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News Roundup: Moore's Law, 1 billion iPhones, and Trump

A roundup of the week’s tech news including Yahoo!’s been sold, Tesla’s fallout with Mobileye, and pet-tech failures.

End of Moore’s Law, possibly the World

The snappily-titled 2015 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors was released earlier this month and has a few interesting titbits. Firstly, it predicts Moore’s Law – that unbreakable tenant for the semiconductor industry – will cease to be true after 2021. It predicts the continued shrinking of transistors will cease to become economically viable after 2021 and instead, manufacturers will find new ways to improve density such as changing transistor geometries and adding multiple layers of circuitry.

The other – and slightly more fantastical headline – is that by 2040 computers will require more energy than the world can produce. This assumes power requirements will keep on increasing while global power production remains flat. Time to start panicking?

1 billion iPhones

Last week saw Facebook celebrate forcing a billion people to download a separate messaging app and Microsoft admitting it won’t get a billion people onto Windows 10 as quickly as it predicted. This week saw Apple announce it had sold its billionth iPhone this quarter. Impressive stuff. Whether it will ever sell a billion units of any other product, however, is another thing entirely.

M&A

Some vaguely interesting and non-clickbait Pokémon Go headlines: Niantic, the company actually behind the game (sorry Nintendo investors) has rocketed in value to over $3.5 billion. Yahoo! acquired and shuttered a startup very similar to Niantic in 2013 because it didn’t see the value in the technology.

Speaking of Yahoo!, the old web portal giant has finally been acquired. Verizon confirmed this week it would acquire Marissa Mayer’s company for $4.8 billion this week – well below the circa $8-10 billion originally touted, and a smidgen of the $44 billion once offered by Microsoft.

“This sale is not only an important step in our plan to unlock shareholder value for Yahoo,” Mayer said in a letter to employees, “it is also a great opportunity for Yahoo to build further distribution and accelerate our work in mobile, video, native advertising, and social.”

Elsewhere, there has been plenty of movement in the M&A space. Oracle has acquired Netsuite, LogMeIn and Citrix’s GoTo business are merging, Google has bought LaunchKit, LinkedIn has snapped up PointDrive, Workday now owns Platfora, Analog Devices has taken over Linear Technology, Riverbed has snaffled Aternity, Accenture has purchased Tecnilógica, A10 has got its hands on Appcito, and Teradata has splashed out for Big Data Partnership.

Skully, the makers of augmented reality motorbike helmets, looks like it will be shutting up shop. Another crowdfunded startup folding before its delivered any product. In related news, IDG Connect has a new report out looking at technology startups and crowdfunding. It’s pretty neat. Check it out.

NSA

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump invited Russia to hack the US Government this week. “If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!” he Tweeted this week.

Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has reaffirmed his position on pardoning Ed Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

A shocking new report suggests the public don’t like the idea of the Snooper’s Charter.

Tesla

The latest update into the investigation of the fatal crash involving Tesla’s Autopilot has shown the vehicle was speeding. Joshua Brown and his Model S were travelling at 74mph in a 65 zone. The investigation remains ongoing.

In related news, Tesla and Mobileye – the company that provides camera systems for Autopilot – have ended their partnership. "There is much at stake here, to Mobileye's reputation and to the industry at large," said CTO Amnon Shashua in this week’s earnings call. "We think that that's not in the interest of Mobileye to continue with Tesla in that area."

Pet-Tech fails at feeding hungry Fido

We love our pets. Occasionally this means we like to buy lots of unnecessary toys and gadgets for them. Smart pet-feeder Petnet suffered a SNAFU this week after its servers went down. The company, whose $150 device allows owners to feed pets remotely via an app, advised users to “feed their pets manually” after the outage, like savages.

 

And a final reminder that we have a shiny new report out looking at technology startups and crowdfunding. Download it for free (requires registration) here. Go on. We dare you.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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