Here’s the latest action:
March Madness alerts — Palo Alto mobile search company 4INFO will send you an alert in the final minutes of any of NCAA March Madness game that looks like it could be an upset. It sends final scores too. To sign up, text TOURNEY ALERTS to 44636, or signup at the company’s site.
Coffee-house entrepreneurs — The SF Chronicle has a piece about the SF entrepreneurs who launch companies at coffee houses, exploiting the WiFi connections at places like Starbucks. Problem is when the competition finds out. We remember once meeting wiki company Jot’s founder Joe Kraus at Coupa Cafe, a place where Ross Mayfield, of competitor Socialtext, often had his alter-office.
Dick Costello, chief exec of Feedburner, starts blog — He focuses on entrepreneurship, and has some good tips about how to raise cash, and how to manage hiring, among other things.
AskCity’s map tools are nifty — We’ve already mentioned the useful local map, direction, movie, restaurant and other features offered by AskCity. Here’s the latest: You can now circle places on a map, such as an intersection, and then search for say, that coffee shop that your friend told you about, but which you forgot the name of — because it lets returns in its results all of the coffee shops within the circle you drew.
Google’s bus system — Every Google employee gets a ride to work, with a WiFi-equipped bus so they can work while commuting. (See NYT story).
Paul Mercer, interface guru, hired by Palm — Mercer, a former Apple employee, who designed the interface of the nano-sized Samsung YP-Z5, has been hired by Palm, to help it regain momentum in the face of Apple’s iPhone launch.
Freebase reality check — Lot of excitement Friday about the launch of Freebase by Metaweb Technologies, billed by some to be the “synapses for the global brain,” but some people are yawning at the idea.
Even as global warming concerns grow, oil companies are getting more efficient at producing more oil — Which means more global warming. (See NYT story.)
Clearwire’s woes — Clearwire, the company that went public last week to raise more cash to build out its costly WiMax network, sees continued downward pressure. It went public at $25 last week. See graph at left, from this morning, where it dipped below $20 briefly. However, it rose at the end of the day.
FraudWall raises $1.01 million — We reported on the click-fraud company, Fraudwall, launched by Ron Conway and Jim Pitkow, in January. It has now raised $1.01 million of a $1.5 million planned first round, from Sherpalo Ventures and Baseline Ventures, according to PE Week. Sherpalo’s Ram Shriram is a new investor. Shriram, still on the Google board, is especially likely to have good insight into how important the click-fraud problem is for Google to solve.
Yet another photo/video site, Zannel, launches — Zannel is designed for mobile users. You can upload your camera-phone’s photos or video to Zannel’s web site, and you can send them to friends, through Zannel’s peer-to-peer network. The recipient gets an SMS (text message), opens it up and a link takes them to their WAP browser. We reported on its $6 million in funding here.
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.