5 Technology Observations: 13 March 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, rumors, misdirects and chatter to start your day for Friday, March 13, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves seven items.

7. What Upgrade Cycle?: Intel cut its Q1 revenue forecast by nearly $1 billion. Among the areas Intel blamed: A weaker-than-anticipated upgrade cycle from old Windows XP systems to new PCs in small business. The problem with that thesis: Just because small businesses have aging, non-supported systems, that no longer means they'll upgrade to a newer PC. Some of those systems will simply collect dust as customers move on to iOS, Android, Mac OS (where Intel still profits) and even Chrome OS. Intel will release actual Q1 results on April 1. 

6. Cross-Platform Help: Microsoft's digital assistant, called Cortana, will reportedly extend beyond Windows to support iOS and Android. Smart, logical move for the artificial intelligence platform. Cortana is Microsoft's alternative to Apple Siri.

5. Docker on the Mac: It's about to get a lot easier to run Docker -- the open source container technology -- on a Mac. The reason? Docker has acquired Kitematic, which focuses on the Docker for Mac use case. On the one hand, most folks likely run Docker on Linux in the cloud. But Here's the thing: Lots of developers run Docker... and quite a few of those developers are (you guessed it) Mac OS users.

4. Amazon Embraces Internet of Things: Jeff Bezos wants to sell you everything -- and perhaps manage everything. The online retailer has acquired 2lemetry, an IoT startup that ties "people, processes data and devices together." It sounds like a combination IT management and big data platform... This could be big.

3. Logo Update: As I've teased in recent days, we're getting close to designing a corporate logo for After Nines Inc. And while we're at it, I wonder what other brand logos we could potentially dream up now... Of course, we'd need a brand to actually brand... 

2. Fresh Funding: Among the companies fetching new dollars...

  • Bugcrowd (San Francisco), which offers a crowdsourced security testing platform, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Costanoa Venture Capital.
  • Classkick (Chicago), which develops an education tech platform, raised $1.7 million in seed funding from multiple investors.
  • Double Data (Russia), which develops big data solutions for banks, has raised $3 million from Leta Capital and Simile Venture Partners.
  • High Five (Redwood City, Calif.), a video conferencing company with hardware and cloud-driven software, has raised $32 million in Series B funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round.
  • The Hive (Palo Alto, Calif.), a technology accelerator focused on data-driven startups, has created a $22 million investment fund. This is the incubator's second investment fund.
  • Liaison Technologies (Atlanta, Ga.), focused on cloud-enabled data integration for life sciences, has raised money from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. I don't know the dollar figure, but total funding in the company is now $90 million.
  • NetBase (Mountain View), developing a social media analytics platform, has raised $24 million in Series E financing, Spring Equity Partners led the round.
  • Splash (New York), an emerging EventBrite rival, has raised $6 million led by Spark Capital.

1. Off the Grid: After Nines Inc. is mostly unplugged today amid family commitments near Boston and Orlando. We'll be back in full force on Monday. Have a great weekend.

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