Our 5 favorite startups at TechCrunch Disrupt

Right now, the TechCrunch Disrupt judging panel is choosing the top startup from among the 27 companies that launched on-stage at the conference over the last three days. But VentureBeat’s writers watched (and wrote about) every single one of those presentations, and we have our own favorites.

Digg founder: We let Digg stagnate

Digg, the pioneering social-news site which lets users vote on top headlines, began to lose momentum during the recession because it pulled engineers from designing new site features to work on improving revenue, founder Kevin Rose said today.

Linkedin cuts down the noise on its news feeds with ‘Signal’ feature

Linkedin, a social networking site for people looking to connect with other professionals, is launching a new feature, called Signal, that will help users manage their news feeds on the main website. Jeff Weiner, the CEO of Linkedin, announced the launch of Signal at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today.

Ron Conway, Mike Arrington and company stop for some Hammer Time

Google Ventures wasn’t the only fresh face at the TechCrunch Disrupt after-party last night —  funk master MC Hammer also brought his talents to Silicon Valley in celebration of TechCrunch’s recent acquisition by AOL, dropping his tunes for TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and company.

MobilePay lets you pay by card, without your card

MobilePay offers consumers a way to pay by credit or banking card without having your physical card on hand by linking it to an iPhone app that automatically authenticates with vendors to transfer payment. The service is going into closed beta today after operating in stealth mode for the past couple of months, it announced today at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.

Voxy teaches languages through news and text messages

Voxy, an online service for teaching languages across multiple platforms including text messages, mobile apps and the web, announced it is launching its English-language service at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today.

ToVieFor pitches top-end fashion by turning sales into games

ToVieFor gives the average shopper that isn’t looking to spend $1,000 on a new bag a chance to snag top-of-the-line fashion goods for much less than full price with its own spin on fashion fire sales. The shopping network announced it is launching its site at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today.

Tello lets you vote down employees for poor customer service

Tello, an online service that lets users rate specific employees and businesses based on customer service, announced it is launching its website, mobile Web app, and iPhone app today at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.

Business social network Yammer gets upgrade, opens up to apps

Yammer, a social networking platform like Facebook for business professionals, announced that it is launching its expanded suite of social networking tools with third-party app integration for the business professionals of the world. The announcement came at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today.

Google CEO: the Internet of things will augment your brain

For Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the next step in technology is the same that it has always been — augmenting humanity to handle information that a human brain couldn’t otherwise keep up with, and just make things work.

Namesake is a Twitter that connects job hunters with recruiters

As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, but who you know — and a startup called Namesake plans to capitalize on that mentality by providing a social network that gives users a way to  seek and promote job opportunities through the people they know — all in under 200 characters.

Opzi demos Quora-like Q&A platform for businesses

Opzi, which provides a question-and-answer platform similar to Quora for enterprise customers, is betting that companies relying on email and services like Salesforce’s Chatter for quick answers have exhausted employees to the point of jumping on board the service. Opzi founder Euwyn Poon demoed the product at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today.

Snapdragon aims to be a humorous Foursquare for products

Snapdragon is applying the check-in concept that many apps, such as Foursquare, use today to products like Ramen Noodles — except it plans to bring in humor to differentiate itself from competitors. CEO and co-founder David Hegarty demoed the app at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today.

Datasift tames Twitter overload for companies seeking specific data

Tweet-filtering technology startup Datasift is offering a special platform specifically for companies. Rather than filtering tweets for individuals, it combs through topics relevant to a company and displays the information in a single feed. CEO Nick Halstead demoed the service at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco today.

Storify filters online content into easy-to-read stories

Storify, which allows users to embed content from all avenues of the web like Twitter, Flickr and the like into a continuous story, launched its closed beta today at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.