Tue 24th January 2012, 6:48pm
QUOTE(Emperor @ Tue 24th January 2012, 11:48am)
Orange is a French telecommunications company that has been working with the Wikimedia Foundation for some time. They claim to be providing cheap mobile Wikipedia for children in Africa, or something.
What's the deal here? We know there must be money involved somehow.
article on Wikipedia is silent, of course. Is the "community" involved in this business with Orange?
Sorry to sound cynical, but it seems that you're giving license to speak freely...
"[The arrangement] will provide more than 70 million Orange customers with mobile access to Wikipedia without incurring any data usage charges. Any customer with an Orange SIM and mobile internet enabled phone will be able to access the Wikipedia site either through their browser or an Orange widget. They can access the Wikipedia encyclopedia services for as many times as they like at no extra charge as long as they stay within Wikipedia’s pages."
Okay, so you're basically limiting this surcharge-free access to Wikipedia only to those human beings who are already wealthy enough to be an Orange customer and to have an Internet-enabled cell phone. I'm not sure how much that will change the lives of these individuals.
Second, please note the "as long as they stay within Wikipedia's pages". Wikipedia has millions of tempting links to off-site web pages. Surely, many of these Orange customers will get so hooked on Wikipedia, they will inevitably begin exploring off-Wikipedia sites, and (let me guess) it's doubtful that Orange will have a pop-up message to warn the user:WARNING
: You are about to leave the data surcharge-free Wikipedia area of your mobile browser. Are you sure you want to continue? YES NO
So, Wikipedia benefits by getting even more addicts ready to edit their mess. Orange benefits by serving up an innocent-sounding "gateway" website that will spawn even more data charges from amidst their customers who begin to explore the wider web. Plus, they get to tout this new "feature" to any prospective new customers
-- come to Orange, the phone with the free encyclopedia!