Jun
24
2009

Year: 2009 Week: 26 Number: 109

Technical news

Request for help

  • [Spread the word!] – We are very happy with your readership, but the subscriber numbers are not really growing anymore.  Wikizine could use some more readers. Maybe are there users on your wiki who do not know about Wikizine? Talk about Wikizine, put a Wikizine banner on your user page or on a community page if approved. Thanks.

Foundation

Legal

  • [Plagiarism?] – There’s a report that some parts of Chris Anderson’s book “Free” were copied from various Wikipedia articles without attribution.  This news has been picked up by a few gossip blogs, but has not been confirmed as accurate.

Agenda

  • [SF: Mozilla] – Mozilla Labs is holding their monthly meetup at Mozilla’s new HQ in Mountain View Thursday (6/25) night.  The topic should be of interest to local SF Wikimedians (some members from the WMF office are going too).  Joseph Smarr, Chief Platform Architect at Plaxo, will talk about the “Open Social Web” initiative to put users back in control of who they know when using socially-enabled sites by using open data-sharing standards. He will be discussing the social web, the underlying protocols that make it possible, and the potential role for the browser to play in this world.
  • [WMAT] – Wikimedia Österreich (the Austrian chapter of the Foundation) will be holding its second Annual General Assembly on 26 June 2009 at 19:00 at the AKH-Hörsaal Medical Center in Vienna.  If you live in Austria, please attend!

Community

  • [Wikimedium #2] – Wikimedia Deutschland released its second “newspaper” aimed at (potential) sponsors, partners, friends and fans of Wikimedia, The new edition includes issues ‘around the world’ (from other Chapters), information about the recent conferences in Berlin (developers, board, and chapter meets), explanation of the Wikipedia structure, and a lot more.  The next edition is planned for September.  It’s definitely worth reading if you know German!
  • [New DVD (for Linux)] – Wikimedia CH (in collaboration with openZIM) has released a new edition of the German Wikipedia DVD on LinuxTag 2009. The DVD contains more than 900,000 German Wikipedia articles and a full text search index for phrasal search. The openZIM project develops a file format called “ZIM” to store hypertexts like Wikipedia, or other websites, with search indexes and images in the most efficient way. The data is highly compressed; the Wikipedia articles only take up 1.4 GB on the DVD.  A new edition of the Wikipedia DVD, in Spanish, is also planned for the Wikimania conference from August 26th to 28th of 2009 in Buenos Aires.
  • [Weather bot] – There’s a new bot for the Serbian Wikinews that posts and updates weather information for Serbia.  It is planned to increase this to the whole world and all Wikinewses, but help from bot operators is needed.  This has brought up questions on how best to incorporate it into the sites (with OpenStreetMaps? a new weather.wikizine.org?).
  • [PLWP New Main Page] – The Polish Wikipedia is trying to design a new main page (“Strona główna”) and is trying to solicit opinions and ideas on what the new one should look like.
  • [Vandalism survival] – A new study on Wikipedia attempts to determine the distribution of the length of time that vandalism remains on the English-language Wikipedia. This distribution is also known as the survival function for vandalism. The two primary results from this study are: (a) the median time to correction is down to four minutes, and (b) some subtle forms of vandalism still persist for months and even years.

Media

Stats

Other news

Did you know …

…. that some articles can make you feel stupid?

One of the articles on Wikipedia is about 1 car and 2 goats. And the probability of these goats and car to be behind a particular door.

If you have no problem to be disillusioned ….
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem

Quote

There is a theory which states that if anybody ever discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
— The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, almost all versions

Number of subscribers: 729 , Unique Visitors website last week: 192 , Editor(s): Casey, Walter , Thanks to: David Gerard, Eloquence, Nathan, Milos, Wiktoryn, John Vandenberg, Catrin, Brion, Petar Marjanovic, Signpost (fuzheado, Loren Cobb), Jay, MichaelSnow, Felipe Ortega
Special thanks to: The Wikipedia Signpost for publicity
Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org Website: http://www.wikizine.org , Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy,
validity and especially but not limited to, correct grammar and spelling. Satisfaction is not guaranteed. Wikizine.org is published by [[meta:user:Walter]]. Wikizine is a irregular publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time) Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html and also the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/ 

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Jun
17
2009

Year: 2009 Week: 29 Number: 108

Technical news

Request for help

Foundation

Legal

  • [Privacy violation?] – There was a bit of drama on the Foundation mailing lists when a KnowPrivacy study – a research project by the School of Information from University of California in Berkeley – hit the German media. It showed findings that Wikipedia, among many other websites, used “web bugs” like Google Analytics on its pages. Further investigation revealed this was triggered by content on vlswiki & huwiki. The former was added to confusion that it was a privacy violation and it turns out the Hungarian Wikipedia was just a false alarm (it was a private stats generator)

Agenda

Community

Media

Stats

Did you know …

… that Google has released a very handy tool for translating a Wikipedia article?

Google offers since long a free automatic translation service. Based on that Google Toolkit is released. You have a personal overview page, “a desk”, where you can upload text from files or websites.

For text from (the English) Wikipedia is there a special interface designed for translating Wikipedia content. The source text must be English, the target language options are limited but there is a fair collection.

The basic idea is that the toolkit will automatically translate the text for you and then you can make fixes to the text. Not only does this help you get the translations done but it also helps Google Translate to learn from your changes and become better and better. That translation in progress can be shared with other people so the can also work on it.

How good the automatic translation is will probably differ from language to language. Translations from English to Arabic should be fair because Google used that explicitly as in example in there press release.

This tool can make it very easy to translate an article from the huge English Wikipedia to one of the many small wiki’s in other languages. The toolkit may change the way Wikipedia grows in other languages. If used correctly. It can also be used to import a lot crappy new articles to a wiki.

Google Toolkit could also be useful for making translations of Wikizine, if one is interested in doing so.

Quote

“The automobile has practically reached the limit of its development” – Scientific American, 1909


Number of subscribers: 729 , Unique Visitors website last week: 128 , Editor(s): Casey, Walter , Corrector(s): Alex , Thanks to: Avatar, shimgray, Jay, Erik, Brianna, MZMcBride, Henriette, Werdna, Deniz , Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org , Website: http://www.wikizine.org , Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy,  validity and especially but not limited to,  correct grammar and spelling. Satisfaction is not guaranteed. Wikizine.org is published by [[meta:user:Walter]]. Wikizine is a irregular publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time) Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html  and also the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

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Jun
04
2009

Year: 2009 Week: 23 Number: 107

Technical news

Request for help

Proposals

Foundation

Community

Media

  • [ArbCom + Scientology] – The English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee (final level of dispute resolution) closed a 6-month long case involving the Church of Scientology articles.  This news was quickly picked up by the tech press and is making its way through the mainstream papers, with articles in many languages (including English, German, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Danish).
  • [nowiki comparison] – A Norwegian newspaper (VG, Verdens Gang) compared Wikipedia in Norsk (Bokmål) and Store Norske Leksikon. The latter encyclopedia is a large traditional paper lexicon transferred to a web portal, together with to other lexicons; one medical and health lexiconand one biographical lexicon.  The roundup focused on five different areas; history, culture, entertainment, society and politics, and sport. Wikipedia either won or tied in all categories.
  • [WMUK denied charity] – Wikimedia UK, the British chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, was recently denied charity status by HMRC (the organization that controls charity status in the UK).  The HMRC stating that production of an encyclopaedia is not a charitable purpose; the story was listed on the front page of Charity Finance, a charity-related news site.

Stats

Other news

  • [Open Source City] – The Vancouver (in British Columbia, Canada) city council has stated it will try to make its data open and accessible to everyone (when possible), opting for open standards and considering open source software when replacing existing applications.
  • [OSM Italy] – The first conference of the Italian Open Street Map (OSM) will be held in Trento, Italy between June 5 and 6.  The OSM software will be integrated into Wikimedia sites and Wikimedia Italia is also sponsoring this conference.
  • [WMDE: Job] – Wikimedia Deutschland, the German chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, is currently hiring a new Executive Director/Geschäftsführer.  Applications are being accepted until June 13.

Quote

“I confess that in 1901 I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years. Two years later we ourselves made flights. This demonstration of my impotence as a prophet gave me such a shock that ever since I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions.”

— Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer, speech to the Aero Club of France, 1908

Number of subscribers: 728 , Unique Visitors website last week: 142 , Editor(s): Casey, Sj, Alex, Walter
Thanks to: Shipmaster, Kat, Ec, Frieda, John at Darkstar, Brianmc, Mpeel, Aude (Signpost), Phoebe, Avatar/Angela  , Contact: reply or http://report.wikizine.org , Website: http://www.wikizine.org ,
Wikizine.org makes no guarantee of accuracy, validity and especially but not limited to,
correct grammar and spelling. Satisfaction is not guaranteed. Wikizine.org is published by [[meta:user:Walter]].
Wikizine is a irregular publication as long as there is noteworthy news (and time) Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html and also the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/  

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