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Jeopardy! Whiz Becomes Encarta Spokesman

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the riddle-me-this dept.

Microsoft 339

Ant writes "BetaNews' story says Microsoft tapped Jeopardy! king Ken Jennings, who recently finished his 75-game run on the show, to become the spokesman for its Encarta product line. Jennings will embark on a nationwide media tour called 'Quiz the Whiz' that challenges news desks to stump the human encyclopedia with questions from Microsoft's Encarta Reference Library Premium 2005."

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In Case It Be Dotted (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11013902)


Jeopardy! Whiz Becomes Encarta Spokesman
By Nate Mook, BetaNews
December 6, 2004, 11:00 AM

Microsoft has tapped Jeopardy! king Ken Jennings, who recently finished his 75-game run on the show, to become the spokesman for its Encarta product line. Jennings will embark on a nationwide media tour called "Quiz the Whiz" that challenges news desks to stump the human encyclopedia with questions from Microsoft's Encarta Reference Library Premium 2005.

Jennings broke the game show record books this year and attracted a cult following by answering 2,700 Jeopardy! questions and raking in over $2.5 million in winnings. Before he takes off to Europe with his family next summer, Jennings hopes to pass on some of his passion for learning.

"It seems like a natural fit: Encarta has a long-standing commitment to furthering education, and I've had a lot of kids tell me that watching me on "Jeopardy!" has made reading and learning seem just a little cooler," Jennings told Microsoft in an interview.

Jennings also warned against relying solely on the Internet for researching information. "The Internet can be an incredible resource, but the scary thing is you never know what's out there or whether the answer you will find will be accurate. In fact, out of curiosity I searched for myself once and turned up all sorts of erroneous information," he said. "One seemingly reputable and authoritative page even had my name wrong!"

Ironically, Microsoft also mixed up his name in the interview, referring to the trivia whiz as "Jenkins."

Re:In Case It Be Dotted (1)

Fred Freddy (695468) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014047)

What Microsoft asked him to say: "The Internet can be an incredible resource, but the scary thing is you never know what's out there or whether the answer you will find will be accurate. That's why I use Microsoft's Trusted Computing technology to make sure that my answers are always correct."

Re:In Case It Be Dotted (5, Funny)

marktaw.com (816752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014100)

answering 2,700 Jeopardy! questions
Don't they mean "questioning 2,700 Jeopardy! answers" ???

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11013903)

classy!

www.giraffecycle.com

Submitter, you're a RAT BASTARD!!! (1)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013906)

I didn't get to see that episode where Ken loses yet on my TiVo...

Thanks for RUINING the whole damn thing!!!!!!!!

OMG i'm pissed

Jeopardy (1, Funny)

The_Moo_Cow (25939) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013907)

what do you call the first feedback comment on Slashdot ?

Re:Jeopardy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014002)

that isnt even in the right format douche bag

Re:Jeopardy (1)

fishmasta (827305) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014063)

What is Frits P0TS!!!!!!1!!!!one!!!!

Stumpers (3, Funny)

teh_mykel (756567) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013908)

Stumper question #1: "What is Linux?" either unknown data, or grossly misrepresentive data, or simply undetailed data. Compare "Who is Bill Gates?" for maximum biasm.

Re:Stumpers (1)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014011)

"What is Linux?". I doubt that this question could be asked as the questions are from "Microsoft's Encarta Reference Library Premium 2005."

The beta version had the following:

"What is Linux:
All penguins should die and go back to the Antartic circle where they can be eaten by whales and then have the whales molested by Steve Erwin, giving the whales intergestion. From Bill"

But it was removed due to protests from the ASPCA and the WWF

Re:Stumpers (5, Funny)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014038)

Just thought of a better question:

"What is a General protection fault 0x4700AF2D in KERNEL32.DLL:MessageBoxExA+046 EAX 0x00000000 EIP 0x00000000 EDX 0x000010FA"

Re:Stumpers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014212)

Stumper question #2: Will a bunch of nerds still look at him as a hero since he will be affiliated with MS. You know the nerd type - they openly denounce MS but use the OS, or have an X-box or MS games.

PC Encyclopedias (5, Insightful)

javaman83 (144935) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013912)

Do a lot of people even use these anymore?
I figured by now, the internet would have overtaken these completely.

Re:PC Encyclopedias (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013974)

you bet! Usually only when they come with the new PC, or the parents get it for the kid because they think it will automagically increase their grades.

I used MS Encarta on a few stupid projects in middle school if I remember corectly. The information on the CD was pretty useless though if I remember, I hope they've improved it.

Re:PC Encyclopedias (4, Informative)

solowCX (796423) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014029)

I think Microsoft knows CD-ROM encyclopedias are mostly dead, that is why Encarta is mostly a website with a Premium Subscription service now, found at http://encarta.msn.com/ [msn.com] .

Re:PC Encyclopedias (3, Informative)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014035)

i used encarta by borrowing it from a friend for sometime and i have gotta say that its nothing more that a glossy and animation-loaded package... britannica encyclopedia or for that matter any other encyclopedia wins hands down.

Re:PC Encyclopedias (2, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014178)

Do a lot of people even use these anymore? I figured by now, the internet would have overtaken these completely.

I do, but not Encarta. Brittanica is the gold standard. As for the Internet; sure, it's what I use for 99% of my fact checking, but if I actually need some background and something I can feel is authoritative (rather than a say a Wiki that anyone with an axe to grind can distort), I use a real encyclopedia.

Re:PC Encyclopedias (2, Interesting)

optimusNauta (784677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014194)

Mostly I would agree. The only time I would use an encyclopedia would be if I am in a library and I need a quick factsheet on something. Wikipedia has pretty much replaced all my software encyclopedia needs. Another victory for Free (as in Freedom) stuff.

What the? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11013915)

We have a Ken Jennings Post on the front of Slashdot, yet the Lord of The Rings leak get swept under the rug? Blasphamy! http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/5847.cfm [afterdawn.com]

Wow... (4, Interesting)

codesurfer (786910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013917)

Right after his "loss" on the show. I still say it was a throw. Interesting marketing (and I bet it'll be successful) ploy for MS, I just wish Ken had thrown his popularity behind the open source community.

Re:Wow... (1)

bLindmOnkey (744643) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013964)

Honestly, how would such a celeb like him "[throw] his popularity behind the open source community" The open source community is quite a community, and there is no central entity holding it together like M$ holds its own corperation. Of course, power to the penguin, but it just won't happen, hasn't happened, and probably won't happen anytime soon.

Re:Wow... (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014122)

You just pointed out the main reason why OSS with it's current do it yourself, elitist attitude will never be able to make much headway into main stream usage.

Without a central figure you get what Linux is now, dozens of fractured distros catering to niche groups.

The plan for OSS for this decade should be consolidation. Without a central authority it will continue to fail and fracture.

Mod me a troll or flamebait if you like, but you know what I'm saying is true. The OSS movement has a lot of potential, it's a shame that's it's being wasted by pride and zealotry.

Re:Wow... (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014155)

But to give it leadership, vision, direction, etc., well, it'll end up being another corporate structure. Even if the product IS open source, what would keep driving such an entity? Profits. So you end up with the Microsoft of the OSS. It's inevitable, and w/o it, it'll remain as it is: stagnant.

Re:Wow... (2)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013971)

Oh, here we go with the obligatory anti-MS BS. I say kudos to MS for using his genius to promote an equally awesome product. No one is forcing him.

Re:Wow... (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013984)

Yeah, and didja see the full-page FedEx ad in USA Today the next day?

Had a pic of Jennings looking confused with 'FedEx' on his monitor.

Ad said something like, "Maybe the only time 'FedEx' was the right answer".

A coincidence? Probably. But if news came out that Jeopardy!/FedEx/Jennings had something going on the side, I, for one, would not be shocked.

Re:Wow... (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014005)

For the ad copy,

s/Maybe the only time 'FedEx'was the right answer/Maybe the only time 'FedEx' was not the right answer/

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014039)

Ad said something like, "Maybe the only time 'FedEx' was the right answer".

"Maybe the only time 'FedEx' was the wrong answer".

Re:Wow... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11013989)

Yes, the draw of that huge $0 paycheck must have been really hard for him to turn down.

Re:Wow... (2, Interesting)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014026)

Right after his "loss" on the show. I still say it was a throw.
Indeed- take a look at the final question from the interview; it makes you...wonder.
I don't consider my last show a loss -- I definitely don't consider this experience something I'm walking away a loser from (laughs). I did feel some relief, as it's been a long and exciting experience for me -- I'm looking forward to spending lots of time with my family.

How? Wikipedia? (1)

parawing742 (646604) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014137)

And where exactly can use his fame in the open-source community? Wikipedia is our best work yet, but no serious scholar (such as Ken) would support it as a reference source. Furthermore, Wikimedia doesn't have the dollars MS does.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014185)

I wish people would throw their bandwidth at the Mandrake 10.1 Official iso's that are just now available.

Hit the torrent!

Mandrake Linux 10.1 Official [mandrakelinux.com]

Re:Wow... (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014215)

>. I still say it was a throw.

Well, if we're going to be dealing in the currency that is conspiracy theories, I'll take "Based on the movie Quiz Show for $500, Alex."

Here's an answer you won't hear him say.... (0)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013924)

What are Natalie Portman and Hot Grits?

Re:Here's an answer you won't hear him say.... (3, Funny)

dirkdidit (550955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014228)

Answer: Starting after Star Wars Episode I, these two things are known to cause blindness, deafness and hairy palms in geeks.

Re:Here's an answer you won't hear him say.... (3, Funny)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014252)

Edible? Well, I don't know about the grits...

Trivia versus knowledge (3, Insightful)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013926)

If there were a moderation, "1, Cynical", I'm sure I'd get it, but seriously ... for all of the knowledge apparently amassed by Mr Jennings, there is still a difference between trivia and knowledge. And there is a distinct whiff of one of the most vile of odors: marketing.

Re:Trivia versus knowledge (1)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013965)

I'm wondering how long he has to study before the tour...

Re:Trivia versus knowledge (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013990)

still a difference between trivia and knowledge

But I'd be willing to bet there is a large positive correlation between the two.

Yes, I'd mod you cynical. There is no evidence to indicate Ken Jennings was a moron with a great memory. IN the two shows I say (other people's houses), he was quick with comebacks to Alex. I also understand he was an engineer.

And as for marketing... get over it. Ken wants to make some more money. Good luck Ken!

Re:Trivia versus knowledge (2, Insightful)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014145)

You're correct. However trivia is knowing alot of little bits about different things. None of those bits are necessarily useful by themselves unless you're in a trivia competition.

Knowledge of a subject implies you understand it and can implement or apply, not spout a handful of factoids

Re:Trivia versus knowledge (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014187)

I agree. But many of the comments seem to indicate no correlation between the two, or even a negative correlation.

I choose to be happy for Ken. I wonder why so many others choose to be envious.

Re:Trivia versus knowledge (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014234)

a lot is two words :->

I.. (4, Funny)

double-oh three (688874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013928)

I felt a disturbance in the force, as if 10 thousand nerds cried out and then were silent.

Re:I.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014092)

Now only if the nerd who wrote the parent post had been silent.

I know Slashdot is News for Nerds, but it shouldn't be Let's throw in our favorite Star Wars quote or Let's retell the article in terms of Middle-Earth.

Re:I.. (1)

double-oh three (688874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014199)

Oh come on, like you didn't internally curse his decision to work with Mordo^H^H^H^Hicrosoft when you read the headline? Yes, I'm using a cliche, but it's also fairly true, so they should at least even out.

How to become rich... (-1, Flamebait)

sH4RD (749216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013935)

1) Get smart 2) Get on Jeopardy 3) Sell your soul to Microsoft 4) ??? 5) Profit! Now, I only need to get smart...

Re:How to become rich... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014084)

I thought what sir said was funny.
Even if redundant, his last remark was witty and well-timed.

Unceccessary Steps. (1)

NarrMaster (760073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014225)

1) Get smart
2) Get on Jeopardy
3) Profit!

Obvious.

Why is it (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11013937)

...that when I see the phrase 'natural fit' in a MS press release, I think of some poor bastard yet again taking it in the ass from BG?

Re:Why is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014083)

Its not called microsoft for nothing you know

Microsoft Still Publishes Encarta?!?!? (2, Insightful)

Joel from Sydney (828208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013940)

Seriously? I thought Encarta died a long time ago. It was useful about 10 years ago, back in the days before I had net access.

Does anyone still actually use it?

Re:Microsoft Still Publishes Encarta?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11013996)

You're right, it did die a long time ago. Search engines and online encyclopaedias essentially put it out of business, which is probably why Microsoft now needs a famous spokesperson for it, in a hopeless attempt at revival.

Quiz the Bizz (0)

nauticalsland (795730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013941)

Microsoft is gonna make lots of Green backs on this one....

Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11013942)

me: "How fast can you run?"
Jennings: "well, I don't see how it's relevent..but I can" WHAM! "......"

Mistaken Identity (5, Funny)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013950)

... I searched for myself once and turned up all sorts of erroneous information...One seemingly reputable and authoritative page even had my name wrong!"

Just a guess, but maybe they were talking about someone else?

creepy.... (0)

BicycloHexane (819192) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013954)

Is it me or is there just something creepy about taht guy....

Re:creepy.... (4, Funny)

wayne606 (211893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014077)

Let's see... Painfully clean-cut, Mormon, works for Microsoft... Thinks "watching me on Jeopardy! has made reading and learning seem just a little cooler"..

Actually my theory is that Bill Gates got tired of being the nerdiest guy around Redmond...

This whole thing was RIGGED anyway (0, Troll)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013956)

I've done a LOT of research into this and I personally think that Ken just got burned out and decided to be done with the whole Jeopardy thing. I mean, FedEx??? Are you kidding me???

He beat all the records like 64 days on a game show and 2 million $$$ total winnings. He said he wanted them before, too, so he accomplished that.

He talked with his family about stepping down.

He was tired at game 55.

He was slow in answering and it seemed purposeful.

He should have just said officially that he's stepping down. Why throw the thing on purpose?

Ken is OUR hero, guys. He's OUR hero. He's ONE of us. US. I miss seeing him and I hope to meet him one day before I die.

I agree. (2, Interesting)

pb (1020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013997)

He must have thrown it. He got both Daily Doubles, and drew a blank on both of them. Then he answers "FedEx"? And then what's worse, that smile he has afterwards. No, subconsciously or not, he could have won it and didn't.

Of course the next thing to look into--were people betting on when he was going to lose?

Re:I agree. (1)

wayne606 (211893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014113)

And then the woman who beat him lost the next evening... I guess it's not impossible he just got tired of making $40K for an hour's work...

Re:This whole thing was RIGGED anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014001)

Damn man. You sound like a freakin stalker.
I hope for Ken's sake you're a chick ;)

One of us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014112)

Speak for yourself. I'm not a member of a Utah based UFO cult.

H&R Block (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11013958)

And I was thinking he would be the H&R Block spokeman...

Although I guess by doing this he isn't lamenting over his mistake as he would have been with H&R Block. Also, I'm sure MS's deep pockets had something to do with this decision...

Noooooo! (5, Informative)

bdesham (533897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013972)

...but we spent so much time on your Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] !

(Seriously, look at that article... someone put waaay too much time into it.)

Encarta... Who Cares? (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013981)

I remember when CD drives first became popular in computers, encyclopedias on CD were a big deal and Encarta was very popular. It was on a CD encyclopedia (under Win 3.1) that I saw the famous footage of the Hindenburg disaster for the first time that I can remember (that was also the first video clip I can ever remember seeing on a computer).

But I saw Encarta in a computer store the other day and thought... so what? With the internet now common and simple to use to find things (thanks to Google and it's forefathers), why would I want to pay for an encyclopedia on CD/DVD?

As a promotion goes, it's a good idea, except it seems like trying to sell horse & buggy carts to 1920s urbanites. It's a product that is past it's prime and will dissapear soon.

PS: Ken Jennins, works as a programmer in Utah, hired by MS. I can make a conspiracy out of that :)

Why Encarta? (2, Interesting)

LGagnon (762015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013983)

Give him a real challenge: ask him questions from Wikipedia. [wikipedia.org] Encarta doesn't have half the information that Wikipedia has.

Re:Why Encarta? (1)

kyouteki (835576) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014096)

If you just look at the number of articles, you're right. According to Microsoft, Encarta 2005 has 68,000 articles. Compare that to the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , which claims to have 415,957 pages that are "probably legitimate articles". Going by just the number of articles, the Wikipedia has more than 6 times as much information.

Re:Why Encarta? (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014106)

True, but at least Encarta does fact-checking, however corporate-biased it may be. There've been false "facts" on Wikipedia for months, I've seen it happen. (And no, I didn't fix it, since it was a research project into the accuracy of the wiki.)

Re:Why Encarta? (0, Flamebait)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014173)

Yeah, name 100 names from Wikipedia's "List of Jews" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jews

Or how about the wonderful list of "Blood Libels against Jews".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_blood _libels_ against_Jews

Wonderful super-anti-semit-troll propiganda, eh? Why the flying fuck do you need a "List of Jews" in an encyclopedia other than to pronounce anti-semitism?

Re:Why Encarta? (1)

docflan (816137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014207)

Right ... but at least the information in Encarta has been fact checked.

gotta admit (3, Insightful)

jwind (819809) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013993)

He is the perfect spokes person... i mean sheesh, he swept the "beer and wine" topic one night-- and he's a Mormon folks. He's an information sponge.

I see then, Mr. Jenkins (1)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013994)

'"It seems like a natural fit: Encarta has a long-standing commitment to furthering education, and I've had a lot of kids tell me that watching me on "Jeopardy!" has made reading and learning seem just a little cooler," Jennings told Microsoft in an interview.'

http://chronicle.com/free/2000/08/2000081501t.htm [chronicle.com]

that stinks (1)

wizardNinja (835459) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013995)

He was so cool and so smart...and then he pulls in with microsoft.....well, i guess its a good way to get a lot of money for nothing.

Re:that stinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014037)

Even Wizards and Ninjas use Linux.

Uh oh, that's bad news, because we all know that the purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.

I guess wizards are okay though...

For those who has never used Encarta (0, Redundant)

jsse (254124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014004)

Online edition [msn.com]

False knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014007)

Ok .. Microsft Encarta .. with all the bugs/errors found in all the Microsoft products I've used .. I have to speculate how many of the "facts" in Encarta are just plain wrong or fabricated. Yeah, so this is testing his knowledge of whatever's in Encarta .. not exactly a test of factual knowledge.

Re:False knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014146)

Ok .. Microsft Encarta .. with all the bugs/errors found in all the Microsoft products I've used .. I have to speculate how many of the "facts" in Encarta are just plain wrong or fabricated. Yeah, so this is testing his knowledge of whatever's in Encarta .. not exactly a test of factual knowledge.

You should also speculate on how wrong or fabricated information on the internet is at large, including your post. Anyway, how's the weather under the bridge?

Makes you wonder ... (3, Funny)

merdaccia (695940) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014010)

Ironically, Microsoft also mixed up his name in the interview, referring to the trivia whiz as "Jenkins."

How priceless would it be if they got his name wrong in Encarta too.

Questions for KenJen (4, Interesting)

xmedar (55856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014014)

What causes Pip in poultry?
How old is Mae West?
Who was the last British heavyweight champion of the world?
How far is Winnipeg from Montreal?
When did Florence Nightingale die?
What is the height of the Empire State Building? What was the date of General Gordon's death?

and last but not least

What are the Thirty-Nine Steps? Come on! Answer up! What are the Thirty-Nine Steps?

That's it? (5, Funny)

fearanddread (836731) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014017)

75 shows and then he gets to be the Encarta spokesman? Seems a bit of a letdown somehow.

I'd like to see a Texas cage match between Jennings and Trebek.... winner gets Jeopardy hosting duties.

Encarta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014018)

How about an encyclopedia with a bit more... review? Even dead tree encyclopedias reviewed by tons of doctors and PhDs before ever hitting the presses have contained errors. I'm curious as to what the credentials and number of reviewers and editors for each and every article are. Sure, Encarta is fine for the target audience - primary school research papers - but beyond that, does it real have any use?

Re:Encarta (4, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014214)

Encarta isn't really 'fine' at all. It started out as a seriously discount paper encyclopedia, and it hasn't improved much at all. For example, take the biographical entry for Alexander Hamilton. It correctly puts a question mark next to the birt date, but then completely fails to discuss the controversy surrounding the birth date. Just recently, Wikipedia was dinged by a reviewer for exactly this sort of shallowness. Wikipedia fixed the problem the very same day the review came out.

The original paper encyclopedia Microsoft used as a source was Funk and Wagnall's New World Encyclopedia. It's not published any more. They used to be sold in supermarkets for $0.99 for the first volume, and $5 for the remaining volumes. I can't tell you how many people in the rinky dink town I grew up in had just the first volume of that encyclopedia, which they got for a buck at the grocery store. Lots of biology science papers were written on the ecology of the aardvark in those days.

Re:Encarta (1)

malfunct (120790) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014232)

I'm willing to bet that Encarta is a compilation of articles and content written by other reputable sources rather than Encarta authoring its own content. I have a feeling that Encarta is about as accurate (though vauge) as any other average home encylopedia.

Embrace, Extend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014027)

So, would this be M$'s latest attempt at "embrace and extend?"


-HJ

This is a stupid story for Slashdot to run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014033)

And no amount of -1 will change that

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014048)

Slashdot becomes mindless marketing tool for Encarta and Jeopardy.

OT: The Amazing Larry Dunn (2, Funny)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014049)

OK, I just got this idea.

Why not give Ken his own trivia show where people try to stump him? It's not that far from what MS will have him doing.

So then I remember that episode [bravotv.com] of Keen Eddie [bravotv.com] (great show killed before it's time). The case in the episode involvs an EXTREEMLY famous man in England (fictional, of course) who had a trivia show where no one could stump him. One day he was stumped and then lost his show. He then became a bike messanger who forgot what he did with a package (this is the guy who remembers EVERYTHING). That's where he meets Keen Eddie.

Still, coincidince? Will Ken's memory start to slip untill he is attacked by a group that is trying to rob a bank because he lost their package?

If TV has taught us anything, yes!

I warned it was off-topic.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014074)

... when are the regurgitated Fark articles going to stop? I read about this and a few other stories today hours ago.

What is it about Jeopardy!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014082)

Does anyone outside of the USA really give a shit about the game show Jeopardy!?

Looks like my theory will be tested (3, Funny)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014089)

Does he know the answers, or merely the questions?

I wonder if Ken.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014090)

"Believes in evolution" since he's a devout Mormon.

Whatever.. (1)

Coolnat2004 (830862) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014097)

Sure, this will likely help Microsoft to endorse their product, using a celebrity to make it seem better, when in reality it is worse or equal to others.

But seriously, encyclopedia software is becoming outdated by online encyclopedias. It is no longer necessary to spend 20 minutes installing GB's of data, as you can just bring up a website, type in your term, and have your information right there -- and at no cost to you.

Obligatory Jepordy answer (5, Funny)

CrazyJim0 (324487) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014110)

42

See if he knows the question.

Re:Obligatory Jepordy answer (1)

lightdarkness (791960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014140)

What is the meaning of life?

ya know (3, Interesting)

Heem (448667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014111)

Jennings is a progammer. I'm sure he reads slashdot. So - how about it Ken? Where are ya?

yeah, that's right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014120)

...Jennings is going to memorise every fact in the whole Encarta encyclopedia (if you'd call it that), just like he memorised all tho.. oh wait.. isn't this the guy who writes quiz question software for a living?

Mhm, he's doing it as a way of demonstrating the value of the pursuit of knowledge - that's why he chose to promote a second-rate product bought out by a third-rate innovator which was barely of much educational value in the less-connected world 10 years ago, let alone today.

Sigh, I can name so many people who are truly intelligent, truly encyclopedic in their knowledge, veritable polymaths, but this guy smells rotten from start to finish. And people lap him up. And all I have to do to question how this kind of large scale trickery can happen is to look at the result of a recent election.

Re:yeah, that's right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014148)

Mod up parent. What has become of us geeks when there is more hero-worshipping for some trivia quiz contestant and MS marketing stooge than the true mathematicians, scientists and engineers of our time? Even assuming he is totally genuine, is this what we look up to and want to become?

Ken, answer this: (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014131)

What is selling your soul?

Too slow... (1)

embezzled (643330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014138)

Did anyone from Wikipedia even think of this? With firefox's publicity at its first release, Open Source has shown they can do this, but unless it gets on with the Cheese that appeals to most people, its going to stay as the 10%, and not the 90% that we'd like to think it deserves.

So sad (-1, Troll)

heathm (174421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014150)

My wife went to the same high school that Ken Jennings did. It appears the home town hero has just turned into the home town bastard.

Ok Mr Jennings... (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014151)

What is the 19215'th article's 7'th paragraph, 9'th word and what was it reffering to?

*recalls old 486 based ad&d games with page/paragraph/word anti-piracy.
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