Wikipedia to black out all 3.8 million English-language pages to protest PIPA

wikipedia-logo-sopa-PIPA-blackout

Wikipedia is going black on Wednesday, January 18, to help fight the contentious Protect IP Act (PIPA), which is set to go for a vote before the Senate on January 24. The move, first reported by Neal Mann, digital news editor at Sky News, was announced by Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the far-reaching online encyclopedia, on Twitter. Wales says the blackout was a “community decision.”

Jimmy Wales Wikipedia blackout SOPA PIPA Tweet

The blackout will only apply to English-language articles on Wikipedia — all 3,847,673 of them. It will run from 12am ET on Wednesday, through 11:59pm, says Wales, who estimates that as many as 100 million people will view the blocked protest pages.

Wales first proposed a blackout of the site in early December of last year, and asked the Wikipedia community for their input. According to a chart of the responses, created by hacker Shishir Bashyal, nearly 86.6 percent or respondents supported the move, while only 10.5 percent voice opposition to a Wikipedia blackout.

Wikipedia joins the likes of Reddit.com, BoingBoing.net, IHeartChaos.com, and the entire Cheezburger Network, among others, all of which will also be blacked out on Wednesday.

While now focused on PIPA, these planned blackouts were also originally intended to voice opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). This past weekend, however, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told SOPA opponents in Congress that SOPA would not come up for a vote until consensus on the bill could be met. This follows a declaration from the White House that it would oppose any “legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet” — all of which SOPA and PIPA would do, according to critics of these bills.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Gaming

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ will make Blackout mode free to play this week

Treyarch and Activision are offering Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode as a free trial download for a limited time. The mode will be available from January 17 through January 24.
Smart Home

IKEA’s new blinds for the smart home arrive April 1 in the U.S.

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA is adding a new product called FYRTUR, which turns out to be a new set of blackout blinds for the smart home that can be controlled by remote or programmed through the company's app.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
Computing

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?
Computing

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.
Computing

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.
Computing

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.
Computing

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Computing

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.