Have we all heard the news that the venerable old Encyclopaedia Britannica, after more than two centuries, will no longer publish its print edition? This comes on the heels of other disappearances that I've lamented (the Schwann Catalog, for example).
As I've also said before, the demise of printed encyclopedias per se is not necessarily bad. They were expensive, bulky, and most important, out of date almost as soon as they were published, rapidly becoming as unused and unwanted as printed telephone books. EB has undoubtedly made a good - and necessary - business decision.
Britannica has said it will continue publishing its online product, but this may be an uphill struggle for survival. Wikipedia is free (but now requests donations from users), Britannica online will run you $70 a year. How many users will find an EB subscription worth the cost? I may - I'm thinking about it.
Britannica can be considered authoritative and unbiased; Wikipedia will likely be more up-to-date, and could be authoritative depending on who has wikied it recently; but on many topics, it's informational quicksand, a constantly shifting amalgam of fact, objectivity, myth, and bias. Again, as I noted just yesterday relative to a slightly different subject matter, the trend leads us toward slanted information.