Thanks to the WikiReader, I am the smartest person in the room.

by Mark R

ars_wikireader_arsI got a chance to try out the Wikireader that we reported on earlier, and I will have to say that I am now the know-it-all. I’ve become like Cliff Claven from Cheers, who seems to know all the useless facts in the universe, and comes off as amazingly annoying.

The Wikireader by Openmoko is a device with a tiny black-and-white screen that uses 2 AAA batteries that are included. It requires no internet connection as all the 3 million entries are inside.

There are no illustrations, and the touchscreen allows for scrolling. Scrolling up and down creates a blurry effect that makes it easy to lose your place. Find out after the jump how Cyber Monday got its name.

I found that the information seemed up to date, but only for a little while. I checked the most recent history, and yes, Michael Jackson is dead. Perhaps I should spend the $29 a year and get the latest version, just like printed encyclopedias have to be updated each year.

Even if you don’t get updates, there is some information that won’t change. It makes the Wikireader perfect for learning more about your favorite subjects. In fact, there is even a random button to spew out a random fact when it is pressed. Think of it as channel surfing an encyclopedia.

The touchscreen is about as good as the iPhone touchpad, and it was perfect for me to find out this fact about Cyber Monday.

The term “Cyber Monday” is a neologism invented by, part of the U.S. trade association National Retail Federation. It was first used within the ecommerce community during the 2005 holiday season. According to Scott Silverman, the head of, the term was coined based on research showing that 77% of online retailers reported a significant increase in sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2004.[5] In late November 2005, the New York Times reported that “The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.”

If you are looking for a good $99 stocking stuffer, this could be it.

2 reviews or comments

Gadget Thumbnails for 30-Nov-2009 » Coolest Gadgets Says: November 30, 2009 at 10:02 pm

[…] // « Thanks to the WikiReader, I am the smartest person in the room. […]

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