5 Tech Observations: 26 January 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology updates, insights, blizzard forecasts, rumors, gossip and plenty more to start your day for Monday, January 26, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves nine items.

9. Bleeding Blue?: IBM reportedly is getting set to cut 26 percent of its workforce -- or about 112,000 of roughly 431,000 people, according to Robert X Cringely. CEO Ginni Rometty conveniently skipped IBM's earning's call last week with Wall Street analysts, and IBM has not commented on the massive layoff rumors. I own a few IBM shares but I won't be celebrating if the stock rises amid all the alleged job losses. My key takeaway: In the era of cloud computing, do big IT giants really need massive sales force organizations?

8. WiFi Phone Service: Aiming to bypass traditional cellular networks, Cablevision Systems of New York is preparing to launch a WiFi mobile phone service called Freewheel. It will include unlimited data, talk and text for $9.95 a month -- if you already subscribe to the company's internet services. It's $29.95 per month for non-customers, The Wall Street Journal reported. The big question: Can Cablevision's WiFi network match the coverage and reliability of a traditional cell network? The New York Times is already warning that coverage could be spotty...

7. Impressive Debut: Box, as expected, finally went public on Friday, Jan. 23. Shares jumped nearly 66 percent from $14.00 to $23.23. The company's valuation is now $2.78 billion. Ironically, Box CEO Aaron Levie only owns about 3.4 percent of Box because of all the VC moves the company has made over the years. His fortune, at least on paper, is $90 million, according to Forbes.

6. Amazon's Cloud Ambitions: Barb Darrow puts the Amazon Web Services initiative into proper context. And the context is massive.

5. Unscheduled Visitor: A drone has apparently landed on White House grounds. The U.S. Secret Service is investigating the "device," according to CNN. Reports suggest the device doesn't pose a threat. The FAA is preparing is expected to comment on the situation sometime in 2020 or so.

4. Can't Find Their Way Home: Several months ago, I hyped Apple HomeKit as a potential path forward for software developers that want to cash in on the Internet of Things. Fast forward to the present, and it sounds like HomeKit is off to a slow start -- with the first products tied to the technology not expected to reach stores until this spring, says re/code. It's a timely reminder: Sometimes shiny new things from Apple aren't so shiny...

3. A Bubble Abroad?: The European venture capital market has hit a "post dot com high," according to The Wall Street Journal. The number of venture-backed IPOs more than tripled to 55 in 2014 vs. 2013. And total equity financing for European venture-backed companies was US$8.9 billion in 2014. Many pundits, along with our own blog, have warned that US tech startup valuations seem very lofty... Can the same be said for Europe?

2. Motivated Service Provider: A blizzard is set to dump roughly two feet of snow in my hometown over the next couple of days. Down the road from me, a homebuilder over the past five days has completely framed a massive home, put on the roof and today is installing all the windows. Fastest construction I've ever seen... with plenty of motivation involved.

1. Phrase of the Day: That would have to be "save often" amid the oncoming blizzard.

Subscribe: Want to receive our blog headlines in your inbox each business day? Then subscribe to our enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.