Mobile payments start-up Square has acquired a $100 million investment from venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.
The company announced the investment on its Twitter feed. "To continue to empower everyone to accept payments anywhere, we've raised $100 million in our Series C Financing, led by @kpcb," the company tweeted. KPCB partner Mary Meeker will also be joining Square's board of directors.
The new round of financing has quadrupled the company's value in just six months when a $27.5 million round of funding led … Read more
One Facebook user is expressing her annoyance with the social network--not through a Facebook status update, but by posting a parody song on YouTube.
One of the points Australian singer Madelaine Zammit stresses in the song is the randomness of friendship requests, singing about a 40-year-old man trying to add her as a friend. Zammit, a high school student, sang her song live during an Australian morning show and it took off from there. "I thought only my friends would watch it and like we'd have a laugh about it. Then it got to be over 300,000 hits. I didn't think it would," she told the morning show.
Zammit's second video on YouTube (watch it below) is much better than her first (not even sure what she's saying in this one). Does she want to be a singer in the future? "I can't imagine doing anything else because, like, schoolwork, I don't find very interesting. Music would be heaps good to do in the future," she told the morning show hosts.
Her rapid-fire lyrics perhaps reflect the frenzied nature of checking updates, poking crushes, and liking the latest cat video. "I get distracted then go scrolling up and down the feed/Then notice all the people that I really wished I didn't have to meet/I don't like skinny guys with little muscle who think they're strong." … Read more
Here's one that's sure to make art lovers go googly-eyed. Google has teamed with the Getty museum in Los Angeles to bring its Google Goggles visual search feature to museum-goers.
This means Getty-goers with the Google Goggles app on their Android or iOS device can just point their gadget at any painting in the Getty museum's permanent collection to snap a picture and instantly access mobile-optimized versions of the work from around the Web.
They'll also be able to get audio commentary from curators and conservators and biographical information about the artist, and locate other works by the creator at the Getty. We're betting Google Goggles for Getty (try saying that 10 times fast) will also make a great tool for those who get museum overload and want to further reflect on the "Adoration of the Magi" once they've escaped the crowds.
Google first launched its search-by-site tool for Android phones in late 2009 and made it available for the iPhone about a year later. It can recognize books, album covers, artwork, landmarks, product logos, and more, and can also instantly translate text that has been captured by your phone's camera. Google refers to its Goggles search method as "computer vision."
The Getty says it's the first museum to work with Google to make its entire collection of paintings available virtually via Google Goggles. We'd love to see Goggles pop up at more museums, as long as people remember to turn their flashes off and look up while they're Google Goggling. … Read more
Paul Ceglia, the man who claims he has a contract that entitles him to 50 percent ownership in Facebook, has lost his high-power legal representation at a critical juncture in the case.
Ceglia filed a notice of substitution of counsel today with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to replace the law firm of DLA Piper, a 4,200-attorney international law firm, with the San Diego-based Lake law firm, a firm of four lawyers that also represents 200 medical marijuana collectives.
DLA Piper's withdrawal comes on the day that Ceglia's latest filing … Read more
Zynga is half of the big IPO we've been waiting for. The other half, if course, is Facebook. But Zynga is likely the cleaner story for investors. Expected to file its public offering papers tomorrow, we can prepare to see in them some heartening information: Most likely, we'll see a company that's raking in money from a broad base of consumers, based on a scalable and maintainable base of technology.
Zynga is a beautiful, shark-like machine. Its focus is on getting consumers to pay for online interactions, and it does that well. The company builds cartoony world-building … Read more
Oh, forget all that talk of Google+ and its uncomfortably human concept called "real-life sharing."
Here is something far more startling: Google has launched a new home page today. Yes, today.
In a stealthy little blog post, Google's digital creative director, Chris Wiggins, expounded on this seminal advancement with both enthusiasm and detail.
The new home page has a smaller logo--one can only imagine they must have tried at least 3,042 different sizes--and is supposed to be based on merely three guiding principles: focus, elasticity, and effortlessness.
Elasticity is perhaps the easiest to grasp. The idea … Read more
Zynga, the online gaming company behind FarmVille and CityVille, plans to file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering as early as tomorrow, CNBC is reporting.
The San Francisco company plans to raise between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in a filing that would value the company at between $15 billion and $20 billion, according to the CNBC report.
While the Zynga filing has been expected, it would add to an already frothy lineup of Net start-ups looking to cash in on lofty valuations for tech companies. Earlier this month, daily-deals company Groupon filed papers … Read more
Having overdosed recently on the supply of documentaries and foreign films within Netflix's streaming library, I was hankering for something that went "boom." But as far as interesting action titles were concerned, Netflix's cupboards were bare.
Meanwhile, over at YouTube's relatively new and much-ignored movie rental service, the streaming shelves overflowed with full-length titles that, while not new, were a couple of grades higher than the dregs found at Netflix that day. At YouTube, there was "Gran Torino," "The Bourne Supremacy," and "Sucker Punch." I went with "Bourne.&… Read more
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said on his blog today he is teaming with another co-founder of the microblogging service, Evan Williams, to restart the company that gave life to Twitter.
The Obvious Corporation will be run by Stone, Williams, and former Twitter product chief Jason Goldman. The trio will "develop new projects and work on solving big problems aligned along a simple mission statement: The Obvious Corporation develops systems that help people work together to improve the world. This is a dream come true!" Stone wrote on his blog.
That means Stone will leave his daily duties at … Read more
Google has revealed that it took down more than 93,000 ads linking to scam sites from July to December last year, in response to requests from U.K. consumer protection authorities.
The figures for AdWords-related removals in the last half of 2010 were released as part of the Google Transparency Report on yesterday. In the report, the company tallies the amount of content it has taken off its AdWords service and its search, Google Images, YouTube, Street View, Blogger, and Google Video sites, after receiving submissions from government bodies.
"The U.K.'s Office of Fair Trading requested … Read more