Roundup: McCain and Obama lead in California, AOL acquires buy.at, Blue Frog bankruptcy, and more

Here’s the latest action:

1) Super Tuesday looks good for McCain, Obama in California
Update: But California went to Clinton / McCain
2) AOL acquires affiliate network buy.at
3) Blue Frog Media files for bankruptcy
4) Google Apps adds security from Postini
5) Solar panels that work even when the sun’s down
6) Baidu sued for linking to pirated music
7) Middle East cable break speculations
8) Flickr users still hate MicrosoftSuper Tuesday looks good for McCain, Obama in California — According to the third and last Reuters / Zogby poll, Romney leads the Republicans with 40 percent support in California, while Obama leads the Democrats with 49 percent. However, a more recent WSJ article suggests that while Obama has seen a surge in popularity, Romney’s chances of winning the state have dropped to only 37 percent. Sarah Lacy comments on a poll purportedly showing Hillary in the lead in the Valley: “Based on my personal polling, that’s horsesh**.” We’d tend to agree, but any Hillary supporters out there can feel free to let us know if we’re wrong. For a quick recap of the various candidate’s stances on tech issues (because that’s all we care about here, right?), go to this CNET article and scroll down to the table. Finally, if you can’t get enough of the election happenings, check out the Google/Twitter Super Tuesday Map, mentioned in a VentureBeat article earlier today.

Update note on the above: At midnight, it looks almost certain that Hillary Clinton has won California, along with three other big states. Perhaps it was those quiet Silicon Valley supporters chipping in. McCain performed as expected here, taking the state. The overall race for both parties is still an open field, with McCain front-running for the Republicans and Clinton looking just slightly ahead for the Democratic nomination.

AOL acquires affiliate network buy.at — AOL has picked up an affiliate marketing network called buy.at for an undisclosed price (although TechCrunch UK reports that it was probably around $150 million). Buy.at offers pay-per-action advertising, rather than paying based on other standard measurements like page impressions or click-throughs. The company was founded in 2002 and funded by DFJ Esprit. See the press release for more.

Blue Frog Media files for bankruptcyBlue Frog Media, an “interactive TV music channel” funded to the tune of $16 million by Canaan Partners and MK Capital, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to John Cook at the Seattle PI. The company has a slew of creditors and liabilities up to a million dollars, but the back story is even more complicated, with investors fighting for control and some uncertainty over whether the bankruptcy filing is official. None of that is likely to change the end scenario for Blue Frog, though, with one of the company’s creditor’s telling Cook “We have pretty much written it off.”

Google Apps adds security products from Postini
– For $3, $12 and $25 respectively, Google has begun offering message filtering, security and discovery powered by a company it acquired, Postini, to its Apps package (Gmail, Google Talk, Calendar and Docs). The additions show that Google is serious about trying to make its online products more palatable for enterprise use.

roundup2.JPGSolar panels that generate electricity even when the sun’s down — Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory have developed a prototype solar panel that could absorb infrared radiation, which is present even at night. Their innovation is using highly efficient “nanoantennaes” embedded in an inexpensive material. More at the INL website.

Baidu sued for linking to pirated music — Baidu may have captured the majority share of the Chinese search market, but part of its appeal may be a certain lax attention to copyrights, according to a lawsuit filed by the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry. The suit points to Baidu’s practice of linking directly to pirated material, a practice the IFPI already won a judgement against Yahoo China for. More at Ars Technica.

Middle East cable breaks a frightening possibility for the future? — The four undersea fiber-optic cables cut near the Middle East have presented a mysterious case: Most serious media outlets have declined to speculate on the how or why of the breaks, but it seems unlikely that four breaks in as many days could be accidental. Thus, we’re forced to turn to Global Guerillas for some nuggets of Ludlum-esque theorizing. Our two favorites: “Disconnection from the global communications grid is very likely to become a form of economic/social coercion in the future,” and, from the comments, “Somebody wanted to (gently) make sure the Iranian oil bourse didn’t open for business until after Super Tuesday.”

roundup4.jpgFlickr users still hate Microsoft — Appalled at the idea of Microsoft inheriting their precious service from Yahoo, some 1,855 members (at last count) have joined an anti-Microsoft group on Flickr. If unending election coverage isn’t wasting enough of your time today, the resulting Flickr gallery should help. Via TechCrunch.

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