Daily Roundup for 2007-12-23

  • It has been called a competitor to Wikipedia, Jason Calacanis’ Mahalo, Seth Godin’s Squidoo and Yahoo Answers: Knol is Google’s foray into knowledge aggregation. Knol lets users produce web pages devoted to various subject matter.
  • The year 2007 may go down in the annals of Internet crime as the year when organized cyber criminals finally got serious about their marketing strategies — crafting cyber schemes that were significantly more sophisticated and stealthy.  Security experts say criminals are increasingly trying to ensnare Internet users by lurking on familiar Web sites and using purloined data to craft scam e-mails that are more believable, and thus more likely to entice an unsuspecting user.

  • Trinity Convergence, a developer of software for use in mobile devices and telephony, has landed a new investor and a new round of venture financing.  Trinity raised $8 million in funding. Leading the round is new investor Needham Capital.  Also investing were existing investors Intersouth Partners in Durham as well as Core Capital and Mid-Atlantic Ventures.
  • The former chief operating officer for the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, had been convicted of theft, drunken driving and fleeing a car accident. The revelation comes as Wikimedia is staging a fundraising drive.  Before she left the foundation in July, Carolyn Bothwell Doran, 45, had moved up from a part-time bookkeeping position and spent six months as an executive responsible for personnel and financial management. In March, she signed the nonprofit group’s tax return, which listed more than $1.3 million in donations.
  • It’s been a busy couple of years for Redcats USA Inc. with its acquisition in 2006 of The Sportsman’s Guide Inc. and the purchase of United Retail Group Inc., parent of women’s plus-size retail chain Avenue and e-commerce site Avenue.com, in October.  But now that Redcats, No. 28 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has made the acquisitions the company will spend 2008 fully integrating all of its new e-commerce properties onto its global web platform and looking for new ways to grow organically.
  • The crowded market for security software is putting pressure on Symantec. On Monday, Cowen & Company analyst Walter Pritchard downgraded the company to "neutral," from "outperform," citing increased competition. Shares of Symantec fell 2.7%, or 45 cents, to $16.49 in early afternoon trading.  The company behind the popular Norton anti-virus software line, is struggling to kick up sales and maintain its market share. According to a Cowen survey on consumer security, Symantec Corp. (nasdaq: SYMC) is experiencing "slower unit growth, a more competitive landscape and market share declines."  For years, Symantec’s consumer segment has been the primary engine behind Symantec’s growth. Now it is the consumer business that is underperforming, due to increased competition from rivals like McAfee (nyse: MFE).

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