Morning coffeeHappy Monday! Last week was a big one, with all of the regular news plus International Pi Day and the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s proposal for what we know today as the Internet. Sir Berners-Lee used the occasion to call for an Internet users’ “Magna Carta for the digital world as a way of pushing back against malign corporate and government intrusions on web freedom.” Check it out and then come back to our little part of the universe.

It’s the Economy …

For once, the news wasn’t about the US economy. China said that its manufacturing and retail sectors slowed in over the last couple of months, leading to slight reduction in growth targets for the year. Manufacturing growth was 8.6% in January and February,  while investment in fixed assets was up 17.9%, the weakest rate in a decade. Those still sounds healthy, but signal a slowdown that worries many economists.

PLMish Deals, Earnings and Other News

Acquisitions continue to set the theme in the PLMish world. Hexagon acquired a company that makes vehicle safety solutions, currently for open-pit mining, but with the potential to expand into other many markets. Hexagon also announced that it had finally completed the stock acquisition of Veripos, the global navigation and precise point positioning company it expressed interest in back in October.

Dassault Systèmes has extended the timeline of its offer to buy all of the outstanding shares of Accelrys at $12.50 per share in cash. The offer now runs out at midnight (New York time) on March 25, 2014, unless otherwise extended or terminated. As of midnight on March 13 DS owned about 73.2% of the outstanding shares of Accelrys common stock.

There was one earnings release last week, as ESI Group announced fourth quarter of €45.5 million, up 7% as reported and up 13% in constant currencies. For the year, total revenue was €109 million, flat year/year as reported and up 7% in constant currencies. The financial impact of acquisitions was minimal, but they do seem to be helping ESI reach new clients.

Finally, both ANSYS and FARO held investor days, which I’ll write about when there’s time. The big takeaway from ANSYS, the simulation company, is that it feels on the cusp of a $20 billion addressable market, achievable by expanding usage in existing accounts, growing into new technologies and getting more companies to adopt high performing computing (HPC). FARO, a maker of laser scanning equipment and processing software, may actually have an easier time addressing its opportunity as manufacturing and AEC embrace reality capture and computing.

Links of the Week

We’ve got two this week. First, Tanya Weaver at Develop 3D has written about her adventures in beekeeping for a couple of years. It’s always worth a read but her latest, about a crowd sourced approach to designing bee hives that teach us how to sustain bee colonies, is especially good. I won’t steal her best lines, but we’ve got design, crowdsourcing, crowd funding, NC, sensors, streaming … go read it.

Next, you may not be a CEO but now you can learn how one thinks, thanks to MSC CEO Dominic Gallello. Over on Wired, Mr. Gallello has written about turning around a 50-year old company (hint: communicate, a lot) and making successful tech acquisitions.

Finally, Pi Day reminds us that math is meant to be shared and that investing in education is always a good thing. Last week, Siemens announced that it is making Tecnomatix Jack available for free to students interested in ergonomics.

That’s it — have an awesome week!