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Pentagon shooter used Wikipedia, soon iPhone OS will too
Pentagon shooter used Wikipedia
The Wikipedia user page of John Patrick Bedell, the perpetrator in the March 4th Pentagon shooting, appeared on The Today Show on March 6th, 2010 as part of a story explaining his motives. In his user profile, as well as on other Internet sites including YouTube, User:JPatrickBedell expressed his interest in conspiracy theories and his violent thoughts.  User:WWB took a closer look at the account's contributions on his "The Wikipedian" blog, concluding that Bedell "was an occasional but occasionally very active editor", who "was familiar with Wikipedia conventions, probably as a consequence of being thwarted in his efforts by other editors." At one point he complained on Jimbo Wales' talk page about the impending deletion of an article he had written.
His user page was deleted (The Today Show linked to a copy on a Wikipedia mirror) and his account was "Blocked as a precautionary measure, per standard procedure" by User:Fran Rogers on March 5th. The justification on the user page links to the Wikipedia article about the shooting.
Last June, the New York Times reported on the Wikipedia account of the suspect in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting, see previous Signpost story.
Built-in iPod search option
According to this independent article, a Wikipedia search option will be included in the upcoming iPhone OS releases for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. No official announcement has been made yet regarding this feature.
Transcendental turmoil perplexes psychologist
In a blog post about transcendental meditation on his web site Psych Central, psychologist John Grohol described his attempt to learn more about the subject and his dissatisfaction with the relevant Wikipedia article. He specifically argued that the research section was sloppily written and biased against transcendental meditation. He also pointed out the turmoil on the article's talk page, though he did not make note of the ongoing ArbCom case about the subject.
E-marketer discusses value of external links on Wikipedia
In an interview (MP3) about the use of free e-books as a marketing tool, Ron Hogan, director of e-marketing strategy at the U.S. publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, mentioned the usefulness of external links on Wikipedia for marketing purposes. Discussing a book of his own, a version of the Tao Te Ching in English (combined from existing translations of the Chinese original) that generated 100,000 downloads as a Creative Commons licensed e-book and was later made into a print edition, Hogan said:
- When I was first putting it up, I went around to all the websites that I could find that had information about Taoism and I basically offered them the link as something they might want to add to their blogroll. I was lucky in that a number of sites that collated translations added me to their sites. One of the biggest developments was when I edited the link into the Wikipedia page for the "Tao Te Ching" as part of the resources available there--so people were discovering it through Wikipedia.
(The link was first added to the article in August 2005. It was removed in December 2009. At one point the article had contained links to over 27 free online English translations.)
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