Archive for January, 2009

Wikipedia and Britannica swap operating models.

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

WIKIALITY, San Francisco, Monday (NNN) — The online user-generated social networking site Wikipedia and the venerable Encyclopædia Britannica are both considering radical changes in how they are run.

The change has proven controversial. “It’s a slippery slope,” said administrator “WikiFiddler451” (real name WikiViolin451). “I don’t see how we can reasonably keep the Pokémon and Naruto entries sufficiently up-to-date and welcoming of new contributors.”

(Read more)

Firefogg video transcoder plugin for Firefox.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Wikimedia only accepts video in Ogg Theora format, because it’s not patent encumbered (and Dirac is not yet ready for prime time). Nothing produces this by default. Fortunately, Firefogg will do the job for you on Firefox 3.1 (which is that cool, by the way). Brianna Laugher’s posted (1, 2) a couple of useful guides to the fancy media stuff we’re doing.

The Mozilla Foundation has also given the WMF $100,000 to improve Ogg Theora. The goal is to get it as good as H.264. This is actually considered feasible.

(And MPEG LA plans to charge for H.264 encoding after December 31st, 2010. Some people are going to get a horrible lesson in why encumbered formats are a problem.)

Take that, Apple, Nokia! Lying arseholes.

Flagged revisions media hype.

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

The media thinks the flagged revisions proposal for English Wikipedia is just the thing for the hype machines. I did Chris Evans BBC2 drivetime today. Hopefully not too oversimplified. (Cheers to Chris Down for transcript.) It behooves those of us all for it to make damn sure the edits are patrolled really fast.

Update: Mathias Schindler on BBC World Service Europe Today.