5 Tech Observations: 10 February 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology insights, observations, news tips and chatter to start your day for Tuesday, February 10, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 10 items.

10. Getting Closer: IBM and Apple are expected to expand their enterprise partnership, with IBM adding horizontal apps and big data apps to the iOS platform, according to UBS, the Wall Street watcher. As we've previously reported, Apple also is expanding its enterprise sales team to work more closely with IBM. 

9. OneVest Is Hiring: The equity crowdfunding platform is seeking regional directors across the United States, according to several OneVest sources who reached out to me. For more details, check out the job description here.

8. Confidence vs. Over Confidence: It takes an incredibly confident person to become a venture capitalist. But are VCs now pushing beyond confidence to a danger zone? According to the Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Confidence Index, confidence levels reached 3.93 (1= lowest; 5=highest) in Q4 2014, up slightly from Q3 2014. Still, confidence levels are still below a peak of about 4.5 just ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.

7. Platform Wars: That's Microsoft's target for completing Windows 10 development and debugging, and releasing the operating system to manufacturing (RTM), according to Neowin. I've pretty much distanced myself from Windows ever since the 2007 Windows Vista debacle... which occurred around the time Apple unveiled the iPhone and soon after sparked the multi-touch and app store revolutions. This time around, Apple Watch and Windows 10 are expected to arrive within months of one another. Can Apple spark another platform shift while Microsoft tries to once again reinvent the PC?

6. Location, Location, Location?: Thanks to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, lots of pundits think Seattle will remain the center of the cloud computing universe. But Marty Puranik, CEO of cloud hosting company Atlantic.net, begs to differ. He points to major cloud trends in Boulder, Colo.; London; Raleigh, N.C.; and across Texas...

5. Look Out, HP: Just as Hewlett-Packard begins to get its 3D printer story out to market, New Matter has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. New Matter previously was crowdfunded to get its 3D printer plans rolling... 

4. Shark Tank On SeriusXM?: Sort of. TechCrunch is hosting TC Radio Pitch-Off -- which gives you 60 seconds to describe your wares with a two-minute follow-up Q&A from the judges. Participants have to represent early stage companies -- Series A or later companies are not eligible. The Pitch-Off will be broadcast on SeriusXM.

3. Join Me Today: First, for Tech News Today with Mike Elgan at 1:00 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. And then again at 9:01 p.m. ET for Good Evening, I.T. Entrepreneurs -- our weekly podcast, during which tech CEOs educate I.T. entrepreneurs about business, finance, sales, expansion, exits and plenty more.

2. Encrypt This: Hewlett-Packard has acquired Voltage Security, an encryption startup, for an undisclosed sum. The move comes one week after Anthem Inc. -- the second largest U.S. health insurer by market value -- suffered a massive hack involving "tens of millions" of customer and employee records. So far, insurers and many other data-intensive businesses are not required to encrypt consumer data. But I'm betting the feds will change that...

1. The Big Date: That would be September 10, 2015 -- the opening kickoff for the 2015-2016 NFL Season. Now, if only I had something to work on between now and then...

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