Here’s the latest action:
MySpace’s search for a new CEO to run its music joint venture is hitting some snags — Current chief Chris DeWolfe is busy dating Paris Hilton. But the Fox-owned company is still looking to hire a new chief as the development team works hard on the launch of MySpace Music next month. The development team wants to postpone the hire until it gets the launch out of the way.
Ad networks taking dollars from other sites — The Interactive Advertising Bureau and Bain & Co. report that ad networks have grown six-fold as online publishers increasingly turn to ad networks to sell off unsold inventories. The use of ad networks surged from 5 percent of ad revenues in 2006 to 30 percent of ad networks in 2007. But it may be a race to the bottom.
Keep the barn door closed — The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority says it will continue to pursue its lawsuit seeking to muzzle three MIT students from talking about how they hacked the CharlieCard electronic payment system. Meanwhile, the talk was widely distributed on the Internet. The students had planned to talk about the flaws in the MBTA payment system at the Defcon show but the MBTA lawsuit shut that down. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, representing the students, expects to appeal the gag order.
Beam me up Scotty — Cryptic Studios has picked up the license to develop an online Star Trek game from failed firm Perpetual Entertainment. At a recent Trekkie convention, Cryptic showed scenes from the game and talked about details of the game, set 30 years after the recent film Star Trek: Nemesis. If someone can break the curse for sci-fi online games, Star Trek ought to be able to do it.
Metabolix grows plastic-infused switchgrass — The bioplastics company wants to harvest plastic and use the rest for fuel.
Chipmaker Allegro pulls its upcoming IPO — Allegro MicroSystems has joined 58 other companies in pulling its initial public offering this year as market conditions continue to look bleak. The company makes analog chips used in everything from cars to printers.
Organized hacking ring has global reach — The New York Times tracks the prosecution of an online credit card theft ring which stole tens of millions of credit card numbers from nine of the biggest retailers in the U.S. It turns out that the main informant was also the leader of the ring.
Look for a new news aggregator soon — Former AOL executive Lewis Dvorkin said he has received early-stage funding from Forbes Media and Velocity Interactive Group to start a news aggregator site.
Look out, Perez Hilton — Sharon Waxman reported on Hollywood for years as a correspondent for the New York Times. Now she’s raised half a million dollars to start her own Hollywood news web site, The Wrap News, to compete with Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and the ever-growing list of Hollywood celebrity news sites.
Magnify360 scores a round — The Los Angeles-based behavioral marketing company has raised $2.5 million in a first round. Backers include MHS Capital.
Vidyo raises $3 million round — The provider of high-definition video conferencing raised $3 million from Rho Ventures and Sevin Rosen Funds, bringing the total raised to $20.8 million.
HP buys Colubris — Hewlett-Packard moved into the wireless networking communication and security market by buying Colubris for an undisclosed price. HP’s networking division, ProCurve, can now compete with Cisco, which entered the wireless networking market in 2005 with its $450 million purchase of Airespace.
Did a Romanian company called TrustyPig steal personal finance site SmartyPig‘s design? These screenshots are pretty persuasive.