The Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien fight over the Tonight Show is long over. Leno soldiers on, and O’Brien is out mixing it up with real people on tour.

But the resistance movement carries on, and Coco supporters (as O’brien is known) have found a bunch of outlets to vent their frustration. Some trick Leno into taking pictures supporting Coco. Others hang out on a Facebook page supporting him called “I’m with Coco / Conan O’Brien.”

But now there’s another way, and this one is likely to piss off NBC. Go to any Tonight Show clip on Hulu and check out the user added tags that appear in the mouseover.


Just a quick update for those tracking the Disrupt Hackathon. Pizza has been delivered, the Red Bull girls have made their rounds, and the group seems to be in high spirits. TechCrunch developer Andy Brett and I made the rounds this afternoon, chatting with developers (who came from places as close as New York and as far as Israel) to discuss their projects and their strategy for the evening. Many expected to use a combination of potent caffeine and quick naps to power through the session. Some offered quirkier solutions: one team toyed with the idea of napping in the beginning and working during the late hours (to sleep through the noisiest part of the day) and another set a hard deadline of 2 am so that they could be the most refreshed team during the presentation round. We’ll find out who makes it and what they’ve made tomorrow at 11am— and for those who can’t be here, we plan to Livestream the event as well. Until then, enjoy our brief video of Hackathon (Andy doesn’t make frequent video appearances so this is a real treat, bonus points if you find his 2 cameos).

Last last night (early this morning) there was some confusion about our post indicating that Android 2.2, Froyo, had started to roll out. Some thought we had Photoshopped the pictures (I wish I was that good at Photoshop), others though we were just using the developer build, and others thought we got some sort of special press copy. But rest easy people, I have in my inbox a confirmation from that says the following: “The roll out to Nexus One devices has begun!

Naturally, I asked the company what the deal was with the roll out, since I was as surprised as anyone to see 2.2 ready to install on my device when I picked it up last night. After all, itself had just tweeted out that the new OS would be available on the Nexus One in the “next few weeks.” But that looks to be a solid under-promise, over-deliver — very nice, .

had another Oprah moment this past Thursday at the I/O conference, giving all 4,000 plus attendees the Evo 4G, the new HTC Android phone being sold via Sprint. The phone is set to be released to the public on June 4, but attendees have gotten a sneak peak of the impressive device. Of course, many of these lucky recipients have already been quick to start peddling the phone on Craigslist and eBay, for as much as $1200.

On eBay, ‘buy it now’ price points range from $600-$1200, with many at $650-$750 range. Prices are more reasonable on Craigslist’s San Francisco site, with many of the devices being offered at $500-ish (the range is between $450-$750). There were a few offers to purchase an Evo for $250, with one person willing to buy it for $500.


It’s on. The Disrupt Hackathon is fully underway, over 300 hackers are battling through the night to create the very best app, gizmo, robot (or whatever these crazy kids can come up with) within 24 hours. Thanks to the sponsorship of Facebook, Media Temple and Air BnB, the hackers will have access to a pile of Aero beds and all the essential food groups: pizza and caffeine (boxes upon boxes of Red Bull).

The Hackathon will have experts on hand to help participants with the APIs of Facebook, Yahoo!, SimpleGeo, Etsy, Mashery, MeetUp and . For those who want to get their hands dirty, there’s a scrapyard station in the back, complete with a Hungry, Hungry Hippo set, the circuit board for a crosswalk sign and a Winnie The Pooh in a wizard outfit (of course). Pictures ahead.

Checking-in has so far mainly been thought about in terms of location. But there’s a growing idea that it can be ported to other things as well — such as checking-in when you’re watching a movie or television show to let others know. That’s the idea behind Miso, a product we first covered back in March following their first major movie partnership. Today, Miso has announced its seed financing and the alpha version of its website.

Previously, Miso only existed as an iPhone app. (It’s actually the second iPhone app the team behind Miso, BazaarLabs has come up with. Back at our Realtime Crunchup in November, they launched Flixup a sort of Rotten Tomatoes movie review aggregator based around what people are saying on Twitter.) But now, with a website, they should be able to broaden their reach.

Ford, like most modern manufacturing companies, is utilizing virtual reality tools at all levels of development. Gone are the days of designers and engineers hunching over drafting tables in a smoke-filled room, working on blueprints for what will next be molded out of clay.

These days development is done on 20-foot ultra-high resolution displays with real world testing done in a virtual world. Designers can experience nearly every aspect of a future vehicle before any physical piece is constructed. Ford even employs virtual tools for the manufacturing phase to maximize efficiency there as well.

I recently got a close look at a bunch of these tools and processes. I was granted access to everything from Ford’s gigantic full vehicle motion simulator to the gigantic video wall. These are some impressive toys.

While grandma flips through photo albums on her sleek iPad, government agencies (and most corporations) process mission-critical transactions on cumbersome web-based front ends that function by tricking mainframes into thinking that they are connected to CRT terminals. These systems are written in computer languages like Assembler and COBOL, and cost a fortune to maintain. I’ve written about California’s legacy systems and the billions of dollars that are wasted on maintaining these. Given the short tenure of government officials, lobbying by entrenched government contractors, and slow pace of change in the enterprise-computing world, I’m not optimistic that much will change – even in the next decade. But there is hope on another front: the Open Government Initiative. This provides entrepreneurs with the data and with the APIs they need to solve problems themselves. They don’t need to wait for the government to modernize its legacy systems; they can simply build their own apps.

The federal government’s open data initiative,, was launched exactly one year ago with 47 datasets of government information, by Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra. This has grown to more than 250,000 datasets. Hundreds of applications have already been built to harness this information. A few states and localities have also followed the lead, the most notable of which is San Francisco City.

Sometimes there are advantages to staying up really late at night. I had just laid down in my bed to try and get some sleep before an early flight to New York tomorrow when I remembered I hadn’t charged my Nexus One. I reached over to my bedside table to grab it, and I see an alert letting me know a system update is available. Having just read numerous reports that Android 2.2 would be coming to the device in the “next few weeks” I figured this couldn’t be the new OS codenamed “Froyo.” But it was.

Yes, apparently is starting to roll out the Android 2.2 Froyo update to Nexus One devices right now. I just tried the EVO 4G (the newest Android phone which gave out at I/O this week) but 2.2 isn’t available for it yet. I guess being the “ Phone” has its advantages. Nexus One owners, if you’re up, check for an update right now.

Note: Our MobileCrunch readers will be horrified by this post. But lately I’ve been on a rant about using simple technologies that just work, instead of always trying to make at least the basic features of the newest and greatest product we’ve ever seen do something spectacularly awesome, like make a phone call that doesn’t end from a carrier drop or a dead battery.

A week ago I found myself in a difficult position mobile-phone wise. My two go to phones - the Motorola Droid on Verizon and the Nexus One on T-Mobile - were history. The Nexus One mysteriously disappeared during my move to Seattle. And the Droid, my backup phone when I needed rock solid Verizon coverage, came to an untimely and violent end during extended “testing” on my rock slate tile floor. I was without a working mobile phone of any kind.


According to this blog post, has acquired online travel guide and community Ruba. Ruba is a visual travel guide and tour review site that provides travelers with visual guides written by other travelers. The blog post is embedded below. UPDATE: tells us that they didn’t actually acquire Ruba, but the team behind Ruba will be joining the team to work on i and other projects.

Ruba offer users a way to visually browse through cities and their attractions around the world, offering photo-rich guides and an emphasis on making it easy to quickly discover new locations. The site is headed by Mike Cassidy, who has founded a number of successful companies, including Xfire, which sold to Viacom in 2006 for $102 million.

We are less than 72 hours away from the official start of TechCrunch Disrupt 2010! The team is packing their bags, squaring away last minute details, consuming copious amounts of Red Bull and looking forward to the bright lights (and delicious food) of New York, New York.

Momofuku pork buns, Shake Shack burgers, Crif Dogs hot dogs, Motorino’s pizza, — it’s a long and glorious list. Disclaimer: I’m painfully biased. As a recent transplant from New York, I adore the city this time of year— sticky, crowded subway cars and the occasional (but violent) odors are easily offset by Central Park, outdoor dining, the steady stream of music events and the always bubbling nightlife. Granted, I won’t be able to enjoy much of that since I’ll be down in the Disrupt trenches, but the attendees will. For you lucky kids, Oyster, a hotel review site, has created a New York guide specifically for Disrupt with hotel, dining, and nightlife options near the venue.

ABC’s popular television show Lost comes to an end this weekend. This season has been largely about the backstory for why things are the way they are on the island. It’s a minor spoiler to say it, but I’m going to anyway — basically, it boils down to a war between two brothers, Jacob and the Man in Black. Growing up, the two brothers were very close but decisions each made, forced them apart. And once apart, a series of events occurred that showed them just how different they really were. Those two brothers remind me a lot of and Apple right now.

If there was any remaining doubt that and Apple were in the midst of an all-out war, yesterday erased all those doubts. Anyone who was sitting in the I/O keynote heard shot after shot taken against Apple and their closed iPhone platform. Some references were thinly veiled. Some were not. It was really quite remarkable to watch. And I loved every minute of it.

We would like to take a minute to thank all of our amazing sponsors!

Tickets are still available for our NYC event, TechCrunch Disrupt that is taking place May 24th-26th. I don’t believe I have seen a better list of speakers. Ever. | Zazzle | Bridgestone | ZAGG | SourceBits | Trada | Nexx |Firehost | eCallSheet | Crucial |Terremark |MediaTemple | Ooyala | StrataScale | Loopt | Cotendo

Things seem to be going well for MOG, the online music company that offers both an on-demand streaming music service and a large network of music blogs. In February the company raised another $9.5 million in funding and it has some promising mobile apps slated for release this quarter. Now the company is sharing some of its growth figures and how they compare with the rest of the industry.

According to Quantcast, the MOG Music Network, which includes thousands of music blogs written by the MOG community, has grown to 13.2M monthly uniques in the United Sates and 23.7M worldwide. To show how that compares with its competitors, MOG plotted the comScore numbers of other popular music services including MTV Networks Online, Vevo, and MySpace Music versus its own Quantcast stats.

At this week’s I/O Conference, the company carefully articulated its vision of the world. There’s Apple in one corner, carefully controlling its ecosystem, rejecting Flash, and conjuring images of an Orwellian Big Brother. As the “one man, one company, one device” (Vic Gundotra’s words) becomes more powerful, is trying to posit itself as the other choice. The more “open” choice. Whether or not you agree with ’s goggles, it’s a very smart and well defined message, creating an us vs. them environment and reinforcing the mantra “Don’t be evil.”

This point of “openness” was driven home on Thursday, during the I/O keynote, when Gundotra and Co. unveiled the highly anticipated TV project. Unexpectedly (and to great effect), Schmidt took to the stage at the end to introduce TV partners, a panel of high power CEOs (Best Buy, Sony, Intel, Dish Network, Logitech, Adobe). Together, those companies represent a market capitalization of roughly $200 billion ($350 B when you add ). Their attendance wasn’t really necessary— there was plenty of flash in the presentation (no pun intended)— but it punctuated ’s message: is open, inclusive and powerful and we are definitely not an army of one. Let’s just say, I don’t think it was a coincidence that Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen was seated next to Schmidt. (Bonus: a quick video interview with CEO of Sony & Best Buy ahead.)

The Dow Jones Newswire reports that AT&T is nearly doubling the fees smartphone-toting customers will have to pay if they break their contracts early — bumping the fees from $175 to $325. The move comes only a few weeks before Apple is widely expected to unveil its next iPhone, which will likely be available in the US exclusively through AT&T (at least at first). Thing is, AT&T is claiming that the iPhone has nothing to do with the move — a spokesman tells us “The timing for the new ETFs isn’t being driven by any specific device.” Uh huh.

As the WSJ article points out, it’s pretty clear that AT&T is looking to take advantage of the slew of customers certain to re-up or sign new contracts when the iPhone comes out. This boosted ETF is more likely to keep all of these customers chained to AT&T for another two years — even if the iPhone makes its way to Verizon, which has been rumored to happen later this year.  

Babble, a magazine and parenting community site, has raised $3 million in Series B Financing led by Village Ventures with Greycroft Partners and iNovia Capital participating. This brings the startup’s total funding to $6 million. The funding will be used to expand Babble’s team.

Spun off from sex and dating community Nerve Media, Babble takes a more modern view on parenting, aiming to address the breadth of parenting lifestyle in addition to basic health and development content common on parenting sites.The startup, which we previously wrote about here, makes money from ad revenue, which has increased 570% over the past year, and the company is approaching profitability. Advertisers include Disney, Pampers, Huggies, Clorox, Tide, Target, and PBS.

Online privacy seems to be at the top of everyones’ minds these days. Facebook, , and Blippy have all had high-profile privacy lapses in recent weeks — the problem seems to be getting worse, rather than better. Today, is starting a new project in an attempt to show their commitment to security — they’re adding SSL encryption to .com itself.

Now, to be clear, this isn’t on by default. To use this beta product, you have to visit — the “s” is the key there, that’s how you know it’s secure. When you do this, both your search terms and search results will be encrypted as they travel across networks. This makes it much harder for third-parties to intercept them.

I run late. Always. The last time I remember being not-late, it’s because I thought the event started 30 minutes earlier than it actually did. I ended up only being 15 minutes early.

If you’re a late person (or if you’ve seen that one episode of I love Lucy), you’ve probably heard of that trick where you set your clock forward X number of minutes, thereby theoretically ensuring that you’re out the door X number of minutes earlier. The problem: you know what the value of X is and, after about a day, you’ll start compensating for it.

Late Mate for BlackBerry makes sure you never know what X is.