SOPA blackout: How to get around the Wikipedia protest
Wikipedia imposed a SOPA blackout today, redacting its English encyclopedia in protest of the US bill. Don't worry. Here are five ways to get around the blackout.
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Have a week to spare? The process starts at Wikimedia's Downloads page.Skip to next paragraph
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4) Turn to Google cache
Sure, Google links to websites, but it also takes a snapshot of many sites for later reference. This process is called caching. Former Adobe designer Philip Bump programmed a way to tap into that cache and retrieve individual Wikipedia pages. These saved articles can be several days old, but that won't be a problem for most pages. The entry on, say, Nicolas Steno won't change much over the course of a week.
Also, while the service works well in a pinch, most of the Wiki functionality is broken. For example, cross references all link to Wikipedia.org, which, of course, is blacked out today.
If Mr. Bump's workaround – http://pbump.net/wiki/ – comes back with an error message, try again. These occasional hiccups are most likely due to increased demand today.
5) Switch encyclopedias
Yes, Wikipedia is down, but you still have the Internet! Consider turning to the Encyclopedia Britannica Online, Scholarpedia, Citizendium, Encyclopedia.com, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Answers.com, One Look, The Oxford English Dictionary – you get the idea.
Wikipedia should be back to normal on Thursday. However the SOPA debate will continue at least into next month, since the House delayed its vote on the controversial bill. Perhaps this is a good time to read up on SOPA. In fact, you can look it up on Wikipedia without employing any of these new tricks. Wikipedia's page on SOPA is one of the only English entries not affected by this blackout.
For more on how technology intersect daily life, follow Chris on Twitter @venturenaut.