Here’s the latest action (updated):
Google exposes China’s new submarine — Google Earth has exposed China’s new ballistic missile submarine, revealing its large missile compartment. Strategic Security Blog has the scoop. These sorts of images are usually kept secret by governments, and the Chinese are likely to be unhappy. It comes after Google offended India for exposing its air force bases and parliament, fearful as it was of exploitation by neighbor and enemy Pakistan.
Microsoft opening Internet services to developers — It also will create infrastructure services, such as storage and alerts, that developers can build on top of (CNET).
Facebook not gaining on Myspace — This, according to latest Comscore numbers sent out by MySpace today. Facebook hasn’t made any inroads on MySpace in total number of unique users, despite the substantial publicity boost Facebook got with the announcement of its open platform for developers. See table below. Facebook’s page views actually declined in June, though that’s likely because Facebook is college-dependent and the school term is out.
WeShow: Humans needed to sort through the video crud — First we saw Mahalo, the search engine launch with human editors to cut out the spam and other junk from results found at search engines like Google. Now there’s New York’s human-edited video site WeShow. The site, which launched Tuesday, uses people to select the best videos from sites such as YouTube, DailyMotion, Metacafe, Google Video and others. It has backing from the Pilot Group, owned by Bob Pittman, ex-COO of AOL Time Warner; and Bill Sahlman, of Harvard Business School. (Techcrunch.) Funding rumored between $5-7 million.
Musetorm, which manages media over widgets, raises $1 million — We wrote about Tel Aviv, Israel company Musestorm earlier this week, for its innovative way of letting publishers manage their content delivered to widgets. We’re told it has more up its sleeve, and we’re looking forward to reporting on it. Meantime, it has raised $1 million from Elron Electronic Industries, a public company. In return, it gives Elron a 23 percent stake in the company. Customers include The Washington Post, Pageflakes and CBS. It plans to make money by charging for its traffic analytics.
Bay Area millionaires on decline — The number of North American households with at least $1 million in investable assets (not including home equity) rose sharply last year, growing by 10 percent. But in the Bay Area, it fell by 0.37 percent to 111,190, according to the World Wealth Report produced by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini. (MSNBC)
Downfly lets you send and track Web page links easily — GigaOm reports on the Firefox extension that allows you to email web page links to friends, without having to cut-and-paste the URL. You can then track where those links go, i.e., if your friends forward them to others.
Auctomatic, for eBay power-sellers, to launch in two or three weeks — The start-up, funded with at least $400,000 seed money from Y Combinator and other investors, including Paul Bucheit, creator of Google’s Gmail service, seeks to cater to big sellers. These power-sellers typically churn hundreds of listings a day. But eBay makes sellers slog through five pages to create a listing. So Auctomatic reduces the complexity, providing a single page for the process, and adding other management features at a lower cost than other services. The Irish Times has a story on them. It is behind a firewall, but here’s a readable copy, via the company’s blog.
VC/Investor Tax debate continued — The debate about whether to raise taxes on investment professionals such as VCs and buyout professionals rages on. Congressional ire appears directed toward the buyout professionals, however. The Senate Finance Committee chairman, Max Baucus, said he wants to find out “whether some people who are earning great wealth are also avoiding their full and proper share of the burden of taxation.” Referring to the Blackstone Group, the buyout firm that went public recently after throwing a lavish party with $300 stone crab, Baucus said there’s “a good argument that the fund managers who are becoming publicly traded partnerships are stretching the law.”