Redpoint Ventures Closes New $400 Million Fund


Menlo Park,
– Redpoint Ventures, a venture
capital firm focused on the technology sector, said on Tuesday that it has
closed a new $400 million fund, known as Redpoint IV.

The early-stage fund will
be used to invest in the social and mobile Internet, cloud computing and clean
technology spaces.

Redpoint was an early investor in companies such as MySpace,
Netflix, TiVo and Juniper.

Founded in 1999, the firm currently has over $2
billion under management.


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AOL Joins MIT Media Lab; Looks to Ramp Innovation


New York – Looking to ramp up its technology innovation, AOL (NYSE: AOL)
said on Wednesday that it has signed on to become a "consortium-level
sponsor" of the MIT Media Lab, which conducts research projects aimed at
developing cutting-edge digital technologies.

The lab said that such a
sponsorship costs $200,000 for three years. The news comes two weeks after AOL
confirmed that CTO Ted Cahall was leaving the company, and named Google veteran
Jeff Reynar as its head of technology for engineering and products in New York.

Reynar, the
co-founder of social search developer DBT Labs, will lead the company’s new New York Technology Center,
which AOL said it is launching to increase engineering talent for its content

"AOL and the Media Lab have each pioneered significant advances
in the way people communicate and consume information in a digital environment,
which makes this an exciting collaboration for AOL," said Reynar.

"Investing in innovation in a creative, non-traditional environment is a
fundamental part of AOL’s future."


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Tapulous Releases "Riddim Ribbon" iPhone Music Game


Palo Alto,
Calif. –
Tapulous, developers of the
"Tap Tap Revenge" music-based games for Apple’s iPhone and iPod
touch, have released a new game, "Riddim Ribbon," with tracks from the
Black Eyed Peas and Tiesto. The $2.99 game, which was co-produced by Black Eyed
Peas’, lets users "create their own unique mixes to hot tracks
as they race down a crazy ribbon, pick up pebbles, choose forks in the road and
avoid obstacles."


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Google Reduces "Equipment Recovery Fee" on Nexus One


– Google (NASD: GOOG) has reduced the "equipment recovery fee" that customers must
pay if they choose to break a two-year service contract with T-Mobile for its
Nexus One smartphone, the Associated Press reported. The $350 fee for new
T-Mobile customers was reduced to $150, while the $250 fee for existing
T-Mobile subscribers who upgraded to the Nexus One fell to $50. That fee from
Google would be in addition to a separate early termination fee charged by
T-Mobile USA, which is $200 if the contract is broken between days 14 and 120.


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Bally Total Fitness Taps Universal for Music Download Promotions


Los Angeles
– Universal Music Group on Tuesday announced a two-year deal with Bally Total
Fitness, to provide MP3 downloads to be used as enticements to acquire new
members, reward loyal members and incentivize employee sales. Under the deal,
Bally agreed to buy 4.5 million downloads from Universal. Next month, most new
Bally gym members will receive 20 music downloads with their Bally membership,
redeemable at a co-branded site accessible via


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Google Debuts "Buzz" Social Features in Gmail


Mountain View,
– Google (NASD:  GOOG) on Tuesday introduced
Buzz, a new set of social networking features it will roll out to its 176 million
Gmail users in a bid to compete with similar offerings from Facebook, Twitter
and others.

Buzz lets users set and share "status updates" with their
Gmail contacts, and the rest of the world, if they choose.

Users can also share photos, videos
and links, and import content from Twitter, Picasa, Flickr and Google Reader.

version for mobile devices will let users provide location tags to their Buzz updates.

Google says it will automatically generate a Buzz friend list for users, based
on "the people you email and chat with the most."

Google’s previous
forays into social networking include Orkut — a social network that found
popularity mainly in Brazil
— and OpenSocial, its Web platform for building social applications.


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(Google blog post)

Yahoo to Shutter Tech Website


– Yahoo (NASD: YHOO) said on Tuesday
that it will discontinue its Yahoo Tech website, and begin redirecting the
community of users formed there to its Yahoo Technology News section.

will shutter on March 11, at which point content such as ratings
and reviews that users had uploaded to the site will disappear, as well their profiles.

"Yahoo will continue to offer technology related
content from our bloggers and partner community, and we will also migrate
selected archived news stories and reviews to Yahoo Technology News," the
company said.


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RealNetworks, MTV to Spin-off Rhapsody Music Service


– RealNetworks (NASD:  RNWK) and Viacom’s (NYSE:  VIA) MTV Networks, partners in the Rhapsody digital
music service joint venture, have announced plans to spin-off Rhapsody into a
new, independent company. Real, which currently owns 51% of the equity in
Rhapsody, and MTV, which owns 49%, will reduce stakes so that each hold an
equal stake of less than 50% of the company. The remaining shares will be made available
to "one or more minority stockholders."

Under the deal, Real will
contribute $18 million in cash to the newly independent Rhapsody, some of which
will be used to repurchase the international radio business it previously
contributed to Rhapsody.

For its part, MTV will contribute a $33 million
advertising commitment.

The two companies will each receive two seats on a new
Rhapsody board, which will also include an independent director.

The spin-off
transaction is expected to close late in the first quarter.

Rhapsody into its own independent company is a significant first step in making
RealNetworks a more focused and profitable company," said Robert Kimball,
president and acting CEO for RealNetworks.

"Rhapsody will be the largest
pure play digital music service in the market. We have provided Rhapsody with
the right team, and financial and intellectual property assets to succeed in
the competitive market for digital music."


Related Links:
(SEC filing)

Aussie Man to Pay Nintendo $1.3M for Pirating Wii Mario Game


– An Australian man has agreed to pay Nintendo $1.3 million in damages and
reimburse $87,000 in legal costs, as part of a settlement reached after he was
taken to court or allegedly uploading a copy of "New Super Mario Bros.
Wii" to the Internet, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The man uploaded
the game to the Internet before it became available for purchase in Australia, the
report said.

Nintendo sued 24-year-old James Burt for copyright infringement,
and was granted access to his computers, as well as emails and access to social
networking accounts.

"Nintendo will pursue those who attempt to jeopardise
our industry by using all means available to it under the law," the
company said in a statement.


Related Links:

(Sydney Morning Herald)

TiVo: Super Bowl More Engaging than Ads; Doritos is Top Spot


Alviso, Calif. – TiVo (NASD: TIVO) reports that the top five
moments during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast that users of its digital video
recorders rewound to watch again were all from the game itself, as opposed to
the commercials.

The fourth quarter interception returned for a touchdown by
the Saints was the most-rewound moment of the entire broadcast, according to

Among the ads, the user-generated Doritos "House Rules" spot
was the most-rewound, followed by "You’re Not You When You’re Hungry"
from Snickers, and the Tim Tebow Focus on the Family ad.

The company noted that
the bit with David Letterman, Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey was not included in
its commercial category, but would have been the second most-rewound if it had


Related Links:
(Hollywood Reporter)