MediaFile

Tinsel town turns deaf ear to Kutcher’s request to plug his start-ups

Ashton Kutcher may have more clout in Silicon Valley than in Hollywood.

The star of movies like “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and now of the hit show ‘Two and a Half Men” told conference goers at TechCrunch Disrupt that he tried to get the studio to plug some of his Internet start-up investments on the show– but they wouldn’t do it without compensation.

Kutcher, who said he majored in biochemical engineering in college, has invested in some of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies. His bets include check-in service Foursquare, bed-and-breakfast service Airbnb, and personalized magazine Flipboard.

He also said he invested in companies that he thought ultimately would contribute to greater happiness in the world– but won’t open his wallet unless he clicks with the entrepreneur. “At the end of the day it’s about the person who runs that company, and whether it’s a person I’d want to spend some time with,” he said.

While sometimes he likes to go stealth to avoid his name getting in the way of potential customers paying attention on the underlying business, he thinks he brings more than just star power to his start-ups.

“I have pretty good connectivity in marketing,” he said. “I have pretty good product savvy.” And when he draws on his network of contacts to call in a favor for one of his companies, “they generally will call me back.”

Tech wrap: HP investors running for cover

Shares of Hewlett-Packard slumped by more than 20 percent to a six-year low on Friday as investors wiped about $16 billion off the market value of the world’s biggest PC maker in a resounding rejection of its plan for a major shake-up.

Blog Zero Hedge posted an article by Tyler Durden, titled “Here Is Who Is Getting Creamed On Today’s Hewlett Packard Bloodbath“, that includes a chart of the the top 40 holders of HPQ stock.

Reuters blogger Felix Salmon credits Durden with breaking the “real” news yesterday about HP, after Bloomberg broke the M&A news of the IT firm’s internal shakeup and it’s $10 billion acquisition of UK company Autonomy. Salmon on the scoop: “…looks like an attempt by HP to manage media coverage and to distract attention from its dreadful earnings guidance.”

Oprah Tweets: Blessing or Curse for Twitter?

Oprah Winfrey is expected to join the twitterati on Friday, as she posts her first message on Twitter.

According to her show’s web site: “Oprah’s getting ready to send her very first tweet! And, why Ashton Kutcher’s been crowned the King of Twitter.”

While the media mogul is certain to accumulate hundreds of thousands of followers in record time (she already has 66,000), we wonder: What does it mean for Twitter, the wildly popular mini-blogging service, which is essential to some, supremely confusing to others and whose business model (or lack of it) gives journalists fits.