5 Tech Observations To Start Your Day 121614

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. I got a late start today -- but still managed to roll into the office before 9:01 a.m. (wink, wink). Here are five technology news nuggets, insights, rumors and gossip to start your day for Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.

Actually, today's update involves seven items...

7.  Healthy Living: Google Ventures, the search giant's investment arm, has shifted its focus into health care and life sciences startups. That's hardly surprising, considering Google Glass, Android Wear and other Google projects have such a sharp focus on health care apps and opportunities. More than one-third of Google Ventures' 2014 investments involved health care and life sciences companies, up from 9 percent the previous two years. 

6. Cloud Storage CEO Moves: You likely know that Carbonite recently shifted its CEO title from David Friend (who remains Chairman) to Mohamad S. Ali. But did you know about a similar CEO transition under way at... (Stay tuned.)

5. Vision Quest: Oculus VR, owned by Facebook, has acquired Nimble VR (formerly 3Gear Systems) and 13th Lab AB. For I.T. entrepreneurs, the moves are worth watching because Oculus is working to set a range of virtual reality user interface standards. Think of it this way: Windows and Mac OS became the file/folder desktop computer graphical user interface. Next, Apple iOS and Google Android became the mobile GUI. Oculus is trying to set standards for how you develop and navigate virtual environments -- or perhaps how you blend virtual environments with real-world applications.

4. Pull Over: Then, present your license, registration AND smart phone to the police officer. It could potentially happen. The state of Iowa is developing "the nation's first smartphone driver's license" app -- which will co-exist with traditional plastic card drivers' licenses. Privacy advocates are worried cops may start thumbing through a person's smart phone while looking at the digital license, but Iowa says it's aware of such concerns and keeping them in mind during the app's development... For I.T. Entrepreneurs: How about business I.D.'s and the like moving to smart phones? Or do I.D.'s go away entirely -- replaced by thumb print, retina and other biometric interfaces?

3. Ford Gets Big on Data: Ford Motor has hired a chief data and analytics officer -- Paul Ballew. He previously had a similar position at Dun and Bradstreet. Seems like Big Data and analytics represent the great IT divide. Most leading-edge players are moving into the field, while the masses struggle to interpret even the most basic business information from CRM, ERP and financial systems... For I.T. entrepreneurs, cars represent the next big data producers -- sending mounds of information back to service stations, dealerships and manufacturers. 

2. Cloud Predictions for 2015: I've largely ignored the "prediction list" craze this year. But Rackspace CTO John Engates caught my attention with a basic, straightforward list that seemed too darn logical to debate. He pointed to Containerization (Docker, etc.); sensors (Internet of Things); Big Data Scientist roles will accelerate (just ask Ford, above); x86 alternatives (suspect he's leaning toward ARM?); and perhaps even the CMO turning into a chief marketing technologist (CMT)? 

1. Double Play: Don't forget. Join me today at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT on Tech News Today with Mike Elgan (http://live.twit.tv or http://twit.tv/tnt) and then again at 9:01 p.m. ET/6:01 p.m. PT for Good Evening, I.T. Entrepreneurs -- our latest podcast (www.AfterNines.com/CEO). It will feature Directive CEO Chris Chase describing how he built a digital marketing business by recruiting great talent -- including some of his own family members. But how do you balance family and business? Chris shares details.

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