News Corp is courting Silicon Valley; and other local buzz...
News Corp has earmarked $2 billion for such acquisitions, and so lots of wanna-be-but-not-quite-stand-alone companies are hoping they'll get scooped up. All kinds of speculation about which company it is.. There may be more in the pipeline. San Jose start-up Spymedia presented at a panel we judged at the same event. Spymedia was definitely the cleanest, most focused company of the eight we looked at; Run by 22-year-old Bryan Quinn, it helps photographers, both amateur and professional, license their photos online. To be clear, SpyMedia isn't the company just bought by News Corp. But we're told News Corp. just invited SpyMedia down to So. Cal after the conference.
BitTorrent setting up online retail site to sell video legally -- BitTorrent, which offers a free and popular peer-to-peer file sharing protocol for users to download video, is now going to sell video content directly from its own site, according to Light Reading. The San Francisco start-up, which we last profiled here, also wants to let Internet service providers build their own video stores. It's all still under negotiation, including discussions with content owners. It is significant because it comes at a time when telecom companies are rolling out their own Internet TV offerings.
Yahoo is getting out of business of creating TV-style Web shows -- Somewhat related to the BitTorrent news above, Yahoo is realizing that the strength of an Internet company is not creating original content, but rather to aggregate it and distribute it. Here's the NYT story (subscription required), suggesting Yahoo has learned a lesson.
Origami buzz -- In case you missed it, here's more on the Origami gossip going on about Microsoft's new tablet computer (sub required) to be announced next week. Apparently, Intel is also involved in the making of this $1,000 or less, 8-inch or so machine. From this long-winded marketing video, we're concluding the tablet is for only young good looking people in barren places like the desert. Here's the site.
The auction IPO is more democratic, and is making headway -- It is good to see the new auction process pioneered by San Francisco's Bill Hambrecht start to catch on. Google used the process for its IPO in 2004, and last year five other companies did, and this year two have already used it (sub required). This takes the silly first-day pop of shares of traditional IPOs out of the equation. We say silly because the traditional IPO often forces companies to sell their initial shares way too low, and so give away more money to the investment banker middle-people than necessary.
Google has finally found a new chef -- Here's the story with all the fancy details on the Googleplex's revolution in corporate eating habits.
Google's Eric Schmidt invests in independent film licensing platform, inDplay.com -- Schmidt, Google chief executive, is joining William Hearst, venture capitalist with Kleiner Perkins, as an angel investor in San Francisco start-up inDplay.com. Here are more details: (Paid Content, and inDplay press release)
Sling Media under threat? -- Forbes says telecom companies may not want Silicon Valley companies like SlingMedia from helping people access their cable and other content, for fear of their networks getting hogged. Although some say it's not clear if SlingMedia even needs permission.
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