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One thing Facebook didn’t introduce at its recent f8 conference — even though it was widely anticipated and predicted — was any kind of location-based features or integration with the social network. So what happened? Were they just not ready, or is there more to it? Read more »

The co-founder of venture fund and incubator Bootup Labs has apologized publicly for the failure of the company’s Y Combinator-style startup camp, which fell apart last week after it failed to raise enough money to back all of the startups it had accepted into the program. Read more »

Facebook announced a series of features at its f8 conference that will allow it to track a user’s behavior and activity as they interact with various websites. Some see this as a good thing, but others are concerned about giving a single company that much power. Read more »

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LinkedIn has rolled out some enhancements to its sharing features that allow users to post links and images to the service, features that now look virtually identical to those at Facebook and on Google Buzz. But is copying other social networks going to help LinkedIn grow? Read more »

Hiring at venture-backed startups picked up speed in the first quarter, according to figures released by the National Venture Capital Association and job board A total of 13,314 jobs were posted by startups in the first quarter, up 16 percent since the end of 2009. Read more »

Blogging platform Tumblr has raised another round of financing from its existing venture backers, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures, putting pressure on the company to start generating revenue. It is exploring various options, but founder David Karp has said that he is “opposed to advertising.” Read more »

The World Bank, which tracks everything from mortality rates to livestock production in hundreds of countries around the globe, said today it is opening up its data, including removing all of the pay walls around data that used to require a subscription fee to download. Read more »

Privacy authorities from 10 countries this morning released a joint letter at a conference in Washington, D.C., taking Google to task over the way it launched its social tool, Google Buzz, saying the new service “betrayed a disappointing disregard for fundamental privacy norms and laws.” Read more »

Google boosted the amount it spends on lobbying by 57 percent in the first quarter compared with last year, according to documents that were filed with federal authorities. A non-profit agency called Consumer Watchdog says the company is now “one of the highest rollers in Washington.” Read more »

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Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt, whose company is widely rumored to be headed for a billion-dollar IPO, has added Hollywood movie mogul Peter Guber to the board. Rosenblatt has also been playing tennis with the former studio head, and dining with him and other Hollywood stars. Read more »

IBM Research has launched a companion to its Many Eyes data-visualization service called Many Bills, which provides a visual interface for federal legislation. The company says the idea behind the project is to make it easier to understand complicated bills that run to thousands of pages. Read more »

The Icelandic volcano eruption that stranded hundreds of thousands of travellers on Friday showed no signs of letting up on the weekend. Many of those stranded took to Twitter and Facebook to share stories and to try and find accommodations and alternate routes to their destinations. Read more »

There’s a wave of hiring taking place in Silicon Valley, with tech companies adding staff by the hundreds or even thousands. That’s good for the technology sector, and it’s good news if you’re unemployed. But it could make life even harder for plenty of struggling startups. Read more »

John Borthwick of Betaworks, which created the URL shortener, says that the company is healthy and growing, despite the fact that it is no longer the default shortener used by Twitter. The social network broke off its formerly close relationship with in December. Read more »

Cpedia founder Tom Costello has lashed out in a blog post at critics of his automated encyclopedia engine, which is a spinoff of the Cuil search engine he founded with his wife, ex-Google Anna Patterson. Costello says the errors found in Cpedia are “intentional.” Read more »

Launchpad LA has chosen 10 startups to participate in its second annual mentorship program, among them an online resource for genetic information, a cloud-based publishing network, a game design company, a Hispanic wedding service and a next-generation shopping platform still in stealth mode. Read more »

In a major reversal of strategy and a sign that the “freemium” model may no longer be the route to web-based riches, Ning’s new CEO says that the company is shutting down its free social networking service and will now provide only a 100-percent paid service. Read more »

Startup incubator Bootup Labs has come under fire from startups after one of the entrepreneurs who was accepted into the group’s program said he and his co-founder had their dreams dashed and were left penniless as a result of promises Bootup Labs made and couldn’t keep. Read more »

Where I’ve Been, a popular Facebook application that lets users chart past and future travel plans and discuss them with friends, has gotten an additional round of funding from the co-founders of Groupon, a group-buying service. Where I’ve Been says it has 9 million registered users. Read more »

At its first-ever developers conference — known as Chirp — which is being held in San Francisco today, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams provided some hard numbers behind the growth and size of the social network. Here are some of the most important ones. Read more »

The Alice in Wonderland app for the iPad, from iPhone developer Atomic Antelope, brings a whole new range of interactivity to the classic children’s book. Readers can turn and move the iPad to help Alice grow taller or shorter and throw tarts at the Red Queen. Read more »

The White House wants to hear from average citizens with big ideas about what projects the government should tackle, and has asked them to respond on Twitter. The responses are being collected by Expert Labs, a non-profit run by former Six Apart executive Anil Dash. Read more »

Two financing-related startups announced new funding of their own today: Lending Club, a peer-to-peer loan company, closed a Series C round of $24.5 million from a series of venture groups and DebtGoal, which provides online debt-management tools, closed its own Series A round of $2 million. Read more »

Facebook has upgraded its Safety Center, which contains advice for parents, young people, teachers and other groups about how to use Facebook responsibly and safely. But the site has not added a “panic button,” which is something critics and advocacy groups in Britain have repeatedly requested. Read more »

Google Buzz has launched Buzz buttons that web site publishers can add to their pages to make it easier for readers to share content on the Gmail-based social network. GigaOM is one of the launch partners for this new feature, along with several other media outlets. Read more »

TweetPhoto, which allows users to share photos through Twitter, announced a funding round of $2.6 million today from several venture investors. But is the company just a “hole filler” for Twitter? Tweetphoto says its service also works with other social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Read more »

Cuil, a widely panned search engine that debuted in 2008, has launched an automated encyclopedia called Cpedia that produces articles on topics by generating them from pages found in its index. But the only thing Cpedia manages to do is make Wikipedia look really, really good. Read more »

In its latest acquisition — and its first in the UK — Google has bought a small visual-search startup called Plink, maker of a mobile app that recognizes works of art. The acquisition appears to be an attempt to add horsepower to its Google Goggles project. Read more »

Location-based services such as Foursquare have become so popular that rumors have been swirling the company might be acquired for $100 million. But angel investor and startup advisor Dave McClure says such services will have to show users the money in order to achieve mass appeal. Read more »

The relationship between Twitter and third-party app developers has become strained, after comments by Twitter investor Fred Wilson sparked a debate over which features the company might copy or buy. But while Twitter is big enough and well-funded enough to ignore app developers, it probably shouldn’t. Read more »

All Voices, a citizen media venture that is trying to create a kind of global wire service, says it is expanding into 30 countries including Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt and China and hopes to expand into 30 more soon. It has over 335,000 contibutors in 180 countries. Read more »

Twitter designer Doug Bowman has uploaded a screenshot of a potential redesign of the web site, giving eager users a glimpse of some changes that could be rolled out soon. New features appear to include more analytics based on how active a user is on Twitter. Read more »

Kontagent, an analytics platform for social applications that describes itself as “Google Analytics for the social web,” announced new features and an enhanced dashboard this morning, along with a new round of funding. The company says it now tracks over 50 million active users a month. Read more »

Twitter investor Fred Wilson’s comments about the company’s evolution have sparked fear among developers of third-party apps that rely on the network. But even if his comments do mean Twitter is going to compete with them, shouldn’t they have seen this coming a long time ago? Read more »

Parker Liautaud is on an expedition to the North Pole, where he plans to check in via Foursquare and be the first to earn the Last Degree badge. But he has some company: a British insurance executive wants to be the first to check in, too. Read more »

Union Square Ventures investor Fred Wilson says he believes Twitter has reached an inflection point, where it is big enough and important enough to become the center of a new marketplace of businesses. But it’s not clear if the social network will ever fill that role. Read more »

In a recent interview as part of a National Press Club event, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch reiterated his belief that Google and other news aggregators are stealing his content, and his commitment to paywalls. But so far Murdoch seems to have a bandwagon of one. Read more »

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