5 Tech Observations to Start Your Day 121914

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Another Friday has arrived. Before I decide how to disappear this weekend, here are five technology news nuggets, rumors, gossip, chatter and insights to start your day for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014.

Actually, today's update involves 11 items. Take a look.

11. Turnaround Progress or Setback?: Just yesterday, I lamented my failure to buy BlackBerry's stock when turnaround artist John Chen arrived. Maybe I spoke too soon. The smartphone maker today said Q3 revenues fell 34 percent -- more than expected. Time to sound the alarm again. Or not. Some pundits are praising the results, because the company has achieved positive cash flow earlier than expected.

10. Infrastructure Attack: As I warned yesterday, Cyber Attacks will shift from content (Sony, movies) to infrastructure (communications, transportation, energy). Now the proof arrives: Germany says a cyber attack caused physical damage to an iron plant -- damaging a furnace and surrounding systems. Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky has previously suggested that infrastructure providers need a new type of operating system and security stance to safeguard against such attacks. I wonder: Is the U.S. government listening closely enough to these warning signs -- which are getting louder and louder... 

9. Mesh Networking Revisited: Open Garden has raised $10.8 million to accelerate the success of FIreChat, a messaging app that works across cellular and WiFi connections. The texting app, which uses a mesh networking approach, is especially popular with protestors who want to raise their voices even when government forces try to minimize communications. The lesson here: Think about how a mesh technology approach may benefit your business.

8. Network Cookie Crumbles: Consumer routers and modems in 12 million homes and small businesses may suffer from the Misfortune Cookie -- a security hole that can allow hackers to hijack the devices and then attack connected endpoints. Check Point has the details and suggested security steps.

7. Same Prediction, Different Decade: Hadoop, MongoDB and other Big Data software platforms are going to crush Oracle. Just like client-server did. Just like eBusiness did. Just like MySQL did. Just like Microsoft SQL Server did. Just like cloud computing did. Starting to see a pattern? If not, maybe this will clarify things. I know Oracle and other IT giants will hit turbulence amid the cloud transition. But co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz aren't blind to the transition. Nor is founder Larry Ellison.

6. Google in Cloud Catch-up Mode: I tend to be a Google fan -- especially when it comes to Google Apps, Hangouts and plenty more. But when it comes to public cloud computing, Google Cloud Platform forever seems to be in catch-up mode. So far, the metal race -- Gold, Silver, Bronze -- apparently belongs to Amazon, Microsoft and IBM. Imagine that: Two of the top three enterprise cloud players weren't born in the cloud. 

5. Rant Revoked: The Microsoft Office 365 vs Google Apps cloud war took a strange twist this week, when a Microsoft senior product manager took some shots at Google's offering. The rant appeared in a blog post -- which has since disappeared. It's a timely reminder that you need years of training and executive know-how to be a blogger. Or not.

4. Career Move: The following quote from an exit blog, from Microsoft Internet Explorer Team Lead Dean Machamovitch, pretty much sums up everything I've been saying about IT career changers in the past two months:

I’m ready to enjoy a different point of view on both tech and life, post-MSFT.
— Dean Machamovitch

A simple find-replace, and you can attribute that quote to dozens of sources I've heard from in recent weeks. The New Year will usher in lots of new personal and career destinations. Careful: Sometimes the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence. But you'll never know for sure if you never leave your own backyard.

3. Growing But Transforming: The global data center market will grow 10.6 percent annually from 2013 to 2018, according to an updated forecast from IDC. What I haven't seen: How much of that spending will involve enterprises building on-premises data centers vs. how much of the spending will involve public cloud providers and a shift to white box technologies.

2. But Wait, There's More: Good news. Just when you thought the IT world was running out of Magic Quadrants, Gartner has found another one. It's called the Digital Marketing Hub Quadrant. Sixteen vendors qualified. I now return you to the 800 other Magic Quadrants you were tracking.

Actually, that sparks an idea. Maybe After Nines Inc. will launch a Super Magic Quadrant (SMQ), listing the top dozen or so Magic Quadrants you need to track.

1. That's So 2014: Sure, Docker was the open source darling of 2014. But I'm wondering if/when the Docker Hype Cycle will shift to bugs, challenges and customer confusion. When the hype cycle turns negative remember this: A technology is never as good -- nor as bad -- as the media claims.

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