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Twitter to Raise $100 Million

admin » 24 September 2009 » In Tech News » No Comments

Twitter to Raise $100 Million

Twitter, the messaging web site that has become an Internet sensation, is nearing a deal to close as much as $100 million of new funding from as many as seven investors, according to people familiar with the deal.

The investor group includes mutual fund giant T. Rowe Price and private-equity firm Insight Venture Partners, which are new investors to Twitter. The $100 million investment is about twice as much as Twitter was reportedly expected to haul in this latest round of fund-raising.

Other investors in this round include venture-capital firms Spark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners, which have previously invested in Twitter.

The investors are valuing Twitter, which has yet to generate revenue or finalize its plans for making money, at about $1 billion. A person familiar with the deal said investors are applying a similar value to Twitter as that applied to Facebook, which at one point was valued at $15 Billion. By some estimates, Twitter is expected to have 25 million users by the end of 2009. Facebook has 300 million users.

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Google Captures Web Fraud Prevention Start-Up ReCaptcha

admin » 17 September 2009 » In Google » No Comments

Google Captures Web Fraud Prevention Start-Up ReCaptcha

Google Inc. (GOOG) said Wednesday it is buying a Web fraud prevention start-up that can help the Internet giant on another project: Its effort to scan newspapers and books for Internet distribution.

Google, Mountain View, Calif., said it is buying reCaptcha, a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff that presents puzzles to Web surfers as they register at sites or conduct online transactions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ReCaptcha’s technology works by showing users words printed in squiggly typeface that is difficult for computers, which are often used by spammers, to read. ReCaptcha often uses words scanned from archived newspapers and books, making it even more difficult for computers to recognize because the ink and paper is faded.

Google says reCaptcha’s technology can help it with some of its high-profile initiatives, like scanning books and newspapers to create searchable archives. As users type in the words, they help teach computers to read scanned text, improving computer accuracy when converting scanned images into plain text, a process known as optical character recognition.

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Pfizer Pleads Guilty to Illegal Marketing of Bextra

admin » 02 September 2009 » In Defective Products, Verdicts » No Comments

FDA PAINKILLERS

Pfizer Pleads Guilty to Illegal Marketing of Bextra

ou may remember something about the $2.3 billion that Pfizer said it is paying to settle a Justice Department probe into accusations of off-label marketing of painkiller Bextra, which is now off the market. That news was buried with the announcement in January that Pfizer was buying rival drug maker Wyeth.

Today the details of the settlement were released and they are harsh: Pfizer agreed to plead guilty to a felony violation “for misbranding Bextra with the intent to defraud or mislead.” The settlement is the largest in Justice Department history, according to the DOJ’s statement.

It will pay a criminal fine of just over $1 billion, which the DOJ says is the largest ever imposed in the U.S. for any reason. The company will also pay $1 billion to resolve civil allegations that the company illegally marketed Bextra, the psychiatric drug Geodon, antibiotic Zyvox and anti-epileptic drug Lyrica.

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