wheegoHere’s the latest action:

Here Wheego! — Electric vehicle startup Wheego announced it will launch its two-seat, low-speed car on August 1 in hopes that its release will help raise an additional round of capital. The car is called the Whip, and its development has been supported by money from founder Mike McQuary, his private equity firm Ellis, McQuary & Stanley, Brash Music and MindSpring. The Whip differs from cars in the works at Tesla and Fisker in that it runs on lead-acid batteries instead of lithium-ion batteries — supposedly avoiding overheating issues associated with the latter. The car charges in six to eight hours and can travel 40 miles on each charge. It will retail for $18,995. With government funding and more capital, Atlanta-based Wheego says it plans to build two assembly plants in the U.S.

Justice Dept. looks into Google Books case — Today the U.S. Department of Justice said it is investigating Google’s settlement with book publishers who objected to the digital publishing of some titles. Anti-trust stirrings spurred the investigation. Totaling $125 million, the settlement gave the search giant rights to publish copyrighted books online unless authors chose to opt out. Critics of this result say that Google is so far ahead of any competitor in the space that it essentially has a monopoly. To counter, Google says that any potential rival could negotiate its own terms with the Books Rights Registry, but the government remains skeptical.

pornstartwitterTwitter not safe for work? — As Twitter picks up momentum and more users, pornography and explicit content have become more frequent additions to the micro-blogging site. And with so many companies now using the service as an integral part of their marketing strategies, several have finally called for the site to begin filtering its content more aggressively. Several companies, including virtual world provider WeeWorld and business-owner social network MerchantCircle, have even discussed pulling their Twitter pages if the situation isn’t cleaned up soon. MediaPost is tracking the issue.

Oracle cuts staff in Europe — The major software provider reported today that it plans to cut 1,000 employees from its European staff — about 1 percent of its global work force — due to poor economic conditions. This is somewhat surprising, as it’s one of the last in its market to turn to layoffs to stay in the black. Microsoft, Intel, IBM and Hewlett-Packard have all let employees go since the economic downturn set in. Still, in the past year, Oracle has hired more than a thousand employees at its Redwood City, Calif., headquarters alone. So far, it looks like its U.S. workers will be spared.