- How to uninstall the Epic Games Launcher (for real) 6 Years Ago
- How to watch the Indianapolis 500 online for free 6 Years Ago
- Ohio KKK rally met with massive counter-protest and witty signs from local businesses Saturday 5:06 PM
- Guy who said he stole drugs from MS-13 now says viral story is fake Saturday 4:07 PM
- Financial service company left 885 million private records exposed online Saturday 3:13 PM
- Sasha Obama went to prom and Twitter is delighted with the photos Saturday 2:22 PM
- Jon Voight says Trump is the greatest president since Lincoln in Twitter videos Saturday 1:31 PM
- #DeleteFacebook gains momentum after the platform refused to remove doctored Nancy Pelosi videos Saturday 11:58 AM
- ‘Game of Thrones’ failed women—and it’s a shame on its legacy Saturday 7:40 AM
- How to use Tor, the network that lets you browse the web anonymously Saturday 7:30 AM
- How to live stream Devin Haney vs. Antonio Moran on DAZN Saturday 7:00 AM
- Trump’s transphobic policies are disgusting—but they aren’t new Saturday 6:30 AM
- How to watch the Copa del Rey Final online for free Saturday 5:45 AM
- How to watch the DFB-Pokal final for free Saturday 5:30 AM
- Curvy Wife Guy drops music video for rap song ‘Chubby Sexy’ Friday 7:33 PM
Wikipedia Zero: All the world’s information, no Internet access needed
The Wikimedia Foundation is working with telecoms to bring digital information to the developing world.
The idea is to open the online encyclopedia up to portions of the developing world where people may lack Internet access, ultimately guaranteeing “free knowledge for every single person on the planet,” according to a mission statement.
While Internet access is still scarce in some parts of the world, 6 billion people have access to mobile phones—and that’s all it takes to use Wikipedia Zero. One simply dials *515# to receive a text prompting the entry of a search term. Type it in and the phone returns a list of related articles to choose from. After the proper page is selected, you can even indicate which section you’d like to read before Wikipedia sends the text in full. Best of all, collaborating mobile operators are “zero-rating” the Wikipedia Zero content so that customers aren’t charged for data usage.
The program is getting a three-month pilot in Kenya, thanks to the cooperation of Airtel Kenya and the Praekelt Foundation’s open source platform, Vumi. Norway’s Telenor, which snagged “one of the two national telecom licenses issued in Myanmar,” according to The Next Web, will likewise give its new Southeast Asian subscribers Wikipedia access without charging for mobile data traffic. High school students in South Africa, meanwhile, created a Facebook group and Change.org petition requesting free Wikipedia access from Cell C, MTN, Vodacom, and 8ta.
All in all, it’s a nifty way to spread vital, accurate information the world over—and make so-called “dumbphones” a little smarter in the process.
Photo by Ian Naumenko/Flickr
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'