The Longest Now


Wikipedian forced to delete article by the French police
Tuesday April 30th 2013, 11:06 pm
Filed under: international,metrics,Not so popular,wikipedia

In France, a Wikipedia admin was sought out by France’s homeland intelligence agency, the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur brought physically to their offices, and forced to delete an article about a military base (which they claimed contained classified information) if he did not wish to be held overnight.

This sort of bullying tactic is one up with which we should not put. The issue later became a minor cause célèbre in the French press for a short time.



Wiki AuditCom : Yearly call for volunteers to help vet our books
Friday April 26th 2013, 3:28 pm
Filed under: international,knowledge,metrics,wikipedia

As noted last week by AuditCom chair Stu West.



_why not?
Friday April 26th 2013, 12:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

a periodic print-spool ur-manifesto



Wikipedians in Residence: Seven new positions open
Wednesday April 24th 2013, 11:44 pm
Filed under: poetic justice,popular demand,wikipedia

Gathered by the Generalist.



The Wikidata Revolution: enabling structured data love
Wednesday April 24th 2013, 4:00 pm
Filed under: international,knowledge,popular demand,Uncategorized,wikipedia

A year after its announcement as the first new Wikimedia project since 2006, Wikidata has now begun to serve the over 280 language versions of Wikipedia as a common source of structured data that can be used in more than 25 million articles of the free encyclopedia.

By providing Wikipedia editors with a central venue for their efforts to collect and vet such data, Wikidata leads to a higher level of consistency and quality in Wikipedia articles across the many language editions of the encyclopedia. Beyond Wikipedia, Wikidata’s universal, machine-readable knowledge database will be freely reusable by anyone, enabling numerous external applications.

Wikidata is a powerful tool for keeping information in Wikipedia current across all language versions. Before Wikidata, Wikipedians needed to manually update hundreds of Wikipedia language versions every time a famous person died or a country’s leader changed. With Wikidata, such new information, entered once, will automatically appear across all Wikipedia language versions. That makes life easier for editors and makes it easier for Wikipedia to stay current.” – Sue Gardner

The development of Wikidata began in March 2012, led by Wikimedia Deutschland, the German chapter of the Wikimedia movement. Since Wikidata.org went live on October 30, a growing community of around 3,000 active contributors started building its database of ‘items’ (e.g. things, people or concepts), first by collecting topics that are already the subject of Wikipedia articles in several languages. An item’s central page on Wikidata replaces the complex web of language links which previously connected these articles about the same topic in different Wikipedia versions. Wikidata’s collection of these items now numbers over 10 million. The community also began to enrich Wikidata’s database with factual statements about these topics (data like the mayor of a city, the ISBN of a book, the languages spoken in a country, etc.). This information has now become available for use on Wikipedia itself.

It is the goal of Wikidata to collect the world’s complex knowledge in a structured manner so that anybody can benefit from it.  Whether that’s readers of Wikipedia who are able to be up to date about certain facts or engineers who can use this data to create new products that improve the way we access knowledge.” – Denny Vrandečić, Wikidata project lead

The next phase of Wikidata will allow for the automatic creation of lists and charts based on the data in Wikidata. Wikimedia Deutschland will continue to support the project with an engineering team that is dedicated to Wikidata’s second year of development and maintenance.

Wikidata is operated by the Wikimedia Foundation and its fact database is published under a Creative Commons 0 public domain dedication. Funding of Wikidata’s initial development was provided by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence [AI]², the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Google, Inc.

More information available here:

Volunteers can get involved with Wikidata in many ways.  Some of the first applications demonstrating the potential of Wikidata applications, and as a platform:

  • The simia “tree of life” drawn from relations among biological species in Wikidata’s database
  • “GeneaWiki” generates a graph showing a person’s family relations as recorded in Wikidata.  See for example: the Bach family


Pope Francis is now Q450675 : In WikiData
Tuesday April 23rd 2013, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,popular demand,wikipedia

Wikidata, the newest Wikimedia Project, is now in very active development, and being used on all of the Wikipedias. Here for instance is the item record for Pope Francis:

Paus Fransiskus, Францыск, Папа Рымскі, পোপ ফ্রান্সিস, Pave Frans, Pápa Proinsias, Ferenc pápa, Popiežius Pranciškus, Francés I (papa), Ransisku (Tayta Papa), I. Franciscus, 方濟各 (教宗),



A Raw Interview: Ruslan Tsarni, uncle of the Boston bombers.
Friday April 19th 2013, 9:15 pm
Filed under: fly-by-wire,null

Update: Dzokhar was captured alive, around 20:30 EST, after hiding in a boat in a Watertown backyard.

@Boston_Police: CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.

This public interview from today with Ruslan Tsarni, uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers, is impressive. It seems to be from a conclave of media who turned up on his property; and highlights what the media look like as a herd without preptime, and what a family man looks like when stripped to his instinctive graces.

Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in. And ask for forgiveness, from the victims, from the injured, and from those who left, ask forgiveness from these people.”   Businessweek

Arrested Friday April 19, 20:40 EST



A Horrific Day in Boston – Death and Mayhem at the Marathon
Monday April 15th 2013, 10:33 pm
Filed under: indescribable,null

Today was a horrifying day for Boston – our annual celebration of pride, unity, and Spring put on hold for bombs and ambulances. My thoughts are with those who have been injured or killed.

We have these strange interplays of increased safety and increased risk at large public events – it seems to me there is more we could do to shift the equilibrium towards safety in numbers. Even in the face of anonymous attacks from a distance.

But today we mourn.



The Thing About Things – A Grandfather’s Ring; a new AFP earworm
Wednesday April 10th 2013, 6:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

With a beautiful backstory.

FAFP



Igal Koshevoy, Portland open source leader, has left the building
Wednesday April 10th 2013, 5:41 am
Filed under: indescribable,Seraphic

Life does not seem to have a monopoly on the attention of the gifted.

A brief commemoration, from a community in mourning.



One Weird Kernel Trick: from Zero to Stats Hero in only Twelve Days
Tuesday April 09th 2013, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,knowledge,meta,metrics,poetic justice

From the “too good to be true (but it is)” dept: OneWeirdKernelTrick.com

YanZhu



Open physics questions foreshadow future insight yet elude answers
Friday April 05th 2013, 6:16 pm
Filed under: ideonomy,knowledge,Uncategorized

See John Baez’s Open Questions in Physics.



Wikiphilia trumps party identity, says new PLoS study
Thursday April 04th 2013, 5:02 pm
Filed under: knowledge,Uncategorized,wikipedia

We haven’t resolved systemic biases yet, but this is one sign of the value of focusing on neutrality and a common goal:

Being ‘Wikipedian’ trumps party affiliation, study finds

The study results were discussed among researchers back in November.
the L.A.Times




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