Partnering With 76’ers, StubHub Moves Into Direct Ticketing Sales

3769486031_82137d1afb_b StubHub, long considered to be the leader in secondary ticket sales for events, is getting into direct sales of primary tickets through a new partnership with the Philadelphia 76’ers. They may have one of the worst records in the league, but they’re still first in the hearts of Philly basketball fans (if there’re any left). The deal gives would-be buyers the chance to see… Read More

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Cora Delivers Organic Cotton Tampons On Demand And In Style

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 5.57.45 AM You can’t swing a bag of cats without hitting a new tampon startup. Whether it’s about scheduling deliveries or getting something sweet with the deal, startups are looking to disrupt the age-old feminine care industry with a number of twists and tricks. But Cora, a startup launching today, is looking to re-imagine the entire experience of buying and using tampons, from delivery… Read More

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Corvids could save forests from the effects of climate change

A raven with a large seed, about to bury it in a field. (credit: Callum Hoare / Flickr)

To you, crows and jays might be noisy, obnoxious birds who eat garbage. But for large-seeded trees like pines, hickories, oaks, and chestnuts, they could be life-saving heroes. That’s because these birds can actually relocate forests that are threatened by changing climates and habitat loss.

In a new paper published in ornithology journal The Condor, a group of US scientists describe how corvids’ unique food-gathering strategies have transformed forests around the world. Now, environmental scientists are actively using the animals as part of their reforestation strategies.

Scatter-hoarding

Corvids, a family of birds that includes crows, ravens, jays, magpies, and nutcrackers, are called scatter-hoarders. They roam large territories to scavenge seeds, fruit, and even meat, storing as many morsels as possible to eat later. That’s the “hoard” part. But they don’t have one giant stash full of loot the way squirrels do. Instead, they hide each treat in a separate place, occasionally moving it around to prevent other animals from finding it. That’s the “scatter” part. Corvids are incredibly intelligent, with excellent visual memory, and scrub jays can remember up to 200 different cache locations at any given time.

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Dan Gilbert And Campless Founder Launch A Marketplace For Sneakers

IMG_0347 The goal is to create a marketplace that sells items at the real market price. Sounds great. As the buyer of a lot things through the Internet, I’m all for fair prices. But will sellers buy into the service, too?
Called StockX, the site is a so-called “stock market of things”, offering items for sale priced using live market data. At launch the company will sell only sneakers. Read More

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Suncor Energy wins 73% Canadian Oil Sands shares, declaring takeover a done deal

CALGARY — Suncor Energy has announced that nearly 73 per cent of Canadian Oil Sands shares and accompanying rights have been tendered to Suncor’s offer.

Suncor officials said that as a result, the company will be able to ensure that a subsequent acquisition transaction will be completed and Suncor (TSX:SU) will acquire the remainder of the outstanding COS shares.

In mid-January, COS (TSX:COS) accepted a sweetened takeover offer from Suncor Energy as the market outlook for oilsands producers deteriorates.

The deal drew to a close a bitter takeover battle that pitted two partners in the massive Syncrude oilsands mine against each other.

Suncor offered to exchange 0.28 of one of its shares for each COS share — up from 0.25 of a Suncor share per COS share.

Steve Williams, Suncor president and chief executive officer, said they were pleased with the strong level of support from COS shareholders.

“From the outset, we’ve spoken about the excellent value this offer creates for both COS and Suncor shareholders and I’m looking forward to delivering on that commitment.”

Suncor has extended its offer to Feb. 22 but has said further extensions beyond that are not anticipated.

The development makes Suncor the largest shareholder in the Syncrude oilsands complex north of Fort McMurray, Alta., which is operated by Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO).

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UK-US deal would allow MI5 to get chat, e-mails directly from US companies

The UK and US governments are working on an agreement that would allow MI5 and other intelligence agencies to serve orders on US companies like Google and Facebook for live intercepts of conversations if they involve only British citizens. According to a report in The Washington Post, the UK would also be able to request stored data, such as e-mails. The agreement would be reciprocal, allowing the US to request similar data about Americans from UK companies.

If concluded, the agreement would help to resolve the difficult situation for US Internet companies, which are increasingly under pressure from the UK government to provide intercepts or stored data for domestic investigations of terrorist and criminal activities, but forbidden from doing so by US laws.

Currently, the only mechanism for obtaining this kind of information is through a mutual legal assistance treaty. As The Washington Post explains, this involves the UK making “a formal diplomatic request for the data and the Justice Department then seeks a court order on its behalf—a process that is said to take an average of 10 months.” The proposed system would enable the UK and US governments to obtain intercepts through official channels more easily and more speedily. There is ample evidence that many other, more informal channels exist for exchanging information, but it may be that both governments would like to put things on a firmer legal basis.

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This Psycho-Pass Dominator Replica Switches Battle Modes Like Wow

dm_01 While I am not a huge fan of anime – I stopped at Akira and never picked it back up – I can appreciate attention to detail and true proplica badassery when I see it. And so we present the Dominator from Psycho-Pass, a quick-converting replica gun that moves from “paralyzer” to “eliminator” mode. It also connects to your smartphone for some added fun… Read More

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Signs of distress in markets gather force as fears over the global economy deepen

Signs of distress in financial markets are gathering force as concern over the state of the global economy deepens.

European stocks are down for a sixth day and the cost of protecting European banks’ and insurers’ senior debt is on its worst run since March 2013. In addition, yields on bonds for Europe’s most-indebted countries are rising, while the rate on Germany’s 10-year bunds are at the lowest since April. Oil is lower for a third day and nickel is trading at its weakest level since 2003 as supply exceeds slowing demand. Futures point to declines in U.S. shares amid a retreat in emerging markets.

“Investors can’t make up their minds about the global economy, but the risk of recession and deflation is rising,” said Francois Savary, the chief investment officer of Prime Partners SA, a Geneva-based investment manager. “It’s not enough that valuations have receded quite significantly and earnings haven’t been too bad — sentiment is very low and there isn’t much visibility right now. That’s frightening.”

Bloomberg
Bloomberg

U.S. stock index futures were lower on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average slipping nearly 200 points, as concern about everything from China to oil and interest rates led strategists to lower their year-end projections for the benchmark gauge. Oil failed to hold gains after Saudi Arabia held talks Sunday with Venezuela, which is trying to drum up support for a coordinated oil-output cut to buttress prices. Most Asian markets were closed for the lunar New Year holidays.

Stocks

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 2.4 per cent at 6:56 a.m. in New York, trading at 14 times estimated earnings, down from 17 times in April. The gauge has lost 13 per cent this year. All 19 industry groups declined with media and technology companies leading losses. Greece’s ASE Index sank 5.9 per cent, heading for the lowest close since 1990.

Imagination Technologies Group Plc slumped 4.7 per cent after forecasting a “material reduction” in sales and profitability for the full year. The company also said its chief executive officer has stepped down.

Randgold Resources Ltd. rose 2.6 per cent after saying it more than doubled its spare cash last year, allowing the metals producer to increase its dividend by 10 per cent. Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA advanced 2.1 per cent as it agreed to sell its stake in a Thai supermarket chain for 3.1 billion euros (US$3.5 billion).

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index contracts expiring in March reversed earlier gains, falling 1.4 per cent. The index on Friday capped its second-biggest weekly drop this year with its worst performance on the day of a U.S. jobs report since June 2012.

Emerging Markets

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.6 per cent, extending last week’s decline. Benchmarks gauges in Russia, India and Poland slid at least 1.3 per cent while Gulf shares advanced.

Markets closed today include those in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil and Argentina.

China reported Sunday its foreign-exchange reserves shrank US$99.5 billion in January to US$3.23 trillion, the smallest level since 2012.

Bonds

The Markit iTraxx Europe Senior Financial Index of credit- default swaps rose 11 basis points to 132 basis points. An index of swaps tied to junk-rated companies increased for a sixth day, the longest run since October 2014. A gauge of investment-grade swaps rose four basis points to 113 basis points. All three indexes are at the highest since 2013.

Germany’s government bonds advanced, pushing the two-year yield to the lowest on record, as investors sought the safest fixed-income assets.

Portugal led a drop in the bonds of Europe’s higher debt and deficit nations, pushing the yield spread with German bunds above 300 basis points for the first time since 2014.

Germany’s two-year note yield touched minus 0.506 per cent, the lowest since Bloomberg began compiling the data in 1990. Portugal’s 10-year bond yield rose as much as 14 basis points to 3.27 per cent, the highest since June. The rate on similar- maturity Spanish notes climbed six basis points to 1.70 per cent, while those on Greek bonds jumped 41 basis points to 9.97 per cent.

Commodities

Oil fell even after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela met to discuss cooperating to stabilize the market. While Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he held “successful” talks with his Venezuelan counterpart Eulogio del Pino on ways of cooperating to stabilize the market, he didn’t specify any steps producers could take to shore up prices.

West Texas Intermediate crude dropped to US$29.89 a barrel and Brent slid 1.8 per cent to US$33.44.

“The Saudis are the main obstacle to a cut,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S. “They are buying time while we wait for the solid proof that U.S. production is slowing.”

Nickel fell to the lowest level in almost 13 years on concern that global production cuts are insufficient to counter faltering demand in China, the world’s biggest consumer. The metal used in stainless steel dropped 0.9 per cent to US$8,090 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Copper slipped 0.8 per cent and zinc gained 0.8 per cent.

Gold was little changed at US$1,174.40 an ounce, near the highest level since October. The metal surged Friday after the U.S. jobless rate slid to a 2008 low and hourly earnings rose more than estimated, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.

Currencies

The yen gained against all but two of its 16 major counterparts, advancing 0.1 per cent to 116.71 per dollar.

The euro slid 0.3 per cent to US$1.1118, after rising 3 per cent last week. The pound dropped 0.7 per cent to US$1.4408. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose for a second day, advancing 0.2 per cent.

Turkey’s lira and Mexico’s peso led emerging-market currencies lower, falling at least 0.6 per cent against the dollar. Hungary forint slipped 0.3 per cent versus the euro. A gauge of 20 exchange rates declined for a second day, slipping 0.2 per cent.

Bloomberg.com

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