5 Tech Observations: 2 February 2015

Good mid-morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news nuggets, insights, rumors, chatter, gossip and wild conspiracy theories (or not) to start your day for Monday, February 2, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves nine items...

9. Bug Chasers: Google has announced new perks and bounties for hackers that chase down bugs in the search giant's software. The company has paid more than $4 million in rewards to security 200 researchers (averaging $20,000 per researcher) and bug chasers since 2010 -- a relative small fee if you consider those researchers documented more than 500 bugs, some of which could have been show stoppers.

8. Bigger, Smarter Data: Google Now, the intelligence layer within Google's mobile app, will soon gather data and information from more than 40 third-party apps -- including Airbnb, Shazam, eBay and more, notes re/code. Classic Google. The "web" search giant is now striving to be the intelligent "app" search giant.

7. Betting On Itself (Sort Of): Salesforce Ventures, the investment arm of Salesforce.com, has led a $41 million series B investment in Apttus. And what does Apttus do? The company's software, built atop Salesforce.com, manages portions of the sales cycle -- including quotes, contracts and collecting money. In some ways, potential rivals include Quosal and Quotewerks.

6. Cloud Monitoring Landscape: Barb Darrow puts it all in perspective -- pointing to deals involving Google, SolarWinds, Idera, Datadog, Boundary and Server Density. Now here's the twist: Monitoring public and private clouds has become a mission critical task. But what exactly do the monitoring tool providers plan to do with all the data they're collecting? That's the monetization angle that few people are discussing publicly -- but plenty are debating privately.

5. Tablets Are So 2011: Yup, worldwide tablet shipments fell 3.2 percent in Q4 2014 vs. Q3 2013, International Data Corp. estimates. Sure, tablets remain a huge market -- with 76.1 million shipments in Q4. But don't look for After Nines Inc. to launch a tablet app anytime soon.

4. Mixed Message: IBM CEO Ginny Rometty has received a raise and bonus amid layoffs at the IT giant. Short term, IBM critics are plenty upset. But I've got a theory: Rometty was handed a broken company when she took over IBM's CEO slot in January 2012. The company was late to cloud, mobile and social trends -- and focused far too heavily on earnings goals rather than market trends and product mix. After 11 straight quarters of flat or declining revenues, I suspect Rometty has less than two years left to show major progress at the company...

3. Mixed Message, Part II: So let me get this straight. Some pundits say Yahoo is essentially worthless now that the company is selling off its Alibaba stake. Yet, some pundits are saying that it might be time for Google to panic because Yahoo is gaining ground in the search market. Only in America: Build a top three market giant, and you're considered a huge success and spectacular failure all at once.

2. Legal Dollars: Zapproved has raised $15 million for its cloud-based eDiscovery service -- certainly a hot market segment. Still, big rivals like Microsoft Equivio and perhaps even Symantec eDiscovery loom. Heck, HP's buyout of Autonomy was supposed to revolutionize the eDiscovery market. But ironically, that deal soured on accounting concerns that weren't spotted during the M&A discovery process. 

1. The Longest Yard: A pass play? Really?

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