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Texas Instruments says cell phone sales weakening: TI said that sales of chips for wireless handsets were “unseasonably weak,” causing the bellwether company for the cell phone economy to lower its second-quarter earnings outlook. The Dallas-based chip maker said that it expects revenue to be $3.17 billion to $3.28 billion, compared with the previous estimate of $3.08 billion to $3.32 billion. It’s interesting that TI is seeing the slowdown in advance of one of the biggest pieces of news to hit the market: the impending launch of the iPhone 3G on July 11.

Women are driving smartphone sales: In the past year, the number of women using smartphones has more than doubled to 10.4 million, according to Nielsen Mobile. Part of the reason is the popularity of the iPhone among women, who accounted for one in three iPhones sold in March. The trend is expected to continue as prices for smartphones fall and more consumers.

Internet service providers to block child porn: Three major Internet service providers — Verizon, Sprint, and Time Warner Cable — have agreed to block access to Internet bulletin boards and web sites that display child pornography. The deal is the first a number under negotiation with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Previously, the providers argued the task was too big to handle, given the size and decentralized nature of the Internet. The agreements apply nationwide and will cover service providers with more than 16 million Internet customers.

SanDisk agrees to buy MusicGremlin: The flash memory chip maker is buying MusicGremlin for an undisclosed price. MusicGremlin makes advanced digital content distribution technologies and is a pioneer in the MP3 player market, known for devices that can download music from an accompanying subscription service without the need for a computer. SanDisk said it will use the technology from MusicGremlin in its future Sansa audio-video products.

Paltalk brings together video chatters on the web: New York-based Paltalk has released a multi-person video chat service on the web. The Paltalk Express software is a Flash-based web service that lets as many as 5,000 people share the same video chat room, Techcrunch reports. In coming weeks, the company will release embeddable widgets that compete with other chat services such as Meebo. Paltalk’s download client already has 4 million active users a month.

NetSpend founders launch $100 million investment fund: NetSpend‘s Roy and Bertrand Sosa are putting together the fund to invest in companies in the market for financial services for people without bank accounts or credit cards. The MPower Ventures LP fund also includes investor Jorge Vergara Madrigal, the founder of nutritional supplements company Grupo Omnilife SA. MPower has made investments in Sapphire Mobile Systems (now MPower Mobile Inc.) and Rev Worldwide. goes after small businesses: The New York Times and AdReady have launched Self-Service Advertising on the web site. The online display advertising site enables small businesses to easily create and manage online ad campaigns on the New York Times web site. It allows advertisers with budgets of less than $10,000 per campaign to reach the large audience.

NextG Networks shoots for IPO: The wireless infrastructure company hopes to raise $150 million with its IPO. Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, RBC Capital Markets and UBS are the underwriters. Oak Investment Partners led a $35 million round for NextG in 2004 and another $50 million in January, 2008.

Merced Systems buys Practique Associates: Redwood City, Calif.,-based Merced Systems bought Practique in the United Kingdom for an undisclosed price. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Practique creates tools for incentive compensation management, including the INCA web-based application that automates sales commission and bonus calculations.

Zoran buys Let It Wave SA: Zoran Corp. agreed to buy fabless chip maker Let It Wave SA for $27.6 million in cash. The deal is expected to close today. In June, Let It Wave raised 6 million euros from Iris Capital and T-Source. Paris-based Let It Wave makes components that reduce motion blur for LCD TVs, among other products for consumer electronics gear.


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