Moore’s Law, which celebrated its 50th birthday on Sunday, may be nearing an end. Supratik Guha, the director of physical sciences at IBM, writes on Fortune that the miniaturization of computing power is about to hit physical limits. But no matter, he says. A new generation of computers with more human-like cognitive capabilities – able to recognize patterns from massive amounts of data, and make inferences and qualitative decisions – will drive the next big leap forward.
Murphy’s law, meanwhile, still reigns when it comes to cyber security. Today’s news has Raytheon spending $1.7 billion to acquire computer security firm Websense. Today also marks the beginning of the world’s largest gathering of cyber security experts – the RSA conference in San Francisco. Our appropriately named correspondent, Robert Hackett, reports on the event, and tells us total information-security spending is likely to reach $76.9 billion in 2015.
Other important stories of the day below.
• Comcast battles to save Time Warner Cable deal
Comcast and Time Warner Cable are hoping to keep their $45.2 billion merger on track, with plans to sit down with the Justice Department to discuss possible concessions so the deal can win approval from the federal government. Federal authorities worry that the merger would give too much power to the nation’s two largest cable and Internet providers, though they claim they don’t overlap geographically and competitors like Netflix are a threat. An interesting development is the Federal Communications Commission could be mulling a hearing. That’s bad news according to one source quoted by WSJ. “Mergers are never put to hearing in order to approve them,” said Robert McDowell, a former Republican FCC commissioner.
• Lilly Pulitzer launch overwhelms Target
Target certainly hit a bullseye with its latest fashion collaboration. The retailer’s web site was overwhelmed this weekend as shoppers quickly fought for fashions by Lilly Pulitzer, a brand known colorful women’s clothing and beachwear. Target should have seen it coming though, as excitement for the launch was clear at preview events and on social media since the collection was announced in January. The strong Pulitzer launch is reminiscent of Target’s Missoni collaboration in 2011, when heavy demand crashed the company’s website.
• Corzine may start his own hedge fund
Here’s a comeback we didn’t see coming: Jon S. Corzine, the former MF Global Holdings chief executive and also ex-chairman of Goldman Sachs, has mulled plans to start his own hedge fund. Though Corzine is reportedly planning to start a fund with his own personal cash and the plans are still tentative, it is an interesting move for a former Wall Street executive that was humbled after commodities brokerage MF Global dramatically landed in bankruptcy in 2011. Corzine still faces allegations he oversaw the misuse of customer funds at MF Global, though the former New Jersey governor has denied wrongdoing.
• A guide on what’s going on in Greece
It is hard to keep track of where things stand in Greece, the European Union nation that has teetered closely to default since it became clear during the global financial crisis that the nation’s economy was far weaker than investors had anticipated. Greece has defaulted six times since gaining independence 1832. Will 2015 see the seventh? That remains to be seen, but Fortune put together a helpful calendar that runs through August and outlines key dates and events to watch out for. At stake is the potential of a disorderly default that could send shockwaves through the world economy.
Around the Water Cooler
• Could goggles make a mini comeback?
While Google Glass has so far failed to take off, what’s to stop others from trying? BMW this week at the Shanghai auto show will show off augmented vision goggles that are meant to feed motorists information while their eyes remain fixed on the road. The video that goes along with this story displays a pretty convincing argument for why this technology would be helpful, if it were to work properly. But even the well dressed, handsome male actor in the video looks a bit (very) ridiculous wearing huge goggles over his eyes. Not much of a fashion statement, though it is fascinating that the device provides feeds from cameras mounted outside the car.
• 2015 is turning out to be a scorcher
New Yorkers and other East Coasters would be hard pressed to believe the following statement: 2015 has so far been the warmest year in more than a century. That’s according to three main agencies that track global temperature, though the year is still only about a quarter of the way through so it is hard to say if the rest of the year will stay so warm. 13 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred this century, and no record cold year has been set since 1911.
• Chevrolet unveils self-driving car
Did you know autonomous-vehicle research has accounted for a significant share of the roughly $7.4 billion General Motors has spent on research and development over the past three years? That stat clearly signals where priorities lie for auto makers even though it will take years before the technology some day hope to be affordable enough for the mass market. GM is debuting the concept car, called the Chevrolet-FNR, in China and that is no accident. There is a good chance self-driving vehicles could do well in China, where cities and roads are crowding quickly and much infrastructure is yet to be built.