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Wikipedia Will Soon Be Available Via Text Messages 34

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @01:11AM (#43021751)

    The headline is about one program [] -- for non-smartphones that can access by SMS, but not by WAP or HTTP. And yes, non-smartphones (e.g. Nokia S40) are quite popular over there, though I believe almost all new ones do have at least a rudimentary browser these days.

    The summary is about a completely different program called Wikipedia Zero [] where they negotiate with wireless providers to provide access to at zero charge for customers whose handsets have browsers and GPRS/UMTS/HSPA/WTFever capability (but not an unlimited data plan -- without this deal, they might be paying per megabyte, or be struggling to remain under a small data cap). Which is why it's a great improvement over access to the non-mobile version (which you can still jump to if it's worth it for a particular article), or to the mobile version at full /MB pricing or data-cap usage.

  • Re:160 characters (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sorthum ( 123064 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @02:16AM (#43022081) Homepage

    It's already queriable via DNS.

    dig +short txt ${1}

    Throw this into a script, invoke it as "script TOPIC".

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