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Wikipedia Hits 300,000 Articles

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the tends-to-rock-rather-hard dept.

Media 507

Raul654 writes "Today Wikipedia reached the 300,000 article mark. Wikipedia is a 3-year-old non-profit project to build an encyclopedia using WikiWiki software. All text is licensed under the GFDL. It has everything that a traditional encyclopedia would, but also many things that would never get written about, such as Crushing by elephant and the GNU/Linux naming controversy. For size comparisons, the English Wikipedia has 90.1 million words across 300,000 articles, compared to Britannica's 55 million words across 85,000 articles. (All the languages combined together reach 790,000 articles.) For much of the first half of 2004, Wikipedia's growth has outstripped server capacity - however, the shortage of PHP/MySQL developers is probably the biggest long term problem facing the project. Slashdot had previously reported when Wikipedia reached the 200,000 mark."

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Congrats! (3, Informative)

dn15 (735502) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629859)

So this isn't very informative but I just wanted to say how much I like Wikipedia. I've used it countless times and I consider it an invaluable resources. I only wish more people knew about it. :)

Re:Congrats! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629876)

invaluable: having little or no value

isn't that kind of like irregardless

Re:Congrats! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629888)

Wrong [webster.com] .

Re:Congrats! (-1)

Weh (219305) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629953)

For some things it's good but for others I don't really trust it. Take for instance a word like Jihad, the definition may vary greatly from written by a muslim fundamentalist to an american redneck.

Re:Congrats! (2, Informative)

CurlyG (8268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630046)

I doubt anyone but your archetypal American redneck would argue much with the Wikipedia entry for 'Jihad' [wikipedia.org] . Read it, and you may even learn something yourself.

Random page (5, Interesting)

ag0ny (59629) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629966)

My browser's default page is set to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Randompage [wikipedia.org]

This shows a random Wikipedia page each time I open a new browser window. Often you can read about very interesting things.

Re:Random page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629987)

Awesome idea, thanks.

Re:Congrats! (5, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629997)

"So this isn't very informative but I just wanted to say how much I like Wikipedia."

Aparantly, the moderators disagree with you and mods you informative. Or rather, they agree with you and mod you... Or, they... agree, I mean disagree... with... or... AAAARGH! I sprained my brain!

Re:Congrats! (1)

canbaby (762328) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630073)

I just visit it the first time It's a goodplace.

Celebration! (3, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629864)

"Today Wikipedia reached the 300,000 article mark"

Whohoooo! Let's celebrate by slashdotting the site!

Re:Celebration! (4, Informative)

mandalayx (674042) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629915)

actually Wikipedia is busier than slashdot, according to Alexa [alexa.com] .

And for good reason. (disclaimer: I am a Wikipedia contributor.) Also recommend Wikitravel [wikitravel.org] .

Re:Celebration! (1)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629963)

Don't forget the wiktionary [wiktionary.org] , a much smaller wiki where it is easier to contribute.

Re:Celebration! (2, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629975)

"actually Wikipedia is busier than slashdot, according to Alexa."

Wow - I did not know that. So in the future I should cry "Whohooo - let's Wiki slashdot"?

Then again, I'm not sure I trust a gigant spyware manufacturer like Alexa - even if gathering people's surfing habits _IS_ their business...

Re:Celebration! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629999)

But you do trust a convicted child molester like Robert Malda.

You are truly an American.

Re:Celebration! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630044)

Hey isn't CmdrTaco also known by the name Robert Malda?
--The Joke-Crushing Troll.

Re: Celebration! (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630070)


> > actually Wikipedia is busier than slashdot, according to Alexa.

> Wow - I did not know that. So in the future I should cry "Whohooo - let's Wiki slashdot"?

I think the verb is "wikipee".

Re:Celebration! (2, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630022)

Chances are the typical Slashdot reader is less likely to have spyware installed then the typical wiki reader, rendering Alexa useless at best.

Re:Celebration! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630030)

Note that the Alexa statistic only counts traffic from Alexa toolbar users. Given the different, if overlapping, target demographics of Slashdot and Wikipedia, this result should not be identified with actual traffic.

300,000th first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629867)

did i win, daddy?

NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630013)

You have failed it massively and bring shame and disgrace to the family.

Funding? (5, Interesting)

Phoenixhunter (588958) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629870)

Has Wikipedia resolved its funding crisis, or will they be once again facing a shortfall in the near future?

Re:Funding? (5, Informative)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629918)

No they havent. Frequent shutdowns are there. The best way is to Make a donation [wikimediafoundation.org] . The amount of knowledge on Wikipedia dwarfs other encyclopedias.

Re:Funding? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629923)

It was temporarily resolved, but they have problems with maintaining funding stability in the long term. Here is the fundraising page [wikimediafoundation.org] which explains their financial situation (9k dollars -> not much) and is also the place to donate to Wikipedia [wikimediafoundation.org]

Almost all the money disappears immediately on servers to keep the online editing system going.

Re:Funding? (2, Interesting)

Repran (560270) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630040)

What is the reason why they do not use advertisments?

Slashdot (5, Funny)

Seft (659449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629871)

I'd also like to congratulate Slashdot on their 113692th article...

Re:Slashdot (4, Funny)

ledow (319597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629948)

113692nd, not "th", surely.

How to name numbers [wikipedia.org]

Size doesn't matters (5, Insightful)

PissingInTheWind (573929) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629873)

For size comparisons, the English Wikipedia has 90.1 million words across 300,000 articles, compared to Britannica's 55 million words across 85,000 articles.

Yes, but Britannica's 85,000 articles are credible and verified for accuracy, while some of Wikipedia's content should be questionned.

Wikipedia is still my favorite surfing destination to kill time.

Re:Size doesn't matters (5, Insightful)

managementboy (223451) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629939)

I am not trying to be an ass, but anything written by people you don't know should be questioned. I guess that is one of the first things one should learn in school.
I do also question Britannica's content as it was written by people years ago... here are some examples I can not check myself: Letters to Eb [zerbaijan.com]
On a happy note: Wikipedia allows you to correct "wrong" artikles... has anyone tried this with Britannica? (use pencil, that atleast can be rubbed out by the librarian)

Re:Size doesn't matters (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629960)

considering the rate of growth for wikipedia and the fact that it is edited by the very people who use it (as well as some very dedicated full time (unpaid "editors") i would say they are doing a pretty decent job of verification of facts, the cool thing is that as you are browsing the articles if you see something that you think is inaccurate you can say so right on the page itself (or on the comment page that is attached to each and every article on the site) I dont seee bribannica doing anything similar to that.

the difference is an Open Source, free (and free)(tm) reference that you can contribute to as a user, as compared to Closed Source (propriotary) copyright protected, expensive, reference who is written by a company who may or may not have a point of view to push of their own.

given the choices i would rather consider the Open Alternative as more credible considering any person ON EARTH who has knowledge on the subject is welcome to contribute to any given respective article, rather than put my faith in some Large company to get the "facts" strait on their own. but that is just me.

Re:Size doesn't matters (4, Interesting)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629965)

Not true. Britannica's articles are probably checked by a handful of editors. Wikipedia's articles can be (and some are) checked over by hundreds and theoretically an infinite number of people.

Re:Size doesn't matters (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630061)

>theoretically an infinite number of people

no, not at all. I hope the quality of your endorsement in no way reflects the quality of Wikipedia.

Re:Size doesn't matters (5, Insightful)

cgadd (65348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629995)

You should probably question some of Britannica's content too!

Britannica Errors [wikipedia.org]

Re:Size doesn't matters (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630003)

Yes, but Britannica's 85,000 articles are credible and verified for accuracy, while some of Wikipedia's content should be questionned.
That's a bloody understatement. There is nearly nothing in the way of verification on Wikipedia. It is all about who actually edits the article meaning it is all from memory. There are so many dud articles on Wikipedia it's not funny.

Re:Size doesn't matters (1)

xyvimur (268026) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630080)

I use Wikipedia very frequently to find the information I need. It's a really powerful combo when used properly with google. And so far I had not encountered poor articles on Wikipedia - sometimes only there were a bit incomplete ones, but still it's useful.

Wikipedia as a new mode of knowledge (5, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630031)

That's actually part of the fun of the Wikipedia. Not that the content should be questioned, but that it is, over and over again, by anyone willing to put the time in to participate. This may degrade the accuracy of the content in some ways, but it also gives the content an eternally organic quality that is perhaps more realistic than traditional encyclopedia. Real vandalism and overt factual error seems to be noticed and removed relatively quickly, and you can always look at the history of an entry if it has been recently vandalized. Questions about point of view tend to be more difficult, but what is amazing is the open and public attempt to negotiate and resolve those questions on the "discussion" page for each entry. Much of the discussion emphasizes the need for a "neutral point of view" -- a perspective most users agree is ultimately unattainable. And those discussions are archived. In a way it is superior to having a peer-reviewed final product that says what the encyclopedia referees decide the truth is -- instead you have an eternally in-process project at discovering the truth in an ongoing manner (and continuing to re-discover it). Of course you can't rely on an entry being accurate at any given time, but if you want to you can look at the history of an entry's revision and discussion to learn more, to read what might have been deleted, discover alternative points of view or pieces of information that were later removed, etc. It's a much more accurate depiction of "knowledge" than a normal (closed) encyclopedia, which pretends that the accumulation of knowledge is a completed project.

dev shortage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629874)

are they really that short on developers?
php and mysql are both free, with their respective manuals freely available online. i know it, a friend of mine knows it, and there are (i'm sure) many others. also, php is a scripting language, and it's not hard

Re:dev shortage (4, Insightful)

jarrettwold2002 (601633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629924)

The large assumption would be (and is), that PHP being a scripting language, is easy to develop for. It is to an extent. Anyone can make a quick message board. However, when you start scaling any scripting language, adding advanced features to your site it becomes difficult. Keeping current features functioning becomes a mind numbing task. You're already taking a hit on the interpreter, then you have to worry about code optimization, bandwidth and so on.. And this is simply designing a site from scratch. I have been unlucky and inherited old code, and have spent many hours pouring through obfuscation that should by all rights kill a person on reading it.

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, web developers have possibly the most thankless jobs in technology. We are usually vastly understaffed, underpaid. We are usually an odd mishmash of marketing, markup (html, et. all), graphic design, IT, database administrators, and developers in one package.

So, it's not hard to learn or to install. However, it's like any language (scripting or no). It has quirks, has plenty of poor developers and always too few good ones.

Re:dev shortage (1)

Tarantolato (760537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629962)

Should have used Ruby.

Goverment Funding (5, Interesting)

MacFury (659201) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629877)

I never understood why the government didn't fund more projects like this. They give away so much money...why not to these people?

If I ever get the time I'd love to compile an easy to use CD/DVD containing an entire copy of the current WikiPedia. Then you could make copies and give them away free at Libraries and such.

Re:Goverment Funding (1)

iswm (727826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629894)

That's really not very practical, since the wiki is always changing, and most, if not all libraries have computers with internet access available for public use people could just go to the website and always have up-tp-date information.

Re:Goverment Funding (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629905)

What's your grudge against Wikipedia? Why do you want to destroy it by giving it government funding?

Re:Goverment Funding (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629942)

have a look at
http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEH_Reference_m ater ials_grant_application

it's an application for a grant from a govt. agency.

Re:Goverment Funding (1)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629981)

They don't get kickbacks from projects which only give back to the commons. They only think short term and would rather get kickbacks from companies, and then kickback in the Senate and get rich.

Re:Goverment Funding (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630004)

actually, in the last few weeks a group of wikipedians began working on obtaining government grants. See: http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grants

Re:Goverment Funding (2, Interesting)

nusratt (751548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630033)

And after getting gov funding, just what do you think will happen, as soon as some politician's staff discovers something on the site which is publicly controversial or politically sensitive?

Wikipedia Interview (4, Interesting)

jarrettwold2002 (601633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629878)

I would think it would be interesting to do a slashdot interview with the Wikipedia folks...

As a developer (admittedly not spectacular), I'm always interested to see what the social, technological and general successes and failures have been. The slashdot interviews have rarely disappointed me in that.

Re:Wikipedia Interview (2, Informative)

presroi (657709) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630015)

Actually, there has been an interview years ago (/. seems to be an early adopter :))

here is the announcement [gnu.org] and here's the interview [slashdot.org] .

Well, It could be time for an update on what has happened within the last three years.

Goatse (4, Funny)

iswm (727826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629879)

And I'm proud to say I contributed to the goatse.cx article.

May his memory live on.

Re:Goatse (0)

NaDrew (561847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629931)

I contributed to the goatse.cx article.
Bless you.

Goatse? (0)

imag0 (605684) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629933)

[ And I'm proud to say I contributed to the goatse.cx article.]

Take that, Britannica!

Re:Goatse (3, Informative)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629988)

I'm proud to say I contributed to the goatse.cx article.

Don't be shy, post the link. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Goatse (0, Troll)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630006)

w00t? No link?

from the GNU/World departement (1)

virtualone (768392) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629889)

you mean of course not the naming controversy but instead the GNU/controversy.

Re:from the GNU/World departement (2, Informative)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629992)

I had a quick read of that article and the two sides can be summarised as: GNU/Linux: "Credit where credit is due please" and "Linux is inaccurately applied". Linux: "It's the term commonly used therefore we shouldn't change it". Have to admit Linus' quote did make him appear a right little shit.

Note the new features (2, Informative)

gangz (699851) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629890)

Definitely, the new look Wikipedia is wonderful to use.The latest news, the selected aniversaries and the did u know section were nice features thought by the folks there. Also the browse by section can be very handy. I have found Wikipedia's explaination on a wide range of topics very useful. It goes on to show how an open collaboration model can be made to produce wonderful results. And congratulations to the people at Wikipedia for achieving this landmark. I hope this prompts more people to contribute.

stack of 60's era encylopedia americana (5, Funny)

michaelbuddy (751237) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629893)

I miss my stack of 38 dusty encyclopedias my father forced me to use when I asked him a question back in gradeschool. That's where you score REAL knowledge. According to wikipedia, we've sinced landed on the MOON? Umm, I think not. Back to the books I think for some legitimate fact checking.

Re:stack of 60's era encylopedia americana (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629952)

Ahh, that reminds me of my youth spent reading New York City textbooks, where the Korean War just ended, a young singer named Elvis was just hitting the airwaves, and you could still take the 9 o'clock gyrocopter to Siam...

And of course, dont forget... (5, Interesting)

scrame (767779) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629896)

Their article on the slashdot trolling phenomena [wikipedia.org]

Re:And of course, dont forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629932)

Slashdot really does cause a flood of traffic to a site if they are slashdotted... I know first hand because my site www.linuxstolescocode.com [linuxstolescocode.com] got slashdotted a few months back and my hosting provider (www.ScottsdaleHosting.com [scottsdalehosting.com] ) gave me free bandwidth and hosting during this period and my site never went down, I was amazed! Would have hated to see the bill for the extra bandwidth, I guess I lucked out.

I still can't believe that slashdot can send so much traffic that it shuts sites down. I also love wikipedia, I use it at least twice a day.

Re:And of course, dont forget... (1)

Prowl (554277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629957)

and the first time i linked through to elephant story it had nothing but a link to GNAA. appears fixed now though

The real advantage is to Wikipedia is.... (3, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629899)

...not having that damn annoying Encyclopedia Britannica kid around.

The Parent Poster (4, Informative)

tarunthegreat2 (761545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629902)

should also have mentioned that Wikipedia has a whole article on Slashdot Subculture [wikipedia.org] where n00bs like me cut our teeth. Plus The Economist mentions Wikipedia as a successful example of Open Source in this already slash-dotted article [economist.com]

Re:The Parent Poster (1)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629984)

Patience, grasshopper.

Await the day when n00bs have 7 digit slashdot ID's and herald it loudly when it comes, with many postings of "back in MY day we only had $x and WE LIKED IT!"

Your time is soon, grasshopper, for surely as the sun sets, the lower digit ID's will wither and perish, like the springtime flower on a mountain slope come autumn.

Until then, work hard, post many n00b comments and await your awakening to true Karma:Excellent.

Re:The Parent Poster (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630009)

"...the lower digit ID's will wither and perish..."

hardly likely for they have root and grow gnarly :)

Difference between Wikipedia and journalism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowdog (154277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629903)

Remember that old advice about how you can understand how (in)accurate the media really is? Find a subject you know very well, and see how many mistakes they make when they cover it. When you realize that the media makes mistakes of that same magnitude on virtually every story they cover, not just on the stories in your topic... well, it's an eye opener.

Wikipedia, from that standpoint, is at the opposite end of the spectrum from traditional, commercial journalism. Its authors have all the time in the world to get things right, check facts, correct bad wording, improve clarity. The quality of the entries is generally astounding. And if anything is wrong with an entry, we readers can become writers and correct it ourselves! Very nice. Thanks, fellow Wikipedia contributors!

Re:Difference between Wikipedia and journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630029)

I'm going to have to disagree with you there.

For a start it is riddled with mistakes. Really it is. And bias. A Wiki doesn't automatically make everything good. It's only going to reflect who actually edits the article and what kinds of people dominate that process.

I've been watching Wikipedia since it started and I've given up on it by now. I've seen the same brickheaded malprocesses happen so many times you'll have a hard time convincing me it's a good idea. There is so much messed up there I don't even know where to begin on saying whats wrong with it.

Re:Difference between Wikipedia and journalism (2, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630060)


> Wikipedia, from that standpoint, is at the opposite end of the spectrum from traditional, commercial journalism. Its authors have all the time in the world to get things right, check facts, correct bad wording, improve clarity. The quality of the entries is generally astounding. And if anything is wrong with an entry, we readers can become writers and correct it ourselves!

And for the most part it works, but unfortunately - just like with the rest of the internet - there are plenty of 45540135 who can't resist inserting their racism, nationalism, religionism, or other fanatic ideology into various articles. Also pseudoscientific kooks who like to set up camp on their favorite article and continually combat all attempts to correct it.

Use with caution, especially on exotic topics where there aren't enough experts to keep up with the kooks. If it's something you really want to be informed on, look at the page history to see whether it is a battleground. If it looks like one person is continually undoing everything ten others are trying to do, be wary of that person's edits.

Re:Difference between Wikipedia and journalism (1)

Feztaa (633745) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630079)

WikiPedia is an awesome resource, but I've been wondering... what protects wikipedia from slashdot trolls? And how can we trust that the information in it is truly accurate and not just incorrect crap written by somebody with an agenda?

An amazing "encyclopedia" indeed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629909)

Crushing by elephant is fun, but what other dictionary has a huge article on worldwide contemporary pornography.... [wikipedia.org]

did you know: "Pornography in the United States tends to feature mostly blonde women with large breasts (usually augmented by breast implants) and buttocks and often with tattoos or body piercing. Men in pornography tend to be older and heavily muscled. American pornography movies often attempt to promote pornographic stars, and the boxes for video tapes tend to be extremely gaudy. Plot in pornographic movies is often minimal."

Its great to hava an encyclopedia you can quote from withoud worries of the BSA [wikipedia.org] knoking down your door. There is ofcourse a slightly cheaper alternative [everything2.net] . If you see EDB, dont panic!

Re:An amazing "encyclopedia" indeed (1)

pommiekiwifruit (570416) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630064)

Men in pornography tend to be older and heavily muscled.

As opposed to european gay porn, which takes the astonishingly different approach of having good-looking males in it. Well, some of the time anyway.

Re:An amazing "encyclopedia" indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630074)

and the boxes for video tapes tend to be extremely gaudy

That must be the dream job for a graphics artist - doing the cover art for porn videos and merchandised products.

GNAA ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629912)

Has anyone clicked on the elephant crushing link?

It's been h@x0red by the ph33rs0me l3370rz. I AM SCARED!

NO REALLY I AM!

100,000 articles in 6 months (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629916)

as mentioned the previous milestone of 200,000 articles was also talked about on slashdot aswell, and to me the interesting thing is the date, Mon Feb 02, in other words , 100,000 "articles" in 6 months,

(if my math is any good) thats over 550 articles per day and that number can only increase as more and more people find out about it (thus begin to contribute yet more articles on a regular basis).

Just goes to show how much we can get done when we work together on projects such as this.

BTW you can always chat with the brains behind the operation if you have any questions or comments, at irc.freenode.net #wikipedia ;)

to my friends at wikipedia i would just like to say, "Keep up the good work"

consider donating... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629917)

Looks like they can use a few donations:
http://wikimediafoundation.org/fundraising [wikimediafoundation.org]
(tax deductable too!)

what scares me (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629925)

is that I've actually read the 'crushing by elephant' article before now.
I was on a 'wiki-wander' (hit random page until you get something vaguely interesting, then follow any link that interests you in a new tab. It's easy to have a dozen tabs open. It's both fun & a fantastic way to increase your general knowledge) and that turned up. I don't remember how though.

DMCA Anyone (-1, Troll)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629927)

Considering that a load of Wikipedia articles are ripped from the encyclopedia Brittanica, and the fact that sooners or later Wikipedia will begin to encroach on Brittanicas businees, how long before Wikipedia gets sued for copyright theft. Either that of get battered by hoards of Brittanica salesmen hauling around fifty volumes and cheap plywood bookshelves.

You'd never know, maybe Encyclopedia Brittannica hold a copyright on 'A method of assembling articles containing information about concepts, entites and persons in an indexed linked form, using a computer'.

Remember no matter how obvious it is, if it uses a computer, you've got yourself a patent pal!

Re:DMCA Anyone (5, Informative)

Shalom (11335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629985)

The 1911 Britannica [wikipedia.org] , from which most of the articles you mention were "ripped," is in the public domain. And most of thos articles were used as starting points for people to work off, as intended. Knowledge has changed a bit since 1911 man.

Re:DMCA Anyone (1)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629990)

Mod parent down. He/she doesn't know what he/she is talking out. Nothing is ripped from Brittanica except some old 1911 Britannica whose copyright has now expired.

easely defeated.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630041)

ObsessiveMathsFreak wrote: You'd never know, maybe Encyclopedia Brittannica hold a copyright on 'A method of assembling articles containing information about concepts, entites and persons in an indexed linked form, using a computer'.

Mmmkay.. what about prior art?..

Big Deal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629936)

I wouldn't trust the validity of the content of a website that is allowed to be edited by everyone in the world. Do you know how many ill-intentioned people are out there adding erroneous content just to screw with the rest of us? Wikipedia is the internet equivalent of The National Enquirer.

Re:Big Deal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629955)

But you would trust just about anyone to download source code, make changes to it and resubmit it, and then make a whole Goddam OS out of it, eh Mr. Troll?

Re:Big Deal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630010)

Wikipedia is the internet equivalent of The National Enquirer.

Well it is PHP-based...

Re:Big Deal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630043)

Flamebait, sir.

Re:Big Deal! (3, Interesting)

gonzo_bozo (652898) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630017)

For each article, there are usually several people watching the edits by others and this is just increasing with time. Acts of vandalism even the subtle ones usually gets corrected quite fast. Vandals have no big motivation, they give up quickly. Watchers on the other hand are dogged.

This is one of the hidden beauty of Wikipedia.

Copyright (4, Interesting)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629949)

Since anybody can apparently edit an unprotected article, what would stop someone submitting copyrighted material in an update(which surely wouldn't be permitted to be licensed under the GFDL as Wikipedias content supposedly is)? I realise this can be a potential problem in all software, but it seems that it could be a far bigger problem for Wikipedia, particularly if someone else took content assuming it was licensed under the GFDL.

Re:Copyright (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629986)

New articles are routinely checked for copyright violation. There's a page that lists all new articles.

Re:Copyright (5, Informative)

MaelstromX (739241) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630007)

Actually, there is a system in place to combat this potential problem. This page [wikipedia.org] shows some of the recent instances of possible copyright infringement that will be fixed.

I personally was responsible for pointing out an entry that was copied wholesale from an author's (copyrighted) web page containing electronic versions of his work. I did so after I noticed some of the language was kind of suspect, and Googling some of the phrases found the copyrighted work.

With the massive amounts of traffic Wikipedia gets, and as a result more people like me reading the pages, this problem tends to fix itself rather quickly. The same goes for fears of massive vandalism -- it gets fixed very soon.

Watch the slashdot effect live (2, Interesting)

arnoroefs2000 (122990) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629950)

Combined live stats [wikimedia.org] , all wikimedia servers.

Wikipedia needs donations [wikimediafoundation.org] to stay alive.

Donations for Wikipedia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629968)

In regard to wikipedia needing donations, would they accept bandwidth as a donation? ScottsdaleHosting.com [scottsdalehosting.com] has donated bandwidth to me before. I am going to e-mail them and see if they are willing to help.

Hacked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629970)

Compare Google cache for the "Crushing by elephant" page with the "GNAA loves you" content that is currently displayed when you follow the link from this article...

Succesfull First Post (1)

duvel (173522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9629971)

For size comparisons, the English Wikipedia has 90.1 million words across 300,000 articles, compared to Britannica's 55 million words across 85,000 articles.

No article in there that says size doesn't matter?

They have lots of How-To's [wikipedia.org] (which I use al the time) but I couldn't find a 'How to First Post succesfully'-article yet (apparantly).

IPv6 agains slashdotting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9629972)

I guess IPv6 will eventually solve the biggest problem for such sites which is bandwidth. You just collect requests of the same page for a short time then broadcast the message with all the receivers IP nr. in the header.

Slashdotting would then be a good thing as requests for the same page would come at the same time and you can server thousands with just dozens of actual pages being broadcast.

Now if only all IPv4 providers would have IPv6 drop in points even the backbone would not see any increase if some static page is requested by many many users.

Browsers should get some smart caching though 'sorry this is just a small site, requests for downloading my page / shareware will be broadcast on the hour'. Everybody could serve!

Dennis SCP

Exactly how big is this thing? (4, Interesting)

DrFaustos25 (788264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630000)

Hrm. Excuse my newbishness, but would this thing fit on a DVD / set of DVD's easily? Would there be any problems collating it off the servers? It would kinda be cool to have the ability to browse this offline, and I could give copies to friends so that they don't waste their money on Encarta. It could also allow them to make a bit of a profit to get funds up. :-D

Click! Click! Click! (4, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630012)

What's that sound? It's hundreds of responsible wikipedians clicking `revert' to hold back the flood of slashdot trolls.


-Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]

WikiSites and WikiBusiness (1)

KrunZ (247479) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630014)

Anybody have some info about making magazines, special encyclopedias based on selection of articles from wikipedia.

In the comments above I saw WikiTravel. Any other examples, insider info or knowledge of sites used wikipedia to spin of other sites or businesses?

donation-based wikipedia (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9630020)

Please mod this up out of importance.

Please don't forget that Wikipedia is totally advertisement free and free information. In order to make this possible, you're donations are greatly needed. Please donate [wikimediafoundation.org] and help to keep this information free and available for all of us.

Wikibooks (4, Interesting)

ebusinessmedia1 (561777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630025)

In addition to the encyclopedia, be sure to check out the Wikibooks effort . Included within this is a beginning pilot high-school (K-12) World History project [wikibooks.org] Wikipedia World History Project [wikibooks.org] inspired by the California Open Source Textbook Project California Open Source Textbook Project [opensourcetext.org] (COSTP) and based on strict California State curriculum standards.

This project (COSTP/Wikibooks) invites anyone who is expert in World History to contribute. It's an important project because it will prove that a bona fide K-12 textbook *can* be created in open source - and most importantly, gain approval for use by the State Board of education, we would then be able to crack the costly commercial textbook business at the K-12 level.

COSTP has shown that you can have a *printed* textbook come out of open source at a 50% savings over commercial textbooks. California alone spends almost $400M for K-12 textbook in one year. Imagine how much $200M in savings would help California's money-strapped schools. Further, once other states get into the open content idea, many *billions* in savings could be realized.

It's very important that content contributors be willing to maintain strict adherence to the California State Education department Standards. This is the *only* way that a book like this will pass State Board of Education approval. if COSTP can get a few of these in the system, it will eventually open up for alternative histories, and other curriculum areas. Lastly, COSTP is devoted to bringing *printed* textbooks to the K-12 sector, worldwide, by spreading the meme that open content - created by knowledgeable peers, and based on local curriculum standards - can and should be used for basic education

I don't know about you guys... (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630032)

But I have fell in love with Wikipedia. Hell, I even have added it a info search sequence - first Google, then Wikipedia, sometimes Wikipedia goes first. It s i m p l y r o c k s!

Wikipedia's cabal (-1, Troll)

br00tus (528477) | more than 10 years ago | (#9630053)

Wikipedia is run by Jimbo Wales, who made most of his money in porn. He is also an Ayn Rand fanatic, running mailing lists devoted to her. The people who he gave admin privileges are of a similar ilk, one prominent one is a Moonie, and they work together.

As far as entries on this or that, Wikipedia may be fine. As far as articles about history, news, or politics, there is a very heavy American bias, in fact it is basically a white collar American's view of the world encyclopedia. For example, the entry for East Germany (before I came across it) East Germany [wikipedia.org] opened with: "East Germany, formally the German Democratic Republic (GDR), German Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR), was a Communist satellite state of the former Soviet Union which, together with West Germany, existed from 1949 to 1990 in Germany." One wonders why it would be said on the East Germany page that it was a "satellite state of the former Soviet Union" and someone of that point of view would not say that West Germany was a satellite state of the USA.

The admin cabal on Wikipedia are ideological fanatics and spend their time going down their ideological lists. They don't tolerate facts that do not conform to their perception of things. I should also note that the history of the world's countries almost all come from state department or CIA documents originally, which were then modified in Wikipedia. That gives you an idea of what this history is grounded in. Just something to keep in mind - Wikipedia has it's own slanted view of history and the world, there are other wiki's with different points of view, and more close to reality in my opinion.

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