Visa's investment in Square represents about 1 percent stake

2016-02-13 03:01:05

SAN FRANCISCO Visa Inc (V.N), the world's largest credit and debit card company, said on Friday it currently has about a 1 percent stake in mobile payments company Square Inc (SQ.N) based on a 2011 investment.Visa told Reuters its current holdings are just more than 4.19 million shares of Class B common stock.The company has the option to convert up to 3.52 million of these shares into Class A stock, according to a disclosure filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, which would give it at most a 9.99 percent stake in the share class. If other shareholders also choose to convert their stock at the same time Visa's stake would be less.Square, run by Jack Dorsey, who is also chief executive of Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), held an initial public offering in November. Visa's about 1 percent stake is based on Square's fully diluted common equity as of Dec. 31, 2015. (Reporting by Heather Somerville; Editing by Bernard Orr)

Einstein's gravitational waves detected in landmark discovery

2016-02-12 09:01:06

WASHINGTON/CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Scientists for the first time have detected gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesised by Albert Einstein a century ago, in a landmark discovery announced on Thursday that opens a new window for studying the cosmos.The researchers said they identified gravitational waves coming from two distant black holes - extraordinarily dense objects whose existence also was foreseen by Einstein - that orbited one another, spiraled inward and smashed together at high speed to form a single, larger black hole.The waves were unleashed by the collision of the black holes, one of them 29 times the mass of the sun and the other 36 times the solar mass, located 1.3 billion light years from Earth, the researchers said."Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves. We did it," said California Institute of Technology physicist David Reitze, triggering applause at a packed news conference in Washington."It's been a very long road, but this is just the beginning," Louisiana State University physicist Gabriela Gonzalez told the news conference, hailing the discovery as opening a new era in astronomy.The scientific milestone was achieved using a pair of giant laser detectors in the United States, located in Louisiana and Washington state, capping a decades-long quest to find these waves."The colliding black holes that produced these gravitational waves created a violent storm in the fabric of space and time, a storm in which time speeded up, and slowed down, and speeded up again, a storm in which the shape of space was bent in this way and that way," Caltech physicist Kip Thorne said.The scientists first detected the waves last Sept. 14.The two instruments, working in unison, are called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). They detected remarkably small vibrations from the gravitational waves as they passed through the Earth. The scientists converted the wave signal into audio waves and listened to the sounds of the black holes merging. At the news conference, they played an audio recording of this: a low rumbling pierced by chirps."We're actually hearing them go thump in the night," Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Matthew Evans said. "There's a very visceral connection to this observation." 'A NEW SENSE'"We are really witnessing the opening of a new tool for doing astronomy," MIT astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala said in an interview. "We have turned on a new sense. We have been able to see and now we will be able to hear as well." While opening a door to new ways to observe the universe, scientists said gravitational waves should help them gain knowledge about enigmatic objects like black holes and neutron stars. The waves also may provide insight into the mysterious nature of the very early universe.The scientists said that because gravitational waves are so radically different from electromagnetic waves they expect them to reveal big surprises about the universe.Everything we knew until now about the cosmos stemmed from electromagnetic waves such as radio waves, visible light, infrared light, X-rays and gamma rays. Because such waves encounter interference as they travel across the universe, they can tell only part of the story.Gravitational waves experience no such barriers, meaning they offer a wealth of additional information. Black holes, for example, do not emit light, radio waves and the like, but can be studied via gravitational waves. Einstein in 1916 proposed the existence of gravitational waves as an outgrowth of his ground-breaking general theory of relativity, which depicted gravity as a distortion of space and time triggered by the presence of matter. Until now scientists had found only indirect evidence of their existence, beginning in the 1970s.Scientists sounded positively giddy over the discovery."This is the holy grail of science," said Rochester Institute of Technology astrophysicist Carlos Lousto."The last time anything like this happened was in 1888 when Heinrich Hertz detected the radio waves that had been predicted by James Clerk Maxwell’s field-equations of electromagnetism in 1865," added Durham University physicist Tom McLeish.Abhay Ashtekar, director of Penn State University's Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos, said heavy celestial objects bend space and time but because of the relative weakness of the gravitational force the effect is miniscule except from massive and dense bodies like black holes and neutron stars.A black hole is a region of space so packed with matter that not even photons of light can escape the force of gravity. Neutron stars are small, about the size of a city, but are extremely heavy, the compact remains of a larger star that died in a supernova explosion.The National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the U.S. government, provided about $1.1 billion in funding for the research over 40 years. (Reporting by Will Dunham in Washington, Irene Klotz in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Scott Malone in Cambridge, Mass.; Editing by Tom Brown)

Joe Jonas loves pizza, so he dyed his hair the color of marinara sauce

2016-02-11 01:00:16

You may have celebrated National Pizza Day by chomping down on a slice. Joe Jonas laughs at amateurs like you. The DNCE frontman unveiled bright-red hair today — you know, the color of tomatoes or maybe over-processed pepperoni. Look out for "Pizza by the Lake" as a follow-up to the DNCE hit, "Cake by the Ocean." See also: Joe Jonas on having fun with DNCE and his ultimate Christmas sweater The morning after... #nationalpizzaday — J O E J O N A S (@joejonas) February 10, 2016 For a while, he was rocking a look that in hindsight must have been a tribute to blueberries, a fine source of Vitamin K. oh look it's a piece of #CAKEBYTHEOCEAN 69 cents on iTunes! Link in my bio! A photo posted by J O E J O N A S (@joejonas) on Dec 14, 2015 at 1:00pm PST This is his boldest red yet, but not the first time he's had crimson in his hair: A photo posted by J O E J O N A S (@joejonas) on Jan 12, 2016 at 6:04pm PST Never forget the importance of self-expression, Joe. Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. window._msla=window.loadScriptAsync||function(src,id){if(document.getElementById(id))return;var js=document.createElement('script');;js.src=src;document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0].parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}; _msla("//","twitter_jssdk");

Does Kanye West really think Bill Cosby is innocent?

2016-02-10 01:01:04

Kanye West has been particularly troll-like on Twitter lately in the lead-up to his ever-evolving seventh studio album. And it all took a pretty disturbing turn on Tuesday when he tweeted something that probably won't get the same number of laughs as his fake Rolling Stone cover: "BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!" BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!! — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 9, 2016 And already, people are not happy. .@kanyewest — Rachel McGrath (@RachelMcGrath) February 9, 2016 In A Single Tweet, Kanye West Ruined His Chances For Presidency In 2020 — Taylor Trudon (@taylortrudon) February 9, 2016 .@kanyewest — Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) February 9, 2016 .@kanyewest — best of both worlds. (@MichellCClark) February 9, 2016 In the past year, 46 women have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault over five decades. Last summer, 35 of them told their stories to Vanity Fair. In December, he was charged with aggravated indecent assault in the 2004 sexual assault of Temple University Andrea Constand. He faces a maximum 10 years in prison. On his New Year's release "Facts," West took shots at the comedian: "Do anybody feel bad for Bill Cosby? Did he forget the names just like Steve Harvey?"   window._msla=window.loadScriptAsync||function(src,id){if(document.getElementById(id))return;var js=document.createElement('script');;js.src=src;document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0].parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}; _msla("//","twitter_jssdk");

Snug as a bug: the hated cockroach inspires a helpful robot

2016-02-09 05:01:05

WASHINGTON People use a lot of words to describe the reviled cockroach: disgusting, ugly, sneaky and repulsive, to name a few. But it may be time to add a surprising new one: inspirational.Scientists said on Monday they have built a small search-and-rescue robot, inspired by the ability of cockroaches to squeeze through tiny crevices, designed to navigate through rubble to find survivors after natural disasters or bombings."We feel strongly that cockroaches are one of nature's most revolting animals, but they can teach us important design principles," University of California, Berkeley integrative biology professor Robert Full said.Using a specially built obstacle course, the researchers observed how cockroaches scurried in less than a second through crevices smaller than a quarter of their height by compressing their jointed exoskeletons in half.Once inside the crevice, the cockroaches managed to move rapidly, at nearly 20 body lengths per second, with their legs splayed completely out to their sides. "If you scale it up to the size of a human, it would be equivalent to about 70 miles per hour (113 kph), over twice the speed of the fastest sprinter," said Harvard University biologist Kaushik Jayaram, who worked on the research while at UC-Berkeley.The researchers said the cockroaches were about a half inch (13 mm) tall when they ran freely, but compressed their bodies to about a 10th of an inch (2.5 mm) to get through cracks. Experts have been studying animal locomotion in order to invent robots that can maneuver in tough environments. For example, sidewinder rattlesnakes inspired a serpentine robot."Nature has a library of design ideas. This diversity enables discovery. You never know where basic research will lead. The most important discoveries are often from the most unexpected creatures, some of which are disgusting," Full added.The observations involving the species Periplaneta americana, the American cockroach, inspired the design of a prototype soft-bodied, multi-legged robot called CRAM (Compressible Robot with Articulated Mechanisms) that in the future could be used in swarms to help locate survivors in collapsed structures. The simple and inexpensive robot, 7 inches (18 cm) long, 3 inches (7.6 cm) tall and weighing 1.6 ounces (46 grams), was constructed using an origami-like manufacturing technique, Jayaram said. It can reorient its legs and compress its body like a cockroach to get through "vertically confined spaces," Jayaram added.The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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