Here’s this morning’s roundup:
SeatSmart, yet another event ticket sales company, launches — There are way too many of these companies, but hopefully the competition will decimate the dominant Ticketmaster, which is outrageously expensive. SeatSmart, of New York City, says it has raised an angel round of funding. It searches tickets across sites Stubhub, Razorgator, eBay, Craiglist, but competes with Tickex and Viagogo. VentureBeat’s previous coverage.
News Corp. and NBC Universal finally name their YouTube-clone –The two companies have been trying to build a video site that compete with YouTube, but they’ve taken months to even agree on a name. They’ve now named it Hulu. Good. At least it has two syllables, and two u’s, just like YouTube. Bizarre, given their complaining about YouTube’s copyright violation.
Stock-option backdating casualties continue — Silicon Valley’s most powerful lawyer, Larry Sonsini, may not get off free in the rolling backdating scandal. A federal judge is “unlikely to dismiss” a shareholder-filed suit against the board of directors of Brocade Communications, including Larry Sonsini, over its alleged tolerance of backdating stock options.
Wal-Mart’s space on Facebook defaced by comments — Details here.
New method to shrink images — Two Israeli professors, Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir, have demonstrated a new method to shrink images. The method figures out which parts of an image are less significant, and then makes it possible to change the aspect ratio of an image without make it look skewed. (More details at their site.) See YouTube video below:
Zoho Apps are now integrated on a single page — Zoho, the company building out online applications to compete with Google’s applications, is now offering a single start page for its office applications, a move toward integration that makes it more like Google’s product. Zoho’s Writer, Sheet & Show applications can all be accessed from (http://start.zoho.com), with more applications to be integrated later.
Corporate venture capitalists pick up pace — The venture capital arms of large companies invested $1.3 billion into 390 deals in the first half of 2007, and made up the largest percentage of overall venture deals and dollars invested since 2001. Corporate VC groups participated in 21.4 percent of the total deals and invested 9.2 percent of the total dollars during the first two quarters of the year. The data was released by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Thomson Financial data.
Microsoft acquires Parlano, maker of group chat product, MindAlign — Microsoft will add the group chat feature of the Chicago company to it Microsoft Office product offering, which will also have presence, instant messaging, conferencing and VoIP. The company raised $7 million over two rounds, from investors including Longworth Venture Partners, Oak Investment Partners and Golden Gate. Longworth later bought out Golden Gate’s stake, according to PE Wire.
SF Bay Area has nation’s richest city, county: San Jose is the richest city in the country, and Marin is the richest county in the US, according to the latest data released by the government’s census bureau. San Jose doesn’t get much respect, despite marking the south end of Silicon Valley. The Web 2.0 developer elite have forsaken the town, preferring San Francisco instead. But chip and other networking companies in San Jose are still producing great wealth (Cisco et al.), as are older Internet companies (eBay).
San Jose’s median household income was $73,804 in 2006. The median income in Santa Clara County, home to San Jose, was $80,838, showing the relative wealth of nearby suburbs such as Palo Alto and Los Altos. The second wealthiest city was San Francisco (also a county) at $65,497. Marin County, just north of San Francisco, was the richest county, with a median household income of $81,761. This wealth shows both the increasing success of area companies and the resulting cost of living. Deborah Reed from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California told the San Francisco Chronicle that Santa Clara County’s 9 percent poverty rate would be 12.2 percent if the rate were to include the local cost of living, noting that the national poverty rate is around 12 percent.
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