Loopt, the location-based social network, uses GPS technology in cellphones to figure out where you are. Because of this it can tell you things such as which of your friends are around you, or what restaurants you are near. Unfortunately, the cost of accessing this GPS data, doing a “dip” as it’s called, has been very prohibitive. Consumers may not realize it as much, but it’s a problem in selling an application like Loopt to carriers. As Loopt founder Sam Altman told me, “the economic model had to change.”
Yahoo’s communication software company Zimbra is making the Zimbra Desktop beta version 3 available for download today, continuing to push against Microsoft’s Outlook by offering to be your all-in-one email client.
Well it’s not Yahoo, but Microsoft has managed to expand its search business. The software giant will take control of Facebook’s search functionality and expand its existing deal with the social network for search result advertising, according to Reuters.
Hasbro dropped the long-expected hammer on Scrabulous today. The company sued the creators of the popular Facebook Scrabble knock-off, alleging copyright infringement.
A month ago we wrote about 12seconds, a company that truly aims to be the “Twitter of video.” That is, it wants to be the goto site for video status updates. Now you can actually try it.
Here’s another reason to be excited about the iPhone — mobile advertising startup AdMob is offering iPhone-only ads with a bunch of new interactive features. Vice President of Marketing Jason Spero says the iPhone will showcase how powerful mobile ads can be, and how those ads can take advantage of a user’s “mobile context,” i.e. the fact that you’re probably looking at the ad while out-and-about, not just sitting at home in front of your computer.
PopularMedia, a social media marketing company, has raised $8 million in a third round of funding, according to VentureWire. The round was led by DAG Ventures, with participation from existing backers Sequoia Capital and Steamboat Ventures.
Agent Video Intelligence, a video analytics company based in Denver, Colo., has raised $9 million in a second round of funding. The round brings Agent Vi’s total funding to $18 million, all of it from 21 Ventures.
Opposing Views, a discussion site that brings experts from opposing sides together to explain complicated issues, is now open to the public.
Microsoft’s Kevin Johnson moves to Juniper Networks — Microsoft’s lead on the failed Yahoo acquisition has called it quits, heading for the top post at software and device firm Juniper Networks. Johnson was the president of Platforms and Services, which meant he oversaw most of Microsoft’s web initiatives.
Intel is releasing the first in a series of chips that are aimed at bringing computer smarts and high-speed Internet connectivity to just about every kind of electronic device.
There has been speculation recently that investors are no longer putting money into social networking application companies. That is not the case.
Kannuu, a service specializing in lookup technology, has a new iPhone software development kit (SDK). These tools will give developers a different way to use search within their apps beyond the default methods Apple supplies.
Facebook Connect, which allows for the use of the social network as a conduit for user data, is garnering a lot of buzz today at the f8 conference. The social news voting site Digg has signed on to use it, the micro-messaging service Twitter is on board, as is Citysearch, CBS, Hulu and others. But these are all standard websites, what about one of the hot trends in computing: Mobile?
I’ve been on the lookout today for a Digg blog post denying the Google buyout rumor, but curiously, unlike last March, that isn’t coming… Instead, we have a post from founder Kevin Rose about Digg’s new integration with Facebook Connect. This is the service unveiled at the f8 conference today that allows you to use your Facebook account to share data with 3rd party sites.
Facebook and MySpace get most of the press, but another social network out there is growing much faster than either: hi5. The social network is the world’s fastest growing among the top-10 networks in that category, according to June data from analytics firm comScore.
Contextual advertising company ContextWeb has raised $26 million in a fourth venture round of funding led by Investor Growth Capital. Existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ Gotham Ventures, Updata Partners, DFJ New England and Gold Hill Capital also participated. The New York company has raised $54 million to date.
Updated many times: Tons of news items. Skim through below and look for bolded lines.
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Like grizzled miners panning for gold on a river high in the Sierras, Facebook applications developers have been toiling away, trying to figure out how to make money from the millions of people who use their apps every day. Those developers who focus on games are starting to find gold — by which I mean revenue gained from doing things like selling virtual goods in exchange for real money.
CasualCafe has joined the ranks of game companies looking to make a fortune with games on Facebook. The Los Angeles company has launched its first two games, Spyde Solitaire and Burdaloo, for Facebook and is showing them off at Facebook’s F8 development conference.
Those of us who love Saturday Night Live, Will Ferrell or Christopher Walken undoubtedly have already downloaded the More Cowbell application from the iTunes App Store. But some of us were left wanting something more. More cowbell.
When I upgraded from my Motorola RAZR to the original Apple iPhone last year there was only one thing I missed about my old phone: Voice dialing. As advanced as the iPhone is, even the 3G version still lacks this feature which many other cellphones have. That may not change anytime soon but something cooler involving voice input appears to be on the horizon for the device.
The problem with directly addressing rumors rather than using “no comment” is that the public then expects the same treatment each time. Thus is the predicament Digg’s chief executive Jay Adelson now finds himself in.
updatedJust a day after Glam Media launched its developer platform, the women-focused Internet media company has hired a high-profile Google executive to handles its strategic investments.
I complain quite often about needing too many set top boxes to make the ultimate living room entertainment center. Really though, it’s not the boxes themselves that drive me crazy as much as its their wires. While wireless power may still be a ways off, a step has been taken towards wireless connections with the television.
Here’s the latest action:
Digg, the social voting news aggregator that is perhaps the web startup most dogged by sale rumors in all of Silicon Valley, is close to selling to Google for “around $200 million,” according to TechCrunch.
Facebook gained nearly two million new US users from May to June of this year, while MySpace lost about a million, according to the latest data from comScore. MySpace is still nearly twice the size, though, at 72.8 million national users versus Facebook’s 37.4 million. Facebook has, meanwhile, grown 34 percent since June 2007, while MySpace has grown only two percent. A range of smaller, niche social networks — and related social web sites — are also seeing solid growth.
Social news site Propeller (formerly known as Netscape) has relaunched today with not only an entirely new look and feel, but a new method for determining the buzz-worthiness of news. Gone is the straight-up voting style that main rival Digg made popular, in its place is a rating-scale more akin to Yahoo Buzz.
Getting a vision from an artist’s head to the physical world isn’t always easy. But Shapeways, a spinoff of Dutch electronics giant Philips Electronics, has figured out a way for artists and ordinary consumers to print 3-D models of their creations for a mere $50 to $150.
What does a Facebook just for women look like?
Spleak Media Network, a content aggregation platform, has added new themes to its portfolio of content communities on the web in partnership with major content publishers.
Mobile billing and metrics company Bango is announcing the third version of its mobile metrics suite today, which includes a redesign of its dashboard and sharpening its ability to track unique visitors.
Here’s the latest action:
When Adobe launched the Adobe Media Player (AMP) back in April we were skeptical that users would flock to use a stand-alone video player when so many browser-based options are available. We’re still skeptical, but at least it’s getting better content.
Television advertising isn’t interactive, typically — unless you like dialing up 1-800 infomercial numbers to purchase things like bona fide omelette toasters, commemorative Indian nickel plaques, and large, dull-proof knife sets. TiVo, the company that made a name for itself by letting users record TV for later viewing (and skip commercials), is working on a next-generation form of TV advertising, that promises to be far more interactive. It is partnering with Amazon to offer product ads that appear alongside regular TV ads and programming. These ads will let viewers go and purchase those products directly from Amazon.
Apple’s stock plummeted in after-hours trading tonight after the company gave a weak guidance for its upcoming fourth quarter. The stock price has fallen over 10 percent, close to 17 points, and as such has wiped out nearly $15 billion from Apple’s market cap.
While VentureBeat writer Eric Eldon is rather skeptical about how the new Facebook redesign will appeal to most users, I quite like it. Of course, I also live in the Bay Area and am a “minimalist snob about decor,” as Eric so eloquently put it.