It's a deal: Groupon buys Ideeli for $43M

While competitor LivingSocial navigates its way through a major leadership turnover, Groupon is strengthening its assets.

The Chicago-based daily deal site is adding a new arm of flash sales to its repertoire with the acquisition of Ideeli.

Groupon has advertised promotions on discounted clothing, accessories, and other sartorial deals previously, but the addition of Ideeli gives the company a much more substantial footing for competing with the likes of Gilt and Amazon-owned MyHabit.

In Monday's announcement, Groupon leadership also suggested that Ideeli's mobile user base is also a major incentive on its part.

Ideeli offers flash sales on … Read more

Google building Spark, a Web-based development tool

Google likes Web apps, but one area where native software remains dominant is programming tools. A Google project called Spark that came to light Thursday could change that.

Spark is a Web-based IDE (integrated development environment) that runs in a browser for developers writing Chrome apps, according to Google's Francois Beaufort, who tracks Chrome developments closely. That means, among other things, that Chromebook coders would have a way to be productive without having to move to a Windows, Mac, or Linux box.

"This is still the very beginning," Beaufort said on Google+. "There's not much … Read more

NoFlo's crowd-funding effort helps coders go with the flow

Anyone who has done any amount of programming has drawn flowcharts, either detailed diagrams or rough sketches, outlining how one thing leads to another in software works. Now a project called NoFlo has surpassed its $100,000 fund-raising goal to build the idea into programming tools.

The NoFlo team members raised the funding to build a user interface for the approach, which has been around for decades and is called flow-based programming. Generally, flowcharts are design tools that don't make it beyond the mockup stage, but NoFlo is designed to be a crucial part of how people construct programs … Read more

Google scraps -- and shares -- Web-based collab coding tool

With an open-source project called Collide, Google has released remnants of a tool that brings a collaborative, browser-based interface to programming.

The software runs on a server, letting multiple programmers tap into a project at the same time. It's similar to how Google Docs lets members of a group simultaneously edit the same document and thus a new example of the cloud-computing approach to software that Google advocates so fervently.

But apparently Google wasn't so fervent about Collide, because the two programmers who announced it, Scott Blum and Jaime Yap, said it's actually an ex-Google Project now. … Read more

Adobe gives Flash a programming boost

Adobe Systems released on Monday beta versions of three programming projects for producing online applications that run in its Flash Player, software that's widely used but also under competitive threat from other Web technologies.

First is a beta version of Flash Catalyst, a programming tool that's meant for the designer crowd rather than the coding crowd. Catalyst lets designers create a Flash application's user interface in Adobe's Photoshop and Illustrator applications, import the files, attach a variety of actions to user interface elements, then produce the Flash application for production or for handing off to more … Read more

Mozilla Bespin tries taking coding to the cloud

Mozilla Labs on Thursday unveiled a new open-source project called Bespin, a Web-based programming environment its developers hope will combine the speed and power of desktop-based development with the collaborative benefits of cloud computing.

Bespin 0.1 is only an "initial prototype framework that includes support for basic editing features," according to the site, but Mozilla has high hopes for the project. "We're particularly excited by the prospect of empowering Web developers to hack on the editor itself and make it their own," said Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer in Mozilla's Bespin announcement. … Read more

Free your FLV

Most people don't need anything more than a Web browser and a Macromedia plug-in to watch Flash videos. However, if you want a hair's breadth more control over your viewing, this open-source freeware program will do the trick.

FLV Player's exceedingly simple controls allow you to navigate backward and forward through videos and play them in a loop. You can also adjust the volume, mute it, and adjust the size of the player. The Settings menu provides some basic control over program behavior, such as opening a new player window when double-clicking on an FLV file and … Read more

What fun: Popfly gets a game builder

Microsoft's Popfly team is rushing to finish a major addition to its mash up maker so it can do demonstrations at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., tomorrow. I got a quick demo earlier this week and I hope the product is ready in time, because it's a great new service, and just perfect for the audience the Maker Faire draws.

The new feature: an environment for building casual games (think Solitaire, not Half-Life), called Game Creator There are several templates with generic titles to start from (personal favorite: "Badly built wall") or users can … Read more

Ideeli: It's meets 'The Devil Wears Prada'

If you read that chick-lit classic Bergdorf Blondes (I'm proud to admit that I did), you'll probably recall the scene in which the shopaholic female protagonists hold a military-style planning session in advance of the legendary Chanel sample sale--a chance for them to snag the high-end designer goods at staggering discounts, the only caveat being that hundreds of other viciously competitive Manhattan women were also hoping to get their hands on the same stuff.

It was only a matter of time before that sort of upper-crust cutthroat shopping hit the Web.

Enter Ideeli (pronounced "ideally"), which … Read more