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After his landmark Concert at Blenheim Palace in August of 1983, Barry Manilow started to venture into a jazz-driven style, starting with the 1984 album 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe. Barry Manilow's first album was released by Bell Records in 1973. Barry Manilow's music connected with a new generation when top British boy band Take That reached number 3 in the UK charts with Could It Be Magic. Barry Manilow's record label, Arista, took three years off his announced age when he was really 32 and made him 29 years old so he would appeal to teens. Barry Manilow appeared as a guest judge and arranged music for American Idol on April 24, 2004, the year in which he also embarked on his One Night Live! One Last Time! final tour. Barry Manilow dominated the charts for much of the 1970s with a string of major hit singles and multi-platinum albums. Barry Manilow released a new album on January 31, 2006 called The Greatest Songs of the Fifties featuring new recordings of the classic hits from the golden years. Barry Manilow was born to humble origins in Brooklyn, New York on June 17, 1943. Early in his career, Barry Manilow was a commercial jingle writer/singer, writing the theme for State Farm Insurance, Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there and the Stuck on Band-Aid song, among many others. In the 1990s, Barry Manilow recorded a succession of event albums, guided by Arista's President, Clive Davis. On the heels of his Farewell tour, Barry Manilow opened a standing show in Las Vegas in 2005 at the Las Vegas Hilton, where he will reside in the penthouse where Elvis lived for 8 years.
With the continuing negotiations between AOL and high-profile TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington likely to come to some conclusion soon, the big question remaining is whether he will appear at its flagship conference, TechCrunch Disrupt, which officially begins tomorrow.
Sources said that seems more likely than not, although the talks between AOL and Arrington are not resolved as yet and his appearance at the highly lucrative conference is part of a whole package.
But it seems unlikely that neither Arrington nor AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and content chief Arianna Huffington wants to damage TechCrunch Disrupt, which makes piles of moolah from sponsors and fees, attracts thousands of attendees, and where a plethora of promising start-ups compete with each other.
And, in fact, some of the slated speakers I have contacted have said that they have not been told of any changes in the program.
A hackathon of those entrepreneurs is now taking place before the main event, where well-known Silicon Valley players will be interviewed on stage by the staff of TechCrunch.
The conference is mostly run by TechCrunch exec Heather Harde, as well as the site’s leading editor Erick Schonfeld.
But, of course, TechCrunch Disrupt has starred Arrington, the larger-than-life blogger now turned venture capitalist.
That shift and how badly it was done is at the center of complex severance negotiations.
As I previously wrote, sources said the company has so far refused Arrington’s bold demand, posted on TechCrunch itself, to either give the popular tech news site “editorial independence” or sell it back to him.
As I wrote last week:
The situation between the popular tech blogger and top execs at the Internet company — which bought his site earlier this year — comes after a week of increasingly testy back and forth between them, after it was revealed that Arrington was starting his own $20 million venture fund called CrunchFund.
The move caused a media firestorm over the ethics and propriety of the move, which was followed by an ugly internal war at the company, with Arrington and TechCrunch staffers on one side and Armstrong and Huffington on the other.
(Full disclosure: Although no one cares what I think, I consider the deal appalling and wrote that it was a “giant, greedy Silicon Valley pig pile.” Now, it seems to be 56 percent piggier!)
After many confusing messages from AOL, Arrington was removed from his longtime job at TechCrunch and placed in its venture arm, after editorial objections from Huffington.
That had supposedly been the the plan until it all blew up, with reveleations about what the CrunchFund deal — which includes $10 million from AOL — meant to TechCrunch and its news gathering.
That seemed clear from a widely cited quote from CrunchFund investor and well-know Silicon Valley entrepreneur Reid Hoffman to me last week:
“TechCrunch will get some real deal flow from entrepreneurs that we would otherwise not see, because they have established a prominent position as the SV/Tech industry information feed. As many tech entrepreneurs read it — both within Silicon Valley and globally — and view the information news feed to be their target for announcing themselves to the world, CrunchFund will have access to deal flow to these diverse and early stage companies. Some of these companies will be the kind of early stage companies with billion-dollar potential that Greylock invests in.”
There you had it: No one can afford to be out of the deal flow in these competitive times, even if it means cutting corners and using a tech news site as fodder.
Arrington obviously has another view of the deal he struck with Armstrong and, sources said, wants his powerful tech news platform back. He has been talking to many Silicon Valley power players about the situation, said sources.
More to come soon from this Silicon Valley soap opera. And, hopefully, it will be a happy — well, happy-ish — ending.
(Full disclosure: AllThingsD also runs conferences that could be construed as competitive to TechCrunch Disrupt, although we both we seem to do just fine. In addition, Walt Mossberg and I are getting along like peas and carrots, although we vigorously disagree over the humongous talent of Barry Manilow.)
As with my deep adoration of Barry Manilow, I am a closet fan of “The Muppets.”
They’re back in a new movie and, apparently, it’s still not easy being green.
BoomTown motored on down to the Microsoft campus in Silicon Valley on a fabulously sunny day to liveblog the latest Bing event.
The software giant is updating its search service, announcing deep integration–part of a deal announced last year–with Facebook.
The theme, according to Microsoft (MSFT) SVP Yusuf Mehdi, quoting the Beatles, was search with “a little help from your friends.”
Let’s hope it’s not: “Help, I need somebody.”
11:35 am PT: Mehdi kicks off the show, announcing the line-up, which includes Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Well, it just got 100 percent more interesting here in this nondescript auditorium.
Mehdi talks a little bit about the future of search and making it better. He talks about social being an important part of it.
While I’d have gone with Barry Manilow, he quotes the Beatles.
Mehdi is followed by Microsoft Online Services Division President Qi Lu, who throws more love bombs at Facebook.
“With the partnershop of Facebook and Bing, we will be able to unlock…how people in a social relationship can be first-class citizens in a search experience,” said Lu.
It sounds so lofty, even though it is mostly trading movie review recommendations or good places to take the kids on a rainy Sunday.
Lu thanks Zuckerberg effusively and invites him onstage.
11:54 am: No hoodie.
Zuckerberg is also “honored to be here,” giving us a little history lesson about the origins of the social networking giant and its various and sundry efforts.
I’ll be honest, the lack of donuts is making me distracted.
He’s not actually saying more than bromides about “what would social search look like.”
And looking around at who would be the right partner in the arena. Microsoft! Of course! That giant investment way back when was nice too!
“They’re really the underdog here,” said Zuckerberg in the first interesting comment, noting that overdogs–that would be Google (GOOG), which he does not mention by name–never innovate much.
His take: Underdogs are the best.
12:01 pm: Mehdi is back to show off the wares in a demo.
First, what’s there. Web search in Facebook and Facebook status updates on Bing.
Zzzzzzzz. Get to the good stuff!
First, a module that brings in a Like module from Facebook into the search, with all the other information provided by Bing.
It is, said, Mehdi, particular for a person.
“This is going to profoundly change how we search,” he said of personalized experiences.
Mehdi also shows off a way to differentiate your friends who have names of famous people, who are the ones who come up on search first.
Interesting, but people search is not the biggest problem I have.
He also says more is coming, such as friend experts surfacing in search and Like in every result on a page that it was possible. Yipes!
Also, thank the Lord, the ability to turn it off.
12:15 pm: Now Facebook exec Dan Rose comes up and starts talking about the Facebook-Microsoft bromance.
Apparently, four years is an eternity in Silicon Valley in terms of a relationship.
Actually, four weeks is long, so congrats you two crazy kids!
I’d celebrate with a donut if they were here.
“More and more” social in Bing, said Rose.
It’s a match made in digital heaven!
12:22 pm: Q&A time!
So what more? The press is so unsatisfied! Yes, we are.
Zuckerberg takes the lead. New interfaces! More!
A privacy question. “This is Instant Personalization,” said Zuckerberg, who said that Facebook has five partners in that effort.
He explains Instant Personalization, saying he wants to clear up misconceptions.
It’s private enough, you oversharers!
“Just because it is all public information about you, this is really good,” he said.
But is it by default? Of course, it is. That’s Facebook modus operandi!
Opt-out should be tattooed on employees at Facebook as a requirement.
Bing does put up a warning at the top of the page, but only five times. Then, you need to go foraging to turn it off.
Next: Does Bing search queries get sent back to Facebook? Not necessarily.
But, “everything is going to be social eventually,” said Zuckerberg, as long as it is public.
Public is apparently the new black.
More questions about new Facebook Groups and other deets, none of which is that bracing.
Apropos of nothing, I am considering asking a question about the ever-exciting Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) scandal, just to jack up the volume.
I try to ask a question about Zuckerberg’s underdog comment, but no more time.
But Zuckerberg sort of addresses it, going on about why he has picked Microsoft as the favorite.
While he does not say it, it’s because Facebook is the overdog here and, as you know, every overdog needs an underdog.
Speaking of cartoon heroes, here is the opening of that classic television show:
Here is a lovely movie from the Apple iPod, iPad, iTunes, TV and, now, Ping event yesterday in San Francisco.
(Yes, this is a photo of me channeling Walt Mossberg in a chat with CEO Steve Jobs in the demo area.)
It includes the you-are-there shots of Jobs onstage, as well as scenes from the media throng and more, as the tech giant unveiled updates, additions and renovations of older stuff and also launched new stuff.
Such as Ping, the social music service in iTunes 10, which starred Apple (AAPL) PR impresario Katie Cotton’s profile in the demo itself. She was unflappable, even after I told her I was a Fanilow.
It is all in the video below:
Last week, outside the Facebook f8 developers conference, BoomTown checked out the new 2011 Fiesta model, which will be the first vehicle in which smartphone apps can be voice-controlled via its in-car synching software.
While getting a test, I interviewed the Ford dude–Julius Marchwiki–who has been in all the YouTube videos of late touting its digital prowess.
Ford has been trying to fast-forward its automobiles in the digital space to try to differentiate itself from other car makers, using SYNC AppLink, as well as other innovative Web-friendly features.
In December, Ford (F) said it would make the next generation of its SYNC-enabled vehicles into Wi-Fi hotspots, allowing drivers and passengers to connect to the Internet everywhere much more seamlessly in a moving car.
Presumably, the ultimate in mobile.
One speed bump: SYNC AppLink will work only with Google (GOOG) Android and Research in Motion (RIMM) BlackBerry devices for now, although Ford promises an Apple (AAPL) iPhone solution soon.
Pandora Internet radio, online talk radio aggregator Stitcher and mobile Twitter client OpenBeak are the first SYNC-enabled mobile applications.
Here’s my interview with Marchwiki, as well as Scott Monty, Ford’s social media guru:
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