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Wikipedia The Internet News Technology

Reluctant Wikipedia Lifts Lid On $2.5M Internet Search Engine Project (theregister.co.uk) 51

The Wikimedia Foundation has finally disclosed details of its controversial Knowledge Engine grant -- and it confirms that Wikipedia is getting seriously into search, despite Jimmy Wales' categorical denial that WMF is "doing a Google." After a Wikipedia signpost article, and coverage at El Reg this week, the WMF caved and posted the Knight Foundation's approval of the $250,000 grant. The grant provides seed money for stage one of the Knowledge Engine, described as "a system for discovering reliable and trustworthy information on the Internet." The discovery stage includes an exploration of prototypes of future versions of Wikipedia.org which are "open channels" rather than an encyclopedia, analyzing the query-to-content path, and embedding the Wikipedia Knowledge Engine "via carriers and Original Equipment Manufacturers."
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Reluctant Wikipedia Lifts Lid On $2.5M Internet Search Engine Project

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  • how useless (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jtrainor ( 820767 )

    Cool, I look forward to having a search engine primarily full of family guy episodes, anime characters, and a million roads and tiny towns in rural England.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget two fat guys arguing over what should and shouldn't be added to the My Little Pony page.

    • Welcome to Brian's Totally Bitchin Wikindex of Portmanteaus, Inuyasha Characters, and Roads Between Penistone and Scunthorpe!
    • Next..there will be search engine for kid, groceries...even special search engine for xxx content
  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @07:52PM (#51502945)

    One of Wikipedia's largest problems is that it cites things which cite things which end up citing Wikipedia if you go far enough back.

    It would be great to have Wikipedia akin to Wolfram Alpha but less math and more about factual primary sources.

    • One of Wikipedia's largest problems is that it cites things which cite things which end up citing Wikipedia if you go far enough back.

      This. I see a lot of notes on Wikipedia pages looking to correct / expunge 'original research'. WTF? I get that they'd like some corroboration on and confirmation of details forming part of an entry - but every footnoted citation that they consider acceptable, links directly or indirectly to original research somewhere back up the line. If a bunch of previous sources say the sky is green, does that make it so?

      I would expect Wikipedia to encourage original research, along with the rigorous fact-checking and

    • It would be great to have Wikipedia akin to Wolfram Alpha but less math and more about factual primary sources,

      The problem with primary sources is that they are rarely accessible to the general reader. The appeal of a traditional encyclopedia like the Britannica lay in the opportunity to explore in some depth subjects outside your own specialty.

    • You mean this : https://xkcd.com/978/ [xkcd.com] ?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now they want their turn

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have a severe problem finding useful information on Google right now. Search the title of any song. The results are always 1) 1,000 lyric websites 2) 1,000 shopping websites 3) 10,000 random linkbait blogs that spam you with ads or try to trick you into downloading malware, and 4) A Youtube link and a wiki page if it's popular enough. Sometimes #4 is useful, but often it's not. I find it incredibly difficult to find what real people are saying about a topic when artificially-generated pseudo content puts

  • described as "a system for discovering reliable and trustworthy information on the Internet."

    So, Wikipedia isn't going to be the top result for many searches?

  • by flopsquad ( 3518045 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @08:58PM (#51503379)
    Confirming the $250.00 grant, estimated to be worth $2.5 million, Wales admitted, "Yes, we received a $250,000 grant. But we are only spending $2.5 billion of it on search. The other $25 is going to expand our article on the base 10 number system. [wikipedia.org]
    • Hee hee. I thought it was the common Slashdot lack of proof-reading, sub-editing, all those old-fashioned skills, and then The Register's mistake but no: the $250,000 grant is the first stage of a project costed at $2.5m

      • Actually, the first stage is costed at 2.5 million, of which the Knight Foundation is only covering $250,000. The rest is coming out of donations. The other three stages will each cost more than the first.

        From this [wikimedia.org] write-up, linked in the article (the link is on the word "costed"):

        "Page 10 of this text specifically says that the cost of the first stage of "Knowledge Engine by Wikipedia" is $2.5 million, and that the grant is for 1 year starting in September 2015. Page 2 says that the whole project is in
  • Their Android app doesn't even select the search field when you press the search button (it's a standard Android key code, and it used to be a common physical button back when touchscreen phones still had those) and they want to get into search?

    This is why I don't send them money. How's about spending some money to hire some professional mediators to moderate some of these article wars? That would actually be useful and make Wikipedia a better encyclopedia.

  • Several commenters here have suggested that building an alternative to Google, based on values like Wikimedia's, may be a good thing. This is a worthwhile point, and a worthwhile discussion; but it misses the point of what's problematic here.

    The problem here, the thing that has many Wikimedians worried, is that Wikimedia trustee Jimmy Wales has apparently been telling outright lies about whether the organization has considered pursuing a search engine to rival Google et al. He has made a number of unequivoc

    • Well said. It's gotten to the point where whenever Wales starts badmouthing people and calling something "utter fucking bullshit" or a "total lie" (as he did in this case), you have to suspect that something very much resembling the exact opposite of what he says is actually true. At the same time, he claimed in those discussions he was "a much stronger advocate of transparency than James [Heilman]", the community representative he and the others had thrown off the Wikimedia board.
    • by jwales ( 97533 )

      The problem with your rant, Pete, is that I have told the absolute truth at every point here. We are not pursuing a search engine to rival Google et al. This grant is not about that type of project, and that type of project would be - quite frankly - ludicrous to attempt on a $250,000 grant.

      Discovery at Wikipedia is awful, this is universally understood and acknowledged. This grant is the beginnings of an exploration of how to improve it.

      The bullshit - and it is bullshit, and I have said it before and wi

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