Infobitt: the news version of Wikipedia

This might be cool: Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger is working on a Wikipedia-like site that ranks facts from the news in an interesting way. From the “short version” of the manifesto:

I’m co-founder of Wikipedia. Now think back to a time before Wikipedia—the 1990s, if you’re that old. If you didn’t know the answer to a question, and a web search brought no joy, you might have to take a trip to the library, or stay ignorant.

Today, if you don’t know the answer to a question, you can find one on Wikipedia within seconds. That’s a stunning development for humanity: we now have virtually instant access to answers. That’s a historical first. It changes how we learn, how we communicate, and how we think.

How did it happen? Millions of people from across the globe understood the vision of a free, open content encyclopedia and acted on it. It was my job to organize this effort. Wikipedia was the result.

Now I hope to organize people to summarize and rank the world’s news in a free, open content news resource. The project is called Infobitt.

If this sounds a bit like Digg or Reddit, it kind of is, but with fewer cat pictures and overused memes. During a recent AMA, Sanger was asked, “How will infobitt help me decide beyond my own gut whether a piece of news is correct or not?” His answer: “We are a ‘mere aggregator,’ but we do not aggregate articles; we aggregate facts which we find in articles.” Elsewhere in the AMA he talks about solving the problem of needing several news sources just to get all the facts, but bypassing all the redundant (and sometimes wrong) information.

I have my doubts that lightning will strike twice for Sanger, but I’m nonetheless excited about Infobitt. For the record, every service I’ve ever been excited for went relatively nowhere (Anyone remember me banging the drum for Diaspora? Hell, does anyone remember Diaspora?), but if he does manage to combine the reliability of Wikipedia with the ease-of-use of Reddit, I think Infobitt is going to be pretty useful. While I was originally skeptical of putting too much faith in the accuracy of Wikipedia, I’ve since learned to use it for what it’s best at: being a starting point for research and a handy collection of references. Today I love the featured article of the day and the “in the news” section, too. Luckily, Sanger is the guy who wrote “Wikipedia’s neutrality policy” (according to him), so the problems you would except from “just anyone being allowed to contribute” will hopefully be mitigated as well as they are on Wikipedia.

The Infobitt team is holding a “pledge drive” for facts: “When we reach 100,000 pledges to add one fact, we’ll ask everybody to show up at once!” You can pledge here.

Adam Savage empties his pockets on Tested

When I sit down with a sandwich and feel like watching TV while I eat, I tend to turn it to the Tested channel on YouTube before anything else. In this video, Adam Savage shows us what’s in his pockets. And even that’s interesting despite the fact that, most of the time, I don’t even care what’s in my own pockets. I must say I was surprised to find he doesn’t carry a Leatherman, especially having seen him build a custom case for one in this video.
I think I’ve figured out the appeal to Savage’s appearances on the channel. The Mythbuster is obsessed with objects and the stories behind them. Naturally, that enthusiasm translates to the viewers. For people who work with their hands, he’s like the male version of Martha Stewart. Hear him talk about the subject during a TED talk:

Star Talk with NDT

Few things make me happier than watching Wil Wheaton explain the inter-species sex in Larry Niven’s Ringworld series to Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Ah, The Nerdist Channel… it’s like The Sci-Fi Channel as it existed twenty years ago (believe it or not, it was actually pretty bitchin’ back then).

Galaxiki: A Strange Science Fiction Social Network/Wiki

Galaxiki press info:

Science Fiction & Fantasy addicts love it: Galaxiki the award winning wiki based science fiction galaxy created, maintained and owned by its Community. Membership is free – sign up now and start naming and editing stars, planets and moons, or get your own personal solar system. Go ahead and take the tour.

As a visitor you may explore the galaxy or read science fiction and fantasy stories written by our community. As a site member you may name and edit edit solar systems and write your own science fiction or fantasy stories, post news and stories in our community blog (anything related to science, space, science fiction and fantasy is allowed) and help to build a fantastic online world.

It sounds like a pretty cool idea, but it’s still in beta and a quick look around the forums seemed to indicate it isn’t the most visited site in the world. Still, I haven’t heard of a nerdier social network since Diaspora.

Time Fcuk

Time Fcuk is a video game at the flash entertainment site Newgrounds. Time Fcuk has really fcuked my time as I started playing it around 11:30 and now it’s well past midnight.

Here’s the author’s description:

Time Cfuk is a game about stasis, its a game about perspective and viewing both sides of the story from afar, its a game about blocks, platforms, drinking, high school reunions and work time fun.

Time Fcku is a “puzzle platformer” about finding logic in irrelevance, its a 1+1=2 formula that will ask more from you after you leave it alone, its a community experience about communication with people who you dont like.

Time KcuF is not an art game, its an allegorical game about stuff you’ve never experienced, its an escape from your current existence, its the feeling of loss and panic.

Time Fcuk is a play on how if one changes around the letters in a word even though it means nothing logically, we all still see it as something that its not.

Play the game here.