The old fashioned business-card exchange hasn’t kept up with the times. In an age of social networking, it ought to be easier to connect with someone electronically. That thought inspired Gabe Zichermann, chief executive of New York startup rmbr, to create rmbrME.
Lotame, an Elk Ridge, Maryland-based advertising startup, has closed its second funding for its social media ad platform, Crowd Control. Motto, and I quote: “Every Party Needs Crowd Control!”
Muxtape, the popular virtual mix tape music sharing service, was taken down today due to a “problem with the RIAA,” reads a note on their site. That “problem” likely has something to do with the storage and usage of copyrighted music. Those of us who have been fans of the service for months knew this was coming eventually, it was just a question of when the service would get popular enough for the Recording Industry Association of America to care.
True to its name, Yahoo’s social voting news site Buzz has garnered a lot of buzz since its launch back in February. But tonight, as the site truly opens up to the public for the first time, we’ll see if its worthy or not.
Friendster, the social network that’s big in Asia, has launched an OpenSocial version of its nine month old developer platform. This means any application that is already built to the OpenSocial social network developer platform specifications will now more easily work on Friendster; various versions of OpenSocial are already in place on MySpace, hi5, Orkut, and other social networks.
Thanks to Apple’s insistence on using the almost comically vague “Bug fixes” in its descriptions for incremental iPhone updates it’s hard to know exactly what has been fixed until people have a chance to try it. The hope was that today’s software update 2.0.2 would correct the 3G connection issues some people have been having.
Jive Software, one of the more successful startups offering collaborative software to large corporations, says it has a big goal for the latest version of its product — to bring its Clearspace software “everywhere.” That doesn’t just mean wooing more customers, but allowing existing customers to use Clearspace in many more contexts, as well.
The micro-messaging service Twitter has been remarkably stable over the past several weeks following prolonged periods of downtime and wonkiness. Recently, as former stalwarts Gmail, Amazon S3 and even Netflix have gone down, Twitter has endured. As such, it’s taken a moment to bestow a new title on one of its top developers: Alex Payne will now be the official API Lead.
In most cases, when a 17 year old girl wants to attempt to galvanize her generation against global warming, the end product tends to be basically nothing. Things change a bit when that girl’s father is Kleiner Perkins’ chief rainmaker, John Doerr.
LiveRail offers video ad services, including a new one called Junction, that selects, displays and tracks video advertising from various sources. The company has recently raised $500,000 from existing investor Pond Venture Partners.
Apple is said to be be rolling out another iPhone software update any minute now, according to The Boy Genius Report. [Update: It's here, see the bottom.] The 2.0.2 update apparently will consist mainly of performance improvements.
Google put up a rather interesting post on its Mobile Blog today. It’s about the decision to put display advertisements on YouTube mobile pages — but the post reads like an ad itself.
I’m not sure if the two major party U.S. Presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, are using the RSS feed reader Google Reader to get their news (they’re probably busy with other stuff), but apparently their aides are. Google is highlighting the two campaigns in its new Power Readers in Politics site.
Google is launching a new web site called Free the Airwaves, to publicly encourage the Federal Communications Commission to deregulate “white space,” or tiny fractions of available bandwidths between broadcast TV channels in the 50 MHz to 700 MHz spectrum band range.
After months of a hostile-takeover stand-off, Take-Two Interactive Software said today that it expects to sign a confidentiality agreement with Electronic Arts. That means the two can start talking seriously about evaluating “strategic alternatives” that might result in an investment or purchase of Take-Two, which has the hottest property in games, Rockstar Games, the maker of “Grand Theft Auto IV.”
Paul Sams is the chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment. The Irvine, Calif.-based company is a division of Activision Blizzard, the newly created gaming powerhouse created from the $18 billion merger of Activision and Vivendi Games. Sams is one of the top executives responsible for making sure that Blizzard keeps pumping out hits like “World of Warcraft,” which has 10-million-plus paying subscribers.
Netflix back on the ball — After days of problems, Netflix started shipping DVDs again. I got a couple of notifications today that movies are on their way to me. And the company confirms it as well. Customers affected will get a 15 percent credit on their next bill.
C. Lester Hogan has died at the age of 88 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, the New York Times reported. He was a pioneer of Silicon Valley, leading the fledgling chip operations of Motorola and Fairchild Semiconductor that ushered in the modern age of technology.
Travel and retail websites may be one of the few parties happy about the slumping economy, according to new data from metrics company comScore that shows people are going online to save money.
Following our report on Wednesday that Twitter will stop sending mobile SMS updates to users in countries other than the United States, Canada and India, several startups have stepped forward to say they’ll help out (for a reasonable fee).
Mike Capps, president of hit video game developer Epic Games announced today that Electronic Arts will publish a new action game from Epic’s new subsidiary, People Can Fly.
Here’s the latest action:
China’s Internet cafes are still critical to the growth of the online video game industry in that country, according to a report by market researcher Niko Partners.
The July U.S. video game sales numbers show that Nintendo is way out ahead but Sony has beaten Microsoft yet again in the battle for second place.
Expanding its push into high-quality game talent, Electronic Arts has signed up two new game development firms to produce future titles.
Benjamin Ling, who we learned earlier this week is leaving the top marketing spot at Facebook’s developer platform, will reportedly return to his old company, Google. Valleywag first reported the rumor, and Kara Swisher’s sources confirmed with the exact job: Ling will be taking over monetization efforts at YouTube.
Mobile TV chip maker Siano has raised $17.5 million in a third round of funding. The financing was led by DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures (the Israeli partner of Draper Fisher Jurvetson), with existing investors Jerusalem Venture Partners, Star Ventures, Walden Israel, Bessemer Venture Partners and Inventec Appliance also participating.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Facebook and other sites for their participation in Facebook’s Beacon program.
Cooliris, the startup that allows users to explore sites like YouTube and Google Images through a “fullscreen 3D” wall of media, continues to add features to its browser plugin, making it less a cool novelty and more a genuinely useful way to surf the web. The most important of the just-released additions is a “quick and easy” tool for enabling Cooliris on your website.
Simon Jeffery is the president of Sega of America. He joined the U.S. arm of the Japanese publisher, famous for games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, in 2005 to recruit U.S. and European game developers to work with Sega on both original games and to Westernize its portfolio. Before joining Sega, Jeffery was the president of LucasArts from 2000 to 2003. We spoke about how the Japanese company is doing at its “Westernization” strategy and its moves into new areas such as iPhone games and the Nintendo Wii.
Here’s the latest action:
Hi5 has had a growth spurt over the first half of this year, growing from 31 million to 56 million monthly active users over the first six months of the year. Like its still-larger rivals Facebook and MySpace, it has been hiring lots of senior leaders, especially on on the business side.
In the film Ocean’s 12, Rusty (Brad Pitt) says to Linus (Matt Damon), “Look, it’s not in my nature to be mysterious. But I can’t talk about it and I can’t talk about why.” Try asking a developer why their iPhone application was banned from Apple’s App Store and you’ll get much the same answer.
I’ve got some bad news for you if you’re addicted to the micro-messaging service Twitter and don’t live in the United States, Canada or India: You’re about to get shafted. Twitter killed outbound SMS (text message) updates to all but those three countries today as rising costs made it impractical.
Everyone seems to want video functionality on the iPhone 3G but Apple, for whatever reason, has not allowed it. Maybe the company is waiting to launch its own app to do it, or maybe it cut a deal with AT&T so as not to completely clog up their 3G lines. Either way, video streaming on the iPhone 3G is here now thanks to Qik — assuming you have a jailbroken device.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple is worth more than Google within two years,” former Valleywag writer Jordan Golson wrote last November. He probably didn’t think it would only take nine months — but it has.
Google chief executive Eric Schmidt was on the popular CNBC show “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” today. Most of the talk was about Google’s dominant positions in the search, online advertising and online video businesses.
There aren’t many big changes in comScore‘s July list of the United States’ 50 most popular online properties. Google‘s websites continue to occupy the top spot, with more than 141 million unique visitors in July, followed by Yahoo with 140 million, then Microsoft and AOL. But some companies are moving up fast, including CBS and Facebook.
Not a lot of Microsoft products give off that “cool” vibe (sorry, Zune). But Microsoft Surface, its multi-touch computer, does. It’s a giant, 30-inch tabletop display that simply looks sexy. As such, it was really no surprise when the Rio hotel and casino in Las Vegas installed one last month, but now the device is set to invade more hotels around the country: Sheraton hotels.