By Matt | WRAL TechWire
By Matt

By Matt


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Oracle to buy Sun Microsystems for $7.4B — finally, this makes sense

Editor’s note: Matt Marshall is editor of VentureBeat. SILICON VALLEY – Oracle Corporation (Nasdaq" ORCL), the large software database company company, said Monday it will acquire the server company Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) for $9.50 a share, or about $7.4 billion. It brings together two iconic Silicon Valley powerhouse...

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Venture capital shrivels 40 percent — It really is the end of the tech boom

Editor’s note: Veteran journalist Matt Marshall is founder and the top editor at VentureBeat. SILICON VALLEY – There’s no mistaking it. The richest era of internet boom, the early part of what has been called the “greatest creation of legal wealth in the history of mankind,” has played itself out. Today’s data, which shows that investment into U.S. venture capital firms dropped 40 percent in the first quarter, compared to a year ago, is just the latest sign. Silicon Valley, and its great technology prowess, is now settling into a era of continued innovation, albeit with financial rewards much...

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Google’s cross-platform advertising strategy is a shambles

Google’s cross-platform advertising strategy is looking pretty miserable right now. Led until recently by former Google U.S. sales executive Tim Armstrong, this strategy sought to spread Google’s influence beyond search advertising to include print ads, radio ads and TV commercials. Now, unconfirmed reports are emerging that Google’s cross-media ad operations didn’t perform as well as expected in the first quarter. Layoffs across its sales operations are mounting, and many of its efforts have produced embarrassing results. Even in its last bastion of hope, TV, where Google seems to have better traction, more advertisers are moving their dollars elsewhere. Yesterday,...

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$$$ for tweets? Tinker offfers a sanitized Twitter for advertisers

Glam Media, a network of sites that offers fashion content and advertising largely for a female readership, has just launched , a micro-blogging platform that wants to clean up It offers a way to find, filter and share real-time Twitter and other micro-blogging conversations (on Facebook updates and Friendfeed) on events and breaking news so that advertisers are comfortable endorsing them. We first reported Glam’s new efforts to filter Twitter’s conversations and Facebook updates last month, when it experimented with the effort at the Oscars. Basically, it lets volunteers endorse certain micro-bloggers they find are value adding to a...

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Google Voice: a killer phone application

Google has just upgraded its free phone service, And it’s going to be a hit. I’ve played with it and am sold. It adds free transcription to your voice messages on a tidy Web page, as well as SMS forwarding to your cell phone, and host of other goodies I’m convinced will make a lot of people run out and start using it. It’s free for national calls, and competitively priced for international calls. You can use it from your mobile phone (www.google.com/voice/m) — that’s right, free calls from your mobile phone. My favorite: a way to forward unwanted...

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Venture firm Kleiner Perkins is raising $1.25B — much of it green

Kleiner Perkins, the well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm is raising an additional $1.25 billion to invest in companies, according to regulatory filings. It comes at a time when Kleiner has reportedly been asking both existing and new investors to participate in its funds, something we reported last month. Kleiner is raising the money to add to four of its existing funds, presumably to give it enough gunpowder to support investments it has already made as the economy enters what many assume to be a prolonged downturn. The firm, which was an early backer of Google, Amazon and many...

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Frustration mounts about delays in N.C. chemical cleanup program

The frustration is clearly obvious among state legislators discussing a program to clean up chemicals used in dry cleaning. The state has identified over 200 sites that are contaminated by dry cleaning solvents. After 10 years three sites have been cleaned. The program leader says eventually over 900 sites could be located. Representative Pryor Gibson of Wadesboro is on the Environmental Review Commission and told the division chief on Thursday that if the work didn’t speed up the fund could be raided in an attempt to balance the budget. “Your programs are going to be under attack every single...

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Silicon Valley giant Kleiner Perkins launches ‘annex’ fund

, one of the valley’s biggest name venture capital firms, is raising a so-called “annex fund,” or reserve fund it can tap to support companies it has already backed to help ensure they get through the downturn. Kleiner has also reopened fundraising for funds it initially finished raising last year: its $700 million 13th fund, and a $500 million Green Growth fund. Notably, Kleiner has opened the Green Growth fund to limited partners that have not previously invested with Kleiner Perkins. The story was first reported this morning by PEHub. VentureBeat has confirmed that Kleiner has reached out to...

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Training people to start a business is better for job creation than incentives, UNC exec says

The former head of the Appalachian Regional Commission says helping people start their own business is more cost effective than paying companies to create jobs. Jesse White, who now directs the Office of Economic Development at UNC-Chapel Hill, told a North Carolina General Assembly legislative commission on poverty it’s often difficult to convince companies to move into poor rural areas. White spoke on Friday before the Study Commission on Poverty Reduction and Economic Recovery. The debate over tax and other incentives designed to lure new companies to the state or convince existing ones to expand within N.C. has generated...

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