Tuesday, January 17, 2012

#SOPA - #Wikipedia Surviving The Blackout - Mirrors - Caches - Aternatives

If you haven’t heard the news yet, the English-language version of Wikipedia — all 3.8 million articles — will be blacked out from 10pm ET tonight until 10pm on Wednesday night. During this 24-hour window en.wikipedia.org will be inaccessible; instead, a plaintive message will appear, asking for you to contact your local Representative or Senator to protest against SOPA, PIPA, or any of their similarly nasty offspring.

But what if you need to access Wikipedia? What if you use the English-language Wikipedia, but you’re not American? I don’t want to turn this into political or philosophical rant, but it does seem a little brash to shut down an invaluable service that’s visited by millions of people every day based on the votes of just a few hundred contributors.

Anyway, if you want to access Wikipedia, here’s how.

Use a mirror

The content of Wikipedia articles and most of its images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike license, which means that other sites are free to set up a mirror of Wikipedia. Unfortunately, due to the size of English Wikipedia, only one full mirror seems to exist: The Free Dictionary Encyclopedia. It’s a little bit out of date, however, so be careful.

The other option is making your own mirror of Wikipedia — an option that we’ll be detailing in another article later today.

ExtremeTech Wikipedia Google Cache

Use the Google Cache

Google maintains a full cache of every Wikipedia page. To view the cache, click the double right arrow next to a search result and then click “Cached.” Except for a gray banner across the top, Google’s cache looks exactly like the real thing — but don’t try clicking any links, as they link back to en.wikipedia.org, rather than Google’s cache; darn! read more