Here’s the latest action:
Valley pariah Bill Lerach is going to jail — The lawyer, loathed in Silicon Valley for bringing groundless class-action lawsuits against tech companies, has plead guilty to one count of conspiracy, according to the Wall Street Journal.
MySpace says it can personalize ads on its site, by knowing personal information — Details here about how it is improving the chance a user may click an ad — by 80 percent.
Cisco buys Germantown, Md.’s Cognio, a wireless spectrum analysis and management company — Cognio locates and mitigates sources of radio frequency interference.
Sponsored by VB
Google releases Web-based presentation application, Presently — The annoucement is here, including how it fits into Google Docs, Google’s office suite that competes with Microsoft. Presently is a direct competitor to Microsoft’s Powerpoint. The company elaborated this morning, saying it’s working on making this and other Google Doc applications available offline.
Google also launches Adsense for mobile, for web sites that specialize a site for WAP — This was expected, but finally announced here.
IBM launches free Microsoft Office competitor — The Office applications are all coming at once. IBM has launched Lotus Symphony, just after Google launched Presently. See NYT story here on Lotus Symphony, which has word processing, spreadsheets and presentations, and is based on Open Office code. And don’t forget, Yahoo is boosting its online application suite, by buying Zimbra.
Mozilla spins out Thunderbird, its email client — The Mozilla Corporation, the company behind the popular Firefox web browser, is spinning out Thunderbird to be a separate company. It will provide $3 million in funding; Om has more thoughts on this project’s potential.
Nokia buys Enpocket, a mobile ad platform — Financial terms weren’t disclosed. BlueRun and GrandBanks were early backers of the six-year-old Enpocket. Its customers include Vodafone and Panasonic.
The New York Times removes TimeSelect, its subscription paywall — The company thinks it can make more money through opening up its archives so they can be found by search engines: More traffic to more pages means more valuable space for selling online advertising. Some features, such as Hopefully, this move will convince the remaining newspapers operating with subscription paywalls to completely; Rupert Murdoch is considering doing the same for his newly-acquired Wall Street Journal.
Hot or Not, a dating site, reinstates subscription service — Built around voting on the “hotness” of other users’ personal photos, the site will once again charge users for sending and receiving messages with each other. In a letter to users, the company said its earlier decision to make the site completely free had led to more fake profiles, and more spam emails.
ProfileBuilder, online identity manager, buys photo-humor site Zingfu — ProfileBuilder, which offers a way to manage your online identity across social networks, has bought Zingfu. The latter site lets you make funny edits to photos, which can then be reposted on social networks.
IAC buys Garagegames, a site for game developers — The media conglomerate InterActiveCorp will soon be launching an online gaming site called InstantAction. To bolster its gaming arsenal, it has bought Garagegames, a company that helps game developers bring their wares to market, for an undisclosed sum.
Canesta, seller of 3D visual technology, raises still more – This is the Sunnyvale, Calif. company that once tried to let you type on a virtual keyboard. You typed on a keyboard image on your desk, which was really just light shined from a laser on your PDA. It didn’t work. It has been trying other strategies lately, and has raised $10 more of a planned $24.4 million planned round. Apax Partners, Carlyle Venture Partners, Korea Global IT Fund and Venrock are return backers. It has already raised more than $40 million.
AMD offers triple-core chip — More here.
Viacom’s MTV Networks launches Flux, a social networking community — It aims to provide access to a broader array of entertainment content and will be powered by Social Project, formerly known as TagWorld. MTV Networks invested a reported $40 million in TagWorld in 2006. Flux will create separate networks for each of Viacom’s brands, and even brands outside of Viacom. Tagworld was backed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
DogTime raises $1M from angel investors — Dogtime is an online ad network for pet-related sites, aggregating properties like like DogCentral, PetPlace, Petfinder, Pawspot, and more, reports AlarmClock.
Angel investor Jeff Clavier announces $12 million early stage venture fund — Clavier told us in December last year that he was considering finished investing in Web 2.0 companies, but then a couple of months ago said he was back. The fund will be called SoftTech VC II. His exits include Truveo (acquired by AOL for a reported $50 million), Userplane (bought by AOL for a rumored $35 million), MyBlogLog (acquired by Yahoo for$10 million), Kaboodle (acquired by Hearst for a rumored $30-40 million), Mayas Mom (acquired by BabyCenter for $7 million). With Web 2.0 entrepreneurs coming out of the woodwork, Clavier says he’s often accosted when going to eat at Ferrari Foods, next to Facebook in Palo Alto. He was an early advisor to Techcrunch, though never invested.