Web

UK ISPs block (legal) filesharing site The Promo Bay

uk isps block legal filesharing site the promo bay tpbpromoAnd this, it turns out, is why we can’t have nice things. A week after the launch of The Promo Bay – A spin-off of the Sweden-based Pirate Bay file sharing website once described as “one of the world’s largest facilitators of illegal downloading” that was created with the explicit aim of legally promoting new work from independent artists, musicians, filmmakers and content creators, the Promo Bay has found itself blocked by multiple British Internet Service Providers. Is this a case of mistaken Internet identity, or simply the taint for many of any association with an illegal filesharing organization?

The Torrent Freak website reports that multiple British Internet Service Providers are apparently blocking The Promo Bay, a website launched last week spinning out of a months-old push within the Pirate Bay proper that sought to utilize the Pirate Bay community in a more constructive manner for content creators, offering them the chance to advertise to and share their work with an audience that is already actively engaged in trying out new things. “These artists are coming from the point of view that free, mass exposure – with smart measurement on who likes you where – is more valuable to an artist than trying to scrape money out of iTunes or Beatport or whatever,” Promo Bay spokesman Will Dayble said when talking about the Promo Bay’s launch as a stand-alone site, noting that “if we’re going to truly prove that the industry has changed, that the way we appreciate art has changed, we need to measure [the scale of the change].” The stand-alone launch came after the Pirate Bay had received thousands of submissions from artists for the service’s original Pirate Bay-hosted incarnation.

UK ISPs, however, aren’t necessarily on the same optimistic page about the new site; Torrent Freak notes that promobay.org is currently blocked by “BT, Virgin Media, BE and possibly several other providers” in the United Kingdom, something it attributes to a blanket ban on the Pirate Bay in general (That site has been censored by most of the UK’s ISPs since a High Court order last April). Dayble told the site, “These providers are pretty monolithic and old school, I’d imagine it’s just a broad-scale block against a bunch of Pirate Bay properties and we fell under the net. I doubt it’s a pointed move against the Promo Bay in particular.”

Dayble believes that the site will soon be available in the UK as soon as ISPs realize that it’s not a pirate site – “Here’s hoping some clever tech in their ranks does something about it,” he says – but in the meantime, there’s the by-now-traditional Internet petition to get the site unblocked, just in case ISPs need to know that there really is a demand for the sites out there.

Home Theater

Here’s why you’re not getting Netflix in HD or 4K, and how to fix it

Are you having trouble watching your favorite movies or TV shows on Netflix in HD or 4K? We explain why loading takes so long, why the picture quality fluctuates, and what you can do about it.
Mobile

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Miss AIM? These are the best desktop chat clients to use today

Desktop chat clients are far from dead. In fact, they're currently enjoying something of a renaissance. So, which one should you be using? We take a peek at the best chat clients for teams, gamers and mainstream web surfers.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.
Mobile

Apple Maps boosts Flyover locations, indoor mall maps, and more

In a boost for Apple Maps, the tech company has recently added more than 50 new locations for Flyover, the feature that offers spectacular 3D photo views of particular cities and famous landmarks around the world.
Mobile

Google has found a clever way to make your search history more useful

Google has found a clever way to make more use of your search history by showing links to pages you've visited before. Ideal for repeat searches for the same page, the links show up on cards at the top of mobile search results.
Web

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Business

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.