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Year: 2009 Week: 26 Number: 109
An independent internal news bulletin
for the members of the Wikimedia community
=== Technical news ===
[New "Green" Data Centers] - The Foundation announced a new "in-kind"
sponsorship (valued at over ?300,000) by "green" (environmentally
friendly) Data Center EvoSwitch. EvoSwitch will be Wikimedia's new
Internet HUB for Europe. Not only does this provide us with a
long-term solution for delivering faster and better traffic in Europe
and beyond, it also means that Wikimedia servers are taking advantage
of cutting edge green power technology provided by Evoswitch.
[Public repositories for dumps] - A new public repository has been
created to host WikiXRay database dumps, containing info extracted
from public Wikipedia dbdumps. The image is hosted by RedIRIS (in
short, the Spanish equivalent of Kennisnet in Netherlands). These new
dumps are aimed to save time and effort to other researchers, since
they won't need to parse the complete XML dumps to extract all
relevant activity metadata. As of press time, only some of the
biggest Wikipedias are available. However, in the following days the
full set of available languages will be ready for downloading.
mailing list post
http://sunsite.rediris.es/mirror/WKP_research/ -- respository
[Chinese search improved] - the search function for the Chinese and
Japanese wiki's are improved due to to a better support of the
=== Request for help ===
[Spread the word!] - We are very happy with your readership, but the
subscriber numbers are not really growing anymore. Wikizine could use
some more readers. Maybe are there users on your wiki who do not know
about Wikizine? Talk about Wikizine, put a Wikizine banner on your
user page or on a community page if approved. Thanks.
=== Foundation ===
[Wikimania] - last year the were missing but now the are back; the
hacking days. Those who love to work on MediaWiki & extensions, bot
scripts, toolserver stuff, etc.can amuse themselves at Wikimania.
=== Legal ===
[Plagiarism?] - There's a report that some parts of Chris Anderson's
book "Free" were copied from various Wikipedia articles without
attribution. This news has been picked up by a few gossip blogs, but
has not been confirmed as accurate.
=== Agenda ===
[SF: Mozilla] - Mozilla Labs is holding their monthly meetup at
Mozilla's new HQ in Mountain View Thursday (6/25) night. The topic
should be of interest to local SF Wikimedians (some members from the
WMF office are going too). Joseph Smarr, Chief Platform Architect at
Plaxo, will talk about the ?Open Social Web? initiative to put users
back in control of who they know when using socially-enabled sites by
using open data-sharing standards. He will be discussing the social
web, the underlying protocols that make it possible, and the potential
role for the browser to play in this world.
[WMAT] - Wikimedia Österreich (the Austrian chapter of the Foundation)
will be holding its second Annual General Assembly on 26 June 2009 at
19:00 at the AKH-Hörsaal Medical Center in Vienna. If you live in
Austria, please attend!
=== Community ===
[Wikimedium #2] - Wikimedia Deutschland released its second
"newspaper" aimed at (potential) sponsors, partners, friends and fans
of Wikimedia, The new edition includes issues 'around the world' (from
other Chapters), information about the recent conferences in Berlin
(developers, board, and chapter meets), explanation of the Wikipedia
structure, and a lot more. The next edition is planned for September.
It's definitely worth reading if you know German!
[New DVD (for Linux)] - Wikimedia CH (in collaboration with openZIM)
has released a new edition of the German Wikipedia DVD on LinuxTag
2009. The DVD contains more than 900,000 German Wikipedia articles and
a full text search index for phrasal search. The openZIM project
develops a file format called "ZIM" to store hypertexts like
Wikipedia, or other websites, with search indexes and images in the
most efficient way. The data is highly compressed; the Wikipedia
articles only take up 1.4 GB on the DVD. A new edition of the
Wikipedia DVD, in Spanish, is also planned for the Wikimania
conference from August 26th to 28th of 2009 in Buenos Aires.
http://openzim.org/2009-06-23_Wikipedia_DVD -- press release (multiple
[Weather bot] - There's a new bot for the Serbian Wikinews that posts
and updates weather information for Serbia. It is planned to increase
this to the whole world and all Wikinewses, but help from bot
operators is needed. This has brought up questions on how best to
incorporate it into the sites (with OpenStreetMaps? a new
http://tinyurl.com/wn-weather -- example of weather on sr.wikinews
-- mailing list post
[PLWP New Main Page] - The Polish Wikipedia is trying to design a new
main page ("Strona g?ówna") and is trying to solicit opinions and
ideas on what the new one should look like.
[Vandalism survival] - A new study on Wikipedia attempts to determine
the distribution of the length of time that vandalism remains on the
English-language Wikipedia. This distribution is also known as the
survival function for vandalism. The two primary results from this
study are: (a) the median time to correction is down to four minutes,
and (b) some subtle forms of vandalism still persist for months and
-- study was published in the Signpost
=== Media ===
[Interview] - Lichtenstein's "Vaterland" did an interview with German
Wikipedia user "Dodo von de Bergen" where "dvdb" talked about his
activities within Wikipedia.
http://www.vaterland.li/page/epaper/pdf_download.cfm?seite=09_mapc_01_2009-06-05 -- article
[Video Upgrade] - Technology Review (a publication by MIT) gave an
update about some future changes to how Wikipedia will handle
searching, editing, and embedding video clips (and other media). This
article combined a large number of "mini-updates" that Michael Dale
has been giving the community about his work on MediaWiki's video
handling (per a grant with Kaltura).
http://beta.technologyreview.com/web/22900/page1/ -- article
http://tinyurl.com/kaltura-pr -- press release
http://ultimategerardm.blogspot.com/2009/06/dotsub.html -- multi
language subtitles for video
[Wikisource] - An info/law blog published an interesting post about
using Wikisource as an alternative open access repository for legal
studies. It turns out the author is actually an admin on Wikisource
who works on expanding the texts too!
=== Stats ===
[Wikt OC] - The Occitan Wiktionary has reached 10,000 entries.
[WP Ru] - The Russian Wikipedia has reached 400,000 articles
[Wp an] - The Aragonese Wikipedia has reached 15,000 articles
[Wp csb] - The Kashubian Wikipedia has reached 2,000 articles
=== Other news ===
[Give us your passwords] - Not exactly related to Wikimedia projects,
but a US city tried to request that government job applicants turn
over their user names and passwords to Internet social networking and
Web groups. A flood of criticism has prompted a Montana city to drop
this request, but it still started an interesting (albeit offtopic!)
discussion on the Wikimedia mailing lists.
[Berkman files now in Ogg] - The Berkman Center for Internet & Society
(a research center at Harvard University) has released its audio and
video files in Ogg (and licensed under CC-BY).
=== Did you know ... ===
.... that some articles can make you feel stupid?
One of the articles on Wikipedia is about 1 car and 2 goats. And the
probability of these goats and car to be behind a particular door.
If you have no problem to be disillusioned ....
=== Quote ===
There is a theory which states that if anybody ever discovers exactly
what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly
disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and
inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has
already happened. - (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, almost all
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Editor(s): Casey, Walter
Thanks to: David Gerard, Eloquence, Nathan, Milos, Wiktoryn, John
Vandenberg, Catrin, Brion, Petar Marjanovic, Signpost (fuzheado, Loren
Cobb), Jay, MichaelSnow, Felipe Ortega
Special thanks to: The Wikipedia Signpost for publicity
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