Roundup: Google phone, Bancrofts bought off?, Yelp, Docstoc, Bittorrent & more

Here’s the latest action:

Google phone details — Google’s Eric Schmidt had said Google wasn’t releasing a Google Phone, but the WSJ has the latest details about its significant action in the phone area nonetheless. Namely, it is working with other manufacturers.

rosensweig.jpgYahoo executive Daniel Rosensweig joins Quadrangle Group, a private equity firm — The former Yahoo operating chief will join the New York firm and help it on media, tech and communications investments. More here. Quadrangle’s investments include Cablevision Systems and movie-theater operator Cinemark.

Amazon is launching its own competitor to PayPal and Google CheckoutTechcrunch has details.

Discovery Communications buys green blog TreeHugger.com for a reported $10 millionTreeHugger makes announcement here. TreeHugger says it attracts 1.4 million unique users monthly. More at New York Post.

CBS Mobile is promiscuous with mobile ad companies — It has partnered with not one, but four mobile advertising companies: AdMob, Millennial Media, Rhythm NewMedia and Third Screen Media.

Google experiments with new behavioral targeted ads — If you perform a search for “Italian Hotels,” and then another search for “weather,” Google will show you ads next to your results related to the weather in Italy. Details at NewTeeVee.

Homepage company Netvibes criticizes Facebook for being closed — You can’t pull in the news feeds from your Facebook friends on to your homepage at Netvibes. Netvibes has introduced a widget to provide you information about your friends, but it is protesting the lack of the news feed.

New York Times suggests the Bancroft family was essentially bought off, when it agreed to sell Dow Jones/WSJ to Rupert Murdoch — Of course, it’s in the Times’ interest to make the parent of its competitor, WSJ, look dysfunctional, even if the structure will change under Murdoch. Reading a story like this, you begin to see why Dow Jones wasn’t performing very well.

Docstoc, a site where people can post any sort of document, reportedly about to raise cash — Docstoc is a competitor to Scribd, and is clearly trying to keep up. Scribd dubbed itself the “YouTube for documents” and raised $4 million in venture capital. Docstoc is rumored by Techcrunch to be about to raise money from co-founders of MySpace and angel investors in Baidu. We’ve asked the company for comment, but it hasn’t responded.

Yelp releases opens its platform to third-party developersYelp, the review site, has released an API that lets other sites or companies with mobile applications retrieve Yelp business and review data for integration into their own offerings.

The FCC set the wireless auction rules — The Mercury News has a good summary. Notably, Reed Hundt, a former FCC Chairman and executive with potential auction bidder Frontline Wireless, was originally a critic of the proposed rules. Now, he has responded by saying he supports the rules. We asked his representative why he has changed his tune. She said Hundt is now stressing the “glass half full” instead of “half empty.”

BitTorrent is rolling out free video service — Beginning next month, the San Francisco video and media distribution company will offer some of its library of television and feature films – which include titles such as “Letters from Iwo Jima” and “24” — for free, supported by advertising. See Mercury News story here.