*Eons, social network for 50-plus, cuts a third of staff
*Mercora, music sharing service, changes name
*New technology to allow searching images with different languages
*Lendingclub, the people-to-people lending service, launches Web site
*Facebook is roughly breaking even
*Microsoft announces student promotion for Microsoft Office 2007
*Advertising spending is down for second quarter in a row
*Video giant Hulu purchases Chinese company Mojiti to power its video platform?Eons, social network for 50-plus, cuts a third of staff — This is a surprising move, for such a young company. Xconomy has details.
Mercora, music sharing service, changes name — It is now called Social.FM. The service lets you share your songs with friends, chat with friends, and access the music on your PC, or on your mobile phone. It’s not clear, though, how the company plans to differentiate itself from the vast range of other similar services.
New technology to allow searching images with different languages — The University of Washington has developed a way for people to search for images using words in their own language, and find images on Google that may have indexed with words of a different language. Search engines such as Google look for images by detecting the search term in captions and other nearby text. But since the process looks for a string of letters, the results are limited to the seeker’s mother tongue — at least, until now (more here).
Lendingclub, the people-to-people lending service, launches Web site – The LendingClub.com, which lets people borrow money from other people through an online application process, has opened to the general Web. Until now, it has been solely a Facebook application. It has closed $1 million in loans since launch. We’ve covered the company before. In assessing whether someone is eligible for a loan from others, it considers factors such as where a person grew up, went to school or what they do for a living, and credit scores. However, it joins a crowded field of other companies doing something similar, from Prosper, to Zopa, Circlelending, Wonga and Globefunder.
Facebook is roughly breaking even — It may have 38 million users, but it’s still not a cash cow. Peter Thiel, an investor, says the company is cash-flow break even.
Microsoft announces student promotion for Microsoft Office 2007 — It’s selling the software at $60, or 90 percent less than before. Microsoft must recognize that students, above all, are prone to falling for Google’s free online application offerings.
Advertising spending is down for second quarter in a row — A new report released today by TNS Media Intelligence, shows ad spending has declined 0.3 percent during the first half of the year, compared to the same period a year before. That’s worrying, given that the economy is supposed to be growing. This could have something to do with the credit crunch crisis, with consumers holding back, and advertisers deciding to pull back to. Those of us focused on the Web can take solace in the 18 percent jump seen in Web advertising (most of the decline came in print), but even Web advertising could take a hit if the credit crunch doesn’t clear up.
Video giant Hulu purchases Chinese company Mojiti to power its video platform? — Hulu, the joint venture between NBC and News Corp, is rumored by Techcrunch to have acquired Bejing-based startup Mojiti. The founder, Eric Feng, was previously at Microsoft Research Asia. Mojiti also allows users to annotate videos at specific time points, somewhat like Motionbox, Viddler and Click.TV. Pluggd is doing something related. (See our coverage here ).