5 Technology Observations: 20 February 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, rants, rumors and outrageous claims (sort of) to start your day for Friday, February 20, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves eight items.

8. Too Much Choice: Let's face it. There are too many OpenStack distributions -- and that means customers could become confused as they try to select the most ideal version of the open source cloud platform. Back in October 2014, we warned that an OpenStack Cloud Bubble would eventually pop -- with some distributors going out of business, similar to how the Linux market suffered a vendor shakeout more than a decade ago. We stand by that opinion.

7. Permanent Residence?: Three months after the U.S. State Department confirmed hackers breached its unclassified email system, the government still hasn't been able to evict the hackers from the department's network, according to The Wall Street Journal. Call it the case of illegal digital aliens -- apparently representing Russia.

6. The Next Wave: My niece, Mia Santomauro, is a high school sophomore who was just accepted into Marist College's summer course for programming and game design. The small picture: She'll earn three college credits before she even heads to her junior year of high school. The big picture: Mia is off-the-charts smart. Someday, she'll disrupt all of us. I look forward to that day. In some ways, this is a "women in IT" story or a "youngest of the millennials" story. But for me, it's just a great family story.

5. HP vs... Facebook?: HP's latest network switches are built on open source, in partnership with Accton Technology and Cumulus Networks. The Open Network Switches target cloud data centers. HP's obvious rival here is Cisco Systems. The less obvious rival: Facebook -- which has been promoting its own open source networking gear called 6-pack.

4. You've Been Hacked (Again): Is the culprit the NSA (yet again)? Indeed, the U.S. spy agency allegedly stole millions of SIM card encryption keys -- basically meaning the NSA (and peers in Britain) could decrypt global cellular communications data. The lesson? When communicating in any electronic or digital form, assume nothing is secure.

3. Money Matters: Startups with fresh funding...

2. Did I Ever Mention?: I worked with a dream team of "future" IT media rock stars back at Smart Reseller magazine in the late 1990s. A few examples:

Pretty darn impressive. And there are plenty of additional names I should track down and mention. PS: Ed Sperling was the guru who assembled all that talent . That's also where Amy Katz and I met... and hatched a 15-year plot to eventually launch After Nines Inc. -- timed to coincide with deep-chill winters that keep everyone glued to their PC and smartphone screens. Of course, I failed to mentioned that Smart Reseller (aka Smart Partner) died with the dot-com implosion in 2001.

1. One I.T. Entrepreneur's Story: So how did 17hats CEO Donovan Janus raise $1.25 million in seed money to expand a business management app for solopreneurs and microbusinesses? We're coordinating schedules now and hope to bring you Janus's business and personal story during our next podcast -- Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 9:01 p.m. ET.

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