Blog indexing company Technorati released more data in the last couple of days from its new blogosphere survey. In part two and three of its report, the company has more to say about the profiles and habits of bloggers. (See my coverage of part one here.) The summary: bloggers are a diverse lot, but not so raggedy as their stereotype would have you believe.
With over 30 million monthly unique users, Digg is a juggernaut of a site. Despite perpetual rumors of an imminent acquisition by major players like Google or Microsoft, the social voting site is now gearing up for a major expansion on its own. And it’s just secured a big round of funding to make that expansion possible.
In spite of the economic doom and gloom right now coming from Wall Street, some unbridled optimism remains in corners of Silicon Valley.
“Boulder is good for engineers — if you’re into innovation in rock climbing technology,” a friend once quipped about the outdoor-loving Colorado college town. But today, 12 startups from TechStars, a Boulder-based incubator, demoed their products in Mountain View, Calif. and did a good job of building on the city’s reputation as a budding center for high-tech. Almost down to a team, each of companies that presented this morning felt strong.
Just when I thought I had my fill of Android related stories for today, I found a couple things of note to reinvigorate my interest. Or at least my anger: Text messages and bandwidth caps.
Today’s been pretty much all about T-Mobile’s new Google Android phone, the G1, but there is other mobile news out there. Apple has just unveiled a new process by which you can buy and partially activate an iPhone 3G (you remember that device right?) online.
[Editor’s note: Facebook and Apple have each built formative platforms for third-party developers over the last year. They’ve created new opportunities for outside companies to make money — but now rivals are also offering platforms to woo developers. Facebook and Apple are both trying to deliver the best applications available (much like an operating system should), but they’ve both been accused of hampering third-party potential through opaque regulations governing which apps can succeed. Yesterday, in the first article in this three-part series, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Lee Hower discussed the nature of the dilemma facing platform companies. Today, he compares these new platforms versus older ones. Tomorrow, he'll look at ways companies can capitalize on their platform potential.]
Trion World Network announced it has raised $70 million in a third round of funding to finance its massively multiplayer online games for the PC.
Mobile software outsourcing company Aricent has raised a new $60 million round of funding from New York private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and The Family Office, an investor in Bahrain. It’s also becoming one of the biggest private tech companies in Silicon Valley that nobody knows about.
A service like Pandora is able to exist because of advertisements. The free online music discovery service has made headlines over the past year because the government decided to up the royalty rates online music streaming services have to pay when a song is played. Without advertising, the service would be finished. So it should be no surprise that the service’s brilliant iPhone application added advertising today.
Editor’s note: Facebook and Apple have each built formative platforms for third-party developers over the last year. They’ve created new opportunities for outside companies to make money — but now rivals are also offering platforms to woo developers. Facebook and Apple are both trying to deliver the best applications available (much like an operating system should), but they’ve both been accused of hampering third-party potential through opaque regulations governing which apps can succeed. In a three-part series we’re publishing this week on VentureBeat, venture capitalist and entrepreneur Lee Hower discusses the nature of the dilemma facing platform companies, evidence for how they’ve already shown themselves to behave, and ways they can capitalize on their platform potential.
We’re a day away from the official announcement of the first phone running Google’s Android mobile platform, T-Mobile’s HTC-built G1. While the phone won’t be out until next month (October 17 remains the date we’re hearing), the device is out there in the wild right now in the hands of select Google and likely T-Mobile employees. In fact, we’ve just received a tip that not only did a G1 make an appearance at a bar in the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend, but it had a special surprise: An Amazon music and video store application running on it.
I’m starting to lose track of the number of times my identity (or my family’s) has been stolen, lost, or otherwise defrauded. On Saturday, I received yet another notice that something untoward has happened to my personal information, and I suspect many millions of other consumers got the very same letter in the mail.
Right Media, an online ad exchange that Yahoo acquired in 2007, is having some serious technical hiccups, sources within the online ad world tell us. This is leading to problems with capacity and latency. Think messaging service Twitter and its formerly-frequent use of the Fail Whale, but instead of not being able to see what everyone is doing for happy hour, people are losing real dollars on real ad investments.
We’ve asked some prominent players in venture capital and start-ups about where the venture capital industry and start-ups are headed over the next year, given the economic turmoil.
Following on the heels of Cisco and Google, IVT is launching its own version of “YouTube for the enterprise.” Google launched its “video for business” application just a couple of weeks ago, while Cisco hit the market in June with “Enterprise TV.”
In case you forgot, it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day today — a day when a lot of websites and online networks get into the pirate spirit (check out Google Pirate). Recently launched 12seconds, a video website that limits all video posts to 12 seconds, is taking the opportunity to bring some extra attention to its service, still in private alpha.
When NBC made the decision to pull its television content from Apple’s iTunes store late last year, a lot of users were upset. Ten days ago, Apple announced an agreement with NBC to bring the content back, and since then it’s already sold 1 million shows on the service, according to numbers from Apple. That’s pretty amazing, considering that most of the new fall shows have yet to premier.
Here’s the latest action:
The first post-Seinfeld/Gates Microsoft commercial has just aired. The theme is simple, various people from all walks of life saying “I’m a PC,” and then telling a little bit about who they are. It’s a direct challenge to Apple’s “Mac vs. PC” ads, but doesn’t try to emulate it directly except in the opening — which is smart.
We first caught a glimpse of the Twitter redesign in mid-July, when apparently an overzealous employee of the micro-messaging service jumped the gun on the roll out. Seeing its shadow, the redesign went back into hibernation for another couple months. Now it’s ready, and looking good, but really not all that different. Instead, Twitter focused on subtle changes to the site we all know and love (are addicted to).
Buffeted by renewed competition in graphics chips and other problems, Nvidia said today it expects to lay off about 360 employees, or about 6.5 percent of its 5,500-person work force.
FriendFeed, the social content aggregation site has moved some of the new beta features it was working on to the main version of the site today. On the main site you’ll now find friend lists, photo posting, quick navigation, the ability to see other’s feeds as they see them and an updated UI. We detailed all the changes in a post last month.
Virtual worlds are in fashion now, drawing investments of $184 million in 23 worlds in the first quarter. But the original player here is Linden Lab, which launched Second Life in 2002. Mark Kingdon came aboard as chief executive of Linden Lab in May, replacing longtime CEO and founder Philip Rosedale, who remains chairman. More than 15.1 million registered users have tried out the virtual world. Kingdon was formerly the CEO of online creative/marketing agency Organic. Today, Linden Lab announced Direct SLurl, a way to get into Second Life from the web. We chatted with Kingdon about the state of Second Life and the virtual world industry.
The iPhone 2.1 software update seems to have resolved a lot of the issues that many users were having with the device. So what does Apple do for an encore?
The best features for any product tend to be the ones that work exactly how you think they should. You can add Yahoo’s newly revamped music artist shortcuts in its search results to that list — sort of. Simply do a Yahoo search for an artist and a card will show up along the top of the results page with the artists’ site, links to albums, lyrics, etc. That’s all nice, if old. But the new cool feature is that you can listen to entire songs right from the results page for free.
Yahoo is testing new versions of its main page to a small group of users starting tomorrow, Kara Swisher reports on AllThingsD. The move is fraught with risks, as 82 million visitors hit the company’s main page every day. After its brand-bruising battle with Microsoft, the company has to get it right.
“Hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype,” a man in a brown suit who looks an awfully lot like actor John Hodgman from Apple’s “PC vs. Mac” commercials, says into the camera. This is the next phase of Microsoft’s $300 million advertising campaign.
When entrepreneur Alexander Muse kept running into developers Rylan Barnes and Jason Hudgins over the course of several weeks in Texas, Muse knew he had to work with them. It was a smart move. The trio set up Big in Japan, an application house that focuses on mobile platforms, and by the conclusion of Google’s first Android Developer Challenge, the team had a hand in creating two of the top ten winners.
There’s a new social network launching today called Amazee, which nonprofit groups and others can use to collaborate. It’s a site where users can create and join projects that they think are interesting or worthwhile, and can take their profiles with them from group to group.
Online retailer Amazon has been making a hard push to cement itself in the digital-content-over-the-Internet market recently. It launched its Amazon Video On Demand service (an update of its Unbox service) a few weeks ago, and earlier this week made its Internet Movie Database (IMDb) website more video-centric. Today, it has launched a new section of the main Amazon site dedicated to fans of select television shows.
Apple notebook computers which include the MacBook, the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air are hot items. How hot? Their North American market share grew 60 percent in the second quarter of 2008 as compared to the same quarter last year, according to a report by DisplaySearch.
With a global positioning system (GPS) chip now in the iPhone 3G, location services are becoming important to many mobile application developers. Each day, we’re seeing new iPhone apps launch which, if they’re not centered around location, rely heavily on it for core functions. But because Apple will not allow any applications to run in the background, it is hampering much of what location-based services (LBS) can do, as Brady Forrest rightly argued on O’Reilly Radar a couple days ago. Manual location updates are fine, but real-time updates regardless of if you’re using your phone or not, are the future.
Genomatica creates renewable chemical from sugar water — While most chemicals are petroleum-based, several startups are trying to create new alternatives. One of the first to succeed is Genomatica, which says it has a cheap process to make 1,4-butanediol, a component chemical of many common materials, from sugar and water, potentially disrupting a $4 billion industry. More on Genomatica’s process here.
MySpace has launched a new site called MyDebates, which has apparently been blessed by the Commission on Presidential Debates as “the official online companion to the 2008 presidential debates.” It’s a place for MySpace users and others to watch the debates, as well as learn more about the candidates and get more involved in the election process.
As part of its tenth anniversary, Google is asking experts to weigh in on where they think different aspects of tech will be in the next ten years. Chad Hurley, YouTube’s chief executive and cofounder, laid out his thoughts for the next decade of online video on the Google blog today.
Robotgalaxy, a retailer that lets kids build toy robots, is developing a virtual world where players can take those robots on science fiction adventures. The New York-based company has raised a second funding round of more than $5 million to launch the game, as well as for other expansion.
On the show floor of the Austin Game Developers Conference this week, Icarus Studios demonstrated a 3D, real-time renderer for Apple’s iPhone.
Can a tiger change its stripes? JellyCloud, an ad network company with a controversial past, hopes so.