Archive for the 'wikipedia' Category

I done broke the Wikipedia

Well, in an exclusive Wikinews report, it looks like Wikipedia user Scientizzle has “done broke the Wikipedia”.

A couple of Wikipedia users added virus code to a couple of Wikipedia pages to make anti-virus think there was a potential security risk, when in fact everything was fine.

So Scientizzle, an admin, decided to go through and delete the revision history. The only bad thing was one of the affected pages was the sandbox. This basically crashed the server and locked the database and prevented any editing of the encyclopaedia for around half an hour.

Wikinews has the frankly amusing article in its entire exclusive state online.


Wikipedia to fail in 2008?

New Scientist has come out and listed the five technology companies that are going to fail this year (’08). Number two has been listed as Wikipedia.

Wikipedia was listed as number two because of a ‘fight between Google and Wikimedia’.


Wikipedia. The gloves are off in a pointless battle between two of the most successful internet organisations of the last decade: Wikimedia, the parent organisation behind Wikipedia and Google. Last year, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales announced that the organisation was starting work on an open source search engine to which anyone could contribute. The goals, he said, were to make the search algorithm transparent (a clear dig at Google’s notorious secrecy) and to make the results more relevant.

Google responded in December by announcing of Google Knol, [see my Google Knol post here] a barely disguised rip-off of Wikipedia, in which knowledgeable people are encouraged to write articles about their areas of expertise.

Neither organisation really needs to take on the other, so it’s hard to fathom what this is all about. The outcome is easier to call, however.

When it comes to launching online endeavours, we all know that Google gives good web and has numerous successful progeny to prove it. Wikimedia, on other hand, is a one-hit wonder. Its other websites such as Wikinews and Wikibooks are poor cousins to Wikipedia.

So there’s only going to be one winner in this contest, and it ain’t Wikipedia.

See the blog post at New Scientist for the other companies that are supposedly set to fail, which ironically includes Google despite the above reasoning for Wikipedia.

Walking Wikipedia? Air New Zealand needs you!

The flagship national airline of New Zealand, Air New Zealand, is looking for 90 “walking Wikipedia’s” to deliver in-flight information to passengers.

To be more correct, the free encyclopaedia’s will be concierges that will range from giving passengers advice of must-do activities in New Zealand to explaining the wine list.

The good thing is that Air New Zealand isn’t looking for truly correct information without the possibility of mistake, or people who aren’t easily influenced by other people. That’s why they are after a “one-person Wikipedia.”

Groan: here comes another competitor to Wikipedia

Google has started their own product to rival the hugely popular free encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.

What they have dubbed “knol” will be written by “experts”; now where have I heard that before… (cough* Citizendium *cough)? Their little units of knowledge will take precedent when searching for particular items of topic over, say, Wikipedia.

They are going to lock the editing of the entries to their approved authors and will only allow the public to suggest changes, etc. But with this you would have thought you could trust what is being written. However, on the Google Blog they wrote this: “Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content.” [Their emphasis.]

Ahh but it gets worse, they are going to completely contrast with Wikipedia by allowing the authors to put in their own opinions and point of views. Wow, “smart” people thought that one up! Jeez!

Oh, and the content will also be influenced by advertisers! “At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. […] Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads.” I don’t expect anything bad to come from that advertorial decision!

And expect to wade through a few entries on the same topic, “Competition of ideas is a good thing.”

And their sample doesn’t overly help the idea as well. Did anyone else spot the spelling mistake on the second line? I’m not saying that Wikipedia doesn’t have spelling mistakes, but for a sample, Google should have been more careful.

At least their site will be under a Creative Commons licence.

Hat tip: Brian Anderton.

I better than you says German Wikipedia

Are you using Brockhaus, Germany’s commercial encyclopaedia? If yes: STOP! RIGHT NOW! An analysis by Stern Magazine has found that the German Wikipedia was more accurate, complete, had up-to-date information, and was easy to read.

Stern Magazine commissioned the WIND research institute to do the research and give Brockhaus and Wikipedia a rating where 1 is the best and 6 is the worst. Wikipedia’s average rating was 1.7 while Brockhaus’ rating was one higher at 2.7 (i.e. Brockhaus was far worse).

WIND ranked 50 articles from each encyclopaedia with 43/50 articles from Wikipedia being better than the commercial equivalent.

In June it was announced that the German Wikipedia was to receive state funding.

The German Wikipedia is second only to the English Wikipedia in terms of the amount of articles (673,000).

I’m in the news – update

Yesterday I was featured in an article in the Sunday magazine that comes with The Sunday Star-Times. The article was about six primary and secondary school students and what they will be doing in these school holidays.

I talked to the reporter, Rose Hoare, about Wikinews, Wikipedia and the photography I do. I also had a photograph taken for the article.

It was a nice article and was one of the longest featured, and she didn’t put all the information I provided her with in!

UPDATE: The article has been published online now. However, it only contains one photograph, which is not mine.

Helen Clark gets Wikipedia protection

The Wikipedia entry on Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, has been semi-protected. Ok, so who cares you ask? Well Newstalk ZB and One News to name a couple.

Vandalism, as it goes on Wikipedia, happens all the time. If too much vandalism occurs on one particular page in a short period of time, the page is protected from anonymous users or newly registered users from editing it. This is what happened, I assume, on Clark’s page.

Not newsworthy.

And the One News article says something interesting, “John Howard denies removing potentially damaging details from his Wikipedia site.” – so what is it called? Howapedia?!

About me

I write at Wikinews, and Practical eCommerce. I thoroughly enjoy writing about news and current affairs. I also have a TV related blog at Throng.

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