QOTD: Not Just Another Startup

The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald

Former Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin Buys a News Site That Covers Topics Like Danny Zappin

A YouTube trade publication gets an owner who knows the YouTube business quite intimately.
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Voices

Early Adopter: Pothole-Reporting App SeeClickFix Raises $1.5 Million to Help You Be a Squeakier Wheel

It’s a fine line between keeping your potholes filled and walls graffiti free and being a civic tattletale. Civic nuisance reporting app SeeClickFix lets you toe the line, and just got another $1.5 million from O’Reilly AlphaTech and Omidyar to help users keep at it.

Shhh! Google Buys Metaweb to Boost Search Results

Here’s some actual tech news that slid out during Apple’s “There’s no Antennagate” event: Google has bought Metaweb Technologies, which it describes as a start-up that “maintains an open database of things in the world.”

Study Group Time: Here Are the Legal Briefs for eBay-craigslist Trial Tomorrow!

The trial begins bright and early tomorrow morning in Delaware between online auction giant eBay and Web classified kingpin craigslist. Since BoomTown is in a “Paper Chase” mood, I expect everyone to bone up on the legal issues by reading the pretrial briefs below. If not, as John Houseman, playing Professor Charles Kingfield, said so memorably: “Here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.”
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Another Legal Tussle for eBay–And It's Not Skype This Time!–As Former CEO and California Guv Hopeful Whitman Kicks Off Craigslist Trial Monday

Auction giant eBay is headed to court again Monday, and for once, it has nothing to do with the litigious Skype co-founders. Instead, it’s a battle in Delaware with craigslist, the San Francisco online classified powerhouse that eBay holds a minority ownership position in. That stake is actually precisely what’s at stake. Cue the march of the eBay lawyers!
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Wikipedia: "Free" as in Thanks for Your $2 Million Donation

August has been a lucrative month for the Wikimedia Foundation. Last week, the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia received a $500,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Now it has been given a $2 million grant from the Omidyar Network.
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Voices

eBay Chair Omidyar Pops Up at Social News Start-up Ginx

While former eBay CEO Meg Whitman mulls a run for the Republican nomination for governor of California, eBay Chairman and founder and venture investor Pierre Omidyar has cropped up in a SEC filing listed as an executive for a secretive start-up officially known as Peer News Inc. but operating a service under the name Ginx.

Silicon Valley Leaders Say No to Proposition 8 With New Group and Ad

Today, a panoply of prominent tech and Internet leaders is taking a very public stand against a controversial initiative before California voters, which would eliminate the current legal right of same-sex couples to marry. Silicon Valley has had a long history of supporting gay rights. And recently, Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin has made a strong statement opposing Proposition 8, while Apple gave $100,000 to the help defeat it.

DonorsChoose.org Looking at $11 Million Investment–Finally, a Start-Up BoomTown Can Love

I will admit it–most funding announcements for tech start-ups bore the living daylights out of me. Writing about however many millions of dollars go to however many frivolous widget companies is about as interesting as watching Robert Scoble’s blog video lectures. (Sorry, Bob!) So it is nice to see a good (and good-for-you) charity site […]