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– How can social networks be Monetized
– Twitter is great for Big Circle Web geeks but what about others…will chart out some niche Twitter based ideas that can make more sense than just tweeting like a mad bird n fwding links

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Google has made an interesting purchase that savvy watchers of the VC world have noted, in one of those situations where you have to play the shell game of ‘watch the money flow.’ Erasmic Venture Fund is a VC fund backed by Google, one that has put money into very Web 2.0 sounding ventures like Myntra, Dovetail and ChakPak (go check their site to see the logos, you’ll catch my meaning).

Erasmic recently threw some money into a Bangalore-based fast food chain named Kaati Zone, whose corporate cultural equivalent in America seems to be Wendy’s. The terms of the investment weren’t disclosed, but the investment itself is funny and easy to poke fun at.

kaati-zone.jpgFor instance, just pondering the question “What interest could Google have in Indian Fast Food?” yeilds interesting results. Perhaps it’s cheaper for them to buy a chain of Indian restaurants than it is for them to set up the legendary cooking staff they have at the Mountain View Googleplex? Maybe they’re starting to tire of owning everything digital and want to truly venture out into meatspace (pun completely intended). Or perhaps they want to organize the world’s data, and the next step in that conquest is to robotize a fast food chain from A to Z.

The actual reason is much more dreary. Google, back in November stated a desire to foray more heavily into Indian startups and funding situations. PE Hub says that Kaati Zone is promoted by Kiran Nadkarni, whom Business Standard calls the father of Indian venture capital. This was a ’scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ situation; Erasmic needed an in to the Indian markets, and Nadkarni said “Sure, as long as you fund part of my fast food chain.”

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Now this has some interesting repercussions.

Who would’ve imagined that a pakistani move to ban you tube would be replicated globally amongst ISPs, leading YouTube being blocked for more than a couple of hours on Sunday. So, if you would’ve tried to access YouTube during those times, all you would’ve got was a 404 page not found.

Probably Pakistani ISPs tried to change their DNS to put YouTube to a non existent entry. That would all have been fine if it was not replicated by the DNS servers worldwide. The guys at Open DNS have though referred this as IP hijacking. Whatever might be the case, this should spark serious discussions on our mechanisms to propagate DNS changes and how to insulate different ISPs from malicious ISP’s or even the hijacking of a DNS.

Youtube is back up now and hope this becomes food for thought for all concerned.

 Here’s a review of what has the microsoft bid caused!……a few smiles and a few sad faces

Article on Forbes

Yahoo! co-founders and execs Jerry Yang and David Filo will likely be out of a job if their company is acquired by Microsoft. Fortunately for the pair, they’ve accumulated a hefty fortune this week to fall back on during retirement.

Based on stock ownership information reported in Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the value of Filo’s stockpile of Yahoo! (nasdaq: YHOO news people ) shares soared $796.4 million since Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT news people ) announced its bid for the Internet portal. The value of Yang’s stake jumped $436.4 million.

If they decide to sell their company to Microsoft, Yang and Filo would reap even bigger rewards. Shares of Yahoo! are still trading a discount to Microsoft’s bid of $31 per share. Plus, Yahoo! would likely try to negotiate a higher price.

While a windfall for the Yahoo! guys, the past week has squeezed the fortunes of those tied to Microsoft. Wall Street is concerned by the amount of money Microsoft will need to pay to acquire Yahoo! and the difficulties of integrating two tech giants with vastly different corporate cultures. As of midday Tuesday, shares of Microsoft are down 8.4% since the announcement of the deal.

The decline means a massive hit to the net worth of Microsoft’s largest shareholder and Chairman Bill Gates. He’s been clipped for $2.3 billion. Chief Executive Steven Ballmer was stung with a $1.1 billion loss.

It also means a sizable slide for Paul Allen. The Microsoft co-founder has been unloading stock since his departure from the company but still reportedly owns over 100 million shares.

But the losses of the Microsoft trio look paltry in comparison to that of the Google (nasdaq: GOOG news people ) guys. Google’s big three–Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page–own the vast majority of Google’s class B shares. The private shares are similar to the class A shares that trade publicly but have more voting power.

Google shares have declined 10.9% from the close of trading Thursday to midday Tuesday. Much of the fall can be blamed on Google’s disappointing fourth-quarter earnings release, but the possibility of a “MicroHoo!” isn’t helping. Microsoft has made it clear that a big reason behind the attempted Yahoo! acquisition is to challenge Google’s online hegemony.

Even worse is the battering Google shares have taken over the past three months. They’ve plummeted $221.65 or 30.6% after an excessive rally. The decline means the value of the Google position of Brin, Page and Schmidt has dropped nearly $15 billion since November.

Alright, this one is no where related to the posts I usually make here, but the internet is abuzz with conspiracy theories.

It all started with two cables from FLAG telecom(owned by Indian telecommunications giant Reliance) snapping near Egypt. And it all was attributed to the a ship anchoring off the cost. But now FLAG sources say that everything is speculation right now. A couple days later a third cable snapped. And then a fourth and fifth one has snapped recently. Too many to atrribute to random anchorings.

Here’s a snippet from internet reports about the cable breaks :

“These are SeaMeWe-4 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-4) near Penang, Malaysia, the FLAG Europe-Asia near Alexandria, FLAG near the Dubai coast, FALCON near Bandar Abbas in Iran and SeaMeWe-4, also near Alexandria.”

Now, leaving conspiracy aside the possible reasons could be:

  • Fishing trawlers which have equipment which rubs on the sea floor near coast.
  • Ships anchoring off the coast(Keep in mind that the width of the the cable is almost a human finger).

But still five snapping are a high coincidence in itself.

It also creates questions on our reliance on internet. Normally we tend to think of internet as something which is non-physical and forget about the submarine cables which link continents and maintain our connectivity, which actually have been proved to be susceptible. We need to find alternative communication channels so that we are less dependent on large physical mediums which are vulnerable and hard to fix (it will take around 15 -20 days for these cables to be fixed since they were broken).

Here’s Techcrunch also joining the league of Websites leveraging Presidential debates to increase traffic…..after Youtub(CNN Debate)…….

Oh! Sorry I meant to enable American voters hear their presidential candidates talk about technology and their vision through our favorite medium i.e. the internet ….

Agree?

It’s sadly clear that our current leaders have little understanding of technology and why it’s important to our economy and culture. That has to change.

We’ve been interviewing 2008 presidential candidates for the last few months to get them to state, on record, their positions on ten key technology related issues (Barack Obama, John McCain, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich).

In December we announced that we were also holding a Tech President primary here at TechCrunch, where readers could vote on the candidate that they thought had the best policies on these ten key issues. The poll ended yesterday, and the results can be seen here. Barack Obama won the Democrat side, with 60% of the votes (John Edwards took second). Ron Paul won the Republican vote with 73% of those votes (John McCain took second).

Those results are meaningful indicators of how our readers feel about the candidates. In addition, taking into account those votes as well as our own analysis, we are endorsing one candidate from each party: Barack Obama for the Democrats and John McCain for the Republicans.

Senator Barack Obama – Democrat

Senator Obama has put more time and effort into defining his technology policies than any other candidate. In November he released a detailed position paper on technology issues, and we had a one-on-one interview with him two weeks later.

He is staunchly in favor of net neutrality, and has promised to make it a priority to reinstate it in his first year in office. He has proposed intelligent programs for increasing technology education and access to children. He doesn’t believe the FCC went far enough in their proposed rules for opening up the 700MHz spectrum auctions. He wants to see increases in the number of H1-B visas given out each year. He strongly supports research into renewable energy sources and he has a realistic, market based approach to capping carbon emissions.

More importantly, though, Senator Obama talks about the future with a sense of optimism that the other candidates seem to lack. America has done great things in the past, and we can do great things in the future, so long as our leaders support our home-grown and immigrant entrepreneurs, or at least get out of the way. Jobs will be lost in some sectors, but growth in technology can drive our economy ever forward. Senator Obama seems to understand that, and has spent a great deal of time addressing technology issues and talking to Silicon Valley leaders. Some of the other Democratic candidates have staked out similar positions as Senator Obama on tech issues – but I get the sense that they are playing “me too” rather than showing real leadership and thoughtfulness on the issues.

Senator Obama also continues to surge when it comes to using the Internet to amplify his voice. I talked about his online surge earlier this month.

Senator Obama is the candidate of optimism and leadership, and he will be getting my personal vote.

Senator John McCain – Republican

Choosing Senator Obama for our Democrat endorsement was relatively easy. We had a lot more trouble with the Republicans. The trouble comes because, based on their positions on the issues, none of them are the perfect candidate. The leading candidates – Romney, Huckabee and McCain – all have flaws. And while Ron Paul won the TechCrunch primary by a very large margin, he too has flawed technology policies – not the least of which is that he is staunchly against net neutrality, and doesn’t want the FCC to get too involved with spectrum allocation rules.

The problems stem from Republicans’ general rule to “let the market decide,” which appeals to my libertarian leanings but can cause real problems in a monopoly-type markets. People tend to have few choices when it comes to Internet or mobile providers. In those cases using government to force a level playing field and open access is what actually stimulates economic growth. Republicans also tend to shy away from “green” issues such as pollution (carbon emissions), and alternative fuel research. Finally, their reluctance to get the Federal government involved directly in education means that they avoid issues like increasing math and science curriculum in pubic schools, or providing Federal funding or incentives to address the digital divide (in particular, getting computers and Internet into schools). Their resulting policies tend to put off technology focused voters.

Taking all of the Republican candidates positions into consideration, as well as TechCrunch reader voting, we are endorsing Senator McCain as the best candidate from that side of the aisle. Senator McCain, more so than any other Republican candidate, is at least willing to go on record on any issue we brought up in our interview with him.

He is standoffish on net neutrality, mobile spectrum rules and the digital divide. And he has voted against some bills to fund renewable energy research.

But he’s made it clear that he’ll address inequities that arise from his hands-off policies on net neutrality and mobile allocations, which other Republican candidates refuse to do. And his positions on Internet Taxes, H1-B visas, China/human rights violations and other issues are strongly pro-technology. Romney and, to a lesser extent Huckabee, by contrast, have shown little inclination to even discuss their position on these issues.

Senator McCain also has more pure leadership experience than any other candidate running for office. He is the elder statesman of the election, and that experience counts for something. Finally, his pro-business leanings will do much to promote the technology economy in the U.S.

Now, as an aside, McCain did say that he was “illiterate” when it comes to computers, which isn’t uncommon for his generation. His campaign has clarified that position somewhat since then, and it’s clear that McCain has surrounded himself with enough technically savvy individuals that he’s likely to avoid a “series of tubes” type comment down the road. Frankly, I don’t give a damn if McCain ever turns on a computer or not. I just want a president who has the right top-down polices to support the information economy or, as I said above, be smart enough to just get out of our way and let us do our thing.

For additional information resources, check out Yahoo’s Election Dashboard, Political Base and TechPresident (unaffiliated with us).

on Techcrunch.com