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The flags, the speeds, the gates, the snow, the ice, the blades, the luge, the twirling adolescents — get psyched! The Vancouver edition of the Winter Olympics are starting today. Want to follow along online? Here are a few key resources. Read more »

Online video has largely succeeded at many of its goals: It is democratizing media and encouraging a culture of sharing and participation. It’s pushing the television industry to modernize and become more interactive. It’s freeing content from time schedules and repressive windows. It’s driving cable companies […] Read more »

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Online video has largely succeeded at many of its goals, but let’s be honest, it’s done more displacing and unstabilizing than it has wealth creation. On the eve of Veoh’s bankruptcy, we can look back and see a lot of VC dollars down the drain. Read more »

Google has acquired the social search startup Aardvark for $50 million, according to TechCrunch. The Aardvark founders had formerly worked at Google, so it’s an embarrassment that the search giant couldn’t foster the same kind of innovation from them internally. Read more »

Owen Van Natta, the former Facebook executive who was picked to revive MySpace last April, is stepping down, News Corp just announced. He’ll be replaced by two of his hires, Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, who now each share the title of co-president. Read more »

I’m not sure Shashi Seth knew what he was getting into, but he must have had an inkling. Yahoo’s new SVP of search products (as of three weeks ago) invited the press over to Sunnyvale today to try to “reset” perceptions about Yahoo and search. Read more »

I was totally on board with Google Buzz, the company’s late entry into the modern-day social web launching today, until it became dramatically evident how freaked out Google is by Facebook. To be fair, however, Google Buzz looks quite useful. Read more »

It’s clear that location is an opportunity ready for its time, but making technology smarter by knowing where we are is by necessarily a part of a platform, not an end unto itself. Phil Hendrix lays out the space in a new report for GigaOM Pro. Read more »

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Google reportedly plans to add a stream of recent status messages and media from users’ contacts to Gmail. It’s a good idea, following Google’s stated goal of combining social features across its products, but one that will have to be executed well. Read more »

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” said Arthur C. Clarke. And that’s what Siri, a new virtual personal assistant that’s going live in the App Store tonight, is going for. At the least it will be an excellent party trick. Read more »

You’re being watched as you browse the web. But now you can look yourself up on behavioral data aggregator and seller Bluekai to see what cookies it’s collected about you — in my case, my age, gender, travel preferences and job info. Read more »

In the hopes of another platform gold rush, there’s already an “AppFund” for applications for the iPad and other tablets. The AppFund doesn’t have quite the resume of the KPCB-backed and Apple-supported iFund, but it comes at a time when tablets are top of mind. Read more »

Faced with aggressive competition from Apple, Amazon is stepping up its hardware game. According to the New York Times, it has bought a small pre-product startup called Touchco and plans to merge it with its Kindle hardware division, Lab126. Two words: touchscreen Kindles. Read more »

Black Tonic is launching today a remote web presentation for slide decks that doesn’t suck — it’s entirely web-based sans plug-in, and works across just about all browsers. People watching a presentation can even tune in via Safari on their iPhones. Read more »

Adchemy has figured out a way to tweak web ads to make them dramatically more effective. The company performs a crazy real-time technical dance to optimize the ads and landing pages shown to searchers. We visited its new office this week to learn more. Read more »

“This American Life,” the well-loved personal narrative public radio show, today released a paid iPhone application for on-demand access to its nearly 15-year-old archive. The app includes a complete searchable library of the show, behind-the-scenes content, alerts and live show streams. Read more »

Once you grok the collective buying power idea, the term Groupon starts to seem almost generic. By now, if you live in a major U.S. metropolitan area you can get 5-10 Groupon-type email newsletters a day. Read more »

BlueKai, which aggregates and sells data on 200 million online shoppers to advertisers and publishers, today announced a $21 million third round of funding led by GGV Capital and including former investors Redpoint Ventures and Battery Ventures, bringing its total funding to $34.7 million. Read more »

Apisphere, a Berkeley-Calif.-based startup founded in 2006, has found itself in the middle of the current geo-location craze, and raised $4.6 million in funding. Apisphere has explored a variety of location-based mobile services, starting with tracking salespeople. Read more »

Out of concern that early and incomplete augmented reality demo products make a bad name for the technology, a new startup called QderoPateo is attempting to make an end-to-end AR platform. That includes building and releasing its own phone chipset, hardware and operating system. Read more »

Though its web site has been blocked by Chinese censors since last June, Twitter is working on utilizing the distributed nature of its service to become available to Chinese users, said CEO Evan Williams at Davos according to a report by the Financial Times. Read more »

Now here’s an idea that could be really cool: applying the Threadless buy-on-demand, customer-voted online store model to something much more high-end and design-oriented: home furniture. That’s what Fashion4Home, a Berlin-based startup launching in the U.S. today, is doing. Read more »

Apple, as it is wont to do, blew the roof off with its first-quarter earnings today. Some of the most interesting comments from the company’s results call concerned the company’s work in its emerging market of enterprise mobility. Read more »

HipChat, a new self-funded startup from the folks who sold web calendar HipCal to Plaxo right out of college in 2006, is launching today an Adobe AIR corporate group chat client with features like one-to-one messaging, notification noises and file-sharing support. Read more »

With U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly criticizing China’s Internet censorship, the Chinese government has gone on the offensive, denying Google’s insinuation from earlier this month that it had been involved in hacking email accounts and labeling calls for an open Internet as self-interested fallacies. Read more » launched this week a data visualization site for personal spending. The company, founded last June with funding from strategic investors Citigroup, Microsoft and Morningstar, helps users understand how they match up to others in their demographics and locations with regards to monthly household expenditures. Read more »

Google did well in the fourth quarter, giving the company runway to talk about its next wave of initiatives. Executives said mobile should lead growth in the next year, with significant revenue to accompany widespread uptake of mobile devices that can handle data. Read more »

Many people only use Twitter to watch and hear from other people, often celebrities. To that end, Seesmic is reversing the trend of adding more and more features to Twitter clients, and today releases a tweet visualization tool called Seesmic Look. Read more »

Managing your social media presence at times seems like a full-time job, but for some people it actually is one. Spredfast, launching tomorrow and already used by IBM, HP, and others, is a web-based social dashboard with more features than you can shake a stick at. Read more »

After cleansing myself of multiple generations of email list subscriptions over the years, I’m surprised at how happy I now am to receive automated alerts every morning from services like Groupon, RueLaLa and Travelzoo. And starting today, my inbox will also be entertaining Facebook application notifications. Read more »

In the fourth quarter, the giants and the social supersites hooked up — Twitter’s real-time firehose went to Google and Microsoft, Facebook Connect scored Yahoo — while startups set the stage for what’s next — for instance OneRiot providing real-time ads to Digsby. Read more »

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