If you support the anti SOPA movement but still want to read Wikipedia today then it isn't difficult - a single keypress reveals all.
The world's IQ fell today and if you don't know why then you haven't tried to look something up on Wikipedia and you might not have seen the excellent xkcd cartoon that sums up the effect that the internet is having on us all:
Wikipedia is doing the "right" thing and has arranged to blackout the English language site for 24 hours. Whatever your position on the stealing of content, it is clear that SOPA and PIPA and similar bills are bad for the internet and not a good way to solve the problem they target.
Most programmer are going to be supporting Wikipedia and hoping that it gets as much news coverage as possible. Already news outlets that are usually covering celebrity lives have mentioned the fact that Wikipedia is protesting and it has made it to the radio and TV news channels.
However, as programmers, techies and nerds in general we are also suffering, perhaps more than the average user. We are the people who get asked about sparkplugs - well the programming/computer equivalent- and so it is only right that we get a little special consideration.
Yes it is that easy.
Alternatively you could use the mobile Wikipedia site which currently isn't blacked out but is showing a protest banner. To use the mobile site from any machine, not necessarily a mobile simply browse to
and use as normal. The mobile version of Wikipedia is a little restricted when viewed on a big screen so the Esc key might still be your best friend.
I think that Wikipedia selected this method because it was so easy to reverse. So no harm done then. But the internet is increasingly becoming a target for legislation worldwide and mostly by people who don't have a clue how it works or even what it is. We probably need organizations and people who do understand to make it clear what the results will be of over control.
Jeff Ullman's course on automata and language theory started on September 12th on the Cousera platform. It runs until October 23rd with a final exam at the beginning of November so there is still time [ ... ]