Luis Villa is an American attorney and programmer who worked as Deputy General Counsel and as Senior Director of Community Engagement at the Wikimedia Foundation. He was an attorney at Mozilla, where he worked on the revision of the Mozilla Public License, he continued that work in his next job at Greenberg Traurig where he was part of the team defending Google against Oracle's claims concerning Android. Prior to graduating from Columbia Law School in 2009, he was an employee at Ximian, acquired by Novell in 2003, he spent a year as a "senior geek in residence" at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society working on StopBadware.org. He has been elected four times to the board of the GNOME Foundation, he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, blogs regularly. He was a director of the Open Source Initiative from April 2012 to March 2015. List of Wikipedia people Interview with Red Hat magazine Villa's Blog
Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur, best known as the co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the for-profit web hosting company Wikia. Wales was born in Huntsville, where he attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in finance from Auburn University and the University of Alabama respectively. While in graduate school, Wales taught at two universities. In 1996, he and two partners founded Bomis, an adult web portal featuring entertainment and adult content; the company would provide the initial funding for the peer-reviewed free encyclopedia and its successor, Wikipedia. On January 15, 2001, with Larry Sanger and others, Wales launched Wikipedia—a free, open content encyclopedia that enjoyed rapid growth and popularity, he is cited as a co-founder of Wikipedia, though he has disputed the "co-" designation, declaring himself the sole founder. Wales serves on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, the non-profit charitable organization that he helped establish to operate Wikipedia, holding its board-appointed "community founder" seat.
His role in creating Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in their 2006 list of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". Wales was born in Huntsville, shortly before midnight on August 7, 1966, his father, worked as a grocery store manager, while his mother, Doris Ann, his grandmother, ran the House of Learning, a small private school in the tradition of the one-room schoolhouse, where Wales and his three siblings received their early education. As a child, Wales enjoyed reading; when he was three, his mother bought a World Book Encyclopedia from a door-to-door salesman. As he grew up and learned to read, it became an object of reverence, it put at his fingertips an abundant supply of knowledge complete with maps, a few cellophane layers of transparencies one could lift to explore such things as the muscles and digestive system of a dissected frog. But Wales soon discovered that the World Book had shortcomings: no matter how much was in it, there were many more things that were not.
World Book sent out stickers for owners to paste on the pages in order to update the encyclopedia, Wales was careful to put the stickers to work, stating, "I joke that I started as a kid revising the encyclopedia by stickering the one my mother bought."During an interview in 2005 with Brian Lamb, Wales described his childhood private school as a "Montessori influenced philosophy of education", where he "spent lots of hours poring over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias". There were only four other children in Wales's grade, so the school grouped together the first through fourth-grade students and the fifth through eighth-grade students; as an adult, Wales was critical of the government's treatment of the school, citing the "constant interference and bureaucracy and sort of snobby inspectors from the state" as a formative influence on his political philosophy. After eighth grade, Wales attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school in Huntsville, graduating at sixteen.
Wales said that the school was expensive for his family, but that "education was always a passion in my household... you know, the traditional approach to knowledge and learning and establishing that as a base for a good life." He received his bachelor's degree in finance from Auburn University in 1986. He began his Auburn education. Wales entered the PhD finance program at the University of Alabama before leaving with a master's degree to enter the PhD finance program at Indiana University. At the University of Alabama, he played Internet fantasy games and developed his interest in the web, he taught at both universities during his postgraduate studies but did not write the doctoral dissertation required for a PhD, something he ascribed to boredom. In 1994, Wales took a job with Chicago Options Associates, a futures and options trading firm in Chicago, Illinois. Wales has described himself as having been addicted to the Internet from an early stage and he wrote computer code during his leisure time.
During his studies in Alabama, he had become an obsessive player of Multi-User Dungeons —a type of virtual role-playing game—and thereby experienced the potential of computer networks to foster large-scale collaborative projects. Inspired by the remarkably successful initial public offering of Netscape in 1995, having accumulated capital through "speculating on interest-rate and foreign-currency fluctuations", Wales decided to leave the realm of financial trading and became an Internet entrepreneur. In 1996, he and two partners founded Bomis, a web portal featuring user-generated webrings and, for a time, erotic photographs. Wales described it as a "guy-oriented search engine" with a market similar to that of Maxim magazine. Though Bomis had at the time struggled to make money, it provided Wales with the funding to pursue his greater passion, an online encyclopedia. While moderating an online discussion group devoted to the philosophy of Objectivism in the early 1990s, Wales had encountered Larry Sanger, a skeptic of the philosophy.
The two had engaged in detailed debate on the subject on Wales's list and on Sanger's meeting offline to continue the de
Hampton Catlin is an American computer programmer, programming language inventor, gay rights advocate, author, best known as the creator of the Sass and Haml markup languages. Hampton is the VP of Engineering for Rent the Runway, but has held similar roles at Moovweb, at the Wikimedia Foundation, he created a lightweight markup language called Haml which he intended to be a radically different design for inline page templating systems like eRuby in Ruby. Since its initial release in 2006, Haml has been in constant development and has been ported to over 10 other languages. It's the second most popular templating language for the Ruby on Rails framework and has inspired many other templating languages. In 2007, Catlin created a style sheet language to expand on Cascading Style Sheets, used to describe presentation semantics of web pages. Catlin continued to work on Sass with co-designer Natalie Weizenbaum through 2008. Sass is now bundled as part of Rails. In 2011, he co-wrote with his husband the book "Pragmatic Guide to Sass", published through The Pragmatic Bookshelf.
Catlin wrote several applications for iOS and other mobile platforms, including Dictionary!, a popular dictionary application, a Wikipedia browsing client, purchased by the Wikimedia Foundation. He was subsequently hired by Wikimedia and given the role as mobile development lead for the Foundation, launching the official mobile website in June 2009; the backend for the site was developed using the Merb framework. Catlin co-created Wordset, a fork of the WordNet dictionary, along with his husband; the project was a collaborative editing environment for linguistic information. As of 2017, the project is now defunct, but the resulting English dictionary is available on Github for download. Catlin was born in 1982 in Jacksonville and resides in New York with his husband and collaborator, Michael Catlin; the couple made headlines in late March, 2014, for removing a simple puzzle game they had built together from the Mozilla Marketplace after Brendan Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla. They called for a boycott of Mozilla, pledging "We will continue our boycott until Brendan Eich is removed from any day to day activities at Mozilla...."
Eich had been the center of controversy surrounding his support for Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that banned marriage equality in California, re-ignited by his promotion to CEO. After a large public outcry and several Mozilla Foundation employees publicly calling for him to step down, Eich voluntarily stepped down only a week after taking his new position; when asked if he'd donate again, Eich responded "I don't want to answer hypotheticals." In a follow up blog post, Catlin explained meeting Eich to find middle ground and expressing dismay at the response, calling the outcome a "sad victory". List of Wikipedia people List of Inventors List of LGBT rights activists Official website Hampton Catlin on Twitter "Team RareBit". Archived from the original on Mar 28, 2014
Florence Jacqueline Sylvie Devouard, was the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation between October 2006 and July 2008. Devouard holds an engineering degree in agronomy from ENSAIAo and a DEA in genetics and biotechnologies from INPL. On 9 March 2008, Devouard was elected member of the municipal council of Malintrat. Devouard joined the board of Wikimedia Foundation in June 2004 as Chair of the Board of Trustees, succeeding Jimmy Wales, she has served on the Advisory Board of the Foundation since July 2008. Co-founder of Wikimedia France in October 2004, she was vice-chair of its board as of 2011 until December 2012. On 16 May 2008, she was made a knight in the French National Order of Merit, proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as "chair of an international foundation". List of Wikipedia people Lih, Andrew; the Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia. Hyperion, New York City. 2009. First Edition. ISBN 978-1-4013-0371-6. Florence Devouard's Wikipedia userpage Anthere Consulting website Personal blog Wikimedia Foundation and sustainability 2005 Board candidacy presentation Video-Interview on 10 February 2007 at the Lift07 conference in Geneva "What the future holds for Wikipedia".
Swissinfo. 2008-01-25. Interview with Florence Devouard.'Madame Wikipedia' runs web giant from village HQ 2007 AFP article A Life in the Day: Florence Devouard 2007 Times article
James M. Heilman is a Canadian emergency physician and advocate for the improvement of Wikipedia's health-related content, he encourages other clinicians to contribute to the online encyclopedia. With the Wikipedia username Doc James, Heilman is an active contributor to WikiProject Medicine, a volunteer Wikipedia administrator, he was the president of Wikimedia Canada between 2010 and 2013, founded and was the president of Wiki Project Med Foundation. He is the founder of WikiProject Medicine's Medicine Translation Task Force. In June 2015, he was elected to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, a position which he held until he was removed on December 28, 2015. Heilman was re-elected to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in May 2017. Heilman is a clinical assistant professor at the department of emergency medicine at the University of British Columbia, the head of the department of emergency medicine at East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook, British Columbia, where he lives.
Heilman was raised in rural Saskatchewan. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in anatomy, he subsequently earned his medical degree there in 2003, he completed his family medicine residency in British Columbia from 2003 to 2005. Heilman holds a certificate of added competency in the field of emergency medicine with the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Heilman worked at Moose Jaw Union Hospital, a hospital in Moose Jaw, until 2010, when he began working at East Kootenay Regional Hospital, where, in October 2012, he was appointed head of the department of emergency medicine. In 2014, he told the Cranbrook Daily Townsman that the emergency department at East Kootenay saw an average of 22,000 patients each year; as of May 2014, Heilman was working on a study with Samir Grover, of the University of Toronto, which would assign medical students to take a test using either Wikipedia or medical textbooks to determine, more accurate. That year, Heilman co-authored a version of the Wikipedia article for dengue fever in the peer-reviewed journal Open Medicine.
Heilman worked on a study with Microsoft which found that in the three countries where the Ebola outbreak had the largest impact, Wikipedia was the most popular source for information about the disease. In 2015, Heilman and Andrew West published a study which found that the number of Wikipedia editors who focused on editing medical articles decreased by 40 percent from 2008 to 2013; these results, together with other detailed analyses about the production and consumption of medical content on Wikipedia, were published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 2015. Since the beginning of his activity as a contributor to medicine-related Wikipedia articles in 2008, Heilman has been promoting the improvement of medical content by encouraging fellow physicians to take part, he became interested in editing Wikipedia on a slow night shift, when he looked up the article on obesity and found that it contained many errors. "I realized. I improved the quality a great deal. I sort of became hooked from there," he told the Hamilton Spectator in 2011.
As of 2016, he edited medical articles on Wikipedia for about 60 hours a week. Heilman takes part in an initiative through Wiki Project Med Foundation with Translators Without Borders, working to improve and translate English Wikipedia medical articles of top importance into minority languages; the Wiki Project Med Foundation has started a collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco as a recruit for scientifically literate editors, by giving students college credit for improving medicine-related Wikipedia pages. In 2014, the Wiki Project Med Foundation partnered with the Cochrane Collaboration, with the goal of improving the reliability and accuracy of information on Wikipedia. With regard to this partnership, Heilman said, "The way Wikipedia works is that all content is to stand on the references that are listed. If the best quality sources are used to write Wikipedia there's a good chance that Wikipedia will contain the best quality information."Heilman spoke at Wikimania 2014, where he said that 93% of medical students use Wikipedia, argued that "fixing the internet" is now a critical task for anyone who cares about healthcare.
By reviewing and correcting medical content in the manner promoted by Heilman, in Wikipedia articles like that about Ebola, Wikipedia has become a source of information to the general public, thus being regarded among respected sites run by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, covering the topic. Heilman reduced the time he spent working in the emergency department so he could spend more time updating this page. In 2014, he told the Cranbrook Daily Townsman that with respect to Wikipedia's coverage of Ebola, "The big thing is emphasizing what we know, making sure that minor concerns don’t get blown out of proportion." He said that, despite rumours to the contrary, there was no evidence that the disease had become airborne, that ebola had caused far fewer deaths than other conditions such as malaria and gastroenteritis. In 2009, a resident of Moose Jaw, added public domain images of the ink blots used in the Rorschach test to the Wikipedia article on the subject, concerned psychologists said that this could invalidate the tests.
Some psychologists stated the test had "already lost its popularity and usefulness." In an interview with The New York Times, Heilman stated that he added the entire set because a debate about a single image seemed absurd and psychologists' fears were unfounded. Appearing on Cana
The Wikipedia Monument, located in Słubice, Poland, is a statue designed by Armenian sculptor Mihran Hakobyan honoring Wikipedia contributors. It was unveiled in Frankfurt Square on 22 October 2014 in a ceremony that included representatives from both local Wikimedia chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation; the monument depicts four nude figures holding aloft a globe based on the Wikipedia logo, reaching over two metres up. The fiber-and-resin statue was designed by Armenian-born artist Mihran Hakobyan, who graduated from Collegium Polonicum, it was funded by Słubice regional authorities. The monument was suggested around 2010 by Krzysztof Wojciechowski, a university professor and director of the Collegium Polonicum in Słubice. Polish Wikipedia is a popular website in Poland and, with over a million articles, the 12th-largest Wikipedia in the world. According to Piotr Łuczynski, deputy mayor, the memorial "will highlight the town’s importance as an academic centre". A Wikimedia Polska representative stated that the organization hopes that this project will "raise awareness of the website and encourage people to contribute."It was unveiled on 22 October 2014, on the Plac Frankfurcki, becoming the world's first monument to the online encyclopedia.
Representatives from the Wikimedia Foundation as well as from the Wikimedia chapters for Poland and Germany attended the dedication ceremony. Dariusz Jemielniak, a professor of management, Wikimedia activist, an author of Common Knowledge? An Ethnography of Wikipedia, delivered an opening ceremony address. With this monument the citizens of Słubice would like to pay homage to thousands of anonymous editors all over the world, who have contributed voluntarily to the creation of Wikipedia, the greatest project co-created by people regardless of political, religious or cultural borders. In the year this monument is unveiled Wikipedia is available in more than 280 languages and contains about 30 million articles; the benefactors behind this monument feel certain that with Wikipedia as one of its pillars the knowledge society will be able to contribute to the sustainable development of our civilization, social justice and peace among nations. When Wikipedia started back in 2001 I have to say that I never imagined a day when Wikipedia would be honored with a monument – we write about them, we photograph them with our Wiki Loves Monuments competition, now we have a monument of our own.
It is a special and exciting day, one that I hope shines the spotlight on the thousands of Wikimedians who edit Wikipedia and make it the source of free knowledge it has come to be. I look forward to visiting Słubice one day to see the monument for myself and meeting some of those involved in the project. Press release: First-ever Wikipedia Monument unveiled in Poland, Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA
Wikimedia Foundation, et al. v. National Security Agency, et al. is a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation and several other organizations against the National Security Agency, the United States Department of Justice, other named individuals, alleging mass surveillance of Wikipedia users carried out by the NSA. The suit claims the surveillance system, which NSA calls "Upstream", breaches the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects freedom of speech, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures; the suit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland as the NSA is based in Fort Meade, Maryland. The suit was dismissed in October 2015 by Judge T. S. Ellis III; the Court of Appeals found that the dismissal was valid for all of the plaintiffs except the Foundation, whose allegations the court found "plausible" enough to have legal standing for the case to be remanded to the lower court.
The original plaintiffs besides the Wikimedia Foundation were the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA, the PEN American Center, the Global Fund for Women, The Nation magazine, the Rutherford Institute, the Washington Office on Latin America. Upstream surveillance was first revealed in May 2013 by a former NSA analyst. A previous challenge by the ACLU, Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, failed for lack of standing. In the light of some of the leaks by Snowden, which included an above Top Secret NSA slide that referred to Wikipedia as a target for HTTP surveillance, the Wikimedia Foundation pushed forward with a legal complaint against the NSA for violating its users' First and Fourth Amendment rights. Since Clapper, the government itself has confirmed many of the key facts about NSA's Upstream surveillance, including that it conducts suspicionless searches. ACLU attorney Patrick Toomey noted the lawsuit is relevant as the plaintiffs engage in "hundreds of billions of international communications" annually.
Any program of Upstream surveillance must sweep up a substantial part of these communications. On August 6, 2015, the defendants brought a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiffs have not plausibly shown that they have been injured by Upstream collection of data and thus lack standing to sue. In response, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed an amicus brief on behalf of a group of libraries and booksellers. Both sides presented oral arguments at a hearing on September 25, 2015. On October 23, 2015, the District Court for the District of Maryland dismissed the suit on grounds of standing. US District Judge T. S. Ellis III ruled that the plaintiffs could not plausibly prove they were subject to Upstream surveillance, echoing the 2013 decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International US; the Wikimedia Foundation said. The Foundation said its complaint had merit, that there was no question that Upstream surveillance captured the communications of both its user community and the Wikimedia Foundation itself.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who had filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, said it was perverse to dismiss a suit for lack of proof when the surveillance program complained of was secret, urged federal courts to tackle the serious constitutional issues that Upstream surveillance presents. The plaintiffs filed an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on February 17, 2016. On May 23, 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the dismissal by the lower court of Wikimedia's complaints; the Court of Appeals ruled that the Foundation's allegations of the NSA's Fourth Amendment violations were plausible enough to "survive a facial challenge to standing", finding that the potential harm done by the NSA's collection of private data was not speculative. The court thereby remanded the suit by the Foundation and ordered the District Court of Maryland to continue the proceedings; the court inversely affirmed the dismissal by Ellis of the suits by the other plaintiffs.
Jewel v. NSA Wikimedia v NSA infopage from ACLU Complaint from ACLU Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency FAQ NSA – Why Are We Interested in HTTP