Roundup: FriendFinder files for IPO to pay off debts, fallout continues from Madoff’s scheme

Here’s the latest action:

FriendFinder, the online company that helps people connect for sex, and which also owns Penthouse, has filed for an IPO — The company apparently sees an IPO as the only way to raise enough money to pay off its mounting debts — now that advertising isn’t working out as well as planned. We wrote about FriendFinder‘s challenges back when Penthouse first purchased AdultFriendFinder (the company’s name was changed after the acquisition). Namely, it faces competition from user-generated sites. It is hoping to raise as much as $460 million.

Possible suicide related to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme? — Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, co-founder of hedge fund Access International Advisors, which had poured more than a $1 billion into Bernard Madoff’s massive alleged Ponzi scheme and lost it, was found dead early Tuesday in his Manhattan office, in what some believe was a suicide. Meantime, Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, said today (Wednesday) it lost $15 million dollars to Madoff — or nearly all its assets.

PlayStation 3 appears to be losing money
A teardown on the costs of the PlayStation 3 shows it now costs $448.73 to build, while it sells for $399.

Silicon Valley can help Detroit? Kleiner’s Lane thinks so Kleiner Perkins partner Ray Lane says Fisker, the electric vehicle company he has backed, will make 500,000 vehicles for between $200 million or $300 million. “I don’t need a billion dollars,” Lane says, arguing that Detroit’s Big 3 should outsource their innovation to companies like Fisker.

Elevation Partners invests another $100 million in Palm
Palm, the mobile device maker, which has struggled lately amid severe competition from the iPhone and the Blackberry, needed the cash to stay robust during the downturn.

World of Warcraft hits record 11.5 million users — An impressive milestone for arguably the world’s most popular game, but will the players be able to get jobs?

Notebooks overtake desktops for the first time ever in third quarter — Notebook shipments worldwide exceeded those of desktops, rising almost 40 percent in the third quarter of 2008 compared to the same period of 2007 to reach 38.6 million units, according to iSuppli. Desktop PC shipments declined by 1.3 percent to 38.5 million units.

Set-top box company Vudu slashes price of its units by $200
— The set-tops are now priced at $99, coincidentally the same price as competitor Roku.

Micron, the largest U.S. manufacturer of memory chips, posts $706 million loss — The prices of its DRAM and NAND Flash memory products have plunged. This is its eight quarterly loss in a row.