Web

Wikipedia goes dark again – but not on purpose

wikipedia goes black again but not on purposeFor the second time this year, online fount of all human knowledge Wikipedia went dark this morning, as access to the online encyclopedia was unavailable for a two hour period between roughly 6am and 8am Pacific. Was it another protest against potential government legislation that could impact the future evolution of the Internet, as per its January blackout? No; this time around, the entire site was brought down by someone accidentally severing the cables that connected the site’s servers to each other and the rest of the world.

According to the Wikimedia foundation, the disruption in service was noticed somewhere around 6:15 am PDT, and the result of “severed network connectivity” between Wikipedia’s two data centers, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, and Ashburn, Virginia. “Upon checking with our network provider, they informed us that the outage was caused by a fiber cut between the two data centers,” the foundation reported, adding that service was restored to all but the mobile site by 7:18 am PDT, with full service back by 8:35 am.

The latest blackout was immediately noticed by those who regularly use the online encyclopedia for everything from term papers to trying to find out just what the real title of that “Let The Sun Shine In” song from Hair is really called (It’s “The Flesh Failures,” if you’re thinking of this version; you’re welcome). Wikimedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that there was “no reason to believe that [the outage] was intentional,” going on to say that there was no suggestion of foul play behind what had happened. Instead, the culprit for what happened was believed to be simply the accidental severing of two overland cables were cut between the two data centers, although the Wikimedia statement said that the foundation was “now working with our network provider to determine how and why we were impacted by that fiber cut when we are supposed to have redundancy in our network,” and that it was “still waiting for their full report.”

This marks the second outage for Wikipedia since the start of the year; on January 18, the site voluntarily went dark for 24 hours in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act that were both under discussion by lawmakers at the time. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, a vocal critic of both acts and the negative effect he believed both would have on the Internet should they become law, proposed the temporary closedown which was then voted upon by Wiki users and editors. The resultant publicity – and minor panic over what a world without Wikipedia would be like – resulted in a far greater awareness about both acts, and resulted in a vocal swell of outcry against the two.

Music

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Business

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Movies & TV

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

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.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

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, witty humor, or anything else.
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.