Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google Buys Another Piece of Its Social Puzzle

Another small start-up gets sucked up into the Googleplex. This one is Angstro, which was supposed to help deliver news to users based on their “social graph.” But founder Rohit Khare has shut the service down and is now working at the search giant.

The Los Angeles Times, which first reported the story, says Khare is sitting next to Slide founder Max Levchin, who sold his company to Google (GOOG) a few weeks ago, and now works there as a VP of engineering.

The LAT’s Jessica Guynn assumes that Khare will work with Levchin and Google’s Vic Gundotra’s efforts to roll out a “social”…well, we’re not exactly sure what it will be. But it will be something, and it will compete with Facebook. Right?

With his vision for an “open, interoperable social networks,” Khare’s a good fit for Google, which has championed that approach over Facebook’s “walled garden.”

Khare joined Google because he was sold by vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra’s pledge that Google is serious about social, a person familiar with the situation said.

“He has built a lot of interesting pieces that would be useful to anyone building a social network,” the person said.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus