Square buys $50 million in bitcoin as part of larger investment in cryptocurrency

Payments platform Square has purchased $50 million in bitcoin, part of its larger investment in cryptocurrency, the company announced on Thursday. Square bought a total of 4,709 bitcoins, which the company says represents about 1 percent of its total assets as of the end of the second quarter.

Square said it was making the purchase because it believes “bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future,” calling cryptocurrency “an instrument of economic empowerment” that “provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system.” Square has accepted bitcoin as a form of payment since 2014.

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, has long been a proponent of bitcoin, saying in 2018 that he believes it will eventually become the world’s single currency within the next decade. Dorsey, who also owns an undisclosed amount of bitcoin personally, said during an earnings call

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First empirical study on how users pay visual attention to mobile app designs shows larger and brighter elements don’t catch our eyes after all — ScienceDaily

As part of an international collaboration, Aalto University researchers have shown that our common understanding of what attracts visual attention to screens, in fact, does not transfer to mobile applications. Despite the widespread use of mobile phones and tablets in our everyday lives, this is the first study to empirically test how users’ eyes follow commonly used mobile app elements.

Previous work on what attracts visual attention, or visual saliency, has centered on desktop and web-interfaces.

‘Apps appear differently on a phone than on a desktop computer or browser: they’re on a smaller screen which simply fits fewer elements and, instead of a horizontal view, mobile devices typically use a vertical layout. Until now it was unclear how these factors would affect how apps actually attract our eyes,’ explains Aalto University Professor Antti Oulasvirta.

In the study, the research team used a large set of representative mobile interfaces and eye

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Larger part of the Amazon at risk of crossing tipping point than previously thought — ScienceDaily

A larger part of the Amazon rainforest is at risk of crossing a tipping point where it could become a savanna-type ecosystem than previously thought, according to new research. The research, based on computer models and data analysis, is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Rainforests are very sensitive to changes that affect rainfall for extended periods. If rainfall drops below a certain threshold, areas may shift into a savanna state.

“In around 40 percent of the Amazon, the rainfall is now at a level where the forest could exist in either state — rainforest or savanna, according to our findings,” says lead author Arie Staal, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Copernicus Institute of Utrecht University.

The conclusions are concerning because parts of the Amazon region are currently receiving less rain than previously and this trend is expected to worsen as the region

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Larger tablets revive tablet PC market during pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic — and the ensuing lock-down throughout the world — has brought back a lot of things that had fallen a bit out of favor, like jigsaw puzzle family nights and drive-in movies. It’s also given surprising new life to the tablet PC market, which cratered several years ago, but has come back to life, according to a new research report from Strategy Analytics.

The tablet craze of the early 2010s waned as smartphones became bigger and more powerful while (usually) retaining pocket-friendly dimensions. But if you don’t need a device in your pocket because you’re stuck at home, and you’re spending hours working or learning at school remotely, then the larger screen a tablet provides becomes a valuable advantage again. As a result, Strategy Analytics says the tablet market is growing at the fastest rate we’ve seen since 2014.

Granted, that is expected to provide a mere

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A Different And Larger Role For The U.S. Government In The Tech Industry

If there ever was an instance of the proverbial handwriting on the wall, this week provided it.  From the TikTok and WeChat affairs to IBM’s filing on facial recognition and the semiconductor industry’s call for government support, the signs are unmistakable: the 40-year old U.S. policy of hands-off tech is coming to an end.  These developments also reveal the rough outlines of the new industrial policy for tech that is beginning to take shape.

The Administration’s approach to TikTok and WeChat is to exclude them from the U.S. market, unless their technology can be separated from the control of Chinese companies.  The concern is not over the companies themselves or their commercial data privacy practices, but the possibility that the data could be obtained by the Chinese government and used in some fashion to harm U.S. national security interests.  In addition, the Administration is concerned that hidden algorithms might allow

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XIFIN Executives Expect 15% Increase in Fall COVID-19 Testing Volumes; Seeing Regional Labs Pick Up Overflow from Larger, National Players

Company highlights key factors expected to impact Q4 COVID-19 testing during UBS analyst event

COVID-19 has impacted diagnostic volumes, mix and reimbursement for a variety of diagnostic providers. As the nation transitions into fall, new challenges will arise for the laboratory industry as students go back to school and flu season hits its peak. XIFIN CEO Lâle White and Kyle Fetter, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Diagnostic Services, recently joined healthcare analysts from UBS for an audio conference to discuss the key factors that will impact COVID testing volumes heading into the fall, analyze activity across its customer lab networks, and provide an update on payor reimbursement activity.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200922005762/en/

(Graphic: Business Wire)

“Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, diagnostic labs nationwide continue to see high testing volumes. Early implementation of rapid diagnostics testing could positively impact overall testing

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