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Comment Re:It's hard to believe. (Score 2) 103

OP here.

An informative and considered contribution, for which I thank you.

But it [Wikipedia] isn't [reliable], not with the current editing policies. Something needs to be done.

I don't disagree with you - and I'm pretty careful to double-check Wikipedia stuff before relying on it. (I carry an archive with me currently comprising "37,276 items, totalling 56.2 GB" of peer-reviewed papers and books, for those months when I am at work and don't have more than a 9600bps Iridium link to the Internet, including the rest of my archive.)

However, having been signed up for Wikipedia's predecessor (in some senses - the line of descent is not simple), Nupedia, I wonder what your proposals for fixing the problems are. Other things have been tried, and the Wikipedia model, flawed though it is, has at least got copy out there.

Comment Re:It's hard to believe. (Score 1) 103

they just use it for metadata on locations

If that's the case, where did the screenshot of a "map pin" icon in the North Pacific come from. (Be careful if you allege image manipulation - El Reg has a .co.uk address which would mean that you're subject to UK libel law.) It's hard to see how that isn't using erroneous location data in some sense.

Comment Re:It's hard to believe. (Score 1) 103

and somehow screwed up prioritizing the most reliable sources first.

And this makes it better, how? That's a pretty fundamental fuck-up.

If you read the original article (OP here - yes, I did RTFA), M$ do make something like this excuse. But it is still bad practice to have quality of data that varies so drastically.

To me, it speaks of someone at a fairly senior level trying to get something done on the cheap (a screen-scraper was suggested up-thread). But even so, it beggars belief that they didn't already have good quality data for such a question, or that if they had better quality data, they didn't use it. Some really bad decision making there.

Comment Re: Not totally true (Score 1) 103

practically every porn shop with an 'arcade.'

The last time I saw one of those was in 1999, when I was eclipse-chasing on the Continent. I wonder if they could do enough business to justify the ground rent these days. I couldn't find any when I was last working in the Netherlands, but I didn't spend much time looking.

Comment Re:For those that didn't read TFA, esp in regards (Score 1) 112

I imagine that any association with the US Govt. could engender distrust in such matters these (post Snowden) days.

It might engender quantitatively more distrust than in pre-Snowden days, but probably not deeper distrust. The US government has been deeply distrusted by the rest of the world for a long time.

Submission + - Microsoft Bing uses Wikipedia (globally editable) data

RockDoctor writes: Though they're trying to minimise it, the recent relocation of Melbourne Australia to the ocean east of Japan in Microsoft's flagship mapping application is blamed on someone having flipped a sign in the latitude given for the city's Wikipedia page. Which may or may not be true. But the simple stupidity of using a globally-editable data source for feeding a mapping and navigation system is ... "awesome" is (for once) an appropriate word.

Well, it''s Bing, so at least no-one was actually using it.

Comment Re: Including this one? (Score 1) 346

but would it kill Microsoft to change the default behaviour to something more sensible (this can hadly be the only use case where this is an issue)

Science users with thousands of rows of data are a negligible market compared to beancounter-wannabes with a dozen (or maybe even up to 5 dozen) rows of data. So, to answer your question, yes it would kill Microsoft to change the default from behaviour that covers up common wannabe-beancounters errors.

Oh, the fuck-wittery of working round Excel v5 bugs like this to deal with combining hundreds of thousands of lines of data throughout the 1990s. And 2000s. And 2010s. And you an guess what I anticipate fucking with in the 2020s.

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