SiliconMorning: The SOPA Blackout Edition (1/18)

Good morning. Chances are, there won't be a massive amount of tech news today, as the SOPA/PIPA blackouts will preempt most companies from making any major announcements today. The last few hours of Tuesday were already filled with SOPA news, as more and more companies announced their support for the protests.

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Top News: The SOPA Blackouts

Mozilla strike sopa

Wikipedia, Craigslist, Mozilla, Google and others black out their sites (or at least their logos): Wikipedia took the initiative early on and many others followed today. While Wikipedia is one of the few major sites that have decided to completely shut down, others, like Google, have just blacked out their logos and are using this as an opportunity to educate their users about SOPA. (WSJ, CNET)

Noteworthy statements:

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Google: "These bills would make it easier to sue law-abiding U.S. companies. Law-abiding payment processors and Internet advertising services can be subject to these private rights of action. SOPA and PIPA would also create harmful (and uncertain) technology mandates on U.S. Internet companies, as federal judges second-guess technological measures used by these companies to stop bad actors, and potentially impose inconsistent injunctions on them."(Google)

Mozilla: "While we generally support the end goal of the legislation – to limit online piracy of legitimate content – we believe that both PIPA and SOPA, in their current drafts, have serious flaws in the proposed implementation of the legislation. Among them is the requirement for online service and content providers to police the system. This would create an undue burden on businesses that were not designed for this purpose, would require more lawyers to be involved, and would extend the hand of government much deeper into these organizations." (Mozilla)

Microsoft: "We oppose the passage of the SOPA bill as currently drafted. We think the White House statement points in a constructive way to  problems with the current legislation, the need to fix them, and the opportunity for people on all sides to talk together about a better path forward.” (Bloomberg)

MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd: "It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests." (MPAA)

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Jerry Yang leaves Yahoo: Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang left the company today. While not completely unexpected, his departure came rather suddenly. He leaves an ailing company behind, though his departure may make room for some new breath in the company. Others board members will likely leave soon as well. (Yahoo, AllThingsD)

Facebook isn't just an echo chamber: A study by Facebook's own research team shows that, in contrast to popular opinion, Facebook users get exposed to a more diverse set of information than thought. The echo chamber effect is dampened by the fact that users tend to have a relatively large number of distant friends on the service that often represent different belief systems. (Facebook)

iPhone 4S Now Ships Sooner: U.S. consumers now only have to wait 3-5 days to get their iPhones, as Apple has either managed to produce more phones or as demand has slowed to the point where it's on par with supply. (Electronista)

New Smartphone Adopters buy more iPhones: "Among recent acquirers, meaning those who said they got a new device within the past three months, 44.5 percent of those surveyed in December said they chose an iPhone, compared to just 25.1 percent in October. Furthermore, 57 percent of new iPhone owners surveyed in December said they got an iPhone 4S." (Nielsen)

Google launches its annual Doodle4Google contest: Do you have a kid in your family? Here is their chance to draw one of Google's iconic doodles and win a $30,000 scholarship, too. (Google)

Worth a Look

Here is a very cool visualization of Twitter trends related to the current U.S. election cycle. (

And here is a nice collection of data about the Internet in 2011. (Pingdom)

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