Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-10-22/News and notes
News and notes
Wikipedian Robert Braunwart dies
Robert Braunwart (Rbraunwa) died on Oct. 14 of melanoma, based on a comment on Rbraunwa's user page. Robert was born in Richland, Washington in 1948 and grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. He lived for many years in Oaxaca, México and Los Angeles, California. He attended Reed College as a National Merit Scholar before transferring to the University of Washington. Robert contributed almost 12,000 edits and hundreds of articles to Wikipedia, primarily on the viceroys of New Spain. Of these new articles, at least 15 were honored as Did you know selections.
Lawsuit filed to determine which state official edited Wikipedia
Two Associated Press journalists sued officials of the U.S. state of Arkansas, in response to the denial of a Freedom of Information Act request to determine which state computers had been used in various Wikipedia edits. According to the article, one edit removed controversial information about former Governor and current Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, while another reverted vandalism in current governor Mike Beebe's article.
New image tool to supplant current tools
The Free Image Search Tool (FIST) is the successor to both WatchFlickr and MissingImages. The new tool will look for free images for articles (manual list, categories) or to replace non-free/placeholder images. It currently uses
- Flickr (what WatchFlickr did)
- For a given article, it follows language links to find images (what MissingImages did)
- Direct Wikimedia Commons search
- The GIMP-SAVVY archive (PD images from USGov)
- EveryStockPhoto.com (Creative Commons BY and BY-SA images)
WatchFlickr and MissingImages have been turned off and redirected to FIST.
Private Eye gets regular Wikipedia column
Private Eye magazine has spun off its one-time article "Wikipedia Whispers" into a regular column. The column generally covers violations of the autobiography guidelines by politicians (this week it mentions Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley claiming falsely that the Guardian had libeled him on Wikipedia), corporations and journalists, although other Wikipedia-related news is also covered sometimes (such as inaccuracies in obituaries of Ronnie Hazlehurst sourced from a vandalised Wikipedia article).
Small analysis shows new users unlikely to have edited
A very small statistical analysis performed by checkuser Raul654 showed that very few new users had previously edited an article from the same IP address. In response to a question on Slashdot, Raul654 sampled ten recent users from the new user log. Of these ten, only one had edited prior to registering. No data was released on whether the users made any edits after registering. The study draws from a small sample, making its margin of error relatively high.
- Discussion is ongoing at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2007 regarding the upcoming Arbitration Committee Elections. Current plans are for the elections to start on Monday, December 3, with candidates being accepted starting on November 1.
- John Broughton is writing a book called Wikipedia: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly), due out in Dec '07. John said, "The book is based on the index I've been working on for a while."
- A collaboration called "Gnome Week" is ongoing through Sunday; this collaboration aims to clear various backlogs, and clean up articles in need of help.
- The Chinese Wikipedia has reached 150,000 articles.
- The Polish Wikinews has reached 6,000 articles.
- The Luxembourgish Wikipedia has reached 18,000 articles.
- The Tagalog Wikipedia has reached 10,000 articles.
- The Esperanto Wikipedia has reached 90,000 articles.
- The Wikipedia of Ripuarian languages has reached 500,000 edits.
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