Minister, sales charts-topping rapper, stylish innovator, funky headhunter: all those words can be used to describe the oddball career of MC Hammer. But there are a few more that you may not know about, like, say, “tech start-up investor.” Hammer unveiled his newest scheme at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco yesterday; the interestingly named WireDoo is a Hammer-powered search engine, and it’s all about relationships.
You've probably heard about all the crazy behind-the-scenes deals going on as investors buy and sell stock in sites like Facebook and Twitter. This system has traditionally been unregulated as it is taking place outside of the publicly traded markets. According to New York Magazine, it is looking like the SEC is about to get involved in order to investigate how these shares are being traded.
Don't pay any attention to all that banter about Foursquare being driven out of business by Facebook Places. The location check-in service just released some numbers indicating they saw astonishing growth of 3400% in 2010. It's not just that Foursquare is that great, but that all the talk about Facebook Places drove consumers to investigate location-based service that much more. Some of them eventually landed on Foursquare.
Along with the big headline, Foursquare created a great infographic. Check it out at the link above. Some of the more interesting aggregated data include the total number of check-ins, 381,576,305. The top eating establishment, Union Square Green Market. And in case you were wondering, the top state for gym check-ins was California.
At 6 million users strong, Foursquare is forging ahead in the face of the Facebook behemoth. Do they stand a chance in the long run?
To help the company hit the ground and running, ARM, Texas Instruments, and Highland Capital Ventures have forked over a combined $48 million in funding.
"Smooth-Stone's approach of bringing low-power technology into the server domain made them a perfect fit for our investment model," said Bruce Beckloff, vice president of corporate business development at ARM, in a statement.
The largest data centers can use anywhere from 5 to 20 megawatts of power, with one megawatt equal to 1 million watts. That's enough to power around 1,000 homes.
A virtual world has to be based in an imaginary setting, right? Wrong. An upcoming virtual world called Project X is likely to please those who find current virtual worlds too surreal or outre. Micazook, the start-up behind Project X, wants people to turn its virtual world into a replica of our planet piecemeal. It closely resembles Google Maps with Street View, save for the fact that users can interact with each other using 3D avatars.
Members can further bring Project X closer to the real thing by lending 10 to 15 minutes of their precious time in creating the buildings themselves – from building a virtual copy of your entire neighborhood to a famous local landmark. The developers want the users to contribute to Project X with the same zest as they display on other crowdsourced sites like Wikipedia. However, Micazook has every intention of profiting from its creation and to this end plans to impose a 30% levy on each virtual item sold. Furthermore, users will need to shell out $4.99 each month for each building they want to own.
As Project X is a browser-based virtual world, it requires a plug-in to deliver hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. It is due for a change of name before its beta launch a “few weeks” from now.
The latest dispute involved Groovle.com, which Google claims is "confusingly similar" to its own trademark. The was was brought forward to the National Arbitration Forum, an international arbitration service accredited by ICANN and trusted to provide resolution services for domain name disputes around the globe. Only this time, Google's track record for winning these sort of disputes provided false hope for the search giant.
"We were stunned when Google launched the domain name dispute as we have great respect for Google and have always had a good relationship with them," said Ryan Fitzgibbon, one of the two Canadian co-founders of Groovle.com. Jacob Fuller, the other co-founder, added that "Google never had anything to fear from our web site. The arbitrators' decision that the two domain names are sufficiently different should put Google at ease and we look forward to a renewed positive relationship with Google."
We imagine Google is probably stunned too, because not one of the three person panel ruled in the search giant's favor.
Facebook has dragged Brazilian start-up Power.com to court. The Brazilian company has been on collision course with Facebook ever since its launch, for it is a social-network aggregator that allows internet users to access all major social network websites, including Facebook and MySpace, through its website. Power.com raised Facebook’s ire by proceeding with the launch of its service without seeking its blessings.
The two parties tried to settle their differences across the negotiation table, but all in vain. Facebook stipulated that the Meebo for social networks utilize Facebook connect. It eventually decided to file suit against the Brazilian start-up. Although the Brazilian website’s CEO Steve Vachani maintains the case against his company is weak, the website is no longer offering access to Facebook through its website. Ironically, Facebook has been under fire for showing feeds from Google Reader, Hulu, Last.fm, Pandora, StumbleUpon, and YouTube.