5 Tech Observations to Start Your Day, Sept 24

The After Nines Inc. business, corporate website and blog turned one week old yesterday. We're celebrating because only 99.999 percent of startup businesses survive more than a week (wink, wink; nudge, nudge). So, to keep the party going here are five technology observations, insights, gossip and chatter to start your day for Sept. 24, 2014.

5. iPhone 6 Plus - Bent But Not Broken?: Reports across the web suggest Apple iPhone 6 Plus devices have a quality defect -- quite a few appear to be "bending" permanently when users put the smartphones in their pants pockets. There are three things to note here: (1) MacRumors broke the original story; (2) The Wall Street Journal did not run a follow-up in today's print edition; (3) and Apple has yet to comment.

So what happens next? Chances are, Apple will remain mum until either The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times or Wired come calling for comment. And Apple could always use the classic Microsoft line. You know, the "that's a feature, not a bug" response. Kidding, of course. I just ordered my iPhone 6 Plus two days ago. It won't arrive for another 4 weeks. I'm hoping the shipment involves a flat package -- that remains flat during every check point in the the delivery process.

4. Cisco-Metacloud Rivals: I've been raving about Cisco Systems' buyout of Metacloud (see item 1, Sept. 23) -- a small, private cloud technology specialist focused on OpenStack. I've also suggested that additional OpenStack-focused businesses could be acquired in the weeks or months ahead -- lifting valuations in this market segment.

Still, many CIOs and technology consultants don't yet understand the true value of OpenStack in a private cloud setting. OpenStack allows IT companies and/or corporate IT departments to build repeatable, scalable private clouds -- much in the way that Linux allowed CIOs to build repeatable, scalable database and web servers.

So which companies have my attention in this market? I'll reveal that in a future blog.

3. Larry Ellison's Last Keynote? Oracle OpenWorld 2014 is next week in San Francisco. The conference arrives only a couple of weeks after co-founder Larry Ellison said he's shifting from CEO to CTO. That opened the door for Mark Hurd and Safra Catz to become co-CEOs. Oracle delivered weak quarterly results last week. The company's Engineered Systems technology is impressive -- but selling against x86 servers isn't for the faint of heart these days. Plus, the overall server market remains under attack from -- you already know the answer -- the cloud.

Ellison is set to keynote OpenWorld on Sept. 28. At first glance, Ellison has no plans to retire. But we've all seen CEOs shift to other executive positions before transitioning out of a company. I can't help but wonder if Ellison, 70, plans to step away from the CTO slot within 12 to 18 months. And don't forget... Ellison skipped his own keynote last year in order to watch his team race in the Americas Cup.

2. Squarespace vs. WordPress Comparison, Part II: Yesterday, I explained the major reasons why After Nines Inc. chose Squarespace over WordPress for our corporate website (blog and content management system). Later today, I'll likely post a follow-up -- listing a bullet-by-bullet comparison on pricing, hosting options, etc.

1. We're All Competing with Facebook: On yesterday's edition of Tech News Today, lead anchor Mike Elgan expressed privacy concerns about Facebook's next generation advertising system -- which is expected to launch next week. Now, The Wall Street Journal is suggesting that many websites are cutting back on the info they share with Facebook.

Do the changes involve fear of privacy -- or fear of competition with Facebook? Either way, Big Brother (aka Mark Zuckerberg) is emerging as a Big Data king... and a growing number of folks are wondering if that's a good thing.

Two bonus thoughts:

  • First, an early Happy New Year (Rosh Hashanah) to my business partner and After Nines Inc. CEO, Amy Katz.
  • Second, if you'd like to track the 9:01 blog from your email inbox, please sign up for our enewsletter -- which launches Oct. 6.

That's all for now. Thanks so much for stopping by After Nines Inc.