Google's move as compensating for the federal government's failure to guarantee equal socioeconomic standing for GLBT employees.

Some other companies, including Cisco, Kimpton Hotels, and the Gates Foundation already do this, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Of course, the anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family isn't happy, saying a reverse discrimination lawsuit could be forthcoming since Google's policy excludes heterosexual couples.

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Why Do Women Leave Science And Engineering? – Forbes.com

Posted: June 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Why Do Women Leave Science And Engineering? – Forbes.com

According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, coauthor of the report "The Athena Factor: Reversing the Brain Drain in Science, Engineering, and Technology," women leave careers in engineering and science more often than men. Professor of economics Jennifer Hunt, Ph.D., notes that "the most important driver of excess female exits from engineering is dissatisfaction over pay and promotion opportunities, a factor explaining about 60% of the gender differential in exit rates." This is concerning American policy analysts, who have noted a decline in scientific publishing.

Hunt further notes the career exit gender gap is most prominent in fields that have the highest portion of male students, i.e., engineering. She says this contributes to a culturally-induced cycle where women lack opportunities men in these fields have. "Explanations hinging on the precise nature of engineering work should be discarded," Hunt says. "Instead remedies should be applied to all fields with a high share of male workers."

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Maybe Maimed but Never Harmed › EdenFantasys’s unethical technology is a self-referential black hole

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Maybe Maimed but Never Harmed › EdenFantasys’s unethical technology is a self-referential black hole

The websites of Internet sex toy retailer Web Merchants, Inc., which bills itself as the “sex shop you can trust” under the name EdenFantasys, interferes with their contributors’ content, intercepts outgoing links and alters syndicated content so that links in the original work are directed to themselves. This makes EdenFantasys’ website a self-referential black hole, providing no reciprocity for contributors, nor for any website ostensibly “linked” to from article content. These techniques are widely regarded as unethical and are arguably in violation of major search engines’ policies. Authors of sites with which EdenFantasys and their publications, such as SexIs Magazine, have “an ongoing relationship,” like AlterNet.org, other large news hubs, and individual bloggers’ blogs are upset that community members who asked questions on the EdenFantasys forums have been censored or banned.

Kink On Tap will endeavor to no longer cite or link to Web Merchants, Inc. content in the future.

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Virginity Auction Comes to Reality TV | CarnalNation

Posted: May 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Virginity Auction Comes to Reality TV | CarnalNation

Documentary filmmaker Justin Sisley wants to make a reality TV show that will culminate in a virginity auction and, unsurprisingly, "Sisley's project has become a lightning rod for debates over morality," writes Tim McElreavy. "He has spent more than a year recruiting virgins of both sexes who have agreed to auction off their first time to the highest bidder. Each participant will be paid $20,000 plus 90 percent of the final bidding price. However, Sisley's original plan to hold the auction in Sydney was scrapped after receiving a letter of warning from the government of the Australian state of Victoria, threatening to prosecute him for prostitution should he proceed. As a result, he will relocate the entire project to Nevada where prostitution is legal."

21 year old Veronica, one of the virgins who wants to participate in the auction, says her motivation was to "challenge society, […] and change society's views on sex," and had to allay her father's fears that she had been abused.

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