Roundup: Medio v. Google, Sprint jettisoning WiMax?, BugLabs & more

Here’s the latest action:
1. Medio’s roar turning to a squeal?
2. Sprint changing WiMax plans?
3. AOL rumored to be considering buying ad targeting network Quigo for $300 million
4. Bug Labs, for open-sourced electronic devices
5. Semantic search engine Hakia releases social networking tool
6. The amazing $200 Ubuntu Linux “green” PC at Wal-Mart
7. Cisco does its 125th buyout
8. Facebook’s stock has appreciated 33-fold, and then some
9. Internet Brands going public with growing losses, declining sales?
10. Shopstyle signs deal with In Style MagazineMedio’s roar turning to a squeal? — We’re wondering what will happen to Seattle’s Medio, the company that provides mobile search technology to telecom giant Verizon, now that Google is reportedly close to signing a deal with the giant carrier to offer customers a GPhone. This which would carry a Google operating system, based on Linux and offering a host of Google applications including search. The Mercury News carried a profile story on Medio Tuesday, in which chief executive Brian Lent (pictured top left) boasts Medio has a broader reach than Google, citing its partnership with Verizon. The article appeared the day before the deal negotiations between Google and Verizon leaked. Obviously, Medio won’t get kicked off of Verizon’s phones overnight. The GPhone hasn’t even arrived yet. Still, the Merc piece is a notable read, explaining how Lent knew the Google co-founders at Stanford, but initially shrugged of the promise of search; he even turned down the No. 1 employee position at Yahoo. Verizon, in turn, may be flirting with Google for the following obvious: Apple iPhone has become a raging success, after Verizon turned down the chance to be the iPhone carrier partner. As Techdirt points out, Verizon and Google have a tough history, including the standoff over the 700 MHz spectrum debate and network neutrality. But the GPhone, that might paper over the differences.

Sprint Nextel changing WiMax plans?
— Sprint may be rethinking its plans to offer high-speed wireless Internet service using WiMax technology, possibly merging its wireless broadband unit with start-up Clearwire, according to the WSJ.

AOL rumored to be considering buying ad targeting network Quigo for $300 million – But its just a rumor. Details from Kara Swisher.

bug-software.jpgBug Labs, for open-sourced electronic devices — You’ve heard about all the open-source software. Well, New York’s Bug Labs is offering open source for hardware, drawing on outside developers to help fashion the building blocks of these personalized devices that will be easy enough for non-techies to assemble. It is backed by Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and Robert Young, founder of open source company Red Hat. More about BugLabs here. It has similarities with Ponoko.

Semantic search engine Hakia releases social networking tool — Called Meet Others, it lets you meet people who typed in the same search query. Now that is geeky.

The amazing $200 Ubuntu Linux “green” PC at Wal-Mart — The price of this computer is truly in the basement. It runs OpenOffice software and comes pre-configured with links to all of Google’s online applications. See Wired story for more details. It stands in stark contrast to Nicholas Negroponte’s $100 laptop for the poor, began at a price of $100, but which now has crept upward to….$200. So apparently, there’s no need for the poor laptop any more. The developing world may as well order a Linux version straight from Wal-Mart.

Cisco does its 125th buyout –Cisco, the giant networking company, proves you can grow and prosper through non-stop acquisitions. It has paid $100M for Securent, a company that monitors access to a company’s data and communications regardless of vendor, platform, or operating system. Securent was founded in 2004 by Rajiv Gupta after raising capital from Greylock and Onset (via Alarmclock ).

Facebook’s stock has appreciated 33-fold, and then some – Many of us reported how the Microsoft deal to invest in Facebook at such a high value ($15 billion) makes Facebook’s private shares expensive. This, in turn, makes it tough to recruit motivated employees, because it means there’s little room for the stock to appreciate — at least for several years until Facebook starts making some money. NYT’s Miguel Helft has done a good job at exploring just how far the stock has risen.

Internet Brands going public with growing losses, declining sales?
— We don’t get this one. The El Segundo, Calif., company has filed to raise $45 million in an IPO. But the company, whose sites include CarsDirect, WikiTravel, FlyerTalk.com among others, swung to a loss of $2.4 million in the first nine months of the year, and saw is revenues decline too. This, after buying 35 start-ups last year, enough to jolt any company. Buyer beware. It is backed by IdeaLab.

Shopstyle signs deal with In Style Magazine
ShopStyle, the fashion-focused shopping search engine that Sugar recently acquired, has announced a partnership with the popular In Style Magazine. Sugar has said its efforts to create a woman-centric network, a la Glam, was not working out, and has been looking into other means to generate revenue. Combining ShopStyle’s search with the editorial sensibilities of In Style’s fashionistas could prove lucrative for both companies. Under the terms of the deal, Sugar will receive a cut of revenues, as well as its CPCs.

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