Wikipedia Faces Congressional Vandalism

The volunteer-run, online reference site Wikipedia is built on idea that by involving the larger Internet community, they can collectively create a useful and comprehensive online reference tool for everyone. And they seem to be correct: from humble beginnings, in the last five years Wikipedia has turned into a widely-used information source, recently found to compare favorably with the vaunted Encyclopedia Britannica on the accuracy of its science topics.

But as Wikipedia’s coverage areas expand, the effort faces growing concerns over free-form creation and editing of articles, particularly in cases where self-appointed editors have a vested interest in portraying a subject or spinning a topic a certain way. The latest twist: Washington D.C. politicos are changing articles to remove or alter unpleasant facts, insert partisan posturing, whitewash records, and even vandalize entries about rival politicians.

Wikipedia keeps records of edits made to its articles, including the IP numbers of the computers making the changes. While those computers may turn out to be proxies (some anonymous), researchers have found computers linked to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have made changes to several online biographies, including those of Senators Dianne Feinstein, Tom Harkin, and Norm Coleman: edits removed a reference to Senator Harkin having falsely claimed to have flown combat missions in Viet Nam; Senator Coleman’s college political stance was recharacterized from “liberal” to “activist,” and staffers apparently deleted a reference to Coleman voting with President Bush 98 percent of the time in 2003. But it gets more brazen: a full-fledged “edit war” erupted over Senator Jay Rockefeller’s entry, with different parties tussling to add and remove material. Democratic representative Marty Meehan flat-out admits his staffers polished his own Wikipedia biography, removing a pledge to serve for only fur terms and removing information about his campaign finances. Meehan’s chief of staff Erich Mische told the Associated Press, “They’ve got an edit provision on there for the sake of editing when things are not accurate. I presume that if they did not want people to edit, they wouldn’t allow you to edit.”

Wikipedia volunteers have taken measured to reduce these and other forms of online vandalism

Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Deals

Now’s your chance to get the latest iPad Pro for $100 less on Amazon

The latest iPad Pro has always been our favorite since its release last year, and we even tagged it as the best tablet ever. Don’t miss out on Amazon’s discount on the 12-inch 256GB Wi-Fi model and get yours today for $1,049.
Computing

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for August 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work, we have you covered. We've put together a list of the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

Amazon cuts $52 off this Samsung Galaxy 10.1-inch tablet for the whole family

Normally priced at $330, you can grab the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch 128GB Wi-Fi tablet now for only $278 and enjoy $52 savings. On top of that, Amazon is offering an extra $28 discount when you apply for a coupon during checkout.
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Computing

1.5% of Chrome users’ passwords are known to be compromised, according to Google

In February, a new feature was introduced to the Google Chrome browser which checks whether users' passwords are secure. Now, Google has released eye-opening stats gathered from Password Checkup.
Computing

Tired of your Mac freezing? Try these tips to fix your Mac

A Mac that keeps freezing can be an incredibly annoying thing to deal with, but fixing it doesn’t have to be a pain. There are six main things you should try, which we got through in this guide to help you fix the issue once and for all.
Computing

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Computing

Latest Windows 10 update is causing random reboots and can break Visual Basic

The latest update for Windows 10, made available on Tuesday this week, includes patches against two critical vulnerabilities. But it is causing a string of issues including random reboots and failure to install.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Enjoy your music on more devices: Here's how to convert FLAC to MP3

FLAC files sound awesome — that is, if your device can handle the lossless format. No matter your OS there's a converter for you. Here's how to convert FLAC to MP3, so you no longer have to worry about incompatibility issues.
Computing

Windows 10 can split and resize windows with ease. Here's how to do it

The window management features of Windows 10 can be particularly helpful for those who frequently multitask. Here's how to split your screen according to your workflow needs by using Snap Assist and other native tools.
Computing

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts.