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The Ford Foundation announced the election of N.R. Narayana Murthy to its board of trustees. Mr. Murthy is chairman of the board and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies Limited, an international software services firm based in Bangalore, India. He will join the board at its May meeting, which begins today. Ford Foundation trustees are elected by the full board and serve six-year terms.

N.R. Narayana Murthy

“N.R. Narayana Murthy is respected around the world as a pivotal leader in international business, key innovator in information technology and champion of strong corporate governance,” said Kathryn Fuller, chair of the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees. “He is deeply committed to the mission and values of the Ford Foundation and will play a critical role in advancing our efforts to improve lives and create opportunity for people throughout the world.”

Along with six other software engineers, Mr. Murthy founded Infosys in 1981. He served as the company’s CEO until 2002 and as executive chairman of the board and chief mentor from 2002 to 2006.

Mr. Murthy serves as an independent director on the boards of several global companies including Unilever, HSBC and NDTV. He is also a member of the advisory boards and councils of several educational institutions including The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, INSEAD, Stanford Graduate School of Business, University of Tokyo, Singapore Management University (SMU), Indian Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIIT-B) and ESSEC Business School, Paris.
The recipient of numerous honors, Mr. Murthy was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, by the Indian government in 2008. The Government of France conferred upon him the Officer of the Legion of Honor in 2008 and Britain conferred upon him the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2007. In 2005, he was ranked among The Economist magazine’s list of 15 most admired global leaders.

Mr. Murthy joins a group of senior business leaders who have served as trustees of the foundation, including Henry Schacht, former CEO of Lucent Technologies, and Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group.

Ford Foundation trustees set policies relating to grant making, geographic focus, spending, investment, management, governance and professional standards, and they oversee internal and independent audits. Over the years, the foundation’s trustees have hailed from four continents and have extensive experience in the worlds of higher education, business, law, government and the nonprofit sector.

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has been a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide, guided by its goals of strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international cooperation and advancing human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Russia.

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The French Trade Office in San Francisco has announced the beginning of the French Tech Tour (FTT). The week long mission will introduce 11 French technology startups to the movers and shakers of Silicon Valley. The 11 finalists were selected from over 24 applicants by 9 supporting companies including AT&T, Cisco, Ebay, Google, HP, Intel Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Symantec. Backed by UBIFRANCE, the FTT focuses on bridging the gap between Silicon Valley and Paris. The week of workshops and one-on-one interviews will also include a mini-conference on May 21st called Valley Talk: Make It or Break It where both French and U.S. startups will learn strategies for business success.

In its second year, the FTT has quickly gained recognition in both the U.S. and France. Referred to as the home of some of the best high tech clusters in Europe, French companies continue to raise the technology bar for their U.S. counterparts. Participation in this tour furthers the collaboration between the two countries. This year’s startup companies include:

Bobex – a leading B2B e-marketplace, active in 6 countries, makes markets more transparent by matching local buyers and suppliers for non strategic products & services.

Exaprotect – a provider of regulatory and audit compliance log monitoring, event management for threat detection, and change management to allow business policy based network configuration change.

DELCREA – the inspirer in resolving the challenges of email from both diagnostic to efficiency solutions for individuals to large companies. Their software brings an innovative approach to control, organize and secure email faster and easier while reducing time building knowledge bases from existing content, and eliminating all risk of compromising internal and external business sensitive data.

myERP.com – a complete web-based ERP solution using Google technology (GWT & Google Apps) and covering all functional fields of company management around a single database: CRM, Commercial Management, Logistics, Points of sale, Finance & Accounting, Purchases, Production, Quality.

Maeglin – a mobile phone software company specialized in peer-to-peer exchanges. At Maeglin, we free people’s mobile, with Pleex a Mobile social networking software that allows content back up & sharing.

Momindum – the technology leader in the creation of rich media presentation. Our software generates, from recorded speech, professional presentations using synchronized documents and indexed video; our rich media are capitalized in a base with deep-tagging technology.

Newscape Technology – the top innovator in software graphical engines on mobile devices to enable the development of new applications using massive 2D / 3D vector data, textures, Content / Advertising and topography.

Sinequa – a search specialist created with the vision that corporate information is complex, heterogeneous and poorly organized. Sinequa has built a corporate search solution that can access to all sources and applications, managing security, using linguistic and semantic algorithms to add context to information and to offer intuitive navigation combined with efficient search.

STG Interactive – has invented a way for everybody on the planet to create their own secure and user-friendly mini-site, called a “frogans,” located on the Internet via its frogans address. STG Interactive provides developers and Internet users with free standard technology for authoring and browsing frogans, and is the directory provider of frogans addresses.

TellMeWhere – the first local search engine where relevancy of results are guided by recommendations of people you can choose and where content can be enriched and corrected by end-users, provides a better alternative to current local search engines or directories.

Twinsoft – an actor in Enterprise Mashups whose flagship product, Convertigo Enterprise Mashup Server helps companies reuse their existing assets to build new and exciting WEB 2.0 composite applications for a fraction of the cost and time needed to complete software rewrites or traditional development.

Each company will hold one-on-one meetings with supporting companies’ corporate development teams, as well as interviews with media, training for presenting and demoing at conferences in the U.S. and introductions with some of the valley’s fast-growing startups.

The Valley Talk mini-conference will host keynote speaker Eric Benhamou CEO of Benhamou Global Ventures, Chairman of 3Com and former CEO of Palm. The show will include an in-depth talk with leading editor’s and analyst from CNET, Fortune, GuideWire Group and VentureBeat. Along with demonstrations from each company the event will conclude with a panel of leading executive in business development from sponsoring companies outlining what they are looking for in partnerships as well as potential acquisitions.

“Our goal is to build deeper relationships between the tech communities here in Silicon Valley and in France,” said Aymeril Hoang, Director, Information & Communications Technology, Embassy of France in the U.S. Trade Office. “By bridging this gap we can open the door to new opportunities for both countries. It’s as much about introducing Silicon Valley to the technology leadership in France as vice versa. Hopefully we are fostering and growing the big companies and partnerships of the future.”

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MySpace, the world’s most popular social network, today announced the beta launch of its newest offering, MySpace Karaoke, powered by kSolo. MySpace Karaoke is a powerful, user-generated music service that enables members to easily sing, record and share personalized renditions of their favorite songs with the MySpace community.

MySpace Karaoke

“MySpace Karaoke is another great way for people to express themselves, share their talents and personalities, and – simply put – have fun!” said Tom Anderson, co-founder and president of MySpace.

With just a microphone and an Internet connection, MySpace Karaoke offers users access to a broad selection of licensed tracks. The Web-based application delivers sing-along lyrics and recording capabilities, and also offers vocal and instrumental versions of fan favorites.  Using state-of-the-art technology, MySpace Karaoke combines the highest quality of audio and recording capabilities online, with the most advanced sharing options.

The user friendly interface of MySpace Karaoke offers members the ability to browse songs, recordings and performers  in a variety of categories including new releases, top artists, most popular, musical genre, and more.

MySpace members can sing, record, listen to and save up to ten songs on their personal MySpace Karaoke profile for free, with the most recent recordings automatically appearing on their MySpace profiles.  They can then share recordings via bulletins with their friends on MySpace, embed them to their profiles, or bookmark their favorite recordings in their library. Members can listen to and rate their friends’ karaoke recordings, make comments and even become fans of a singer.

MySpace Karaoke is launching today in the U.S. and will roll out to MySpace’s international territories in the coming months.  MySpace Karaoke is powered by technology developed by kSolo, the world’s first Web-based karaoke service, and a Fox Interactive Media (FIM) company.

About MySpace

MySpace, a unit of Fox Interactive Media Inc., is the premier lifestyle portal for connecting with friends, discovering popular culture, and making a positive impact on the world. MySpace has created a connected global community by integrating web profiles, blogs, instant messaging, e-mail, music streaming, music videos, photo galleries, classified listings, events, groups, college communities, and member forums. MySpace’s international network includes more than 20 localized community sites in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Latin America, Mexico, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, India, Japan, and New Zealand. Fox Interactive Media is a division of News Corp.

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