Highlights: Last week on Philly Tech News (2/6/2012 to 2/12/2012)

Questions were raised about how open Philadelphia Media Network's bidding process is after groups represented by developer Bart Blatstein and members of the Perelman family claimed they were being shut out of it. PMN (non-editorial) spokesman Mark Block actually requested that two stories about Blatstein's interest be taken down, and they were. Blatstein, who purchased the Inky building last year, threatened to start a competing paper and website. It was unclear what other bids may have been received other than one from an Ed Rendell-led group.

Oracle announced a $1.9 billion acquisition of cloud talent management vendor Taleo; some saw it as a direct response to SAP's pending SuccessFactors deal, while others wondered whether it might have had more to do with the rising competitive threat from Workday.

Newtown-based systems development outsourcer EPAM Systems, Inc. completed its IPO last week after cutting back on its offering price and size; it currently trades at $13.65 up from the initial offering price of $12, and has a market cap of $555 million.

Questions were raised concerning Fisker Automotive's viability as it faced a cash crunch when the Feds held up the balance of a $529 million loan pending a review. Fisker laid off 26 employees in Delaware and halted
subcontracting work there. The Wilmington News Journal has provided excellent ongoing coverage of Fisker's troubles.

Two Philly area companies made fairly small but potentially important acquisitions. Amazon Prime competitor ShopRunner, part of Michael Rubin's holding company, acquired California-based startup Shopsanity, which helps ecommerce shoppers keep track of data about their various purchases. And Wayne-based Kenexa agreed to acquire OutStart, a Boston-based provider of SaaS e-Learning solutions, for $38.9 million.

Bob Moul, former GM of Dell Boomi and current President of Philly Startup Leaders, got back on the entrepreneurial side by becoming chairman & CEO of Philly-based appRenaissance, a mobile app development startup.

And I wrote about a new book by Joseph Turow of Penn's Annenberg School, "The Daily You", which raises issues about how all the data being collected on us through our online activities is being used.


Daily Links 2/13/2012: DOJ, EU approve Google/Motorola Mobility deal

Can Fisker keep its promise?
It started with good feelings and a pledge to bring thousands of jobs to Delaware
(Wilmington News Journal)

Comcast's new Xfinity stores aim for an Apple Store experience — and Katy's the first test market (CultureMap Houston)

Comcast intros free text messaging; integrates Twitter, Facebook in Xfinity Connect portal (FierceCable)

Triple play for your 'smart' home
Systems combine security, automation, energy control
(Wilmington News Journal)

Cox-to-Time Warner Cable Firms Hit Phone Grip on Hospitals (Bloomberg)

Justice Dept, EU Approve Google’s Motorola Purchase (mocoNews)

Why Oracle May Really Be Doomed This Time (PandoDaily)

Workday’s Financials: Maturing (Ventana Research)

Information is beautiful: Lars Björk of QlikTech (Ernst & Young)

Baltimore files $9M suit against Unisys over tax system (Baltimore Business Journal)

AppMobi Bets on Monetizing the Mobile HTML5 Apps Ecosystem With playMobi (ReadWriteWeb)
AppMobi is based in Lancaster.

DreamIt Ventures Formalizes Focus on Minority-Owned Startups With DreamIt Access NYC (BetaBeat)

ULL, Drexel planning research center (The Advocate of Baton Rouge)

ARI to Implement SAP HANA to Slash Fleet Report Processing Time (Marketwire)


Philly Tech TidBits 2/13/2011: TicketLeap intros iOS app, GPCC event this week features City CIO Adel Ebeid & more

Tom Paine

CEO Chris Stanchak had indicated that a TicketLeap iOS platform was coming when I interviewed him last fall, and this past week TicketLeap indeed announced the release of "TicketLeap Anywhere for iOS". Designed for event organizers to set up and manage the entire ticketing process from an iOS device, TicketLeap Anywhere also brings enhanced functionality to ticket purchasers accessing TicketLeap through an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The platform can be used to check-in attendees and scan both paper and paperless tickets by reading QR codes directly off attendees’ smartphones. Another major feature is real-time inventory management, which means online inventory is always in sync across all access points. TicketLeap Anywhere for iOS is available now in the App Store as a free download.

The next PhillyForce meetup (focusing on Salesforce's Force.com development platform) will feature a presentation by One Planet Associates on its Force.com-based OneMarcellus offering for areas involved with Marcellus Shale gas development. The system features an Outreach component for coordinating community contacts in the event of emergencies, and a Water Management component to help track the movement of water to reduce risks and gain efficiencies. One Planet Associates, founded by Udo Edelmann and Sam Shane, is based in the Philly Suburbs. The event will be held on the evening of February 23 at LiquidHub in Wayne.

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is holding an event, "Innovations in Technology: Changing the Way We Do Business", on this Wednesday morning, the 15th, at the Quorum at University City Science Center. The keynote speaker will be Adel Ebeid, recently appointed Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) of the City of Philadelphia. A panel discussion with some top area technology execs and experts will follow. Tickets are still available for purchase at the time of writing, according to the GPCC website.

Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia has announced a new iPad initiative, in partnership with Apple. Each new Bachelor of Fine Arts student beginning in Fall 2012 will be given an Apple iPad 2 with pre-populated apps selected to support the visual art and design education at Moore. “The iPad 2 will be a pivotal learning tool in the new Foundation curriculum where the integration of digital media and tools will be taught and used in tandem with traditional drawing and design media”, said Academic Dean Dona Lantz in a published statement. Details of the partnership with Apple have not been disclosed.