Google is partnering with Luxottica, maker of Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses, to give Google Glass a less geeky style. The deal is intended to integrate the wearable computer into Luxottica products for retail sale. "This is a fashion problem as much as it is a technology problem," said Astro Teller, head of Google X Lab. No prices or release dates have been announced.
Orders for durable goods turned around last month for a gain of 2.2%, but orders for nondefense capital goods switched to negative, falling 1.3%, after a 0.8% increase in January. Shipments of core capital goods were up 0.5%, suggesting "this sector of the economy could provide a modest boost to economic activity this quarter," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities. Meanwhile, Markit Group's flash service-sector purchasing managers index has climbed to 55.5 this month from 53.3 in February.
A professor at Northeastern University has developed a new scanning tool that promises to significantly reduce the time, cost and complexity of running genetic scans on patients. The portable ScanDrop, which has been described as a lab on a chip, can test a range of biological specimens for diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
Now that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has exempted public utilities from registering as swaps dealers, House Republicans want the Senate to approve a bill with a similar policy. The House unanimously passed the measure in June, but the Senate has taken no action. "It's time for [Senate] Majority Leader [Harry] Reid to pass the House bill or its Senate companion so that millions of Americans have certainty that the Dodd-Frank Act will not increase their electric bills," said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla.
James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, expects the unemployment rate to drop past 6% by year-end. Bullard says the economy is doing well but that improvement is needed before policymakers can increase interest rates.