Marvell Funds OLPC Tablet, Viewdle’s Face Recognition Advances, Aneesh Chopra Speaks, & More Bay Area BizTech News

10/13/10Follow @wroush

Thanks to the long Columbus Day weekend (observed at Xconomy’s Massachusetts headquarters, if not by many Californians), last week seems like it was ages ago. But not so long ago that I couldn’t scrape up our main business and technology headlines.

—I scored an interview with Aneesh Chopra, the chief technology officer of the United States, who advises President Obama on efforts to use IT to make government more transparent and efficient. We talked about healthcare IT policy, how entrepreneurs can benefit from government data sharing, and the role of prizes and challenges in stimulating innovation.

—My colleague Bob Buderi broke the news that Santa Clara, CA-based semiconductor maker Marvell has supplied the One Laptop Per Child Foundation with a $5.6 million grant to develop the XO 3, a future tablet version of the foundation’s low-cost computer for children in developing countries.

—I wrote a column about how I was feeling sorry for Mark Zuckerberg after seeing The Social Network, but then got mad all over again over Facebook’s mishandling of its new Groups feature, which allows users to add friends to groups without their advance permission.

—Viewdle, a San Jose, CA, startup commercializing facial recognition software first developed by Ukrainian computer scientists for the Soviet military, said that it had raised $10 million in new funding and that it plans to bring consumer-oriented products to market in the next few months.

—I profiled LookSmart, a San Francisco survivor from the dot-com era that now specializes in helping advertisers safely distribute pay-per-click ads to second-tier search sites—everything smaller than Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

—In a piece on Sunnyvale, CA-based startup Innovalight, I explained how a one percent improvement in the efficiency of solar panels—enabled by the company’s “silicon ink” technology—could translate into a big win for solar manufacturers, and for Innovalight and its investors.

—On the deals and acquisitions front, ClairMail raised $13.8 million, Threatmetrix raised $12.1 million, SocialShield raised $10 million, Eventbrite raised $20 million, and Involver raised $8 million. Meanwhile, Omnicell bought Pandora Data Systems, Yahoo bought Dapper, and Zynga bought Bonfire Studios. And two startups changed their names: Offerpal became Tapjoy, and Snaptic became Catch.com.

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

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