Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wikipedia kills Virgin dead

So, starting at 0000Z on 12/28/2006, Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of Virgin Group, is matching donations to the Wikimedia Foundation as part of its current fundraising drive. As part of the matching agreement, the Foundation agreed to run a small thank-you at the top of each page with a link to Virgin Unite's website. The thank you note went live at 0000Z. At 0012Z, Virgin Unite's website died.

Wikimedia quickly changed the notice to point to a thank you comment hosted on Wikimedia's own (far more robust) servers, and Virgin Unite's site is back up again.

The moral of the story: If you offer to sponsor a matching program at Wikimedia to bring traffic to your site, make sure your site can handle the traffic.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I have been uncharacteristically quiet in here lately. This is because my life away from the computer has been busy, and I haven't had much time to post here. Sorry.

Greg Maxwell recently pointed me in the direction of several useful bits of software for doing panorama processing, which I have been abusing to reprocess some pan-intended shots from my image archive. It's a long and tedious process, but it does yield nice results. I've also been uploading other stuff to Commons and popping it into articles where I can.

I've also offered both a bounty and a reward for articles on plants and animals. So far I've heard from a couple people who are trying to earn one of the awards.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The ArbCom elections

I left comments for ArbCom candidate Geogre on his talk page, answering his inquiry as to "why I am here" (here presumably being either Wikipedia or his talk page). He removed them, presumably because he is afraid that people will read them.

They are reproduced here, below. Geogre will no doubt accuse me again of personal attacks for doing so. If he does so, he accuses himself of personal attacks in the same breath, for the statements he has made about me are far more egregious than anything I say below.
I am here (on Wikipedia) for the reasons detailed in my candidate statement and elaborated on my candidate questions page. It pains me that you are unwilling to credit enough good faith to accept that the statements I have made in those locations are truthful representations of my intentions and beliefs, and definitely, in my mind, calls into question whether you should be an Arbitrator, or in fact have any role on Wikipedia other than author.

I am here (on your talk page) because you are once again running about Wikipedia spouting off falsehoods as if they are truths. The falsehood (which you have at least admitted on this page, but not, as far as I know, in the other places where you have presented it) about the timing of your pledge is merely one of the more minor of your misrepresentations; your persistent misrepresentations of my positions and my actions (as evidenced by your hostile and offensive questions on my candidate questions page) are far more serious. It is my considered opinion that a person who will stoop to misrepresentation because the truth is inconvenient is not the sort of person who should be serving on the Arbitration Committee. Neither is someone who would brazenly assume bad faith of another Wikipedian, as you did in your communications with Cyde a day or so back. And on this latter issue, especially, I believe you will find that Jimbo concurs with me.

You are certainly free to change your mind; you are not free to do so and then pretend that you didn't, and you are not free to use false statements as justification for why you should not be considered to have changed your mind. That privilege is apparently reserved to your not-quite-namesake in the Oval Office.

Some free advice, Geogre: make a more concerted effort to concern yourself with that which is actually true, and less of an effort convincing yourself (and others) of the truth of falsehoods. You'll benefit from it in the short, and the long, run. And people might not be so inclined to call you a liar. I need not remind you of the Latin legal maxim, "falsis in unum, falsis in omnibus".

I find it outrageous that people are willing to vote for this individual. He has no concern for the truth, a characteristic that one would think would be totally incompatible with serving in a quasijudicial capacity. That he has any support at all speaks volumes about the grave illness of Wikipedia's community.