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Facebook’s much-anticipated announcement of its Social Inbox and acquisition of Zenbe, a mail-related startup, has directed a lot of attention to startups dedicated to reshaping the email landscape. But former Xoopit CEO Bijan Marashi warns that that goal may be too lofty for a startup. Read more »

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Gravity, a Los Angeles-based startup, says it’s developing an "interest graph" that will let it recommend content to users based on their preferences, but the initial offering from the company — a service called Twinterests, which pulls your interests from your Twitter feed — is unimpressive. Read more »

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Path, a well-funded San Francisco-based startup co-founded by Shawn Fanning of Napster fame and Dave Morin, formerly of Facebook, today launched its app and private social network amidst blaze of glory. Unfortunately, it is a solution in search of a problem. Read more »

Predictably irrational

Some Google engineer gets paid $3.5 million to not leave, and finally people notice: Irrationality seems to be escalating in Silicon Valley, a place that, for some odd reason, is detached from the global economic reality. This is not going to be good for startups. Read more »

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PiCloud, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company that is developing a python-based platform as a service (PaaS) has raised $1.4 million in its first round of funding. Investors in PiCloud co-founded by Ken Elkabany (CEO) and Aaron Staley, include Greylock Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Andreessen Horowitz. Read more »

RockMelt Co-Founder

RockMelt, a Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up with backing from the likes of Marc Andreessen, has made a new socially-aware, media-consumption-centric browser that’s available in beta soon. The company says its browser is optimized for the modern web and focuses on making sharing easy. Read more »

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In Silicon Valley, there’s an elite group of companies whose valuations defy gravity. These are companies with momentum, whether real or perceived: Zynga, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. Add Groupon, RadiumOne, Tumblr, Cloudera and RightScale to this list. Plus, they are all in the money. Read more »

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In this video interview the Alfred brothers — Mike and Ryan — co-founders of San Diego-based Brightscope tell the story of their startup which is becoming the Morningstar of the 401K plan. They share how they took raw government data and turned it into actionable information. Read more »

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Hulu might slash the price of Hulu Plus in half, from $9.95 a month to $4.95 a month. The possibility of a price cut could indicate the subscription service, which is still in beta, might not have generated the consumer interest that Hulu had hoped for. Read more »

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Somebody jumped the gun at Apple’s official Discussions page early this morning, adding new sections for iMovie ’11, iPhoto ’11 and GarageBand ’11. There’s also one called “MBA (Need official name)” which means a new MacBook Air is all but certain at today’s event. Read more »

Philip Rosedale, Web 2.0 Conference

Four months after CEO Mark Kingdon left the San Francisco-based Linden Labs — the company behind once hot virtual world, Second Life — interim CEO and founder Phil Rosedale is leaving the company to work on his new company, LoveMachine, which is working on collaboration software. Read more »

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Freedom-loving developers have long used open-source licenses as a tactic to maintain the open availability of their source code. With the rise of closed hardware/software platforms like Apple’s iPhone, however, that tactic is being challenged. And that may not be a bad thing. Read more »

With EMC in talks to buy Isilon and news of Dell’s DCS business only getting better, the future is all about lots and lots of cheap boxes. And speaking of the future, will all the post-M&A integration leave “supervendors” hamstrung as IT passes them by? Read more »

V-Vehicle: DOE Decides Against Loan for Stealthy Car Startup

It’s a new day for V-Vehicle, an auto startup with ambitions to produce low-cost efficient cars. The company has just taken two steps common among startups whose investors are unhappy and pushing for a restart: a new name — Next Autoworks Co. — and a new CEO. Read more »

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Silicon Valley, like any other industry town, has its own rhythm: vacillating between boom and bust. The severity of the bust (or boom) might change, but the cycles don’t change very much. These days, Silicon Valley is feeling very optimistic. A very active angel community, a […] Read more »

As data volumes skyrocket, startups looking to take advantage of the opportunity in Big Data need to focus on the art of statistical-learning algorithms, says the founder of Dataspora. Modeling and analysis through algorithms is what will determine the winners and losers in Big Data. Read more »

Jeff Jonas, chief scientist at IBM Entity Analytics Group and an IBM Distinguished Engineer thinks the world has a big problem with big data and problem is only going to get bigger. In this video he discusses the coming data tsunami and its impact. Read more »

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Union Square Ventures investor Fred Wilson came to Toronto earlier this week for a series of meetings with startups and venture investors, and to judge some young companies at a local DemoCamp, and said that the startup atmosphere in Toronto reminded him of New York. Read more »

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Minted.com, a San Francisco-based online stationary seller has found enough success with the crowd sourcing model to think about expanding into new markets. The company has hired veteran Google engineer as its CTO to beef up its infrastructure it needs for its grand ambitions. Read more »

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Angel investor Dave McClure has added a roster of mentors and advisors to the team at his recently launched seed fund/incubator 500 Startups, a group that includes Google’s “open advocate” Chris Messina, Josh Elman of Twitter, Slideshare CEO Rashmi Sinha and Hunter Walk of YouTube. Read more »

Eventbrite

Eventbrite has closed $20 million in Series D funding led by DAG Ventures, and including Tenaya Capital as well as previous investor Sequoia Capital. The four-year-old, San Francisco-based company has now raised a total of $29.5 million. Read more »

Eager to get over the embarrassing departure of former chairman and CEO Mark Hurd, who joined Oracle and was subsequently sued by his former employer, Hewlett-Packard has named a new CEO — but the response to its choice has been underwhelming at best. Read more »

PHOTOS: Exxon, Synthetic Genomics Open Algae Test Facility

Algae fuel is likely decades from powering our vehicles, which is one of the reasons that federal lawmakers already are focusing on tax breaks for companies in the field. Yesterday the House passed a bill that gives $1.01 per gallon tax credit to algae fuel producers. Read more »

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PVT Solar, which is developing a way to capture heat from a solar-panel rooftop system for heating water and homes, has raised a series B round of $13.7 million and also brought in a new CEO, Vikas Desai, the company plans to announce Tuesday. Read more »

Today on the Net: an analyst estimates that NBC Universal is worth negative $600 million while USA Network is worth $11.7 billion, broadcasters like NBC are holding back the available ad inventory for sale on Hulu and Imax’s CEO says not every 3-D movie will work. Read more »

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Solar thermal player BrightSource has raised another $26 million of its previously raised round, and reportedly has moved closer to an IPO by hiring Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Will the solar thermal leader hit the public markets in 2011? Read more »

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MogoTix is launching a new ticketing service today that lets event holders and attendees use mobile tickets for events. This isn’t the first such service, but MogoTix believes it has an elegant solution that satisfies both parties, and fully leverages mobile phones. Read more »

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