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Wikipedia Zero (wikimediafoundation.org)
292 points by _pius on Nov 7, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 81 comments



I haven't looked at the details, but at initial glance - I love the direction.

While Wikipedia my not be the shining-light of data accuracy, it definitely fits the bill for achieving good: "Perfect is the enemy of good" [1]

I believe removing barriers to knowledge access for everyone is a step in the right direction. This tries to solve a single barrier. We still have a long way to go.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_is_the_enemy_of_good


Yes. And the net neutrality article on wikipedia is pretty comprehensive, maybe someone from sub-saharan Africa will come up with a better implementation ;)


I can't help pondering about the implications this move could consequently bring to the perceptions of net neutrality.

Not that I see this project as something inherently bad, it is just the contrary, but it can give rise to some bad moral precedents.


If Wikipedia Zero traffic is free, but other traffic onerously priced, other apps and sites can just tunnel through Wikipedia edits. TCP/IP-over-WZ, anyone?


I agree. Handouts in any form other than straight cash often does more to undermine systems than improve it. Just like USAid food handouts undermine local economies, this could undermine net neutrality.

Instead of paying for the bandwidth for people, what can we do instead to reduce the cost to the point where people in these regions can afford to access wikipedia?

Also, what can wikipedia do to reduce the payload size of wikipedia articles so that users in those countries are downloading the least amount of data possible?


Would you care to expand on these bad precedents that you are referring to?


Well, presumably if carriers provide reduced- or no-cost access to Wikipedia that's a direct violation of net neutrality, aka charging the same amount of money for data moving through the pipes no matter what it is or who it comes from.

Presumably the OP is concerned that this could degenerate from "breaking net neutrality is fine as long as it favors sites we like" to "breaking net neutrality is fine".

Note that I don't necessarily share the belief of the OP, but it's certainly a point worth some real consideration.


I do think there is some risk (though I'm not sure how much delta it adds to the risk either way) that it plays into normalizing the proposals for tiering, a specific kind of non-neutral net, where ISPs would give you access to different levels of "internet content" based on your subscription level, like cable TV packages for the internet. Example: a few sites are available in the Free tier, a basic whitelisted set of sites (news, webmail, popular blogs, etc.) are in the Lite tier, everything but high-bandwidth video and torrents comes with the Standard tier, and the full internet is unlocked only by the Premium tier. The free tier would be made up of "content partners" who are a mixture of nonprofits like Wikipedia, and for-profits that pay for their inclusion in the free tier (CNN, maybe).


Which sounds like how cable TV works (at least in the US).

In the old days when city governments granted these monopolies to cable TV companies, part of the deal was community access channels (Wayne's World!). Even if these benefitted hardly anyone, they provided some moral cover and justification.

If I were an old media guy, I'd see Wikimedia Zero as the germ of an idea -- maybe suggesting a way how to squeeze the genie back in the bottle and wrap the internet in a cable TV model. And, hey, in the US most people's ISP is also their cable company. So ... I don't see it as a definitely bad thing, but I see the seeds of potential bad as well as good.

(In general, a lot of bad stuff flies under the flag of a good cause fighting some other bad thing -- "because terrorism", "because children", "because hyper-inflation", etc. Of course a lot of _good_ stuff also flies under good flags. I'm just saying it's not obvious either way.)


No, of course not. I'll try to be short, though.

The first thing to ask is what differentiates Wikipedia content from the rest of the 'net so that it would be OK to break net neutrality principles towards the implementation of this project.

So, even if this breakage is somewhat worth the bending of the rules, companies must support the idea. Once they do it, what would be the moral ground to rightfully deny another proposals from content providers that offer them money to do that?

Well, this problem is not something really new. Net neutrality is already broken, though almost everybody agrees on its importance. There must be some kind of consistency if we want it to survive.


I can see some possible issues, too. If you want to take a hard line approach, this breaches net neutrality just as much as slowing or charging access to other sites. Sure, Wikipedia is already the defacto source of information for a lot of people, but this would cement a monopoly as such in those areas. This all sounds a bit silly when talking about Wikipedia, but it has implications for other services.

What if google or bing made a similar deal? Or any large corporation, for that matter? You set up an internet where the majors can buy their way into a monopoly position, not by convincing ISPs to degrade other services, but by convincing them to charge users less to use your service. This makes it harder to impossible for new companies to enter those markets.

All that being said, I think this (Wikipedia Zero) will be a net-positive thing, and I hope they succeed. I do see that this type of thing could have worrying implications for net neutrality, but ultimately they're not the first site to broker "free access" deals with mobile carriers.


> What if google or bing made a similar deal? Or any large corporation, for that matter?

Facebook already does this https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook/fast-and-free-facebo... and I'm sure many others do as well


Oh, I'm well aware. In Australia, I remember seeing a number of the telcos advertising "mobile data with free access to facebook and twitter". One of the catchup TV services also has "unmetered access" deals with a number of ISPs.

I don't think that the world is going to end here, or collapse into some dystopian nightmare, but the question was asked: "what are these bad precedents?" and I attempted to answer.


If you get access to sites you care about for free, or heavily subsidized. Would you pay for access to full internet? This might give a lot of informational control to governments/internet providers. If let's say Google, and Facebook are accessible, would those companies fight for some libertarian website that was blocked?


For me, the moral precedent is giving millions of people free access to vital educational information.

People who want and need access to Wikipedia Zero are like these South African high school students, living in a slum: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/06/19/movement-for-free-acce...


I want to love this idea. I want to love wikipedia.

But before I can do that, I need to be able to use wikipedia. And by use, I don't mean consume - I mean, be a full participant in a collective online encyclopedia.

This is currently not possible.

Rather than explain or give examples, let me challenge you to start any new article, or make any decent sized edit to any article, and let's assume for the discussion that your facts, grammar, form, and adherence to wikipedia style are perfect.

Come back and let us know how that goes.


What does that have to do with this? From the writeup it sounds like the Wikipedia Zero initiative is explicitly about the consumption side of the project ("accessing free knowledge"). Should they not do anything to make Wikipedia more accessible to non-contributing readers until every problem with contribution is resolved? The problems are separate and could be worked on separately -- why even assume that they can't walk and chew gum at the same time?


Some stories will always have kneejerk reactions on sight of the 'trigger word'. Wikipedia story, regardless of content, will have 'dictorship!' detractors; feminism stories will have MRA detractors; Big Brand X will always have 'I hate X' detractors; political stories will always have 'taxes are theft and/or government is violence' detractors. All regardless of article content.


> will always [...] will always [...] will always

Can't we hope a bit that on HN a little of auto education is possible?


Indeed.

When people feel very strongly about things (a couple of your examples touch upon human rights), and they feel they rarely have a platform to express those views, they'll take any platform they can get.

It's annoying but understandable.

Also keep in mind that it's annoying to see a viewpoint expressed if you disagree with it. When such a viewpoint is expressed, you are predisposed to view them as unwanted contributions to the discussion. I don't believe the parent comment is warranted here, but maybe he wasted a lot of his time trying to improve Wikipedia, and he feels very strongly about this.


Edit: The parent comment, which was nearly half an hour old when I saw it, has been edited to remove the reference that I was against men's rights.

--

Oh, sod off. Don't put words in my mouth. I do not disagree with men's rights, but I do disagree the the hysterical bulk of MRA knobheads that create a hyperbolic smokescreen, preventing real issues from being properly discussed. There's a shitload of valid men's rights issues, from strong imbalance in parental rights in some jurisdiction, to massive imbalances in prisoner treatment, to sociological things like the shame of showing emotion or weakness. Similarly there are different health issues for men and women, each of which requires its own focus. None of this comes up in the usual MRA "wah wah, feminists are speaking! it's so hard to be a man!" self-indulgent whining. Neither is there much of a recognition that while men have problems, it's not a competition and it doesn't mean that women don't also have problems. There aren't 'teams' here, except in the eyes of extremists.

The thing is that MRA, here on HN and most other places, are free to submit anything they want any time they want. They most certainly have a platform to express those views. They don't though - they only rile up when they see a feminism post and have to 'put them in their place'. If they really were about "I just want to be heard", then they'd be posting articles, not tearing down others' stuff. I'd fucking love to see discussion on men's issues that didn't require putting women or feminists in their place. There are serious issues that men have to deal with, but the fucking hysterical over-wrought self-absorbed MRA commentry completely smothers real attempts at rational discussion. We can discuss and develop solutions to men's issues without having to be victorious over a third party.

I mean seriously, 'no platform to speak'? HN is a firehose, and there are plenty of MRA-favourable people here. What a joke. Post some quality articles on MRA and get some discussion going. In other words - be a 'man': put up or shut up.


> Neither is there much of a recognition that while men have problems, it's not a competition and it doesn't mean that women don't also have problems. There aren't 'teams' here, except in the eyes of extremists.

Right, so to be clear: if someone were to (say) insist that by caring about male victims RAINN were inherently attacking the real, female victims of rape you'd consider them an extremist and be first in line to call them out just like you did MRAs? And the same if they were opposed to teaching both women and men to care about their partner's consent because any attempt to tackle rape that wasn't based on its (in their eyes) fundamentally gendered nature was a betrayal of female victims?

Because sad to say, I've seen both of these happen and in fact every single non-MRAs made the opposite argument: that objecting to these demands that everyone should only care about women's problems is what's really turning it into a competition.

> The thing is that MRA, here on HN and most other places, are free to submit anything they want any time they want. They most certainly have a platform to express those views. They don't though - they only rile up when they see a feminism post and have to 'put them in their place'.

If you go looking, they're plenty willing to express their own views without a feminist post to rile them up - but you have to go looking, because in practice they have no platform to do that where people will actually hear them. It's not like feminism where their views are published in places like the Guardian, Independent, Salon, HuffPo, NYT, ... (Including some horrifically offensive or just plain mistaken viewpoints, which will somehow be seen as less dangerous than any random no-name commentor on an MRA blog!)

Also, there's some irony in you complaining about that since you've just derailed a HN discussion about something else entirely to opine about how awful MRAs are.

> I'd fucking love to see discussion on men's issues that didn't require putting women or feminists in their place.

That's like trying to hold a discussion of women's issues whilst including unrepentant misogynist "allies" who want credit for helping whilst refusing to talk about or think about the issues at all. I've seen lots of feminists who act exactly like that who will come into any discussion and try and take it over, and it's unfeminist to call them out on it since feminism isn't about the men.

In fact, it's struck me as weird for a while just how similar anti-MRA arguments are to the most obnoxious anti-feminist ones. For instance: 'Don't put words in my mouth. I do not disagree with women's rights, but I do disagree the the hysterical bulk of feminist knobheads that create a hyperbolic smokescreen, preventing real issues from being properly discussed. There's a shitload of valid women's rights issues, from strong imbalance in employment rights in some jurisdiction, to massive imbalances in access to education, to sociological things like pressure not to show assertiveness or aggressiveness. Similarly there are different safety issues for men and women, each of which requires its own focus. None of this comes up in the usual feminist "wah wah, men are speaking! it's so hard to be a woman!" self-indulgent whining.'

Yes, obviously feminists are fighting for those issues - much like if you asked an MRA to give a list of men's rights issues it'd be very much like yours. Also, okay, so you consider those to be the real issues. Do you actually put any effort into fighting directly for those things, or are they just issues you bring up when they're a convenient way to discredit groups that do fight for them, much like misogynists who selectively care about "real" women's issues? Because again, I've seen a lot of feminists arguing that those are the real issues affecting men that matter and that MRAs can be ignored because they're somehow distracting from them, but fuck-all who care about them at any other time.


> Edit: The parent comment, which was nearly half an hour old when I saw it, has been edited to remove the reference that I was against men's rights.

My post had no replies when I edited.

I removed that reference because I felt it sounded like I was accusing you of being against men's rights. That wasn't my intention.

> Neither is there much of a recognition that while men have problems, it's not a competition and it doesn't mean that women don't also have problems.

Definitely. However, when the solutions that third-wave feminists put forth further disadvantage men in areas like unemployment and education—or, to be more diplomatic, when someone passionate about men's rights feels that way—it's completely reasonable for them to respond with their objections.

>The thing is that MRA, here on HN and most other places, are free to submit anything they want any time they want.

Many people who passionately oppose third-wave feminist activism also oppose discussion of politics on HN, period. So they don't consider this to be a platform for their political views unless they're responding to activism already on the front page.


>when the solutions that third-wave feminists put forth further disadvantage men in areas like unemployment and education

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women.

Notice the word equal. I really believe that feminism deals with men's rights as well when there exist inequities that favor women. True men's rights.


I've contributed casually and anonymously in the past without problem, but it's been a while and I thought I'd take you up on your challenge.

But there's a complication: Wikipedia appears to be TOO COMPREHENSIVE. I can no longer find a subject of general interest which isn't fleshed out to near (or beyond) my level of knowledge. All my local landmarks are well represented, as are the interesting areas I've travelled.

Do you have any ideas on an article Wikipedia needs? I'd be happy to spend some of my own time on research and submit it anonymously.


Here's a list of requested articles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requested_articles

Here are some stubs that might need expanding into proper articles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Stubs

Here are articles that need more information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_articles_in...


It's been a few years, but I've started a number of articles on the "Requested Articles" list.

Most are pretty obscure, but thankfully Google Books and Amazon "search inside" gives access to information published before the web was born. There are also some services where you can ask a librarian online to look something up in a book for you. I've had some luck previously with http://www.nla.gov.au/askalibrarian


Hey, that's my "local" library!

Trove is also amazing, but fairly biased towards Australian history (for obvious reasons).

http://trove.nla.gov.au/


Hmm?

In my experience, that's exactly where Wikipedia often shines: many articles offer quite broad coverage of their subject, approach it from multiple points of view that do a good job of making it accessible for people of many levels of knowledge.

This especially seems to be true of articles on math. Whereas something like mathworld.wolfram.com usually offers a concise, accurate, and well-written article on a subject, it's quite often at a fairly high-level, and may be hard to understand for someone missing some background. The equivalent Wikipedia article on the other hand, is often much longer, because it approaches the topic from many points of view: concise technical explanations suitable for a mathematician, more intuitive (but maybe less rigorous) explanations aimed at a general audience, implementation hints and algorithmic summaries for those interested in using it in a computer application, etc.

This sort of shotgun coverage can result in rambling, lengthy, and sometimes redundant articles (it's usually pretty clear that many different authors have edited it, and the collaboration mechanisms are far from perfect), but I've found it immensely helpful when trying to understand something which is just a bit beyond my level. Seeing the same subject explained from multiple points of view is often just what's needed to make things click.

That's one of the reasons I love Wikipedia... it's not always the most elegant, but it's proved a very practical and helpful resource.


I've often wondered why Wikipedia doesn't push the Simple English Wikipedia more: http://simple.wikipedia.org/ It only has 100k articles but I've found a bunch of excellent stuff there.


It's great for kids. I usually tell my 10 yr old sister to use it (English is her second language but she's pretty good at it)


This looks like a good place to start. I dont have much information about any of these but some of these look interesting (like the Hunter-gatherer Algorithm)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requested_articles/A...


Here is an article I created and authored with no undue interference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_Island_(Namibia)

Sure, the topic is obscure and even sort of shitty, but you need to dig deep these days if you want to start a brand new page, simply because most topics are already covered.


Thats an ok article. Its probably not going to get much better alas. But its useful given the fact that its not a very large thing...


I quite frequently make small edits to Wikipedia. Sometimes I just ask for clarification on something that sounds wrong (but I'm having trouble looking it up) on the talk page. It's rare that my edits are reverted and when they are I've never felt that it wasn't reasonable for the edit to be reverted. I don't normally make huge edits as I haven't got the time but lots of small changes will still slowly improve the article.


Ok, some people came back and did let us know that you're wrong. Now would please remove this post about wounded egoes of some Wikipedia editors from the top of the page and let us talk about the important issue of free access to knowledge in poor countries?


So you won't love the idea of access to knowledge for millions of people unless you can be able to contribute to that knowledge? (assuming it's as hard as you say). Either you didn't not phrase it correctly or this is a remarkably insensitive thing to say.


maybe they just don't like you, I've had no problems with wikipedia. contributed many pages (mostly on art)


I've had few problems, and I'm far from perfect.

I've edited several articles, and created some. I just went ahead, created an account, and started trying to contribute.

I did have problems in the Spanish language Wikipedia, I created a page for the Finance Minister, and it got deleted twice for "self-promotion" until I managed to convince the guy that the person was, in fact, a relevant political figure in my country.

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Lorenzo

I also created and modified pages on the English Wikipedia, and I haven't had problems yet, for example the last one I created was the page of the owner of the company I work for (one of the world's richest):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayme_Garfinkel

I don't have a good knowledge of Wikipedia, I just copy a page I think is similar to the one I want to create and use it as a start.


No, give an example. I have created a number of articles, but on the other hand I am a (not very contributing) admin so I could be biased. But the difficult stuff I dealt with was in the areas where people argue (which you wouldnt realise). Most of the problems are where there are few contributions (history is terrible).


Can you try to give more details than snark? What particular experience has left you so scarred?

I have never had a problem doing Wikipedia edits for stuff I found inaccurate or needed more details. I didn't always go back to check but whenever I did, the edits were still there / no one has removed or edited them away.


> let me challenge you to start any new article, or make any decent sized edit to any article

In essence this is a stupidity filter.

This has been mentioned many times before where other people have gone off topic to discuss this.


I see what you mean - Wikipedia essentially promotes oligopoly on knowledge. Relatively few privileged, old time crew, can enforce their views through bureaucratic like process.

I am not sure that can be fixed though - what we can fix are which people get to be in charge of the article by some kind of peer voting mechanism where greater weight is given to academics who actually study the problem. To know which people are academics Wikipedia can start some kind of initiative with universities that would verify credentials.


We already have that: http://www.scholarpedia.org


I'm imagining the opacity of language that would result from this scheme, and it is frightening.


Wikipedia is now and always has been a giant turf war, roamed by amalgamations of insufferable, biased, and often incorrect pedants and paid PR shills. There was a time something could've been done about it, but Wikipedia chose not to.

I stopped editing in 2005.


> roamed by amalgamations of insufferable, biased, and often incorrect pedants and paid PR shills

Everyone on the internet is an insufferable, biased, and often incorrect pedant according to at least one other person. Do you think you're the exception?


I don't agree that everyone thinks that about everyone else. I agree that certainly there are people that will disagree with one another, but that doesn't mean accusations of insufferability, pedantry, or bias even make sense in context, let alone accurately describe the circumstance.

I chose my words intentionally with regard to the experience of editing Wikipedia. I contribute to many online fora, and am unpopular on many of those, but WP is a unique experience.


Just an observation: in my experience, everyone with an axe to grind against Wikipedia says basically "I thought the article was incorrect (wrong, biased, not neutral) and they wouldn't let me fix it." You can imagine how the problem looks from Wikipedia's point of view.


What is a concrete example? Many of the Wikipedia controversies I've read about have been related to political figures and events.


There are many examples. Attempts to make technical pages more accessible to a general audience have been shut down repeatedly and resulted in a separate Wikipedia entirely called "Simple English".

Attempts to neutralize any page that anyone pays attention to results in the page's regular babysitters coming out and destroying it -- a normal person can't compete because these people are obsessive about the pages they watch, often because their full-time job is to ensure that clients' Wikipedia pages read in the manner desired. Sometimes other motives, like zealotry, contribute to the obsession.

These persons become steeped in WP-specific jargon, utilizing an ever-growing body of subjective and sometimes almost conflicting rules to crush any opponent who doesn't come ready for the fight. They'll say that your edit doesn't comply with WP:XYZ and WP:ABC, you'll say it does, etc. And even if you do come prepared, unless you're willing to commit more resources than your opponent, they'll just quietly change it back with a non-suspicious commit message after a few days, once you've decided you had other things that deserved attention. Worse, often these persons become administrators and will ban you for "incivility" or protect the article so that their preferred version remains in place. You can begin an appeals process, but again, it's something that's going to be difficult to reasonably affect without a major time commitment and even after you win, it's typically something that can be easily undone once the attention of the relevant appeals committee is diverted.

It's impossible for a normal person to compete with that type of editor, and they are very widespread. I don't necessarily want to give specific examples because I was involved in all of the ones that are significant to me, but it is not hard to find this occurring. You may want to reference the historical archives for The Wikitruth, as they had extensive case studies on this type of failure.


Without either agreeing or disagreeing with your comment, I'd like to point out your case would be stronger if you actually provided a concrete example like the GP asked.


I referenced places where the GP can find concrete examples, other posters have given links, and I've explained that I don't want to wake sleeping dogs and get into specific controversies that I was involved with, which are the primary source of my observations. I believe that is sufficient.


>Attempts to make technical pages more accessible to a general audience have been shut down repeatedly and resulted in a separate Wikipedia entirely called "Simple English".

I am somebody who goes to Wikipedia by default when looking up something, even if it's something technical, although I know that I won't get much use out of reading the article, and it is precisely for that reason.

It seems that the Wikipedia community has assumed that being able to write in "Standard English" means the articles can be as complex and technical as they wish.

I have often put myself in the mind of somebody who knows only, for example, basic networking, and tried to rewrite networking articles (or at least their introductions) to make it easier for them to understand the core concepts. Instead, the admins think it's wiser to have the first paragraph use a jargon word every other word since the reader can always click that word to be taken to its article.

It is also true that if you're going up against an admin's article/edit, their say is final and you've pretty much wasted your time.


One example that comes to my mind is when author Philip Roth attempted to clarify the inspiration for his book The Human Stain. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/09/an-open-...

The wikipedia entry for The Human Stain now contains a reference to the controversy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Human_Stain#Anatole_Broyard...


Except Roth was full of shit on that.

See: http://old.ironholds.org/?p=979


That link's really worth a read.


We built the SMS & USSD connectivity for last week's launch in Kenya with Airtel [1] using http://github.com/praekelt/vumi. Happy to answer any questions about this, USSD isn't used as much and as such largely unknown outside of the majority world.

[1]: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/10/25/wikimedia-foundatio...


We being Praekelt Foundation [1].

[1]: http://www.praekeltfoundation.org


I think this is very important step. If this works, then we will have real data to argue about providing free basic internet connectivity (Enough for text for example) for entire world population.

This would allow for text only MOOC's accessible by everyone at the very least.


I think you are right to point out the value proposition to a text-only internet. But the implementation risks are probably more second-order and worth considering.

The contra case is that someone will twist this into a model to charge <up> for everything else. its better to create better public goods, than bargain for special access to private assets, when the quid-pro-quo will surely be some form of reciporacal monopoly rights (ie, special interest regulation).


So a bit like http://0.facebook.com then :)



Does that have ads?


> "Some partner billing systems restrict the possibility of zero-rating all Wikipedia languages"

What? Their billing systems can't handle a wildcard subdomain? Even so, it isn't exactly difficult to enumerate all of the wikipedias. There are less than 300 total, and only 121 with 1000+ articles.


I suspect this might be for political, not technical reasons.


That is my suspicion as well. It doesn't strike me as correct that technical limitations prevent them from offering all languages in Saudi Arabia or Russia, but the Democratic Replubic of Congo has it figured out. Going from wikipedia, it seems like Saudi Arabia has far more developed telecom...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_in_Saudi_Ara... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_in_the_Democ...


This is dangerous. The first reaction to such an endeavor is that it is GOOD. Not just good, but GOOD :-)

But also, this is almost the textbook definition of "the thin end of the wedge". I didn't really start thinking about this until I started reading the comments here on HN (awesome!)

So wikipedia should be free. What else should be free? Who should pay? Someone needs to pay. Who should? Let's start grouping content on one side or another.

This is a very, very bad idea.

The answer, of course, is that it should all be free. Internet access should be a basic human right. It should be, it will be, it is only a matter of time.

But until it is, an endeavor like this is subverting net neutrality, disguised as something good, and that is just a terrible idea.


I don't like the idea of privileging Wikipedia in this way. That said, the question Who should pay? Someone needs to pay. Who should? seems to miss the point of the proposal: the mobile operators freely choose to subsidise this service, perhaps in the hope that it encourages a group who largely don't browse the web using their mobiles to do so.


I remember hearing about the WikiReader [1] a few years back and thinking it would be great for this sort of use. It's basically a cheap handheld device with an LCD display and a local Wikipedia text-only cache that runs off of AAA batteries. Might be useful for delivering Wikipedia content to places where there's no cell phone infrastructure.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WikiReader


Right now it's under 35 bucks shipped on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/WikiReader-PANREADER-Pocket-Wikipedia/...


http://www.kiwix.org/wiki/Main_Page

There is an android version, Full Text of Wikipedia is about 9GB. A smaller selection that includes some thumbnail images is around 3.5GB.


So much for net neutrality. :(


Great initiative.. I am glad to India as blue in the map :)


Yes! Aircel provides Wikipedia Zero, here in India. Domains m.wikipedia.org or zero.wikipedia.org are not billed.

http://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/07/25/aircel-partnership-brin...


Love this idea, but will it be plagued with problems stemming from the gratis-ness of the initiative? Building a wikipediafs that stores (optionally encrypted) binary data in uuencoded wikipedia articles?

Because read-only access won't be nearly as useful as allowing people to commit. I suppose setting a reasonable limit to uploads might help a lot (say 10mb a day -- that's a lot of text, after all).


Reminds me of http://zero.facebook.com


Doesn't Amazon's Whispernet already do this?


Only if you own an Amazon Kindle device. This initiative is aimed at giving every mobile user free access to the knowledge on Wikipedia.


This is even better and i like the concept.


I'm spare you the details, but some pages have 'Page Meisters" that you must get by to add to the content.




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