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Data Sheet—Friday, September 4, 2015

Tech giants are intensifying their investments in video-processing technology. Amazon’s cloud computing division will pay a reported $500 million to buy Elemental, a company that helps the likes of CNN, Comcast, and HBO stream content smoothly across the Web. The two already share many clients.

Amazon is also one of seven high-profile technology companies that this week created the Alliance for Open Media. The organization’s mission: address licensing and interoperability issues that sometimes get in the way of broader video distribution across the Internet. Joining Amazon were Cisco Systems, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix. Apple is a notable holdout.

Watching events over the web is fun, but there’s nothing like meeting someone face-to-face. Planning your fall conference calendar? Consult the packed agenda at the end of this newsletter. I want to draw special attention to the new Executive Insights track at Penton’s IT Dev Connections conference in mid-September, focused on digital technology strategy. Data Sheet readers get $200 off registration with promo code EXFRTN15. Enjoy the Labor Day weekend!


Steve Jobs, complex and charismatic to the end. The late Steve Jobs was a master at controlling his message, including the kinder, gentler persona that emerged as the Apple co-founder’s health failed. A new documentary, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, takes viewers to some unexpected places. As Fortune‘s Peter Elkind observes, Jobs inspired insanely great products but he did things in “ways that were simply insane.” Watch Fortune Live at 3 pm Eastern for Elkind’s interview with filmmaker Alex Gibney.


BlackBerry snaps up Good Technology. It will pay $425 million for the mobile security company, which counts more than half of the Fortune 100 among its 6,200 customers. The deal is more evidence of the company’s evolution away from proprietary smartphones and mobile gadgets. “By providing even stronger cross-platform capabilities, our customers will not have to compromise on their choice of operating systems, deployment models, or any level of privacy and security,” said BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO John Chen, in a statement.

Intel’s $50 million quantum leap. Goodbye Moore’s Law? The chip giant’s new partnership with a Dutch university involves research that is a dramatic departure from its traditional, transistor-based technology. But “qubits,” or quantum bits of information, could be key for advances in business analytics, simulations, and other data-intense applications. (Fortune)

Microsoft buys into “people analytics.” It is paying an undisclosed sum for VoloMetrix, which helps companies like Boeing, Facebook, and Genentech keep tabs on employee productivity. (Fortune)

Lenovo shuffles management. The senior vice presidents of its enterprise technology and personal computer have traded job responsibilities. The move is viewed as a response to the company’s lackluster growth. (eWeek)

AOL strengthens mobile advertising story. It will pay around $250 million to acquire ad firm Millennial Media. (Fortune)

Qualcomm exec: Calls for breakup use “simplistic” analysis. Splitting the company would sever valuable synergies and wouldn’t necessarily produce more value, says president Derek Aberle. Don’t expect any decision until late 2015. (Reuters)

Alcoa invests $60 million in 3-D printing. The aluminum giant’s new research center in Pennsylvania builds on two decades of experience in additive manufacturing expertise. (Fortune)

Does Facebook have eBay envy? It is simplifying the creation of commerce marketplaces, where groups of people can buy, sell, and trade used items. (Wall Street Journal)


A new app with 2 million users just raised $100 million to take on eBay

Every year, dozens of new startups try to disrupt eBay and Craigslist, the Internet stalwarts that have ruled online classified ads for two decades. None have come close to pulling it off. That could change with the arrival of Letgo, which Thursday revealed that it raised $100 million in a Series A round of funding from Naspers Limited, the African conglomerate.



The world’s highest valued cybersecurity startup. Did we say $2.5 billion? After its latest $120 million round, Tanium is valued at $3.5 billion. (Fortune)

1.5 million downloads and counting. That’s Microsoft’s estimated tally of corporate updates to Windows 10. (InformationWeek)

Chips that think like your brain. Want smarter, more energy-efficient computers? Startup Knowm thinks it can commercialize its “memristor” technology within several years. (Fortune)

Waze rival sues Google for copyright infringement. PhantomAlert claims the mobile traffic service uses the same “fictious points of interest” included in its own database. (eWeek)

Cellphone scrutiny requires search warrant. Federal law-enforcement officials now need permission before snooping or locking in on location-identifying information. (Reuters)

Back to school for Dropbox. It hired Google exec Jason Katcher to expand sales into universities, education accounts. (Fortune)

China loves Apple Watch. More than 1 million were activated there before the end of August. (Computerworld)

Facebook’s classroom curriculum. Like Google, it’s focusing more resources on transforming education. (Fortune)


Rights groups call on Twitter to reverse its ban on Politwoops accounts by Mathew Ingram

This will be a breakout year for batteries by Katie Fehrenbacher

Your phone can tell when you’re bored by Claire Groden


Game, set, drone. A second round women’s match at the US Open was interrupted by an unauthorized aerial spectator, which crashed into the stands. The pilot was arrested. (Associated Press, Ars Technica)


Gartner Customer 360 Summit: Strategies for digital engagement. (Sept. 9 – 11; San Diego)

IT Dev Connections: New this year: an Executive Insights track focused on digital technology strategy. (Sept. 14 – 17; Las Vegas)

  • Executive Insights: Leveraging technology to improve business growth. Data Sheet readers get $200 off registration with promo code EXFRTN15 (Sept. 15-16, 2015; Las Vegas).

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 – 18; San Francisco)

.conf2015: “Get your data on” with Splunk. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)

Zebra Technology AppForum: Bar codes meet the Internet of things. (Sept. 21 – 23; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

nginx.conf: The modern web. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

AppSec USA: Application security principles. (Sept. 22 – 25; San Francisco)

Percolate Transition: Reshaping marketing through technology. (Sept. 24; New York)

BoxWorks: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 – 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

Minds+Machines: GE’s annual industrial Internet event. (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1; San Francisco)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 – 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 – 8; Orlando, Florida)

AWS re:Invent: The global Amazon Web services community. (Oct. 6 – 9; Las Vegas)

Relate by Zendesk: Improve your customer engagement. (Oct. 7 – 8; New York)

I Love APIs: Apigee’s annual conference. (Oct. 12 – 14; San Jose, California)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)

DevOps Enterprise Summit: Lean principles meet technology management. (Oct. 19 – 21; San Francisco)

Tableau Conference 2015: Tableau’s annual customer conference. (Oct 19 -23; Las Vegas)

Dell World: Global conference for customers and partners. (Oct. 20 – 22; Austin, Texas)

Virtuous Circle Conference: Internet policy in the round (Oct. 12-13, Menlo Park, California)

CX San Francisco: Forrester’s forum for customer experience professionals. (Oct. 22 – 23)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 – 29; San Francisco)

TBM Conference: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)

eBusiness Chicago: eBusiness and channel strategy. (Oct. 29 – 30)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)

CMO+CIO: Forrester’s summit on strategy collaboration. (Nov. 2 – 4; Sarasota, Florida)

Oktane: Identity management trends. (Nov. 2 – 4; Las Vegas)

FutureStack: Define your future with New Relic. (Nov. 11 – 13; San Francisco)