37signals, the jazzy Web 2.0 company, takes funding from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — See the company’s announcement here about why. We last mentioned the company here. The company boasts: Since we launched Basecamp we’ve been contacted by nearly 30 different VC firms. We’ve never been interested in the typical traditional VC deal. With a few exceptions, all the VCs could offer us was cash and connections. We’re fine on both of those fronts. We don’t need their money to run the business and our little black book is full. We’re looking for something else…We found a perfect match in Jeff. Jeff is our kinda guy.

Why is Jeff so exceptional? We’ll take a stab at the answer. Amazon, an online site fighting in the tight-margined retail world, was losing lots of money during the Internet bubble, and still was losing money after it burst. Bezos managed to attract billions of dollars of debt to sustain his effort, even through those worst of times, when investors were pulling the plug on just about every other company in the red. Somehow, Bezos pulled it off. He is exceptional indeed.

MetroFi, the Sunnyvale company setting up free WiFi networks in cities, has teamed up with AT&T — This could change the game, because it gives significant heft to MetroFi‘s efforts to offer free service, though it still looks like AT&T want to make money in different ways. Details here (scroll down). Riverside, California will be first to get a bid from the pair.

Limbo, which lets you bid in TV auctions over your mobile phone, raises $7 million — We’ve mentioned this Silicon Valley start-up before. The is the second of funding for the company, which lets users win if they have the — get this – the lowest bid. Azure Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson invested, after they invested $2 million earlier.

CaliSolar to target “dirty” silicon — The main constraint for the solar industry right now is that there’s not enough silicon to go around for the PVs — it is damned expensive. So the secretive solar company we mentioned the other day, CaliSolar, is exploring ways to use what it calls “not-clean” silicon in its manufacturing of solar cells, according to Silicon Valley investor Wes Raffel, in a conversation with VentureWire. Research on the technology has been done by former University of California at Berkeley professor Eicke Weber, who argues that temperature treatment can do the job.

Dabble down — SF video Search company Dabble was supposed to launch, but the site is down. It is the latest company that lets you create, browse, and find video online.

Entrust buys an email security company, Business Signatures for about $55 million — Silicon Valley’s Business Signatures had motley crew of investors, everyone from the massive buyout firm Texas Pacific Group down to the earliest of angel investors, Ram Shriram.

Zooomr — Zooomr, the supposed hot new Silicon Valley Flickr-like start-up, faces some glitches.

The News 2.0 poaching war — Jason Calacanis, the new head of Netscape who is trying to target Digg, the runaway online interactive news site, is offering $1,000 a month to the top users from news sites Digg, Reddit, and Newsvine to go work him.

Spock, a new Silicon Valley stealth search company — This boastful company promises to change the landscape of consumer software — and focuses on personal search. Via Gigaom. The site simply says it is funded by venture firm Clearstone Venture Partners, and has a bunch of job openings.

The prolific coverage on one-man company, BlogBeat — There was some pretty extensive coverage of the acquisition of blog analytics company BlogBeat by Feedburner, underscoring the excitement, and hype, of Web 2.0 news these days. But almost nobody pointed out that Blogbeat was a one-man show, led by Jeff Turner.

PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield accused of evading taxes for jetting to California slopes — The WSJ has the story.

early $

A day in the life of a Silicon Valley middle schoolOn June 28, J.Crew’s stock goes up $5, and the next day, Anu Rajan knows it full well. Sitting with a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle turned to the Daily Digest, the 11-year-old cringes at her mistake. “I wish I would have invested in that,” she says.

Anu, who will be a sixth-grader at Terman Middle School this fall, took the “Money, the Market, and More!” class this summer because, well, she wants to be rich someday. “I love money, and I wanted to learn more about the stock market,” she says. “I like keeping accounts of my money. I have a ledger at home.” Palo Alto Weekly.

WordPress, the popular blog software run by Automattic, to have developer camp — In the good od Silicon Valley tradition. Details here. Saturday August 5th, 2006.

Michael Arrington’s latest party — The author of Techcrunch is holding an even bigger bash, this time at August Capital. 500 people max will be let in. Good luck getting on the list. If you are reading this sometime after noon today, it is probably too late. Date: August 18th.

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