Here’s the latest Silicon Valley action.


Flock cuts deal with PhotobucketFlock, the Silicon Valley-based browser company, hasn’t enjoyed the kind traction that the other new browser, Maxthon, is getting. And it’s still way behind Firefox in adoption. It’s a young pup, so you’d expect it to take time. Now Photobucket, the leading photo Web site has has launched a free Web browser — using Flock as its back-end — to make it easier for customers to drag and drop pictures and do other things. The danger until now is that Flock would languish, limited to geek users. If general users of Photobucket start downloading Flock, this could be the breakthrough they needed.

Electric sports-car company Wrightspeed looking for venture money — Ian Wright, who left the electric sports-car company, Tesla, to start his own company, Wrightspeed, last year, is competing for the same $3 billion market for high-performance sports cars, he tells the AP. The New Zealand-born electrical engineer said he is still raising its first round of financing and remains a one-man startup: Many venture capitalists are “serious car nuts” but are nervous about investing in a car company because they don’t know enough about the industry, Wright said. (There’s also the lingering question VCs will have about why he left Tesla).

Is Google becoming a server company, and is it giving up being objective? — Good story in the NYT, and well summarized by Paul Kedrosky about how Google is among chip manufacturer AMD’s five largest clients, and is the largest customer that does not make computers to resell; how Google appears to be considering getting into semiconductor design, and how Google is the fourth largest maker of servers in the world, after Dell, HP, and IBM. That is surprising, for a search company.

Moreover, a CNET story points to Google’s argument in a legal case that it is not an objective search engine. David Kramer, a Wilson Sonsini attorney representing Google, said the search giant’s PageRank system is subjective:

…using a combination of reviews into whether a Web site is adhering to its guidelines and is worth a user’s time to view. “Google is constantly evaluating Web sites for standards and quality, which is entirely subjective,” Kramer said.

The judge probed Kramer on the topic of whether Google engages in misleading behavior, and whether it uses objective criteria to evaluate sites–rather than solely relying on subjective reasoning….Kramer, however, said Google readers understand that the site’s ranking system is subjective and based on Google’s opinion about whether a site is worth viewing.

(Via Battelle.)

Finally, the Shanghai Securities News reports Google has started an on-line book search service in China, signing cooperation agreements with four publishing houses in China.

Infinera to go public?Infinera is a Sunnyvale optical networking company that boasts it has a better way. It is one of the more ballsy bets in this sector: VCs have pumped roughly $203 million into the company since 2001. Now word is that it may be preparing to go public. Infinera has just named a new chief financial officer, and when we called for comment, their PR person got back to us saying they couldn’t comment on strategy — a sign something could be up, given the company has commented in the past when we’ve called. Infinera says it can do the entire light-to-light conversion in optical transport on two chips — for less than half the cost. It says it now has seven customers.

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