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Wikipedia Begets Veropedia 259

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and--veropedia-begat-a-ham-sandwich dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "October saw the launch of Veropedia, a collaborative effort to collect the best of Wikipedia's content, clean it up, vet it, and save it in a quality stable version that cannot be edited. To qualify for inclusion in Veropedia, a Wikipedia article must contain no cleanup tags, no "citation needed" tags, no disambiguation links, no dead external links, and no fair use images after which candidates for inclusion are reviewed by recognized academics and experts. One big difference with Wikipedia is that Veropedia is registered as a for profit corporation and earns money from advertising on the site. Veropedia is supposed to help improve the quality of Wikipedia because contributors must improve an article on Wikipedia, fixing up all the flaws, until a quality version can be imported to Veropedia. To date Veropedia contains about 3,800 articles."
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Wikipedia Begets Veropedia

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  • It's this easy: (Score:2, Informative)

    by hsdpa (1049926) *
    1. Search the web
    2. Take contents and clean it up (and suck some blood)
    3. Profit!
    • Re:It's this easy: (Score:4, Insightful)

      by El Lobo (994537) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:45AM (#21156915)
      A tool for every task. Both encyclos can perfectly coexist with millions of other encyclopedias. Wiki is great to quick check information for which you actually donät care very uch for reliability. For example, if tomorrow I would like to know more about Bizarro [wikipedia.org], just because I'm reading some Supes comic, well, here I have it. I don't care so much actually for some eventual factual errors here... the world is not going to end because of that.

      OTOH , if I am writing about some political or historical person for some paper, i must be VERy careful with Wiki, because of vandalism, bias, everchanging "facts" and so on. In this case some "official" encyclopedia uses to be (often) a lot more neutral (because official encyclopediae have neutrality as a global goal).... So bring the new one on.

      • OTOH , if I am writing about some political or historical person for some paper, i must be VERy careful with Wiki, because of vandalism, bias, everchanging "facts" and so on. In this case some "official" encyclopedia uses to be (often) a lot more neutral (because official encyclopediae have neutrality as a global goal).... So bring the new one on.

        Okay, but "official" according to whom?

        I can very easily see clones of this being spawned along general ideological lines (e.g. one side espouses the views of 'crusading baby-seal-pup-killing eco-hating woman-hating corporate whores' while the other enshrines those of 'tech-hating tax-happy baby-killing terrorist-loving communists'). While neither would be so blatantly easy to spot, I'm willing to wager that each (and others like it?) would be full of subtle but ideologically left-leaning or right-lean

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by darthflo (1095225)
          Unfortunately you have to, at some point, trust a source. This source can of course range from something with the same credibility as a few people on a bus stop (Wikipedia, even worse: Blogs, even worse: /.) over something with quite a bit of credibility (Britannica & co.) to something with lots of credibility (First person account under oath, lie detector and perhaps some "truth-enabling" drugs (Usually, this level of credibility's reserved for federal agencies ;))).
          Where Veropedia positions itself o
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            This is very similar to the debate of calculators versus sliderules. The sliderule and the calculator both have imprecision inherent in their use. With the sliderule, these are visible and distinct and difficult to ignore. With a calculator, these are masked by the device and people will place confidence in numbers that do not deserve said confidence. A print encyclopedia is susceptible to many of the same inaccuracies as wikipedia, however with wikipedia we remember that the inaccuracy is there. It do
    • by cHiphead (17854)
      Watch out, these ass hats are trying to pull a CDDB (Gracenote) with wikipedia. Don't play their game.

      Cheers.
    • Well, I wish the best of luck to them if they want to stick to only articles with "no cleanup tags, no "citation needed" tags, no disambiguation links, no dead external links, and no fair use images" before even considering them for review.

      Already the average article on Wikipedia looks somewhat like this:

      "Twenty-sided dice have by definition 20 sides [citation needed], meaning that they're Icosahedron-shaped [citation needed]. They're used as dice in many tabletop role-playeing systems [citation needed], su
  • Missing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThirdPrize (938147) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:14AM (#21156609) Homepage
    So thats no atricles on politics or religion then?
    • Re:Missing? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by djasbestos (1035410) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:20AM (#21156669)
      Not until the world conquest / democide is over. The wiki is written by the victors.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vertinox (846076)

        What then is, generally speaking, the truth of history ? A fable agreed upon.
        -Napoléon Bonaparte
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      Nope, just checked, and nothing on WW1 or WW2 at least. Nothing on e.g. Linus Torvalds, Bill Gates, ... either.
  • Not so bright (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Arthur B. (806360) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:14AM (#21156611)
    From Veropedia, based on Wikipedia Oops!

    We couldn't find the article: slashdot

    Click here to go back & try again.

    More details:
    Page not found: slashdot
    Query: SELECT page_title, page_id FROM pages WHERE page_title="slashdot"
    Redirect query: SELECT page.page_is_redirect,text.old_text FROM page,text,revision WHERE (revision.rev_page = page.page_id) AND (revision.rev_id = text.old_id) AND page.page_title = "slashdot" AND page.page_namespace = 0;

    Veropedia is based on Wikipedia, a user-contributed encyclopedia.
    All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
  • by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:16AM (#21156627)
    Is it just me, or isn't there a similar slashvertisement every month? Even though you'll have to wade through crap on Wikipedia occassionally, it is still vastly superior to any clone that is out there.
    • by superpulpsicle (533373) on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:36AM (#21157497)
      Im getting tired of wikipedia clones. People having problems with wiki should just go back to the days when you rely on some joe smith jane doe personal webpage for information. It goes horrifically unchallenged and leaves you with no references, no verifications at all. Those pages were setup and hosted by 1 person who have full saying on any topic.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gad_zuki! (70830)
        Well put. The alternative to the wikipedia isnt going out and buying an encyclopedia. For most people its just googling up some usually inaccurate information. I recently have been doing some research on buddhism and found most "one-man" pages to be incredibly inaccurate. The wikipedia entries arent perfect, but they're good enough as a begninners reference. If the wikipedia destroys the "one-man" usually agenda driven or ignorance-driven pages then all the better.
  • And? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:21AM (#21156675)
    Dozens of sites mirror Wikipedia with ads. This is nothing new. There are already legitimate non-projects aimed at identifying and vetting important Wikipedia articles for CD creation and distribution.
    • by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:27AM (#21156713)
      "non-projects"

      I think I meant "non-profit projects". The compression methods of my brain occasionally go too far.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The point is that we see the natural continuation of information repositories like Wikipedia. Actually, it's probably easier to look at the development of programming languages to find out what's going on here. The major difference between Veropedia and Wikipedia is that Veropedia is essentially a layer of abstraction on top of the existing Wikipedia platform. To Veropedia, Wikipedia is essentially a big bucket of non-presentable information that needs to be modified in order to be usable. Similar to how Py
      • Well sure you might think of Wikipedia as a fad, question is if the ideals of community driven knowledge are also a fad. I think Wikipedia will fail economically before its ideals fails.
    • Re:And? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ignorant Aardvark (632408) <cydeweys@NospaM.gmail.com> on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:23AM (#21157329) Homepage Journal
      (Disclaimer: I wrote a good portion of the code that powers Veropedia.)

      Yes, there are dozens of sites that mirror Wikipedia with ads. Actually, more like thousands, and most of those don't even bother giving any attribution. Veropedia is different. Whereas all those other sites mirror the most recent revision, Veropedia mirrors a specific revision that has been identified as good. This is where the editorial discretion and quality control come in, making it qualitatively different than other mirrors. In addition, Veropedia has rather strict rules on what can be imported, so after finding an article that you want to import, you often have to spend a good amount of time on Wikipedia fixing all the problems in the article. This is good for both sites: Wikipedia gets improved, and Veropedia gets the best revision.

      As for there being other projects aimed at identifying and vetting important Wikipedia articles, that's good, but you can never have too much improvement. There's always room for more people trying to fix up and improve Wikipedia. Whereas those other projects are non-profit, Veropedia aims to generate revenue using text ads, thus freeing us from the beggar's paradox of Wikipedia. It also gives us cash we can use to reinvest back into Wikipedia, something we have already started doing by sponsoring best article contests with cash prizes.

      The wiki model is great for building up something from scratch, but once you reach a decent level of quality, it becomes difficult. Wiki rot, the accumulated negative influences of vandalism, biased edits, and poor quality edits, is a serious problem, and oftentimes the best version of an article was written years ago, and the author simply lost the patience to keep reverting and fighting off all of the lesser editors who have come since. Wikipedia has needed to go to a stable versions model for a long while, but has been dragging its butt for way too long. That's where Veropedia comes in.
      • "Whereas all those other sites mirror the most recent revision, Veropedia mirrors a specific revision that has been identified as good. "

        This sounds unlikely. You mirror a specific edit that an expert identifies as good? So what does the expert do, go through each version of an article until he finds one that is both factually accurate and comprehensive? Or does the expert simply tell you which sentences are inaccurate, and then you delete them? The result will be a hacked-up article lacking flow and dep
        • Re:And? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Ignorant Aardvark (632408) <cydeweys@NospaM.gmail.com> on Monday October 29, 2007 @12:01PM (#21157769) Homepage Journal
          This sounds unlikely. You mirror a specific edit that an expert identifies as good? So what does the expert do, go through each version of an article until he finds one that is both factually accurate and comprehensive? Or does the expert simply tell you which sentences are inaccurate, and then you delete them? The result will be a hacked-up article lacking flow and depth.

          Once you get a hang for using the History tool on Wikipedia, you'll see that you can go through vast swaths of the article's history with relative ease. It's not nearly as tedious as having to read each specific revision one by one. Looking at the diffs really helps. Veropedia encourages all of its contributors to edit Wikipedia (and indeed, tens of thousands of edits on Wikipedia are now directly attributable to fixing up articles for import to Veropedia). I don't see why the article would appear to be hacked up and lacking flow and depth, any more so than regular editing would. We're all veteran Wikipedia editors. We're not just hacking up articles poorly.

          Wikipedia is one project with many editors. Veropedia is one of many subprojects, each with few editors; given a finite (and likely small) number of people interested in working on this, you are providing yet another outlet for people to essentially reinvent the wheel by once again vetting the same set of Wikipedia articles for your own encyclopedia. Instead of everyone working together to produce a profitable, accurate subset of Wikipedia articles, users are stuck signing up with one of many subprojects, to do the exact same tasks as the other subprojects.

          The difference is, none of the edits are made on Veropedia proper. They are made on Wikipedia, and then that version is imported to Veropedia. So it's not really a division of labor. Wikipedia is still getting all of the fruits of our labors. I don't see how we're reinventing the wheel by "once again vetting articles". As far as I know, there's no one else doing what we're doing. Citizendium, for instance, does have vetting, but it is a fork rather than a stable versions layer. And it's not like our work isn't available under the exact same license that everything else on Wikipedia is available under (it has to be!). So the work we do to improve articles is immediately usable by everyone. So I really don't see any wasted efforts - any other sites working on vetting can simply use the cleaned up versions of articles that we've made, and likewise, we can use theirs.
          • I think it would be better to lobby for "stable version" features in Wikipedia as I suggested in another reply to your previous post. Everyone has heard of Wikipedia, but until everyone knows about Veropedia, your user base is going to remain very small. It's better to fix the problem at the source than create something else to help control the problem.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by volsung (378)
              That would be nice, but until that change to Wikipedia happens, Veropedia should continue its fork. Merging the two projects back together again in the future will be trivial, since Veropedia will have a database of good wikipedia article version numbers. (If Veropedia actually forked the page, then remerging could be difficult.)
      • "Wikipedia has needed to go to a stable versions model for a long while, but has been dragging its butt for way too long."

        This is no reason to fork. The "stable version" addition to Mediawiki has been discussed for quite a while now, and is definitely feasible. When articles reach a certain quality, they can be protected so that certain editors (such as IP editors or week-old accounts) can still make changes, but those changes will not be visible until approved by an administrator. There will essentially
        • This is no reason to fork. The "stable version" addition to Mediawiki has been discussed for quite a while now, and is definitely feasible. When articles reach a certain quality, they can be protected so that certain editors (such as IP editors or week-old accounts) can still make changes, but those changes will not be visible until approved by an administrator. There will essentially be a stable live version, and an unstable edited version.

          Veropedia exists because all of those promises of stable versions failed to materialize. I was present at a backroom discussion at Wikimania in August 2006 at Harvard Law School. All of the English Wikipedia bigwigs were there, including Jimmy Wales. They promised that stable versions were right around the corner. Well, it's been a year and months since then, and little progress has been made. How long are you willing to just sit around until someone else fixes something when you can do something about it yourself? Yes, stable versions on Wikipedia is a great idea. They've also been in discussion for years, so don't hold your breath.
          • Note: This is a general comment, not particularly aimed at Ignorant Aardvark, just riffing off the points he raises.
             

            How long are you willing to just sit around until someone else fixes something when you can do something about it yourself?

            Is that not the whole point of the Wiki philosophy espoused by Wikipedia? If you see a problem, you are not only able but you are encouraged to go ahead and fix it. Is that not the whole point of the GNU Free Documentation License - to give anyone who chooses to do so the freedom to distribute and/or fork the material so licensed?
             
            It is very interesting to see the response of folks when someone actually chooses to exercise these explicitly stated philosophies and rights. So far, here on Slashdot, it is almost universally negative. Which actually is pretty depressing.
      • How do they plan to maintain ad revenue? Given Wiki's license any site could mirror an ad free version, and let Veripedia do all the leg work and then siphon off users by offering an ad free experience.
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Red Jesus (962106) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:22AM (#21156679)
    Why not use Wikipedia and just ignore articles that still have cleanup tags? With Veropedia, one must first wait until the article is completed, then wait until it's transferred. On Wikipedia, you just have to wait until it's completed. The only advantage I can see in using Veropedia is that you get a "Page not found" error instead of a "This article is in need of cleanup" when you come across an incomplete article... and I'm not sure that's really an advantage.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:29AM (#21156747) Homepage

      Why not use Wikipedia and just ignore articles that still have cleanup tags?
      Because articles in need of cleanup still have good information a lot of times. How about instead we use Wikipedia like we ought to be using all non-primary reference sources (including encyclopedias, and including this new Veropedia)? Namely, we should be using them as reference points only, not as sources of truth.

      Wikipedia is a good place to start in a research project, and is a great way to find small tidbits of information that aren't particularly important. If you're looking for some information on which to base a major decision or to include in a research paper, Wikipedia might be your first stop, but it can't be your last. Of course, anyone who was required to write a research paper after about the third grade should already know that encyclopedias aren't valid as final sources of information. Information found in any encyclopedic work (including Wikipedia and "Veropedia") must be confirmed using more reliable and complete sources.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dunstan (97493)
        Just as these people [theregister.co.uk] appear to have not done. The issue with Wikipedia is not that articles can contain spurious errors, it is that people who should know better don't bother to check when they really need a more authoritative source. Veropedia won't protect us from lazy journalists.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by damaki (997243) *
      Because there is no way to tell if an article is "good". There is no version freeze tag. One who has no knowledge about a subject cannot be sure that the content is not totally wrong.
      It could be easily worked around with some kind of "stable version" tag, to get the lastest certified version, or to get a specific link about a version used in a publication. A "stable only" option in search would be really great. The only issue with such a system is to get a really neutral authority.
    • by Sockatume (732728)
      Wikipedia's credibility problem largely stems from its readers' inability to critically evaluate information. Veropedia does the critical thinking on its readership's behalf, therefore the usual sort of credibility-ruining cockups* are avoided. *e.g. news "researchers" passing on uncited, unlikely Wikipedia factoids to newsreaders
  • Donations? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ilovegeorgebush (923173) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:29AM (#21156743) Homepage
    As Veropedia earns money from the content, will it be donating money to Wikipedia? I sure hope so. The following FAQ item doesn't say much about it:

    Why does Veropedia have advertising? Our goal is to collect the best free content available and make it accessible to as many people as possible. This costs money, just as the liberation of content costs money. Rather than ask for donations from our primary target audience of teachers and students, we believe that unobtrusive advertising is preferred. The money earned will be used to keep this site alive and vibrant, to sponsor contests to improve content, and to support other efforts to bring high quality free content to people everywhere.
    As an aside, does this mean Encyclopedia Britannica [britannica.com] is even more obsolete?
  • English Teachers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tacobowl8 (1175465)
    The question remains... will English Teachers/Professors view Veropedia as a valid source? I somehow doubt it as they seem to be in love with print sources (atleast from my experience).
    • Re:English Teachers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ducomputergeek (595742) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:42AM (#21156879)
      One of the problems with Wikipedia is that the content can change and change rapidly. Today an article may say "XYZ". Tomorrow it maybe, "AQY". So if I went to check the figure or fact a student placed in a paper...

      Do professors do this? I don't know, I'm only a TA, most of the time the answer is no. I don't go check every fact and figure, but rather check that they cited the fact or figure. Everyonce in a while a student turns something up that's interesting. That catches my eye, usually because it may have some relavance to something I am working on, and will go and verify the sources.

      Even if the student cites a questionable source/study/number, if I can go check it and I say, yeah that's where they got the numbers/information from. With print articles, I can go and retrieve the article and check to make sure the student isn't just making something up.

      With Wikipedia, yeah I can go and look it up, but will it be the same as it was when the student looked at it? On most things, yeah, probably, but on some subjects....

      Really the same goes for the internet as a whole. Back when I was an undergrad, most profs let us cite at most two sources from the internet for the same reasons. It used to tick me off being a techie-geek back then, but six years later when I went back for a masters, it makes a lot more sense.

      • by emj (15659)
        I don't know how you cite sources, but we always do URL and date when citeing online sources. If online sources could list their changes as Wikipedia does that would be more usefull, but as far as I know EB doesn't give a revision history of their articles.

        I actually archive all the webpages I cite, something I should do when I bookmark things as well.
      • > One of the problems with Wikipedia is that the content can change and change rapidly.

        There is a change history, so why is this a problem? You can simply quote a specific version.
        • Exactly. I've had people tell me that me reference to a Wikipedia article was wrong and that it wasn't in the article before (never for a school paper because they won't accept Wiki, of course) and just checked the revision history. Almost always a fact was simply removed with no explanation so I can link to the history and say "This is what it looked like when I saw it".

          If the real problem with Wikipedia is that it changes then teachers (who knew more about it than 'Oh noes! Wikipedia is teh evil') would s
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ral315 (741081)
        Click the "permanent link" link on the left side of the page, and you'll get a link to a version that will not change.
    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:43AM (#21156897)

      The question remains... will English Teachers/Professors view Veropedia as a valid source? I somehow doubt it as they seem to be in love with print sources (atleast from my experience).

      No. The fact that wiki is user editable is not the reason professors dislike it. It's because wiki is an encyclopedia. While an encyclopedia is a fine place to get background on a research project, it isn't a primary source and hence isn't citable. Note that the same is true for Britannica.

      The point of a research project/paper isn't to provide a regurgitation summary. It's to come up with your own angle on a topic based on original evidence, which isn't something one can glean from an encyclopedia synopsis.

      If you're out of middle school, you shouldn't be citing encyclopedias.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        If you're out of middle school, you shouldn't be citing encyclopedias.
        If you're in middle school, you shouldn't be citing encyclopedias. Particularly ones that, for all intents and purposes, seem to be edited primarily by your classmates.
    • by kalidasa (577403)
      No. Wikipedia is the source for Veropedia, and Wikipedia says it's not for original research. As a sibling post says, read the sources of Wikipedia. Then you can cite Wikipedia simply as an aggregator that you used to help you to get a handle on the sources. The same as you would any research guide or encyclopedia. I'm an ex-teacher, by the way.
    • An Encyclopedia is not a source. It doesn't matter if it's editable or not.
  • by davejenkins (99111) <slashdot&davejenkins,com> on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:34AM (#21156799) Homepage
    We started http://wikindex.com/ [wikindex.com] a while ago to see which wikis were big, and we have noticed some major trends:
    • subject specific wikis (protein biology [wikia.com], Asian travel, etc) are much more vibrant (where vibrancy is measured as the ratio of updates to total pages)
    • fictional universe wikis are insanely popular - Memory Alpha [memory-alpha.org] (The Star Trek wiki) beats all but a handful of the european language wikipediae, and the battlesar galactica wiki is even bigger.
    • wikis are the new bulletin boards - TV shows are using them for all the complex character backfill. Have you lost track in "24" or "Lost"? Try the wiki, it's aaaalll in there.
  • by eln (21727) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:35AM (#21156803) Homepage
    So Veropedia requires that everything be vetted by its own panel of "experts" prior to inclusion, and the whole thing is supported by advertisers. However, this brings up all the same arguments against advertising that came up on Wikipedia. Basically, how can Veropedia confirm, or does it even intend to confirm, that their advertisers will have no effect on the content of the articles published? How do we know that part of the job of the "experts" isn't to make sure that none of the articles published on Veropedia will contain any disparaging information about the advertisers?

    Even if Veropedia is completely above board in this respect, the advertising will produce a perception of editorial slant in favor of the advertisers. This perception can be just as damaging to credibility as an actual slant would be.
    • by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:13AM (#21157217) Homepage Journal
      There is a more fundamental problem with advertising.

      When the users of a service pay for the service, they are the customers, and the service is the product. When advertisers pay for a service, they are the customers, and the users are the product. The service itself is relegated to a loss-leader; bait to attract users so they can be sold to the advertisers.

      This is one of the primary reasons why TV is such a wasteland, while the DVD landscape is so rich.

      -Peter
    • The problem here is that while Jimmy Wales leaches money from donations from WikiDrones to pay for his corporate empire, most people have to find more traditional sources of income. Hence, advertising. But it's really no different than advertising on any site. For example Slashdot.

      Are you suggesting that VA Software is biased in favor of Microsoft just because The Borg advertises both here and other VA Software properties?

      • by eln (21727)
        Of course Slashdot is biased, but Slashdot doesn't pretend to be a source of encyclopedic truth. Slashdot is a news aggregator and blog, it doesn't claim to be "a quality stable version that can be trusted by students, teachers, and anyone else who is looking for top-notch, reliable information" like Veropedia does.

        Slashdot editors use a number of criteria to determine what articles to run. These criteria involve factors such as what stories are likely to get the most page hits, generate the most discussi
        • Of course Slashdot is biased, but Slashdot doesn't pretend to be a source of encyclopedic truth.
          I didn't ask if Slashdot was biased, we know it it. What I asked is: Is Slashdot biased in favor of Microsoft simply because The Borg advertises here?

          I think you would be hard-pressed to say they are...

  • by Xerxes314 (585536) <clebsch_gordan@yahoo.com> on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:36AM (#21156815)
    Such a project is totally useless. Ten seconds of google search (the website was already down) led to an error: under Hydrogen, there is listed the origin "Latin: hydrogenium". Hydrogen was derived from French "hydrogene". Although the construction "hydrogenium" does exist, it's a rare (possibly obsolete?) usage that was coined in English to emphasize in certain contexts the metal-like properties of hydrogen. And oops, Wiktionary could have told them that: Wiktionary on Hydrogenium [wiktionary.org]
    • Veropedia: Pedia is the Greek leftover from Encyclopedia, and Vero is supposed to be from the Latin verum for "true". Of course, vero is also an adverb in Latin, meaning "but". as in, "This is from Wikipedia, but/em it's not Wikipedia". So, it's supposed to be true, but their title is a god-awful mix of Latin and Greek (cf. the word "Scientology"), and it doesn't mean what they think it means.
      • by RDW (41497)
        "Television? The word is half Greek, half Latin. No good can come of it." - CP Scott.
    • by Jugalator (259273)
      Actually, I'm not sure what that "Latin: hydrogenium" means in Veropedia as well as the current article edition of Wikipedia. Is it really about etymology? The word "Origin" is not there. Is it just the word as used in the language Latin?

      As for what I can see is listed as actual etymology there -- that would be "hydor" + "genes" in Greek. And then it became hydrogène in French from that, which was the first name of that chemical element in use.
    • That you found one error, that doesn't discourage me. You can find an error everywhere.

      There is another reason veropedia is useless - at least at the moment:

      Went to veropedia, searched for Miller effect - "Oopps!"
      Hmmm.. okay, let's see something more common, slew rate - "Oopps!"
      Allright, let's try Amplifier - "Oopps!"
      Gah!!!! So, how bad is it, then? Tried Electron - "Oopps!"
      No "Electron"? Is it THAT lacking? Let's... let's see Atom...... you guessed it...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by famebait (450028)
      The error is, I'm afraid yours. 'hydrogenium' is the latin name for hydrogen. All elements have such a name, which is the only naming that consistenly correlates with the abbreviations used as symbols for the elements. It would be a poor listing of elements that did not include these names.

      Now, the origin of those names, that's a different and quite diverse story. But that is not what the article claims it to be, and hydrogen is hardly alone in being identified and named long after Latin was a dead langua
  • by Panitz (1102427) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:37AM (#21156833)
    Does this not defeat the point of Wikipedia, and will Wikipedia see any of the profits made? Why do we even need this site? It's just for some unimaginative loser to make some money whilst pretending to be behind the information for all ideals of Wikipedia!

    Furthermore, is there an expert in every field working in this 12 year olds garage too? How can they vet sites and say that they are correct? Encylopedia Brittanca is incorrect in places and look at the people there! No citation needed, no bad link is the most feeble and unarticulated way of deciding if a page is 'correct'!

    User changes are the way of Wikipedia, and they progess to make a page as correct and informative as it can be. Taking this away and telling everyone that this is the definitive page on the subject is not going to help at all. Wikipedia blocks pages that are prone to vandelism anyway... So really??? What is the point??? Money I guess... do these people have morals? Why don't they go open a for profit branch of Oxfam or something?
  • by xigxag (167441) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:46AM (#21156923)
    Chuckle. You have to love this fake alternative-community lingo.

    A collaborative effort: In regular English, "a collaborative effort" that is a business enterprise is known as a "company." I'll take away points because they missed the ever popular "grass roots."

    written by Wikipedia contributors: Hopefully you won't notice that anybody can call themselves a "wikipedia contributor" so that means nothing. Nice touch how they try to spin it as if a garden-variety Wikipedia contributor is somehow better than an expert.

    verofied: Oh, Colbert! What hast thou wrought?

  • Why do I need to have Javascript enabled to click on the Veropedia link in the top left to return to / ?
    It's just annoying. Same as Wordpress: http://teapot.ekynoxe.com/ [ekynoxe.com]

    There is no earthly reason for needing Javascript for that. Dynamic, client-side stuff, sure.
  • by hikaricloud (983170) on Monday October 29, 2007 @10:54AM (#21157015) Homepage
    Google search for "Veropedia", and the main website is 9th on the search results. In fact, this story is 3rd. Good job. I find that quite awesome.

    Few things I've noticed about this...thing.

    - It's orange. Ugly ugly layout of orange. It actually makes me want to murder people.
    - It only takes FOREVER to load. I've been loading it for the last 10 minutes.
    - They have a link right on the sidebar (that has actually loaded) to donate to Wikipedia, saying "Support free knowledge! Donate to Wikipedia today!" Am I the only one that finds that slightly ironic?
    - It still hasn't loaded.
    - I think the servers are run by child labor because it is taking so long to load a single page.
    - Oh wait. It seems it's not Safari friendly thanks to bastardized uneeded php scripts. :D AWESOME.
    - Apparently Veropedia hates everyone that can't speak either English, Spanish, or French. Because that's the only languages I see on their site. Now to jump over to Wikipedia... I'm only FLOODED with languages.
    - Apparently Christopher Reeve died on my birthday. Huh. What a strangely satisfying birthday gift. *cough*

    All in all, this Veropedia is just capitilizing off Wikipedia's open source information. I seriously wonder if the ads on the site ONLY pay for hosting costs. Somehow, I highly doubt it.

    Wikipedia forever. Less than 3.
    • Whoops (Score:3, Funny)

      by goldcd (587052)
      down to 10th now... has any advert on \. ever actually caused a site to get 'less' popular before?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by walkie (794662)

      - It only takes FOREVER to load. I've been loading it for the last 10 minutes.
      - It still hasn't loaded.
      - I think the servers are run by child labor because it is taking so long to load a single page.

      Perhaps the slowness is, at least in part, due to the fact that it is currently linked to from the Slashdot front page?

      - They have a link right on the sidebar (that has actually loaded) to donate to Wikipedia, saying "Support free knowledge! Donate to Wikipedia today!" Am I the only one that finds that slightly ironic?

      Seems to me like providing a kickback link to the site they're getting their (explicitly free) content from is a decent enough thing to do.

      - Apparently Veropedia hates everyone that can't speak either English, Spanish, or French. Because that's the only languages I see on their site. Now to jump over to Wikipedia... I'm only FLOODED with languages.

      Hmm, a hugely popular website with millions of users supports more languages than a newer, much less used site. Surprising.

      All in all, this Veropedia is just capitilizing off Wikipedia's open source information.

      As they explicitly say in their FAQ. And Wikipedia's content is explicitly free to use. Where is the problem?

      As for the or

  • I tried to click on the link, but Seamonkey is spinning while trying to load some amazon link? Maybe advertising is a bad idea?
  • IIRC one of the Wikipedia GFDL's terms is that anyone using the content of an article should include a link to the source (i.e. the original Wikipedia article), partly as an acceptable method of attributing the content's authors. This particular ${insert_name_here}opedia clone site doesn't seem to. (This is one reason why I've given up contributing to Wikipedia).

    This particular site looks just like any other ${insert_name_here}opedia which clones Wikipedia content. They haven't landed on the GFDL Comp [wikipedia.org]

  • To qualify for inclusion in Veropedia, a Wikipedia article must contain no cleanup tags, no "citation needed" tags, no disambiguation links, no dead external links, and no fair use images after which candidates for inclusion are reviewed by recognized academics and experts"

    and that leaves them with what, exactly? the "About Us" page?
  • Working for Veropedia without getting paid.
  • 1) Create a free online encyclopedia "anyone can edit" because it will save the world;
    2) With the help of the vast skills of millions of users, The Central Limit Theorem [wikipedia.org], The Law of Large Numbers [wikipedia.org], and The Wisdom of Crowds [slashdot.org] the seemingly random content mysteriously has useful value;
    3) Take the most stable articles and create an online encyclopedia "anyone can buy advertising for" (including your dedicated contributors!);
    4) ???
    5) Profit!!!
  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:25AM (#21157367) Homepage Journal
    From the FAQ [veropedia.com]:

    The scope of fair use in Wikipedia has always been the subject of heated debate. We have decided to avoid that debate and go back to the core principles of the project by focusing on free content. Only by insisting on free content can we revert the current trend of extending copyright and encourage people to release their content to the public.

    Without non-free images, an encyclopedia can capture the state of the world as it existed on December 31, 1922. I don't see how a detailed article about, say, the movie industry (since the introduction of sound) or the video game industry can be written without identifying works that were created on or after January 1, 1923.

  • Now that they have a stable version that is static, the possibilities are endless. Conceivably, they could now print these things as books! I imagine this will be a lot of content, but they could split it up in to multiple books for each letter of the alphabet. That way, we can have access to this information 24/7 without the need of the Internet! Truly, amazing times we live in.
    • by brkello (642429)
      Argh. I will reply to myself before someone else does. No, you moron. Read the whole summary before you post.
  • So Velopedia rips off Wikipedia and their volunteers, and resells the product for profit.

    Since people own the content they create, is anyone sending DMCA takedown notices over articles they've contributed to?

  • Okay, so Wikipedia could conceivably do the same thing...and on top of it, have the open Wiki page along with the "certified" info page essentially alongside it.

    Imagine going and looking up an article regarding Elephants on Wikipedia. You'd land on the the common wiki entry there, but there could be a banner header that has something to the effect "Check out the certified entry here." with some cute marketing graphic to boot. The link takes you to a non-editable article on the exact same subject, and th

  • They're reversing direction. The idea of an encyclopedia that anyone can edit seems to be too much of a problem, so they're doing a silly little dance to get around the fact that now they're hiring a staff, implementing a hierarchy and control procedures, and publishing a finalized product...... just like Encyclopedia Brittanica does, but without academic titles behind the articles.
  • Wikipedia article must contain no cleanup tags, no "citation needed" tags, no disambiguation links, no dead external links, and no fair use images

    I'm not sure of the last time I saw a wikipedia article that didn't have one of those.
  • by Lemming Mark (849014) on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:59AM (#21157741) Homepage
    Whilst the concerns that Veropedia are just vampires / leeches who will suck the goodness from Wikipedia for their own profit, I'd like to suggest an alternative point of view. I'm going to set out my viewpoint in some detail, so please indulge me and bear with me ;)

    As I write this, I'm using Kubuntu. It's made by a for-profit corporation (Canonical) who have pieced together a number of GNU (and other) licensed packages that were freely available to create a distribution. And people love it, they rave about it.

    It does the job people want from an OS.

    Sure, you could piece this stuff all together yourself. You could gather all the pieces of software you need, you could build them. You could check for outstanding bugs and backport fixes from the CVS version. You could integrate them nicely together to create a useable system. You could create an installable live CD to whack this down onto your computers when required. And you could continue to monitor all the upstream Free-licensed packages you've used to backport further security updates and bugfixes. But who wants to do all that work? The Free-licensed upstream is there alright - and it's valuable that you could access it directly - that anybody could do this if they wanted to, or if they needed to. But getting all the upstream packages in a good state; doing QA on them; checking they all work well together - that's a lot of work that you don't want to do unless you have specific needs. Thanks to the efforts of Canonical, I largely don't need to deal with upstream. If I want, I can send them patches, compile new versions from CVS, etc - but mostly I just leave the minutiae to the package maintainers.

    The beauty of it is, If I don't like the job they do, I can still go upstream. I'm still Free because everything I'm using is open to me. I'm just getting someone else to do the grunt work. If they don't do a good enough job for me, I have options. I can choose to do it myself - I can compile apps on my Ubuntu system if I don't like the Ubuntu packages. I can build my own distro from scratch. Or I can switch to another distribution. I could switch to OpenSuse, say - it's also put together largely by a corporation in a similar manner. Or I could switch to something largely community driven like Debian. They have different focuses: up-to-date vs very strictly QA-ed, general purpose vs specialised. I'm spoilt for choice!

    What's this got to do with Wikipedia vs Veropedia? Well, how about we substitute "package" with "article"? Wikipedia is the "upstream" provider of Free licensed content. What people are calling "vampire" sites are actually distributions of Wikipedia, just as Ubuntu is a distribution of GNU/Linux and related code. Some of them are just repackaging Wikipedia content in a more-or-less friendly UI and raising money through advertising. They have the right to do that, just as they have the right not to contribute anything back upstream themselves: the Free licenses don't force you to be a very good citizen. This situation is familiar from Free Software - we might not all approve of Xandros or Novell's deals with MS but they're still free to use the Free code as long as they stick to the license.

    Which brings us to Veropedia. It's a new up-and-coming distribution of Wikipedia. It's small at the moment but growing. They're taking Wikipedia content and attempting to add value by doing some of the QA and integration work themselves, rather than leaving you to do it: they're trying to ensure quality articles are immediately available to users, without their having to check references, do mental sanity checks on the information, be generally skeptical. Just like the Linux distributions, they're doing some of the work that Freedom allows you to do, on your behalf. They're taking something you could already get for Free and they're making money (from ads in this case) in order to cover their costs - but they're trying to add something on the way. Doe

  • Deja vu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Torodung (31985) on Monday October 29, 2007 @12:23PM (#21158003) Journal
    This reminds me a bit of when CDDB became Gracenote.

    --
    Toro
  • Violation of GFDL (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tmk (712144) on Monday October 29, 2007 @12:24PM (#21158017)
    I don't see an article history or any hint who wrote the article on Wikipedia. This is clearly a violation of the GFDL.
  • by bushboy (112290) <lttc@lefthandedmonkeys.org> on Monday October 29, 2007 @12:26PM (#21158053) Homepage
    While wikipedia certainly has it's flaws, at it's heart, the core concepts and ideals are sound.

    Yes, content can be vandalised, erroneous facts can be added, political motivation can play a part in content, BUT...

    Isn't this the very nature of human knowledge?

    If anything, Wikipedia simply mirrors how human knowledge is documented and spread, albiet at a MUCH faster pace than old traditional methods.

    The beauty here, specifically for knowledge that is still being sought, or liable to change, is that the changes to the entries can be made AS these events happen.

    An encyclopedia is often a starting point for research and should never be used as a single source of information. This has always been the case.

    The veropedia model is fundamentally flawed, to quote:-

    "clean it up, vet it, and save it in a quality stable version that cannot be edited."

    Ok, who is going to vet it?
    Do we trust them?
    Right, so it can no longer be edited after being vetted, so if there's a mistake, who can fix it?

    Effectively, this takes the concept of an online encyclopedia back a step, we've lost the single key concept that makes Wikipedia so special - the ability for ANYONE to edit content.

    I doubt we need to worry much about Veropedia however, as Wikipedia is firmly entrenched in the public mindset and indeed the WWW.

    Long live Wikipedia, for all it's flaws or perhaps because of them - we are just human, after all...
  • by moeinvt (851793) on Monday October 29, 2007 @12:56PM (#21158371)
    Thank goodness! Now we'll have yet another source of officially sanitized bullshit with "experts" and "academics" telling us what to think.

    I'm sure that there are exceptions, but the Wikipedia articles that pertain to topics in hard science, mathematics, etc. don't usually contain "disputed" content or missing references. If someone has misrepresented Newton's laws or Euclidean geometry in an article, it's not going to survive long.

    You typically see persisting dispute or "citation needed" on articles pertaining to history, religion, politics, etc. When it comes to topics that are inherently subjective, why is the bias of a "recognized expert" superior to the bias of a collection of people participating in the writing of the article? I'd much rather read content with full knowledge that some of the "facts" are disputed, or require references than to read something presented as the unbiased "truth" just because some "expert" or "academic" gave it a seal of approval.

    Let the experts and academics spew their regurgitated crap through the major publishing houses and mainstream media outlets. Leave the Wikipedia's of the world to a plurality of interested amateurs.
  • A better approach (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skapare (16644) on Monday October 29, 2007 @01:09PM (#21158505) Homepage

    My idea of a better approach for Wikipedia would be to have "tiers" of verification that would be kind of like a stack for a given article title. The bottom tier would be articles edited by users who are not logged in. The next tier up would be edited by people who login but have not been verified or vetted, themselves. Further up the ladder would be those who have a history of article editing with no significant issues. Still further would those edited by people who have been specially vetted, although do not have significant credentials. Above them would be editors with major credentials within a subject area (a professor of chemistry would not be considered to have credentials in religious studies). One more top tier would be those who run Wikipedia itself, or are members of a review board. There might be as many as 8 or 9 tiers.

    For any article, a visitor can see any tier level. A generated (not edited) box at the top or side of the page would list all the tier levels available that different from the tier being viewed, and their date of last edit, and in cases of tiers edited since the current view, how many edits since the current view was edited. The default view for users who are not logged in is the highest tier available. Logged in users can customize what tier to view, and whether to go up or down if their default tier is absent. Anyone can click on any tier to view that tier. Articles can also be watched for changes by tier.

    I believe this approach would give people the opportunity to select the level of verification they feel is right for them.

  • Bug (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hassman (320786) on Monday October 29, 2007 @01:12PM (#21158543) Journal
    Do a blank search...

    http://veropedia.com/vero/article.php?title= [veropedia.com]

    Pretty sure that sort of thing should be avoided.

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