Here’s the latest action:
Lawyers finally sue Avvo — Earlier we reported the angry response of lawyers to the new site, Avvo, which lets users rate lawyers. Well, now lawyer John Browne has followed through on earlier threats to sue, after he decided he didn’t like the profile rating he was given. The rating noted he’d been disciplined by state authorities. The Seattle PI’s John Cook has the story. His suit is even going after Avvo backer, Benchmark Capital. Meanwhile, Avvo’s chief executive responds.
Google beats Cisco in acquisitions of start-ups — So far this year, Google has acquired five venture-backed companies, compared to Cisco’s four, according to VentureOne. (MarketWatch) Until now, Cisco has consistently been the most acquisitive company in Silicon Valley. The emergence of the Google glutton makes sense. With a high market value, Google has the currency to spend.
The bizarre story of Lifelock’s founder — Robert Maynard, founder of Lifelock, an Arizona company designed to help customers avoid identity fraud, has resigned. Turns out, a previous credit-repair company of his had been accused of false advertising and deceptive practices and shut down, that he’d been arrested because of an unpaid $16,000 debt in Vegas, and there’s talk he may have been performed ID theft on his own father — at least according to the reports. This comes shortly after a reported $6 million investment from Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins into the company at a rumored valuation of $40 million (scroll down). Kleiner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Frontline Wireless may or may not be making progress — Depending on what you read, start-up Frontline Wireless may have gotten a vote of support, or suffered setback in its efforts to open a portion of wireless spectrum to build out a broadband network. Some said Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, endorsed it, but his words appear relative weak, when contrasted to the rather negative remarks by Alaska’s Ted Stevens and others.
Why few blacks, Hispanics and minority women are in venture capital — The NYT’s Matt Richtel takes a look.
Apple to sell music through Bebo’s social network — Details here on Apple’s first deal with a social network.
Benchmark backs three of the top-ten massively multiplayer online worlds (MMOs) — Details here. It has invested in Gaia, Habbo Hotel and Second Life, which are only three of the top ten that are venture backed.
Mahalo now paying users to write search engine results — Jason Calacanis is offering to pay $10 to $15 per search result written at his new Web site Mahalo. This follows his efforts at his former employer, AOL’s Netscape, to pay users in an effort to compete against Digg, and which didn’t seem to go very far.
Sony talks to acquire Club Penguin are off — So says Paid Content
AT&T works with Hollywood studios and labels to keep pirated films, music and other content off its network — the first major Internet provider to do so.
Microsoft announces deal with Linspire — Microsoft continues to strike deals with companies that offer services with the competing Linux operating system. The latest deal with Lindows offers interoperability, collaboration and intellectual property assurances (that Microsoft will not sue), and comes after Microsoft feuded with the company over its previous name, Lindows. The accord follows similar Microsoft deals with Novell and Xandros.
Jingle Networks wins patent — The Menlo Park, Calif. start-up, which operates the free directory assistance service 1-800-Free-411, has won a patent for answering such 411 calls while also offering recorded advertisements based on the information requested. The company’s statement is here. It could come in useful as much bigger players start to offer similar players. We’ve used the service, and find it helpful. However, we’ve found the ads more monotonous (they are often the same ones, over and over) than we expected.