From Our technology correspondent
Little more than a decade after the dotcom bubble burst, the internet business is once again partying like it is 1999.
The frenzy of deal-making in Silicon Valley, which is turning social media entrepreneurs into multibillionaires, moved up another notch when Microsoft splashed out $8.5bn for the loss-making internet telephone service Skype.
Skype was founded in 2003 by Swedish tech entrepreneur Niklas Zennström and the Dane Janus Friis. The service has grown far beyond its techie roots and is already a mainstream product.
At peak times there are more than 23 million Skype users online, although I am reliably informed that the Diablog's Engine Room comprises most of that figure.
The Skype deal ranks as the biggest in Microsoft's 36-year history and follows multibillion-dollar strategic purchases by other tech giants including Intel, which bought the virus software specialist McAfee, and Hewlett Packard, which bought the handheld devices firm Palm.
Investors are also fighting over the new generation of tech firms including Facebook, Groupon and Twitter. Google is believed to have made multibillion-dollar offers for both Groupon and Twitter.
Is this the start of the second dotcom bubble?
Loss-making Twitter has been valued at $10bn. Facebook is said to be worth more than Ford!
Now, for some investors, the alarm bells are starting to ring.
According to an article I read, there are many tell-tale signs that a 'bubble' is being blown,examples of the danger signs being shown below:
The arrival of a "New Thing" that cannot be valued in the old way. Dumb-money companies start paying over the odds for New Thing acquisitions.
Smart people identify the start of a bubble; New Thing apostles make ever more glowing claims.. Startups with founders deemed to have "pedigree" get funded at eye-watering valuations for next to no reason.
There is a flurry of new investment funds catering just for startups.
Companies start getting funded "off the slide deck"
Apparently that means to non techies like myself, purely on the basis of their PowerPoint presentations, without actually having a product!
The "big flotation" then happens, and Banks make a market in the New Thing, investing pension money.
Taxi drivers start giving you advice on what stock to buy.
The end is nigh.
In the meantime the Diablog company 'Glynstech and Pete' was yesterday valued at a staggering 5 Euros per share.
Is it time to regret that only 3 shares were ever issued?