Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Soluto wins TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield Competition

New York, NY - (Zennie62's trip to TechCrunch is sponsored by Christine Smith Associates, Inc., the Premier Female Contractor in NYC.) TechCrunch Disrupt New York City Day 3 has the final round of what the tech blog calls it's "Startup Battlefield." The idea is for a startup to give a pitch to a panel of judges, who then evaluate the company.

UPDATE: The winner of the competition is...Soluto, which receives a check for $50,000.

Today's panel has John Borthwick, CEO of betaworks, Ron Conway, Angel Investor at SV Angel, Marrissa Mayer, VP of Google, Samuel Schwartz, EVP of Comcast Interactive and Quincy Smith, Founding Partner of CODE Advisors.

You can watch the livestream for this event now below:

Watch live streaming video from disrupt at

Right now, a startup called Publish2 is up. The idea of Publish2 is to have a news exchange that replaces "the hated Associated Press" according to its CEO Scott Karp. It enables newspapers to install content from any source, from blogs to other news websites, into their print newspapers and websites.

In the questioning, Marrissa Mayer of Google says Publish2 is a good idea that "this is an area that needs to be looked at" as journalism is changing. But she's concerned about reliability and the business model. She's also concerned about distribution of the content.

Ron Conway mentioned Twitter as a competitor and the fact that Twitter itself is breaking news.

UPDATE: Soluto's a software company that promises to " bring an end to the frustrations PC users encounter" by finding the problem in your computer, then using "crowdsourcing" to connect you to a whole community who can help you.

The panel likes the company, but has concerns about privacy; the founders of the company, Tomer Dvir and Ishay Green are explaining that they are not going to collect private data.

UPDATE: Betterment is up next and my personal favorite. The idea of Betterment is to make it easier for people to invest online. Many companies have websites that are just plain hard to use. The founders call Betterment "the replacement for your savings account."

The panel is getting down on the concept of the "simplification" of data on the Betterment website. Personally, I agree with TechCrunch Editor Michael Arrington, who said that there was a bit of looking down on Betterment because it's "cute."

Betterment does need to work on its SEO.

UPDATE: MovieClips, which allows you to make a mashup of videos clips from movies, is up now. MovieClips Richard Raddon presented a set of clips (one that will make your stomach turn). He explains that he has deals with six movie studios, which is how they're able to use the 12,000 clips.

Ron Conway said, "imagine how big YouTube sales would be if you were one of the founders." John Borthwick is skeptical as to how many people will use MovieClips. Plus, he feels that the studio deals can be done by others, not just the founders of Movie Clips, but Conway disagres.

Samuel Schwartz of Comcast Interactive likes MovieClips and wants to talk to Richard Raddon and Zack James about how they can work together. Marrissa Mayer focused on the need for a better search technology system to facilitate clip discovery.

Ujam, the conference favorite, is up. Ujam allows you to make original music from different sounds and instruments. Very simple. Very exciting. Movie Composer Hanz Zimmer is one of their partners.

The panel generally likes Ujam but focused on the problem of monetization. Currently, it's free.

The judges went backstage to decide the winner.

UPDATE: The winner of the competition is...Soluto, which receives a check for $50,000.

Stay tuned for updates.

Jesse James Nightline Ratings High by Suzannah B. Troy

I don’t believe Jesse James is a racist.  Here in NYC , I have seen photos posted by an elderly, grossly overweight white man of a middle aged African American  woman, homeless, poverty level, drunk out of her mind in the park  and with no tools or resources to climb out of her destructive cycle and worse has some white man with a camera photographing her topless out of her mind and posting on the internet -- in my opinion that  is racism,  misogyny and  a terrible double standard because I have seen that white man drunk and he had the luxury of a home to go close a door and he doesn’t want anyone to photograph him including without his shirt.  Jesse James hasn't done anything near as heinous as that.
It is easy to think James is a racist and he is flat out in denial or stupid to consider the Hitler gear as a joke.  It is no joke.  It is repulsive as is his treatment of his wife and everyone involved but is he the most hated person in the world?  Is he a racist or plain stupid?  When it comes to Hitler gear - I pick plain stupid.   No he is not the most hated person in the world or the brightest.  He is good at making motorcycle and lots of money.   The global audience  have their  lives and they are way too busy to think about him for more than a moment...he is “media fast food”, consumed, not digested and done with.  
I have said and continue to say he will continue to do really well with his career.  After all his career is based on the bad boy brand.  He comes across as sincere at moments but if he himself admits he is a liar why would he suddenly find truth and clearly he is in denial.  Just his talk about the Hitler gear.  I don't think he should have done this interview right now but he did and the ratings were very good so all the power to him as long as it isn't white power.  America loves redemption but looking at his failed marriages before none of this is a big time shocker except that Sandra Bullock was clueless.
As I understand it, Janine was pregnant with Sunny when Sandra and Jesse started dating which was a huge red light  and James was not involved in Sunny’s life until she was 3 years old when Janine was heading to Federal Prison for tax evasion.  Maybe I am wrong but that was what I heard....

I feel most sorry for Sunny because she has been through too much too soon in her short little life and hopefully Sandra Bullock will stay involved in Sunny’s life. 

Janine and Jesse has two things in common.  Sunny their child and the reality they both have to work on their lives, as we all do, but if not for themselves than for Sunny and their kids from other marriages as well.

Note: I think Janine is self-destructive and has to come to terms with her demons.  I also think there is something compelling about her and wished she could have been cast as the stripper in The Wrestler.  That way at the very end, when Randy the Ram, Mickey Rourke is talking to her before he goes in to the ring, you would have to think, wait Randy don't do it.  Janine would have made that scene before he walks out just rip!    If Janine could clean up her act, I could see her crossing over in to main stream film.  
I keep predicting James will be married again because he is they marrying kind and the marriage I predict will be open because I don’t see him being faithful.  What ever he has been doing has aged him and clearly has not been agreeing with him.  He looks much older and he may go the Hollywoo-woo way of getting some surgery to make himself look younger or do a radical change in what ever he has been doing but he looks like hell for now.  Not a poster boy for bad boy who makes deals with the devil as in  Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray but a warning to guys the bad boy life style is not all it's cracked up to be.

James has a following that love him and his family and a successful career...I am sure more drama to come.
“Jesse James The Brand” will continue on with success despite his repulsive misdeeds and  Nightline’s ratings are proof.  Just most women would not want to date him not that will in anyway change the number of enthusiastic women that will continue to hit on him because in the biker bad boy world it is no big deal.
I write about this because I know people are interested but I am gearing up for a “grown-up” piece on NYC politics that I am far more excited about coming to you soon.

Eric Shoenfeld on TechCrunch Disrupt, Carol Bartz, and Foursquare

New York, NY - (Zennie62's trip to TechCrunch is sponsored by Christine Smith Associates, Inc., the Premier Female Contractor in NYC.) This video discussion with TechCrunch Co-Editor Eric Shoenfeld took place on Monday, and just after Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz was interviewed by TechCrunch Editor Michael Arrington.

In giving an overview of TechCrunch Disrupt, Shoenfeld said that Bartz "is a pretty tough cookie. She can...She gave as well as she gets. We got a few bombs out of her. She kinda came into the lion's den. We've been critical of Yahoo! and Carol, and for her to come into (this) and do really well speaks volumes about her leadership.

On the matter of the impact of "geo-based social networks" like Foursquare, and their explosion, the question has been when will the next "Foursquare" emerge? "There's a lot of buzz around geo-media companies. Foursquare and Gowalla, and Booya are some of the first ones out of the gate. I think it's going to be difficult for a startup today. The question is not what the next Facebook but who's the next Foursquare?...There are already early, early leaders. If you're not in that pack, it's going to be difficult to get into that pack."

Shoenfeld says that TechCrunch Disrupt is a mix of interesting panels in the morning and interviews presenting the different "disruptions" that are present. A disruption, in the industrial context, is another way of describing the "paradigm shifts" famously described in Thomas Kuhn's classic work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

A paradigm shift is a dramatic alteration in a process, tradition, or convention. In the case of tech, the growth of the web has been extremely disruptive to the media and entertainment industries, as iTunes, YouTube, and Craigslist (to offer some examples), have caused massive declines in ad revenues to newspapers and radio stations and other traditional forms of media. Thousands of people have lost jobs in the process. Meanwhile new jobs are being created and countries, like India, are now major players in these same industries.

The intent of TechCrunch Disrupt is to explore the anatomy of these disruptions and give a view of what "disruptive" companies are on the horizon. I think it's done that very well.  Plus, it's probably the largest single "dump" of people from the San Francisco Bay Area into New York City ever done.

Stay tuned.

What's the most amazing thing about Rand Paul?

Is it Rand Paul's sudden rise to political prominence despite a total lack of experience? No, it's not that people vote often don't make voting choices based on logic, either. Sadly, that happens all the time.

Atlas Shrugged:
Rand Paul and
The Crouching Weasel Technique

So, while it may defy logic for primary voters to elevate this guy based solely on the fact his dad's a celebrity and his ability to echo talking points, he may be a flash in the pan. Of course, given that people so often make choices emotionally rather than logically, it's possible he's still in it.

The first rule of politics is "Follow the Money." The second used to be some version of, "Truth is still getting on its shoes while the lie runs on ahead." But the third place entry may be about to overtake second with, "Voters will make strange choices."

It's already a little late to have much influence over which people run for office this year. But if we work together perhaps we can shape the remaining primaries and the November election to at least choose the most effective leaders to hold office rather than simply the person people think would be "fun to drink a beer with."

Thomas Hayes
is an entrepreneur, journalist, political staffer, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

Megan Fox doesn't have to work for "Hilter" anymore -- by Nikky Raney

I must give credit where credit is due. Nikki Finke at broke this story and held back nothing (posting all the quotes, documents, and letters involving Bay and Fox).

There have been numerous articles/stories/blog entries written about Megan Fox no longer being apart of Transformers. There are many speculations made whether Fox quit or if she was fired by Paramount.

I have a question.
If you were interviewed for an article and you compared your boss to Hilter, do you think you would still have a job?

In September 2009 Megan Fox told Wonderland Magazine:

"[Michael Bay] wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he's a nightmare to work for but when you get him away from set, and he's not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he's so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all. It's endearing to watch him. He's so vulnerable and fragile in real life and then on set, he's a tyrant."

Now, in May 2010 we are hearing that she won't be in Transformers 3, and we are surprised by this? She was being interviewed about her movie Jennifer's Body, and she brings up Michael Bay being like Hitler.

It really shouldn't shock anyone that she isn't involved with Transformers, but the focus is more on who dumped who.

Do we remember what Fox said at Spike TV's 4th annual Scream Awards?

"The movie took me out of obscurity and gave me a career, and I'm completely grateful to everyone involved with this franchise."
The two have quite the past. Do we forget that when she was 15 Bay paid Fox $600 to get wet in a bikini for Bad Boys 2?

So why would the "grateful" Fox leave the movie that took her out of obscurity?

Fox's reps said that the actress "left the project on her own and wishes the franchise well."

Fox should let her publicist speak for her more often, but even after that statement was released Fox had to speak for herself. Fox made sure that everyone knew why she was leaving.

The "crew letter" from over the summer could have been a reason for her to leave.

Fox claims that Bay was "verbally abusive" toward her.
I don't want to seem unsympathetic, but isn't comparing Bay to Hitler a bit "abusive" in itself. If not abusive then insulting.

Fox is determined to get the word out that Michael Bay and Paramount did not let her go. She wants everyone to understand that even though Michael Bay brought her out of obscurity, SHE was the one to choose to leave the franchise.

And if that isn't enough of a reason, Fox always wants everyone to know that Bay forced her to tan so excessively that she was concerned she would get cancer, or was it because of her weight issues?

Of course Bay wasn't bothered by anything Fox said, he even said himself:

"But her crazy quips are part of her crazy charm. The fact of the matter I still love working with her, and I know we still get along. I even expect more crazy quotes from her on ‘Transformers 3.'

I am sure Bay is very sad that he won't be getting those crazy quotes.

So, although Fox "wishes them well," she really means, "Michael Bay is the reason I am not returning." Whether it is because she called him Hitler, or if he was verbally abusive to her. Michael Bay is the reason that Megan Fox will no longer be apart of the Transformers Franchise.

I don't want to choose sides, but I think that Bay will survive this loss.
(Y'know, since Megan Fox made it clear that SHE LEFT and SHE WAS NOT KICKED OUT.)

Oh hey, wow, those are all Michael Bay films that DON'T involve Megan Fox.

Written by Nikky Raney
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