Tech Weekly Missive – April 30, 2010

Tech Weekly Missive – April 30, 2010

What Tongues are Wagging About

  • Digital platform company Akamai has released its latest State of the Internet Report. The report covers the last quarter of 2009. Among the findings are the persistence of Russia as the top location for attack traffic and of South Korea for speed of web connections.
  • Apple wants the fastest chip for its mobile devices and has bought another chip maker, Intinsity, to gain an edge over its competitors.
  • Angel Investors May Be Winning Battle Against New Rules – Under a Senate bill, angel investors who buy stakes in startups would need to have a net worth of $2.3 million. Lobbyists for the investors say they’re close to a compromise that would keep that level at $1 million, virtually unchanged from current law.
  • Facebook Credits Could Put a Dent in Zynga’s Growth – Zynga Game Network, a startup in San Francisco, has almost quadrupled its workforce in the past year to 775. And sales may surpass $450 million in 2010, according to people familiar with the matter. Not bad for a company that offers games for free on Facebook. But that growth could be threatened by Facebook Credits, an effort by the social-networking site to offer its own virtual currency. Zynga makes its money selling virtual goods for its games, which include “FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars.”
  • LinkedIn, Zynga Consider Following in Facebook’s Footsteps -  Facebook put limits on employees selling shares for the company in private exchanges. Now other Silicon Valley startups, such as LinkedIn and Zynga, may do the same. The companies are concerned about keeping employees focused on long-term goals. The trades also may result in the leaking of inside information. Even though none of the companies is publicly traded, workers can go to sites like SharesPost and SecondMarket to find buyers for their stock.
  • It’s Probably Too Early for 3-D TV, But Here’s How to Do It – Ready or not, 3-D television is here — with sets from Samsung and Panasonic showing up in U.S. stores now. It will be a while before we know if this is must-have technology or just a fad, says Bloomberg columnist Rich Jaroslovsky. But if you’re curious about the technology now, he gives you the lowdown on what you need to know.
  • Elevation Partners LP’s $460 million investment in Palm Inc. got rescued yesterday when Hewlett-Packard Co. agreed to buy the money-losing phone maker.
  • A report tracking the top recommended, free and paid apps for the month of March found that viral recommendations of gaming titles were spiked by the iPad launch and that Vlingo and Waze were one of the top 10 free downloaded apps in March.
  • A number of big and small companies — including eBay’s PayPal unit, Intuit, VeriFone  and Square — are creating innovative ways for individuals to avoid cash and checks and settle all debts, public and private, using their cellphones.
  • Hewlett-Packard has killed off its much ballyhooed Windows 7 tablet computer. HP is not satisfied with Windows 7 as a tablet operating system and has terminated the project.

Events:

  • Report from the Future of Money and Tech Summit
  • About 400 people attended the conference – Mark Goldstein, Dave McClure, Phillip Rosedale and a few other serial entrepreneurs are focused on this sector
  • It’s still early days for the promising sector – Bling Nation, Goldstein’s Home-Asset.com and Pageonce are a couple of standouts. Boku was there too
  • The gossip was that despite the bad PR Blippy got, the attention resulted in a surge of new registrants for them anyway
  • Interesting stats:
    • Wells Fargo says 17M of its 34M users are using online banking (50% roughly)
    • 60% of US Internet users are comfortable transacting sensitive data online and 40% aren’t. That will diminish over time
    • The average person shares their sensitive financial data with zero people – unless they have a CPA
      • General consensus was that sharing financial data isn’t going to happen but collaborating on trends will e.g. “I probably spend more money on beer than I should and don’t want anyone to know how much. But being able to ask ‘what do people like me spend on beer each year?’ would be very useful.”

VC & Portfolio Cos:

  • After the recent $135 million funding of Groupon that valued the Chicago start-up at upwards of an eye-popping $1 billion, rival LivingSocial announced to today that it had raised a more modest $14 million in a Series C round.
  • Tremor Media, the largest online video ad network in the U.S., has closed a large $40 million series D financing to accelerate its product R&D particularly its ad management system, and expand into “other media channels”.

Awards:

Upcoming Events/Speaking Opps:

  • Cloud Computing Conference & Expo – West (Due 4/30/2010)
    • November 1 – 3, 2010
    • Santa Clara, CA
    • Cloud Computing Expo – produced by SYS-CON Media – targets CIOs, CTOs, technology VPs, and IT directors and managers (generalists and specialists).

And a few upcoming ones from the top bloggers:

Event Publisher Topic Date Price
Mobile Summit ReadWriteWeb mobile 5/7 $595
Disrupt TechCrunch media tech 5/24-26 $2,995
Media Summit Mashable media tech 6/8 $499
Structure GigaOm cloud 6/24-25 $795
MobileBeat VentureBeat mobile 7/12-13 $793
DEMO/Fall VentureBeat startup tech 9/13-15 $975
TechCrunch50 TechCrunch startup tech 9/13-15 TBA
Mobilize GigaOm mobile 9/30 TBA
NewTeeVee Live GigaOm video tech 11/10 TBA