‘Thunder’ rumbles past ‘Dark Knight’ with $26M (AP)

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Ben Stiller, left, and Robert Downey Jr. are shown in a scene from, 'Tropic Thunder.' (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Merie Weismiller Wallace)AP – It took four of Hollywood’s biggest stars to take down Batman. The DreamWorks-Paramount comedy “Tropic Thunder” — with Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Tom Cruise — debuted at No. 1 with $26 million, bumping “The Dark Knight” to second place after four weekends on top, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Phelps treasured his run to history (AP)

Michael Phelps kept every swimsuit, every cap, every pair of goggles he wore during nine magical days at the Water Cube. Every memory will be savored, too, from goofing off with his U.S. teammates to bowing his head not one, not two, but eight times to receive a gold medal at the Beijing Games. “There are moments I’ll never forget,” he said.

Creating Advanced MySQL-Based Virtual Hosts On Lighttpd (Debian Etch)

Creating Advanced MySQL-Based Virtual Hosts On Lighttpd (Debian Etch)

This guide explains how you can create advanced virtual hosts on a
lighttpd web server on Debian Etch that are stored in a MySQL database.
The method described here does not use the lighttpd mod_mysql_vhost
module, and unlike mod_mysql_vhost (which allows you to store only the
hostname and document root of a vhost in a database), this method
allows to store individual configuration directives for each vhost in
the MySQL database.

Read more…

Phelps gets eight, Jamaica sprint queens rule (Reuters)

Michael Phelps celebrates after the U.S. won the men's 4x100m medley relay swimming final at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, August 17, 2008. (Jerry Lampen/Reuters)Reuters – Michael Phelps held his arms aloft on
Sunday after surpassing Mark Spitz as the most successful
swimmer and Olympian of all time, relief written on his face
after he won an unprecedented eighth gold at one Games.

Ridge: GOP would accept abortion-rights VP

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, who is believed to be on John McCain’s short list of running mates, said Sunday he thinks Republicans would accept a vice presidential candidate like himself who supports abortion rights.

China confiscates Bibles from American Christians (AP)

AP – Chinese customs officials confiscated more than 300 Bibles on Sunday from four American Christians who arrived in a southwestern city with plans to distribute them, the group’s leader said.

David Futcher: Announcing Freespeech: Simple Cross-Platform Text To Speech

I have just started another one of my little pet projects. This time it is ‘Freespeech’, a user-friendly wrapper around the FreeTTS speech engine. It is simply a continuation of an old project I started when I was 12, Text2Speech, which was pretty much the same idea, except written in C#.NET. Obviously when I wiped Windows, progress on that project slowed down a bit. But now I am reviving the same idea. I looked around and I couldn’t find a simple, easy to use, cross-platform Text-To-Speech application. I know I will get people saying “oooh its just a little GUI, FreeTTS is doing all the work”, but if you give a Dyslexic, non-technical person (Text2Speech was originally written to help my dyslexic, non-technical sister) a copy of Festival or FreeTTS, they are highly likely to not get very far. This project is designed to make it as simple as possible for everyone to be able to get access to Text-To-Speech applications (Windows and Linux (and if anyone volunteers to port it, Mac))

If anyone is interested you can check it out on Launchpad and grab the (very, very pre-alpha) code from bzr. Run ant, cd into the bin directory and run FreeSpeech.jar

Russia send mixed signals on troop withdrawal (AP)

Russian Emergency Situations Ministry troops line up for a breakfast at their camp in Tskhinvali,  the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia's capital, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)AP – Russian military authorities issued a flurry of conflicting reports Sunday about whether Russian troops had begun to pull out of the separatist-held Georgian province of South Ossetia.