Wikipedia Celebrates its 15th birthday –
If you want a modern wonder of the internet, look no further than Wikipedia, which turns 15 years old today. It’s gigantic (more than five million articles in English alone), and gigantically useful for those seeking a grounding in any topic. It has illustrated how the internet and the power of the crowd can disrupt established businesses: both the book-based Encyclopaedia Britannica and Microsoft’s CD-based Encarta fell before the onslaught of a simple collaborative document that anyone could edit and enhance. Even Google failed with its rival, launched in 2008 and killed amid indifference in 2012. It even has a creation myth; people think it was the effort of Jimmy Wales alone, but in fact he and Larry Sanger (an “internet project developer” – thanks, Wikipedia) were working on the idea of an online encyclopedia called Nupedia, which began in 1999. [Daily Telegraph] [This web site is a supporter of Wikipedia] Jimmy Wales
Video of the Day –
22×22 rubik’s cube World Record
List of the Day
15 amazing things since the idea of Wikipedia was launched to the world on January 15, 2001. [Wikipedia]
Millions of people have gathered all this knowledge by working together from everywhere around the world.
It was held at the Göttingen University Library in Germany.
Behind the scenes, bots do some of the repetitive jobs so that volunteers don’t have to.
There are almost 2,000 bots approved for use on the English Wikipedia alone, and they even have names. PhotoCatBot helps people find articles that need images.
Wikipedia became one of the top 10 websites in the world in 2007.
It’s the only non-profit anywhere near the top.
People who work on Wikipedia are called “Wikipedians”.
Building the world’s largest database of information with people from all over can be challenging. Wikipedians write rules, guidelines and essays to help other people understand being a Wikipedian. “No angry mastodons” suggests that you shouldn’t edit when you’re hungry or intoxicated.
The first photo ever uploaded to Commons was a pair of quail.
…while this scan of the world’s first photograph uploaded to Wikimedia Commons is entirely inscrutable. Speaking of birds and photos, there is such a thing as pigeon photography: “A homing pigeon was fitted with an aluminium breast harness to which a lightweight time-delayed miniature camera could be attached.” (There was even a stamp for pigeon mail. It’s adorable and shaped like a triangle.)
It simply said, “A dog by which all others are measured.” The English Wikipedia page for poodleis now more than 5,000 words, and includes the many names that people have invented for poodles crossed with other dog breeds: Labradoodle, Poochon, Cockapoo, Spoodle, Maltipoo, Goldendoodle, Schnoodle, Pekapoos, Cavapoo, and Bernedoodle.
Wikipedia helps keep the Internet open and free.
In 2012, the Wikipedia communities blacked out the site to protest SOPA.
“Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory were able to make extremely accurate forecasts about the spread of dengue fever in Brazil and flu in the U.S., Japan, Poland and Thailand by examining three years’ worth of Wikipedia search data.”
Gunmen armed with heavy weapons attack a restaurant called Cappuccino and the Splendid Hotel, taking hostages, in the heart of Burkino Faso‘s capital, Ouagadougou. At least 20 people are reportedly killed. (BBC)(The Guardian)
Three men are arrested in the outskirts of Jakarta in connection with the attacks. Police have identified the attackers killed in the raid with two of the men having been imprisoned for terrorism related offences. (AP via Newser)