Jimmy Wales joins The People's Operator, looks to US launch

LONDON -- Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is joining The People's Operator, a UK-based mobile provider focused on raising money for charity, as co-chairman. The company plans to expand to more countries, with the US first on its list.

"I get a lot of pitches for a lot of things, which fall into two camps: they're either well meaning but unworkable, or workable but not that inspiring," Wales told CNET in a phone interview on Monday. "[TPO] has the potential to raise an enormous amount of money for good causes, and I can see how it … Read more

Wikipedia demands PR firm cease its paid-editing service

After shuttering hundreds of editing accounts, the organization that oversees Wikipedia has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a service linked to "suspicious editing" and suggested it might file a lawsuit to resolve the matter.

Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the online encyclopedia, announced last month that it had blocked or banned more than 250 editing accounts as part of an investigation into "suspicious edits and sockpuppetry" that promoted organizations or products. The action followed reports of a rise in paid edits linked to a service called Wiki-PR, which bills itself as "Wikipedia writers for hire." … Read more

Search Web, Wikipedia returned to Spotlight in iOS 7.0.3

Apple released an update to iOS 7 after it's iPad event on Tuesday. The update, iOS 7.0.3, fixed a long list of bugs and issues, including the random inability to send or receive messages using iMessage.

One feature listed in the changelog is the addition of the familiar Search feature previously found in Spotlight. When iOS 7 was first launched last month, the ability to search the Web or Wikipedia was surprisingly missing. With the release of iOS 7.0.3, users will be able to search from Spotlight once again.

As you already know, you can … Read more

Wikipedia shutters 250 accounts in probe of paid edits

Wikipedia has shut down more than 250 editing accounts as part of an investigation into "suspicious edits and sockpuppetry" that promoted organizations or products.

"It looks like a number of user accounts -- perhaps as many as several hundred -- may have been paid to write articles on Wikipedia promoting organizations or products," a clear violation of the site's policies, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner wrote in a blog post Monday. "As a result, Wikipedians aiming to protect the projects against non-neutral editing have blocked or banned more than 250 user accounts." … Read more

Smartphone apps to make you (Americans) smarter

Hey, America, have you got a second? We need to talk. It turns out we're not doing so well in literacy and math compared with most of the developed countries in the world. We also may not be as knowledgeable about our world as we think we are.

According to this article in the New York Times, a recent study out of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) puts the USA well behind most developed countries in the world in basic math skills, literacy, and working with technology.

Whether the problem is standardized testing, increasing poverty rates, … Read more

Improve your research efforts with WikiTube

As I can personally attest, one can lose hours of productivity to YouTube and Wikipedia. These two sites, however can provide a wealth of information for research purposes. If you agree with my assessment, then you might enjoy Chrome extension WikiTube, which embeds YouTube videos at the top of Wikipedia pages.

After installing the extension, the next time you open a Wikipedia page on a particular topic, you'll see a belt at the top of the page with three embedded YouTube videos. You can play the videos right from the Wikipedia page, which helps when you are embroiled in … Read more

Crave Ep. 133: Blood clot bot steers around your head

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While a guy plays the "Breaking Bad" theme song with gear you'd find in a meth lab, we surrender to the soothing sounds of Wikipedia as random people edit entries that get turned into audio. Also, get excited about the Ubi Interactive, which turns any surface into a touch screen. All that and much more on this week's Crave show. … Read more

Surrender to the soothing sounds of Wikipedia

What does Wikipedia sound like? That might seem like the opening line of a joke told at South by Southwest, but it's actually the basis of a new open-source project that turns Wikipedia edits into audio and animations.

Listen to Wikipedia mines data from Wikipedia's recent changes feed, turning additions into bells and subtractions into guitar strumming. The resulting audio, somewhat surprisingly, makes for the kind of soothing soundscape you might hear during a meditation class or massage. (NSFW if you want to stay awake.) The pitch changes according to the size of the edit. … Read more

Wikipedia rolls out editing tool for mobile devices

Wikipedia unveiled a new feature on Wednesday that lets users edit posts from their smartphones or tablets.

Instead of being authored by a select group of editors, the free online encyclopedia can be edited by anyone anywhere, and at any time. So, mobile integration will most likely streamline the editing process for many users.

"Have you ever looked up something quickly on Wikipedia on your phone, noticed a small mistake, and wished you could fix it on the spot?" Wikipedia mobile web software engineer Juliusz Gonera wrote in a blog post. "Now you can help keep Wikipedia … Read more

Windows 8 Wikipedia page vandalized

Every time I see a squirrel squashed, a house painted yellow, or a discarded condom on a sidewalk, I wonder what sort of human might have perpetrated such a deed.

Was it someone angry, someone merely tasteless, or someone who simply hasn't been educated in even the most basic elements of human decorum?

I found myself with somewhat similar feelings on discovering that a human being, or beings, took to the Wikipedia page for Microsoft's Windows 8 and attempted to pervert the course of truth.

For a random visit to this page revealed this notice from the Wikipedia … Read more