Items tagged with Wikipedia

Wikipedia's greatest strength is also it's inherent weakness. We're of course referring to the ability of anyone and nearly everyone being able to hop into an article and edit its contents, assuming it's not locked, creating a collective treasure trove of information that may not always be accurate. Wikipedia gets a bit of a bad rap by its critics, though we've found it to be helpful on several occasions, especially when bothering to follow up on the sources. And of course there's editorial oversight and other mechanisms at play. Still, it's possible for bad information to slip through the cracks, whether by mistake or simply as part of a prank. One thing that may help reduce these occurrences... Read more...
Looking for imagery on your mobile? No need to just randomly search the Web any longer; Wikipedia has just released the official Commons app for iOS and Android. Commons is a free image repository used by Wikipedia and many other projects, and now it's being transported to the smartphone arena. The official Wikimedia Commons app for iOS and Android allows you to quickly and easily upload your photos to Commons. You can also upload multiple files and add categories (Android only so far) and share your uploads through your favorite image sharing sites. In the future, the entity hopes to "add more features and make it easier to browse and discover all the great content Commons has to offer." Wikipedia... Read more...
It's hard to understate the global importance of Wikipedia. While many traditional university professors still won't allow the crowdsourced site to be listed as a source, only a fool would deny the site's impact on educating the world in areas they may have otherwise never stumbled upon. Particularly in developing nations, Wikipedia is an easy, ad-free, stripped-down knowledge base, with pages that are simple to load and easy to read on even the most antiquated of devices and over the most awful of connections. Granted, not everything is perfectly accurate, but the vast majority of Wikipedia pages are vetted and updated by legions of editors around the globe that do so simply to provide a service... Read more...
It appears Internet users living in the U.S. are most interested in social networking, steamy books, and popular movies. That's one of the many conclusions you can draw from a Top 10 list of the most viewed articles on Wikipedia in 2012. Johan Gunnarsson, a former student in Computer Science and Engineering at Lund Institute of Technology in Lund, Sweden and current programmer compiled various lists of the most popular Wikipedia articles, which he broke down by language. Here are the top topics on English Wikipedia: Facebook: 32,647,942 views Wiki: 29,613,759 views Deaths in 2012: 25,418,587 views One Direction: 22,351,637 views The Avengers (2012 film): 22,268,644 views Fifty Shades of Grey:... Read more...
After 244 years of publishing what many worldwide viewed as the definitive encyclopedia of the world, Encyclopaedia Britannica has announced it will cease publishing a paper series. To put that in perspective, this is a research initiative that predates lolcats, door knobs, germ theory and at least some of leftovers moldering in your fridge. Once the current inventory of sets is exhausted, there will be no more. It's all the Internet's fault. According to Wikipedia, the EB has remained roughly the same size for the past 70 years, consisting of 40 million words on a half-million different topics. The current 15th edition, published in 2010, consists of 32 volumes -- a two-volume index, a 12 volume... Read more...
Amazon.com has quietly begun a project to duplicate Wikipedia content and use links in the content to point to books that can be purchased on Amazon.com. The so-called Shopping-enabled Wikipedia Page was reportedly created in November. Amazon spokeswoman Anya Waring told CNET the following: "Shopping-enabled Wikipedia pages are a new introduction on Amazon.com. As of November, we have rolled [the feature] out in the books category; however, [it] will be expanding to new categories in 2011." That means, of course, that in 2011, other product categories will be linked to the pages, such as electronics, computers, toys, video games, and more. Wikipedia, always desperate for funds, isn't making anything... Read more...
Printed encyclopedias are pretty much dead, and so even are DVD-based encyclopedias such as Microsoft's Encarta. So too might be the printed version of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), according to Oxford University Press (OUP), its publisher. The second edition of the OED was printed in 1989. The third edition hasn't even completed the letter "R." Thus, by the time it reaches "Z," demand for the third edition in printed form may be so low that it will simply make no sense to publish it that way. In fact, according to the OUP, the digital version of the Oxford English Dictionary gets 2 million hits a month from subscribers, who pay $295 a year for the service in the U.S. Meanwhile, the current... Read more...
Isn't it ironic? Or maybe that's not even the best term to use here. Isn't it...weird? Wikipedia has quickly become the go-to place for knowledge on the Internet, and while it cannot always be trusted completely, it's usually a great place to start searching for information on pretty much any topic you can think of. It's certainly better than the paper-based encyclopedias of old, which is what makes this whole situation so strange. We've always heard that history repeated itself, but it literally is with this bit of news... Wikipedia is now offering books, as in paper books. There's no mistake or typographical error here.  PediaPress is the official print-on-demand partner of Wikipedia,... Read more...
Wikipedia. What would you ever do without it? It really makes you wonder how difficult homework is these days given that nearly every subject on the planet is covered in one form or another on the know-it-all website. Of course, that "easy homework" is really only easy if the information that one finds is accurate, and that's why the site's founders are cracking down on misinformation in hopes of making the pages we frequent so often more trustworthy. In an effort to curb the rampant posting of bad information, the company is hoping to impose new restrictions on article editing, a move that will certainly anger those who favor a more hands-off approach yet please those who want a little more... Read more...
The Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind the online encyclopia-like wiki Wikipedia, has launched its own iPhone application. While there were third-party iPhone Wikipedia applications, this is the first official release from the Foundation. Wikipedia Mobile is free, just as the site is, in the App Store. Here's how the app is described: Wikipedia is now officially on the iPhone! This is our official application and we are working hard on making the absolute best Wikipedia app out there. This app is focused on being very simple and very fast. Over time, we'll add features based on requests. The code is 100% open source and community built. If you are a programmer and good at JS/HTML5,... Read more...
Wikipedia has decided enough is enough. After too many self-serving edits by the Church of Scientology, Wikipedia has decided to ban edits from IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates.Here's a word for the church though: proxy server. At any rate, regardless of whether or not the Church manages to get around the ban, this is an unprecedented move. The "trial," played out on an arbitration page, took more than five months. The Arbitration Committee voted 10 to 0 (with one abstention) in favor of the ban, which took effect immediately. Wikipedia is known as "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." There are limits to that, however, and abuse is not tolerated.... Read more...
A post on Microsoft's Encarta website notes that the Encarta website, as well as the software products bearing the Encarta name, are being discontinued. The posting was first noticed by Ars Technica. Microsoft said said it will discontinue its online Encarta products by October 31, except for Encarta Japan, which will run through the end of 2009. Additionally, Microsoft will no longer sell Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium software after June of this year. Here's what Microsoft said: Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably... Read more...
Two different applications have taken Wikipedia and compressed it into smartphone-digestible form. Both sell the resulting database for $10. WikiPock takes up about 4GB of storage, and is currently available for Windows Mobile and Blackberry devices. It's $9.99 for the basic version, but you can opt for a version that includes updates for $14.99. You can also get a pre-loaded 8 GB microSD card if you'd prefer for $15 extra (4GB microSD for $10 extra). An iPhone version is in the works, but at 4GB of required storage, that's quite a hunk of the iPhone memory (since it still strangely, ahem, does have any external storage slots). Note that WikiPock doesn't include images. Ten percent of all WikiPock... Read more...
Access to editing a Wikipedia article in the U.K. has been effectively blocked after the U.K.'s Internet Watch Foundation added a Wikipedia article on Virgin Killer, an album from German heavy metal group Scorpions, to its blacklist. The album's cover art image, depicting what appears to be a nude underage girl, is what caused the blacklisting. Click through the link above to see the cover art. Reports are that in an attempt to block access to the Wikipedia article, the ISPs Virgin Media, Be Unlimited/O2/Telefonica, EasyNet/UK Online, PlusNet, Demon, and Opal began routing traffic through transparent proxies. However, this caused more problems, as the use of proxies means that to Wikipedia editors... Read more...
Much to the chagrin of teachers and librarians, Wikipedia has become a primary source of research and information for many seeking answers to questions with just a few quick key presses and mouse clicks. Since its debut in 2001, Wikipedia has outgrown other objective informational sites, such as About.com and Encyclopedia Britannica Online Encyclopedia.Now Internet bellwether, Google, is looking to compete with Wikipedia for the hearts and minds of online information seekers with its new product, Knol. Google defines a Knol as "a unit of knowledge" and "Knols are authoritative articles about specific topics, written by people who know about those subjects." Curiously, we could find no reference... Read more...
In the super-fast world of the Internet, if a story breaks, you can expect the Wikipedia entry for that subject to be updated faster than you can blink. In the case of Tim Russert's sad death on June 13th, NBC contacted other networks and media outlets in an attempt to hold back the news long enough to notify his family vacationing in Italy. Before they knew it, however, it was already updated on Wikipedia.On Wikipedia, Mr. Russert’s page was updated at 3:01 p.m. — adding the date of death and turning present-tense verbs into the past tense almost 40 minutes before the NBC announcement. The entry was particularly influential since many journalists had heard of Mr. Russert’s becoming stricken,... Read more...
What won't Google do with their maps?If you go to Google Maps, you’ll notice there is now a “”More” button right next to “Street View”" and “Traffic.” If you click on it after getting a map, you will be given the options to tick “Photos” or “Wikipedia.” Ticking the first option populates teh map with geo-tagged photos provided by Panoramio. Ticking the second gives you geo-coded Wikipedia articles. For instance, I found entries on a New York City map for the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, the New York Yacht Club, and other landmarks.Suggestion for more items Google can add to "More?"  Readers?... Read more...
Jimmy Wales has broken a lot of ground in his day. The founder of Wikipedia has turned the online collaborative encyclopedia into a household word. Wales was contacted by Canadian political commentator Rachel Marsden about defacement of her Wikipedia page, and apparently one thing led to another. In another first, he's announced the breakup of his very short relationship with the Fox News commentator--in an entry on Wikipedia.In the statement, Wales claims his involvement with Marsden's Wikipedia profile was "completely routine." He also claims to have met Marsden for the first time last month. Shortly before their meeting, Wales reportedly sent this note to a list of Wikipedia operators:   ... Read more...
Too bad it's today, January 15th. Today being the day of Steve Jobs' keynote at Macworld, this is going to get missed by many. But not by us: Happy Seventh Birthday Wikipedia (all right, we'll admit it: they emailed us about it).Yes, Wikipedia was founded on January 15th, 2001.  There's not much to add, except that despite Jimmy Wales' warnings, many people use it as a research tool for papers, and many more use it as a casual research tool.Don't forget they could still use donations.  And also, let's not forget - today is MLK's birthday as well.... Read more...
I'm a big fan of Wikipedia. It's easy to find foolish or inaccurate things on it of course, but on the whole it's a fantastic and useful utility. If you do a lot of websearches on Google, you'll notice that Wikipedia has become a sort of default top of the page result for a lot of queries. That might be set for a big change, now that Google itself appears to be gearing up to have a Wikipedia of their own. Earlier this week, we started inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool that we are calling "knol", which stands for a unit of knowledge. Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it. The tool is still in development... Read more...
To be quite honest, it's Wikipedia's two millionth English article, and it happend on Sunday. Wikipedia, the sixth most visited network of Web sites worldwide behind commercial operators Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Time Warner and eBay, is available in 250 languages. Combined, Wikipedia has published more than eight million articles. On September 10, an article on "El Hormiguero," a popular Spanish TV show, was created by Wikipedia contributor Zzxc to become the 2 millionth article in the English Wikipedia. The article is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Hormiguero/ Although Reuters says El Hormiguero was the 2,000,000th article, Wikipedia is... Read more...
The Wikipedia entry for Microsoft's upcoming Halo 3 has been edited by none other than somebody in the Liverpool offices of Sony Computer Entertainment Studios Europe.Without further ado, here is the edit: “The original entry stated: 'Halo 3, the third game in the best-selling Xbox game franchise Halo, is a highly anticipated first-person shooter video game under development by Bungie Studios for the Xbox 360 and is expected to "set a new high water mark" for next-generation games.'However, a sentence had been added which reads: 'Although it won't look any better than Halo 2.'Although the edit is time-stamped at 25 April 2007 15:12, just 39 minutes after the original entry was made, it has... Read more...
1 2 Next