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Comment no such thing as Wikimedia Foundation UK (Score 5, Informative) 154

There is no such thing as "Wikimedia Foundation UK". There is "Wikimedia UK" (officially "Wiki UK limited"). The Wikimedia Foundation is a US-based organization that runs the servers that host Wikipedia and handles the associated administrative and financial matters. Wikimedia UK is just a local users' organization, also known as a "chapter".

By writing "Wikimedia Foundation UK", the article writer seemed to imply that Roger Bamkin was a powerful person regarding the management of Wikipedia / Wikimedia sites. This is not the case.

Submission + - French lawmakers' personal info published... on Pa (expatica.com)

Submarine writes: "Some unknown individuals have published on Pastebin extensive lists of politicians from the UMP, the right-wing ruling party in France, including personal information such as number of children, cell phone numbers, personal emails, and so on for lawmakers and government ministers.

(Pastebin is a site usually used for copying'n'pasting snippets of code during collaborative development or debugging,)

According to a communiqué published on the hacking / collaborative journalism site Reflets.info, the file was obtained by exploiting an obvious SQL injection attack at a Web hosting company (website currently down).

In addition to the published information, the accessible databases also contained vast quantities of emails, logins and passwords, including lawmakers' credentials for accessing the private portal of the French National Assembly.

The crackers point to the fact that instead of publishing a relatively innocuous subset of the information they found, they could simply have published all informations, including credentials for access to official sites, sold it to foreign countries, or used the information to write emails in the name of lawmakers and members of the executive.

They explain their gesture by a desire to turn the tables on the UMP party, for having voted in favor of the creation of files on French citizens, and supporting an administration that has spied on journalists, beaten protesters, ignored and beaten asylum seekers, blamed social ills on Roma people, etc.

Lawmaker Muriel Marland-Militello, from the city of Nice, on the French Riviera, blames "cyber-idealists" for failing to see that the Internet can be used for negative actions as well as for good ones, points to (unspecified) attacks on children by pedophiles hundreds of kilometers away, and pushes a bill doubling the penalties for cracking a system if it is operated by the government or a public service."

Comment Wikipedia cites sources (Score 1) 391

One major difference between Wikipedia and most online media is that it cites sources (and enforces citation as a rule, though enforcement is somewhat haphazard).

It is way easier to check some information if you are given an authoritative source for it. If Wikipedia tells you that some lizard men killed JFK, but cites no source for it, or cites some not obviously reliable source (say, a political blog), then just ignore that information. If Wikipedia says that according to some report, JFK was killed by such or such person, then Wikipedia will give you a precise citation or even Web link to the report.

So, in short, you're wrong. Sorting things on Wikipedia is easy if you simply bother to look for the citation links.

True, Wikipedia often catches the lazy, or those that lack the habit of reading footnotes and bibliographies.

Comment AFP, AP, Reuters (Score 1) 391

AFP, AP, Reuters are not fail-proof. An agency (I think it was Reuters) once (mis)understood that Wikipedia was starting a search engine. This was a canard, and the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts Wikipedia, issued a communique about it.

Nevertheless, the news got copied everywhere, and is still occasionally presented as fact by journalists.

This shows the vulnerability of modern journalism - a lot of it is basically copied from earlier articles, and a single error in a highly-placed source (say, AFP, AP, Reuters, or major newspapers) can be copied to many places without anybody bothering to check facts.


Submission + - p2p a worse threat than incest (monniaux.free.fr)

Submarine writes: "A bill aimed at curbing illegal online file sharing was recently defeated in the French Parliament, apparently due to lack of enthusiasm from majority members of Parliament (the bill is not too popular). The entertainment industry however demanded that the bill be reexamined as soon as possible.

According to news site Rue89 (see summary in English, parliamentary friends of the government proposed de-scheduling the examination of a bill on incest in order to make room for the copyright bill.

Needless to say, associations of incest victims were not amused and deplored that raped children appeared to be less important than the profits of the entertainment industry.

A compromise was reached: both bills will be examined in a hurry.

This probably is a good example of what the real government priorities are...

(*) The incest bill, grossly summarized, would consider sex with one's minor children to be rape by definition, whereas, currently, the prosecution, in order has to obtain a rape conviction, has to show that sex was obtained by threats, surprise, or force."

The Internet

Submission + - Second Life sued in France for porn, gambling

Submarine writes: A (very) conservative French family union, Familles de France is sueing Second Life for making available to minors many things that should not be, including pornography, advertisements for tobacco and alcohol, and online gambling. The details of the lawsuit were not given in their communiqué ; it is conjectured that, if unsuccessful against Linden Lab, the maker of Second Life, they will seek injunctions against French ISPs, asking for blocks on the Second Life service. Familles de France was one of the groups pushing for the ill-written anti-happy slapping parliamentary amendment, and also for the "deontology commission" for Internet services ; it is also known for protesting against measures such as making it easier for minors to get contraceptive pills. Predictibly, the Odebi League is protesting.

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