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Submission + - A dark side of comedy: Wikipedia cleans up after John Oliver's fowl jokes (

The ed17 writes: Comedian John Oliver devoted Sunday's Last Week Tonight to the plight of chicken farmers in the US and the congressional representatives who are making their lives harder. Oliver called on his viewers to shame the representatives by calling them "chicken fuckers," noting that this label would "not come off a Wikipedia page easily." Suddenly, Wikipedia's volunteer editors had a major problem on their hands.

Submission + - Most popular Wikipedia articles of 2014 (

The ed17 writes: Wikipedia's 2014 page view statistics include several intriguing nuggets, chiefly that "this year's 25 most viewed articles together comprised 288.6 million views; last year's total was 350 million. That's a decrease of 18 percent." The gold medal winner is the Wikipedia article on Deaths in 2014, followed closely by Facebook. Ebola, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and Game of Thrones round out the top five.

Submission + - Thirteen Wikipedia editors sanctioned in mammoth GamerGate arbitration case (

The ed17 writes: The English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee has closed the colossal GamerGate arbitration case. One editor has been site-banned, while another twelve are subject to remedies ranging from admonishments to broad topic bans and suspended sitebans. Arbitrator Roger Davies told the Signpost that the case was complicated by its size and complexity, including 27 named parties and 41 editors presenting roughly 34,000 words worth of on-wiki evidence—a total that does not include email correspondence.

Submission + - WWII veteran honors shipmates through Wikipedia editing (

The ed17 writes: I was at my general quarter's station in the forward fire room when Mahan was rocked by the impact of the three Japanese suicide planes. We knew we'd been hit, of course, but we didn't know by what. ... On deck, there was an inferno of fire and explosions; the ship's superstructure had been reduced to rubble, and the forward magazine was exploding. While trying to get our bearings, the torpedo men were jettisoning Mahan's twelve torpedoes but were hard pressed to avoid hitting the sailors who had gone over the side. Some of us made our way through the debris to the fantail and took turns going over the side into the waters of Ormac Bay; I lost my loosely tied shoes.

Submission + - The next big step for Wikidata: forming a hub for researchers (

The ed17 writes: Wikidata, Wikimedia's free linked database that supplies Wikipedia and its sister projects, is gearing up to submit a grant application to the EU that would expand Wikidata's scope by developing it as a science hub. ... This proposal is significant because no other open collaborative project ... can connect the free databases in the world across disciplinary and linguistic boundaries. ...the project will be capable of providing a unique open service: for the first time, that will allow both citizens and professional scientists from any research or language community to integrate their databases into an open global structure, to publicly annotate, verify, criticise and improve the quality of available data, to define its limits, to contribute to the evolution of its ontology, and to make all this available to everyone, without any restrictions on use and reuse.

Submission + - Wikipedia's page view counts are off by nearly one-third (

The ed17 writes: A prominent Wikipedia researcher has discovered that Wikipedia's widely used article traffic statistics are missing out on approximately one-third of all views. Why? The Wikimedia Foundation's official article traffic data segregates desktop and mobile hits, and the hit counter linked from every Wikipedia page is only using the former.

This carries particularly large implications for the Global South, where far more individuals own web-capable mobile devices than computers.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Southwest Groundwater Disappearing at 'Shocking' Rate - Discovery News (

Southwest Groundwater Disappearing at 'Shocking' Rate
Discovery News
A ring of light-colored rock shows how much the water level has dropped at Nevada's Lake Mead. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Gallery. GlobalWarmingRightBeforeYourEyes:Photos. View Caption +. The effects of global warming are frequently projected...
Rigorous Climate Science Now Lying?American Thinker (blog)
Ignoring climate change could sink the US
Would Jesus Accept Climate Science?Huffington Post

all 16 news articles

Submission + - Dear museums: uploading your content to Wikimedia Commons just got easier (

The ed17 writes: Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) are now facing fewer barriers to uploading their content to Wikimedia Commons—the website that stores most of Wikipedia's images and videos. Previously, these institutions had to build customized scripts or be lucky enough to find a Wikimedia volunteer to do the work for them. According to the toolset's coordinator Liam Wyatt, "this is a giant leap forward in giving GLAMs the agency to share with Commons on their own terms."

Submission + - $10 million lawsuit against Wikipedia editors "stragetically" withdrawn ( 1

The ed17 writes: On the same day the Wikimedia Foundation announced it would offer assistance to English Wikipedia editors embroiled in a legal dispute with Yank Barry, the lawsuit has been dismissed without prejudice at the request of Barry's legal team—but this action is being described as "strategic" so that they can refile the lawsuit with a "new, more comprehensive complaint."

Leveraging always beats prototyping.