Mary Meeker preso

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Here are Mary Meeker's slides from her presentation at the Web 2.0 conference. For a slightly more upbeat perspective, see Pascal Levensohn's VentureBeat post about the growth of innovation in economic downturns.

Webcasting Bill Passes Senate

In a big step forward for Pandora, yesterday, the Senate passed HR7084. Here's what Pandora founder Tim Westergren had to say:

September 30, 2008

This evening the Senate approved passage of HR7084. Hooray! We still have to finish up the negotiations, but now the table is set.

Thanks to everyone for your incredible support over the past few days. It was just extraordinary. We had some terrific allies on the Hill; a hearty thanks to our sponsors on the House side - Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA) pictured on the floor below, and Donald Manzullo (R-IL), and Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) who shepherded the bill through the Senate. And a special thanks to Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) for his key role as Chairman of the IP Subcommittee.

Behind all the activity within the halls of congress was the tireless advocacy by you, our listeners. None of this would have been possible without your overwhelming public support. Your voice was a constant reminder to everyone involved in this process about the importance of internet radio to music lovers and musicians alike. Your level of involvement was unprecedented. We are eternally grateful.

Thank you again for your amazing support. We will continue to keep you apprised as we work diligently to complete the process.

Jason Calcanis on Demo'ing Your Startup

Jason Calcanis has come up with a great list of pointers for entrepreneurs who are presenting their startups to investors.

Paper Power

This chart from the July, 2008, issue of Wired depicting the growth in pre-trial discovery documents points to H5 Technologies' enormous market opportunity.

Now I Understand Why I Never See Ads on YouTube's Home Page

From the June 16th issue of Forbes magazine:

An ad on the YouTube home page ... now costs $175,000 a day, plus a commitment to spend $50,000 more in ads on Google or YouTube.

The New Norm?

I really hope this isn't the new norm for funding announcements ...

[Editor's note: Here's a remixed version, courtesy of Valleywag.]

Hang in There, Yahoo

Gartner believes that Microsoft is buying Yahoo because Vista has been such a colossal disappointment. It will certainly be a sad day for the Web if Microsoft succeeds with its offer. For all of its faults, Yahoo created a reason for many of us to use the Web; it elevated the browser to a new form of OS. Yahoo has also been a powerful proponent of open source software, another major trend which runs counter to Microsoft's interests. But the primary reason why Microsoft's offer is unfortunate is the impact that it will have on startups. As others have pointed out, with Yahoo's demise, there will be one less acquirer of young companies. Many might snipe that when it comes to M&A, Yahoo has been its worst enemy. Still, Yahoo has been an important player in the startup universe for a long time. Perhaps News Corp. will become more active in acquiring young companies; it certainly seems to realize that the Web is an important platform for the distribution and consumption of content. However, it will take more than News Corp. to fill the void that Yahoo will leave.

Retail Therapy

Market Insight has won some prime real estate on PC World's Web site, where it provides recommendations for consumers interested in buying HDTVs, digital cameras, or notebooks. Check it out!

Glam Raises $84.6 Million Round

Today, Glam announced that it has raised $84.6 million in private financing, with $64.6 million in Series D funding and $20 million in revenue-based debt financing. Here are links to Glam's press release as well as The Wall Street Journal's coverage of the deal.

Feeling Vulnerable?

Palamida has released its list of the top five most overlooked open source vulnerabilities.

Often, developers embed popular open source code while developing applications that do not fall in the normal software procurement process. Businesses and users need to take ultimate care to ensure that they are up-to-date with the latest patches in order to reduce uncertainty and secure their software from security attacks.

Open source code is "not any more vulnerable than commercial software" and in some cases, less so, said Palamida CEO Mark Tolliver. Open source projects tend to acknowledge their vulnerabilities and fix them promptly, he added.

Home Is Where the Home Network Is

Dean Takahashi highlights the importance of home networking at this year's CES show in Las Vegas. (By the way, Takahashi quotes an analyst from Iconoculture, a Walden portfolio company.)

The idea of home networking has been around for more than a decade. But now 34.4 million homes in the United States have computer networks, according to International Data Corp. Of those, 12.4 million homes have living room devices (game consoles, video recorders or set-top boxes) that are connected to the Internet.

That represents a big market opportunity and, as a result, gadget designers are more aggressive about designing Internet connectivity into their gadgets. It allows them to claim that the era of convergence - when computers, communications and consumer electronics are linked - has truly arrived, said Jonathan Steuer, an analyst at consumer research firm Iconoculture.

The Customer Is Always Right

Interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal about the changing face of online ads. Here's an excerpt:

The Web's emergence is forcing ad executives to succumb to marketers' demands that agencies reinvent how ads are created, and forgo their TV-centric approach. Clients are even calling for changes in the way ad firms are structured. But until now, few advertisers have spent more than 5% to 10% of their marketing budgets online. With the growth of online video and social networking, ad experts expect that percentage to jump significantly this year.

Softness in the economy also will likely drive more money to the Internet, which can be cheaper than other media and has a reach that is easier to measure, which is attractive to advertisers in slower times. Merrill Lynch predicts overall ad spending in the U.S. for 2008 will grow 2.3%, while the portion of that spending on the Web will increase 18%. Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia says it expects the amount spent on Internet advertising to overtake spending on radio in 2008, and spending on magazines in 2010.