Mashable is writing about a new news site called Newspond. Their "about" page boasts that the site is "the most advanced news site on the planet." That's certainly a big statement to make, given the competition that already exists. Its main function is similar to that of Techmeme, with some of the social features of Digg thrown in for good measure.
At first glance, it appears that the content that is floating to the top of Newspond is very different to what is atop Techmeme right now. It's not clear whether this is due to the sources that Newspond is drawing on, or due to differences in their algorithms. I tend to think that it is a result of the algorithm, since many of the sources for popular articles are comparable on both sites. I think that the content needs to be tweaked, although it may improve as the site matures.
As far as functionality and look goes, Newspond is at the top of the heap. Everything on the site moves so smoothly, and there are beautiful gradients and rounded corners as far as the eye can see. Comments slide out and boxes light up all over the site. The design of Newspond should be the poster child for Web 2.0.I don't think that Newspond will dethrone Techmeme or Digg anytime soon, but they are definitely a start-up to keep your eye on. If any of their claims end up coming to fruition, we will be hearing from them a lot.