SpotDJ, an angel-backed start-up in San Francisco, yesterday launched a service that lets people insert “spots” within iTunes music, which can be listened to by other SpotDJ users. The short spots can be descriptions of the song’s artist, a back-story to the song, or a recommendation about a different version.
Here’s how it works: Once you’ve downloaded SpotDJ, you can listen to a song on iTunes, and then hit the “spot this song” button. That lets you record a spot, and then other SpotDJ users can listen to it. If you don’t want to get bugged by random spots, you can set preferences to select only your favorite DJs. You can rate spots between 1 and 5, so that the community benefits places only the highest rated spots for a given song.
Strip out the junk from your Google search results — Oliver Humpage found that searching for products on Google can be annoying: Nothing but spam from Kelkoo, Pricerunner and other places clogged up his search results. So he wrote GiveMeBackMyGoogle.
Baidu starts (censored) Chinese version of Wikipedia — Chinese search engine Baidu has proven that it works well with Chinese authorities on censorship issues. Some of Wikipedia’s entries are blocked in China. We’ll see if Baidu can do any better.
Turns out, the plush looking MeeVee sign was for free — We mentioned new lavish looking sign of MeeVee, the personal TV and entertainment guide start-up, because some suggested it was a sign of a bubble era. We heard back from the MeeVee folks, who told us it was part of their lease extension negotiation. Also, the sign is visible from the 101, particularly at night, so it was a no-brainer, they said. No bubble perhaps, but it is true that the Silicon Valley corporate real estate market has tightened considerably lately (registration required).
The PayPal mafia and diagram, yet again — You may have seen the PayPal “Diaspora” stories before, about how the former employers of that online payment company have moved on to form other companies. The New York Times jumps in with another story about where all the PayPal folks ended up. It has a helpful diagram (if you’re registered with the Times, click on image here to go to the original version, which you can enlarge), and more background about where they came from, and how they still help each other out:
Mr. Thiel tapped his network of friends from Stanford, many of whom had worked at the Stanford Review, a libertarian magazine that Mr. Thiel co-founded in 1987. They populated PayPal’s business ranks. Mr. Levchin, for his part, hired engineers in large part from his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign…
Reuters reporter lives in Second Life — The news service has assigned a reporter to live within Linden Labs’ virtual world game, Second Life, and report what is going on there.
MySpace spruces up its site to highlight its own video — Now that YouTube is more of a threat, MySpace has made a few minor changes to highlight its own video offerings. MySpace now features videos on its homepage (see top left hand corner). User profile pages now include a section called Video Space, which displays videos the user has uploaded.
A much better way to connect: two feet of cable — Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has a good line, saying Microsoft’s Zune music player is unlikely a threat to Apple’s iPod. He tells Newsweek:
I’ve seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you’ve gone through all that, the girl’s got up and left! You’re much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you’re connected with about two feet of headphone cable.
Starting an Internet business — I’ll moderating a panel about “Monetizing your Site” at the From Garage to IPO conference tomorrow at TiE in Santa Clara. Event details here.