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BBC's h2g2 Goes Mobile - Again

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the as-well-it-ought dept.

Handhelds 80

zaktheduck writes "According to a recent press release, in anticipation of the new movie and the h2g2 website's sixth birthday, the BBC have relaunched the long-shelved h2g2 Mobile service. The new version of the popular community website allows access to the 7000+ and growing edited guide entries from PDAs, and smartphones. H2g2 had a WAP service back in 2001, aptly named "h2g2 on the Move", but was cancelled when the company faced financial trouble and was purchased by the BBC. Here's a copy of the old promotion page for the service."

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FUCK OFF SLASHDOT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221847)

DIE!

FUCK OFF Anonymous Coward (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221907)

DIE! Oh, wait... Yeah, DIE!

7000+ entries?! (5, Funny)

CdXiminez (807199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221850)

I thought the whole of planet Earth had only one entry: Mostly harmless...

Re:7000+ entries?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221917)

Actually, in all the other alternate universes, there are no entries for the Earth any more, because the Vogons (or somebody) destroyed it. Let's just hope the Vogons in this universe don't figure it out.

Re:7000+ entries?! (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222024)

I thought the whole of planet Earth had only one entry: Mostly harmless...

That's before the dolphins brought it back from the alternate universe. All of Ford's entries got re-inserted on the next update.

CUNT WITH LOTS OF BLOOD AND YEAST INFECTION! YO! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222062)

NIGGER!

you are wrong! Sit! Bad doggie! (4, Informative)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222087)

The actual entry presented was "Harmless.". "Mostly " was added in the version Ford presented to Arthur, but I really don't recall that it actually made it into updated guide (that shrilly bird, ya know).

I FUCKING HATE SLASHDOT! BUNCHA FUCKING LOSERS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221856)

ROR!!!1

So, (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221861)

Does it have a page on how much the movie sucks?

Re:So, (5, Insightful)

oprahwinfree (466659) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221942)

Please don't start bashing the movie until it has been released to the public and we've all seen it...THEN you may start the bashing.

Re:So, (1)

dascritch (808772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222181)

Yeah. That's why redactors of the H2G2 are send accross the galaxy.

Re:So, (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12223724)

"Please don't start bashing the movie until it has been released to the public and we've all seen it...THEN you may start the bashing."

Heh. "Arthur clearly said 'its' not 'his' in the book! THIS MOVIE SUCKS!!"

Re:So, (1)

MegaFur (79453) | more than 9 years ago | (#12223977)

It's all a time warp thing. You know like the Guide says, "bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes", Guide that slipped back through wormhole says, "bunch of mindless jerks that were the first against the wall when the revolution came". It's like that.

Re:So, (1)

fayk (857168) | more than 9 years ago | (#12227329)

While I agree with the first part, the 'book that slipped through time was actually a future edition of the competing Encyclopedia Galactica(or whatever the name was) - wasn't it?

Re:So, (1)

MegaFur (79453) | more than 9 years ago | (#12246846)

Hmm. I think it might well have been, yeah. I was probably mixing it up with the bit about information on space copied off the back of a breakfast ceral box.

(It took me a long time to realize that the Encyclopedia Galactica thing was a reference to the Foundation Trilogy.)

Re:So, (1)

l*barbs (872527) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222211)

Have you actually seen the movie yet?

Re:So, (2, Funny)

frankthechicken (607647) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222294)

Would've done, but either someone purposely set up a SEP field, or the movie is actually pretty good.

Sorry, but no one cares (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221864)

h2g2 could have been great, but Wikipedia and e2 have it beat both in size and content quality. 7000 entries is nothing.

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (4, Interesting)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221878)

h2g2 could have been great, but Wikipedia and e2 have it beat both in size and content quality. 7000 entries is nothing.

So should I throw away all my reference books and keep just one encyclopaedia?

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221890)

What if you have three reference books, all of which cover identical material but one of them only covers a fraction of the material in the other two? I'd certainly get rid of the smaller book.

SHUT THE FUCK UP NIGGER! CUNT CUNT CUNTY CUNT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222050)

CUNT!

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (0, Troll)

Presidential (805793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222149)

So should I throw away all my reference books and keep just one encyclopaedia?


No, you should throw out all your reference books including that one encyclopaedia. Then you may call yourself a publicly educated American Citizen. :)

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (3, Interesting)

Tekgno (321071) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221893)

Feel free to educate me but I wasn't aware Wikipedia and e2 had readily available mobile access.

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221898)

Given that most mobiles these days do real HTTP/HTML browsing, "mobile" versions of a site are pretty much moot. However Wikipedia does have a text only version [wikipedia.org] which they offer for wireless browsing.

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (3, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221918)

The link you gave is most certainly NOT a text only portal to wikipedia.

The page you linked to is a wiki page edited to have no images inside.

Clicking any of the links takes you to the normal wiki page which may or may not include images.

Besides, the bloody big wikipedia logo image and other page images are still displayed.

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221951)

Maybe you should spend all of three seconds to read the Wikipedia FAQ, where they address this very point themselves. The fact is "mobile" versions of websites these days are pointless because the vast majority of phones and handhelds can render most standard web pages just fine.

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222115)

At least my SE T630 can't handle that page. It may be an issue with the Vodaphone gateway as well though. But I do doubt that a normal Feature-phone can handle that massive content. This includes most modern 3G phones which can really draw benefits from an online search.

My bet is that they did that page in order to work with mobile devices like Palms and Smartphones (Symbian based or similar).

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (2, Informative)

kimba (12893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222127)

You know, CSS provides the ability to - using the same HTML - provide the fully designed page via a normal browser; and an image/tables/etc free version via a cut-down device.

I don't know if Wikipedia does this, but it is quite simple. Having a specific "text only" version is 1990s thinking. I think if someone sent a patch to Wikipedia for their CSS styles that did this they would happily adopt it.

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (1)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 9 years ago | (#12224210)

Most mobile devices don't support full-on CSS, and for the ones that do, Wikipedia uses the media attribute on their CSS include to exclude them from the web-formatted version.

Basically, disable CSS in your browser and look at the page -- hardly any graphics are displayed and the structural formatting is perfect for mobile devices (and text browsers, screen readers, etc).

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (2, Interesting)

the right sock (160156) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222920)

mobile.answers.com

Answers.com queries wikipedia. I don't know if you get full article text, but it's great for quick lookups.

OOOOHHHH, SOMEBODY'S WHORING FOR KARMA!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221912)

Slashdot: Where Wikipedia is tEH WORD OF GOD!!1

Re:OOOOHHHH, SOMEBODY'S WHORING FOR KARMA!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221937)

Yeah, just whoring my little old Anonymous Coward account for karma. Just love that AC karma.

I never realised there were so many h2g2 fanboys. What a sad bunch you all are.

Re:OOOOHHHH, SOMEBODY'S WHORING FOR KARMA!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222003)

OMG NIGGER!!!

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (5, Insightful)

NumberGod (65770) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221914)

Douglas would be happy.

I think Wikipedia has grown into what Douglas had envisioned.

A Free encyclopedia, updated by almost anyone who wants to update it.

In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, The Hitchhiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper; and second, it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.


Sounds a lot like the guide to me.

DON'T PANIC LOLOLOL!!!1 SHUT UP NIGGER!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222033)

WTFLOL!!

eehm... (1)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222078)

You forgot Vogon takeovers (Brittanica?) and rather violent editors in the office, not to mention executive personel.

And as for comparision with Wikipedia - HHg2g was based on secretaries and legal departament drones, so, of course, the rather colourfull and occasionally politically incorrect (i.e. claiming that Republicans are a political party, while, in fact, everyone knows that they are just Voldemort bystanders) and potentially insulting entries couldn't be possible there.

For example - take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth and say how it compares with "Harmless."

Ha, Punk? So, ya thing Douglas would like it, ya? Bullshit!

Those commies...

Re:eehm... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222104)

Wiki actually covers the "Harmless" entry at the bottom.

Actually, I believe Douglas Adams would have really liked what the Wiki has become. His books were meant to be funny, but in no way were they an indication that he did not have a very intelligent and serious side. This would be evident to anyone who had ever read anything he wrote that wasn't fiction.

Re:eehm... (2, Interesting)

l*barbs (872527) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222256)

As far as I know douglas had invisaged an encyclopedia that anyone could contribute to thus making it accuurate and up-to-date. Both wikie and h2g2 sprung from this idea. Eath my have been considered "Harmless" to begin with, but if HHG2G had been 'open-source' this would have been ammended by some carbon-based ape decendent!

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (1)

fgl (792403) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222161)

The dont panic bit is pretty universal.
But I can only imagine how great it would be if content could be added by users. Just like a wiki, an always on, digital guide to everything around you. Although if that were ever implemented it would probably be raped by spam.

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12223084)

It's called H2G2 Mobile, and a Palm with WiFi

envisioned? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12224072)

Adams adapted already existing models of books with poorly-paid stringers to the HHG2G. He didn't invent it. Adams himself mentioned the Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Europe as his inspiration.

Unlike Wikipedia, the HHG was edited by professionals. The lowest-level of professional, to be sure, but people who were paid at least slightly for doing it. And it was edited (poorly) before it was published.

On a more practical note, the HHG seemed to have more specific info than Wikipedia, probably because the HHG is more geared toward travel. It's the difference between looking up the Louvre in an encyclopedia and Fodor's.

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (4, Informative)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221943)

That's 7000 entries specially edited for reading on mobile devices. The complete guide has lots more.

Re: Sorry, but no one cares (1)

gidds (56397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12223053)

Why would a mobile device need special editing?

I recently installed Wikipedia on my Psion 5mx. It's only a snapshot, omits pictures and other multimedia files, and takes up nearly half a GB of CompactFlash, but it's complete and unedited, and perfectly usable. (As the significant reduction in my free time shows...)

Re: Sorry, but no one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12225386)

Special editing may mean Pagination...

Because not every mobile device has the capacity and screen real estate of your Psion.

It's meant to be as consumable on a smart phone screen... think a basic Nokia Series 60... or a Sony T610... you want to have a page that's a foot long to scroll through?

(and most phones have a smaller page size limit that would prevent that single file being loaded)

Not really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12226211)

The complete, online version of h2g2 has about 7000 edited entries. Edited does *not* mean the entries were edited for mobile reading, but they were reviewed by the community and (possibly after many changes, this process is called Peer Review) approved as complete and readable.
Those entries constitute the "Edited Guide", where you can expect the entries to be well-written and researched. There are a few hundred thousand other entries in the complete guide, and some of them are very good, too, but most of the time they contain personal opinions, are completely fictional or have simply not been discovered by the h2g2 Scouts.

-- an h2g2 Researcher

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221946)

7000 is the number of *edited* entries - there are many more unedited entries.

Having said that, I started out with h2g2, but much prefer Wikipedia, because collaborating on articles with h2g2 is (or at least was) difficult, while with wiki it is easy.

The difference between Wiki and H2G2 (1)

amigoro (761348) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221955)

A quote from Wikipedia reads:

"Wikki's ... entry on Middletown, Pennsylvania tells you the size of the town in square miles and population. It also breaks it down into socio-economic statistics like the median income for a household in the borough is $35,425, and the median income for a family is $43,661... Our entry tells you where to eat, what to order, which bar has the best jukebox and what you can do while you're in town"

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222450)

H2G2 is a lot quicker and easier to read than wikipedia and the layout is good for mobiles. Also the style is a lot more relaxed, in the true hitchhiker's way.

Re:Sorry, but no one cares (3, Insightful)

ElyseMyers (874500) | more than 9 years ago | (#12224167)

I agree, but you have to admit that h2g2 is a lot more fun. honestly, w/ all the buzz that the movie's getting -- i wouldn't be surprised if we saw a spike in membership/registered users w/in the next few weeks. is anyone actually registered w/ them??

I HAD SEX WITH A CHEESE GRATER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12221885)

Fuck the lot of you.

Re:I HAD SEX WITH A CHEESE GRATER (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222010)

Just to clarify, the trolls above this one were not my doing. I may be an immature dumbass, but I like to put, at the very least, a vague amount of thought into pissing people off. After posting this, I noticed that there were several crappy trolls above mine that also had their subject in all caps. Just wanted to make that clear. Not that it matters.

Re:I HAD SEX WITH A CHEESE GRATER (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222135)

I had sex with your cheese grater too, and I fucked your stapler until it bled.

Useful for hhgg2xml (5, Interesting)

Jaffa (7714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221928)

Interesting. This could be useful for my own hhgg2xml [bleb.org] converts H2G2 articles into a variety of formats, including XML and TomeRaider - which is useful for carrying it around with you on a PDA without network access.

I'll have to look more closely at this new version to see if it can be parsed more easily.

hg2g has always been mobile (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221935)

If the Hitchhiker's Guide wasn't mobile, it wouldn't be much use to a hitchhiker, now would it?

Re:hg2g has always been mobile (-1, Offtopic)

ColGraff (454761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222027)

Off-topic, but: I gotta say, your sig makes Soviet Russia appear quite pleasant. I'd certainly like to be welcomed by new overlords. I say we urge Putin to bring back the USSR.

Re:hg2g has always been mobile (0, Offtopic)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222747)

I say we urge Putin to bring back the USSR.

Dare I say that might be a good idea, so much as it's not the USSR past 1925 or so. All power to the Soviets! This time, for real! Not just to the Politburo or General Secretary/Chairman of the Presidium.

Re:hg2g has always been mobile (1)

coopex (873732) | more than 9 years ago | (#12223933)

Foolish Americans! We faked the whole fall! Now we will bury you! (pounds shoe on table).

*BSD DIED, DROWNED IN A POOL OF CUNT JUICE! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222096)

CUMSLUT!

mobile ? sure ? (1)

dascritch (808772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222189)

Perhaps. But if I don't have roaming compliant operator in the planet where I am, how can I use the H2G2 with my i-mode device ? I think you meant "compact" instead of "mobile", don't I ?

remote, portable information access w/ easy input (2, Insightful)

Leontes (653331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12221970)

Eventually there will be an affordable, portable, wireless device that will allow instantaneous access to local and remote information of the choice of the user, basically a universal reference ebook reader, with several means of input. This is inevitable since such an item would be the ultimate knowledge tool. Cell phone tools, wireless laptops, tablet pcs, pdas, and data watches are all technological stepping stones to an actual, useful, guide to the universe.

SWEET BLOODY CUNT JUICE! NIGGER FLAVORED! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222079)

DIET CUM!

iPaq hx4700 (1)

Somato_gastric (832012) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222385)

With the new breed of VGA PDAs, do we not already have THGTTG in our pockets?

Surfing in true VGA mode on the 4700 means you can look at things like wikipedia on the move anyway as long as you have access to a local wireless LAN and/or a bluetooth phone.

There are ways in which PDAs and the 4700 suck. However in my experience one thing that VGA on the 4700 *does* offer is genuine desktop-like anywhere internet reference.

Re:iPaq hx4700 (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12226175)

I've found the hx4700 a bit too expensive, but really the cheaper (non VGA) PocketPCs don't do a shabby job at all either.

If you have a 1GB memory card and a Palm or PocketPC, you can fit the whole text of the Wikipedia on there, and can view it wherever you go. If you have wifi access, you can just get at it (and the whole wealth of the internet) that way. The grandparent post's idea seems already to exist, to an extent.

The guide to everything... but character encoding (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222063)

View > Source

You ain't gonna fit alot of "everything" or even "universe" with ISO-8859-1. Not even gonna fit a Euro sign in there. Use UTF-8 for crying out loud!

It's somehow amazing that an organisation with the resources of the BBC can fail to understand basic issues like this on their web sites. It get's even better when you head to http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/arabic/news/ and discover "windows-1256"

May 03 New Radio HHGTTG series begins (3, Informative)

Forget4it (530598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222221)

Final Hitch [bbc.co.uk]
Radio 4 to broadcast final Hitchhiker's series.

The eight-part series, produced by Above the Title, will be broadcast from Tuesday 3rd May at 6.30pm.

Following on from last year's radio smash hit, Life, the Universe and Everything, the original cast - Simon Jones, Geoffrey McGivern, Stephen Moore, Mark Wing-Davey and Susan Sheridan - were again reunited to record the series alongside William Franklyn as the Voice of the Book.

Several actors connected with the Hitchhiker's Guide from its other incarnations, both on stage and television, take lead and supporting roles, including Bill Paterson, Sandra Dickinson, Jonathan Pryce, Rula Lenska and David Dixon. Supporting stars include Jane Horrocks, Jackie Mason, June Whitfield, Stephen Fry, Arthur Smith, Saeed Jaffrey, Miriam Margolyes and a surprise Hollywood star guest appearance

Re:May 03 New Radio HHGTTG series begins (1)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222432)

yay i was wondering when the next one would air.. i was worried it would be years, but may? wow awesome

always surprised (1)

Wordsmith (183749) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222264)

I know there would have been copyright issues, but I was always surprised no one put together a complete guide recreation - using the entries from the radio shows, tv show, books and computer game - for the Palm or PocketPC platforms. It's really not very many entries, and it would be a cute little novelty application.

Those copyright issues would likely come more into play with the movie coming out, though. The interested parties have more of a stake in protecting their material now that it's going super-mainstream.

Re:always surprised (1)

youngerpants (255314) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222340)

Actually, from what we hear about the movie keeping true to the original; the guide has changed so much that copyright issues would be hard to prove.


o_0

Communication and Wikitravel (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222324)

Wikitravel is probably closer to The HHGG than Wikipedia, as it's supposed to contain useful stuff about travelling. It's even got a Hitchhiking page! Quote from that page: "Always stay happy - even if people react nastily." On the Mobile access thing: Most of the world doesn't have mobile phone masts... And where will you recharge your phone in Eastern Siberia? At the moment nothing beats a good paper guide book for most of the world (especially if you need to start a camp fire).

biznAtlch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12222471)

poSts. Therefore

It should be a fee-based service (0)

IdJit (78604) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222509)

and subscribers get a free towel.

Wikipedia mobile? (1)

shadowlight1 (77239) | more than 9 years ago | (#12222679)

Is Wikipedia mobile like this? If so does anyone have a link? If so, then we'll have our "Encyclopedia Galactica" and our "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" for real!

Who needs the guide... (-1, Redundant)

Baloo Ursidae (29355) | more than 9 years ago | (#12223127)

...when there's Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ?

I agree with the masses, (1)

CloudDrakken (582681) | more than 9 years ago | (#12223329)

I liked this project better when it was called wikipedia

Yeah, new Ringtones (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12223979)

"Arthur doesn't know" by Zaphod and Trillian is my favorite ringtone.

Yuo fai[l 1t? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12224248)

TO THE ORIGINAL of OpenBSD. How

Slightly Cheaper (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12224685)

The Hitchhiker's Guide Project [hhgproject.org] is more purely an "encyclopedia" modeled on Adams' Guide. And a lot more in need of contributions, without BBC (or Ursa Minor [hhgproject.org] ) sponsorship.

PR (1, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12225475)

As someone in advertising, this is almost certainly a PR stunt. I mean, its fun and interesting, but nothing special, and Wikipedia blows it out of the water. Nothing much to see here except your latest H2G2 branded merchandise.

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