Wednesday, August 15, 2007

As the world marches on ...

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines is looking to hire foreign pilots due to unprecedented fleet expansion. I understand they need to stay completive, but in a country where there's 90% urban unemployment rate, and being host to one of the best pilot schools in Africa, it seems to me somebody in EAL failed to plan well (even if staff left for other airlines ... every company has a turnover. Get with the program.)


Last year we got a group together at work and went for paint ball. One of my office mates, who happens to be an extremely tall guy, decided not to participate. His height had nothing to do with it, but if we didn't blame everything on his height, then he did. On this occasion the reason he gave must have been related to his hight, I think about how it would make him an easy target.

Upon hearing that, one other work mate disappeared for a while, came back and told us, "Did you know that Wilt Chamberlain was in the paint ball hall of fame?" Ok. I'd no clue who Wilt Chamberlain was -- it turns out he's a famous, tall (of course), American basketball player. "Really!", he assured us "Check Wikipedia."

So we checked Wikipedia and lo and behold, the entry said,
'''Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain''' ([[August 21]], [[1936]] – [[October 12]], [[1999]]) was an [[united States|American]] [[National Basketball Association]] [[basketball]] player. Known as ''Wilt the Stilt'' (a nickname he hated) or ''The Big Dipper'', he is regarded as one of the greatest and most dominant basketball players of all time for the incredible statistical achievements he attained throughout his playing career. Also a member of the paint ball hall of fame.
We didn't even have time to be skeptical. In a few minutes the original Wikipedia article had been reverted. We were as amused by our workmate modifying the entry as we were amazed by wikipedia's speedy reversion. Do they automate the supervision, or did somebody actually read through the modification and reject it in what felt like a minute?

Anyway, we thought it was the end of Wilt Chamberlain's Paint Ball Hall of Fame ... until this tool surfaced. It lets you search what wikipidia changes have been made from say, a range of IP addresses. In fact, it loads with IP range for your current location. As can be expected, Wilt Chamberlain's edit showed up under our work IPs.

It's kind of a creepy tool ... we were looking through the list and could sometimes guess who made the changes at work. Like, what are the chances somebody else at my work place will edit something about Ethiopia? (Thank god I don't have a wiki account :)

Of course it also has its good uses.

I forwarded a link to my tall, now ex-office mate, whose verdict was, "That sounds like a pretty sweet tool. It says to me: Run and hide!"

Pretty much.


I am officially procrastinating from packing ... and I will pay for it dearly ... soon.

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