kevinjay.jpgEntrepreneurs who have two companies — The Mercury News has a story summarizing the exploits of the guys with two start-ups, Kevin Rose & Jay Adelson (Digg, Revision3), Scott Rafer (MyBlogLog, Mashery) and Evan Williams (Odeo, Twitter). The idea that one is not enough, because you want to hedge your bets.

Venture capitalist George Zachary, who backed Odeo, doesn’t seem impressed: “As an investor, I like to see someone who is 100 percent committed to one company,” he tells the Merc.

YouTube stirs ruckus by giving user data to Paramount lawyers — The popular video-sharing site has been tracking personal data and sharing it, according to MarketWatch. YouTube handed over data to Paramount Pictures on at least one user:

On May 24, lawyers for Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures convinced a federal judge in San Francisco to issue a subpoena requiring YouTube to turn over details about a user who uploaded dialog from the movie studio’s “Twin Towers,” according to a copy of the document.

YouTube promptly handed over the data to Paramount, which on June 16 sued the creator of the 12-minute clip, New York City-based filmmaker Chris Moukarbel, for copyright infringement, in federal court in Washington.

However, Fred Von Lohmann from the EFF, says it is a poor reporting job by MarketWatch, and the problem is with the DMCA, not with YouTube’s privacy practices.

French government now assisting Web 2.0 companies — We recently got an email from Trade Attaché of the French Embassy asking if we’d meet with Yoono during a visit to the Bay Area. We find it notable world powers are helping market their Web 2.0 companies. By the way, the U.S. State Department helps U.S. businesses do this sort of thing abroad, too. Difference is, valley-based start-ups don’t get the state to help out with PR here — so you could say the French have an unfair advantage on U.S. turf ;)

Yoono is a social search engine that makes finding interesting new sites and people related to what you like instantaneous and easy. Yoono integrates with your IE or Firefox browser to instantly suggest similar sites and people sharing the same interests while you surf. Unlike StumbleUpon or Delicious, Yoono’s toolbar requires no effort for users – no tagging, typing keywords or changing interface.

Friendster still chomping on its patentsFriendster President Kent Lindstrom got back to us on our question about how the company plans to use its second patent on social networking. We’d pointed out that we didn’t see any mention of audio or video in the patent language, areas Friendster seemed to be claiming it covered. It covers uploading content and associating it with someone you are connected to on an online social network, and Lindstrom says the patent wording can be extended to cover audio and video. While the company remains unsure of its plans to exploit its patents, the company is engaging Robert Barr, director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, to get advice on whether to start litigating or not, Lindstrom said. Moreover, Lindstrom said the company is “going to build a portfolio of patents.” He said Facebook’s “feed” product, which lets users see updates made to their friends’ profiles may fall under another of Friendster’s patents, which is probably a year away from being granted. “It could fall under the patent,” he said.

Apple is readying a music phone — So says Prudential Equity Group analyst Jesse Tortora, who also said Apple is readying a separate, combination video and music phone. Tortora expects Apple to introduce the devices in January at Macworld, and that one of the phones will offer WiFi connectivity — and will be readily available in the second quarter of next year.

Video conferencing suddenly everywhere — Cisco and Microsoft have just unveiled ambitious video-conference products. But what ever happened to Microsoft’s Placeware product, bought for a considerable amount three years ago, supposedly a competitor to WebEx? One difference is that this new version is a tabletop device, called the RoundTable, and will debut next year. And then there’s Cisco’s new product, called the Telepresence. The HD-based system costs a whopping $79,000. raises more funding — The seven month old online storage company is nearing 500,000 registered users and gets funding from DFJ. See our story here.

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