(Update: Apologies, we’d meant to put a questionmark in the headline, so we’ve fixed. We’re checking on this rumor, but now we’re getting more doubts about this supposed sale)
Here’s the latest in Silicon Valley tech world:
Common Sense Media, a site where families can review movies, films, TV shows, games, raises $4.25 million — The cash for the San Francisco company comes from the Omidyar Network. Christine Herron, an investor at Omidyar, has spoken highly about this company; the investment comes as little surprise.
Lots of VC deals — If you haven’t kept up with our left column lately, here are links to the venture fundings of PayByTouch, MontaVista (from a couple of days ago), and Pinger (we’ve since confirmed details of this one), respectively. Also Zipcar, largest car-sharing service, raises $25 million. This is the second round of venture backing for the company, and it comes from Greylock Partners, Benchmark Capital and Boston Community Ventures.
Has Google invested in Chinese peer-to-peer company Xunlei? — That’s what the rumor is. Xunlei is reported to have seen between 75 million to 100 million downloads of its software, and has raised previous funding from Morningside and IDG Ventures.
Google’s vanishing click-fraud case — Bizarre story about how Google has apparently dropped a click-fraud case. Michael Bradley, 32, reportedly was caught red-handed while trying to extort money from Google — investigators allegedly taped him across from an office at Google where he’d visited and threatened distribute a click-fraud technology he’d developed, unless Google paid up. The article makes your think Google found the technology so scary that it cut some sort of deal with Bradley, to avoid legal proceedings that would have brought the technology to light.
Yahoo’s woes in china continue — Yahoo China President Xie Wen has left “for personal reasons,” only 42 days after he had joined the company.
Jason Calacanis joins Sequoia Capital as entrepreneur in residence — Calacanis recently resigned from leading AOL’s Netscape property, and said Tuesday he’ll be joining Sequoia Capital, the big-name Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Previously, he founded Silicon Alley Reporter magazine and was a co-founder of Weblogs, a network blogs sold to AOL last year.
AskCity looking pretty good — Last week, we reported IAC and its search property, Ask, were launching a local portal site. It has launched, and it looks very useful. As mentioned, it makes sense for IAC to merge its various properties: Now you can select a restaurant, book a reservation through OpenTable, do a search for nearby events, such as a concert, book a ticket through Ticketmaster, find a map to chart your nights traveling, and do all this during one search session — and all at IAC’s properties.
We’ve put green arrows on the screenshot below to highlight the notable parts. At right is a place you can easily annotate it all for friends (place markers, or draw boxes on a map, and so on). On the left, you’ll see the four categories of search: businesses and services, events, movies, and maps & directions.
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.