Google employee breaks Pi record

It begins with 3.14 and goes on forever.

But the value of Pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, has new meaning on this Pi Day. Emma Haruka Iwao, a Google employee, has broken the Guinness world record for calculating the most digits of Pi.

Iwao and a Google team computed Pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places or Pi multiplied by 10 to the 13th power, ousting the record set in 2016 of 22.4 trillion digits. Iwao’s effort marked another first by relying on cloud technology, which had never been used for such a massive Pi calculation.

Facebook says outage is over

An apologetic Facebook said Thursday it has resolved the issues that contributed to a widespread outage Wednesday, although users continued to report having trouble using the service.

“Yesterday, we made a server configuration change that triggered a cascading series of issues,” a Facebook spokesman wrote in an email. “As a result, many people had difficulty accessing our apps and services. We have resolved the issues, and our systems have been recovering over the last few hours.”

The outage affected Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, which the company has said have about 2.7 billion users worldwide.

Company hit with $29M verdict

Johnson & Johnson’s shares dipped Thursday after a jury in California ordered the company to pay more than $29 million to a woman who claimed that asbestos in its talc-based powder products had caused her cancer.

In rendering its verdict in Alameda County Superior Court on Wednesday, the jury found that Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential risks that its baby powder was contaminated but failed to warn the woman, Teresa Leavitt.

Leavitt, a resident of San Leandro, received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of internal organs that is associated with asbestos, in August 2017. Her lawyer, Joseph D. Satterley, said she had used Johnson & Johnson talc products for more than 30 years.

The jury awarded Leavitt $22 million for her pain and suffering, $5 million to compensate her family members, nearly $1.3 million for her medical costs and $1.2 million for her lost wages, Satterley said.

Stock indexes end mostly lower

U.S. stocks indexes barely budged Thursday as the market’s three-day winning streak stalled. The benchmark S&P 500 index finished essentially flat as losses in communications, industrial and health care stocks outweighed gains in financial and technology companies. Several retailers and homebuilders declined.

— Bulletin wire reports