Commons Picture of the Year 2010: "Laser towards Milky Way's Centre", taken last August by Yuri Beletsky, at the high-altitude Paranal Observatory in Chile. The laser "creates an artificial star at an altitude of 90 km high in the Earth's mesosphere", as a reference-point enabling the adaptive optics to correct the blurring effect of the atmosphere, thus improving observations of phenomena such as the giant black hole at the centre of the galaxy.
Last week, the Wikimedia Foundation announced "the launch of the Wikipedia Participation Challenge, a data-modeling competition to develop an algorithm that predicts future editing activity on Wikipedia", hosted by Kaggle, a platform for crowd-sourcing predictive modeling. Based on data derived from Wikipedia's public XML dump, contestants are to "develop a model to predict the number of edits a given editor will make in six months' time", competing for $10,000 in prize money provided by an anonymous donor. The challenge was noted on various blogs, such as Revolution Analytics and New Scientist. User:Protonk noted that the dataset has been anonymized "to obscure editor identity and article identity, simultaneously adding focus to the challenge and robbing the dataset of considerable richness", and gave detailed advice to participants, especially those not familiar with Wikipedia editing processes. A blog posting by a former collaborator of the WMF's data scientist Diederik van Liere, titled "Mind. Prepare to be blown away. Big data, Wikipedia and government", compared the challenge to an earlier one on Kaggle that had significantly improved existing models from HIV research, and noted that "Within 36 hours of the wikipedia challenge being launched the leading submission has improved on internal Wikimedia Foundation models by 32.4%". By July 1st, the dataset had been downloaded more than 200 times. At the time of writing, 17 teams have submitted models.
An offensive image as it would look when hidden by the proposed personal image filter
WikiHistories – Tagalog Wikipedia: One of the Foundation's WikiHistories summer fellowsreported on her field trip to the Philippines to study the local Wikipedia/Wikimedia community, where she attended a meeting between Wikimedia Philippines and members of the official Commision for the Philippine Language, with the chapter "essentially asking for government approval of Tagalog Wikipedia’s language policies. This signals a greater tendency [...] for that body to take cues from established entities such as the government [and] universities". She said another "key difference between the English and Tagaog Wikipedia movements is that there is significant overlap between Wikimedians and Wikipedians", in that the President and Vice-President of the local Wikimedia chapter are "two of Tagalog Wikipedia’s most active editors".
DMCA takedown despite OTRS permission: The Wikimedia Foundation complied with a DMCA takedown request for several photos from Canadian artist Gregory Colbert's "Ashes and Snow" collection recently, even though several of them carried an OTRS permission (Village pump discussion on Commons). In the takedown request, the law firm representing Colbert wrote "we have been advised by you that several years ago an administrative assistant at Ashes and Snow authorized (via the Internet) the publication and the use of certain photographs constituting Works and agreed to the terms of a Wikimedia Commons free license. Please be advised that [...] under no circumstances was the administrative assistant authorized to grant a license to Wikimedia Commons or anyone [... She] was not an authorized agent or Gregory Colbert, nor was she a manager, officer or director of any entity to which Mr. Colbert has licensed the Works, and did not have authority to grant such license."
Good article monthly round-up: In June the number of good articles rose to 12,237. This means that for the first time at least one in 300 of Wikipedia's articles has been quality assessed as passing the good article criteria. The proportion has been steadily rising since the good articles program was launched in 2005. An additional one in 1100 articles have attained the higher-quality featured article status, although this proportion has remained relatively steady for several years. This month's increase of 194 GAs was somewhat better than May's 181, but was still well below the project's average for the last 12 months. One controversial suggestion discussed this month, as a solution to the perennial nominations backlog, was encouraging nominators to review each other's articles. This received a mixed reception from experienced reviewers due to concerns about apparent conflicts of interest during quid pro quo reviews.
Wikimedia Mexico: A posting on the blog of the Mexican Wikimedia chapter reported in Spanish and English on some regional activities of Wikimedia Mèxico Occidente, the chapter's "regional ccordination" for the Western parts of the country.