Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Wikipedia Controversy

A recent online phenomenon has been Wikipedia: the free online wiki/encyclopedia. What makes Wikipedia different from all other online encyclopedias is the fact that it is also a wiki i.e. users can edit entries and add new entries whenever they find that the information currently displayed is inadequate.

As a result of this user-generated content Wikipedia is the number 1 online encyclopedia with over 4 million articles in over 200 languages (including most of the Indian languages). If you need specific information about any topic, Wikipedia is where you go to. I personally use Wikipedia much more than Google or any other search engine. (Well actually answers.com which gives me Wikipedia+other results).

There has been a recent controversy over a certain article by John Seigenthaler Sr., an American journalist who's Wikipedia entry had some erroneous and potentially damaging information. All this controversy raised the issue about the "correctness" of Wikipedia & whether it should be banned.

I think that this controversy is pretty stupid. User-generated content is what gives Wikipedia its depth, its flexibility, its sheer volume of information about every conceivable topic on the planet. It you take away the power of editing content from the users, then that will be the end of Wikipedia as we know it. In fact a recent study by the journal Nature concluded that Wikipedia is as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica. The errors in the entries seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

Of course all this raises the issue of how do we define "correctness" and what do you mean by "true". But I'll reserve that controversy for some other day :), the caveat here being whatever controversy we raise up always ends up with an unanswerable question at the end.

P.S.: I'm off to San Diego on a holiday, so no entry for a while :(

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Da Vinci Code

Following up on the geekiest review of the book possible, the Da Vinci Code movie trailer is out. Coming from Ron Howard & starring Tom Hanks & Ian McKellen, this one will be good. The trailer looks great, but then most trailers look great. The plot of the story begged for a movie and here it is. Here is the movie site which is cool too.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Boy, you just dropped the World Cup

Finally, Steve Waugh admits that he never said these very famous words to Herschelle Gibbs when he dropped Waugh's catch at short mid-wicket.

Here is the text from the Inside Cricket interview with Steve:
Did you actually say to Herschelle Gibbs "You just dropped the World Cup" in 1999?
No, I wasn't quite that clever. I wish I could claim that and the myth is sort of perpetuated and I'm going to break it a bit but it wasn't quite that, I just said: "Look, do you realise you've just cost your team the game." We were having a battle at the time and Herschelle is a fantastic player. I gave him a bit of stick when he was batting and of course he got 120. When you've done that you've got to cop it when you get back in and he gave me a gob full all the way through and I got to 56 and he dropped the catch and he walked past me at the end of the over and . . . well we had to say something.

Finally this will end the countless arguments I had with my friends that he never could have said these words (even a born sledger like Waugh) in that situation (semis of the World Cup with Aussies on the backfoot). So anyone who argued with me, I TOLD YOU SO :P