5 Technology Observations: 18 May 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, gossip, chatter, observations and predictions to start your day for Monday, May 18, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 14 items.

14. Say Hello to Silicon Valley East: No, it's not Silicon Alley in New York. You need to go further east -- to Israel. Indeed, Israel remains fertile ground for technology startups. Three of the video distribution and advertising companies that now drive AOL's core technology started in Israel, notes The Wall Street Journal. That technology inspired Verizon to buy AOL for $4.4 billion. Security startups are also everywhere in Israel. As are data startups -- such as OwnBackup, the cloud-to-cloud backup company led by Sam Gutmann.

13. Financial Disconnect: Women now own 30 percent of U.S. businesses. From 1997 to 2014, the number of women-owned businesses grew at 1.5 times the national average. However, only 4.4 percent of the total dollar value of all small-business loans flow toward the women-own businesses. And only 3 percent of all venture capital dollars go to businesses with a female CEO. My spin?: Those stats reinforce the need for Golden Seeds and other angel investor firms that invest in women-led businesses...

12. Heading for Home: Despite a "delay" rumor posted on Fortune, Apple says the first HomeKit smart devices will arrive in June. Multiple hardware companies are developing the Internet of Things (IoT) devices for home automation. Most major consumer electronics giants, cloud and mobile companies are trying to figure out IoT strategies. Google has Works With Nest; Samsung has ArtikQualcomm says its products are now in 120 million home devices; and the list goes on...

11. Amazon Cloud Education: How do you build a cloud-ready workforce -- while also inspiring more people to plug into Amazon Web Services? The answer, at least from Amazon, involves the new AWS Educate program...

10. IBM Cloud Wins vs. Amazon, Microsoft: Not always. And not everywhere. But... IBM's Bluemix initiative seems to be winning some customers away from Amazon and Microsoft Azure in India. Bluemix essentially allows companies to more easily design and build cloud applications. IBM hopes customers will, in turn, launch those apps in IBM's own cloud...

9. Monitoring Docker Containers: Can your tools do it? If not, get going. AppDynamics, for one, just announced monitoring capabilities for Docker -- the fast-growing container platform that eases application deployments both on-premises and in the cloud.

8. Not Another CXO, Please: You've heard about Chief Data Officers, Chief Digital Officers and Chief Innovation Officers. Now, Cisco Systems suggests that businesses need Chief Disruption Officers in the executive suite to respond to new trends like the Internet of Things. My reaction? The C-suite is crowded enough. Don't CDOs already exist -- in the form of savvy CEOs, CIOs and CTOs? 

7. Opening Up?: Anybody else notice how much Oracle is talking about Hadoop and NoSQL in recent weeks? Actually, it's more than talk. Oracle Big Data Spatial and Graph are required components to counter similar cloud offerings from Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

6. For Rent: Air space over and around my home property. Drone owners and enthusiasts are welcome to bid for daily fly-over and hover rights. You'll enjoy unique views of our quarter-acre plot, zoom-in coverage of our grass growing, and occasional yard work action. WiFi access available for extra fee. Forget what federal regulators say -- I own my air space and welcome hundreds of drones to hang around... for a fee.

5. Lofty Praise: What do you get when you combine Steve Jobs and Henry Ford? The Wall Street Journal suggests the answer is Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk -- a modern-day Tony Stark.

4. Who You Gonna Call?: Penn State's College of Engineering suffered a cyberattack. The twist? It lasted more than two years. Hackers from China infiltrated computer systems at the college, lifting usernames and passwords. The FBI discovered the attack, and Penn State hired FireEye's Mandiant incident response company to investigate, The New York Times reported. My view? It's rather amazing how often organizations reach out to FireEye (rather than Symantec and other legacy anti-virus companies) for emergency help and security investigations.

3. What the F**&?: Reddit has introduced an anti-harassment policy. I'm preparing to flame the policy authors now.

2. Fresh Funding: Seven technology startups have just raised venture capital or angel dollars. Here's why Rackspace and others are making the investments... 

1. Game On?: I can't get the old Hollywood Squares game show out of my head. I'll take Paul Lynde in the center square for the block... and the win. The question is: What topics and views will the grid care to discuss on a particular day? Maybe the fall TV lineup will provide some answers... 

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