Here’s the latest action:
Veoh Networks files preemptive suit against Universal Music Group — Veoh, the San Diego video start-up we’ve written about, said it filed the suit to assert its rights as a copyright-compliant company after UMG threatened it with litigation.
Geni gets cloned by a German Verwandt, but there’s also Israeli MyHeritage — Verwandt, the German copycat of the family tree social network company Geni, told us last month it had raised financing from Neuhaus Partners, and had broken into the top 500 sites in Germany according to Alexa, with more than 200,000 profiles in three weeks (was it spamming people?). Verwandt’s only real difference from Geni, however, is that it offers comic avatars, so we didn’t bother looking too closely. However, now there’s also Israel’s MyHeritage, which has just raised funding from Accel Europe. The company reportedly has at least $3 million and maybe more (checking). These sites are coming out of the woodwork and remarkably, all getting funding.
MySpace barely making any profit — News Corp.’s Fox Interactive unit, which consists mainly of MySpace, turned a profit of $10 million on revenue of $550 million during the last fiscal year. With MySpace doing 4.3 billion page views a day, it means the company is making a mere fraction of a cent on each page view — just the latest sign that social networks are in the early days of trying to monetize with ads.
Nirvanix to launch content delivery network — The San Diego, Calif. company aims to compete with Amazon’s popular S3 storage web service. In a statement, it said it plans to offer delivery of rich media and streaming content for web developers, and is designed to be “the backbone for social networking and web 2.0 companies.” It also plans to announce in September that it has raised venture capital, though the news has already leaked (funding is reportedly $12 million).
Google showing bias for sites that use Google Checkout — Google is using its clout to boost the ranking of sites that use its Google Checkout service, penalizing those that rely on eBay’s PayPal, according to this account. [Update: Google has responded: “It’s common practice to include descriptive links in blog copy, and we added the link in question for that reason,” a Google spokespersons said. “This was an editorial decision, and it was made independently by Google.”]
Segway Enthusiasts Club of America disbands — The hyped gyroscope-laden scooter, the Segway, apparently is losing its fan base.
Blog network GigaOm has brought on a business person and a professional managing editor — Details here.
Internet music radios — Companies like Roku, Com One, Revo, Terratec and Tivoli have all produced tabletop or bookshelf radios that are “freaky hybrids” of the old radio and the new Internet. The New York Times’ Pogue has a review. You tune into radio shows just as you have for decades, but the radios’ antennas are internal Wi-Fi receivers that connect to a wireless home networks.
Xconomy, business technology new site focused on Boston area, raises undisclosed amount of funding — Founder Bob Buderi tells us the round was led by CommonAngels. Here’s his post about it. Robert Buderi is former editor-in-chief of MIT’s Technology Review. Steve Woit, publisher, is a partner at IDG Ventures in Boston.
The Universal Music Group acquires a stake in the operator of the urban social networking Web site, Loud.com — Details here.
Color-coding on Wikipedia edits — Wikipedia is about to test a quality-control technique: Coloring a new edit red, in order to flag potentially dubious content, especially if the editor is new or otherwise untrusted. As the editor gains a reputation, the marking color will change and become less red. There’s a test site here, and a visual example here. More details about the experiment here. It will first be tested on a related, smaller site, Wikia.
Ooma offers pre-sale orders of its Hub and Scout telecom products — Ooma says demand for its products, which allow free land-line phone calls, was sufficient to open orders for sales earlier than planned. We reviewed the home telecom product here.
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.