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+ - The latest Wikipedia code-word for "dysfunction" is "Superprotection" 3

Submitted by metasonix
metasonix (650947) writes "As if the problems brought up during the recent 2014 Wikimania conference weren't enough, now Wikipedia is having an outright revolt by its editor and administrator community, especially on the German-language Wikipedia. A new Wikipediocracy blog post goes into some detail on the story. The WMF, currently awash in cash from its donors, keeps trying to force flawed new software systems onto the community, and they have repeatedly responded very negatively. This time, however, WMF Deputy Director Erik Moeller had the bright idea to create a new level of page protection to prevent the new software from being disabled. "Superprotection" has resulted in an outright revolt on German Wikipedia and subsequent coverage in the German press, plus demands that Moeller, one of Wikipedia's oldest insiders, be removed from his job. And one English Wikipedia insider started a petition demanding the removal of "superprotection"."

Comment: Re:Meanwhile the general public in London... (Score 1) 113

by Andreas Kolbe (#47656719) Attached to: Wikipedia Gets Critical Reception from UK Press at Wikimania 2014
I don't think Wikipedia can really be more reliable than the news sources it cites. In general, it is somewhat less reliable than its sources, as there can be intentional or unintentional deviations from what the cited sources said. But yes, Wikipedia can be more complete, and more up to date, than individual news articles. That's the added value that people go to Wikipedia for.

Comment: Re:quibble on usernames (Score 1) 113

by Andreas Kolbe (#47655719) Attached to: Wikipedia Gets Critical Reception from UK Press at Wikimania 2014
Well, yes, but it's no longer transparent. You know, if Coca Cola edits the Coca Cola article, isn't it better if people can see in the edit history which edits were made by Coca Cola, what they took out, added, reworded and so on? In practice, you can look at almost any Wikipedia article on a small or midsized company, and with a bit of detective work you can identify one or several accounts that have contributed prominently to that article and are quite clearly operated by principals or employees of that business. There are dozens of examples of that in this thread.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile the general public in London... (Score 1) 113

by Andreas Kolbe (#47655567) Attached to: Wikipedia Gets Critical Reception from UK Press at Wikimania 2014
The irony here of course is that Wikipedia's content (at least as long as it's not a hoax) is based on the selfsame news outlets that the public apparently trusts less than Wikipedia. It's a case where the copy is considered more reliable than the original!

Comment: Re:quibble on usernames (Score 1) 113

by Andreas Kolbe (#47655475) Attached to: Wikipedia Gets Critical Reception from UK Press at Wikimania 2014
You're technically correct, though what the paragraph describers is exactly what happens. If you register an account that is simply a company name, the account is blocked immediately, and people are asked to register a "non-promotional" name. Such blocking is routine, and hundreds of thousands of such accounts have been banned, obliterating what could have been useful transparency. The German Wikipedia in contrast does allow company accounts, verified by e-mail from the company domain to Wikipedia's OTRS volunteer service to prevent impersonation, and it is permissible for more than one person to operate the company account.

+ - Jimmy Wales Embarrasses Himself at Wikimania

Submitted by metasonix
metasonix (650947) writes "On Sunday the 2014 Wikimania conference in London closed. Wikimania is the major annual event for Wikipedia editors, insiders and WMF employees to meet face-to-face, give presentations and submit papers. Usually they are full of "Wiki-Love" and good feelings; but this year, as the Wikipediocracy blog summarized, Wikipedia and its "god-king" Jimmy Wales came under considerable fire from the UK media — a very unusual occurrence. And much of it was direct criticism of Wales himself, including a very hostile interview by BBC journalist James O'Brien, who had been repeatedly defamed in his Wikipedia biography by persons unknown."

+ - "I accidentally started a Wikipedia hoax" 5

Submitted by Andreas Kolbe
Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "The Daily Dot's EJ Dickson reports how she accidentally discovered that a hoax factoid she added over five years ago as a stoned sophomore to the Wikipedia article on “Amelia Bedelia, the protagonist of the eponymous children’s book series about a ‘literal-minded housekeeper’ who misunderstands her employer’s orders”, had not just remained on Wikipedia all this time, but come to be cited by a Taiwanese English professor, in “innumerable blog posts and book reports”, as well as a book on Jews and Jesus. It's a cautionary tale about the fundamental unreliability of Wikipedia. And as Wikipedia ages, more and more such stories are coming to light."

+ - Small is Beautiful!

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Your bedroom may be larger than this hotel, but the co-existence of functionality and design created with perfection will compel you to rate this with Five Stars!! Check out Room Mate – perhaps the smallest hotel in the world

+ - Pranks, hoaxes, manipulation: Virtual Unreality on Wikipedia-> 2

Submitted by Andreas Kolbe
Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "Kids confess on Reddit that in order to wind up a classmate named Azid, they added his name to the Wikipedia article on Chicken Korma. Two years on, and Azid is established online as an alternative name of the dish. A prankster twice changes the name of the inventor of the hair straightener, and both names are now widely credited with the invention online. Another kid writes in Wikipedia that coatis are also called Brazilian aardvarks, and incredibly, the name catches on in newspapers, even a university press book. Governments around the world seek to control Wikipedia content through anonymous contributions. Misinformation and propaganda on Wikipedia spread like a virus into other publications: how pranks, hoaxes and manipulation undermine the reliability of Wikipedia, and indeed the fabric of consensual reality."
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+ - Phase-changing material for Robots.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "In the movie "Terminator 2," the shape-shifting T-1000 robot morphs into a liquid state to squeeze through tight spaces or to repair itself when harmed.

Now a phase-changing material built from wax and foam, and capable of switching between hard and soft states, could allow even low-cost robots to perform the same feat.

The material developed by MIT researchers could be used to build deformable surgical robots. The robots could move through the body to reach a particular point without damaging any of the organs or vessels along the way.

The Robots built from this material could also be used in search-and-rescue operations to squeeze through rubble looking for survivors."

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams