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Posts tagged wikipedia

Morning Roundup: Google Play textbooks in Canada. Why do people trust Wikipedia?
August 19, 2014 | 9:00 am

wikipediaGoogle Play Textbooks Now Available in Canada (GoodeReader) Google has announced that their digital textbook service is now available in Canada. *** Why do People Trust Wikipedia? Because an Argument is Better than a Lecture (Techdirt) This doesn't mean you blindly read Wiki articles without questioning them. But a properly sourced article is simply more trustworthy than a talking head telling you how to think. *** Three Common Mistakes to Avoid When Publishing a Book App (Digital Book World) Now I want to discuss the three biggest mistakes people make when it comes to tackling this kind of project. I’ve helped scores of people publish their books...

Wikipedia tightens its terms of use to prohibit unobvious payola editing
June 17, 2014 | 8:08 am

Over the last few years, a number of minor scandals have come to light concerning wiki editors who were paid by publicity firms to edit articles in Wikipedia. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports, the Wikimedia Foundation has changed the encyclopedia’s terms of use to require that anyone paid to edit an article must disclose that arrangement. This comes only a week after a coalition of major PR firms announced a pledge not to edit their clients’ Wikipedia pages surreptitiously. This is a good move by Wikipedia; the only thing that surprises me is that it had gone...

Don’t Go to Art School, Part 2: The Nearly-Free English Degree, Year One
August 20, 2013 | 4:27 pm

schoolRead the entire "Don't Go to Art School" series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 * * * In the initial post of my new "Don't Go to Art School" series, I shared with you a great little blog post by an artist who exhorted his peers to skip an expensive art school degree, and to educate themselves, DIY-style. I promised to share with you a similar plan that would give you the equivalent in another curriculum area: the humanities. So, here we go: Part One of the "Nearly-Free English Degree." We'll be structuring this particular program using the same format I followed for...

In Wikipedia, notability is a notable problem
August 11, 2013 | 8:23 pm

The other day, I was contacted by novelist Jess C. Scott, whose e-book Wicked Lovely was removed in the Amazon incest cull we covered in 2010. Scott can’t seem to catch a break, as now her page on Wikipedia is under discussion for deletion. Scott is up in arms over this, and has posted a brief history of her struggles to keep the page active. She writes: Note how the reasons for deletion change throughout the discussion. The page was first nominated for deletion because of: "No reliable sources, almost nothing in...

Would we be better off without Wikipedia?
June 27, 2013 | 4:11 pm

On The Bookseller’s blog, Piers Blofeld pontificates about Wikipedia, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Blofeld thinks the world would be better off if Wikipedia ceased to exist, because if it reaches its goal of codifying all human knowledge, that will mean the end of historians because there won’t be anything left for them to do. Blofeld does cop to using Wikipedia a lot himself, but says he doesn’t remember anything he reads there for more than five minutes after he reads it. He compares the ease of using Wikipedia to zookeepers finding their animals did better if they...

Post-PRISM “Nineteen Eighty-Four” sales spike points up Orwell’s split position
June 15, 2013 | 4:53 pm

PRISM One off-the-wall consequence of the sudden disclosures regarding the U.S. National Security Agency’s PRISM digital surveillance program earlier this week was the much-reported spike in sales of George Orwell’s "Nineteen Eighty-Four"—with Penguin Plume’s recent Centennial Edition up almost 7,000 percent on the Amazon Movers & Shakers list for Books, according to some sources. This level of interest proved to be more than just a flash in the pan. By Friday, "Nineteen Eighty-Four" was still in 18th place on the Amazon Movers & Shakers list for Books—although the Kindle edition was absent from the Top 100 Movers & Shakers or Best Sellers rankings on...

Location-based Learning with Wikipedia Nearby
June 2, 2013 | 4:25 pm

Wikipedia NearbyWikipedia is getting in on the location-based services bandwagon with Wikipedia Nearby, a new Web application that provides uses with articles based on their proximity to the user. Available for both mobile and PC, the app takes advantage of MediaWiki’s relatively new GeoData extension, which connected geo-coordinates to a central API that programmers could query to build stuff like this. The foundation is hoping Nearby will attract new editors to the Wikipedia fold, as users will be able to provide their own photos and updated information of nearby places-of-interest on-site. I tried it out; everything works well, though there’s not much interesting history in the...

Promising DPLA debut—but please don’t confuse special-collection items, exhibits and APIs with a full-fledged ‘public library’ demo
April 19, 2013 | 10:00 am

DPLAA caveat first. The Digital Public Library of America is evolving. What’s more, I’m a booster of the organization and of the people behind it, including the new executive director, Dan Cohen, who so decently reacted after the Boston Marathon bombings. But for now, the academic-and-hacker mindset is prevailing at the DPLA over the traditional public library one, judging from the demo’s worthy but rather limited debut yesterday. Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. But then, why insist on the P word in the organization’s name? Also, the K-12 appeal so far is not quite as great as I’d hoped despite some...

Using Calibre for E-Book Management, Chapter 11: Even More Plugins!
March 5, 2013 | 9:58 am

Calibre PluginsThis post is part of TeleRead's "Using Calibre for E-Book Management" Guide: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 TeleRead's Juli Monroe did a great job explaining what a Calibre plugin is, and how to install one. But of course, every e-book user has their own special needs and preferences, and my own Calibre plugin mix is slightly different than hers. So, for my part of the Calibre wrap-up, I'll tell you which plugins I use, why I use them,...

Morning Links: Wikipedia and the future of news
December 20, 2012 | 10:18 am

What Wikipedia Can Tell Us About the Future of News (GigaOM) Children's Digital Profit Down at Scholastic As Hunger Games Fades and Digital Investment Ramps (Digital Book World) MacMillan Vows to Participate in Library eBook Lending (Good E-Reader) Dickens, Reserialized (The Digital Shift) Kindle Daily Deals: Terminal Value by Thomas Waite (and eight other books!) * * *  ...

Where to Look for Textbook Alternatives
November 29, 2012 | 2:46 pm

I've seen a lot of articles lately about the high cost of textbooks. This one was about site licenses and how they penalize smaller schools. This one is about the use of e-readers in developing countries. This one is an infographic that looks at the issue from a variety of angles. It strikes me as a somewhat American obsession, this textbook habit. When I did my teacher training in New Zealand back in 2005, nobody used textbooks there. There were some resource packets produced by the government for certain curriculum areas, but other than that, you were on your own—it was your job,...

How to turn Wikipedia articles into e-books
September 18, 2012 | 2:05 pm

Taking into account the well-known unreliability of some of its content, I'm honestly not sure how I feel—intellectually-speaking—about the idea that it is now possible to transform random collections of Wikipedia articles into e-books. (More details about that later.) But speaking from the point of view of someone who is endlessly fascinated with the possibilities of digital reading, well ... I'd certainly be lying if I said I wasn't going to play around with Wikipedia's new e-book export feature for a good 20 minutes, as soon as this article is posted. * * * According to a post on the Wikimedia Foundation's Tech...