Print 30 comment(s) - last by rushfan2006.. on Aug 7 at 8:42 AM

OLPC forges an alliance with Wikipedia

Following the reports from the OLPC committee that the original quotes for OLPC orders were exaggerated, Wikipedia has just released a newswire claiming that an offline version of Wikipedia will be included on the $100 laptop

"We are very pleased to have our content featured on the OLPC laptops," said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. "OLPC's mission goes hand in hand with our goal of distributing encyclopedic knowledge, free of charge, to every person in the world. Not everybody in the world has access to a broadband connection. This is exactly the type of project that advances Wikipedia's core mission."

Wikipedia currently hosts about 1.2M articles in English, with approximately another 3.4M articles hosted in other languages.  Taking Wikipedia offline for a static version is nothing new: the entire German-language edition (approximately 300,000 articles) is distributed onto 9GB DVD-ROM semi-regularly.  The offline German version also comes with about 100,000 images.

Wikipedia and OLPC have not announced which languages will be distributed with the OLPCs, or which articles will appear in the final revision either.

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What 3rd world country is big on German?
By Staples on 8/4/2006 2:31:07 PM , Rating: 1
Sure Wikipedia has lots of articles written in the big languages of industrialized countries but those are not the languages of the people that these things will marketted to. I can see Spanish, Portegues (sp), and lots of East and West Asian languages being the target languages. However the problem is that Wikipedia does not have anywhere near the number of articles written in those languages.

Maybe everybody will just have to learn English. That already seems to be the trend as it is now.

By shadowzz on 8/4/2006 2:33:08 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe everybody will just have to learn English. That already seems to be the trend as it is now.

Why not? It's not like we are really imposing on anyone by offering near-free laptops with millions of pre-compiled entries of the world's knowledge.

RE: What 3rd world country is big on German?
By OrSin on 8/4/2006 2:47:02 PM , Rating: 2
The text can ne eaisly translated before even going to PC. It will not be perfect but very readable. Peaple need to see the $100 PC for what it its. And thats portable learn too tool. Just a book that you can do some word process or programmin on. It was never meant to be a full fledge computer. Most iwll be preloaded with 10 years worth of math sceince and reading materials. In 2nd world countries (its not begin marketed to 3rd world at this piont) this will replace texts books and give user very basic computer skills. People need to stop acting like it should be able to play doom and surf the internet for porn.

RE: What 3rd world country is big on German?
By PrinceGaz on 8/5/2006 6:35:07 AM , Rating: 2
People need to stop acting like it should be able to play doom...

I expect it will be able to play Doom, and Doom II very well, even if that is not the machine's purpose. Both games are open-source and neither require 3D acceleration.

By jimmy43 on 8/5/2006 1:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
HAHA, its true. I wonder if you could fire up a game of stracraft on it. Shit, if you could set up a LAN game we could have ourselves a new generation of PRO-GAMERS right there.

RE: What 3rd world country is big on German?
By KingViper on 8/4/2006 2:57:10 PM , Rating: 1
I swear, people just continue to complain about these things.

A $100 pc, but thats gonna be slow.

They need food and water more.

A frickin encyclopedia of information included on the PC at no extra charge? Is that like the stuff Dell puts on a pc?

Wait, its not in english, they're screwing us.

I dont understand why we even try to help people anymore. Bitch bitch bitch.

By Burning Bridges on 8/5/2006 12:58:46 PM , Rating: 3
Would you use the internet if every page was in a language you couldn't read?

Yes it is a free thing, which is awesome, but, it would be better if it is in their native languages, as forcing people to learn another language isn't really the way to go, and stands in the way of their learning and education.

Just my €0.02 :-)

By jimmy43 on 8/5/2006 1:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
The English version of Wikipedia is most definetly the largest anyways. And as somone pointed out, English is very easy to pick up, and has become essential in doing international business or communication. Most of the articles on wikipedia only require a moderate skill level in English anyhow.

By thecoolnessrune on 8/4/2006 3:58:59 PM , Rating: 1
In the USA, its more about leaning Spanish than it is English.... who wants to learn English anymore? Spanish is where its at! XD

By Ringold on 8/4/2006 4:45:45 PM , Rating: 1
Nothing wrong with everyone learning English; a lot of people around the world (anyone notice that 3/4 the people reporters come across in Lebanon speak astoundingly good English?!) already speak it, and we've got to have SOME global common language.. It's a crapload easier than Chinese, French should be avoided because there's something about French and cowardice, and German would be okay but nobody speaks it -- except, mostly, them. America, the UK and Australia, on the other hand, rock.

Btw though, there are no 2nd world countries. They're either trash heaps (Nigeria -- who have an order in) or have something on the ball.. in which case if you blink you'll miss their overnight transition from villages and trash heaps to post-industrial powerhouse (South Korea). One may think of Eastern Europe as "2nd world", but many of them drive or take decent public transport to their industrial or post-industrial-style jobs, have cell phones, and enjoy many modern comforts. Poor, or at least not rich, yes. Third world? No.

There's a couple Mid-East countries that I'm not sure which camp they fall under, but at this rate they're all going to be Stone Age, not 3rd or 1st world, anyway..

And, more on topic: Isn't wikipedia supposed to be weak in accuracy on some things? or am I running on old news

RE: What 3rd world country is big on German?
By exdeath on 8/4/06, Rating: 0
By exdeath on 8/4/2006 5:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah forgot about the 16 yr old dropout daughters that walk around the mall half naked that have 3 kids before their Sr year of high school.

By crazydrummer4562 on 8/4/2006 4:40:39 PM , Rating: 2
and? it's better than nothing, while brittanica sits on their ass and does nothing.

By tuteja1986 on 8/4/2006 9:44:15 PM , Rating: 3
What happens when an kid looks up Information that was written by fanboy and it bias and incorrect. Does that kid get the whole wrong idea :(

LOL Wikipedia....gotta love it...
By rushfan2006 on 8/4/2006 4:27:09 PM , Rating: 2
Wikipedia is a joke. Nice concept and tons and TONS of information - don't get me wrong. But I practically fall off my chair whenever you debate someone and they come back with a like to wikipedia to support their debate.

Yeah....Wikipedia -- the world wide encyclopedia that ANYONE can ANY time....yeah that's really reliable and accurate. ;)

RE: LOL Wikipedia....gotta love it...
By TomZ on 8/4/2006 4:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, I agree that WikiPedia is not authoritative, however, you cannot deny that the majority of the information on WikiPedia is correct (at least IME), and that the range of what is covered on WikiPedia is very good.

By PrinceGaz on 8/5/2006 6:53:10 AM , Rating: 2
I'd agree that for the majority of topics I already know a lot about and which I've looked up on Wikipedia out of curiosity, the content has always been pretty much spot on.

As for being biased, that may be the case for topics where only one or two people have contributed to the article and they have either intentionally or through incomplete knowledge of the subject been able to only partially cover it. More common topics (ie. the sort of things you would actually find in a "real" encyclopedia) have enough contributors to ensure a fairly balanced article. Controversial topics which get defaced or delibrately changed to reflect one view soon become moderated and restored to a previous version.

I think it's a good idea to include an offline copy of the Wikipedia. It may not be perfect but it offers a wealth of content on more topics than any "proper" encyclopedia. Being free is also a big plus for a computer that will be sold for $100.

By jimmy43 on 8/5/2006 1:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
This is true. Wikipedia also has information for example on current trends, people, and alot of general information that is considered not definitive enough to include in a standard encyclopedia. Many of the articles in Wiki about things concretely defined already, such as physics formulas or anything you might find in science textbooks, is mostly locked for editing, meaning the information has been finalized and is of high quaility and complete.

RE: LOL Wikipedia....gotta love it...
By Kuroyama on 8/4/2006 4:57:12 PM , Rating: 3
Wikipedia is pretty good, as long as you're careful to get separate verification about controversial topics (such as Rush Limbaugh, as referred to in your handle).

One of the funnier things I saw was a post within a few hours of the Israeli attack on Lebanon, showing a Star Wars picture of the Death Star being attacked and was labeled "An IDF-5 laser cannon fires into Southern Lebanon" (see

By rushfan2006 on 8/7/2006 8:42:50 AM , Rating: 2
Wikipedia is pretty good, as long as you're careful to get separate verification about controversial topics (such as Rush Limbaugh, as referred to in your handle).

Man I should have added "2112" to my handle instead of the year I guess......Just to make it extremely clear my handle has nothing, none in the least to do with Rush Limbaugh. It has everything to do with the Canadian band "Rush", whom IMHO is one of the best bands the world has every heard. Their more popular songs being "Tom Sawyer", "Red Barchetta", "Limelight" and "Working Man".

I could care less about Rush L. or any political type folks....I call it like I see it -- if it sides/or is against Dems, Libs, Conservatives, Republicians....don't care.

A little more to the topic now -- whatever you guys say about Wiki -- however my somewhat sarcastic original post was really just saying "I wouldn't use Wiki a main source of reference for anything with important value -- say a report for school/college, something to do with work/business...."....for entertainment needs, or for debating with your friends...that's fine.

Heck there is a wiki on WoW (World of Warcraft) that I used quite extensively in the past.

RE: LOL Wikipedia....gotta love it...
By msva124 on 8/4/2006 5:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Rush uses Brittanica to support his opinions.

By Kuroyama on 8/4/2006 6:05:13 PM , Rating: 1
Guess that sounded like Rush is a source to verify Wikipedia. Of course, should have said that Wikipedia's page on Rush almost certainly contains opinionated info and as such everything should to be verified elsewhere.

I'm pretty sure Rush uses Brittanica to support his opinions.

I'm pretty sure Al Franken was correct when he said that Rush pulls his facts out of his a@@.

By Kuroyama on 8/4/2006 8:44:09 PM , Rating: 2
Is the purpose of the OLPC to actually make a PC, or is it to generate media attention for MIT Media Labs? As far as I can tell all they've done so far is put out various plastic cases that are models of an OLPC, but nothing which turns on, or even approaches a prototype. Perhaps they are just waiting for part prices to drop enough so that they can hit their $100 goal?

Take today's "announcement" that Wikipedia will be included. I thought the OLPC was not going to have a physical drive, but be entirely RAM based. So, will the Wiki files be on a 5+GB Flash card? Sounds like that will cost as much as the OLPC itself.

By Kuroyama on 8/4/2006 8:47:03 PM , Rating: 2
the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) association has chosen to load a snapshot of select Wikipedia articles onto the laptops it is developing.

Seems it's a "snapshot". Anyways, it'll take up a non-trivial amount of space.

By vtohthree on 8/5/2006 1:08:08 AM , Rating: 2
eh too many posts, but like one poster mentioned about wikipedia being a joke...yes good concept, undeniable, and its free..but people should really take it with a grain of salt. It is incredibly BIAS, sometimes it's worse than reading something produced from a cable news network, I say this in the least too.

By msva124 on 8/5/2006 2:20:50 PM , Rating: 2
Probably true, but does it really matter? People were going to form their own biases anyway, even if it was Brittanica.

Furthermore Wikipedia should not be looked at as all or nothing. Some parts of it are better than others. The IT/Internet articles, for instance, are excellent and have no equal in traditional encyclopedias.

Clueless about education
By lemonadesoda on 8/4/2006 7:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
It concerns me that most of the posters in this whole OLPC debate equate [laptop] + [encyclopaedia] = [education].

I truely hope that no-one of this mindset ever becomes a governer of a school or college. For that matter, perhaps not even a parent. I would dread to think that the solution to education is keeping the kids at home with a PC, access to wikipaedia, and an old encylopaedia brittanica for the days the network is down.

RE: Clueless about education
By TomZ on 8/4/2006 9:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
It concerns me that most of the posters in this whole OLPC debate equate [laptop] + [encyclopaedia] = [education].

I couldn't agree more. The problem with we "technical" people is that we tend to try to solve all problems with technology.

RE: Clueless about education
By Kuroyama on 8/4/2006 10:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
I forbid my students from using a computer in my classrooms, because I think individual computer use is more of a distraction than of assistance.

That is not to say that computers are not useful, but when they aren't directly incorporated into the lesson then their presence is unlikely to help as a passive tool. When incorporated into the lesson then they can be of help, but only to a point. For instance, they can help students visualize certain math concepts, but at the end of the day the student still has to go home and study or they will only get a very vague idea of what was taught.

Glad Wikipedia is bundled
By DallasTexas on 8/4/2006 5:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
No offline WikiPedia would have been a deal breaker, right there. If they throw in Solitaire, let's talk business.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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