Mar
14
2007

Year: 2007 Week: 11 Number: 64

Technical news
Foundation
  • [Wikimania 2007] – Registration is open for Wikimania 2007, which will be held from 3-5 August in Taipei, Taiwan. A 3-day ticket costs 40$US. You can also register for the Hacking Days and "Citizen Journalism Unconference". Registration for sleeping arrangements are also open; the fee is 20$US if you register now, and the number of beds is limited. The Wikimedia Foundation is also offering some scholarships for Wikimania.
Community
  • [Usurpation] – 'Usurpation' is a new Wikipedia jargon term whose real meaning is to seize something by force. It is used on the English Wikipedia to refer to the process of changing the username of an inactive user so that the username becomes available for registration or can be assigned to another user. This is not a new function; it has existed for as long as renaming users was possible. However, it may not have been very well known until now.
  • [Torrent] – The "Picture of the Year 2006 archive" containing the best photographs that Wikimedia Commons has to offer from the year 2006 are now available as a torrent download (321 pictures, 526MB).
  • [Bias] – A company active in selling worthless college degrees was not happy about the article about their business. They have published a job offer for a watchdog to follow the article and remove negative content about them. Although it is not uncommon for a company to edit their own article in this way, offering a paid job as a professional bias-pusher is new.
Media
Stats
Other news
  • [MediaWiki book] – A new book by Mizanur Rahman about MediaWiki will soon be released. It is a technical book for MediaWiki administrators. If you pre-order, you get a discount and free shipping (for some reason, it is cheaper when you use US dollars as currency).
  • [Doc] – A real documentary about Wikipedia is in production. The people involved have already made a documentary about craigslist.org, a popular website in the United States, and a movie about graffiti in San Francisco. The producers are accepting donations to pay for the production. Donors of at least $50 are included in the credits in the movie on DVD when it is ready. The documentary is scheduled to be released in 2008. Their website contains preview video clips.
  • [Stella Artois] – An advertisement bureau working for InBev, the world's largest brewery company, has used Wikipedia in their online campaign for their beer brand "Stella Artois" for the Belgian market. They replaced the text of the article about "Stella Artois" in the French- and Dutch-language Wikipedia with their own fictional history of the beer. Their version is permalinked on the official website of Stella Artois as "proof" for the fictional history used in a publicity campaign.
Did you know …
… that it is possible for non-sysop to semi-protect a page?

This method is based on last week's "did you know" about protecting unborn articles (see link below). If you "transclude" pages you would like to protect (including them as templates) on a page that is semi-protected with the 'cascading protection' option enabled, they will be automatically protected from edits by non-sysops.

Because the semi-protected page can be edited by almost all users, most editors can protected pages.

For example, make a page like [[Wikipedia:Non-sysop protected pages]], with semi-protection and cascading protection. An editor adds the "Foobar" article with '{{:Foobar}}'. The article [[Foobar]] is now fully protected (not only semi-protected, as would be expected).

When this system is used, the semi-protected page (in the example, [[Wikipedia:Non-sysop protected pages]]) will become very large if many pages are included in it.

This type of protection is not listed in the block logs, and this behaviour may change in the future. Although it is probably not a good idea to use this system, at least now you know that it is possible.

http://en.wikizine.org/2007/03/year-2007-week-10-number-63.html — last week's "did you know"

Quote

 

Some people put a lot of work into their lawn, as if a patch of green grass was the most important thing in the world. As if they thought that as long as the lawn out front was green and mowed and beautiful, it wouldn't matter at all what was going on inside of the house. — Character Allie Keys / science fiction miniserie "Taken"

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