Destiny’s Child at Live8 Philly

I was lucky enough to see them do Survivor in Denver at the NBA all-star game and this was even more amazing. They did Survivor today. Then they did Say My Name and during that song the big screen behind them was showing the names of all of the people who signed up for Live8’s online petition. They closed with Girl from 2004’s Destiny Fulfilled.

Destiny 1
Destiny 2
Destiny 3

This post originally appeared on Weblogs, Inc.’s Live8 Insider blog.

All your tildes are belong to us

Over on Engadget Spanish, I noticed that our bloggers were letting their audience know that we’re still in beta and we’re working out some language-related kinks. Specifically, I’m making some changes to the platform so characters with accents don’t get eaten in title fields. One quick fix I made for the Spanish team broke the form for the Chinese team. Fun stuff.

One of our commenters thought that we were using some kind of automated translation software instead of humans — primarily because of the missing accented characters. So I thought I’d ask Altavista’s Babel Fish Translation to tell me what our Spanish blogger wrote:

Without tildes nor enies?
Before nothing, thousand excuses by that so horrible title. But indeed that is what we want to clarify… Why the titles of the new Engadget in Spanish do not have tíldes nor eñes? Then good, as they can see, this is the beta version of Engadget, so we are working hard to obtain a final version next. Our thousands of programmers (thousands, hehe) is adapting software so that it has supported other languages to the 100%, but that taking time. Other whatever still exist “bugs” in the system, and also many thousands translations that are not of manjares, but the equipment of Engadget in Spanish is working strongly so that our site is of the same quality that the original Engadget. We appreciated its commentaries and suggestions, so they do not let write to us.

Put this one in Daddy’s scrapbook

Niki and Jack just got home from some children’s event at the library. Jack walked to the top of the basement stairs and pointed at my computer (with his thumb, his pointing finger of choice these days) and said something that took me a few seconds to make out.

“Foo Fighters, Daddy.”

Wow. Best Of You was playing on my laptop:

“Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?”

Jack remembered that song from the video we saw weeks ago on MTV2’s 24 Hours of Foo. The lyrics were easy enough for a two-and-a-half year-old kid to pick up and sing along with. When the song ended just now he asked for “Foo Fighters again.”

This must be why people have kids. What a great day!

Technology Review on WIN

Nice article in MIT’s Technology Review magazine. It takes a look at the Weblogs, Inc. Network (WIN) as well as some of the Brian and Jason history leading up to it.

The only facts that aren’t 100% accurate are that we started recruiting bloggers in early 2004 (it was September or October) and that we created Silicon Alley Reporter together. It just seems like we did because we did CyberSurfer together before SAR, I was Jason’s SAR art director twice and later I was his CTO for a few years.

Ace, the crime-fighting Bat Hound

My enthusiam for Smallville dipped when I found out they were having an episode that featured Clark Kent’s dog, Krypto. Niki’s tripled.

The other day I mentioned that Batman had a crime-fighting dog, but I didn’t know what breed it was and I couldn’t recall its name. Named Ace, he was originally a German Shepherd and later on has been portrayed as a Great Dane.

This has brought back memories that I thought were gone forever. There was a super-horse (Comet), Beppo (a Kryptonian monkey who stowed away in Kal-El’s rocket unnoticed) and Supergirl’s pet, Streaky the Supercat.

The highlight of this trip down repressed memory lane was discovering a narrative titled Postmodernism and the Batman Phenomenon, which explores the evolution of the Batman mythos and how it has been a reflection of the general culture or American society. It shows how the four Batman movies of varying quality had their parallels in the decades of Batman lore that came before them and how McCarthyism and Dr. Frederic Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent attacked the comic industry and drove the plot lines over the edge:

He felt that three men (Batman, Robin, and their butler, Alfred) living alone in a beautiful manor where fresh flowers were placed daily in vases was the dream home of homosexuals. Batman writers had purposefully stayed away from romantic or sexual adventures or innuendoes to keep the comic kid friendly, but had inadvertently left themselves open to this attack. The editorial staff at the time attempted to combat this by requiring the addition of more bat-characters (Batwoman and Batgirl) to add a feeling of “family” instead of the isolation of the Dynamic Duo. They also made the authors kill off Alfred in favor of a housekeeper named Aunt Harriet. They even went so far as creating a bat-hound, the perfect bat-family crime fighting dog.

Same Bat-time. Same Bat-kennel.

Parking rage

I was picking up my dinner two nights ago and instead of taking the long way around the block and parking on the side street, I spied a meter space on the corner and pulled in. Dinner wasn’t ready yet, so I had some hot tea and waited for them to finish up. Returning to my car, I saw a big man doing something strange to my car and my first guess was that he was putting a flyer on my windshield. As I got closer, I saw that he was probably ticketing me.

“Are you giving me a ticket?”

He looked up at me startled and backed onto the curb mumbling. I couldn’t make out his answer, so I asked him again. He said he was giving me a ticket, but he was clearly surprised to see me there and must have thought that I was going to flip out and attack him.

I asked him how late the meters ran here. He said 8. It was 7:30, but it was darker than most midnights. I told him that it was so dark, I didn’t even think about it. I was just going to stand there while he ticketed me, but he motioned for me to get in my car and started giving the car in front of mine a ticket.

I rolled down my passenger window and thanked him on my way by. I’m really pretty calm about tickets. You only get them when you deserve them. There’s a rule. You broke it. You get a ticket.

It’s other drivers that make me go nuts, not meter attendants.

Times Like These in Camden

A year and a half ago, Jason and I had tickets for a Foo Fighters show in Camden, NJ. I didn’t know when I got the tickets that Camden was practically a suburb of Philadelphia, but we made the best of it. We drove from Manhattan to Philadelphia, sat at Morimoto’s sushi bar and had an amazing dinner served up by the Iron Chef himself.

Nearly out of gas, we crossed the bridge and parked at the Tweeter Center in Camden. Dave Grohl was entertaining, making fun of Bon Jovi and even working in a little bit of his Wanted Dead Or Alive into the Foo Fighters’ Learn To Fly.

After the show we joined the herd of cars and slowly crawled out of the parking lot, keeping an eye on the fuel gauge. The town was dark and there wasn’t a gas station in sight — just some run-down apartment buildings, a police station and some kind of prison complex. Somehow we made it to the next town without running out of gas, filled the tank and got on the highway home.

It was no surprise when I read yesterday that Camden, NJ was named the most-dangerous city in the U.S. It had my vote. Camden bumped Detroit into second place, but the list is based on year-old data. No doubt Pistons fans will put their city back in first place on next year’s list.

Go Gadling

Doesn’t everyone have one of those friends who swore that if Bush was re-elected that he or she would be leaving America and moving overseas? Maybe you don’t have one of those friends, but you know a celebrity like Alec Baldwin who made a statement like that. Maybe you’ve never heard of Alec Baldwin. Maybe that friend was you.

Anyway, send that friend (or yourself or Alec Baldwin) a link to Escape Artist. Escape Artist promises to help you “Restart your life overseas”, offering real estate links from around the globe, boat listings and helpful publications like “Escape From America Magazine”.

If you just want a temporary break from the U.S. and the increasing chill, visit Gadling. It’s our new adventure travel blog. Warms me up just thinking about it.