I haven’t fully explored this yet, but looks like an interesting and entertaining science / astronomy site. Screenshot

I am short on online time at the moment, but I will try to check this out a bit more in the future.
[tags]Wikisky, Science, Astronomy, Wiki, Education, Entertainment, Sky Map, SDSS, Space[/tags]

ShopWiki, DoubleClick

I was reading a post on Matt Mullenweg’s blog (PhotoMatt), titled “DoubleClick and Kevin Ryan” which talks about Google having bought double click, and Kevin Ryan (co-founder) has moved on to a new start up called ShopWiki. (I am not going to link to them though).

Basically ShopWiki sends bots out to trawl the web and find products at the best price for you. You may think this is a wonderful thing, and it may well be. I am somewhat intrigued though as to why this site (notable for its abject lack of sellable items) has been getting hammered by the Shop Wiki bot for most of the last two days (until it got the .htaccess treatment). As far as I can see, the bot ignored the Robots.txt entry I put in for it (although my track record with this file is poor).

I think the idea behind ShopWiki seems sound and I am sure it is a wonderful new idea. But I have to question the validity of the data it has collected, given the time and effort it spent looking round the contact pages here. In a spambot like fashion, the ShopWiki bot seems to have concentrated on pages which made reference to emails and the like.

Time may modify my point of view, but for now I think of this as a Bad Shop.

A Borg perspective on Wikipedia’s religion page

If there was ever a Queen of our hive mind*, it’s Wikipedia.

Feeling a bit robotic today, I thought I’d see what the religion quotes page threw up.

This is partly because looking at creationist blogs stops being funny very quickly and achieves the seemingly impossible feat of being both terrifying and boring at the same time.

This Wikiquote page has lots of quotes, split into alphabetical groups, on some principle that already passes all understanding. (D’oh, actually, no it doesn’t. The order is based on the first letters of each quote.)

Some of these are just great. Lots are (deliberately) funny

Much as I want to paste loads of the anti-religious quotes here, or even steal them for a byline for this blog, I’m just mentioning the link so you can pick your own.

Oh well, OK, then, since you twisted my arm, just one two.

Any religion that teaches there is only heaven or hell is gonna be a haven for manic-depressives.~ E.T.B.

If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron. ~ Spider Robinson

The actual Wiki religion page is just, how shall I put this…. dull.. Too dull to even stir up a rant about anything (unusually) but a least it’s not terrifying.

(I would say that it would be good if you had to write a school essay but, for some wierd reasons, students get penalised for using the greatest knowledge resource on the planet, although they are supposed to be doing a good job if they quote any old Harvard referenced tosh. )

* The blogosphere – I can’t come up with a less repellent word – is obviously the Collective, assimilating more and more odd folk every day. Resistance is blatantly futile.
Immature and specialised Wikis – like the Wikiquote, which was new to me – are being spawned all the time but the Queen remains pre-eminent.