appletv.bmpApple TV is a hit — According to early accounts, at least.

YouTube killer? — [Update: This has been confirmed.] Rumors have existed for some time about collusion among the big-media players to challenge YouTube, the king of video sharing. Now the LA Times reports that News Corp. and NBC Universal plan to announce as soon as today that they’re building an online video site “stocked with TV shows and movies, plus clips that users can modify and share with friends.” Not clear how MySpace fits into this.

More on Google’s Pay-Per-Action — We mentioned Google’s PPA announcement Tuesday. However, we didn’t point specifically to the “text link format” ad unit, which some say crosses an ethical line, because it can be considered a pay-per-post. Mike at Techcrunch has a good review. More about the general PPA program at the Mercury News.

Wink sees management buybackWink, a start-up that began as a search engine for tags, has revised its business plan, and wants to be a search engine for people. However, some investors balked at this turn, and so Wink’s management has bought back shares from some of the investors — though the exact amount wasn’t specified. Lead investor Greylock has reduced its stake, though remains the largest shareholder, the company confirmed with VentureBeat today. Wink had raised $7 million.

Oil behind the Doerr — PEHub writes more on the ties between well-known venture capitalist John Doerr and oil, noting that Doerr and his wife Ann wrote a $1,000 check this year to Ted Stevens, the Republican senator from Alaska who has repeatedly tried to approve oil drilling in Alaska’s Artic National Wildlife Refuge. Again, this seems to fly in the face of Doerr’s leadership in supporting green policy in Washington and boosting investments in alternative energy. Doerr did not respond to a request for comment yesterday. [Update: To be fair, its entirely possible Doerr wrote the check to help get Stevens’ ear, in a shrewd effort to push green policy, but we just don’t know…]

yahoowidgets.bmpYahoo releases latest widgets for your desktop — They’re designed to use less memory. Here’s a tour.

–In our Newswire: Amp’d Mobile has raised a whopping round, and reportedly has 200,000 subscribers.
–For those of you relying on our RSS feed, we’ve been making changes, and you may have missed the piece by Stu Phillips, about ruthless scrapers of content, and how publishers need to join ’em, since they can’t beat ’em. Michael Cerda, meanwhile, writes a piece about the new wave called “Phone 2.0.”