Google Goes for Games with SocialDeck, Apple Goes Social with iTunes, 3Par Goes to the Highest Bidder, & More Bay Area BizTech News

9/7/10Follow @wroush

Three Silicon Valley standbys—HP, Apple, and Google—captured most of the tech news headlines last week. But VMware and Intel were busy too.

—Hewlett-Packard won its bidding war with Dell for Fremont, CA-based 3Par. The final price: $33 per share, or about $2.35 billion, more than twice Dell’s original offer.

—SocialDeck, a Waterloo, Ontario-based maker of cross-platform social games for iPhones, BlackBerry devices, and Facebook, revealed that Google has acquired it. The news inspired me to put together a list of all of the ingredients Google is assembling for its rumored “Google Me” social networking service, from Aardvark to Zynga.

—Udemy, a Palo Alto startup building an online platform for “casual learning” courseware, said that it has collected $1 million in seed funding from a group of Silicon Valley angel investors including Keith Rabois and Russ Fradin. I profiled the startup.

—I indulged in a rant about my least favorite Apple product, iTunes. On top of all of its other functions, from storing music to activating iPhones to printing jewel case inserts, Steve Jobs unveiled a new social networking service built into iTunes, called Ping. My essay must have hit a nerve, as it has attracted almost 100 comments from readers.

—I delved into the details of the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Paul Allen’s intellectual property holding company, Interval Licensing, against 11 Silicon Valley giants and retail chains. At issue is whether products offered by AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Yahoo, and others tread on Interval patents relating to information browsing and displays. The suit was filed September 3 in United States District Court in Seattle.

—The benefits and challenges of spinning off corporate R&D projects as independent companies was the focus of my two-part conversation with David Tennenhouse, a partner at New Venture Partners in San Mateo, CA. We published Part 1 on September 1 and Part 2 on September 2.

—VMware, the Palo Alto, CA-based virtualization subsidiary of EMC, announced at its annual VMworld conference in San Francisco that it had purchased both Integrien, an Irvine, CA-based maker of real-time infrastructure analytics software, and TriCipher, a Los Gatos, CA-based cloud security company, as Erin reported.

—Greg took a closer look at 10 once-dead technology ideas that are have come back from the grave, from group buying sites to TV on the Web.

—Speaking of Internet TV, Greg also analyzed the implications of Steve Jobs’ unveiling of the overhauled Apple TV device for the rivalry between Apple and Amazon.

—The World Economic Forum announced its list of 31 “Technology Pioneers” for 2011. Five of the companies—Aster Data, GetJar Networks, OpenDNS, ReputationDefender, and Scribd—are based in the Bay Area.

—Palo Alto, CA-based Inflection launched a new people search engine called PeopleSmart and said that it had raised $30 million in Series A funding from Matrix Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures.

—Intel in Santa Clara, CA, announced plans to buy the wireless services division of German chipmaker Infineon for $1.4 billion.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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