5 Tech Observations to Start Your Day, Sept 26

The headline says "five," but After Nines Inc. reserves the right to do some creative math. From now on, our daily 9:01 blog (after nines, get it?) will contain as many -- or as few -- bullet points as we see fit to deliver on a given day. So without further delay, here are the top 5 technology observations, gossip, tips and news for Sept. 26, 2014. Only, it ain't five...

10. On  the Move: Bill Gross, one of the top bond analysts in the world, has jumped from Pimco to Janus. I know very little about the bond market. But what little I know often came from reading about Gross's views and market moves. This isn't an IT story. But surely, IT entrepreneurs who are trying to manage their finances can benefit from tracking Gross's insights. I did.

9. Adds, Moves and Changes: Happy birthday to Jeff James (@JeffJames3) -- a top IT journalist and new media expert at Petri Knowledge Base. Great journalist and industry influencer. Great guy.

8. Will Big Brother Go Blind?: The FBI apparently is concerned about Apple and Google making encryption a standard offering on smartphones -- which will essentially prevent anyone (hackers, spies and even the good guys) from seeing the content of your digital conversations. Once I encrypt my data you can read my opinion about all this -- assuming you know how to decrypt a file filled with opinions on my smart phone.

7. Peeking Inside Google: Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and former SVP Jonathan Rosenberg have penned a new book, "How Google Works." In it, the duo discusses Google's focus on two talent pools -- engineers and "smart creatives," notes The Wall Street Journal. I love that term smart creatives. When I think about IT entrepreneurs and small business owners, the most successful organizations typically have smart, creative folks to complement the super-talented geeks in the house.

6. JOBS Act - A Second Look: In an earlier blog, I described how the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act) allowed smaller organizations to more easily launch IPOs. But the act may also harm investors, in some ways, because small businesses don't need to disclose as much information as early in the process during the march toward going public. Now, there are fresh concerns about struggling businesses using the JOBS Act to solicit accredited investors, notes The Wall Street Journal (paid content). My view: Are you an investor or a gambler? With or without the JOBS Act, you've still got to do your own due diligence before investing in a company.

5. Droning On: I just can't get my arms fully around the Drone market -- but commercial opportunities seem to be popping up daily. Earlier this week on Tech News Today, Mike Elgan (@MikeElgan) mentioned that Circque du Soleil will start using Drones in its performances:


And now the FAA has cleared six movie studios to use drones in commercial settings. The drone industry has been waiting on the federal government to issue broader commercial use rules for drones. With or without federal approval, the drone market looks a lot like the PC market of the early 1980s. Hobbyists are building their own low-cost drones from low-cost kits. And big companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook are trying to figure out how Drones can help to spread wireless Internet access to remote regions across the globe. In some ways, the government is holding the drone market back. In other ways, there's no stopping the industry's own organic growth.

4. Killer Facebook Alternative?: The buzz about Ello is getting louder. But is this truly a Facebook alternative?

3. Bendgate? Never Mind: Apple insists that iPhone 6 Plus frames only bend in "extremely rare" cases. I just hope I'm not one of those rare cases when my 6 Plus arrives in the next 3 weeks.

2. BlackBerry Deserves A Second Look: CEO John Chen is set to deliver the latest quarterly results today. Industry chatter suggests BlackBerry has bottomed out, business is stabilizing, and there might be a chance to re-engage CIOs with the new Passport device. Admittedly, BlackBerry's bigger opportunities involve mobile security services. Either way, I'm thinking IT entrepreneurs working around the government market should give BlackBerry a second look. Apple remains mostly a consumer company -- despite its corporate IBM relationship. And generally speaking, the Government always loves competitive bids -- which means BlackBerry will likely remain at the table vs. Samsung.

1. Meet Me In Orlando, Part II: I was supposed to be in Orlando this past week, but a last-minute family commitment kept me off the road. My revised travel schedule will put me in Orlando, Sept. 29-Oct. 3. If you're in the IT industry and would like to potentially meet, drop me an email: Joe@AfterNines.com. When I'm off the road, I'm also free for meetings around the New York area.

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That's all for now. Thanks for reading the After Nines Inc. corporate blog.