5 Technology Observations: 12 August 2015

Good morning, I.T. entrepreneurs. Here are five technology news updates, insights, observations, chatter and plenty more to start your day for Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015.

Actually, today's update involves 11 items to sip on.

11. Hacked for Profits: Business Wire, PRNewswire and Maretwired all were hacked as part of a scheme to trade on financial information before it was released to the public. The scheme, organized by a Ukrainian hacker, generated more than $30 million in illegal profits for participants across the world. Now, U.S. federal prosecutors have filed charges against two alleged hackers and seven other people. The lesson? High-value, data-rich websites remain prime targets for cybercriminals...

10. Cisco Earnings: They arrive after U.S. markets close later today. The earnings close the book on Cisco's fiscal 2015 and on former CEO John Chambers' tenure. New CEO Chuck Robbins has been calling the shots since the start of fiscal 2016 in July. Among the big questions facing Robbins: What does he plan to do about the storage market, where Cisco has scaled back its own products, struggled to maintain an EMC relationship, and tried to leverage a NetApp relationship more fully...

9. Microsoft Containers: It sounds like Microsoft's work with Docker is moving from serious to incredibly serious...

8. Big Deal: Anybody else notice IBM's latest cloud relationship? It's a big deal. By the way, Odin technology apparently is involved behind the curtains...

7. Mixed Message: Is Apple Pay adoption accelerating or slowing? Two recent surveys offer conflicting views of the digital payment service. As for me, I'm addicted to my Dunkin' Donuts payment app -- but I've yet to sweeten the system with an Apple Pay link...

6. Bad Math: Symantec is selling it Veritas storage business to a private equity group for $8 billion. Um, Symantec paid more than $13 billion for Veritas back in 2005. A decade ago, I praised then-Symantec CEO John Thompson for uniting the worlds of security and storage into a combined data-protection vision. But my praise was premature. Symantec largely failed to capitalize on the big cloud and mobile waves, and Thompson moved on to become chairman of Microsoft -- though he took that seat after Microsoft wasted more than $7 billion on the Nokia buyout...

5. If I Was Traveling Next Week...: I'd attend the NoSQL Now conference in San Jose, Calif. Of course, that's if I was traveling next week...

4. Oracle Damage Control: The software giant has yanked a blog post from Chief Security Officer Mary Ann Davidson. The phantom post criticized customers and vendors for reverse-engineering Oracle software in an attempt to more fully secure the code. 

3. Fresh Funding: Tech startups raising money to accelerate growth include...

  • Talena (Milpitas, Calif.), focused on a big data management platform, raised $12 million from multiple backers.
  • Unify Square (Bellevue, Wash.), which develops Microsoft Skype solutions, raised $12.2 million in Series B funding to accelerate the adoption of Skype for Business worldwide.

2. Tune In: Our latest podcast (Episode 044) features BlueData CEO Kumar Sreekanti describing how to speed big data deployments on-premises. The idea is to leverage a cloud-like software layer that allows on-premises customers to scale up -- or scale down -- big data storage grids on-demand. Don't forget: Our entire podcast library is available on demand.

1. Angel No More?: When we launched After Nines Inc. in September 2014, I blogged quite a bit about my angel investor ambitions. But in recent months, I've said less and less about that focus area. Why's that? Perhaps I've been pouring my time and energy into something else... Sort of like a private training camp before the NFL season kick-off...

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.