Here’s the latest action:
Facebook suspends RockYou’s Super Wall — The social networking site has turned off the Facebook application’s viral aspects, like invitations and notifications, presumably as part of its efforts to crack down on spammy app activity. RockYou chief executive Lance Tokuda says he’s working with Facebook to get the suspended features restored soon. The move follows the shutdown of RockYou competitor Slide’s Top Friends application at the end of June due to a security issue. (Top Friends is back up now.)
Vinod Khosla joins Obama — The famed venture capitalist spread his bets during the primary season, giving the maximum amount to Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama. But now he has taken sides, in a way, by joining Obama’s India Policy team. The alliance makes even more sense because Khosla has been a big booster of biofuels like ethanol, and the Obama campaign is closely linked to ethanol, at least financially.
VeriSign brings back Jim Bidzos as interim chief executive — Bidzos, who was the company’s founder and first chief executive back in 1995, is replacing William A. Roper, who resigned early last week. VeriSign manages the .com and .net domains, and Roper had been working to pare the company back down to its core focus. As for why Roper left, Bidzos says, “I don’t think it was fair to have him around while we were looking for a replacement, so he chose to leave.”
Leapfrog launches its web-based portable gaming system — With the Didj, educational gaming company Leapfrog is targeting 6- to 10-year-olds, the demographic that has embraced the Nintendo DS game system.
Vodafone buys a controlling stake in Ghana Telecom — Vodafone is buying a 70 percent stake from the local government for $900 million. The mobile network company says Ghana is one of the most attractive markets in Africa, because of its young population and low mobile penetration.
Study shows airports are a prime hunting ground for laptop thieves — Apparently, more than 10,000 laptops are reported lost each week at the United States’ 36 largest airports, and 65 percent of those are not reclaimed. In fact, VentureBeat’s own Eric Eldon had his laptop stolen at SFO earlier this year.
Sequoia Capital makes three more hires — The additions include Warren Hogarth, who will focus on cleantech; Christopher Lyle, who will focus on public market investments; and Michael Dixon, who will focus on systems and software investments. Meanwhile, David Su, one of the founding partners of Kleiner Perkins‘ China Fund, has left the venture firm for reasons unknown.
PlyMedia raises $6 million for video layers — The company, which adds interactive layers such as speech bubbles to online video, has raised $6 million from Greylock and Elron Electronic Industries, according to TechCrunch’s sources. Other interesting companies in this space include ad company Veeple and commenting company Omnisio.
Lifestream.fm relaunches with new features and German support — The lifestreaming site was acquired by the social bookmarking company Mister Wong back in April, and now it’s relaunching in invite-only mode with new support for comments, filtering, more comprehensive searches and German.