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Interview: Dermot McCormack, EVP Digital Media, MTV Networks @ CES 2011

Can MTV.com do what many have tried (and failed) to do over the past decade-and-a-half — become the MTV of the internet? MTV Networks’ head of digital media told us that’s exactly what he’s set out to do in 2011. I spoke with EVP of MTV.com Dermot McCormack about iPads, Android tablets and the future of MTV digital and mobile programming at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

Originally posted at LAist.com

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My Life with the HTC EVO

The HTC EVO 4G is not the best Android mobile phone out there but Sprint is the only carrier that gets reception at my house. Six months ago I began a rather extensive trial of a few different phones and carriers and balked at the EVO after a 30-day trial.

Certainly Verizon would have service in my area, everybody raves about VZW and after all it’s been 5 years since I last did my trials and found that I live in a cell service black hole, in spite of living roughly 3 miles from downtown LA and just over the hill from Dodger Stadium. This was not the case. Verizon service was equally as non-existent for voice calls as was AT&T. The difference being that AT&T offered me a femtocell signal booster (the 3G Microcell) for free whereas Verizon wanted me to pay $250 for their extender. In fact, when I talked to their technical department, I learned that my area is a known trouble zone and that NO TOWER upgrades were scheduled — it would be at least two years before there was any [better] service.

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The Sprint HTC Evo 4G: Fun Toy; Great Distraction; Much Too Big

htc evo spring 4G android phone mobile cellphoneI was thinking about trying the HTC Evo — Sprint’s latest offering which was rumored to rival iPhone. And I’ve never had iPhone nor do I care much for the platform (not to mention the principle of needing to plug something in to iTunes). So I walked into the Sprint store on June 5th and heard about the Sprint Free Guarantee. 30 days. Try it out. You don’t like – you get everything refunded (new Sprint customers only). We’ll see if this is actually the case – I still have about ten days left to play with this toy — and it really is a toy.

I still have two devices (a Blackberry and a Sierra Wireless Laptop Connect 3G USB card) on AT&T that I would add up to about $200 in ETFs so it’s just not practical to switch. Not for the Evo. The Evo is less than perfect.

1) It is too big to function as a phone. I feel like I’m walking around with a mini-iPad and STILL

2) I can’t type as effectively with a virtual keyboard as I can with the Blackberry Bold’s physical QWERTY.

3) The battery life is unconscionable. Completely unacceptable and unheard of. This is simply not a portable device — it must always be plugged in or on its way to being plugged in. A two battery approach MIGHT get you through the entire day with minimal internet and app use. NOTE: The software update pushed out this week has improved battery life quite a bit (relatively speaking). I was lucky to download it OTA before it was halted.

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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: