Roundup: Six Apart's memo, VCs and sex toys, WiMax in 2008, Newser.com & more

Here’s the latest (updated) action:Six Apart’s headaches — The blogging software market is highly competitive, so small differences in quality can make a difference in user adoption. Six Apart, a Silicon Valley start-up that offers several blogging software platforms, including Movable Type, has released a product after acknowledging internally it could make developers mad. [Six Apart's Anil Dash has since responded in comments, saying the company took time to fix the bugs for the release. The references in an internal memo before the release that caused concern were the following: The need for "PR to stay ahead of the curve" with people who say "we rushed the release" and to developers who "will be very mad" for not having the resources to upgrade their plugins.] Moreover, chief architect Brad Fitzpatrick has left the company. We asked Six Apart for comment, but they did not respond. Frankly, the various bugs are one reason VentureBeat moved to embrace WordPress, dropping Movable Type. WordPress, owned by Automattic, also seemed swifter and more flexible. Separately, WordPress’ hosted version (WordPress.com) is more secure than Six Apart’s hosted versions. WordPress has three different data centers, so you wouldn’t see it crash like Six Apart did when an SF data center melted down several days ago. WordPress is run by a Swiss named Toni Schneider, who is obsessed with scaling the company without hitch or server meltdown. Lead developer Matt Mullenweg goes to bed thinking about scaling problems, Schneider adds. Related: I cited Toni in a piece I just did for Forbes about “when to hire an IT guy.”

Clicktale records what happens when a user hits your Web site — Today, Clicktale launched to show things like the number of mouse hovers over a link (in other words, showing how a link may be attractive, but not enough for people to click), how many mouse hovers eventually convert to mouse clicks and other interesting behavior measures. Techcrunch has a good review here. The Israeli start-up has competitors, including RobotReplay and TapeFailure.

Zhanzuo.com, a Facebook clone in China, has acquired Yoolin.com, a campus social networking site targeted at Chinese students abroad — Yoolin was founded in June 2006 by Chinese students from Stanford, UC Berkeley, Harvard and MIT, but according to Alexa data cited by this blog (which reported the acquisition), their traffic didn’t grow much.

Another news site, Newser.com — Journalist Michael Wolff has started a news Web site called newser.com that aggregates news articles for convenient reading. New York Times has the story. We don’t understand the company’s model. The cater-to-all destination site is a dead horse fairly beaten.

Non-profit music industry agent conflicted?Wired reports that Sound Exchange, a nonprofit that administers copyright licensing and license-fee collection is funding a group called musicFirst, which is lobbying for the enforcement of extra broadcasting fees on terrestrial radio stations. According to Wired: “Whether or not SoundExchange’s lobbying efforts prove to be illegal, its presence as an advocate in this debate undercuts its role as neutral administrator of royalty fees set and approved by the Copyright Royalty Board.”

GoFish’s acquisition of Bolt, dead in waterDetails here.

Microsoft testing ad supported Microsoft Works — Details at Ars Technica.

Advertisers in UK yank ads from Facebook when they realize the ads are posted next to the group page of a far-right-wing political partyDetails here. Slowly but surely, advertisers are beginning to realize how dangerous it is to run campaigns in social networking sites. Tod M. Sacerdoti, founder of BrightRoll, which inserts advertising into videos for clients, told us recently he has all but abandoned serving social network sites, after seeing multiple examples of advertising networks exposing major advertising brands to lewd, quasi-porn video content.

Answers.com loses 28 percent of its viewers due to a change by Google’s algorithmGigaOm points to the story.

IAC bags Google, chooses Microsoft – It will use Microsoft’s aQuantive’s ad network over Google’s Doubleclick.

Thomson Financial finally releases VC data — Like the data released last week by VentureOne, it shows venture capitalists are investing at the highest levels since 2001. VCs poured $7.1 billion in 977 deals in the second quarter of 2007 – the largest number deals since the third since Q3 2001. A Thomson spokeswoman said the week’s delay in the survey was caused by a server crash, and then a week’s worth of verification with its partners in the quarterly MoneyTree Survey: PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. We asked whether a reported 61 layoffs at Thomson in recent months had anything to do with the snafu, since some of the VC reporting department has been replaced by outsourced labor in places like the Philippines. Or perhaps caused by distraction caused by Thomson’s pending merger with Reuters? A spokeswoman did not address the layoffs, but said the Reuters deal hasn’t closed yet, and so that played no role.

jimmyjane.jpgVibrator maker Jimmy Jane might get real VC? — Individuals such as Tim Draper have backed Jimmy Jane, the sex-toy company, with about $1 million, but now the New York Times’ Matt Richtel says the company is about to get a real VC round. We contacted Jimmy Jane for comment, but no response thus far. Draper, for his part, suggested something is coming: “I don’t think I am allowed to answer that,” he said, when asked about a pending round. “We don’t make comments on financings until they are done.”

Yahoo advised to… go after social networking — An analyst report by Bear Stearns recommends that Yahoo more aggressively pursue social networking, saying it is a high growth opportunity, and noting that Facebook could be worth $6 billion or so. Yahoo had reportedly sought to buy Facebook last year for $1 billion.

hadoop.jpgYahoo advised to… pursue open source — Tim O’Reilly says Yahoo is grasping open source as a competitive advantage and commends it, writing off the news Yahoo is now supporting something called Hadoop.

WiMax notebook computers coming by late next year — So says Intel, a leading provider of the technology, which will operate many times faster than WiFi technology used by most laptops. (Mercury News story)

Silicon Valley’s WiFi network project shifts from free, to paid — A Mercury News story shows the Silicon Valley Joint Venture Wireless Project looks shakier than ever.