Interactive 3D visualization of Wikipedia

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The online enyclopedia is "reimagined as a cosmic web of knowledge" at Wikiverse: a representational web upon the literal web that implemented a conceptual web. Read the rest

UC Davis Chancellor spent $400K+ to scrub her online reputation after pepper-spray incident


Back in April, we learned that UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi had hired a sleazy "reputation-management" company to scrub her reputation and that of the university after the 2011 incident in which university police lieutenant John Pike hosed down peaceful protesters with pepper spray, jetting chemical irritant directly into their open mouths and eyes. Read the rest

"Tendril perversion": when one loop of a coil goes the other way


The term "tendril perversion" was coined in 1998 by mathematicians Goriely and Tabor to describe the long-observed phenomenon of coiled cables, vines and other helixes that have one kinked loop that goes the other way. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders campaign withdraws bogus copyright threat against Wikipedia


A terse update to the Wikimedia page for DMCA notices confirms that the Sanders campaign has withdrawn the legal threat it sent to the organization yesterday over its hosting of copies of campaign logos and designs. (Thanks, Tomasz!) Read the rest

FACEPALM: Bernie Sanders campaign tries to censor Wikipedia: UPDATED


Update The campaign has withdrawn the threat.

The Bernie Sanders campaign has sent an abusive DMCA notice to Wikimedia, the foundation that administers Wikipedia, over their hosting of Sanders campaign logos. Read the rest

Wikipedia Russia suspends editor who tried to cut deal with Russian authorities


A Wikipedia editors has been suspended after he organized a meeting with the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (as well as Rospotrebnadzor, a consumer rights watchdog, and Roskomnadzor, a media watchdog) to set terms under which "the expert opinion of authorized government bodies" would be inserted into Wikipedia entires on “socially sensitive” topics. Read the rest

NSA spying: judge tosses out case because Wikipedia isn't widely read enough


Wikimedia -- Wikipedia's parent org -- has had its case against the NSA dismissed by a Federal judge who said that the mere fact that the site is one of the most popular destinations on the net was not a basis for assuming that the NSA had intercepted data between Wikipedia and its users. Read the rest

Jimmy Wales calls UK's proposed crypto ban "moronic"


The Wikipedia co-founder is also the UK government's special Internet advisor. In the previous election cycle, Tory PM David Cameron promised to ban strong crypto if re-elected, and when the US surveillance establishment dropped its demands for a ban on crypto, Cameron doubled down on the proposition. Read the rest

Wikipedia bans editors suspected of being paid shills


381 accounts believed to be "socks"--used by editors to make paid-for changes to the site--have been cast out.

A posting on the admin board explains how the Checkuser team exposed the dodgy accounts.

There are 381 socks currently being blocked as a result of this investigation. All of the socks are linked by both technical data and behavioural evidence. The list of socks has been posted at Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/Orangemoody/Accounts. All of these blocks are checkuser blocks. They are being performed by EgressBot using a standardized block summary and user talk page template, so that reviewing administrators and editors will be able to identify that they are part of this group. A copy of the block summary and template is posted on the page listing the identified socks. Unblock requests can be brought to the attention of checkusers; this can be done by posting a link at the SPI talk page. It will take the blocking bot approximately an hour to complete all of the blocks; if for other behavioural reasons an administrator needs to block any of the accounts in the interim, the block will be superseded by the bot with the applicable summary and template. The same will apply to any accounts that have already been blocked.

The socks all exhibit at least one of the following behavioural traits:

"Article creation" socks create articles in draft space or user space mainly based on submissions to Articles for creation that had been declined, or articles that had been added to article space and deleted as being too promotional.

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Top 10 Wikipedia articles containing the phrase "legend has it" and at least one cat

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Tory chairman accused of smearing party rivals' Wikipedia entries

Wikipedia says that Grant Shapps, the bullying, untruthful millionaire spam kingpin who chairs the UK Conservative Party is behind an account that vandalised the entries for senior party officials and edited out references to Shapps's spamming career. Read the rest

NYPD caught wikiwashing Wikipedia entries on police brutality

Anonymous users from NYPD's IP block have made questionable edits to the Wikipedia entries on high-profile police brutality victims including Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo. Read the rest

Wikimedia sues the NSA

The Wikimedia Foundation -- which oversees Wikipedia -- eight other organizations, and the ACLU have filed a lawsuit against the DoJ and the NSA, contesting the spy agency's program of mass "upstream" surveillance. Read the rest

Wikipedian corrects 15,000+ instances of "comprised of"

Bryan "Griaffedata" Henderson is on a mission to change every instance of "comprised of" to "composed of" or "consists of" -- and he's written a manifesto on the subject. Read the rest

Each day's top-viewed Wikipedia article in 2014


What do Laverne Cox, Crimea, and Malware have in common? Each was a top-viewed Wikipedia article for at least one day in 2014. Read the rest

Senate IP address vandalizes Wikipedia to scrub "torture" from CIA torture report

An anonymous editor at -- registered to the US Senate -- has repeatedly attempted to scrub the word "torture" from the Wikipedia entry from Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture. Read the rest

Wikipedia: Deleted articles with freaky titles

"Cambodian scrotum theives," "Dating Rules From My Future Self,"Fake articles and entries in dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference books, lists, and directories as well as fictitious places, streets or other intentionally fake insertions in maps," "The Fax Machine Monster of Basildon," Read the rest

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