Wikipedia:Wikipedia NEWS/June 13 19 2001

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Archived news entries from June 13-19 2001.

Matteo Carcassi

Posted June 19
A biography on a famed classical Guitarist, introduced to us by User:MarkVdB, is augmented by images of the sheet music for one of his most famous works, 25 Etudes op.60. Looks like Larry's got some work resolving the license issues, though...
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American English, Yeah Okay

Posted June 19
A page on the "uncivilized" amalgalm that is American English is starting to emerge, filled with the many idiosyncracies of the Language of the Yanks. Many of us ain't too aware of how what we talk is so different from thems fellows overseas. But we sure do talk funny, you betcha. And here's a page where ya can realize English the way we all learned. Of course, we all know English is originally just a deviant form of the German language.
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Chinese History

Posted June 18
User:Xiemaisi brings us the history of China for Wikipedia, providing us with an excellent summary of one of the longest lasting imperial cultures on our planet. This fills in the thousands of years prior to our section on the of modern China, and provides an excellent 15 minute background on how China came to be as it is today. Such an epic history begins, appropriately enough, with a heroic battle: In the 220s BCE, the duke Zheng of Qin managed to overwhelm the state of Chu, the biggest of the Warring States. This victory impressed the other dukes so much they surrendered without further fighting. Zheng proclaimed himself First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (Qin Shi Huangdi). Though his reign lasted only 11 years, he managed to subdue great parts of what constitutes present-day China and to unite them under a tight centralized government seated in Xianyang (near Xi'an). His sons, however, weren't as succesful...
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Topic-oriented Wikipedia

Posted June 18
User:Larry Sanger has put together a useful alternative categorization scheme, that is more strongly topically oriented than our homepage. It would be a good idea for you to look this over and chip in your thoughts, because this could be the vision of Wikipedia's future structure.
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Listing Poetically

Posted June 18
Our list of Poets has doubled in size - from 26 to 58, over the last four days. Is your favorite Poet listed? If not, add him (or her). If so, then see if you can add something to their description. For William Shakespeare, Wikipedia even has one of his plays included: All's Well That Ends Well. There is also pages for Latin poets, Polish poets and Spanish language poets.
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Prisoner's Dilemma

Posted June 18
User:Sjc posts an article on one of my favorite Game Theory strategies - the "Prisoner's Delimma". I've often wondered at the way this theory could help explain the successfulness of online projects like Wikipedia. ...the likelihood of cooperation and trust developing between two partners is related to the likelihood of there being other encounters in the future.
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Bobby Fischer

Posted June 16
Another excellent entry in Wikipedia's Chess Grandmaster's series is brought to us by User:Isofarro: Nobody gave the young Fischer much of a chance of qualifying from the Interzonal (the top four places qualified for the Candidates Tournament), so it was a surprise, and a good finish that Fischer qualified, and with it he was awarded the title of Chess Grandmaster in 1958.
It was at this stage, during the Candidates tournament, Fischer came face to face with the Russian Chess juggernaut...
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World War II's Great Leaders

Posted June 16
Two meaty bio's have recently been posted to add to Wikipedia's impressive collection of World War II articles, thanks to WojPob, Isofarro, and others:
Benito Mussolini created a very, very unfair and anti-democratic version of Italy, he forced the people to believe in ?Fascism? as the way of the future through his total control of the media, he had complete control of the country of Italy after he disassembled the existing democratic government system. He used corrupt and unfortunate means to keep his dictatorship.
Winston Churchill Churchill came to the fore of British politics during the cumulation of World War Two. He was a heavy critic of Neville Chamberlain's political handling of Adolf Hitler. On Chamberlain's resignation in early 1940, Churchill formed the next coalition government.
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Threepenny Opera

Posted June 16
User:Sjc brings us an article on a very revolutionary piece of theater. The play challenges conventional notions of property, and, to paraphrase from the play, asks the central rhetorical question: "Who is the bigger criminal? He who robs a bank or he who founds one?"
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Bruce Sterling

Posted June 16
Wikipedia's Science fiction author collection grows with an article by User:Malcolm Farmer on Bruce Sterling. In the late 1970s onwards, Sterling wrote a series of stories set in a `Mechanist/Shaper' universe: the solar system is colonised, with two major warring factions. The Mechanists use a great deal of computer-based mechanical technologies, the Shapers do genetic engineering on a massive scale.
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Today in the News

June 15, 2001
NASA astronauts on the space station Alpha rehearse to fix a malfunctioning robotic arm. Worldwide controversy over the U.S. National Missile Defense system grew today, as Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Russia President Vladimir Putin condemned the missile system during a meeting at the newly named Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). FBI agent and convicted Russian spy Robert Hanssen is in negotiations with U.S. federal prosecuters to avoid suffering the death penalty. The anticipated Lara Croft: Tomb Raider film is released, starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, and Noah Taylor as her sidekick and brilliant engineer Bryce (yay!) And farmers in Zentsuji, Japan have developed a clever technique to grow square watermelons by inserting the melons into glass cases the exact dimension of Japanese refrigerators; they cost four times as much as regular watermelons, though.
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Michael Moorcock

Posted June 15
User:Sjc brings us knowledge of a prolific British Science fiction author, Michael Moorcock, who is considered one of the founders of the so-called `New Wave' movement in science fiction: his serialisation of Norman Spinrad's `Bug Jack Barron' was notorious for causing a British MP to condemn the Arts Council's funding of the magazine. He is author of such books as 'Universal Champion', 'Mother London' and 'Byzantium endures'.
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Two Chess Grandmasters

Today User:Isofarro posts two articles to introduce us to two of the grand masters of Chess.
Anatoly Karpov Russian chess player who started off his playing career by annexing the Junior World Championship (not won by a Russian since Boris Spassky), everything sky-rocketed from there.
Gary Kasparov's rise up the FIDE ranking order is nothing short of phenomenal. Starting with an oversight by the Russian chess federation, Gary Kasparov participated in a Grandmaster tournament in Banja Luka whilst still an unknown...
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John Cabot

Posted June 15
User:Andre Engels posts an interesting article about an Explorer from Genova who searched for a route to the Indies, yet ran into North America, instead. [John] Cabot went to Bristol to make the preparations for his voyage. Bristol by then was the second-largest seaport of England, and during the past years (from 1480 onwards) several expeditions had been sent out to look for Hy-Brasil, an island that would lay somewhere in the Atlantic according to Celtic legends.... Cabot left with only one vessel, the Matthew, a small ship (50 tuns), but fast and able. The crew consisted of only 18 people.
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Column: Disambiguating parenthesis

Posted on June 15
User:Larry Sanger posts a new column to introduce to us a new feature coming with the next release and installation of our Wiki code: Soon, we will be able to disambiguate topics by using parentheses. It's worth starting to think about some general principles about when to use parentheses, and what to put in the parentheses.
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Electronic Music

Posted on June 15
Several people have been working on the page about a form of music that has been around since the 60's yet only recently has reached the mainstream in significant measure. Today, two duplicate pages on electronic music were combined to form a nicely detailed unified article. There's a wealth of links to interesting bands, origin history, and influence theory to help fill in. Examples of early adopters in this field are bands like Deep Purple and Pink Floyd, and although their music is not thought of as being primarily electronic, much of their resulting sound was dependant upon the synthesised element. In the 1970s, this style was mainly popularised by Kraftwerk, who used electronics and robotics to symbolise the alienation of the modern world; to this day their music remains uncompromisingly electronic.
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Attack of the Patent Nonsense

Posted on June 15
Some idiot hit the site today defacing pages, putting up wikipedia:patent nonsense and generally giving us a chuckle at his immaturity. Once again, the wikipedians rose to the challenge to restore pages almost as quickly as they were broken. Larry advises: "Restore pages by clicking on "Edit revision N" of the last intact version of the page..." You can do this by clicking on "View other revisions" at the bottom of the page, selecting the last "clean" version, picking "Edit revision N of this page" at the bottom, and then "Saving". Wiki will overwrite the current version with this update.
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Cannabis

Posted on June 14
A lively discussion is underway on a newly written article on Cannabis, as well fits this most controversial of topics.  :-) When prepared for smoking, the top, tender leaves are dried. The visible effects of smoking marijuana include "mellow" good feelings as well as giggling, and the frequent short-term side-effect of increased appetite. There is controversy over the nature and extent of marijuana's addictiveness and over many of its alleged side effects... The most interesting reading is in the Talk section.
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LZW Data compression

Posted on June 14
A contributor of an article on one of the most influential compression algorithms writes: LZW compression provided a better compression ratio, in most applications, than any well known method available up to that time. It became the first widely used general purpose data compression method on computers. On large English texts, it typically compressed to about half original size. Other kinds of data were also quite usefully compressed in many cases... There are many legal issues surrounding this method which I hope someone in a country with free speech will write up (it would be illegal for me to mention many of the basic legal facts).
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World War II: The Battle of Britain

Posted on June 14
User:RedMabuse and Rmhermen have posted a very readable summary of the important air war between Britain and Germany. The Battle of Britain began on August 1940. After the Fall of France in June, the Germans were not exactly sure what to do next. Adolf Hitler (and the German people) believed the war was over and the Britons would come to terms very soon. Stubborn as they are, Albion refused to give in.... So, the onus of the task lay on the German Luftwaffe.
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Games: Stone, Paper, Scissors

Posted on June 13
As part of the Game section, the rules of the game Stone, Paper, Scissors was added. Several other games, such as Go have been written up, but there's still many more yet to do.
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New Homepage

Posted on June 13
User:Hornlo created a new, much more nicely organized homepage for the project, and Larry put it into use. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to replicate this look on other "portal pages", to give a sense of consistency.
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Wikipedia Weblog News Page Added

Posted on June 13
As an experiment, I'm adding a weblog-like system, as an alternative to other similar pages, in the hope that it could be a more valuable way to obtain up-to-date info about the site and pages worth reviewing. Either this will be successful, and will be able to replace one or more of the other places, or it not, and we will revert to the existing mechanisms and just redirect this page to Announce. At issue is the fact that this page must be updated by hand, whereas the others are updated automatically. Will people be good about adding a few new items each day, or is it just too much typing to expect of the community? Will it encourage the populus din endemic to other weblogs or provide a useful way to hook casual visitors into the community?
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See also : Wikipedia NEWS