How Kate Middleton’s Wedding Gown Demonstrates Wikipedia’s Woman Problem

How Kate Middleton’s Wedding Gown Demonstrates Wikipedia’s Woman Problem - Slate

Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

“The day of the royal wedding, a Wikipedia article about the dress was flagged for deletion. This prompted an energetic debate, as you can see on the dress’s “article for deletion” page. “ ‘Wedding dress of…’ as an article in an encyclopaedia? Exactly the sort of thing that made me all but quit as an active user on this project,” one user complained. “This is frankly trivial, and surely isn’t notable enough to be on wikipedia,” argued another. It wasn’t only men who wanted the article nixed. On the article’s Talk page(where editors debate changes), a female user wrote: “LOL, my thoughts exactly. Will there be an article on her shoes, too?”

Several male users came out in support of the Middleton dress article—including Wales. The day after the wedding, Wales weighed in, contending that they should keep the article because of the dress’ presumable long-term effect on fashion. (In his comments, he drew the same parallel to Linux distributions. He likes that comparison a lot.) Furthermore, he said, they should have items on other famous dresses as well.” (Torie Bosch, Slate)

ACM Awards Judea Pearl the Turing Award for Work On Artificial Intelligence

ACM Awards Judea Pearl the Turing Award for Work On Artificial Intelligence - PCMag.com

Photo: PCMag.com

“ACM Executive Director John White told me that ‘Pearl’s research was instrumental in moving machine-based reasoning from the rules-bound expert systems of the 1980s to a calculus that incorporates uncertainty and probabilistic models.’ In other words, he has figured out methods for trying to draw the best conclusion, even when there is a degree of uncertainty. It can be applied when trying to answer questions from a large amount of unstructured information, or trying to figure out what someone has said in languages that have lots of similar-sounding words—all things we do a lot today. (Michael J. Miller, PCMag.com)

In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics

In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics - New York Times

Image: Wikimedia Commons

“Much as in a grass-roots lobbying campaign, the hackers spent weeks spreading their message through their own Web site and social sites like Twitter and Flickr. Their Facebook page called on volunteers to download free attack software and implored them to “stop child abuse” by joining the cause. It featured split-screen images of the pope seated on a gilded throne on one side and starving African children on the other. And it linked to articles about sexual abuse cases and blog posts itemizing the church’s assets.

It took the hackers 18 days to recruit enough people, the report says. Then the reconnaissance began. A core group of roughly a dozen skilled hackers spent three days poking around the church’s World Youth Day site looking for common security holes that could let them inside, the report says. Probing for such loopholes used to be tedious and slow, but the advent of automated tools made it possible for hackers to do this while they slept.” (Nicole Perlroth & John Markoff, NYTimes.com)

Computer scientist sees artistic side to father of computer

Computer scientist sees artistic side to father of computer - UChicago News

Photo: UChicago

“Turing is remembered for developing concepts that made modern computers possible, and for leading complex military decoding efforts that proved critical in World War II. But Soare argues that Turing’s landmark 1936 paper on computability theory contains beauty as well as scientific breakthroughs. He compares the concepts in that paper to Michelangelo’s statue, David. ‘Michelangelo and Turing both completely transcended conventional approaches. They created something completely new from their own visions, something which went far beyond the achievements of their contemporaries,’ Soare writes.” (Steve Koppes, UChicago News)

Washington Post article on the invention of email stirs debate

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai: Inventor of e-mail honored by Smithsonian - Washington Post

Photo: Donna Coveney

The Washington Post posted this note during the debate: “Clarification: A number of readers have accurately pointed out that electronic messaging predates V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai’s work in 1978. However, Ayyadurai holds the copyright to the computer program called“email,” establishing him as the creator of the ‘computer program for [an] electronic mail system’ with that name, according to the U.S. Copyright Office.”

What is the likely future of Generation AO in 2020?

What is the likely future of Generation AO in 2020?“Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project, a second co-author of the report says the experts called for a transformation of education. ‘There is a palpable concern among these experts that new social and economic divisions will emerge as those who are motivated and well-schooled reap rewards that are not matched by those who fail to master new media and tech literacies,’ he noted. ‘They called for reinvention of public education to teach those skills and help learners avoid some of the obvious pitfalls of a hyperconnected lifestyle.’ ” (Elon University and Pew)