GigaOM Euro 20: The European startups to watch

For years, Europe’s startup community has been painted as the undernourished younger cousin of Silicon Valley. In reality, Europe’s web scene is now thriving. and we’ve compiled a list featuring some of the best and brightest European web startups — what we’re dubbing the GigaOM Euro 20.

Watch the Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings Online

While online video coverage of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing is unlikely to drive the same spikes in traffic as the recent Michael Jackson memorial, we realize there is a contingent of people who want to watch our government in action.

Fans of political theater can find “gavel-to-gavel” coverage amongst the usual news site suspects: MSNBC, CNN, FOX News, ABCNews.com and CBSNews.com. Live-streaming began for most a little before 10 a.m. ET this morning. And it looks like online is picking up the broadcast slack. Though the cable nets are carrying live coverage on oldteevee, the traditional broadcast networks are not.

UPDATE: Political junkies can also find live online video coverage at CSPAN and USA Today.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

With Eye on Future, Microsoft Offer Startups Freebies

Microsoft, in an effort to woo startups and combat the open source movement, is going to start offering free software and online services to certain type of startups across the world, the company announced today. This effort, dubbed “Biz Spark,” will be rolled out across the world in 82 countries.