Imagine an online community that combines user contributions, editing and fact checking like Wikipedia, with automated data extraction like Google and complex artificial intelligence to create a rich description of the world around us that is continually refined over time. That's what well-backed data startup Factual is aiming to create and every time I learn more about it, I fantasize about getting in and contributing to that community just like early contributors to Wikipedia did, says Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb. While Wikipedia is a huge destination site, however, Factual is a data service that will be used as a platform...

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    staff and wire services reports