1. Kaltura introduces video mashups to Wikipedia
2. Salesforce and Emergence Capital Partners launch startup funding competition
3. Yahoo to support some of OpenID
4. Twitter big in Japan, expanding Japanese Twitter services
5. General Electric demonstrates solar cell with market potential
6. Nanoptek takes $4.7M to ease hydrogen production
Kaltura introduces video mashups to Wikipedia — Kaltura lets you and others upload videos, then mash the videos together into a creation that is hopefully more meaningful than the sum of its parts (sample, above). Israel and New York-based Kaltura is now partnering with Wikipedia, hoping to bring community-edited video to the community-edited encyclopedia and to other wiki pages. The company launched at the Techcrunch 40 conference (our coverage) — although we didn’t think the company was a stand-out at the time, its features look to be a good fit with Wikipedia. It includes wiki-like revision features, such as the ability to view a chronological lists of people who helped create the mashed-up video, as well as previous versions of the video.
Salesforce and Emergence Capital Partners launch startup funding competition — The Software-as-a-Service company and the venture firm will award the competition winner a $1 million investment from Emergence as well as office space and technical assistance from Salesforce. Participants must build their company on top of Salesforce’s developer platform. This is another effort by Salesforce to attract third-party developers. In October, it announced a $25 million fund in conjunction with Bay Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, where those firms would invest in Salesforce-based companies (our coverage).
Yahoo to support some of OpenID — The OpenID project is trying to create a way for users to quickly and easily log in to any site with just one username and password. Today, the project is taking another step towards relevance: Yahoo will let its 250 million users log in to more than 9,000 sites that allow access through OpenID. “Today is another step forward in the long walk to a better experience for the user. One thing is for sure; the best is yet to come,” as Scott Kveton, Chairman of the Board of Directors, OpenID Foundation, puts it. Yahoo’s OpenID public beta will begin January 30. In what Techrunch otherwise calls a “massive win,” it notes the big caveat: Yahoo wouldn’t confirm when or if it will also allow users with OpenIDs from other parties to log into its services. Meanwhile, ReadWriteWeb points out that AOL announced OpenID integration a year ago, and that hasn’t amounted to much — will Yahoo include “important functionality like multiple personas (for privacy and user control), search friendly microformats and anti-phishing technology? There’s a wide variety of ways to implement OpenID.”
General Electric demonstrates solar cell with market potential — The conglomerate has demonstrated a scalable silicon nano-wire-based cell that it says has the potential to be more efficient and less expensive to produce than conventional solar cells. Press release here.
Nanoptek takes $4.7M to ease hydrogen production — Electricity passed between two electrodes immersed in water can produce hydrogen, and replacing one of the electrodes with a photoactive semiconductor can make the process happen with sunlight as its only fuel. However, both processes tend to be prohibitively expensive. That’s the problem Nanoptek says it can solve by using a special low-cost, high-efficiency semiconductor in a machine that looks vaguely like a solar array; just add water and sunlight. The $4.7 million funding was provided by the Quercus Trust and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, but the company has also gotten funding in the past from the Department of Energy and NASA. No word yet on whether it’ll duel it out with solar cell companies for the world’s sunniest spots.
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