Web-based instant messaging and chat service Meebo is planning to raise $25-30 million in venture funding, VentureBeat reported Monday .
This would likely peg Meebo's valuation at between $200 and $250 million, a whole lot more than the $60-70 million that it was reportedly worth after a funding round last year. As VentureBeat's Matt Marshall noted, investment banking flop Bear Stearns was just sold for $236 million. Never mind that reports show venture funding may be drying up and the economic forecast hasn't been getting any better recently.
Meebo, which is supported by advertising revenue, has reportedly hired the San Francisco bank Montgomery & Co. to handle the effort, and some big names in the social-networking space--possibly even Facebook or News Corp.'s MySpace.com--may be interested. MySpace operates its own instant-messaging service, and Facebook is rumored to have one in the works .
The U.S. Department of Energy plans to pull its support of a $1.8 billion project to build a power plant that captures pollution underground, according to published reports.
The FutureGen project is meant to test cutting-edge carbon capture and storage technology, which is supposed to dramatically reduce emissions from fossil fuel-burning power plants.
Carbon capture and storage is considered an important technology to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, but the technology is unproven at a large scale. A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year called for government funding of carbon capture projects in the United States to work out technical issues.
In December, the FuturGen Alliance , which includes participation of oil and coal companies, announced plans to build its first facility in Matoon, Ill.
But ballooning costs and a dispute over the location prompted the Department of Energy to pull its support, according to an Associated Press article citing lawmakers who were briefed by the agency. An announcement is expected in the coming days.
A Department of Energy representative issued a statement saying only that the agency needs to reassess the project because of rising prices and technological advances.
Separately, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce speech on Tuesday that President Bush's budget proposal next week "will start to deal with" tariffs on imported ethanol . "I think this industry is pretty close to being able to stand on its own," he was quoted as saying.
Apparently the legal department at MySpace is busy.
The social network, owned by Newscorp., has sent cease and desist letters to several Web sites with services built to thrive off MySpace membership, a community in the tens of millions. The MySpace legal letters ask that piggybackers shut down.
DatingAnyone.com is one such site. The service, which started in April, let visitors investigate the relationship status of MySpace members, and then get updates via e-mail when that status changes.
The letter goes on to cite a variety of other abuses, including trademark violation and using the said data for commercial purposes. Yet the first reason given isn't unlike how a search engine, such as Google, operates in order to obtain information on Web sites, it's just that Google wouldn't likely query MySpace as often.
SingleStat.us was targeted by MySpace legal for the same reason, and has recently shuttered its Web site.
Stalkerati.com, which invites people to "search for" members on MySpace, Friendster and other sites all from one place, also recently ran into a MySpace wall.
According to the site, "MySpace has recently added a script on their search pages that prevents you from searching from Stalkerati."
Stalkers are just routed to the source now.
TV Guide plans to help Internet users find premium video, just as it has done for TV viewers for more than for 50 years.
Next month, Gemstar-TV Guide International is expected to launch a test version of a Web video search tool, according to a company spokeswoman.
The new service on TVGuide.com is designed to help users find episodes of full-length TV shows and will scan about 54 Web sites, mainly from the major networks, portals and large media companies.
Among them are Oxygen, Comedy Central, BBC America, CBS, Disney Motion, E! Online, iTunes, Yahoo Movies, VH1 VSpot and HBO.
Users will be able to search for a particular network or celebrity or browse the top-viewed videos or TV shows. They will also be able to save videos.
TV Guide editors will also make recommendations and display the most popular videos.
The company is far behind Google, Blinkx , AOL and Yahoo, which have offered video search for a long time.
This story was first reported by the Associated Press.