Dell Expands Its Security Offerings with SonicWall Acquisition: Dell will acquire IT network security company SonicWall, whose 950 employees make next-generation firewalls and unified threat management firewalls, for approximately $1.2 billion. Dell, which has been expanding its storage and networking capacity with acquisitions such as EqualLogic and Force10 Networks, is clearly well on its way to breaking out of its tradition PC manufacturing box and become more a services provider, a move that its major rivals HP and IBM have already made. Top Tech News
Apple Will Double Its Presence in Austin: Apple is making a $304 million investment to build a new campus in Austin, adding 3,600 jobs over the next decade and doubling its local workforce. In the past eight years, Apple has grown in Austin from fewer than 1,000 workers to more than 3,500, mostly in customer support, sales and accounting. The State of Texas is investing $21 million over 10 years to make the move happen, and Austin and Travis County may also kick in some funds. The Huffington Post
…And Austin Has A Lot of Tech Job Openings: More good news from Austin, which is basking in the glow of this week’s SXSW conference: Samsung, one of many tech companies with a presence in the area, has over 150 engineering job openings, and that’s on the heels of the 150 new employees it hired right out of school last year. “We like to stay local and choose the local universities to fill those roles,” said a company rep. The tech industry provides 13 percent of all jobs in Austin, and there are 4,000 tech companies in the area. Austin YNN
IT Job Growth Continues to Accelerate: After reaching an all-time high in January, the pace of IT job growth continued to accelerate in February, doubling January’s rate of growth, according to TechServe Alliance. In February, the number of IT jobs grew by 23,000 or 0.6 percent to 4,127,700. Since February 2011, IT employment has grown by more than 100,000 jobs or 2.5 percent. Marketwatch
Patent Wars Explode in the Social Media Space: In what some are calling a move borne out of desperation, Yahoo! has launched a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook. The extensive 19-page lawsuit over 10 patents covers advertising, privacy, customization, messaging and social networking. “Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patented social networking technology,” the lawsuit reads. Yahoo! says that Facebook has been “free riding” on Yahoo!’s intellectual property, and that royalty payments alone won’t make it right. It’s interesting to note that Yahoo! has done this before, most notably in 2004, when it went after Google around the time of its IPO and got a settlement. AllThingsD
Upcoming Tech Events
March 21—San Francisco
This conference features top executives from the key “dependent” platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google. These services are where audiences discover new content and services with which to engage. But it’s out on the “Independent Web” that people engage with unique, community-driven content. How can marketers capture the value of both sides of the Web?
March 21—San Francisco
Ignition West intensively explores the future of mobility. Through high-level discussions with executives and leading entrepreneurs and demos from emerging startups, the conference brings together people who are evolving and disrupting mobile to discuss what’s happening now, what’s next, and how it affects your business. Which platforms, products and business models will dominate? Topics include: Mobile platforms and consumer behavior; next-generation devices and services; who owns the Internet after search; the future of publishing, film and television on mobile; investing in mobile and mobile content; the gaming marketplace.
March 21-22—New York
This GigaOM conference explores the technical and business opportunities spurred by the growth of big data, including storage needs, data analysis and the uncovering of new revenue opportunities. Are you sitting on unmined gold?
Gartner CIO Leadership Forum
This gathering offers an interactive, workshop-centric experience to exchange ideas and receive actionable guidance from prominent CIOs, Gartner experts, and senior executives from leading technology providers.
March 26-29—Las Vegas
Explore the latest trends and get the most up-to-date information and training available, all while networking with your colleagues and building a valuable network of peers. Celebrate the release of Visual Studio 11 Beta, and visit the Visual Studio Connections conference, which will focus on what it takes to leverage the powerful technologies and tools of .NET 4.0 in the context of your application to maximize productivity and quality.
Y Combinator Demo Day
March 27—Mountain View, Calif.
The goal of this unique demo day is to get you and your brilliant idea through the first phase of seed funding. This usually means: get you to the point where you’ve built something impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale. Then meet later stage investors—or occasionally even acquirers.