Archive | April, 2013

One downside of paywalls: Where does your growth come from?

26 Apr

Paywalls can bring in extra revenue for newspapers and other traditional media outlets, and they can help keep existing readers from leaving — but how do they help bring in new readers? And what happens if they don’t?


UK prepares for white space broadband rollout in 2014

26 Apr

The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced an industry pilot of the long-range broadband and M2M technology later this year, in order to make sure everything works properly ahead of a likely national deployment next year.


The UK is about to get a serious pilot of white space radio. Yes, there’s already been an industry-led pilot in Cambridge, but that was really about the technology itself – the pilot coming up this autumn is being led by the telecoms regulator Ofcom, and the idea here is to test out the processes around using white spaces across the country.

In other words, the UK is now gearing up for a proper rollout next year (if everything goes well in the trial), with potential uses including rural broadband and the internet of things. Here’s what Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said in a statement on Friday:

“Ofcom is preparing for a future where consumers’ demand for data services will experience huge growth. This will be fuelled by smartphones, tablets and other new wireless applications.

“White space technology is one creative way that this demand can be met…

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Wikipedia is now drawing facts from the Wikidata repository, and so can you

26 Apr

The Wikimedia Foundation’s first major new project in 7 years is now feeding the biggest project in that stable, Wikipedia itself. But anyone can take structured data from Wikidata, due to its open license.


Wikidata, a centralized structured data repository for facts and Wikimedia’s first big new project in the last 7 years, is now feeding the foundation’s main project, Wikipedia.

The Wikidata project was kicked off around a year ago by the German chapter of Wikimedia, which is still steering its gradual development. For Wikipedia, the advantage is simple and powerful — if there’s a central, machine-readable source for facts, such as the population of a city, then any update to that data can be instantly reflected across all the articles in which the facts are included.

To posit a morbid example: a singer may have dozens or even hundreds of language versions of her Wikipedia entry and, if she were to die, the addition of a date of death to the Wikidata database would immediately propagate across all those versions, with no need to manually update each one (yes, I can…

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