5 Technology Observations: 20 July 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news insights, updates, observations, perspectives, chatter and plenty more to start your day for Monday, July 20, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves six items.

6. Mobile Payments: Apple Pay apparently is catching on the U.K., where 250,000 locations now support Apple's mobile payment technology. The number may sound a bit low -- but Apple Pay just launched in the U.K. a few days ago. Among the key adopters: Small businesses and startups. Meanwhile, Google is pushing ahead of Android Pay -- which is sort of related to Google Wallet. The US market for mobile payments will reach $142 billion in 2019, up from $50 billion in 2014, Forrester Research Inc. believes. Sounds like a hot market. But look at it through a different lens and you may see even bigger opportunities over in the beacon space.

5. Steve Saw This Day Coming: A growing number of tech companies are calling on Adobe to kill Flash amid ongoing security concerns. Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos wants Adobe to pull the plug on Flash, and Google Chrome stopped supporting Flash amid another security issue last week. It's all sort of ironic, considering former Apple CEO Steve Jobs called for Adobe to overhaul Flash way back in 2010. Critics wondered if Jobs was merely acting as a monopolist, trying to suffocate a popular web video technology. Perhaps Jobs merely saw the future before the rest of us... as usual.

Microsoft's latest acquisition?

Microsoft's latest acquisition?

4. Microsoft Cloud Security: The software giant is buying Adallom, a cloud security firm based in Israel, for $320 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Adallom's security service protects data associated with SaaS applications. The twist: In addition to safeguarding Office 365, Adallom's approach also protects Google Apps, Salesforce, ServiceNow and other platforms. Let's hope that cross-platform cloud protection strategy continues under Microsoft's ownership -- though Microsoft has yet to confirm the deal. 

3. Fresh Funding: Technology startups raising money to fuel growth include...

  • Flock (San Francisco), which develops an HR platform for small and midsize businesses, raised $2 million from undisclosed backers.
  • Main Street Hub (Austin, Texas), which develops a marketing platform for local businesses, raised $25 million in Series C funding led by Vista Equity Partners.
  • Workspot (Cupertino, Calif.), which develops remote access software that connects smartphones to PC applications, raised $5 million led by Helion Ventures. The company positions itself as a Workspace as a Service platform. Hmmm... I thought independenceIT had a trademark on the Cloud Workspace Suite theme...
Assuming schedules hold up, Cloudera CTO Eli Collins will surface on podcast 043.

Assuming schedules hold up, Cloudera CTO Eli Collins will surface on podcast 043.

2. Join Me: Our next podcast (Episode 043) debuts Tuesday night, July 21, at 9:01 p.m. ET. Multiple guests are lined up to join our upcoming episodes. Cloudera CTO Eli Collins will be our featured guest for this episode -- discussing synergies between Hadoop and Spark for big data applications.

1. Quiet Foreground, Noisy Background: I didn't get around to blogging on Thursday (July 16) and then I focused on R&D all of Friday (July 17). Pay no attention to the alleged construction noise... if you happen to hear it...

Subscribe: Want to receive our blog headlines in your inbox each business day (except Fridays, when we're off the grid)? Then subscribe to our enewsletter. Thanks to those who already have.