Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Friday, March 16, 2007

This isn't dead-on wiki-related, but ficlets is a cool new collaborative writing site -- you can submit a microstory of up to 1024 characters, and other people can write prequels and sequels, building sprawling nonlinear (and commons-licenced) narratives. It's from AOL, of all companies, but it's so well thought-out that you'd think it and AOL would explode on contact like matter and antimatter. (I'm helping write a cyberpunk programming firefox fanfic about a mad scientist type.)

In other gadgetry, Wikia just launched what it calls Wiki magazines, which basically seem to be wikified versions of digg -- instead of pointing offsite, the voted-on links go to on-site stuff. Neat stuff.

Kelly martin notes approvingly that the inclusionists have been gaining ground, and proposes replacing "notability" with an interesting new standard: maintainability.

A record of my breakfast yesterday (for the record, two glazed Dunkin Donuts and a bottle of Aquafina) is unverifiable, and thus unmaintainable, and thus unfit for inclusion in Wikipedia. Verifiability isn't enough for maintainability, but it's definitely a minimum characteristic.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Something called Colony Collapse Disorder is killing off bees in huge numbers, and "Honey bees are responsible for approximately one third of the United States crop pollination".

Rotating tesseract

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A plea

I'm working on a digg/reddit style wikipedia filter called wikimouse (basically a sort of perpetual motion machine for the wikisnips section of this blog), but I've hit a wall. I have a borderline-unusable prototype built, but I'm not a programmer, and I really can't figure out this ruby on rails stuff by myself, even with tutorials. If anyone wants to help, drop me a line or leave a comment.

Here's why I think wikimouse would be incredibly cool:

1. There are more great, quirky, insight-provoking wikipedia articles than any individual could blog in a lifetime.

2. We won't need to worry at all about spam prevention, self-promotion, etc., which cuts down the workload a lot -- if users are only allowed to link to wikipedia, all that stuff is taken care of already inside the wikipedia project. Basically, there's a floor on how bad the user-submitted content can be, and no ceiling (or is it the other way around?).

3. It could be an open-source, non-profit project on donated server space, but if it's for-profit, it would be cool to programatically generate merchandise based on the wikipedia article text (I've already written a program that does this). That means we don't have to bog down the site with banner and text ads (which wouldn't work too well anyway, since the content is very diverse).

pediax is a Wikipepedia mirror all tricked out with ajax. It's fucking cool -- the front page is Google Maps, showing the most popular articles in the field of view spearheaded on their locations. I just scrolled from michigan to nyc, picking out stops along the way; it's pretty great. (The actual article pages are slow, glitchy, and generally misguided.)

'People in Sioux Lookout, Ont., expressed shock and outrage after reading derogatory comments about their town in a brochure distributed to local businesses.

The brochure, a type of business directory distributed to hotels in the community, said Sioux Lookout was "full of drunks" and "a dirty little town." It also suggested people living in the community should move.'

Stable versions, anyone? (Or maybe just read articles before you republish them, and disclose their source.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wikipedia and Conservapedia go head to head on the BBC (realaudio). It's an entertaining listen.

Human echolocation is the ability of humans to sense objects in their environment by hearing echos off those objects.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

" is a site dedicated to the apparently untraceable leaking and analysis of documents from oppressive regimes." -via