Silicon Valley Morning Briefs

By Scott McGrew
|  Wednesday, Dec 16, 2009  |  Updated 8:30 AM PDT
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Silicon Valley High-Tech Company Tour

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A Farmington woman is accused of taking $35,000 from a bank.

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BREAKING: The Federal Trade Commission is suing Intel for "depriving consumers of choice and stifling innovation in the chip industry." We thought most of Intel's problems were behind it when it paid off AMD to the tune of $1.25 billion.

Meanwhile, the European Union is dropping its suit against Microsoft, if Microsoft will offer Windows users a choice between its Internet Explorer and other web browsers like Chrome or Firefox.

Digital Sky Technologies (DST) has made a $180 million investment in Zynga.  While terms of the deal were not disclosed, it puts Zynga's overall worth at least $1 billion, says the New York Times.

Three takeaways on this.

1. Linking your business to Facebook = making bank. Zynga is barely two years old, employes just a few people and many of its games are very similar to other companies' games.  And its worth $1 billion.

2. Foreign money is becoming an alternative to venture capital on Sand Hill Road (though note traditional VCs were also part of this deal)

3. The private sale of employee stock (as opposed to the traditional IPO) is a new way to become rich.

Mafia Wars players plan a staged walkout of the game to protest Zynga's changes to the game.  Good luck with that.

Speaking of protests, iPhone users are supposed to fire up their cutesy devices and fight the "man" with Operation Chokehold on Friday.  The idea, as documented on Fake Steve Job's blog, is to overwhelm the AT&T data service as a protest.  Similar really to Martin Luther King's efforts. Or Ghandi's.  Except they were fighting for something important instead of being whiny-pants. </rant>

Hitwise says the most searched for term in 2009 was Facebook. -- Sit down and read that again -- The most searched for term was people trying to figure out where on the internet to find Facebook.  Which is at Facebook.com, in case you were wondering.  The big question: How did those people find Google in order to google where Facebook was?

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