Wikimania Conference 2005

Angela reports on Frankfurt being chosen as the location for Wikipedia‘s big meeting currently named „Wikimania“ which is about to take place later in 2005.

Choosing Germany is a wise choice: Germany (including Switzerland and Austria of course) has by far the most active Wikipedian community: even if you compare it to the much larger english Wikipedia, the ratio of pages per native speaker exceeds every other edition of the free encyclopedia by a huge margin. This is not surprising as text and words have always played a special role in Germany (think Gutenberg, think Goethe and all the other word freaks that have hung around here ;).

I must admit I have hoped for Berlin being chosen over Frankfurt as it offers much more in terms of culture and entertainment. But I must also admit Frankfurt might be much more attractive than Berlin in terms of travel. Also, Frankfurt is the host of the annual international book fair so there is a natural fit as well. I expect the Wikipedia craze to skyrocket next year and I think much more people are about to attend than the organizers might think today.

I hope the community will decide to shift the date to October as it would coincide with the book fair, but right now sometime in August seems to be the way to go. Hope it won‘t interfere with HEX 2005.

The German Voice

Der Spiegel is a renowned german news magazine and has been setting standards in the field of journalism since its inception in the fifties. Although you might dispute the overall quality nowadays (which I do) there‘s no doubt its quality is still way beyond of what you get in most of the news outlets around the world. So its voice is important for Germany in general on an international level.

So it is interesting to see that Der Spiegel has now started an international version. You won‘t find everything there is in the german version but they are focusing on topics that are probably more interesting to an international public. German politics are clearly misrepresented on the Internet as most people derive their information from US American or British sources which don‘t really have a track record of understanding Germany alltogether. Spiegel might be an alternative. We have to wait and see.

For now, I‘d like to point you to an interesting interview with the German foreign minister Joschka Fischer dubbed „We Opposed War in Iraq for Good Reasons“ which is not only an insightful view into our government‘s general policies. It also taught me that „Realpolitik“ is apparently an accepted english term (which I didn‘t realize – I was aware of Zeitgeist others having made an international career).

Fly the duck

I tested the latest version of Adium and I threw Proteus away which bugged me with performance issues (after I threw away iChat before). I am a Switcher now. It‘s not there yet, but it shows big promise and I think it has the potential to overtake them all.

But as the original guy behind Proteus is at Apple‘s iChat team now, I expect something really big for the next version that will reportedly features Jabber support and tabbed chatting. But whatever usefulness iChat will bring, Adium will always succeed in terms of configurability for power users.

However, Adium version 0.7 still lacks basic things like the ability to the the status line that shows up so nicely in iChat and for unknown reasons (but I heard it will be in the next release). OpenPGP support would be nice to have as instant messaging security is a big issue. But I guess this is also just a matter of time. As Adium is free as in freedom it will get there sooner or later.

ARTE report on VJ scene – CCC Party probably part of it

Falk reports on a documentary by ARTE (excellent German-French joint venture TV) that is about to be aired as part of the monthly „Kurzschluss“ series on Wednesday, November 3rd around midnight

Falk, also known as Protobeamaz:FaLK will be a part of it and so I expect we‘ll see small excerpts from his exceptional VJ presentation he has done at the CCC birthday party in Berlin recently.

Also not for Brent Simmons: web site icons in PNG

It‘s funny to see how interblog communications work: Jon tries to get the word to Brent to get his blog included in NetNewsWire. And opviously, Brent didn‘t read it.

So now Jon is implanting a new icon in his web page and wonders that PNG is supported as well. Yes, it is since Mozilla introduced that feature along time ago. But he also wonders that NNW2 does show it in the web browser tab (because WebKit knows it) but not in the subscription list, because Brent Simmons didn‘t implement PNG icons in NNW2.

Internet Explorer‘s way of handling „favicons“ is driving me nuts. How many billion trillion times a day are web servers just saying no to this silly „/favicon.ico“ request? How many times a day do web administrators look in their web server log files with megabytes of „favicon.ico not found“ requests? How many times a day are web designers shaking their heads because they can‘t provide icons for subpages of domains?

It‘s time for developers to ignore IE „standards“ and scrap support for them alltogether.

Good that Brent Simmons doesn‘t read this ;) turns 10

There are not many who can claim successful ten years of continuous activity on the Internet (note: we are talking about 1994 here – ancient times!), but made it.

I have been following macintouch since 1995 and it has always been a prime source for reliable information, well-edited user feedback, well-founded technical tips and other insights. Furthermore, they have never taken the train to rumourism and haven‘t even changed the basic layout of their web site since (and it still works great and has been a pioneer for all blog-style web sites). Also, they have an excellent and very useful RSS news feed.

Congratulations to Ric Ford and his team. You have done a wonderful job.

Tonight only: Blinken-Lite

You missed Blinkenlights when it was running? Well, if you are in Berlin today you might get a second chance as we have put up the system for a very short time (which already might end on Monday) in a limited fashion (it‘s actually just the blinking heart and nothing else, but it does look good). Check out the photos of Blinken-Lite. I guess it was also visible in the TV show „Wetten Dass?“ that was taking place in part on Alexanderplatz yesterday evening.

The new setup is meant to say „hello“ to Berlin and to remind you all that we are ready for a severe comeback if things turn out fine. We got some nice ideas in our sleeves and we really like to bring them on. But we need support of the owner of the building to be able to do that. Tell them, not us ;-).