Here’s the latest round-up of Silicon Valley tech news:
Video launch of the day: Stumble Video — StumbleUpon, the site that lets you “stumble upon” other sites by offering up recommendations based on your perceived interests, has reportedly seen a spike in popularity. So it has launched a video version, Stumble Video. You stay on its home page, and it plays videos for you. You give thumbs up and thumbs down, letting it figure out your tastes. In doing so, you create your own video channel. It lets you click on a button to find people with similar tastes, and see their channels. Right now, it serves videos from YouTube, Google Video, and Myspace, but will expand.
Seven raises $42 million for wireless email product — The wireless email industry is very crowded, and we’re not sure how Seven, a private Redwood City company is doing. Seven says it is the second largest in the sector, behind RIM’s Blackberry, and serves 108 mobile operators. Meanwhile, competitor Motorola has acquired Good, and Visto is losing money but still raising bucketloads ($51M recently). Here is Seven’s statement, which also discloses a CEO chnage.
Yahoo finally opens up Panama to US businesses — It revamps Yahoo’s ad program to be more like Google’s. The platform lets businesses manage their campaigns, test their ads’ potential performance, estimated return on investment and more.
Skype 3.0 has two new features — Trying to keep up with the times, Internet phone company Skype has released the following: 1) Extras, which allows you to play games with your global contacts, share your musical tastes by showing what you’re listening to on LastFM via your “mood message,” and 2) Public Chats, which connects you to others on Skype with perceived similar interests.
MySpace may not have overtaken Yahoo — Lots of media reports about MySpace overtaking Yahoo in overall page views to become biggest on the Web. Comscore figures are cited. However, as we’ve stated, the devil is in the stat details. Sure, Yahoo showed a 9 percent dip in traffic, but that’s partly because Yahoo became more efficient, using AJAX more and so people don’t have to click (VentureBeat has something similar on left side of our homepage), and that deflates page views. By contrast, MySpace’s awful design requires extra page impressions to actually get anything done. Great story on this sort of thing in the NYT, about the tricks played by sites like Concierge.com, ForbesAuto, and Heavy.com (Harvard’s Ben Edelman, pictured here, continues to be a great watchdog).
The Venice Project opens for testing • This is the new Internet TV start-up run by Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, which seeks to replicate the phone peer-to-peer technology of Skype and apply it to Internet TV. They’re being mean, and forcing you to get an invite. GigaOm has more. An early critique, but this is still early testing, folks.
Bloggers may have to disclose if they are compensated to promote products — The Federal Trade Commission said companies engaging in word-of-mouth marketing, in which bloggers are compensated to promote products, must disclose those relationships.
The poor man’s Silicon Valley holiday party — Venture capital firm Gabriel Ventures is sponsoring a holiday event with Stirr in SF this evening, for 150 start-ups that can’t afford their own bash. Gabriel has rented out the Exploratorium, and is throwing in $22,000 in shwag, including iPods, and their footing the wine bill. We’re told it is sold out. We all love to snark on VCs, but what would life be like in the valley without these sugar daddies?
Sequoia invests $48M into India’s fifth largest carrier — IDEA Cellular plans to raise $560 million in an IPO next year, and Sequoia Capital has scored a 1.5 percent stake.
New alloy may boost memory chips 500-fold, compared to flash chip — That’s the early word from IBM scientists. Details here.