5 Tech Observations to Start Your Day, Oct 21

Greetings from my anything-but-exotic location -- a.k.a. my home office. Here are today's top 5 technology observations, gossip, chatter, rumors and news nuggets for Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.

Actually, today's list involves 10 nuggets:

10. IBM's Paradox: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty (pictured) says annual cloud services revenue run rate now exceeds $3 billion. That sounds awesome -- until you consider three facts: (1) IBM's hardware business is falling fast, (2) traditional IT services and software isn't all that impressive and (3) IBM's stock has been spiraling downward, too. The big questions: When will hardware revenues stabilize, and can IBM somehow grow mobile and cloud revenues even faster to offset the hardware weakness? I'll try to share more thoughts on those points soon.

9. Google's Next Cloud Moves: I hear they're coming on Nov. 4, 2014. I'm not sure if we'll hear anything new regarding Google Apps for Work. But I'm sure much of the discussion will include the broader Google Cloud Platform plus Google Compute Engine. I have a hunch Racker, the open source container platform, also could be mentioned. The Nov. 4 event should help CIOs to evaluate Google's cloud progress vs Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and IBM SoftLayer, in particular.

8. Microsoft Azure in a Box: Microsoft and Dell are partnering to deliver an on-premises cloud appliance -- called Cloud Platform System. It's built on Dell hardware and runs HyperV, Windows System Center and Azure Pack. My spin? "In a box" solutions are positioned to be simple, but they often don't deliver on that simplicity promise. I'm also curious to see if or how this fits into Dell's converged data center (servers, storage, networking) strategy. Either way, it's good to see Microsoft and Dell differentiating from traditional public cloud offerings. 

7. Running Late: When you're the master of your domain, you can sometimes bend the rules. And today I'm doing exactly that. Yes, this blog will go live by 9:01 a.m. ET. But new, additional bullet points will debut in this blog through about 10 a.m. ET -- so keep checking back for updates.

6. Join Me Today: I'm set to co-anchor Tech News Today (http://live.twit.tv) at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a./m. PT. I believe Leo Laporte will be anchoring while traditional TNT Anchor Mike Elgan heads across the big pond on special assignment (a family wedding).

5. Big Growth, Big Show: AppDynamics, which develops an application intelligence platform, is in hyper growth mode. The company is set to host a user conference in November. What will surface at the event? Surely, there will be a lot of talk about application performance, monitoring and optimization. But I suspect bigger surprises are coming. And I've got a great source willing to share the details with me -- and you. Stay tuned.

4. Quora: Do you use it? Why or why not? I'm all ears.

3. More Apple iCloud Concerns: This time, they come from China. Apparently, the attackers are able to decrypt information that flows between users and iCloud servers. The big question: Was this a rogue hacker group or some sort of state-sponsored attack? The Wall Street Journal has great analysis. But we don't link to paid content. (Sorry about that.)

2. Angel Investing: As you may recall, I joined an angel investment group called Golden Seeds earlier this year. So how are my investments doing? First, let me say that Golden Seeds is a fantastic organization -- investing in early stage, women-led companies across the U.S. As for me, I'm still a novice getting up to speed. Fingers crossed, I'll be making some moves later this year and/or early 2015.

1. Stay Tuned: Take another look at item 5 above. It's the latest clue about After Nines inc.'s next move. Some folks -- especially tech CEOs -- have already "heard" the news. Far more will open their ears soon.

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