Wikipedia will shortly become available to readers in the developing world as text messages. Writing on the blog of the The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation's head of mobile and business development Kul Takanao Wadhwa said “We’re very excited about delivering Wikipedia via text, which we expect to …
a perfect solution
In search of a problem.
The TEXT message size was always a telephony scam to gouge for cash
Both on the actual message AND the amount of messages that had to be sent, in lieu of a single long one.
A University of Leicester space scientist has worked out that sending texts via mobile phones works out to be far more expensive than downloading data from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Dr Nigel Bannister’s calculations were used for the Channel 4 Dispatches programme “The Mobile Phone Rip-Off”.
He worked out the cost of obtaining a megabyte of data from Hubble – and compared that with the 5p cost of sending a text.
He said: “The bottom line is texting is at least 4 times more expensive than transmitting data from Hubble, and is likely to be substantially more than that.
Intricate details etc...
So while the Wikipedia idea MAY have some merit, while the global scam being pulled by all the phone companies continues, it;s just going to be a rip off scam, passing as a HUGE expensive pain in the arse.
I had to double check the date on this article to make sure I wasn't reading something from 1998. Seriously, has innovation deteriorated so much so that we're now reverting back to text-for-fact services?
I can understand there being a very small percentage of the world that may not have the luxury of a phone capable of browsing the internet, but why would they bother requesting up unformatted, cluttered and verbose Wikipedia articles on a device with such a tiny screen, making it even more of a pain to read?
The only way I see this being a viable service is if they add the ability to specify verified excerpts in Wikipedia articles, that are then sent through the TXT, sending TXTs with information grabbed directly from the source brings up the problem of vandalism breaching the barrier, except this time the changes cannot be reverted and the person reading the TXT will be oblivious and take that information as fact. Granted this may abridge the information, but it's sure enough better than getting bombarded with a plethora of messages.
It's a nice thought, but I see the hindrance of bad usability and readability becoming something a lot of people won't want to bother with, especially considering these old devices have a limit on messages.
How the service will work
"Wadhwa's not offered details beyond the snippets recorded above to explain how the service will work, but it is not hard to imagine the service may be a little unwieldy."
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