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Cellphones Wikipedia Communications

Wikipedia Will Soon Be Available Via Text Messages 34

Posted by Soulskill
from the citation-needed dept.
pigrabbitbear writes "Even as we all love to debate the scholarly merits of Wikipedia, there's no denying that it's an immensely powerful research and learning tool. That goes doubly so in poor nations, where access to education materials can be limited to nonexistent. To that end, Wikimedia started the Wikipedia Zero project, which aims to partner with mobile service providers to bring Wikipedia to poor regions free of charge. It's a killer strategy, because while computer and internet access is still fleeting for much of the world, cell phones are far more ubiquitous. Wikimedia claims that four mobile partnerships signed since 2012 brings free Wiki service to 330 million cell subscribers in 35 countries, a huge boon for folks whose phones have web capability but who can't afford data charges."
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Wikipedia Will Soon Be Available Via Text Messages

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  • 160 characters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:14AM (#43021455)

    Sounds useful:

    SMS to Wikipedia: "water purification" [wikipedia.org]

    This article is about large scale, municipal water purification. For portable/emergency water purification, see portable water purification. For industrial wate

    Or, if they edit out the disambiguation preamble:

    Water purification is the process of removing undesirable chemicals, biological contaminants, suspended solids and gases from contaminated water. The goal is to

  • SMS is the most expensive way to send data to mobiles by orders of magnitude. Not sure this solves much of a problem.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      SMS is the most expensive way to send data to mobiles by orders of magnitude. Not sure this solves much of a problem.

      Maybe to the end user, but I thought SMS was essentially free to the carrier since they piggyback in control packets that would be sent anyway.

      • So this initiative is all about saving telcos money? Where can I sign up?!

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Maybe to the end user, but I thought SMS was essentially free to the carrier since they piggyback in control packets that would be sent anyway.

        Hint: Why is AT&T the worst carrier around? It's related to one phone's aggressive power management on the radio that was released in 2007.

        The control channel is crowded, and AT&T has plenty of signal and plenty of open channel bandwidth (if you can get one of them, downloads are fast), but the control channel is full. And things don't work when the control c

    • No, it uses USSD. USSD is mostly free in the developing world. It also works wherever you get a signal.

    • Dear American,

      SMS is the *least* expensive way to send data in developing countries. Here in the Philippines, normal SMS costs only 0.02USD per message. It costs 0.49USD for 1 day unlimited SMS. Unlimited 3G/HSDPA costs 1.23USD per day. LTE is currently free because it's still being tested in selected cities.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      SMS is the computationally cheapest way to send data to mobiles by an order of magnitude. Many people have free or at least unlimited text, and the USA pays more per-text than any nation of which I am aware.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Mobile providers will provide the TEXT (ie.low bandwidth) version of wikipedia free of charge, via a regular mobile data channel. They will not be providing Wikipedia via text message (SMS).

  • Does this mean I can have edit wars while driving in my car?

  • You can do quite a lot with SMS: Google SMS does weather, search, directions, gmail, news headlines, etc. Twitter is a good example of an app (originally) based on text messaging. It may not be pretty, but it is simple, reliable, and efficient. For those reasons it is an important lifeline, Wikipedia obviously sees it that way, and I'm glad it's not being forgotten.

  • /. has had a robot overlord to read articles to you for quite some time now.

  • Wikimedia started the Wikipedia Zero project, which aims to partner with mobile service providers to bring Wikipedia to poor regions free of charge.

    It's a killer strategy, because while computer and internet access is still fleeting for much of the world, cell phones are far more ubiquitous. Wikimedia claims that four mobile partnerships signed since 2012 brings free Wiki service to 330 million cell subscribers in 35 countries

    So is this happening now, or sometime in the future? And is actually via text message, or via free web access?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wikipedia's culture is broken. I left a few months ago, essentially because I saw that a small minority of users wikidrama/wikilawyer to the point of harassing anyone with whom they disagree. But the foundation spends time/money on an SMS version instead of fixing their broken culture? Misplaced priorities.

Byte your tongue.

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