Another PR payola scandal for Microsoft, and other stories – January 24, 2006
Another PR payola scandal for Microsoft. Hot on the heels of the furore over an attempt to ‘woo’ bloggers with free laptops, Microsoft’s PR tactics have caused controversy again. The company apparently offered to pay a blogger, Rick Jelliffe, to edit Wikipedia entries (here and here) that it maintains are biased towards to IBM. Here’s what Jelliffe had to say about the “interesting offer.”
U.S. VC investment at highest since 2001. That’s according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree report featured on Silicon Valley Watcher today. Here are some nuggets: a total of $25.5 billion was invested in 3,416 deals in 2006; life sciences was the number one investment sector for 2006, with 28% of all capital invested; internet-specific deals accounted for 16% of all VC dollars in 2006; the industrial/energy sector increased 107%; 40% of capital invested the industrial/energy sector went to alternative energy. In addition, U.S.-based venture capitalists invested $856 million in India and $1.1 billion in China. But could Silicon Valley fall behind Europe in the internet start-up stakes? Quite possibly, according to the New York Times.
Moral flexibility a plus. Wired reports that National Clandestine Services, part of the CIA, has started recruiting via Facebook, the social networking site for students. If you’ve ever wondered whether you have what it takes to be a spy, check out the NCS video ad on YouTube.
Sorry Brangelina, we’re talking about serious stuff this year. The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting starts today in Davos. Celebrities are out this year (except self-styled statesman Bono), world leaders and climate change are in. Follow the discussions at Davos Conversation. Or, if that you’re that way inclined, at Reuters’ Second Life bureau.
Spying scandal doesn’t affect HP bonuses. The San Jose Mercury News reports that Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd received $19.2 million in total compensation for 2006 – including an $8.6 million bonus, one of the largest in Silicon Valley history. The industry is hoping that Apple’s Steve Jobs can emerge equally unscathed from his options backdating scandal.