Here is a shotgun of the latest stuff in raging Silicon Valley, leading of course with video:
VideoEgg gets easier — VideoEgg, a site that lets you download software so you can post video on any site, has partnered to make the process easier at key sites. Users at Bebo, Dogster, Hi5, AOL, Current.TV and Tagged can post video content from mobile or other devices to those sites, and VideoEgg’s small browser plug-in that makes it easy to get code for a video and upload it as easily as you can post photos, it says
Zillow.com sets homeowners free, allows them to enhance their home value — You could see this coming. Start-up Zillow infuriated some homeowners and agents by estimating the property values of homes across the nation, and listing them online. Some people felt they were being unfairly treated. Now the site is letting homeowners contribute information about their own homes, listing upgrades, remodeling and other notes (waterfront view, parking, roof composition) — showing ways the homes may be more valuable than simply historic or comparable home prices would indicate. Homeowners can then recalculate their home values, but Zillow insists it will keep showing its existing estimates too.
Fon, the WiFi company backed by Google and Sequoia, releases subsidized router — For $5 you can get a router from Fon that lets you participate in a WiFi scheme where you can let other people hop on to your router for Internet access in return for the right to hop on to theirs when you need it. See the demo here by Fon chief executive Martin Varsavskky, or click on the image, and then push play.
Gore partners with Yahoo on Current TV — A couple of days after we mention Google has hired an “astroturf” lobby firm in Washington that poked fun of politician Al Gore, we find that Gore is suddenly partnering with Google’s competitor, Yahoo, on the Current TV project. This, even though Gore started the project in partnership with Google. The partnership will combine professional and user-generated video clips, and will be the first time Yahoo has included commercials with user-generated content.
The eBay dead-company listings phenom is picking up — We first mentioned the eBay trend here. Several others have since listed, including Madhens, a way for publishers to auction of ad space. Now, here’s San Francisco’s Crispads, which has been listed several days with a starting price of $90,000 but no bidders.
Who Is Jonathan Ive? He’s Apple’s design guru, and has notable advice — With all the go-go tech-happy Web 2.0ers rushing out features, Apple’s Ive has a tip you might be able to use. Here’s Business Weeks’ summary:
The man who, after Jobs, is most responsible for Apple’s amazing ability to dazzle and delight with its famous products, chose instead to talk about process — what he called “the craft of design.” He spoke passionately about his small team and how they work together. He talked about focusing on only what is important and limiting the number of projects. He spoke about having a deep understanding of how a product is made: its materials, its tooling, its purpose. Mostly, he focused on the need to care deeply about the work.
India getting more bubbly by the day — Back in July, we wrote about angel investor Ram Shriram’s view on India’s boom, and how valuations are rising. We remarked on the escalating value being assigned to a high-tech park in India. Well, the value has just doubled again, this time to $20 billion. The Indian state of Haryana is developing a research and education “Nano City,” modeled after Silicon Valley, and it was first billed to cost something like $2 billion. Then we saw some reports inflate this to an unqualified “$10 billion.” Now, apparently there is going to be $20 billion invested. Of course, when you read the reports carefully, there are different definitions being used for these numbers (costs, investments, and so on), but they all seem to refer to how much money is being invested in this area — and it keeps growing. And when you consider it is supposed to generate a fourfold return, that means we’re looking an $80 billion jackpot. It all started with Sabeer Bhatia, co-founder of the Hotmail e-mail service, who had planned to raise $550 million to start the project, modeled on Silicon Valley — without specifying a time frame.
Mr. Cheney picks the “right side” of Menlo Park — We were wondering why Vice President Dick Cheney was visiting with venture firm Sequoia. Turns out, he was raising money for the Republican Party at a reception at the big-name firm. The politics on Sand Hill road are delineated. The other big-name firm, Kleiner Perkins, which is just across the street, is led by John Doerr, and Democrat supporter and loud advocate for clean-tech. Even Vinod Khosla (still has offices at Kleiner, though has officially left the firm), an espouser of Republicanism in the past, is pushing an oil tax.
News site Topix sees growth improve by 24 percent over the past month — If you haven’t seen its time-line news feature, check it out. You can do a search of a term and see a line graph that shows how popular the term was in articles carried over the past year. So for “Hurricane Katrina,” for example, you can see where news spiked, click on that period and review events as they unfolded. It appears to have bolstered Topix’s growth.
Craigslist is rocking — About half of the growth in visits to online classified ads is going to San Francisco online classified site Craiglist, according to comScore Media Metrix. Craiglist is considered by many in Silicon Valley’s tech crowd to be clunky, a homely Web 1.0 site lacking the jazz of newer players, such as Oodle. But it is getting the job done. Web sites featuring classified ads drew 47 percent more unique visitors this July than the same month a year ago, while Craiglist’s visits about doubled, to 13.8 million unique visitors.
Intel’s new laser for chips could speed up communications 1000-fold — Intel’s new research has found a way to create a laser out of hybrid chip materials, and Dean Takahashi of the Merc has the details (registration required).
HP investigations deepen — Now we’re hearing that HP planted software on journalists’ computers, and the NYT is reporting that HP even considered planting moles within journalists’ offices.