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181 comments

No. No one remembers (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185198)

Google does so many things. It's hard to keep track of every little project they are involved in.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates money to causes like vaccination and school building in third world countries.

The impact of the Gates' money is immediate, but in the long run a well-funded knowledge base is much more effective at raising the standard of living worldwide. Again, Google upstages Microsoft. Is there anything they can't fail at?

Re:No. No one remembers (5, Insightful)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185248)

The impact of the Gates' money is immediate, but in the long run a well-funded knowledge base is much more effective at raising the standard of living worldwide. Again, Google upstages Microsoft. Is there anything they can't fail at?

No, Google donating $2 million to Wikipedia doesn't even come close to upstaging the enormous philanthropy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Re:No. No one remembers (-1, Troll)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185326)

Yeah right, because Gates does it out of their hearts... you're an idiot if you think that. They're just investing their money in vaccines and patenting everything.

Of course, Google donates because it has interest in Wikipedia to, they don't do it because they woke up the wrong way today.

Re:No. No one remembers (1, Troll)

cheftw (996831) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186110)

I came here to post what parent said, and subsequently got modded troll for.

Could someone please link the the list of views that qualify as troll?

Re:No. No one remembers (4, Insightful)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186268)

It's not the view. One could have said that "The gates foundation may not be as noble as they seem, as they have patents for the vaccines and financial stake in the selling of these drugs" and then provided links of proof. But when you start off your post with

"Yeah right, because Gates does it out of their hearts... you're an idiot if you think that."

you are effectively trolling. Common notes to look for - Lack of supporting information for the claims, calling other people names.

Re:No. No one remembers (2, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185362)

No, Google donating $2 million to Wikipedia doesn't even come close to upstaging the enormous philanthropy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Do you mean, giving poor countries some drugs but only if they agree to not produce any more domestically?

Re:No. No one remembers (-1, Troll)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185574)

You too also miss the entire point.

The Bill Gates foundation only gives the bare minimum of money required to be a charity and thus kill of taxes.

That bare minimum only goes to the people that have health concerns because they work for/live close at the companies that polute, in which the Bill Gates foundation holds stock, so it's buying off the guilt.

In the end when Billy is dead, all the money is supposed to go to charity, which is good, althought you can ask yourself of what use the money still is to a dead person; after your deatch you can't use it anyway...

And the charity only goes to plans people make to develop solutions. Any patent aquired that relates to whatever is being developped will come into Gates his hands because he paid for the investment.

Wost form of charity ever...

Re:No. No one remembers (4, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185660)

That bare minimum only goes to the people that have health concerns because they work for/live close at the companies that polute, in which the Bill Gates foundation holds stock, so it's buying off the guilt.

[citation needed]

As someone who works with a variety of nonprofits which receive funding from the Gates Foundation, I must say: you are either an idiot, a troll, or a person with remarkably bad skills at satire. Hard to tell. GF funds work all over the world in ways that have nothing to do with corporate proximity or pollution.

Re:No. No one remembers (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186034)

I think its a combination of several or all of those. Hard time reading his message, he is way off as Gates does not give the base minimum (100's of millions is a minimum)? Plus the fact that this idiot has to point out that someone 'misses' the point. Get over yourself and take some basic english classes to learn how to spell and form a complete sentence (and a complete thought woudl be nice as well).

Re:No. No one remembers (4, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186298)

As someone who works with a variety of nonprofits which receive funding from the Gates Foundation, I must say: you are either an idiot, a troll, or a person with remarkably bad skills at satire. Hard to tell. GF funds work all over the world in ways that have nothing to do with corporate proximity or pollution.

This is slashdot. Bill Gates could sacrifice himself saving a toddler from a burning building and most of the comments on the story would likely be to the effect that the reason the building burned down in the firstplace was the firehall down the street had a computer in it running Windows.

Re:No. No one remembers (2, Insightful)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186574)

This is the result when you have people who have a reputation for saying they are going to stop doing some bad thing only to be caught doing it time and again. It's the same as crying wolf. After a while, people who recall the reputation (embrace, extend, extinguish for just one example) will suspect the future motives for everything they do, even if it really is noble this time (and I'm not saying that it is, but I haven't found anything particularly damning). It really shouldn't be that surprising when people become suspicious of people who have shown such a history of underhanded tactics. Maybe they've really changed, but maybe we just haven't seen the full plan yet? It wouldn't be the first time, and that's the really sad part.

Re:No. No one remembers (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31186334)

Congratulations! You win the "Dumbass of the Day" award.

Re:No. No one remembers (1)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186324)

Please take the plunge and get added informative points by providing supporting information to this claim. Otherwise, your argument is non-existant.

Re:No. No one remembers (1)

robinstar1574 (1472559) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185558)

<quote>

<quote><p>The impact of the Gates' money is immediate, but in the long run a well-funded knowledge base is much more effective at raising the standard of living worldwide. Again, Google upstages Microsoft. Is there anything they can't fail at?</p></quote>

<p>No, Google donating $2 million to Wikipedia doesn't even come close to upstaging the enormous philanthropy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.</p></quote>

Its a simple case of evil verses evil.

Re:No. No one remembers (-1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185634)

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is sitting on billions, but only spends 3% of their endowment in a given year. If you looked at actual dollars handed out in a given year, I wouldn't be shocked if Google (and Google.org) hands out more cash than the Gates Foundation.

Here is the real kicker. Google is giving away their own money. The Gates Foundation has been asking others to give to them to hand out. The largest contributer to the Gates Foundation is Warren Buffet. The Gates are a very rich couple who want to steward other people's money, because their own isn't good enough.

There have been many well-researched in-depth pieces that suggest The Gates Foundation is doing more harm than good right now. When The Gates Foundation was pressed about it, they said they can't be bothered to research the firms they invest it.

Wait. They want to serve as stewards for BILLIONS of dollars, but can't be bothered to research where the money goes. Do they understand what it means to steward over money?

I don't say this as a conspiracy theorist, or someone who just wants to hate Bill Gates. But there are people who've linked Gates Foundation investments to Microsoft contracts and strong-armed deals. They're investing in firms that exploit poor workers in Africa, and pollute with heavy carcinogens in Africa.

Is it good that The Gates Foundation wants to send drugs and vaccinations to Africa? Yes. But note that they're doing so as they invest in those drug companies, and the same drug companies reciprocate with Microsoft-exclusive contracts. And many of those drug companies are being hit with ethics charges.

The LA Times ran piece after piece on this. Until it is clear that The Gates Foundation is doing more good than harm, I'm not sure we should be so quick to praise them, let alone donate money to them.

Re:No. No one remembers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185862)

[Citation Needed] :D

Re:No. No one remembers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185894)

but only spends 3% of their endowment in a given year
Do you suggest they spend it all in 1 year?

If you want a foundation that does good for a long time you find ways to invest the money so it continues to do good for a long time. They just started a couple of years ago. So they are feeling around how to spend money. Who are the real players etc....

They have struck me as people who find others who are capable of doing something then back them up. However, it is also semi pragmatic. If you go buy a database server you do not go buy MSSQL and Oracle. You buy one or the other.

At this point they are kind of floundering around without a proper goal. Do they need to better follow thru? Sounds like it. But I am sure they will learn that lesson the hard way.

Re:No. No one remembers (5, Informative)

Joe Decker (3806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186062)

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is sitting on billions, but only spends 3% of their endowment in a given year.

The correct number is more like twice that, and is typical of foundations that spend money based on endowments, the point of an endowment is to allow an organization to do work over an extended period of time, something impossible to do if you spend 50% of your money every year.

If you looked at actual dollars handed out in a given year, I wouldn't be shocked if Google (and Google.org) hands out more cash than the Gates Foundation.

2009 Gates Foundation: $3.8B: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2632188420090126 [reuters.com]

Google.org's entire charitable endowment is less than a third of that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google.org [wikipedia.org] .

It ain't even close, you're off by at least two orders of magnitude.

The Gates Foundation has been asking others to give to them to hand out. The largest contributer to the Gates Foundation is Warren Buffet.

[citation needed]

Gates' donation to the foundation is of a similar size to Buffet's, the tho had known each other for many years (play bridge together, I'm told). The Gates Foundation survived for many years with no other contributions, and I'm unaware of a single dollar that's come from any other source.

There have been many well-researched in-depth pieces that suggest The Gates Foundation is doing more harm than good right now.

[citation needed]

The LA Times 2007 piece questioning the Foundations never made that particular claim, it did raise a signficant issue in that direction though. Because endowments must invest the money they hope to use for work in the future, conflicts arise when those investments do harm. It's entirely fair to say that it's irreponsible not to look those costs.

Of course, if you read, say, the articles in the Times that discussed this, you almost certainly saw the article in the Times a few days later saying that the Gates Foundation had decided to reassess its investments for social responsiblity.

(I'd admit, by the way, that those questions can still be pretty complex. A few obvious corporations aside, most corporations do quite a number of things, many of them bad, many of them good. "How much?" can be a very challenging thing to quantify.

When The Gates Foundation was pressed about it, they said they can't be bothered to research the firms they invest it.

[citation needed]

But there are people who've linked Gates Foundation investments to Microsoft contracts and strong-armed deals.

[citation needed]

Until it is clear that The Gates Foundation is doing more good than harm, I'm not sure we should be so quick to praise them, let alone donate money to them.

Nobody is asking you to, in fact, can you point me at a place where it is possible to donate to the Gates Foundation? No, you can't, because they don't accept external donations in general. Show me the donate button on this page, and we'll talk:
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Pages/home.aspx [gatesfoundation.org]

Re:No. No one remembers (5, Informative)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186554)

Nobody is asking you to, in fact, can you point me at a place where it is possible to donate to the Gates Foundation? No, you can't, because they don't accept external donations in general.

Were one to advocate for the devil one might point out that every purchase of a PC which has ever come preinstalled with Windows due to Microsoft's per-processor licenses was and is an involuntary donation to the Gates Foundation.

Re:No. No one remembers (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186670)

I agree with the overall statements, and the OP obviously doesn't understand the purpose of an endowment, but what's the deal with all the [citation needed] stuff. This is /., not Wikipedia. People are allowed to wear tin-foil hats with out backing up their facts.

Re:No. No one remembers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31186622)

Your entire post is FUD and garbage.

Take your hate elsewhere.

Re:No. No one remembers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185798)

It's more like Google that gave the money, not one or two of their stockholders, when Microsoft gives money it's usually to "smooth" a little some deal, so keep Bill Gates out of this.

Re:No. No one remembers (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186468)

There's a difference between philanthropy and asset protection and avoiding taxes.

When you give $1 to a bum, that's philanthropy.

When you put billions into a charitable foundation, it's a simple scheme to avoid paying taxes.

Re:No. No one remembers (3, Insightful)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185300)

Wow. Trolling this took talent. Both are good causes, and I would say vaccinating a population so they can survive will do wonders for raising their standard of living. It is hard to build knowledge when you are dead.

Re:No. No one remembers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185320)

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates money to .. school building in third world countries.

... a well-funded knowledge base is much more effective at raising the standard of living worldwide.

Do you really think that Wikipedia is more essential to a well-funded knowledge base than schools? Oh I forgot, everything Google does is better than anything Bill Gates does.

Re:No. No one remembers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31186566)

Oh I forgot, everything Google does is better than anything Bill Gates does.

Bingo!

Re:No. No one remembers (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185444)

Again, Google upstages Microsoft.

Well, to be fair, that wasn't Microsoft, it was Bill Gates. Yes, he built his money from Microsoft but we need to wait and see what Larry and Sergey do with their cash when they hit Gates' age.

The impact of the Gates' money is immediate, but in the long run a well-funded knowledge base is much more effective at raising the standard of living worldwide.

Now you've gone and done it. Now you've put me in the very awkward position of defending William Gates. Recently the foundation committed $10 billion [news-medical.net] to Malaria Research and Development [gatesfoundation.org] . Not distribution and deployment but R&D. Technically this has no immediate effect but instead contributes to our "well-funded knowledge base" of vaccine development. It's entirely probable that the first world will benefit from $10 billion being dumped into any medical R&D. I'm not even going to get into the number of zeros that ten billion has compared to two million but I trust you to be able to discern between the significance.

I got my own problem with the Gates Foundation ... like who gets the money, where the money is spent and how American companies keep building their infrastructure off of it when you should probably be dumping it into the countries that you pledged to help.

Is there anything they [Google] can't fail at?

The summary lists Knol. Recently I watched Wave flounder. You're being disingenuous to claim that all Google touches is gold. Their advertising revenues support a lot of their endeavors similar to how Microsoft operating system stranglehold allowed them to elbow their way into hardware and gaming. Impressive? Yes. King Midas? No. Infallible? No.

Wave floundered? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185688)

Wave isn't even officially launched. It is also a protocol more than a service.

Let's not call Wave a flop just yet.

I think Google is sitting on a variety of different pieces that they haven't put together yet. I think they have the potential to put these pieces together and really changing the way people use the internet.

Re:No. No one remembers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31186094)

Google has their core cash cow but everything else seems half assed. Not everything, but knol, wave, buzz, base, orkut, etc. I understand, it's more fun to design and build new stuff, but epic failure. MS is similar, of course, but they are seem willing to dump money and resources into some of their half assed shit (zune, xbox)

Giving back (4, Insightful)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185208)

Google must get huge revenue from searches like $WHATEVER wikipedia

Re:Giving back (3, Funny)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185340)

Yep, their results are usually within the top ten and usually what I'm looking for.

Then again.

I don't see them donating to any of the free porn pages.

Google makes me feel lucky (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186652)

Try Googling "kind girls" and press "I'm feeling lucky"...

Who wouldn't love a 'suggest for Google Community Donation (tm)' button with that. :-)

Re:Giving back (2, Interesting)

buruonbrails (1247370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185482)

Google ranks Wikipedia very high in its search results, which bring enormous amount of traffic. Scaling and maintaining the infrastructure to deal with this traffic is the major part of Wikimedia Foundation's expenses. So, Google is in fact responsible for a huge chunk of Wikipedia's expenses, and it probably feels obligated to give Wikipedia some compensation for this.

Re:Giving back (0, Troll)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185572)

Probably not. Imagine trying to reinvent the wheel, every time someone changes a tread pattern? MS did a lot of that, and with the do no evil mantra, supporting Wikipedia while collecting revenue from searches is donoevil+catchrevenue = ftw

By supporting Wikipedia Google continues to catalog and index the world's information. When you add it up, it is just Google doing what Google said it would do, making alliances along the way to make it profitable.

Re:Giving back (1)

buruonbrails (1247370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185778)

Google is responsible to "keep Wikipedia running", so it won't collapse under Google's massive traffic. It's a symbiosis: Wikipedia needs Google for traffic and (to lesser extent) money, Google needs Wikipedia for the world's information. Besides, Google's engineers won't be happy tweaking their core ranking algorithms should Wikipedia suddenly disappear.

Re:Giving back (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186136)

A long time ago, some of the people behind Slashdot created Everything2 [everything2.com] , one of the first massively collaborative writing projects. Some people like myself used to write encyclopedic articles on E2, but they kind of trailed off as Wikipedia picked up steam following this Kuro5hin article [kuro5hin.org] , leaving people who wrote more subjective, opinionated articles and even fiction. Should Wikipedia disappear, would people flock back to E2?

Re:Giving back (2, Informative)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186194)

It's trivial for a website to disallow Google's crawlers if the traffic they bring is a problem. Google owes nothing to Wikipedia. This is a charitable donation and not a matter of obligation.

Also, websites disappear from the web every day. Google doesn't have to change their algorithms to accommodate this. Wikipedia is at the top of search results because they contain valuable textual content relevant to specific queries, and because people link to Wikipedia from their sites. The point of Google's algorithms is to be a hands-off approach to search ranking.

Re:Giving back (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185522)

Without doubt Google is making more money of off Wikipedia than Wikipedia is. 2 million dollar is pocket change.

Re:Giving back (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185600)

Yeah right.

1. Search for "$WHATEVER wikipedia" in google.
2. First result probably is wikipedia. You click on it
3. You are now on totally ads free site.
4. Profit?????

Traffic, sure, but not revenue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31186340)

Google makes no money off of those searches unless you search for "$WHATEVER wikipedia" and then click on a sponsored link (and not the Wikipedia page you were actually looking for.)

If you click through to the Wikipedia, or do a Feeling Lucky search, all Google gets out of the deal is a higher bandwidth bill.

eh... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185216)

...Google, please please please don't even think about offering to buy Wikimedia. I (and others that use their services) appreciate your donation, but it does make me a bit nervous...

Re:eh... (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185290)

How do you buy a charity?

how to buy a charity (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185518)

How to buy a charity: you buy its assets including goodwill, trademark rights/copyrights, and assume its contracts including employment agreements through a "novation agreement".

Such a sale/assumption requires the consent of the trustees of the charity. Since charities exist (ostensibly) for benevolent purposes rather than profit, you don't ever hear about such agreements, because they don't happen.

A bit background info... (2, Informative)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185780)

Nothing like that will happen. The Wikimedia Foundation has received large grants before (such as Omidyar's $2M grant [wikimediafoundation.org] ). WMF isn't a company you can just 'buy out'. It's a charitable 501(c)(3) organization that is controlled by the Board of Trustees [wikimediafoundation.org] , which is composed of 3 community-elected seats, 2 community-seats elected by chapters [wikimediafoundation.org] , a "Jimbo-seat" for the Wikipedia founder, and up to four "Specific expertise" seats elected by the board itself (source [wikimedia.org] ). Google could attempt to get a "Specific expertise" seat, but they can't do anything to significantly change the course of the foundation. Also, if they tried, there'd be a major outcry by the community (and perhaps a fork).

(To be fair, one should address the Omidyar case. Around the time Omidyar granted $2M, Matt Halprin, an Omidyar employee got a "Specific expertise" seat. There were of course conspiracy theories about Omidyar 'buying' a seat in the board. I've discussed this matter with one of the board members, and the result was something like this: Omidyar didn't 'buy' a seat, but in the grant negotiations, they became aware of Matt Halprin's expertise and realized of which value he'd be on the board.)

Re:eh... (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186072)

Its difficult to buy a non-profit. You cant just put in an offer. You pretty much have to convince the board to switch to a private system and hand over the organization as a sale. I doubt Jimbo can even do this. The result would be a massive migration away from the Googlepedia and its collapse.

The article explains it already (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185260)

As the article already states: there are "long-term motivations" at play here, (probably to soften its image) in preparation for some new project, as already mentioned with Firefox and Chrome.

As usual, since the article summary does not include this info which is easily found by reading the article, people will speculate here in the forums and end up rewriting the article themselves :D

May be (5, Interesting)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185264)

because Bing does http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Benefactors [wikimediafoundation.org]

Re:May be (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185582)

Well, Slashdot would have to post an article every day if they followed how much money Microsoft and the B&MGF donate.

Major news channels only feature them when they make donations in the order of billions of USD, but they donate, invest or grant smaller amounts quite often.

Nice list... but Anonymous also donated a lot (3, Funny)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185838)

...does that mean WikiMedia will also be classified as kiddie porn in Australia now?

Re:Nice list... but Anonymous also donated a lot (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186036)

...does that mean WikiMedia will also be classified as kiddie porn in Australia now?

Probably. Just think about it: knowledge porn is just a gateway drug to greater evils ... ;)

Already has been in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31186074)

But quickly corrected:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Watch_Foundation_and_Wikipedia

First Time Supported with *Cash* (1, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185338)

Google has kept Wikimedia afloat with gimmicked page rankings and search results for years.

Re:First Time Supported with *Cash* (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185480)

Gimmicked page rankings? They're by definition gimmicked. If they tried to do it without human intervention 99.99% of of the top 10 results would be porn and scams.

Re:First Time Supported with *Cash* (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185534)

"Gimmicked", how? It's not like there's not a huge amount of people linking to Wikipedia. I'm not sure how boosted search rankings and the corresponding increased traffic helps keep an ad-free site "afloat" either.

Re:First Time Supported with *Cash* (2, Insightful)

msantosn (1555417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185670)

What? This is what page rank is used for... Is the nature of Google, so having said that I wouldn't say that:

Google has kept Wikimedia afloat with gimmicked page rankings and search results for years.

Google hasn't done anything for them... except of course the 2 million dollars donation.

Re:First Time Supported with *Cash* (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185720)

How is Google sending Wikimedia traffic keeping them "afloat"? Every unpaid-for GET is an anchor, not a lifebelt.

Re:First Time Supported with *Cash* (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186188)

How is Google sending Wikimedia traffic keeping them "afloat"? Every unpaid-for GET is an anchor, not a lifebelt.

Not every unpaid-for GET is unpaid-for. Some readers pay for their GET with their time by becoming editors.

State of the Knol (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185344)

I had completely forgotten Knol existed until right now. I promptly did a quick search for a popular video game's title and was given this [google.com] .

Chilling the circuits is still not efficient if you are using more electricity to do it... But chilling the circuits in outer space could be done efficiently by using the cold environment of space itself to chill them...

It looks like they've basically reinvented Geocities.

Re:State of the Knol (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185384)

Meanwhile, a search for "mass spectrometry" gives me a page copied exactly from a mass spec manufacturer's web site. I can tell because Google helpfully flags the original site as "similar content" on the web. There's not much screening going on there!

Re:State of the Knol (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185504)

That was the point of Knol. You don't know if you can trust information unless you know who it's coming from. Then you know you can't trust it.

Re:State of the Knol (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186118)

Knol isn't meant to be a general encyclopedia but a database for articles. It isn't collaborative and only one author can edit it. That means you're relying on the authors reputation and authority. So unlike an encyclopedia, you can cite it. A number of Wikipedia pages link to reputable sources on Knol.

Re:State of the Knol (1)

iknowcss (937215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186636)

From the linked article:

If Millikan could neutralize the force of Gravity by opposing it with a simple Electromagnetic Force, then Gravity must be a simple Electromagnetic Force of Classical Physics.

Makes sense to me. I wish I was that smart :)

Wikileaks (1)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185354)

I'd be more impressed if Google would donate even $50-100.000 to Wikileaks - it brings almost as much good as Wikipedia. Not every benefit is directly visible.

Re:Wikileaks (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185496)

Especially considering Wikileaks is currently offline [wikileaks.org] and looking for financial support to continue paying the bills.

I was much mor generous. (0)

javipas (1086007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185388)

As I told on my Twitter account [twitter.com] ..., just a little quick math:

Google's revenues on Q409: $6,6 billion dollars. So $2 millions (0.000299% of that) wasted here and there don't seem much of a problem.

I was much more generous. My Q409 was well bellow that, and I donated $10. That's aprox 0.0024% of that revenues. 10 times more.

Re:I was much mor generous. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185622)

You were more of a fool to give Wikipedia anything and not get a thing in return.

Re:I was much mor generous. (2, Insightful)

HamburglerJones (1539661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185880)

How is access to a useful resource "not a thing in return"? I donated to Wikimedia too, because I appreciate what they have created and use it frequently.

What about Wikileaks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185410)

Google claims a commitment to freedom of information, yet Wikileaks languishes. Wikimedia was not faced with a shutdown due to lack of funds -- Wikileaks was.

In terms of bang for the buck, a fraction of what they gave to Wikimedia would have done much more "good" at Wikileaks.

everything2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185442)

I don't remember Knol, but I do remember everything2, Slashdot's failed attempt at a Wikipedia.

Re:everything2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185682)

everything2 is still awesome though... because it's not encyclopediac, it's just random user-generated content.

I scratched my balls, people are wondering why... (4, Insightful)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185460)

I mean this just isn't that much to them.

They probably mostly did it for publicity. And this article on Slashdot was probably $2 million worth of good press to them.

Remember, a lot of people on this site are avid technologists who are becoming suspicious of Google now over privacy and such things. But they are all going to have a geekgasm over this donation to Wikipedia.

H.264 License (1)

Fantom42 (174630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185462)

Maybe Google will buy the Firefox guys an H.264 license. I wonder if they would accept it.

Re:H.264 License (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185722)

Could Google just completely buy out whoever owns the H.264 patents?

Google would have to buy Apple (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186256)

Could Google just completely buy out whoever owns the H.264 patents?

Hell no. I don't think Google has the cash to buy a 51 percent stake in each of these companies [mpegla.com] . For one thing, Google (market cap 171 billion USD) would have to buy Apple (market cap 184 billion USD).

Re:Google would have to buy Apple (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186356)

I didn't say they had to buy every company who purchased a license. They'd have to buy the patent owner.

Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, etc. have a history of purchasing patent owners rather than attempting to license themselves from time to time.

If Google bought the patent owner, then Apple and everyone on that list would have to pay license fees to Google.

MPEG LA is a LLC, not a publicly traded corp. So I can't easily figure out with a quick search what the approximate net worth of the company is. But it might be a company that Google could purchase.

Re:H.264 License (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185726)

If they can redistribute it under the relevant open-source license (MPL, is it?), I'm sure they will. Otherwise, they'll probably not know what to do with it.

Re:H.264 License (1)

bflong (107195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186598)

It wouldn't matter. They still couldn't allow it to be redistributed. They would have to keep track of every Firefox download and pay a fee for each one. Nobody could include Firefox in any other download. Linux distros would have to fork it to strip the patented code out. Mozilla is making the right choice by pushing for an open video format instead of trying to find a 'workaround' for getting h.264 working. H.264 is a minefield and doesn't belong on an open and Free Internet.

it has many wondering why (2, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185486)

Well Google still is relatively a new company (at least as a company successful enough to be handing out millions to charity), I am sure they just never got around to it yet.
Big companies give money to charity and Wikimedia makes sense for Internet based companies like Google because they make the web so much more worth using.

New Google Company Motto.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185536)

do no ation

Cheaper than the alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185678)

It's in Googles interest to keep Wikipedia running strong. It gives them a massive, (mostly) reliable source of good information to stick at the top of a results page. If Wikipedia can't pay the bills, then MS and Google will have to fight over who is going to buy it and the inevitable PR disaster that would follow as users splintered, competitors emerged and we all lose something really wonderful. The problem is that Wikimedia could very easily become dependent on that kind of money. I think they should just have a single text ad on every page until they meet their monthly goal. Allow people who donate to turn them off. Tada!

So what? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31185870)

Its not like Google bought a controlling interest in wp, it was a donation. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

On the contrary (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186114)

Actually, as a long-time Wikipedia contributor I have mixed views on this. I think you underestimate the potential influence a large donor can have. Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects claim to have a neutral point of view. That view could be potentially influenced by major donors if they donate enough. In general, the Foundation has very little input into editing, but occasionally does step in, generally when there is some major legal reason or when a Foundation board member (such as Jim Wales) is asked by someone to look personally into something. Even when he's acting personally and not for the foundation, having Wales edit something is going to have an impact with the editors. Moreover, donations like this will give editors a personal feeling of gratitude towards Google which could impact the coverage in a favorable way even at a very subtle and not deliberate level. If Google decided that some newspaper was worth supporting that was going under and gave them 2 million dollars, we'd worry about what that did to journalistic integrity. This isn't that different. (Note incidentally that this is not the first time a major donation has raised this sort of worry. Earlier there was a large donation from one Richard Branson's organizations. Given his political views and political activities that one is arguably more of a concern about neutrality. But the issues are essentially identical).

Just to unlock Bill Gates wiki page (1)

RedTeflon (1695836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186106)

Google paid 2 million just so Wiki would unlock Bill Gates's page so Google can go back to defacing it for giggles. $$$ well spent

Probably a Waste (5, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186108)

The problem with giving to Wikimedia is that they have been so wasteful of the money they've been given. The move to the Bay Area is chief exhibit #1 - why move an organization whose whole purpose, mission, and asset is a web page to one of the most expensive real estate locations on earth?

I'm not the only one who thinks Wikimedia has more than enough money [kuro5hin.org] .

Why? Google is broken (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186166)

On popular topics, Google is only useful as interface to Wikipedia or IMDB or the like. Occasionally a few other links are useful, but most of the time they are "we have more information on widgets" with tons of ads.

On technical topics I just go directly to the place I know, like Wolfram.

Re:Why? Google is broken (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186250)

On popular topics, Google is only useful as interface to Wikipedia or IMDB or the like.

On any topic, Google's search engine is designed to be an interface to the rest of the web, not a source of its own.

Your complaint is like complaining that a car is useful only as a means of transportation.

Knol? Not exactly Wikipedia :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31186296)

Observe:
http://knol.google.com/k/macedonia-the-greek-kingdom-in-antiquity#

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Macedonia

why? (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31186596)

I just learned that Google earns 500m on typos alone. Wikipedia is full of typos (and incorrect 'facts', but that's another issue). The 2m is just a "thank you".

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