Here’s the latest action:
1. WordPress launching social networking feature, BuddyPress
2. Elon Musk pumps money into ocean-seeding venture, Climos
3. Craig Venter’s 4th generation biofuels get rid of Co2
4. Cleantech already becoming a circus
5. Skyrider, the P2P ad company, sees shakeup
6. The real reason why Google’s click-throughs are flat
7. Google-backed Femtocell company gets T-Mobile backing
8. BitGravity, the new Silicon Valley CDN, signs Tata
WordPress will introduce BuddyPress, a social networking feature for its blogs — The feature will allow users to create niche networks straight from their WordPress blogging software. It builds on WordPress’ technology called WordPress MU, a platform that allows multiple blogs from a single account sign-on. But it builds on that, giving you a way to let users create their own member home pages, so they don’t have to maintain blogs. More information here, and examples here (described more here.) More discussion here.
Elon Musk pumps money into ocean-seeding venture, Climos — Planktos, the company that planned on dumping iron into the ocean to accelerate plankton growth (and soak up more CO2), is dead. But that doesn’t mean the idea is: Some $3.5 million has been invested into Climos, a very similar company, by Braemar Energy Ventures and Elon Musk, the guy behind SpaceX and Tesla Motors. The company plans to make money by selling carbon credits. Environmentalists, meanwhile, are still horrified at the idea. (We first reported on Climos here).
Craig Venter’s 4th generation biofuels — Scientists are working on the next generation of biofuels, including a process to capture and sequester CO2 as biofuels are produced. This makes them a carbon negative source of fuel. Scientist Craig Venter says he can design organisms that will inhale CO2 and excrete sugars, and that he to do this in 18 months. There’s a good discussion at Earth2Tech.
Cleantech already becoming a circus — Two former executives from Condé Nast, a large magazine publisher, reportedly have plans to open a “roving event that will combine a green market and eco-technology with a Cirque du Soleil-like performance series.” We know the cleantech industry is a bit frothy, but this seems a bit excessive. On the other hand, this might be your only chance to see a trapeze artist dressed up like a silicon wafer.
Skyrider, the peer-to-peer advertising company, sees executive shakeup — CEO Ed Kozel has been replaced by co-founder Ori Cohen, and COO Katie Mitic has left the company. We recently reported how the Mountain View company had raised a round of capital to tide it over, as it seeks a business model for its technology, and NewTeeVee has more details: Kozel, who’s also a Yahoo board member, reportedly stepped back for personal reasons. Mitic, earlier an entrepreneur-in-residence at Kleiner Perkins, is said to be taking on a CEO role at another startup. The company lists Anthony Bartolo, formerly of Symbol Technologies and Nortel, as COO.
Another explanation for why Google’s click-throughs are flat — The explanation: Because Google reduced the clickable area on its ads. Rich Skrenta, who is building a competing search engine, has more, citing SEO Black Hat: Before, a user could click anywhere on the ad and be brought to the destination. After the changes, users have to click on something that looks like a hyperlink: “The CTR on text ads declined about 60% in the last 2 months with Googles changes, Image ads on the other hand stayed the same.”
Google-backed Femtocell company, gets backing from T-Mobile — Swindon, U.K.-based Ubiquisys, which we wrote about here, has gotten an undisclosed amount of capital from T-Mobile. This adds to the $25 million it got from Google, Accel and others last year. The company’s technology is based on wireless home-base stations, small boxes that let lower the cost of Internet delivery, useful for mobile phones. This saves money for the carriers wanting to offer the service, by tapping into a home’s off-network infrastructure. Sprint/Samsung offer a competing technology.
BitGravity, the young Silicon Valley content distribution network company, teams with Tata — CDN BitGravity, which specializes in delivering television-quality video over the internet (past coverage here ), has inked a deal with Tata Communications, a global telecom and Tier 1 IP company. The larger firm will help distribute BitGravity’s platform, which should help it compete with much larger rivals like Akamai and Level 3.