• Google Launches Venture Capital Unit
    Google is following other Silicon Valley firms in launching its own venture capital arm. On Monday the search giant formally unveiled Google Ventures, which will be funded with $100 million in its first year. "But wait," says CNet's Stephen Shankland, "isn't there a recession?" Indeed, the National Venture Capital Association just reported that fourth quarter investments dropped 71% from $11.7 billion in 2007 to $3.4 billion in 2008. But that doesn't phase Google. The search giant has said it's confident of its cash position and ability to handle the recession. "Also," says Shankland, "a down economy is a good time ...
  • Tinker Lets You Twitter About Events
    "As its popularity has skyrocketed, Twitter has quickly become an indispensable tool for nearly any event," says TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid. But thus far, Twitter has lacked a tool that could help users understand an event more comprehensively, something that would enable them to input a bucket of keywords to follow that event. Glam Media is launching just such a tool. Called Tinker, Kincaid describes the service as "a persistent search for multiple keywords" on Twitter. Each event is associated with terms that Tinker then searches for across all tweets, presenting the results in a single stream. Kincaid uses March Madness ...
  • Google Axes AdSense For Video
  • YouTube To Separate Professional And Amateur Content
    YouTube is planning a redesign that would separate premium and long-form programming from the user-posted videos which make up the bulk of activity on the online video sharing site in an attempt to draw more advertisers. Sources tell ClickZ that the new design will eliminate the current navigation scheme, with its "videos," "channels," and "community" categories. These will be replaced with four tabs that clearly define sections for professional content: Movies, Music, Shows and Videos. The first three tabs showcase premium shows, clips and movies from Google's partners; all of these will be monetized with in-stream advertising. The last channel, ...
  • Hulu Faces Roadblocks, Including Lack Of Revenue
    Hulu may have had the biggest surge in unique viewers of any online video site in February (according to comScore) but it's not getting the advertising revenue to match, according to BusinessWeek. The joint venture from News Corp. and NBC Universal also faces several other roadblocks, including limits placed on the service by its parent companies. Analysts are already revisiting their forecasts for ad spending on Hulu and other online video sites this year. BusinessWeek's Douglas MacMillan talks to Screen Digest analyst Arash Amel, who revises his 2009 revenue estimate for Hulu down from $180 million to $120 million. This ...
  • Twitter Hires Former Google Design Lead
    Twitter has hired ex-Google Visual Design lead Douglas Bowman as its new creative director. Bowman replaces co-founder Biz Stone. "The Twitter Web page looks pretty simple," Stone told BusinessWeek's Spencer Ante. "But from our perspective the design needs a lot of work." Bowman is a talented designer who used to work at Wired News before moving to Google. "This is a great hire for Twitter, and more proof that Twitter has replaced Facebook as the tech industry's hottest startup," says Ante, adding that Bowman "clearly sees a bigger opportunity at Twitter, not only from a design perspective but perhaps from ...
  • Google Launches Free Music Service In China
  • Skype Launches iPhone App
    A free Skype for iPhone application will be available for download from the iTunes App Store sometime tomorrow and CNet's Jessica Dolcourt reviews the hotly-anticipated app. In terms of navigation, Dolcourt says the Skype app looks and feels like it belongs on the iPhone, which she says will be "a triumph" for some. Just like the Web application, Skype for the iPhone offers free VoIP calling to other Skype users, but it only works if you're in range of a Wi-Fi network. Calls will not work over the Apple wireless network, but chatting will. IPhone Touch users will also be ...
  • Miller To Be Named News Corp. Chief Digital Officer
    Kara Swisher confirms that former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller is set to take over as digital head of News Corporation, replacing the outgoing Peter Levinsohn. The move was first reported by the blog Deadline Hollywood Daily. According to Swisher, Miller has not yet officially signed up for the job, as he is still under a non-compete agreement with AOL parent Time Warner, which runs out in three days. Last year, Miller was barred from taking a seat on Yahoo's board due to this non-compete. Sources said News Corp. would likely announce the hire later today or Tuesday. Miller is ...
  • Dating Sites Are Benefiting From The Recession
    The recession is giving the online world its first glimpse of the kind of companies that actually benefit from an economic downturn. Job-focused social networks, discount retailers, online pawnbrokers, and interestingly, online dating sites, are proving to be popular destinations in tough times. The Economist explores the reasons why dating sites in particular are seeing a recessionary uptick. Greg Waldorf, CEO of eHarmony, thinks it's because people seek companionship in hard times. "People who have been single for years are suddenly focused on finding someone," he says. "Going through difficult times with someone special is better than doing it alone." ...
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