Items tagged with Wikipedia

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...
Recently we told you about the Wikiscanner, and how it had uncovered several suspicious additions and edits by several businesses and government bodies.The scanner has now uncovered a few other organizations abusing the online encyclopedia: “Virgil Griffith's "Wikiscanner" points to Central Intelligence Agency computers as the sources of nearly 300 edits to subjects including Iran's president, the Argentine navy, and China's nuclear arsenal.A CIA computer was the source of a whiny "Wahhhhh" inserted in a paragraph about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's plans for the office.” In addition to the CIA, the Vatican has also been fingered in the removal of information that linked Sinn Fein... Read more...
While some Wikipedia entries or edits can prove to be humorous, or spark rumors that keep us all amused, it could actually be more interesting to see who is doing the editing & the occasional deleting.What the world (wide web) needs is a method to determine if corporations and government bodies are intentionally trying to use Wikipedia to misinform people, or if most of the edits are from college students looking for a quick giggle.  Apparently such a tool already exists (who knew?), and it's called the Wikipedia Scanner: “Wikipedia Scanner -- the brainchild of Cal Tech computation and neural-systems graduate student Virgil Griffith -- offers users a searchable database that ties millions... Read more...
An interesting twist to the Benoit family tragedy has surfaced: apparently the Wikipedia entry for Chris Benoit was changed, noting the death of his wife for his failure to appear at an event, 13-14 hours before the bodies of the family were discovered in their home in Georgia by local authorities.  Police claim to have the individual allegedly responsible for the entry in custody, as well as the computer that the entry was said to have been made on, but they won't make his/her identity known to the public until later this week. As always, until an official announcement is made, take all rumors with a grain of salt. How did the police track the alleged poster, especially so quickly?  Here's a... Read more...
Wikipedia is a great source of information, few would argue against that. The accuracy of the information is a whole different matter though, and it's a problem that's starting to trouble some teachers. The ability for anyone to edit almost any article is a double-edged sword for Wikipedia. It allows for massive amounts of information to be entered into the site, information that can be updated anytime. However it has led to a host of problems ranging from inaccurate information, to article vandalism. So while it may be tempting to use Wikipedia as a source for information, it's not the best idea to have it as your only source. The ban at Middlebury College "is a great idea," said... Read more...
Almost anyone who's ever spent a few minutes with Wikipedia can start appreciate the vast wealth of knowledge the site has to offer. Though the free encyclopedia is open to a whole host of problems, such as inaccurate information, questionable sources, and vandalism, its popularity continues to grow. Even with all the site's problems, the information on most articles is fairly accurate, as there are many respectable users who have taken up the job of keeping the service clean, and the information inside accurate. Is it better than Britannica though? This issue has been brought up before, and the argument probably won't be laid to rest for some time, if ever. The two main... Read more...
Not as accurate, but certainly close, as Nature writes. The growing online phenomenon that is Wikipedia has nearly 4 million entries, with information on everything from world leaders to Pokemon. The site isn't without problems though, as anyone can edit entries, which has lead to some recent problems with the site's credibility. Still, the collection of information Wikipedia has to offer, and the lack of a price tag for the service, has made it a favorite research spot for millions of curios people. "The exercise revealed numerous errors in both encyclopaedias, but among 42 entries tested, the difference in accuracy was not particularly great:... Read more...
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