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Wikipedia

+ - Wikipedia Is Nearing Completion 5

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Rebecca J. Rosen writes that it may seem impossible for an encyclopedia of everything to ever near completion, but at least for the major articles on topics like big wars, important historical figures, central scientific concepts, the English-language Wikipedia is pretty well filled out. "After an encyclopedia reaches 100,000 articles, the pool of good material shrinks. By the time one million articles are written, it must tax ingenuity to think of something new. Wikipedia," writes historian and Wikipedia editor Richard Jensen, "passed the four-million-article mark in summer 2012." With the exciting work over, editors are losing interest. In the spring of 2012, 3,300 editors contributed more than 100 edits per month each — that's a 31 percent drop from spring of 2007, when that number was 4,800. For example, take a look at the Wikipedia article for the War of 1812 which runs 14,000 words cobbled together by 3,000 editors. Today, the War of 1812 page has many more readers than it did in 2008 — 623,000 compared with 434,000 — but the number who make a change has dropped precipitously, from 256 to just 28. Of those original 256, just one remains active. The reason, Jensen believes, is that the article already has had so many edits, there is just not that much to do. Jensen says that Wikipedia should now devote more resources toward getting editors access to higher-quality scholarship (in private databases like JSTOR), admission to military-history conferences, and maybe even training in the field of historiography, so that they could bring the articles up to a more polished, professional standard. "Wikipedia is now a mature reference work with a stable organizational structure and a well-established reputation. The problem is that it is not mature in a scholarly sense (PDF).""
Mars

Rover Finds Ancient Streambed On Martian Surface 180

Posted by samzenpus
from the low-flow-planet dept.
sighted writes "NASA reports that its Curiosity rover mission has found evidence that a stream once ran vigorously — and for a sustained amount of time — across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is, of course, earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but NASA says this evidence, images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels, is the first of its kind."

Comment: Re:Reason? GNOME3 (Score 1) 535

by rfugger (#40806515) Attached to: GNOME: Staring Into the Abyss

I tried for a while to find a way to have a CPU and Network monitor like you could have it docked on a panel in gnome 2 but finally gave up.

https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/120/system-monitor/

I also often use more than one terminal window, but when you click on the terminal icon in the apps list, it just takes you back to the terminal you already have open.

Ctrl-Shift-n from terminal opens a new window. Ctrl-Shift-t opens a new tab, which I prefer.

For vitual desktops, I personally prefer a fixed layout... email and web browser in upper left, work vitrual computer in lower left, etc. The ever-changing dynamic list doesn't work well for me.

There ought to be an extension for this... (One thing that bugs me about Gnome is there is so much potential in the extensions, but no one is writing them!)

The worst is that I can't get it to behave right with my laptop and external monitor. Laptops today come with shitty short screens, so when I work at home, I keep the lid closed and just use my external monitor. Gnome3 can't seem to grasp this and always assumes the laptop's monitor is the primary monitor, so I can't reach the widgets, menus, etc. Sure, I can muck with the display settings to fix it during a session, but I have to do it all over again if I reboot or need to open the lid for some reason.

From http://rainhilltrials.blogspot.ca/2011/09/changing-primary-display-in-gnome-3.html:

You just have to edit the file: ~/.config/monitors.xml

(Notice that this it's a "personal" config, so you have to do this inside of every acount you like this behaviour... That's why the ~/ wich means "my personal home dir").

where you can see an XML text detailing all displays configurations. Each one have a "primary" config line like this:

yes

Just put "yes" wherever you like to be your primary display and "no" in the other one(s)...

Media

Should Journalists Embrace Jargon? 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the use-your-words dept.
ananyo writes "In an opinion piece for Nature, science writer Trevor Quirk argues that researchers use jargon to 'capture the complexity and specificity of scientific concepts.' Avoiding jargon might mean that a piece ends up easier to read, but explaining a jargon term using everyday language 'does not present the whole truth,' he says. 'I find it troubling that the same antipathy that some writers express towards jargon has taken root in the public's general attitude towards erudite language. I submit that this is no coincidence. People seem to resent not just specialized language, but any language that requires a large degree of labour to understand, appreciate and use,' he writes. 'The world increases in complexity every day, and we should not let shrink our capacity to describe it.'"
Security

Ask Slashdot: What's Holding Up Single Sign-On? 446

Posted by timothy
from the 2012-edition-but-ask-again-next-year dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Like most web users these days, I have enough accounts on enough websites – most of which have *inconsistent* password syntax restrictions — that when I need to log into a site I don't visit very often, I now basically just hit the "Forgot Password" button immediately. Microsoft's "Passport" gave us the promise of a single web sign-on. What happened to that idea? Why hasn't some bright spark (or ubiquitous web corporation) already made a fortune standardizing on one? I can now buy my coffee with my phone. Why do I have to still scratch my passwords on the underside of my desk?"
Image

Controlled Quantum Levitation Used To Build Wipeout Track 162 Screenshot-sm

Posted by timothy
from the why-youtube-exists dept.
First time accepted submitter gentryx writes "Researchers at the Japan Institute of Science and Technology have build a miniature Wipeout track (YouTube video) using high temperature superconductors and quantum levitation. Right now this is fundamental research, but in the future large scale transportation systems could be built with technology akin to this. I have a different vision: let Nintendo sell this as an accessory for the Wii U. I'd buy several of these tracks, let the gliders race through the whole house and track them on our TV!" Update: 01/05 22:08 GMT by S : As many readers have pointed out, this is CGI.

Comment: End-to-end encryption? (Score 1) 138

by rfugger (#35914776) Attached to: Wardrivers Target Seattle Businesses
Why aren't the connections with card processors encrypted end-to-end with SSL/TLS? Then the wifi security, which is outside the card processors' hands, would be irrelevant, and the card numbers would not be exposed to internet routers either. This is the responsibility of the card processors IMO. Everyone knows you don't send credit card numbers over the internet without TLS.

Comment: Android is not threatened (Score 1) 292

by rfugger (#35521490) Attached to: Does Android Have a Linux Copyright Problem?
Sure, there may be some grey areas as to exactly when copyright applies and the GPL comes into effect. But the real risk Android takes by operating in this area is that the copyright holders themselves will feel violated enough by their actions that they will spend the time and money to sue you with no clear-cut probability of winning. Are any Linux copyright holders feeling that violated by the Apache-licensed Android? Do they have enough resources to take on Google over a legal grey area?

Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce

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