Web

SOPA/PIPA blackout: By the numbers

SOPA vs PIPA

The mass online blackout protest against the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and the “PROTECT IP Act” (PIPA) is officially over. At this early stage, it’s nearly impossible to say whether or not the blackout can be considered a “success,” in any empirical terms — that will ultimately be decided by how Congress votes on these bills, and whether the vocal, widespread opposition to these pieces of legislation has any effects on how the entertainment industry pushes to curb piracy in the future. But a quick look at the facts and figures surrounding the January 18 blackout show an unprecedented picture of online activism in the US. Here, a by-the-numbers roundup of the day the Web went black.

75,000: Approximate of websites that participated in the blackout, according to SOPAStrike.com, which helped organize the protest.

25,000: Number of WordPress blogs that completely blacked out their sites to protest the bills

12,500: Number of WordPress blogs that placed the “Stop Censorship” ribbon on their blogs

162 million: Number of people who saw the Wikipedia blackout page

4.5 million: Number of people who signed Google’s anti-SOPA petition on Wednesday

1.458 million: Number of people who signed other similar anti-SOPA/PIPA petitions, according to activist websites Avaaz.org and Fight for the Future (FFTF)

35,000: Approximate number of people who sent letters to their senators and representatives as a result of the blackout

2 million: Number of emails sent through the Electronic Frontier Foundation, FFTF and Demand Progress

2.4 million: Number of SOPA/PIPA-related tweets sent out on Wednesday, between 12am and 4pm, according to Twitter

25: Number of senators who publicly opposed PIPA after the blackout went into effect

13: Number of additional senators who are “leaning towards opposition,” according to OpenCongress

33: Total number of senators who currently support PIPA

36: Total number of senators who oppose, or are leaning in opposition of, PIPA

16: Number of senators who remain undecided

3: Number of representatives who came out against SOPA this week, including Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL)

29: Number of representatives who remain on the list of SOPA sponsors and co-sponsors

339: Total number of representatives who remain undecided on SOPA

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

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!
Home Theater

I’ve seen the 8K TV future, and you should be excited. Here’s why

Samsung set the tech world on fire when it announced it would sell an 85-inch 8K TV in the U.S. along with several 8K screen sizes in Europe. Debates over the validity and value of such a high resolution have continued since, and we're here…
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Home Theater

Need more contrast in your life? Here’s what you need to know about HDR TVs

So what is HDR TV? In a nutshell, it’s the best thing to happen to TV since the arrival of 4K. Here's everything you need to know about the technology, what it can do, and why it’s a must-have.
Computing

You need a website, and these tools will help you make it

We compiled a list of the best website builders, both paid and free. If you don't want to pay for someone to make your website and want to do it yourself, this roundup should point you in the direction you want to go.
Computing

Google to shut down Google+ after exposure of 500,000 users’ data

After Facebook revealed that 50 million users may have been exposed as a result of a security vulnerability, Google announced it discovered a bug that left 500,000 Google+ users exposed. It will also shut down Google+.
Computing

Google Slides now auto-transcribes verbal presentations for real-time captions

A new feature for the Google Slides presentation software uses a computer's built-in microphone to transcribe the words of a speaker in real time, displaying them for everyone to see.
Social Media

Sick of Facebook privacy scandals? Here's how to protect your personal data

With a number of security scandals in 2018, it has us questioning if we should get rid of Facebook. Here's how to protect your personal data without deleting your account, as well as how to just nuke the thing altogether.
Mobile

Pixel 3, Home Hub, and Pixel Slate — our first look at all Google’s new devices

Google has taken the wraps off of a slew of new devices, including the Pixel 3 smartphones, Google Home Hub smart display, Google Pixel Slate tablet, and more. We were at the event, and took a ton of photos of all of Google's new products.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Mobile

PayPal will soon let you withdraw cash at Walmart, but there’s a catch

PayPal has teamed up with Walmart to allow its account holders to withdraw and deposit cash at the store. The service launches at all Walmart stores across the U.S. in early November, but there's a catch.
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are plenty of great tools you can use, both online and offline. These are our favorites and a step by step guide on how to use them.
Cars

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Computing

How to recover Google contacts

If you accidentally deleted an important person from your Google Contacts, they might not be lost forever. Recovering them is a fairly easy process -- as long as you do it quickly. Here's how.