TechCrunch Disrupt Day 2

mike arrington vic gundotra tcdisruptFull house of tired startup geeks and aspiring entrepreneurs and VCs at 9am for the first panel — The Mobile Disruption–What’s Next? — with Chris Cox, VP, Facebook, Dennis Crowley, CEO, FourSquare, and Vic Gundotra, VP, Google. Moderated by Mike Arrington, Editor, TechCrunch.

Proclaiming the panel and 1,000 or so in the audience are not waking up, Arrington cues the YouTube video of Gundotra with Conan O’Brien when O’Brien visited the Googleplex earlier this month. Arrington then gets the crowd involved by declaring Facebook needs a better Android app and then prompting a Question Queue in which 3 HTC Sprint Evo phones are given away to the best questions. Only about 10 people line up to ask questions. Second question elicits some great under-breath commentary from the stage:

Q: “Is facebook evil?” Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley to Facebook VP Chris Cox: “this is where you shoot laser beams from your eyes.” Cox, after a long pause, answers “no.”

Later, Arrington interviews Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL. “I got a little down yesterday,” Arrington slips in. “Something happened on this stage.” “Oh really, what happened” counters Armstrong… “do you want a hug?”

Steve Case and Mike Arrington:
steve case mike arrington

Click here for the Day One post. Follow the action live below:

Mayor Bloomberg Pitches NYC at TechCrunch Disrupt

michael bloomberg mayor techcrunch disrupt new york city

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg just addressed the 1,000+ attendees of TechCrunch Disrupt. Reinforcing his new media acumen, he leads by rattling off all of the updates and check-ins he did on the way over here. “I even put a classified on Craigslist,” he added, “the Cleveland Craigslist” – trying to get LeBron to come to New York (when he managed to compare King James to Arrington taking TechCrunch Disrupt to New York — several in the press section nearly gagged). Bloomberg, of course, was a pioneer in new media and fits right in in this room, have founded Bloomberg L.P. after being fired from Salomon Brothers in the early ’80s.

Bloomberg then goes into pitch mode. NYC needs smart people, developers, entrepreneurs, and engineers apparently. “It doesn’t matter if you’re from New York or New Jersey or New Delhi, if you have an idea or an app, New York City is the place for you. “This is the city where it’s happening….”

Erick Schonfeld: “You know there’s a friendly rivalry between Silicon Valley and the New York tech scene…” “Who says it’s friendly?” joked Bloomberg.

Bloomberg alludes to Bloomberg’s acquisition (resuscitation) of BusinessWeek saying that they lost their way. “You don’t know what is going to be important to you tomorrow” — you need editors, real, trained journalists. But is the mayor out of touch? He still believes most people in the room read the newspaper as delivered each morning. It’s a good thing he’s the mayor and not physically running media operations at his company.

Google Makes Awesome Happen – Web Fonts API

google open font apiGoogle is awesome. The company has been redefining the word — a popular exclamatory for things far less breathtaking during my adolescence — as often as it customizes its logo over the past dozen years.

This week’s Google I/O keynote fiesta brought plenty of big, exciting, game-changing announcements, but nothing more immediately exciting to me than the launch of the Google Font API (Read Google’s blogpost). Suddenly adding sleek, new fonts to any web page is as easy as visiting the Google Font Directory, copying, pasting, and voila.

There are a few key reasons why I’m so excited about this and I’ll elaborate a bit below:

  1. The fonts are all open source-licensed
  2. It works on all current browsers (cross-platform)
  3. The fonts are cool and the possibilities are endless

Continue reading “Google Makes Awesome Happen – Web Fonts API”

Privacy Concerns and Social Networks

myspace facebook privacyIt was refreshing to see MySpace break out of its relative silence this week with a note addressing user privacy settings on social networks. Good to see you again MySpace, though we sometimes forget you’re still around we’re no longer threatening to delete our long-nascent profiles en masse or anything like that.

MySpace served itself well by publishing the note MySpace Empowers Users With New, Simpler Privacy Setting in outlining the company’s ethos and it’s mission to enable both discovery and self-expression for users since its inception in 2003.

But MySpace’s memo falls short on definition and lacks any sort of road map (beyond “in the coming weeks…”) to give users the “we’re in this together” feeling that Facebook so often overlooks. And it’s more than 3 weeks after the Facebook open graph-api-privacy hubbub broke out. Facebook privacy concerns made headlines again on May 5 when a glitch that provided access to some users’ private information was uncovered (and allegedly patched within hours).

Continue reading “Privacy Concerns and Social Networks”