Quick: you can send 20 gigabytes of data to the moon. What’s it going to be? Time’s up!
Wikipedia? What a coincidence — that’s what the Part-Time Scientists, a team working on a homegrown lunar rover for Google’s Lunar XPRIZE, decided too! And they’re really planning to bring Wikipedia to the Moon. Read More
Artificial intelligence (AI) is permeating our lives — just not in the ways we might have expected from reading sci-fi novels or watching robot apocalypse-themed movies. Instead of having live robots walking around, doing our dishes and engaging us in conversation, AI exists primarily in web and mobile apps designed to help us with small intellectual chores, like finding out when the… Read More
The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia and a number of other wiki-based projects, announced this morning that it’s now implementing HTTPS by default across all its sites in order to encrypt its traffic. The decision, it says, will make it harder for governments and other third parties to monitor users’ traffic, and will make it more difficult for Internet Service… Read More
The Wikimedia Foundation has been steadily rolling out updates to the Wikipedia mobile experience in recent months, and today that trend continues as the organization rolls out a brand-new iOS app. This release is focused on improvements to the visual design of Wikipedia’s app, better search, and includes the addition of social features that allow you to share facts and images with… Read More
In late July, Wikipedia announced that it would accept donations in bitcoin. In its first week of accepting bitcoin, Wikipedia racked up $140,000 in new funds, according to Coinbase, the service that powers its cryptocurrency influx. CoinDesk, a publication that tracks bitcoin and other alternative, digital currencies heralds the news as suggesting “the staying power of digital… Read More
Wikipedia, the decentralized community-powered encyclopedia, is now accepting donations in bitcoin, the decentralized community-powered cryptocurrency. The Wikimedia Foundation partnered with Coinbase to process the donations. Also new today, Coinbase will waive processing fees for all registered non-profits.
Today’s news shouldn’t come as a surprise. Back in March, Wikipedia… Read More
The good folks at the Wikimedia Foundation have been toying with the concept of mobile editing for some time now, attempting to tap into the 15-percent of its user base who read the open encyclopedia on mobile devices. It’s a growing segment of the population that includes potential readers in developing nations where handsets are far more prevalent than desktops. Of course, mobile editing has been a hard puzzle to crack, given the complexity of tools and the limitations of screen real estate on such devices, but Wikimedia’s been toiling away with beta versions for a while, after mastering photo uploading. Now it’s finally ready to open it up to all users with an account. For more info on getting started, peep the source link below.
The office is silent when our small film crew arrives at Wikimedia’s San Francisco headquarters. There’s none of the newsroom buzz one might associate with the operators of one of the world’s largest sites. Hell, the day I started at AOL, there was a bulldog skateboarding through the halls. There are a few subtle, telltale internet startup signs, like several bottles of liquor hastily packed in a filing box on the lower floor, sitting next to a small CD mixer. While it’s Friday afternoon, the company’s resident mixologist is out at the moment. The celebration will have to wait.
Just to the right of the party box is Song Yingxing, a conference room named for the Chinese encyclopedist, which has more recently adopted the “Mushroom Kingdom” name, owing to a slew of gaming consoles and peripherals housed inside. It won’t stay that way for long, according to Matthew Roth, the foundation’s global communications manager, who’s kindly devoted much of his afternoon to chaperoning us around the two floors. “No one really plays the games,” he says. The hammock, too, is empty for our visit. It would be easy enough to chalk up such good behavior to the presence of a visiting media outlet, but sometimes the simplest answer is the best: Friday afternoon or not, the folks seated at these desks are hard at work.
In the lower of two levels occupied by the foundation, developers have their heads down, rushing to get the soon-to-be-released in-house Wikipedia app out the door. The project has only been on the drawing board since January, and the foundation only hired its first dedicated iOS developer in the past month. The move is the next step in expanding the site’s already massive reach to corners of the world that it hasn’t quite penetrated, an attempt to help the organization approach its utopian vision of free information for all. On its face, it’s a simple photo uploader — but it’s more than that, really. It’s a chance to open up Wikipedia editing to an even larger global audience. It’s as good a reason as any to be inside on a beautiful mid-April Friday afternoon in Northern California.