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Social is just everywhere these days. Yesterday we had news of GetGlue's 1 Million users, and today it's New York City startup SocialGuide announced the beginning of what could be a very promising future with a seed round of $1.5 million from angel investors, including Alex Zubillaga:
With more than half of the nearly 300 million Americans who watch TV having a second screen experience, the market is ripe for a social TV product that connects with consumers and networks. SocialGuide is the only product that is built around the existing social TV behavior that is happening with millions of consumers across the most popular social networks. Consumers now have one place to enjoy their favorite programming, and networks have a way to more deeply engage with their audience
CEO Sean Casey believes that the social TV space is "nascent", and spoke of the pending improvements to SocialGuide's already strong interface and user experience. SocialGuide is essentially a social data collecting service that filters and displays millions of discussions occurring in real time about televised media, and ranks them according to popularity. SocialGuide also makes it very easy to share this type of information throughout your various social networks
If you haven't heard the news today, an upstate New York entrepreneur and convicted felon Paul Ceglia is suing Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for over 50% of the company. Paul, proud owner of the two shiniest, brassiest balls on the planet might actually have a case though. Evidently Zuckerberg accepted $1000 for exchange of half of a company he refers to as "the Face Book" in various email exchanges with Ceglia, who is being represented by reputable international law firm DLA Piper. He is not, as they say, @#$%ing around.
Seven years later, after already having been convicted of fraud for his woodchipper fuel company (I know, right?), Ceglia stumbled upon these emails and contracts while researching his defense for his fraud case. If you want to take a look, the evidence is pretty solid, and DLA wouldn't stake their reputations on evidence that was shoddy.
Facebook, wonder of wonders, is claiming that Ceglia fabricated all of the emails and contracts. Honestly, I'm really curious as to how this one will play out.
Silicon Valley's favorite search engine giant just dropped a whopping $168 million in a new solar energy plant in California's Mojave Desert designed and developed by BrightSource Energy. Google is counting on BrightSource's Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) to generate 392 MegaWatts (gross) of minty-fresh clean solar energy. In a blog post today, Google wrote:
That's the equivalent of taking more than 90,000 cars off the road over the lifetime of the plant, projected to be more than 25 years.
Which would be no small contribution to our nation's energy qualms, something Google is clearly dedicated to aiding as the tech firm has now invested more than $250 million in the future of clean, renewable energy. Google is investing in the proven technology of "Power Towers", which use fields of mirrors (heliostats) to focus solar rays onto a receiver placed on top of a large tower (seen above in the photo). According to the post, the first use of the technology was the fabled existence of Archimedes' heat ray that used a similar system to focus solar energy to burn the sails...
DigiTimes is reporting that AMD are recruiting talent for the development of Android driver software, AMD is also looking to eventually offer its notebook and tablet PC partners chipset solutions supporting the Android platform. Later this year in June, the Computex Taipei trade fair will run with companies like Lenovo, Fujitsu and Samsung Electronics showcasing a number of tablet-based PCs built on Intel's Oak Trail platform.
Meanwhile Micro-Star Internation (MSI) will begin marketing its latest tablet PCs built on AMD's Brazos APU. Acer was the start of companies using the Brazos platform and with the launch of Brazos-based tablets from MSI, this is a sign that AMD's APUs are finally beginning to lift off.
In an interesting game of cat and mouse, the United States Department of Justice has approved Silicon Valley's most successful tech company's intent to acquire ITA, a travel information search service based in Cambridge, MA.
The DoJ filed a consent decree with the conditions that Google continue to license ITA"s tech to existing clients such as Kayak and maintain the fairness of its current availability. Also in the decree consent were stipulations that Google erect firewalls to ensure that ITA data is blocked from other areas of Google.
Interestingly enough, the DoJ has evidently filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block the impending acquisition of ITA if Google did not consent to the conditions. Google really didn't have a choice, especially with the rampant antitrust allegations running around, as recently reported by Bloomberg.
Google was very happy to accept the terms and conditions, and posted the following on their blog today:
It's important to us that ITA continue with business as usual, providing great service to its business partners. We indicated last July that we would honor ITA's existing contracts. Today we've formally committed to let ITA's customers..
AMD and GlobalFoundaries have renegotiated a silicon supply deal which should see AMD switching to a per-die payment method for any chips produced on GlobalFoundaries new 32nm-based manufacturing process. The renegotiated deal replaces the previous method of payment which was based on a per-wafer deal.
In a press statement, AMD said that from now on it's "price for 32nm products will be based on a good die", which implies that AMD was previously seeing too many duff dies per 32nm wafer for its liking and therefore only wants to pay for working chips, which is fair enough.
The National Broadband Network Company's (NBN Co's) head of construction Patrick Flannigan has resigned in the middle of the controversy surrounding the company's decision to halt the bidding process for the network construction tender.
With the NBN hitting roadblock after roadblock, this is yet another set back for the delayed network. With the company saying:
NBN Co is disappointed that Patrick Flannigan, head of construction, has decided to resign. He made a valuable contribution to the leadership team and we wish him all the best in the future.
MySpace has seen better days. And months. And years, for that matter. After eliminating "major redundancies" to the tune of about 500 positions, MySpace's company profile is beginning to resemble more and more their color scheme: black and blue all over.
Everyone is pointing the finger at Facebook, the White Whale of social media- and they're all correct. Facebook's success has overshadowed MySpace for the last two years, if not longer. It got to the point where CEO Mike Jones was forced to admit in November of 2010 that MySpace couldn't compete anymore, would be rebranding itself as a social media entertainment destination of sorts. For all of you keeping track, Yahoo pulled a similar maneuver in the past few years when it failed to stack up to Google in Search- they repositioned themselves as an entertainment news site. And furthermore, if anyone reading this is old enough to remember AOL when it didn't own like 23498 blogs, they did pretty much the same thing when their subscription service tanked (you know, when people realized they could just download an internet browser?).
Despite the repositioning efforts which netted the implacable MySpace 95 million unique users, its reported that the site went from 73 million to 63 million unique users in a four-week span between January and February.
Despite their recent issues with Oracle, HP has got Latin America locked down when it comes to technical infrastructure. The company announced today that they will continue the relationship that started over a decade ago with the Mexican arm of soft-drink giant Coca-Cola to the tune of $100 million and 5 more years. Hector Calva, Chief Information Officer of Coca-Cola FEMSA commented,
After experiencing sustained growth across Latin America, these additional efforts to centralize and standardize will give us the support we need to find new opportunities to put beverages in the hands of the Latin American people.
Something tells me that the Latin American people want more opportunities than just a soda en los manos, but the idealism is almost as refreshing as their iconic beverage. HP is reportedly consolidating 348 different locations to a single data center in Mexico- from a business perspective, that sounds like a lot of people will be out work once the debris settles. Hopefully they've been there long enough to take advantage of their stock opciones.
British man jailed for two years after hacking Zynga Poker servers and stealing $11 million worth of virtual currency
Five letter word for this man? Idiot. A British man has been sentenced to two years in prison for hacking Zynga Poker servers and stealing $11.4 million worth of virtual currency for Zynga Poker.
Ashley Mitchell, from Devon, hacked into the Zynga mainframe and stole the identity of two Zynga employees to transfer millions of dollars of in-game currency to accounts that were in his name. He then sold the chips on the "black market" for cheap chips for the game. After selling roughly one third of the chips, he had made £53,612. Not too shabby and for only a portion of the real "value" of the chips.