Happy April Fool's Day, Philadelphia - Technical.ly Philly

Apr. 1, 2011 4:30 pm

Happy April Fool’s Day, Philadelphia

No, Technically Philly is not moving to New York to pursue an online news site in a new niche community, even if it meant the chance of running into Rupert Murdoch, pitching that media acquisition, and living the high life at News Corp. Today was April Fool’s Day, after all, and we’re proud to be […]

No, Technically Philly is not moving to New York to pursue an online news site in a new niche community, even if it meant the chance of running into Rupert Murdoch, pitching that media acquisition, and living the high life at News Corp.

Today was April Fool’s Day, after all, and we’re proud to be here in Philly’s tech community. Where else would we be able to make such crude jokes, rip-off the Onion, and take a day off from our editorial calendar?

To sum up our trickery [Updated: now all below], no, First Round isn’t investing in the food market, we’re more emotionally attached to Port Richmond than you could believe, Mike Werth beat the entire Mario Brothers series years ago, keep those urban farms at Ignite coming, the power of GIS will continue to amaze and excite us, yes, we’re still a little bitter about the Gigabit thing, and actually, the Comcast parade kinda sounds like a good idea.

We surprised a few, possibly offended some others, and spent too much time on this for our own good. But it was all in good fun.

We’ll see you Monday, when we’re back to our normal production cycle.

Because we deleted our joke posts for protection of whatever semblance of editorial discretion we have, below find them in their entirety.

Just to make clear, the below posts are not real. They aren’t even based on reality. They are silly. In most accounts, they are stupid. It was meant in fun and, by most accounts, the day was well received. We love everyone.

Technically Philly to relocate, rebrand as Technically New York

By Christopher Wink

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Technically Philly, the scrappy, cheerleading local technology news site devoted to Philadelphia for more than two years, will be relocating north and rebranding as Technically New York, its three co-founders announced Friday.

“We found this really great loft in Brooklyn,” said co-founder Sean Blanda, who bought a new ironic T-shirt for the move. “This is the big leagues of local online technology niche news site blogs.”

Fellow co-founders Brian James Kirk, Christopher Wink and Blanda are moving today, they confirmed. April 1 will be the last day of Philadelphia content, before turning over Monday, April 4 to focus on, what Kirk calls “the important stuff: social media apps, mobile tools and gadgets made by other 20-somethings who left towns and cities for a shared experience of worshiping false idols in New York.”

The primary reasons for the move are because there wasn’t enough VC money, there wasn’t enough IT talent, the bars close at 2 a.m., the streets are dirty, taxes are too high, it rains too often here, the unions cost too much, the government sucks, there’s too much crime, there’s too much poverty, Market East is an embarrassment, there’s no serious competition, the jobs don’t pay enough, says Blanda, and ‘there are no national media outlets to eventually buy us out so we can finally get that yacht.’

“Plus, do you know the trains run 24 hours in New York?” added Kirk, who has a fine red beard and once went to a really cool bar in Manhattan with a friend who lived in Hoboken. “I mean, sure, I could take a bus in Philly at 3 a.m, but, really, like, who takes the bus?”

The three do say that they might in the future come back to settle down in Philadelphia, said Wink, who now refers to New York ‘as the City’ and knows ‘a great little coffee shop in Greenpoint you have to try.’

“I could maybe have a nice house in Gladwyn and an office somewhere in Plymouth Meeting,” he said. “And then at dinner parties I could bring up every three or four minutes that year I spent in New York.

But technology and the internet are doing two important things, Wink pointed out: making location less important and making it certain that if you aren’t in New York, you don’t matter.

“When you have the choice between the challenge of building a community and reliving a sixty year cliche,” Blanda says, “I’m going cliche every time.”

Port Richmond still has no Fortune 500 company

By Christopher Wink

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released a detailed survey of the 2010 Fortune 500 list Friday, concluding that, again, no companies represent the Port Richmond neighborhood.

“We bought several copies of last year’s edition and had our entire staff page through,” said Charles Plosser, the president of the Philly fed. “We just couldn’t believe there were no companies on Richmond Street or Allegheny Avenue.”

The much hyped annual list from Fortune magazine, which ranks the country’s largest companies by their gross revenue after adjustments, has left the largely residential Polish riverward neighborhood out cold each year since the first, in 1955.

Five Philadelphia companies made the list: Comcast, Sunoco, Cigna, Aramark and Crown Holdings, none of which are headquartered within the boundaries of the Frankford Creek, Lehigh Avenue, I-95 and Frankford Avenue. For decades community groups have lobbied for greater business development in Port Richmond. Some, like Peggy Weinman, the president of the Old Richmond Civic Association, even question the legitimacy of the list itself.

“This magazine continues to ignore the accomplishments of the Aramingo Diner and Czerw’s Kielbasy,” said Weinman. “We’ll be ready for next year.”

First Round Capital invests in cheesesteak, Rocky references

By Sean Blanda

First Round Capital has announced a Series A investment in cheesesteak and Rocky references.

“The references have been steadily increasing since Rocky’s release in 1976,” said Principal Phin Barnes, taking a break to throw a snowball at a Santa Claus impersonator.

Analysts claim that cheesesteak and Rocky references, long a crutch for sports broadcasters and lazy magazine pieces about Philadelphia, have increased faster than other Philadelphia cliches, including complaining about SEPTA, Benjamin Franklin and expressing to friends about how Fishtown is “really coming along.”

Barnes says the firm is also considering looking in Baltimore to invest in “The Wire” references involving that city.

Ignite Philly changes to stodgy 20-minute, 5-slide format

By Brian James Kirk


Ignite Philly, the popular event series aimed at highlighting innovation and creativity in the region, will eschew its traditional rapid-fire presentation format in favor of a more “mellow, nostalgic” 20-minute, 5-slide format, with the hope of attracting an older audience at Ignite Philly VIII.

“We wanted to give the audience fifteen extra minutes to figure out which new urban farm/arts collective in West Philly the presenter is talking about,” co-organizer David Clayton said.

The group has even rebranded the series with roman numerals to illustrate its commitment to senior citizens, organizers said.

“After selling out every single Ignite, frankly, we’ve got the youth market covered,” he said.

“And If I hear one more person bring up Prezi,” he said, before trailing off into a tirade about “the classic look and feel of a PowerPoint template as Robert Gaskins first envisioned it.”

Organizers are considering a clip art requirement.

Google to pit cities in epic cage match for Gigabit access

By Sean Blanda

Just days after announcing the winner of its first pilot city for Gigabit access, the search giant announced today that the second city to receive its super fast Internet access will have to be the last man standing in an epic cage match.

“Did you see the pathetic things that some cities did?” said Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google. “Topeka changed its name for christsakes.”

Google said that it can pretty much get cities to do “whatever the hell it wants” and was excited to revitalize gladiator sports.

Speaking on behalf of Gigabit Philly, city councilman Bill Green wasted no time getting inside the head of Philadelphia’s first opponent in Google’s tournament of death. The councilman quickly held a press conference in the City Hall locker room.

“Whatcha gonna do Toledo, when the Green-ster runs wild on you?” shouted Green who promptly leg dropped a passerby.

To prepare for the cage match, Mayor Nutter announced that police will be handing out bats wrapped in barbed wire at select civic meetings.

Shares of Google jumped $4 on the news.

Regional video game business leader Mike Werth “still stuck on Level 5-3 of Super Mario Brothers”

By Christopher Wink

In what is proving a major obstacle to the future of the once promised Philadelphia Video Game Growth Initiative, Technically Philly has learned that Mike Werth, who led the lobby for city and state tax relief for game development businesses, has not been able to pass a pivotal stage on the classic Nintendo game Super Mario Brothers.

“My ability to avoid Bullet Bill, while grabbing floating coins and hopping from one tree to the next has nothing to do with attracting, supporting and retaining high-paying, stable and creative jobs in Philadelphia,” Werth said at a press conference, flanked by a team of lawyers. “This is a witch hunt.”

Super Mario Brothers is the classic 1985 game featuring a friendly duo of plumbing brothers who go through a series of magical worlds in the hopes of saving a princess, says Temple University American history professor David Michael Jacobs.

“This game is a bedrock of the video game world,” says Michael Jacobs, who has research expertise in 20th century pop culture. “I cannot imagine a video game leader who hasn’t danced with glee at the sight of finally besting Bowser in the 8-4 castle.”

Werth’s struggles came to light after the release of federal transcripts from an FBI bug of Werth’s home, obtained by Technically Philly this week through the state’s Right to Know Act. The transcripts dated from 2005 to 2007 and showed a man obsessed, playing and failing to complete World 5 Level 3 a total of 3,795 times in February 2006 alone.

“How can I look my daughter in the eyes if I can’t even get to the Water Level of 7-2?” Werth says in one transcript from that time, his voice cracking and crying becoming audible. Many reports have cited FBI confirmation that Werth was either unaware or unwilling to use various cheat codes, widely popularized over the internet. Through an attorney Werth declined to comment on the matter.

“This will be remembered as the day that the video game development movement died in Philadelphia,” wrote Eric Smith, a frequent critic on his Geekadelphia blog.

Werth, who cited struggles with the B button, has said he has moved on from Super Mario Brothers, “to more advanced, way better games, man.”

“I will not let the safety of Princess Toadstool stand in the way of growing Philadelphia as a hub for video game development,” he said.

Azavea to release GIS tool to map all Philadelphians who know what GIS is

By Christopher Wink

A new online tool from a local geospatial application development company will track the more than half dozen Philadelphians who know what “GIS” means.

Unveiled Tuesday, the real-time GPS mapping application from Azavea will track a representative from Bentley Systems, a Drexel University data analyst and the five other people who “know what the hell it is that we do,” says Azavea founder Robert Cheetham.

“This tool will show the explosive nature of geospatial awareness in a real viral way,” said Cheetham. “When you pull up that map, and you see seven flags in the Google Maps interface, you suddenly understand the real power.”

An acronym meaning ‘geographic information system,’ the concept of GIS and its tracking of physical locations in a digital way is sometimes less than graspable to some. The tool, dubbed Cicero GPS, can change that, says Azavea developer Erin Gaggle, who led the project with her ‘10-percent time.’

“When you think of GIS, you tend to think ‘whoever just said that must be a pompous ass and probably doesn’t even know what that really means anyway,” Gaggle said. “But with Cicero GPS you can find the exact location of almost eight people who really do know what that means and can explain it in a way that would make sense to the average person.”

The project is a freemium model, in which access to the daily updated map of locations is free, but real-time placement is password-protected for paying subscribers.

“Sometimes, I stay up late and see where everyone is on the map and wonder what they’re doing. Are they sleeping? Are they coding?” says Gaggle. “Now that is GIS at its best.”

Comcast hosts NBC acquisition parade down Broad Street

By Sean Blanda

Celebrating its acquisition of NBC Universal, local cable powerhouse Comcast held a victory parade down Broad Street Saturday night.

Over 36 people gathered along Broad Street to celebrate the long-awaited championship victory. The cable giant, headquartered in Philadelphia, defeated NBC and the FCC in six games.

“World f***’n champions!” shouted Comcast CEO Brian Roberts atop a Dodge Ram at Locust Street. “Al Franken can suck it.”

Vendors were on sight, selling portraits of David L. Cohn sinking to his knees in jubilation after signing the agreement.

“I’ve been waiting 20 years for this,” said lifelong Comcast fan Jeff Ross of Radnor. “I was afraid I wouldn’t see a Comcast parade down Broad Street in my lifetime.”

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