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+ - Wikipedia is now usable for people with dyslexia

Submitted by GerardM
GerardM (535367) writes "Today the "Universal Language Selector" premièred on the English Wikipedia. There is a ton of functionality in there and it has a lot of potential. The one thing that may prove to be a game changer for people with dyslexia is the inclusion of the OpenDyslexic font.

Once people with dyslexia start to adopt this font, chances are that they can actually read/use Wikipedia. A lot of people are dyslexic; to quote the en.wp article on the subject: "It is believed the prevalence of dyslexia is around 5-10 percent of a given population although there have been no studies to indicate an accurate percentage".

The one thing left to do; let people know that Wikipedia has improved usability for people with dyslexia. Please tell it to the teachers, the parents and most importantly to all the people you know who are dyslexic.
Thanks,
            GerardM

NB it is also available for many other languages on many other Wikis."
United States

US Government Poisoned Alcohol During Prohibition 630

Posted by kdawson
from the haunting-fear-that-someone-somewhere-is-having-a-good-time dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Deborah Blum has an article in Slate about the US government's mostly forgotten policy in the 1920s and 1930s of poisoning industrial alcohols manufactured in the US to scare people into giving up illicit drinking during Prohibition. Known as the 'chemist's war of Prohibition,' the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, killed at least 10,000 people between 1926 and 1933. The story begins with ratification of the 18th Amendment in 1919, which banned sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the US. By the mid-1920s, when the government saw that its 'noble experiment' was in danger of failing, it decided that the problem was that readily available methyl (industrial) alcohol — itself a poison — didn't taste nasty enough. The government put its chemists to work designing ever more unpalatable toxins — adding such chemicals as kerosene, brucine (a plant alkaloid closely related to strychnine), gasoline, benzene, cadmium, iodine, zinc, mercury salts, nicotine, ether, formaldehyde, chloroform, camphor, carbolic acid, quinine, and acetone. In 1926, in New York City, 1,200 were sickened by poisonous alcohol; 400 died. The following year, deaths climbed to 700. These numbers were repeated in cities around the country as public-health officials nationwide joined in the angry clamor to stop the poisoning program. But an official sense of higher purpose kept it in place, while lawmakers opposed to the plan were accused of being in cahoots with criminals and bootleggers. The chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, one of the poisoning program's most outspoken opponents, liked to call it 'our national experiment in extermination.'"
Mozilla

Firefox Disables Microsoft .NET Addon 448

Posted by kdawson
from the with-their-consent-of-course dept.
ZosX writes "Around 11:45 PM Friday night, I was prompted by Firefox that it had disabled the addons that Microsoft has been including with .NET — specifically, the .NET Framework Assistant and the Windows Presentation Foundation. The popup announcing this said that the 'following addons have been known to cause stability or security issues with Firefox.' Thanks, Mozilla team, for hitting the kill switch and hopefully this will get Microsoft to release a patch sooner." Here's the Mozilla security blog entry announcing the block, which Mozilla implemented via its blocklisting mechanism.

+ - Wikipedia updates its localisations every day

Submitted by
GerardM
GerardM writes "The localisations for the MediaWiki software that runs Wikipedia are now updated on a daily basis. This is a huge step forward in providing the best usability of the over 260 Wikipedias. When the localisations are verified at translatewiki.net, they are submitted to SVN and the LocalisationUpdate process will include any localisation where the message in English in SVN is the same as the local message."

Comment: Think of all the things we do not do yet (Score 1) 1

by GerardM (#25667441) Attached to: Wikipedia's 2008 donation campaign kicks off

Wikimedia Foundation has been organisationally getting its house in order. They have progressed a lot and, they have shown in the past years to be thrifty with the moneys they have been given to spend. Considering the improvements of the last year, the WMF is one of the best causes around because of what they have provided..

Consider, you can configure to use the files available in Commons, Single User Logon has been delivered. The software is ready to export multiple Wikipedia articles into one PDF or you can export it to an education system ... Help us to do more this coming year.
Thanks,
          GerardM

Education

+ - Wikipedia's 2008 donation campaign kicks off-> 1

Submitted by
David Gerard
David Gerard writes "It's that time of year again: Wikipedia needs your money. The Wikimedia sites don't have ads — it all runs on donations. This year, the Wikimedia Foundation is hitting the theme that Wikipedia, the most popular Wikimedia site, is useful to you every day so deserves your support. The goal this time is six million dollars, which is approximately nothing to run a top 10 site (#8 on Alexa, #4 on ComScore). They're at almost $2 million so far. There's blog buttons and radio/podcast PSAs too. The site had its greatest traffic ever on election night, falling over for a short time under the strain."
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