Which is hotter, clean-tech or Web 2.0? — Feels like it is neck and neck. Venture capitalists pumped a record $513 million in North American green technology companies during the first quarter, according to the Cleantech Venture Network. This marks the seventh quarterly gain for cleantech, which is a streak running about as long as Web 2.0? Question: Is anyone keeping a tally of Web 2.0 investment trends? (It is tricky to measure, because judging whether a company is really “Web 2.0” is tough? But measuring clean-tech investments is just as difficult).
Nathan Myhrvold’s bait & switch — The publicity generated by Intellectual Ventures, a firm launched by Nathan Myhrvold to build a patent portfolio, is pretty impressive. Myhrvold threatens to become a patent-troll, and fascination with such a shrewd, controversial idea seems to drive media coverage. But it is getting a bit tiring, considering the firm is being secretive, and they never really give any specifics. So why delve into another tale? Techdirt notes that BW and Fortune may have been played: In a move that can’t make folks happy at either magazine, it appears Fortune has an almost identical article about Myhrvold coming out. The two articles are so similar [BW one is here], in fact, that it makes you wonder why the publicity tour is starting up now. Techdirt’s Mike Masnick, ever the keen observer, also notes the firm may also be burning his own investors, big blue-chips like Microsoft, Intel, Apple Computer, Sony, and Nokia — selling them on one idea, but then going after another one that hits them closer to home.
Google launches Google Desktop 4 — Here’s the announcement, which explains you can access all these nice gadgets (plugins). In typical Google fashion, it has has also announced a Google “gadget competition” where you can win $8,000
What happened to Cairo.com? Stay tuned — Last week, we started wondering what happened to the once-buzzy local online shopping site, Cairo.com. We began looking for it, after noting the launch of all these new online sites, such as NearbyNow and MerchantCircle that also help you find what is in your local stores — something we thought Cairo was covering. Instead we found this site, which is kind of what you’d expect a Cairo.com to look like. We emailed David Sze, an investor, who just got back to us, saying the former Cairo went down a while ago: “…when the new CEO sliced and diced the data, a more valuable business came to light – so we’re moving in that direction which we think will be larger and more exciting opportunity — we’ll be able to tell you more about in a couple of months.”
ShopWiki paying you $50 to contribute video — ShopWiki, the online shopping site that relies on readers to contribute buying guides and reviews, will pay $50 for the first 500 video reviews of products submitted and approved by the ShopWiki team. We mentioned this New York company earlier here.
Now even *you* can access TED — If you’ve ever sat on the sidelines, hearing about all the high-profile folks going to TED, now there’s a way to see the presentations given at the exclusive Monterey conference. They’ve released videos here. Sure, a bit late, and not the same as rubbing shoulders with bigwigs in the hallways, but it’s a start:
Cellfire goes national — The San Jose company, which we wrote about here, lets you download coupons. It gives you info about what coupons are valid for stores or restaurants in your area. Before, you could only use it in a few select areas. Now you can use it elsewhere. If you’re into coupons, that is.
Meebo extension for Flock — Mike Arrington has the goods on a Meebo extension for the new Flock browser, giving you IM capability straight from the browser (Meebo gives you easy access to Yahoo, AIM, Gtalk and MSN) through a single signup. Though the extension has some bugs.
Intel rumbling, continued — The Silicon Valley chip giant Intel scrambles to regain its footing. First it introduced a new server chip it hopes will give oats-feeling rival AMD a blood nose. It has sold off its handheld and mobile communications chip business to another local company, Marvell Technology Group, for $600 million.
Ellison rejects Harvard — Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison decided against making a $115 million donation to set up a health research center at Harvard University, saying it had all been contingent on former Harvard President Lawrence Summers. Summers resigned after controversy, and so the donation is off.