The Globe and Mail story Globetechnology: Chinese ban on Wikipedia prevents research, users say
Wikipedia, which offers more than 2.2 million articles in 100 languages, has emerged as an important source of scholarly knowledge in China and many other countries. But its stubborn neutrality and independence on political issues such as Tibet and Taiwan has repeatedly drawn the wrath of the Communist authorities.
The latest blocking of the website, the third shutdown of the site in China in the past two years, has now continued for more than 10 weeks without any explanation and without any indication whether the ban is temporary or permanent.
I’m not in the “Wikipedia can do no wrong” camp but, it is a valuable, fast moving (updating and error correcting), reasonable accurate source, that is complementary to and confuses tradiation media, with resonable key policies, and which will continue to evolve as it passes it 5th birthday.
The Wikipedia currently has 910,469 english articles, and – as of Oct 2004 – the database was ~ 170 GB (excluding images and multimedia) and – as of September 2005 – a compressed full database dump (text only) english only is about 40GB., so my Dream of “Wikipedia on a Stick” i.e. Wikipedia on a USB flash drive (see Barenaked on a Stick) is still a couple of years off. Although having local mirror version is not.