5 Tech Observations to Start Your Day, Oct 22

Greetings from rainy Long Island. Amy Katz and I are in 2015 planning mode. And that means -- well, I can't share the details yet. In the meantime, here are five technology news stories, rumors, gossip, insights and tidbits to start your day for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.

Actually, today's lineup includes 11 items...

11. Memo to OpenStack Companies: Yes, you know OpenStack evangelist Mirantis just raised $100 million in its march toward and IPO. Meanwhile, companies like Cisco Systems have purchased OpenStack-focused businesses (see item 3, Sept. 18, 2014) in recent months. OpenStack -- a platform for building private or public clouds -- is a hot, hot, market segment. But I sense we're nearing an OpenStack bubble. I'll explain why in a separate blog, soon. 

10. Losing its Luster: Apple's Q4 iPad sales fell by about 600,000 units vs. Q4 last year. The good news: Apple is now shipping the iPad Air 2. The bad news: Even The Wall Street Journal, which typically rides Apple's bandwagon, says the iPad line needs to push toward app multitasking rather than the current one-app-at-a-time approach. As for me, I still own the original iPad. I use it less and less. I find my iPhone 6 and MacBook Pro meet my needs for nearly all computing tasks.

9. Home Grown Apples? Not Always: Apple acquired 20 companies in 2014, including seven during fiscal Q4, CEO Tim Cook revealed on the company's Q4 earnings call earlier this week. The deal I'm watching most closely: Apple's buyout of Prss -- an iPad publishing platform. Sort of ironic, considering I just told you I'm using my iPad less and less. But when it comes to IT media and publishing, you can't ignore Apple.

8. Career Moves: Quite a few of my longstanding industry sources are mulling career moves for 2015. They're laying the groundwork now. A few plan to launch their own businesses. Others will be leaping from large companies to startups. We'll leak the details in our blog... once the sources give us the green light. In the meantime mum's the word -- and keep checking those LinkedIn profiles for weekend updates...

7. The 1990s Called: Lufthansa, the German airline, apparently plans to sell its IT infrastructure division to IBM, and will outsource IT support to IBM Global Services, the Journal says. It's a headline right of the 1990s -- including IBM's need to pivot from a falling market (hardware) towards better opportunities.

6. Crowdfunding vs Angel Investors: It's the hot topic within angel investor and startup circles. When should an entrepreneur plug into crowdfunding, and when should the entrepreneur instead plug into an angel investor network for funding? As an aspiring angel investor I'm a bit biased. But I'll share more thoughts soon.

5. Dunking Over LeBron James?: Think you've got game -- at least in the digital world? Check out OverDog, a startup that just raised $2 million. The startup "pits sports fans against professional athletes and other fans on video games." I'm game... but I don't know if LeBron is. 

4. Funding to Code Faster: Bowery Inc. has raised $1.5 million to launch a cloud service. What's different? The service allows programmers to launch developer environments in less than 30 seconds. And we all know speed to market -- not cost savings -- is the cloud's real benefit.

3. Who Negotiated That Deal?: SilverSky, a cloud-based security provider, has been acquired by BAE Systems. SilverSky will join BAE's Applied Intelligence commercial cyber security business. The piece of the deal IT entrepreneurs should notice: Moelis & Company was SilverSky's financial advisor on the deal. 

2. Blessing or Burden?: On the Tech News Today netcast yesterday, we mentioned some Samsung smartphones running Knox have won some sort of NSA endorsement for government use. My question: Is an endorsement from a top global spy agency good or bad for business in other verticals?

1. Magic Quadrant: After Nines Inc. has been named a leader in Gartner's "Companies Without Shipping Products Yet" Magic Quadrant. The research firm apparently was impressed with our ability to attract thousands of IT entrepreneur eyeballs simply by saying "please stop by daily at 9:01 a.m. ET." Kidding aside, we're working on something and we're not in a Gartner Magic Quadrant. Yet.

PS: Item 1 deserves it's own dedicated blog entry sometime soon -- just to trigger a bunch of Google Alerts for a Magic Quadrant that doesn't quite exist -- yet. Stay tuned.

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