August 15th, 2007


You've been outed on Wikipedia!

No, I'm not referring to homosexuality. I'm referring to companies, governments, and organizations who anonymously edit Wikipedia entries in the hope of "rewriting history".

As I'm sure many of you know by now, a clever programmer -- presumably with a wicked sense of humor -- wrote a tool to easily find people who do this.... and all sorts of interesting edits have been outed, with Wired adding a special feature to their site in order to simplify the process of sharing the most eggregious violations!

... and some of them are pretty bad. People at Diebold trying to remove information that calls their voting machines into question. Scientologists trying to whitewash their history. ExxonMobil trying to do the same regarding the Valdez cleanup story. People at the NSA removing references to secret surveilance programs. FoxNews editing Al Franken's entry... and the list goes on.

And if this, the Internet equivalent of a "ten car pileup", isn't drama-inducing enough, now all the major political websites are out there telling their users to start digging up dirt... and presumably voting other politically charged entries down. It's gonna get ugly.

I have been doing a few searches myself, and after trying several different searches of previously unlisted groups and organizations, I struck paydirt, exposing someone working for the Israeli government of vandalizing the entry on the West Bank wall, and negatively slanting the main entry about Hezbollah. Frankly, it will be interesting to examine the edits by *ALL* major governments out there. Expect more updates...

Whoever thought Wikipedia could generate such excellent -- and significant -- webdrama? Makes LJ drama seem rather tame and pointless in comparison, really.

Powerful earthquake strikes Peru.

A 7.9 earthquake struck southern Peru less than an hour ago this evening, killing at least 400 people and injuring more than 1000. It is reported to have toppled several smaller buildings in the capital of Lima, as well as a church in the city of Ica, to the south of the capital. Reports of structural damage and power outages are widespread. The quake is reported to have lasted several minutes.

The quake hit about 90 miles southeast of Lima near the town of Chincha Alta, which has a population of more than 100,000.

Here are a few words from people in the effected area.

"yeah we did have an awful earthquake. . . Many ppl in the neighborhood ran away from their homes . . Older brother went to look for my grandmother after the earthquake, she was already outside and (as he said) pretty close to tears.. . It seems trafic has to stop... which means mother and father will be home really late (brother really is worried) and the authorities are assessing the current situation around the capital.

Mother just called so my uncle can pick her up, since transportation in general has stopped for how long god knows. Now the only missing is my younger brother... dunno if I should feel worried now... I'm still trying to figure out a way to get in contact with him." 


"I am at home right now. More calm since apparently all my family is ok. I can't reach some of my friends though but then again that just means the phone lines are damn busy . . . I was at work. I work at Miraflore which is a district near (very near) the sea. But the building I work at was build in the 70s... that means it is more sturdy than those crappy "modern" buildings . . . My mother called me at work miracously. She was alright and when I asked about Voldie (the dog), she said he didn't want to come down but he was alright too.

My brother is ok too. He had to carry a woman in arms. She's a coworker who had a nervous breakdown because she has a son in the fifth floor at the hospital for some virus. Like I said the "modern" building where he works... a chunk of roof fell, the windows of the management shattered, some pipes busted. Pfft. The building I work? Not even the paint peeled. Ha! . . .

Now the country. Right now Cañete, Chincha and Ica are the ones who got it worst.. . It has a (state of emergency). 9 deads in Ica. Lots of hurt people with various degrees of injuries. One famous tourist hotel in Paracas (also Ica) collapsed. The church Señor de Luren (Ica) partially collapsed. They have apparetly told the people who live near the beach to evacuate. . . Apparently there could be more aftershocks. I won't be able to sleep soundly today. . . BTW, the communications collapsed. Stupid phone lines. What a crappy country" 


"it lasted about 2 and a half minutes... the longest of my life. . . I was working in the fifth floor!! and going down in 2 minutes was a real odyssey."


"I was with my grandma and Kio. . . we thought it would be a little bit of shaking but then it got intense and it wouldn't stop, so we went to the door and stayed there for 2 MINUTES!!!! My grandma was praying, Kio was crying, I was hugging her and saw some of the lights go off and a picture frame fall to the floor, and I prayed too... People were screaming outside, and I just hoped it would stop soon... those were the scariest moments of my life... After that it stopped, and within few minutes 3 more shakings here...the phone was dead, traffic jam on the was horrible. . . Thankfully, me and my family and friends are fine, just caught by surprise...but in the south of Lima the situation is much worse, buildings crumbling, dead people...I pray that the authorities get everything under control. Now I'm even scared of going to bed..."


"I was shaking, and it felt like everything was slightly shaking. Then Dina felt me shaking too. Then the bed started to shake. Next thing I recall I am running towards the door. That's when I remembered, I live in the penthouse. The building was shaking and practically bouncing from one side to another. We stayed at the door, because it is supposed to be a safe place, to wait it out.

I was fine, until I heard things crashing down the floor and breaking. Dina began crying. Then I saw cracks opening in the walls. Paint was coming from the ceiling. I began shouting.

Somehow my mom appeared, and found Dina and me hugging each other, squeezing each other, she crying out loud and me screaming. She came running to us, as the shaking seemed to stop. We were leaving for the stairs when it began again. And stronger. We came back to our safe spot, and my mom started to repeat a mantra "It's all gonna stop, I'ts all gonna stop".

And then it stopped.  We ran down the stairs. I was still shaking, I felt like everything was still shaking. We ran into aome ladies in the stairs, one of them screamed "There are cracks on the floor!". I didn't  care to check. I screamed more, everyone plus an old lady, a kid and a cat started screaming even more and it was mayhem.

First floor. Finally. We ran to the street, still thinking the building was going to crumble with us inside. I crossed Pardo avenue and stood in the  middle of the street. Everyone from Pardo Five was there."


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