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Sinbad Rises From Wikipedia Grave 110

Posted by Zonk
from the i-don't-want-to-go-on-the-cart dept.
A Chicago Sun-Times article passed to us by an anonymous reader pointed out the fact that the comedian Sinbad is still alive. This is notable, only insofar as Wikipedia thought otherwise. "Rumors began circulating last weekend regarding the posting, said Sinbad, who first got a telephone call from his daughter. The gossip quieted, but a few days later the 50-year-old entertainer said phone calls, text messages and e-mails started pouring in by the hundreds. 'Saturday I rose from the dead and then died again,' the Los Angeles-based entertainer said in a phone interview." Based on the article he seemed fairly okay with the mixup: 'It's gonna be more commonplace as the Internet opens up more and more. It's not that strange.' Wikipedia didn't comment for the Times piece, nor has it contacted the entertainer about the incident.
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Sinbad Rises From Wikipedia Grave

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  • However (Score:5, Funny)

    by nuclearpenguins (907128) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @01:27PM (#18386975)
    His acting career is still in critical condition.
  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by soupforare (542403) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @01:30PM (#18387005)
    Unfortunate that his career has been dead for a decade+
    • by igaborf (69869)
      Unfortunate that his career has been dead for a decade+

      Yeah, and here [imdb.com] is where it died.

  • ...they gave Sinbad another TV show? <scream>
    • by Psykechan (255694)
      This could never happen, right?

      I mean the broadcasting industry has many safeguards preventing this from happening, right?
  • by jfengel (409917) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @01:32PM (#18387033) Homepage Journal
    Since when is "some dipstick believed something they read on Wikipedia" news?

    I can't help but darkly suspect that this is mostly about a major newspaper trying to declare, "You still need us". And I think that we do, neither blogs (opinion) nor Wikipedia (rumor) replace news from organizations that have an interest in being first (or at least timely) and in being correct.

    But non-stories like this make me wonder if the Chicago Sun-Times is one of those organizations.
    • That's just a little too convoluted a bit of reasoning for me to believe. I'd be more inclined to think "It's a slow news day for the entertainment section, let's do something a bit controversial, and slam an online source in the process.... win-win for us"

      • by h2g2bob (948006)
        The real question is not how it ended up in the newspaper, but how it ended up on Slashdot. We all understand Wikipedia and its strengths and limitations. This is not news.
        • by jkauzlar (596349)

          It's 'news' to wikipedia supporters (i.e. much of slashdot's readers) if an event like this ends up in the Chicago Sun-Times. Sure it's not as important as a new game boy controller or something (sarcasm) but as we tally the number of times events like this happen (Siegenthaler, et al), we can see how a 'free policy' on the internet affects the real world, and how the public and politicians may react.

          Also, notice how the newspaper said "Sinbad has said he has not yet received an apology from Wikipedia."

    • This whole thing is stupid. It was a promotional stunt and we all know that Sinbad knew about it from the beginning; probably did it directly, himself.
    • ``But non-stories like this make me wonder if the Chicago Sun-Times is one of those organizations.''

      Add to that their publishing of Robert Novak's drivel and it pretty much proves that to be the case. Besides, the Sun-Times hasn't been relevant since they let Royko go way back when.

    • I can't help but darkly suspect that this is mostly about a major newspaper trying to declare, "You still need us". And I think that we do, neither blogs (opinion) nor Wikipedia (rumor) replace news from organizations that have an interest in being first (or at least timely) and in being correct.

      Yet even they make the same mistakes, from time to time...

      I think I'll just sit and wait and watch how this whole media situation develops... who knows what it'll all look like in 10 years' time...

    • this story is proof of that.

      Newspapers used to do the same thing for Abe Vigoda [abevigoda.com] announcing that he was dead too.

      Sindbad the comedian ought to play Sindbad the sailor in an action adventure movie with some comedy in it.
      • Sindbad the comedian ought to play Sindbad the sailor in an action adventure movie with some comedy in it.
        The lame comedian's name is actually spelled "Sinbad". Points for spelling the real one's name right, though.

        Also, it seems the Wiki-vandalism was made by some guy with the username "dabniS", one day before Sinbad made his press announcement. I wonder what that means?
      • by jkauzlar (596349)
        Don't forget Dewey Defeats Truman! [wikipedia.org]. (Is it okay to reference wikipedia in this discussion? :)
    • I can't help but darkly suspect that this is mostly about a major newspaper trying to declare, "You still need us". And I think that we do, neither blogs (opinion) nor Wikipedia (rumor) replace news from organizations that have an interest in being first (or at least timely) and in being correct.

      Just a nit maybe, but I think you commingled a couple of organizations there that shouldn't be. I think we still need some organization(s) that focus on getting the news early (not necessarily first though) while a


    • They often fail to even check facts, and even when they do, the quality of their output is limited by the fact that journalsists are experts in writing, and not experts in the subject matter they write about, which they often don't really understand.

    • by mdwh2 (535323)
      And I think that we do, neither blogs (opinion) nor Wikipedia (rumor) replace news from organizations that have an interest in being first (or at least timely) and in being correct.

      Wikipedia occasionaly makes mistakes, but it's way above the bias and falsehoods that pervade the rubbish which the media output. There's simply no comparison. Hell, even many blogs do a lot better (presumably you agree, else you wouldn't be reading Slashdot).
  • by TheRon6 (929989) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @01:33PM (#18387045)
    Doesn't he understand how wikiality [wikipedia.org] works? He's dead when we say he's dead!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by UbuntuDupe (970646) *
      It's like a twist on the old joke...

      "Jimbo Jimbo Jimbo omg the Wikipedia article says Sinbad's dead!!! What do we do what do we do?????"
      "Calm down, calm down. Just follow Wikipedia procedure. First, is Sinbad dead?"
      *long pause* "Okay, done. Now what?"
    • by kalirion (728907)
      You know what, I read that the number of Sinbads has trippled in the last year!
    • He's dead when we say he's dead!

      Nah, just when I say he's dead - I have a PhD in Sinbad Biography.
  • How come Slashdot death rumors don't make the news? :(
  • Goodbye, Spaceman.

    Unless it's possible that news isn't true either.
  • by Fastolfe (1470) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @01:45PM (#18387147)
    How many "kid defaces wikipedia, media reports wikipedia is wrong" cases are we going to see? Haven't people figured out by now that Wikipedia is edited by the public, and might occasionally be vandalized or show inaccurate information? Why are we treating every instance of vandalism as though it were some major media-worthy event?

    If anything, this just encourages more kiddies to go do the same thing to more visible entries. "What can we make up about President Bush? Maybe we can get it on CNN like Bobbie did last week!"
    • by porkThreeWays (895269) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @02:01PM (#18387311)
      This is dumb. The fact that things on the internet might not be true is old news. Wikipedia is no more a reliable source than the rest of the internet and for some reason traditional media just don't get this. Traditional media don't understand the internet and try to apply their rules against it. There's much more information available than traditional sources, but you must be much more vigilant in confirming that information is true.

      And knowing all that, wikipedia is still a damn good source. So what if vandalism occurs. They are doing a pretty good job at controlling it. All these people who bitch and whine that wikipedia might not be true obviously don't use it on a regular basis. There's more information on wikipedia than most libraries and the info is a hell of a lot more updated. I'd go as far as to say wikipedia has the most (and most accurate for its volume) information in one single source than any other site on the internet. Complain if you want, but once you find me a source with better, more up to date, free, and accurate information as wikipedia, let me know. Until then I'll support them with my money.

      At least wikipedia has peer review processes in place. If a piece of information is wrong in a traditional source, good luck getting it changed. It could take years for it to be changed and up to the sole discretion of one source.
      • Well, print media has been doing the same thing for decades, it's called propaganda.
      • I would argue that Wikipedia is actually a more reliable source than most of the rest of the Internet. Wikipedia gets read regularly, and edited by the public, so if something is wrong, there is a chance it will be corrected. For much of the rest of the web, there is no such system.
      • by gfreeman (456642)
        The fact that things on the internet might not be true is old news.

        Apparently not, judging by traditional media's reaction.
    • by porkThreeWays (895269) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @02:09PM (#18387381)
      I think the reason the media keeps reporting these things is they are trying their best to show the world internet sources may not be true; and wikipedia is their poster boy. There was a frontline special recently documenting traditional media and what's happened to it in the past few years. I think many in the traditional media are still trying to fight and discredit the internet as much as possible. They think it's a fad and people will return to traditional media. They don't understand that the internet is just as much a fundamental shift as the Gutenberg press. They need to embrace it correctly rather than fight it. I have yet to see a traditional outlet of information fully use the internet in the same way wikipedia has. Wikipedia has become the NY Times of the internet, while other media outlets have a bunch of homer simpson sites they use to throw their print stories on the web.
      • by khallow (566160)
        I get the same impression every time the Washington Post does a "Ha ha, look at what these silly bloggers are saying now" story.
    • Where's the huge story every time they have to post a retraction in the media? It's not like Wikipedia's the only place that has errors anyway. Sometimes publications run false information and never correct it, sometimes they put spin on it, sometimes it's biased.

      Tinfoil hat: Big media also has a vested interest in trying to discredit Wikipedia, because they have to make their own information seem real and be taken seriously even when it's not. If they discredit Wikipedia, it's harder for Joe Six to fin
    • by Torvaun (1040898)
      Even better, what if the news outlets decide that this is an easy way to get ratings, reporting on inaccuracies in Wikipedia? Pretty soon they'll just skip to making volatile changes themselves, and be the first to report them. End Wikipedia.
    • because it's FUNNY.

      The big deal here isn't that Wikipedia reported Sinbad died, it's that people got interested in the fact that wikipedia reported he died.

      It's exactly like the Obama/Madrassas deal. Except funny. Also, not about fundamentalist islam.
  • by Junta (36770) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @01:54PM (#18387221)
    Sinbad was found dead in his home this morning. There were not any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you did not enjoy his work, there is no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

  • If only . . . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cashman73 (855518) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @02:02PM (#18387317) Journal
    . . . news about Richard Jeni's death could have turned out to be fake. Now there's a comedian that will be missed! RIP Richard Jeni!
    • I actually found out about that through wikipedia (checking on one of my edits) :(
    • by sootman (158191)
      Holy crap, I didn't even know. What a bummer. I *loved* Platypus Man and just re-watched Big Steaming Pile a couple weeks ago. Well, I guess he can hang out with Kinison & Hicks now. Bye bye, Richard. Thanks for all the laughs.
  • The wiki page had about 500 edits on the 15th. Good grief, people have nothing to do.
  • Sinbad isn't funny... at all, but he was a pretty good sport about this. You'd think, "Hey, why shouldn't he be? It's kind of funny, and he's a comedian," but given previous people's reactions to Wikipedia innacuracies, I'd say this is deserving of at least a nod.

    Cheers to you Sinbad. You still suck, but you have my respect.
    • by British (51765)
      Cheers to you Sinbad. You still suck, but you have my respect.

      Let me guess, you lost out to him in Star Search?
    • by Gazzonyx (982402)
      [blockquote] Cheers to you Sinbad. You still suck, but you have my respect. [/blockquote]

      Am I the only one who reads this, and in my head I hear it being said in the voice of Stewie Griffin? I think he said, "Men be turnin' into zombies in the grocery stores... that's funny"

  • by Scorchmon (305172)
    I'm nominating his article for deletion for lack of notability. Sinbad hasn't been notable since the early 90s, and if he refuses to stay dead, then we need to kill off his wiki entry as some satisfaction for all the pain he's caused us. I mean, have you seen Houseguest?
  • by ettlz (639203) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @02:13PM (#18387427) Journal
    Does Netcraft confirm it?
  • Another "problem" attributed to Wikipedia, when the actual problem lies in the dumb masses interpreting Wikipedia as some sort of peer reviewed encyclopedia...
  • Stephen King and Marlon Wayans, who did not recently die in a car crash, told me so!
  • I think that more people (fallen stars) will try to use this as a way to get their name out and circulating again !
    I don't doubt it for a second that P.R. firms find this a surefire way to get someone in the news.

    It worked wonders for Mikey (Life Cereal)
  • Now I know someone vandalized a page on a website that anyone can edit... and the page was protected to stop more vandalism! No. Freaking. Way.
  • I don't know how accurate this is, but I've heard that there's an ongoing group prank on b3ta involving obiturising Wikipedia articles. Anyone familiar with the site know?
  • Great, someone vandalizes Wikipedia, Rick Romero will give us news at 11.

    So just how long until Slashdot troll postings make the news!? Seriously, I dread the day they start reporting things like "Are YOUR children in danger? Malicious internet 'trolls' may be posting links to goatse! We'll tell you how to protect your children via the SCO chairman's new Clean Port 80 anti-porn act... after a word from our sponsor, KY Inc."
  • by smoker2 (750216) on Saturday March 17, 2007 @02:32PM (#18387629) Homepage Journal
    Maybe we all live in a kind of non-determinate universe, where we can only discover our current state of existence by reading wikipedia ...

    Oh bugger, I'm not mentioned on WP AT ALL ! &7ds9Ddsa9
    <No Carrier>

  • Maybe Sinbad needs a website like this one for Abe Vigoda.

    http://www.abevigoda.com/ [abevigoda.com]
    • by Lije Baley (88936)
      No way! I thought that was funny 20 years ago but Abe Vigoda can't possibly still be alive NOW?!?
  • Sinbad Is a Techie (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SkyDude (919251)
    This goes to show why Wikipedia should never be trusted as the only source for information.

    Sinbad made an appearance on Leo LaPorte's "Screen Savers" program on ZDTV back around 1999 or 2000. ZDTV was the predecessor to TechTV a/k/a G4. During the interview, Sinbad mentioned he had a T1 line in his house in LA. Leo, who at that point was just getting comfortable with DSL, was green with envy, as were most tech junkies on the set.

    So, while his career may not be at its zenith, I learned from that intervie

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cawaker (262993)
      Sinbad is indeed a techie, I've seen him numerous times at Macworld over the years.
  • ... but his career is.
  • I've seen his act, the Wiki entry reporting his death was way overdue.
  • Blue Öyster Cult wrote a song called Joan Crawford [blueoystercult.com] with the wonderful refrain "Joan Crawford has risen from the grave." And after Joan Wikipedia can resurrect Richard Nixon.
  • And leave the wiki article as is...
  • ... Wikipedia thought otherwise.
    Stop anthropomorphising Wikipedia. It doesn't like it.
  • Wow, so every time a Wikipedia article is vandalized we need a newspaper article and slashdot post about it? This is such non-news...
  • I guess someone will have to add him to the List of Premature obituaries [wikipedia.org]
  • In other, more important news, Jeph Jacques also isn't dead yet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Jeph_Jacques)

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