W3C (the Worldwide Web Consortium) has announced a plan to “recommend” (see: declare as ready) the HTML5 spec. Further updates (5.1 and onward) are expected to be given the okay every two years after that.
The Xbox One, the latest videogame console — if you can call it that — from Microsoft, will allow users to play games and assume control from their friends (to help with a difficult level, say) via Skype, Polygon reports. The report also states that Xbox One will talk back to users, becoming more and more like Siri or Google Now.
Verizon has launched a “Verizon Cloud” application on the iPhone, AppleInsider reports. The service costs between $2.99 and $9.99 per month, and is essentially an iCloud replacement that uses Verizon’s servers instead of Apple’s.
Intel may have scored its biggest win in the mobile sector with rumors indicating that its next-gen Atom chip, Clover Trail, will be featured in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablet. If true, the company would have beaten out rival NVidia’s Tegra chip and Samsung’s own Exynos processor. [Source: VentureBeat]
The exodus of senior talent from VMWare continues, with two executives joining Redpoint Ventures as entrepreneurs in residence (EIR). The latest defectors are Chief Technology Officer – SaaS and Application Services Javier Soltero and Sr. Director R&D Kevin Henrikson. [Source: TechCrunch]
There’s a bidding war going on around Hulu. Four parties have submitted bids including Former News Corp president Peter Chernin, Guggenheim Digital Media, DirecTV, and Time Warner Cable. Despite rumors that Yahoo may have been interested, the company’s recent $1.1 billion Tumblr acquisition likely takes it out of the mix. The only known valuation is Chernin’s bid of $500 million plus an assumption of Hulu’s existing debt. [Source: Bloomberg]
Tiger Global has invested $50 million WordPress parent company Automatic. The round took the form of a secondary offering, meaning the investor bought shares from early investors and employees and the company receives no new capital. Founder Matt Mullenweg wrote in a blog post: “Automatic is healthy, generating cash, and already growing as fast as it can so there’s no need for the company to raise money directly.” [Source: Mullenweg]
Facebook is in the process of moving out of its sterile mid-town offices into the swank East Village, according to reports. Sources have the company in negotiations to move into the seventh and eighth floors of 770 Broadway, a building that already houses AdWeek and AOL. The move should help the company recruit and retain engineers who expect a more startup vibe. [Source: Crains]
The Donald (aka Trump) is launching a crowdfunding platform called FundAnything which will support arts, causes, personal pursuits, and business ideas among other categories. Trump is partnering with LEarning Annex founder Bill Zanker in the endeavor. [Source: Tecnonomy]
There might be more anti-trust scrutiny coming Google’s way with the Federal Trade Commission reportedly looking into whether the search company is unfairly using its ad market dominance to drive customers to its other services. Critics, including competitor Microsoft, have been vocal in asking for FTC action in this matter. [Source: Bloomberg]
Luxury apparel commerce startup Vaunte raised $1.125 million from Battery Ventures, Maveron, and fashion and Christopher Burch. The site, which allows celebrities to sell secondhand goods and new items (sortof like what OpenSky tried and pivoted away from), has 60,000 members, having facilitated more than half a million dollars in transactions since it launched in the Fall. [Source: TechCrunch]
Clearlake Capital Partners has acquired publicly traded Bluefly.com, the luxury ecommerce site with a market cap of $11 million. Clearlake is acquiring shares from public shareholders as well as private investors Rho Capital Partners, Soros Fund Management, Prentice Capital Management and Maverick Capital. [Source: Clearlake Capital]
Adly, a startup that pays celebrities to celebrities to tweet about brands, has raised $2 million from GRP Partners and new investor Siemer Ventures, bringing its total funding to $7.5 million. [Source: TechCrunch]
Austin Ventures plans to go downmarket to invest in more early stage companies. As a result, the company is shrinking its next fund size by half for its upcoming vehicle. The company is raising $450 million for its 11th fund. It’s 10th fund was $900 million. [Source: Austin Ventures]
Bloomberg is now reporting that mapping company Waze is the subject of acquisition talks, with Google as the chief suitor. TechCrunch, which has reported false rumors about a Waze acquisition before, says this one’s probably not true either. Waze won’t comment. What’s the likelihood that all these rumors are coming from someone who wants to jack up Waze’s value? Greater than zero. [Source: Bloomberg]
The Fairphone, an ethically sourced, built, and distributed smartphone initially designed to bring attention to the use of conflict minerals in consumer electronics, is open for pre-sales, starting in Europe. The phone retails for $436, is unlocked, and runs Android 4.2. [Source: Fairphone]
Skeuomorphia might be out the window in the next iteration of Apple’s iOS, and it looks like color won’t be far behind. The latest rumors about the Jony Ive-led design suggest that black-and-white elements will feature heavily in the new user interface. [Source: 9to5Mac]