5 Tech Observations: 23 January 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, rumors, gossip, and outrageous claims to start your day for Friday, January 23, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves eight items.

8. Today? Really?: At long last, Box is set to go public. IPO prices are set at $14 per share (a $1.67 billion valuation) and trading should start today... 

7. HoloLens Impact: So, Microsoft is developing an augmented reality headset -- just like Facebook and Google (apparently). My spin: The HoloLens never has to succeed -- though plenty of pundits are blown away by its potential. And that's precisely the point. The HoloLens is a symbol of innovation... a symbol of Microsoft finally pushing far beyond its classic Windows and Office mindset in a big, big, big way. Here's a closer look:

6. Amazon, Rackspace Moves: Amazon has acquired Annapurna Labs, an Israeli startup that designs networking chips to help data centers run more efficiently, re/code reported. As cloud services commoditize, Annapurna's chips could allow Amazon Web Services to differentiate in terms of cloud performance. The move comes only a few weeks after Rackspace said it would leverage IBM "Power" chips for some of its data center and cloud needs. My spin: As everyone looks for an edge in cloud computing, Intel's server chips will face more and more disruptive competition.

5. SnapChat Media?: Yes, SnapChat is hiring journalists -- essentially becoming a media company in some ways. "Media" is so 1990s. But everything old is new again. And I'm betting that by the late stages of my career, Media will have a retro renaissance. So I'll stick around and remain a media guy of sorts -- consulting for now -- until that glorious renaissance arrives.

4. But On the Other Hand: Persado has raised $21 million to replace human copywriters with computers, notes The Wall Street Journal. Now, I'm thinking about getting in on the other end of the action... Maybe I'll start a company to replace human readers with computers -- JoeBotMedia, perhaps?

3. Congrats: To Chris Talbot. I don't know where you're going but I do know where you've been. All the best with your next pursuit.

2. Time Flies Amid Drone Fine: The FAA and Raphael Pirker have reached a $1,100 settlement in a case of alleged drone crime. Pirker was fined for using a drone to take pictures for the University of Virginia in 2011. It's now 2015. Good to hear this case moved so quickly through the court system. Perhaps by 2020, the FAA will have some updated guidelines in place for commercial drone use.

1. App to App Integration: Button has raised $12 million in Series A funding. The company develops software that allows Apps to communicate with each other, similar to how HTML links allow you to jump from one web page to another. Sounds like a potentially powerful way for media startups and other types of businesses to quickly interconnect their Apps -- driving community members from one App to another more quickly, and generating more connected time with those users. Theoretically speaking, of course.

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