Here’s a round-up of the latest tech stuff:
Jobster may cut a significant portion of its 145-person workforce? — Reports of major pending layoffs at Jobster are ironic, not merely because the company helps employers find employees. But because the company appears to doing the cutting to attain profitability, five months after boasting to VentureBeat that it would be profitable were it not hiring so many people so quickly all over the place. This company got very big very fast. Could this be another example of how massive amounts of venture capital do strange things to companies? We caution that we haven’t confirmed the layoff reports, and that note the CEO says “a lot of falsehoods are being bandied about.” But John Cook of the Seattle PI, has talked with the company, and confirms a review is underway, and job cuts could be part of the announcement in early Jan.
IBM cooling on Second Life hype — Shortly after IBM launches 12 islands on virtual world Second Life, complete with press conferences from its chief executive, tour guides and trains to show visitors around its virtual complex and auditorium, David Berger, manager of strategic communications for Big Blue concedes it’s time to ask questions about Second Life claim it has two million residents. Why wasn’t he more skeptical in the first place? (Update: Forgot to add, and why does it take gossip site Valleywag’s debunking of a good part of mainstream media’s coverage of Second Life to push him there?)
Shotspotter actually works — Earlier this year, VentureBeat wrote about Santa Clara start-up Shotspotter, which said it could help police locate the origin of gun shots, to help them combat crime. It is working. It helped Minneapolis police nab their first suspect, a mere seven hours after implementing it. This is the company backed by Gary Lauder, scion to the Estee Lauder fortune. It has since raised more than $10 million.
News ranking sites Megite and Tailrank launch video — With news-ranking site Digg bolstering its photo and video offerings recently, you’d expect competitors Megite and Tailrank to follow. The difference is, Digg method relies on voting by users, whereas Megite and Tailrank measure popularity by the number of links a video gets. All this is leaving another player, Techmeme, looking rather bare. (See the new video offerings at Megite Video and Tailrank Video.)
Speaking of Digg, spammers continue to target it — CNet reports that Karim Yergaliyev, 19, one of the top 30 “diggers,” agreed to digg a story for JetNumbers in return for a favor.