In The News
Fun Fun Fun
The grand jury decisions for the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases sent the media into a whirlwind. It was difficult to get a good sense of what was going on—with right-winged news outlets pushing one bias, left-winged pushing another, everyone aggregating everything and Facebook friends circulating falsities they read on Reddit. As our country erupted in discussion and protest, information was distributed through a buzzy media and Internet rumors. The “facts” weren’t as readily available.
To rid the public of this type of problem, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger made Infobitt, a free, open content news resource he’s calling “Wikipedia for the news.” No, it’s not Wikinews; this site grabs facts from news sources, summarizes them and organizes the information to make it a news go-to. Like our beloved online encyclopedia, Infobitt is a collaborative effort.
XXX in Tech
Years ago, I had a friend who would “play Wikipedia.” He would read interesting Wikipedia pages and click on the internal links as a way of traveling from one amusing article to the next. The one time I attempted to “play,” I was bored within minutes, but maybe I wasn’t doing it right? Maybe I wasn’t finding Wikipedia’s best?
With Wikipedia providing 24/7 access to information about everything, chances are you’ve used the site to build up your wealth of sexual knowledge at least once. From pages on the basics looked up by preteens to articles on the type of arcane sex move you first heard of in a movie staring Russell Brand, Seth Rogen or someone of that sort, it’s all there. While on an adventure through the depths of Wikipedia, Betabeat discovered some of the most obscure and little-known articles relating to sex. Here they are:
Apparently insecure about its lackluster ~online presence~, Armenia is asking its citizens to write at least one Armenia-related Wikipedia article each. Adorable!
The campaign, called One Armenian, One Article, is designed to promote Armenian culture and increase the number of Armenian-language articles on the interwebs, the BBC reports. The campaign began last spring in the form of a YouTube video (spoiler alert: it’s entirely in Armenian), and has now reportedly spread to Armenian TV stations around the world.
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” — Mark Twain
Recently, Karl Taro Greenfeld, a journalist and author, published an op-ed in the New York Times on faking cultural literacy.
“It’s never been so easy,” he wrote, “to pretend to know so much without actually knowing anything. We pick topical, relevant bits from Facebook, Twitter or emailed news alerts, and then regurgitate them.”
Sure Why Not
In case you needed more proof that the Internet is a terrible, no good, very bad place to go for medical information, scientific research has now officially confirmed it.
A new study states nine out of 10 Wikipedia entries on the U.S.’s costliest medical conditions contain “many” factual errors, the BBC reports. In other words, you should definitely stop relying on the Internet for information on all your gross health concerns.
Are you one of those annoying, self-righteous people who hates reading things on screens because you “just love the weight of a book in your hand and the smell of the pages”? If so, we have good news: some people are trying to crowdfund a project to print all of Wikipedia into a 1,000-volume book set.
Sure Why Not
Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen couldn’t handle the attention so he pulled the popular game offline. [Gizmodo]
Everyone settle down, the NYPD only has two pairs of Google Glass on hand and aren’t deployed in the field. [WSJ]
After his obnoxious comments about blaming “distressed babies” for rising costs, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong reversed his stance on the company’s 401(k) plan. [Washington Post]
Just 20 percent of traffic to Wikipedia is delivered via mobile devices and they’re trying to fix that. [New York Times]
There’s a trailer for HBO’s new Silicon Valley-themed show, uh, Silicon Valley. It’s very Mike Judge which is a good thing. [Recode]
Using the Internet to diagnose your health issues can get dicey. One minute you’re looking for hangover cures, the next you’ve been convinced you have both gout and bubonic plague and need the promptest medical attention.
Last week, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo reportedly quit as director of the company’s U.K. arm. The news comes just days after government regulators forced TweetDeck to dissolve following accounting issues. [Sky News]
Bloomberg is apologizing to its clients after allegations that reporters snooped on client terminals to see their Seamless orders or whatever. [CNN Money]
JackThreads’ recent push into international waters, like Australia and the U.K., is doing well for the company’s bottom line as sales overseas now make up 10 percent of its business. [AllThingsD]
Facebook Home is missing features that Android users love (widgets, docks, oh my!) because all of the developers use iPhones. The lack of “droidfooding” is causing them to scramble to add those features to turn around Home’s slow downloads. [TechCrunch]
Here’s a groovy map that shows you where in the world Wikipedia is being edited right now. [Ars Technica]
Elon Musk and David Sacks have left Mark Zuckerberg’s political action group over growing concerns over the support of certain politicians. [AllThingsD]