• Hitachi hybrid Blu-ray camcorder hits Japan soon

      Guys, listen up. It looks like this Blu-ray thing is here to stay so we might as well start buying stuff. Case in point, this scrumptious Hitachi DZ-BD9H hybrid camcorder that records on 8cm discs or its 60GB hard drive. Yum. I wish I could take a bite out of it. The hard drive is good for nine hours of full 1920×1080 HD or you can use a disc for one hour’s worth of footage. Read More

  • SemantiNet Raises $1.7 Million

    Semantic web search startup SemantiNet has raised an initial round of $1.7 million from Giza Venture Capital. The Tel Aviv, Israel based company is aiming to “make life easy again” by providing semantic web search that allows users “to take advantage of the variety and richness of information and services that exist on the Internet, but in a way that is simple, smart and… Read More

  • 'Readius' foldable screen thing is real and it's coming

    From concept to actual product, the Readius is coming in “mid-2008″ (though not solely as an e-book reader). It will use the same electronic ink technology as Amazon’s Kindle reader although this bendable-display device will apparantly be launched as a cell phone with a 5-inch fold-out screen. The catch? No web browser. So close, huh? The Readius will have high-speed data… Read More

  • Fujitsu F705i for making calls inside glasses of water

    Fujitsu’s keeping up with the whole “world’s slimmest waterproof cell phone” thing with the release of the F705i, the latest since the F704i and the F703i before that. I predict the next one will be called the F706i. No, wait, I take that back. The next one will be called Carl. That’s my prediction. Anyway, the F705i is skinny and waterproof up to one meter at… Read More

  • Video: Control 100 Marios with hand gestures

    Provided you can ignore the discomforting sing-along soundtrack that kicks in around 29 seconds, this video is more than capable of eating up a few minutes of your day. It shows Mario (then many Marios) being controlled by some sort of hand movement recognition technology. Think Sony EyeToy, but, somehow, more gimmicky. Wow that reminds me of LittleBigPlanet, a game I’m actually… Read More

  • MEDIA ALERT! APPLE STORE DOWN! MEDIA ALERT!

    [photopress:applestore_1.jpg,full,center] Here it is just a week after Stevenote, which featured the introduction of the MacBook Air (of which you’ll hear more from me later), Time Capsule, and iTunes rentals, and the Apple Store is down. What could they possibly be adding today? We’re guessing minor price updates to peripherals, special color iPod Nanos, or perhaps new pricing… Read More

  • As Tonight's Deadline For Scrabulous Shutdown (Or Sale) Looms, Zynga Might Be Next.

    The saga of Scrabulous is nearing an end. The Facebook version of Scrabble raised the ire of Hasbro and Mattel, which jointly own the rights to the game abroad and in the U.S., respectively. They have already asked Facebook to pull Scrabulous, one of the most popular apps on the social networking site. So why is Scrabulous still up on Facebook? A flurry of behind the scenes deal-making has… Read More

  • HTC’s Touch Handset Family Reaches 2 Million Mark

    HTC’s Smart handset family of products, which is billed as a rival to Apple’s iPhone, sold 2 million units last year. The company sold nearly 12 million handsets overall last year, roughly a 12% increase over 2006 sales. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced last week that his company sold more than 4 million iPhones since its launch. The HTC Touch uses Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 software… Read More

  • Travel Organizer Tripit Goes Social

    Travel organization service Tripit, a TechCrunch 40 finalist that was recently named by Michael as one of the companies he couldn’t live with out, is getting more social with new location-based social ”Closeness” alerts. “Who’s Close To Me?” automatically notifies users if their travel plans overlap with fellow travelers while on the road, and… Read More

  • Translucent menu bar optional in next Leopard update; Stacks fixed, too

    [photopress:newstacks.jpg,full,center] That awful translucent menu bar in Leopard is now optional. Leaked screenshots of 10.5.2 show the option to turn on/off that menu bar “feature,” which, along with Stacks’ erratic behavior, annoyed me more than anything else in Leopard. Speaking of Stacks, Apple made it so that the feature works like pre-Leopard folder-in-the-dock… Read More

  • Japan to offer Government Sanctioned Mobile Phone Guides

    The Japanese government is planning to offer exams for people who want to be mobile phone guides. The guides will help customers learn how to use all the functions that their phones offer and explain the complicated billing system used to charge for various services like text messaging and data downloads. In Japan, talking on the phone while commuting in a bus or train is frowned upon so… Read More

  • 500 Invites for Netvibes Ginger Beta

    Netvibes is opening up the beta for its Ginger release, and 500 invites have been reserved for the first TechCrunch readers to sign up here (enter code: “TCGINGER500″). Ginger will become the default interface for all Netvibes members in mid-February, but if you click fast you can get a peak now. Netvibes is a customizable start page that lets you add any RSS feed, as well as… Read More

  • ATG Buys CleverSet For $10 Million

    Last October, at the Web 2.0 Launch Pad, the startup voted “Most Likely to Exit First” was CleverSet. Now three months later, CleverSet has sold itself to e-commerce software company Art Technology Group (ATG) for $10 million. It turns out to be a nice exit for CEO Todd Humphrey and founder Bruce D’Ambrosio, who built the company with about $3 million in capital and a… Read More

  • Daily Crunch: The DJ from Outer Space Edition

    A democratic solution to the neverending party DJ problem
    TokyoFlash Tibida: White LEDs!
    Time-killing list: Top 25 tech flops
    Spaceships to be made out of paper if Japan Folded Paper Plane Society has anything to say about it
    Time Warner’s overage caps could be as low as 5GB per month Read More

  • Teh.Be$T.Kommenter.Evar

    Comments are the greasy oil that keeps the blog machine running. Here are three great (and 100% unedited) comments recently posted by your fellow readers. AT&T will sell you just a SIM card – five American dollars, my friend! yoshi Walk into an AT&T store and ask for a SIM card. The teenager behind the counter will open up a case of a few thousand and hand you one. He will… Read More

  • Ebay's Meg Whitman to Step Down After a Decade as CEO

    It is not just Yahoo that is going through some rough times. After a decade at the helm, eBay CEO Meg Whitman is preparing to retire, reports the WSJ (subscr. req.). John Donahue, the president of eBay Marketplace, who was trotted out on a press tour about a month ago, is said to be the front-runner to be the next CEO. During most of Whitman’s tenure, eBay seemed unstoppable. But… Read More

  • Index Ventures Raises $577 Million For Late-Stage Growth Fund

    Bringing home the point that the venture cycle is maturing with later-stage deals sucking up more and more capital, London- and Geneva-based Index Ventures is launching a $577 million (400 million Euro) growth fund. It will invest in later-stage deals requiring $30 to $70 million each, and will focus mostly on European companies, including biotech. This is a departure for Index, whose… Read More

  • Widget Provider MixerCast Takes $6 Million Series B

    San Mateo based embeddable widget provider MixerCast has taken $6 million Series B in a round led by Intel Capital that included ONSET Ventures and Velocity Interactive Group. MixerCast allows users to mix together personal and licensed media into a slide show via one of their 18 customizable templates. Content for shows can be uploaded from a computer, recorded on a web cam, pulled in via url… Read More

  • Yahoo Layoffs For Real—But What's the Real Number?

    Last Friday, when I reported that a small team of about 30 people at Yahoo had lost their jobs, I hinted that “more substantial layoffs are around the corner.” In fact, we had it on good information that the board was set to meet two days before the next earnings announcement on Jan. 29 to decide whether or not to lay off 10 to 20 percent of the workforce (i.e., at least 1,400… Read More

  • Greenplum Takes $27 Million Series C

    Database software provider Greenplum has taken $27 million Series C is a round led by Meritech Capital Partners that included Sun Microsystems and SAP Ventures. Greenplum leverages open source database software and incorporates a “shared-nothing architecture that employs parallel processing on commodity hardware.” Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz said that the investment… Read More

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