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+ - What do your donations to keep Wikipedia "online and ad-free" really pay for?->

Submitted by Andreas Kolbe
Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "As the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) prepares for its main annual fundraiser, many Wikipedia readers are presented with a banner inviting them to donate an amount equivalent to the "price of buying a programmer a coffee". It's to keep Wikipedia "online and ad-free", the site says. However, this masks the fact that the WMF’s revenue, assets and expenses have risen by about 1,000% in recent years. While the WMF got by on annual donations totaling $5 million in 2007, it now wants over $50 million a year, despite reporting net assets of $45 million last summer and having taken another $50+ million in donations since then. Most of this money is not spent on keeping Wikipedia "online and ad-free", but on a ballooning bureaucracy that sees a select group of Wikipedians transitioning from unpaid volunteer to paid tech staff positions, creating a two-tier society and causing outgoing Executive Director Sue Gardner to raise concerns over the potential for "log-rolling and self-dealing" last year. Meanwhile, the WMF’s software engineering work has been judged inept by the unpaid volunteer community. The VisualEditor (VE), a WYSIWIG editor touted as "epically important" by Jimmy Wales, was so buggy and caused so many errors (such as inserting chess pawn characters in Wikipedia articles) that volunteer administrators rebelled, going over the Foundation's heads to disable VE as the new default editor. Last month's new Media Viewer feature was equally controversial. The WMF had to create a new access right, "Superprotect", to prevent angry volunteer administrators from disabling it, bringing community relations between the WMF and the volunteer community to a new low. An open letter protesting the WMF’s actions acquired an unprecedented number of signatures. Flow, a planned Facebook-style revamping of Wikipedia discussion pages that has been in development for some time, is already mired in controversy, with volunteers complaining that the WMF is turning a deaf ear to their concerns. Donors should be aware that most of their money is not used to keep Wikipedia online and ad-free. It's not used to improve Wikipedia’s reliability either. Instead, it funds the further aggressive expansion of an organization that's at loggerheads with its volunteer community and criticized for having a "miserable cost/benefit ratio"."
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Comment: My Wikipedia editing experience (Score 5, Insightful) 579

by Ellie K (#47782655) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

I am FeralOink on WP (shhhhhhhhhh ;o) I have Commons open on my adjacent browser tab right now!

I haven't been run off when editing articles about most topics of interest to me. This is even true for controversial articles e.g. Edward Snowden, AIG, Reptilians, Freedom Fries, cryptocurrency, Ambassador Chris Stevens, David E. Shaw, Codex Alimentarius, MongoDB and brassiere. Some articles are emotionally sensitive to other editors, e.g. Murray Rothbard, Ven currency, so I avoid them. It is easy to discern the situation. I have even made some horrific mistakes, deleting a huge chunk of Gen. Ghaddaffi's article was the worst, yet I was amazed that once I explained and apologized (I had also broken a genuine WP rule), the regulars on the article were very understanding. The only incidents of truly rude encounters and massive reverts of hours of my work has been for female-relevant articles. Both pertained to cunnilingus. I am still seething with irritation at the use of crappy references (Cengage Learning books instead of CDC or reputable websites), bare links, sloppy Google books citation without templates and bizarrely tangential content. Also... well, enough.

Wikipedia does omit a lot due to male PoV, even if unintentional. Here's an example. John Nash's sister wasn't mentioned at all in his bio, and his pre-university education was incorrectly modernized. Also, his wife is a graduate of MIT, a physics major in the class of 1956 or so. That's when Nash met her. His bio didn't mention that, but instead dwelt on her father "being of Argentine extraction"!

There are lots of little cliques that I sense, infer, and camaraderie. It would be great to be a part of that.

Comment: I am editing Wikipedia right now! (Score 1) 2

by Ellie K (#47782461) Attached to: Why women have no time for Wikipedia
Hello Andreas! It is I, Ellie a.k.a. FeralOink on WP (shhhhhhhhhh ;O) I have Commons open on my adjacent browser tab right now!

I am well-received on most topics of interest to me. This is even true for controversial articles e.g. Edward Snowden, AIG, Reptilians, Freedom Fries, cryptocurrency, Ambassador Chris Stevens, David E. Shaw, Codex Alimentarius, MongoDB and brassiere. Some articles are emotionally sensitive to other editors, e.g. Murray Rothbard, Ven currency, so I avoid them. It is easy to discern the situation. I have even made some horrific mistakes, deleting a huge chunk of Gen. Ghaddaffi's article was the worst, yet I was amazed that once I explained and apologized (I had also broken a genuine WP rule), the regulars on the article were very understanding. The only incidents of truly rude encounters and massive reverts of hours of my work has been for female-relevant articles. Both pertained to cunnilingus. I am still seething with irritation at the use of crappy references (Cengage Learning books instead of CDC or reputable websites), bare links, sloppy Google books citation without templates and bizarrely tangential content. Also, well, enough.

Wikipedia does omit a lot due to male PoV, even if unintentional. Here's an example. John Nash's sister wasn't mentioned at all in his bio, and his pre-university education was incorrectly modernized. Also, his wife is a graduate of MIT, a physics major in the class of 1956 or so. That's when Nash met her. His bio didn't mention that, but instead dwelt on her father "being of Argentine extraction"!

There are lots of little cliques that I sense, infer, and camaraderie. It would be great to be a part of that.

+ - Cooling canals at Turkey Point nuclear power plant still too hot->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Florida Power & Light needs millions more gallons of freshwater to manage cooling canals that keep two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point from overheating, company officials said in an emergency request to the South Florida Water Management District.

The hot canals do not pose a safety risk, federal regulators have said, but they have forced the utility to dial back operations over the scorching summer.

So with the heat showing no sign of easing, could brownouts be far off?

“We have record electricity demand and what we’re doing is taking proactive action to make sure we can effectively manage the situation in an environmentally responsible way while maintaining reliability for our customers,” said FPL spokesman Michael Waldron.

To cool the canals, the Water Management District on Thursday authorized pumping up to 100 million gallons of water a day from a nearby canal system, but only if it doesn’t take too much water stored for Everglades restoration. The canals carry freshwater to Biscayne Bay and tamp down salinity, which can fuel algae blooms and harm marine life.

The 100 million gallons would be in addition to 14 million gallons a day from the Floridan aquifer that water managers approved in June, after high temperatures threatened to shut down the reactors."

Link to Original Source

+ - How to Survive H1B Displacement

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "So it looks like I'm going to be displaced by an H1B. I've been in IT / enterprise admin for some 20 years. I wont go into all of the details but its pretty clear that not only do I get the pleasure of losing my job, my employer is trying to trick me into training this guy before they sack me. The upside is that I caught on to whats happening and this person is actually not too bright. Today, he asked me to explain why when he opens an EBCDIC file with notepad.exe there are funny characters.

Anyway, I know I'm not the first and I won't be the last. I figure I have about 90 days since that persons hire date before they can pull my plug without getting sued. US labor law doesn't give much protection. Most likely there will be no package. So Slashdot -> what does one do when such a situation arises?"

+ - Why women have no time for Wikipedia 2

Submitted by Andreas Kolbe
Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "Wikipedia is well known to have a very large gender imbalance, with survey-based estimates of women contributors ranging from 8.5% to around 16%. This is a more extreme gender imbalance than even that of Reddit, the most male-dominated major social media platform, and it has a palpable effect on Wikipedia content. Moreover, Wikipedia editor survey data indicate that only 1 in 50 respondents is a mother – a good proportion of female contributors are in fact minors, with women in their twenties less likely to contribute to Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation efforts to address this "gender gap" have so far remained fruitless. Wikipedia’s demographic pattern stands in marked contrast to female-dominated social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest, where women aged 18 to 34 are particularly strongly represented. It indicates that it isn’t lack of time or family commitments that keep women from contributing to Wikipedia – women simply find other sites more attractive. Wikipedia’s user interface and its culture of anonymity may be among the factors leading women to spend their online time elsewhere."
China

Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Firms Using Malware-Laden Handheld Scanners 93

Posted by timothy
from the location-location-location dept.
wiredmikey (1824622) writes China-based threat actors are using sophisticated malware installed on handheld scanners to target shipping and logistics organizations from all over the world. According to security firm TrapX, the attack begins at a Chinese company that provides hardware and software for handheld scanners used by shipping and logistics firms worldwide to inventory the items they're handling. The Chinese manufacturer installs the malware on the Windows XP operating systems embedded in the devices.

Experts determined that the threat group targets servers storing corporate financial data, customer data and other sensitive information. A second payload downloaded by the malware then establishes a sophisticated C&C on the company's finance servers, enabling the attackers to exfiltrate the information they're after. The malware used by the Zombie Zero attackers is highly sophisticated and polymorphic, the researchers said. In one attack they observed, 16 of the 48 scanners used by the victim were infected, and the malware managed to penetrate the targeted organization's defenses and gain access to servers on the corporate network. Interestingly, the C&C is located at the Lanxiang Vocational School, an educational institution said to be involved in the Operation Aurora attacks against Google, and which is physically located only one block away from the scanner manufacturer, TrapX said.

+ - White House responds to petition to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consu->

Submitted by devloop
devloop (983641) writes "White House posts an official response to this petition, already with nearly 140,000 votes in favor, to allow direct sales to consumers in all 50 states. "We believe in the goal of improving consumer choice for American families, including more vehicles that provide savings at the pump for consumers. However, we understand that pre-empting current state laws on direct-to-consumer auto sales would require an act of Congress.""
Link to Original Source
Social Networks

LinkedIn Spam Lawsuit Can Continue 50

Posted by timothy
from the unrepentant-spammers dept.
Charliemopps (1157495) writes "A lawsuit filed in September 2013 in the Northern District of California alleged that LinkedIn misled its users about the number of times it would attempt to invite their contacts using their name. LinkedIn tried to get the suit dismissed but Thursday Judge Lucy Koh ruled the suit can continue."

+ - Amazon AWS continues to use TrueCrypt despite project's demise

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""Importing and exporting data from Amazon Simple Storage Service still requires TrueCrypt, two weeks after the encryption software was discontinued"

"Amazon.com did not immediately respond to an inquiry seeking information on whether it plans to support other data encryption technologies for the AWS import/export feature aside from TrueCrypt in the future"

http://www.infoworld.com/d/clo...

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWS...

http://aws.amazon.com/importex..."

+ - WSJ: Facebook to Advertisers: More Data Coming

Submitted by psybre
psybre (921148) writes "A Wall Street Journal article details Facebook's plans for sharing their information with advertisers. The company has been gathering user's browsing habits. While used in the past only for security reasons, they intend to provide this information to advertisers soon. An industry analyst was quoted that, "By bringing in data about their users' browsing habits and app usage, they are creating an even more complete profile of each person.""

Comment: Texas phenomena (Score 1) 688

by Ellie K (#47064269) Attached to: Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards
I took a quick glance at the study. "Well off" is based on parental education, not parental income. You'd think they would be tightly correlated, but I'm not so certain.. This quote from the article, along with the burnt out shell of a VW bus sitting in a field in Mississippi, was awkward:

Lacking good information, it has been easy even for sophisticated Americans to be seduced by apologists who would have the public believe the problems are simply those of poor kids in central city schools. Our results point in quite the opposite direction. The underachievement in some southern states was a reflection of deep-rooted historical divides and disadvantages, Prof Peterson said, such as slavery and segregation.

("Seduced by apologists"?) The outlier is Texas. Oddly, despite being part of the Confederacy, children in Texas with poorly educated parents perform inexplicably well. Of course, according to this Harvard University School of Government study, Massachusetts children are the most proficient in mathematics in the United States, second only to Germany and Switzerland...

+ - SPAM: Protect your Invention Idea in a Digital World

Submitted by patentservice
patentservice (3638467) writes "Among the more amusing bombs lobbed in what is known as the “patent wars” is Samsung’s claim that the iPad was invented by Stanley Kubrick. In 2011, Samsung filed a court declaration saying that the basic design of the iPad was visible in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, since the human characters are shot operating flat-screen computers look similar to an iPad.
While this particular allegation is a bit farcical, the reality behind the patent wars is not. When technology started to become big money in the 1980s, the number of patent lawsuits spiked dramatically. Even in the period between 2010 and 2013, the number of patent lawsuits tripled."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google using Youtube threat as leverage for cheaper streaming rights

Submitted by Sockatume
Sockatume (732728) writes "According to a press release issued by WIN, a group representing independent musicians, Google is threatening to de-list musicians' videos from YouTube if they do not agree to the terms for its unannounced streaming music service. The template contracts issued to musicians are described as "undervalued" relative to other streaming services, and are not open for negotiation. The press release was issued by WIN but rescinded when Google agreed to further discussions; The Associated Free Press and The Guardian have published stories based on that original release."

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