Web

Libya censors .ly domains

vb.lyThe country has begun cracking down on sites with .ly domains that it deems inappropriate. The URL shortener, vb.ly, which billed itself as a NSFW, sex-positive URL shortener was shut down by NIC.ly (the domain registrar and controlling body for ‘.ly’) because its content was deemed to have fallen “outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law”.

According to one of the co-owners of vb.ly, Ben Metcalfe, the site was taken down by NIC.ly on September 23, 2010 without notice. Through email exchange, NIC.ly informed its owners that the site’s content was “in clear violation of NIC rules and regulations” relating to “text referring to adult content and offensive imagery from [our] main page”.

The offensive imagery referenced is of the bare armed co-owner, sex writer, Violet Blue.

Metcalfe and Blue offer that they were never made aware of the rules and regulations that would have made their site a target for tear down. The fact that their site did not comply with Sharia Law does not appear anywhere in the NIC.ly’s Terms and Conditions, Metcalfe insists.

More than anything this is a tale of exercising caution when doing business with third world Islamic dictatorships. And while you may reside and do business in a country which protects freedom of speech, you can have the rug pulled out from under you by a group you least expect — your foreign domain registrar.

So what of bit.ly and ow.ly? While they do not tout themselves as sex-positive URL shorteners (which was likely part of vb.ly’s undoing), they too are beholden to the laws of Libya. As of June 2010, .ly domains shorter than 4 characters are only allowed for companies and persons having a presence in Libya. Let’s hope they have friends in far off places, or are smart enough to migrate their domains to a more egalitarian registrar.

Movies & TV

Why ruin a good thing? These are some of the worst movie sequels ever made

A sequel that doesn't compare to the original film isn't worth making, right? Unfortunately, this is Hollywood we're talking about. We've picked out 12 films which will go down as some of the worst follow-ups ever made.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Web

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.
Web

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.
Web

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Mobile

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.