(AP) — Microsoft Corp. has landed in the Wikipedia doghouse after it offered to pay a blogger to change technical articles on the community-produced Web encyclopedia site.
While Wikipedia is known as the encyclopedia that anyone can tweak, founder Jimmy Wales and his cadre of volunteer editors, writers and moderators have blocked public-relations firms, campaign workers and anyone else perceived as having a conflict of interest from posting fluff or slanting entries. So paying for Wikipedia copy is considered a definite no-no.
“We were very disappointed to hear that Microsoft was taking that approach,” Wales said Tuesday.
Microsoft acknowledged it had approached the writer and offered to pay him for the time it would take to correct what the company was sure were inaccuracies in Wikipedia articles on an open-source document standard and a rival format put forward by Microsoft.
The open-source movement responsible for software like Linux and Mozilla’s Web browser, Firefox, is proving contagious: A German entrepreneur is applying the same approach to automobile design.
Former BMW employee Markus Merz, who now owns an automobile consulting firm in Dingolfing, Germany, calls his project Oscar, shorthand for Open Source Car.
The idea behind open source development is to allow anyone to copy, modify and redistribute ordinarily secret information about a technology without paying royalties to the original developers.
What a fantastic idea!
Now you can combine your inner geek and inner car girl/guy.
Great things could happen with this, a car could be designed that works for people and the environment.
Worth keeping an eye on.