5 Tech Observations to Start Your Day 123014

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology observations, insights, predictions, news updates and rumors to start your day for Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014.

Actually, today's blog involves eight updates.

8. It's Deja Vu All Over Again: It looks like tech startup valuations are suffering from irrational exuberance again -- just like during the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s. Market bulls and Silicon Valley advocates insist the high valuations are warranted. The feeling is mutual in Europe, where UK companies have attracted record levels of VC funding. But as Benchmark's Peter Fenton told The Wall Street Journal, "At some point these companies will be held accountable for their financials." Tip: You want to sell your shares about 24 hours before that day arrives...

7. What Comes After Big Data?: The answer increasingly seems to be machine learning -- though that could just be a new, fancier term for artificial intelligence. Scaled Inference, which is building a cloud-based machine learning system, has raised $13.6 million to help fund its software R&D. Scaled Inference's tagline: Big Machine Intelligence for All. Just don't call the company SkyNet.

6. My Angel Investment Goals: A few weeks ago I mentioned that I'm failing as an Angel Investor for a range of reasons. And as you know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Hence, I'm completely changing course for 2015. Where am I heading? I think the clues keep emerging in our weekly podcasts, Good Evening, I.T. Entrepreneurs

5. Next Podcast: Speaking of podcasts, our next conversation debuts tonight at 9:01 p.m. ET. TrepScore CEO Eric Rice will describe how startups can more easily analyze the data they gather and produce. Tune in here: http://www.AfterNines.com/CEO

4. Step Aside, Internet Explorer: Microsoft apparently is building a slimmer, faster, cross-platform web browser code-named Spartan, according to ZDnet's Mary Jo Foley. On the one hand, the browser could give Windows 10 (expected in late 2015) a boost. But on the other, perhaps Spartan is Microsoft's latest effort to show true cross-platform commitment -- maybe running on Windows, iOS, Android, etc...

3. Hacking Encryption: So you're building an IT security company and you're leveraging encryption. You're in a hot market -- but so is the NSA, which apparently has been intercepting and hacking encrypted communications for quite some time. I'm curious to know just how long the FBI's concerns about iOS and Android encryption remain relevant -- and whether the NSA finds a way to crack that encrypted code as well.

2. Feeling Bloated?: The average size of a web page grew about 15 percent in 2014. Many web developers are packing more images and HTTP pull requests into their pages. And while broadband continues to proliferate in the United States, After Nines Inc. has been heading in the opposite direction -- trying to keep our website free of clutter. Less is more. And if you watch us closely in 2015, I suspect we'll deliver a whole lot more (of less) in a whole new way. But you're the only reader who was smart enough to catch that teaser alert. Wink, wink. 

1. Holiday Schedule: A quick reminder. After Nines Inc. is closed for the holiday, reopening on Monday, Jan. 5. Our blog will have minimal (if any) updates, based on my morning caffeine intake and family obligations. Our daily newsletter will only distribute if the blog has been updated. Have a great holiday and wonderful New Year.

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