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+ - 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."
Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

Comment: Re:Also available for UK, Canada, France ... (Score 1) 94

by Andreas Kolbe (#47448521) Attached to: Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill
Well, the latest edit tweeted by @congressedits for example is this one, inserting the following into David Icke's biography: "He is also a disinformation agent funded by the [[Pleiadians]]." That's just someone wasting their and everyone else's time. That's not to say there haven't been edits on politically contentious topics from gov't IP addresses; there most certainly have, and that's why these Twitter accounts are a good idea. The downside is that long-term, they will drive this sort of editing underground. People who do want to make a politically contentious edit will go to the nearest Starbucks to avoid detection. It's an inherent weakness of Wikipedia, because on less well watched pages some of those edits always slip through. Wikipedia is full of articles edited by people with an undeclared conflict of interest. It's arguably one of the reasons for its popularity.

Comment: Also available for UK, Canada, France ... (Score 5, Informative) 94

by Andreas Kolbe (#47447701) Attached to: Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill
@parliamentedits, @wikiAssemblee, @gccaedits and @RiksdagWikiEdit Twitter accounts have been the set up to do the same for the UK, France, Canada and Sweden.

One thing to remember here is that most of these edits are probably made by junior IT staff rather than elected representatives (recall the recent Hillsborough case in the UK).

Comment: Wikipedia has money on tap (Score 1) 3

by Andreas Kolbe (#47447633) Attached to: Media Viewer: yet another Wikipedia scandal in the making
From the latest Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan (page 5):

In 2014-2015 our plan is to increase revenue to $58.5 million from a 2013-2014 projection of $52.5 million, an increase of 11%. Our revenue targets are designed to fund investments in the WMF, primarily in product development and engineering. We believe that if we chose to, we could increase revenues more than is reflected in this plan, but we believe this target reflects and appropriate balance between funding growth while minimizing annoyance to the readers of the projects.


Money on tap. And lots of people who see the fundraising banners donate because they think Wikipedia is having an acute financial crisis and might have to pull the plug any minute now.

Page 6 has a breakdown of spending. Product / Engineering is by far the largest item – over half, if you include the requisite proportion of HR, Finance and Admin. Given how strongly the unpaid volunteer community, who actually creates most of the value in Wikipedia, has rejected major new features this money has paid for, this is an expensive disconnect.

Discussion here

+ - UK Government: Scotland Could Be Base For Spaceport

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scotland could take a giant leap for mankind by becoming the home of Britain’s first spaceport. UK Government ministers will announce on Tuesday eight potential sites for a base for sending rockets and tourists into orbit. RAF bases at Kinloss and Leuchars are believed to be among contenders for the spaceport, which would open in 2018 and be Britain’s answer to Cape Canaveral. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: "I am delighted that the government is pushing forward with its ambitious plans to open a spaceport in the UK by 2018. Spaceports will be key to us opening up the final frontier of commercial space travel. Scotland has a proud association with space exploration. We celebrated Neil Armstrong's Scottish ancestry when he became the first man on the Moon and only last week an amazing Scottish company was responsible for building the UK Space Agency's first satellite. The UK space industry is one of our great success stories and I am sure there will be a role for Scotland to play in the future.""

+ - Media Viewer: yet another Wikipedia scandal in the making 3

Submitted by metasonix
metasonix (650947) writes "As reported on Wikipediocracy today, the Wikimedia Foundation's software developers created a new "Media Viewer" feature to show high-resolution Wikipedia images in a pop-up window. It worked, but had many problems. Result: "One month after implementation, volunteer administrator Pete Forsyth unceremoniously switched the new feature off, only to find his change reverted by none other than the Wikimedia Foundation’s Deputy Director and VP of Engineering and Product Development, Erik Möller, who threatened to remove Forsyth’s administrative privileges. Möller in turn has now been hauled in front of Wikipedia’s arbitration committee, accused of overstepping his authority." This is roughly similar to a group of volunteer police cadets attempting to remove their chief of police, for changing department policy. The story is bizarre, and it perfectly underscores the dysfunctional and twisted internal culture of Wikipedia."

Memory fault -- brain fried