News Of The Day 2/15/2011

Sad News, Joanne Siegel, wife of Jerry Siegel and model for Lois Lane passed away at the age of 93

MERS lacks right to transfer mortgages. Why do you care? The company behind MERS holds half of all US mortgages and was created to assist with mortgage transfers (and of course get around mortgage paperwork). In short, it's processes don't comply with the law, a ton of banks and loan agencies used them, and this can screw up transfers, foreclosures, everything.

Gee, people behind derivatives trading wouldn't engage in Astroturfing, would they? Stupid question, they would. A lot of people make a lot of money – and screwed a lot up – and are afraid of new regulation. Remember new regulation may not just stop some transactions, it might just dig up old things . . .

Geek Law:
The Righthaven case could make things more complicated for media companies, depending on how the decision goes. never thought about this, probably worth reading.

WOW. Brightsource raises $89.6 million. They're working on a solar thermal plant in the Mojave. That's a lot of cash for an interesting venture. Oakland is not exactly the idea workplace for people (neither is the Mojave), but man that's a LOT of money . . .

Soldagim, which makes self-tinting windows (which also help control temperature and building environment) raises $10 million. Sweet little piece of technology. They also got a loan to put a factor in Missisippi. Smart people, good tech – it might not be sexy, but I like what I see here. Resume-worthy.

Tango, which makes a 3G/4G video calling app raised $8.7 million. They've got a slick product there, and it scales well. I suspect they'll probably get bought by someone, but it may be a place to get into for the benefits (and the buyout oppos). Resume-worthy.

Looks like Apple really does want a 30% cut of subscriptions under many conditions. This is something I'm both uncomfortable with, yet also understand – as Apple's logic seems to be they're why the person got the app in the first place. At the same time 30% seems like an awful lot. This is more aggressive than I expected, and I think it's a bad move for Apple. Read the whole thing to get the picture.

Social Media:
Ads that allow you to 'Like' and share them? Maybe it's the technophile in me, but I like this idea from RadiumOne. Sure they used to be someone else, but I really think this is idea is clever, and at least someone is rethinking Ads. Let's see how they do – and you may want to give them a reuse.

GetJar, which has its own App store on many platforms, raised $25 million. Sounds resume-worthy.

HTC (the guys who are investing in OnLive), launches a powerful 7" Android tablet.

Video Games:
Zynga is still trying to raise funds, and they're going to some big names (Fidelity, T. Rowe). After Goldman got a piece of Facebook, I'd certainly consider a piece of Zynga (which does make things).

Pokemon card game goes online. I didn't see this coming, interesting to see.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY: How are people going to react to Apple's pricing?

– Steven Savage