The Tech 411 at 9:01, Sept 30

Greetings from somewhere near Orlando, Fla. I'm blogging from a retirement community -- but I'm not retired. Pull me aside sometime and I'll share the details. In the meantime, here After Nines Inc.'s five technology rumors, news, gossip, insights and perspectives to start your day for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014.

Actually, today's list involves 12 nuggets of info. Read on.

12. End of Q3: For many tech companies, Q3 2014 ends today. If you've got a friend in IT sales there's only one reason to call them or distract them today: You're ready to sign a sales contract. Otherwise, stand aside as Silicon Valley's top rain makers look to work their magic right through midnight.

11. Who's In Charge Here?: Anybody else notice some major executive changes at Symantec, plus security leadership changes within Intel Security and Cisco Systems? I admit... I didn't see the bigger picture until a tipster put me on double secret probation for missing the trend. I'll share more details later today.

10. The "Other" Shark Tank Later Today: I'm tuning into Onevest -- an online Shark Tank of sorts -- today at 2pm ET to learn about several startups seeking angel investor dollars. The Onevest team was kind enough to invite me -- along with a bunch of accredited investors -- to check out the startup presentations. Frequent After Nines Inc. readers know I also dabble in Golden Seeds, an angel investor network focused on women-led startups.

9. The Next Windows: Microsoft will share details about Windows 8's successor today in San Francisco. I only have five requests: Start, simple, speedy, secure, subscription. Hey, those all start with S. Surely, I must be planning some sort of follow up blog on that. But for the real nitty gritty details, I'd track Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows or Mary Jo Foley's All About Microsoft blog.

8. Warped Logic: A video of students in an Apple Store bending an iPhone 6 Plus has gone viral. Quite a few media sites are linking to the video. After Nines Inc. won't. Whether you agree or disagree with Apple's handling of bendgate, we don't promote vandalism in retail stores.

7. Welcome to Ello -- Now What?: I'm now a member of Ello -- the heavily hyped, non-commercial alternative to Facebook. Mike Elgan (@MikeElgan) of Tech News Today sent me an invite. An hour later, I registered on the network. Then I began to attract followers. Only, I haven't yet figured out why or how to use Ello. My first thought: At least for now, all of my posts on Ello will be completely commercial free. No info about After Nines Inc.'s business or financial relationships. Instead, straight information about IT and me. Stay tuned.

6. Join Me at 1pm ET: Now that I've mentioned Mike Elgan in the Ello nugget above, I hope you'll join us both today at 1pm ET/10am PT for Tech News Today (http://live.twit.tv) -- one of the best-known live Netcasts on the web. You can also visit the TNT archive here: http://www.twit.tv/tnt.

5. Women and Venture Capital: Only 15 percent of companies that receive venture capital have at least one woman on the executive team. Even worse, only 3 percent of companies receiving venture cash have a female CEO, according to a report from Babson College. How can Silicon Valley and the venture capital world vastly improve upon those figures? I'm trying to do my part, having joined Golden Seeds -- an angel investor network that only invests in women-led companies. Study after study suggests the best-run, best-performing companies have diverse executive teams and diverse board members -- including women.

4. Are Small Businesses IT Laggards?: First, the good news. For small business owners, email rates as the top software tool (47%) for running their business, followed by financial management software (29%), according to a Staples’ study of 510 small business owners conducted online by Harris Poll. Now, the bad news (in my opinion): Email is a laggard platform that often fails to engage the next generation of IT workers and customers -- the Millennials. You gotta wonder: What are small businesses doing about more recent trends like mobile, social, big data and cloud?

3. Oracle Joins Cloud Price War: Oracle CTO Larry Ellison claims the company's cloud platforms will match Amazon Web Services pricing. The twist: Is Ellison simply referring to IaaS and Paas? After all, shouldn't Oracle continue to charge a premium for its SaaS applications?

2. Reminder: Google is set to discuss its cloud and enterprise business strategy -- called Google for Work -- on Oct. 1. After Nines Inc. will be sure to offer a recap.

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That's all for now. Thanks for visiting.