Twingly launches microblog search — Twitter search with a sprinkle of Jaiku and a dash of Identi.ca

Blog search tool Twingly’s new microblog search, as a concept, makes a lot of sense. You enter a keyword in one search box and get results from services like Twitter, Jaiku and Identi.ca. But in practice there’s a problem — and it’s not Twingly’s problem — it’s every service besides Twitter’s problem: Twitter overwhelms the results.

The Internet's jammed with broken links of a last chance Google Drive

Google Drive, GDrive, “My Stuff,” Platypus — these are all names for Google’s online storage service that has been rumored to be in the works since at least 2005. Blogs are always predicting its impending launch, and even the Wall Street Journal matter-of-factly stated well over a year ago that Google was preparing to unveil the service. But the service is still nowhere to be found.

Microsoft to take to the "sky" with App Store, MobileMe competitors next month?

Earlier today, I joked that Microsoft may call the third-party application store for its Windows Mobile platform the “Microsoft Live Mobile App Emporium,” since so many obvious names are now taken with Apple controlling “App Store,” Google having its “Marketplace,” Palm laying claim to “App Catalog,” and now BlackBerry getting ready to launch its “Application Storefront.” Well, it looks like Microsoft may go in a slightly different direction for its app store name: SkyMarket, the codename used for the service since last year, could be officially unveiled as soon as next month, Neowin reports.

Fliqz turning video-hosting into a business, raises $6M

[EMBED1] Fliqz, one of many startups that offers white label video-hosting services for other companies, seems to have found its footing in this competitive market. It has more than 35,000 clients paying between ninety-nine and several thousand dollars a month to reach video viewers on the web. Features let a client and its online users upload, encode, store and organize videos, and stream videos to the web within a customizable player.

Video: The history of the Internet

Almost all of us now use the Internet every single day — some of us for more hours a day than we sleep (me) — but what is it really? How did it come about? No, it wasn’t all former Vice President Al Gore, though he did help its progress. The video below lays out the history of the Internet in an easy to follow manner.

BlackBerry "Application Storefront" opening its doors this spring

Research In Motion (RIM) has had third-party applications available for its BlackBerry phones for a while, but because they aren’t listed in something as sexy as Apple’s App Store, many go largely unnoticed. This makes developers more likely to create apps for the App Store and now Google’s new Marketplace for its Android platform. But coming this spring, RIM hopes to changes that with the launch of its App Store equivalent, which now apparently has a name: the Blackberry Application Storefront.

Ad network Federated Media cuts 7 to restructure

Federated Media, a web site that sells and runs ads on more than 150 blogs and websites (including VentureBeat), is restructuring to focus on “conversational marketing,” announced founder and chief executive John Battelle — and that means job cuts. Specifically, Marketing Manger Matthew DiPietro tells me that means seven of FM’s 90 employees are being laid off today, almost exclusively from the display advertising department.

GeoEye-1, the "Google satellite," will capture the Obama Inauguration from space

GeoEye-1, the powerful imagery satellite that is perhaps best known as the “Google satellite” (because Google has a deal to use its pictures for its Google Maps and Google Earth products), will be focusing its lens on the Inauguration of President Obama next week. The company notes that while there will be plenty of cameras covering the event on the ground, and some in the air, GeoEye-1 will be the only one offering a perspective from space.

Facebook shuffles Connect and Platform leadership

With the new year and amid growing adoption of Facebook’s Connect feature, which gives third-party websites access to Facebook’s user data, the company is making some changes to its Connect and Facebook Platform leadership, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg writes on the company’s developer’s blog today.

Download Obama from YouTube

This seems like a golden age for watching politicians on YouTube. President-elect Barack Obama is delivering weekly addresses on the video site, and both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives just launched their own YouTube channels. This is all great news … unless, of course, you’re a YouTube competitor, or you don’t think the Google-owned site should control such a major communications channel between elected officials and voters. That’s why CNET’s Charles Cooper argued of the congressional YouTube channels, “You should be able to download high-res videos and save them to use in mashups, mixing, etc.”

Jobs or no Jobs, Apple's pipeline of products is intact (for now)

Apple’s stock was down today, but not as much as you might expect on the day following an announcement that its chief executive Steve Jobs will be taking a five month medical leave of absence. Why? Maybe it’s because Apple’s investors (and bargain hunters) realized that with or without Steve Jobs, Apple is likely set for at least the next few years.

Could the Wii be Blockbuster's savior?

If the future of movie rentals involved trekking long distances to brick and mortar stores to overpay for a movie, Blockbuster would be all set. Unfortunately for Blockbuster, the future of the business lies online. Even worse, all of their competitors realized this before them. And so we have a company that was once the powerhouse in movie rentals in a position of extreme weakness going forward, and scrambling to make deals to catch up. So far, those deals have seemed lackluster, but are we looking past something?

How big could MySpace email be?

While Yahoo and other established email service providers are working to make their services more social, some social networks are trying on making their user messaging features more like email. The latest is MySpace — the largest social network in the U.S. — according to TechCrunch. MySpace has already moved some employees to company accounts, changing employee@myspace.com to employee@myspace-inc.com addresses in order to make room for the company’s tens of millions of users. Given the plethora of strange user names on MySpace, get ready for those to turn into some email addresses: imsatan666timesmorethanyoucaneversay@myspace.com, numberonet1lat3qu1lafan@myspace.com, etc…

Move over, Celine Dion: Custom themes for your iGoogle homepage!

So maybe Google’s trying to cheer everyone up after it had a tough week with the confirmation of Google layoffs and the discontinuation or “indefinite hiatus” of six of its products. Here’s a bright and shiny new offering, according to the official Google blog: You can now personalize your iGoogle homepage by creating custom themes, an ability previously bestowed only upon artists like glass sculptor Dale Chihuly (a favorite of Google VP Marissa Mayer), Jeff Koons and Coldplay. Yes, that means you can ditch the Celine Dion homepage theme and make one dedicated to your cat, like the example below:

Will the Wiimote finally bring a good YouTube living room experience?

YouTube is one of the largest success stories of the “web 2.0″ era (at least in terms of viewers, not in terms of making money). But to be considered fully mainstream, the service needs to get into the living room, where people still do most of their content viewing. And YouTube is taking another step in that direction today by launching a beta version of the service for the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3 gaming consoles.

Girl Ambition launches community site for girls

Girl Ambition is launching a community web site for girls ages 7 to 13 today. While there are many sites that target this group, the three moms who founded Girl Ambition say they’re focusing on creating a fun place where girls can communicate with each other in an environment that promotes both online safety and self-esteem.

Google finally confirms real, actual layoffs (sort of)

A Google regulatory filing obtained by The Associate Press last week was rather odd because we knew that Google was letting go of at least some of its contractors (as they put it, not renewing their contracts), but the filing seemed to go to great lengths to skirt around the actual numbers of just how many were being let go. Today, Google has clarified those numbers a bit more, and more importantly, has confirmed actual layoffs for the first time. Well, kind of.

Omidyar working on Ginx, a Twitter app for sharing links

Ginx is a stealthy startup that eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is working on. The company is designing a service to let Twitter users share and discuss links from around the web. It’s not clear how the service works as it’s in “private, pre-alpha.” What’s known is that the company has raised $2 million from Omidyar, Ginx cofounder Randall Ching and Michael Mohr, according to a regulatory filing we learned of last night.

SimplyBox lets users organize info, images snagged from the web

Web app SimplyBox has jumped on the bandwagon of companies looking to change the way internet users save and share information they find on the web. Once downloaded, the service lets users take screenshots of content on any web site and put them in categorized boxes via a toolbar at the bottom of the window. For example, someone looking for Paris vacation ideas could take screenshots of hotel rates, airfares and tourist destinations across an array of web sites, and drop them all in a box labeled “Paris Trip” to view later. VentureBeat has just learned that the Campbell, Calif. company has landed $1 million in seed funding to further develop its product and boost marketing efforts.

The cost of a "complex" Jobs health issue: About $6 billion (so far)

It should come as no shock that Apple’s stock is tanking following chief executive Steve Jobs’ announcement that he was taking a medical leave of absence until June to get to the bottom of his “complex” health issue. But just how much money is being shaved off of the company’s market cap because of the announcement is pretty staggering: Roughly $6 billion.

OS X Snow Leopard going for all the "marbles"?

Ever since it was partially unveiled for the first time at the Worldwide Developers Conference last year, Apple’s new operating system, OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” has been billed as more of a smaller update focused on speed and refining the OS X experience. But new reports suggest it could have an entirely new look as well.

Get closer to "Inbox Zero" with Gmail

Every morning my email inbox is an absolute disaster zone. The problem is that most of my new messages are things I want to read once and then not see again. Thanks to Gmail’s “Archive” button, which moves messages out of your main inbox but doesn’t delete them, I’m able to get everything at least somewhat manageable, but it still takes quite a bit of time. Two Gmail features (one more of a tip) promise to cut down on some of that time.

Did you correctly predict Hubdub's round of funding?

Predictions are all the rage right now. Obviously, since it’s the beginning of a new year, everyone wants to forecast the year ahead, but also with a weakened global economy, everyone is looking for answers for when things will turn around. Hubdub, a site that attempts to harness those predictions, and turn them into a game of sorts, has just closed its first round of funding.

Huffington Post, in need of laughs, buys comedy site 236.com

23/6, a political comedy site that boasts “the sluttiest news team on the internet,” will soon have a new home — it’s just been bought by progressive news site Huffington Post, which took $25 million in funding last month. The standalone site launched in November 2007 as a joint venture between HuffPo, as it is commonly called, and Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp. Now 23/6, acquired as a “vertical” site, is going to be blended into HuffPo as a new comedy section, according to the official memo on Jossip.