Economy and social issues around the  is a collection of articles looking at economic, social and environmental issues. The contention of this website is that we live in an increasing interconnected world. It is by understanding these  connections that we are able to build better and better models of reality.

It is not always fruitful to look at things in isolation, even in purely scientific terms. Ever since schrodinger’s cat, it is has become apparent that context is vital. Even the fact that something is observed is enough to change the results of an experiment. When dealing with more complex things than possibly dead cats in a box it becomes more apparent that the way an experiment is set up, the way it is described, the bias of the observer are all condemning the results to subjectivity.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. The notion of immutable truth is a hang up from Platonic theory. Rather we have to look for correlations, versions of the truth, working truths, useful insights.

By looking at a range of issues from several stand points it is hoped that the reader will go away from with food for thought and possibly new perspectives. Perhaps these new perspectives will nudge the reader to taking positive action about environmental issues, social problems, economic injustices.

If not then perhaps the reader would care to comment and by doing so make a valid contribution to the debates taking place on this site.

As said Anacharsis:

“Wise men argue cases, fools decide them.”

M6 Replay Oui – French Proxy Server

On this site there’s lots of little articles about internet privacy and bypassing all these stupid region blocks you find all over the web.     I do actually get quite a few emails about people wanting to access different sites, usually because they’re expats or spend lots of time travelling.    Often there some sort of local TV station, or perhaps a certain radio programme and even wanting to place bets with a online bookmaker.   All these are the sort of sites that get blocked based on your location.

So the email I got was regarding a rather good online channel called M6 Replay which is one of the premiere TV stations in France.  The email explained that the person was trying to access the site from the US where they were living for a year.  This is what happened and they were wondering if a French proxy would help?

french proxy

It’s the usual story, all major online TV channels restrict access to their domestic market – so anyone outside France would get this message or similar.

So a French Proxy allows Access to M6 Replay?

Unfortunately not, it used to work up until about three years ago you could find a French proxy online and stream M6 replay through it without problems. Now the era of the proxy as a useful circumvention tool is pretty much over – most websites are able to detect the presence of even a well configured proxy and block it automatically. The BBC was probably the last major broadcaster to allow the use of proxies but now you need a VPN for the BBC too.

A VPN is a virtual private network and is effectively a connection to a high, powered secure proxy server.  The main advantage is that a connection from a VPN server is almost undetectable (although the Chinese have figured out how to stop some) and if the VPN server is in the right country it will work perfectly.  So to watch M6 Replay from outside France you don’t need a French proxy – just one of these…

The program Identity Cloaker has lots of different servers all over the world which have lists of IP addresses by country.  Therefore if you know the country you need, you just scroll down and click on the correct country.  So for M6 Replay you’d pick France or for a Netherlands TV station you’d pick a Dutch VPN.   Which of course would allocate you a Netherlands IP address for your internet connection while the VPN is enabled.  It’s worth remembering that it actually effects everything you do online, including the version of Google you’ll end up using too.

As you can see, connecting through the French VPN gives you a French IP address and full access to the M6 Replay site. You can even subscribe to their premium membership through the VPN too and that will work as well. As you can see in the video the M6 Replay site only detects the IP address of the French VPN server and assumes that is your location. It’s very simple and works extremely well. In fact you can use the program to access all the major French TV sites which exist online, I know of many French Canadians who’ve been using this program for years. You can also of course access content in lots of different countries, for example choose a Canadian server to watch Canada only channels, a UK one for UK content and so on.

If you want to Give it a Try and watch M6 Replay from Anywhere

Try the 10 Day trial here.

Sales Video Creator

In this post I’m going to show you how anybody can set themselves up to make money using videos on YouTube.  It’s not complicated and it’s not difficult although it does involve an investment in a software program.

sales video creator

For anyone with a business or even a desire to earn money from the internet then YouTube is obviously worth exploring.  Certainly we’ve all heard stories of viral vloggers who command subscriber bases of millions and make a small fortune in advertising and endorsement fees.   However although this is a legitimate technique, not everyone is really suited to producing the sort of celebrity style video channel which these people produce.

Indeed for many of us the idea of sitting in front of a video camera all day waffling about their lives, fashion, computer games is really not a viable option at least without some form of alcohol.    Yet the beauty of YouTube and the other media sites is that there’s literally hundreds of ways of promoting your business or simply making money – you simply have to identify the method that suits you.

Here is one of these methods using a simple sales video creator called Content Samurai which you can find online.    The software’s core focus is on producing lots of high quality videos which you can upload to YouTube quickly.   It takes a few minutes to learn and most people will be able to upload a dozen or so videos on day one without any real difficulty.   You don’t really have to learn how to make a slide show or even make a YouTube video as the software steps you through the process.

Using Content Samurai – as a Sales Video Creator

Just watch this video to see me demonstrating how easy it is to use Content Samurai.

Now I’m not going to pretend that this program is the cutting edge of video slideshow production because it isn’t. However it also doesn’t cost a small fortune and take years to master, the goal is simple – produce high quality videos which you can upload quickly.   Please don’t compare it to specialist video producing software with thousands of features, it’s not designed to work like that.  You can go and look online for other options – there’s a few explaindio review pages for example, believe me Content Samurai is better.

The simple fact is that many people have realised that the secret to making money on YouTube is volume. Sure it’s great if you can upload a single video which get’s millions of views but this is very difficult to do. If you’re spending hours to make your own YouTube video which gets very little views then you will never succeed.  Even those who have produced viral videos often find it almost impossible to repeat the success. Yet a sure fire way to success is to upload videos regularly and without fuss – some will be very successful, some will sink without trace but the cumulative effect will build.

You will see as you upload hundreds of videos that slowly your traffic will build and it will continue to grow over the years. This is what Content Samurai is meant to do, produce as many high quality videos as quickly as possible.

How you make money from them of course can differ, yet here’s a quick list of some methods that do work.

  • Adsense: Simply create watchable videos and enable advertising. You won’t make much money on each video but ramp the volume up and slowly the trickle of Adsense earnings will start to multiply.
  • Business Promotion: Got an online/offline business then simply use these videos to push traffic to your website. Put links in the description and in the videos will bring traffic from YouTube and boost the organic rankings of your website with lots of powerful links.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Use these videos to promote products that you gain commission from. For example, produce videos on products with links to an Amazon store, or promote anything you like. It’s best to create multiple channels and promote different products on each channel.

These are of course just a few, and within those examples there’s literally hundreds of variations. Using Content Samurai anyone can create hundreds of videos targeting any of these markets very quickly.

Let’s take an example to perhaps give you an idea. Many people involved in affiliate marketing do so by creating websites and blogs promoting these various products. They will write, review and discuss various items and then seek to gain a commission by sending these potential customers to the appropriate website. For example you might have a website about cookery and kitchen appliances – where you recommend items and then send you readers to Amazon via an affiliate link.

It’s a model used by many thousands of people to make a full time living – so how can we adapt it to Youtube and Content Samurai. Well it’s simple — take all those blog posts and simply cut and paste them into Content Samurai. Then add a few pictures and record the voice over and upload to YouTube then link back to your blog or directly to the affiliate offer. Using Content Samurai if you have some content already available you can easily upload lots of videos every day, even without the content it doesn’t take long just create quick scripts from other reviews or product descriptions.

The key as I stressed before is volume, some videos will make money, some will not but the cumulative effective when loading lots of videos is almost guaranteed. This is the key to using Content Samurai, it’s pointless to create a couple of videos a month – get in the flow and upload hundreds!

There are of course, lots of other ways to make money from uploading videos but they can all pretty much be exploited using Content Samurai. It’s certainly a much more reliable method than painstakingly taking days and spending much money on an expensive video only to watch it sink without trace. Using this method, you’ll get winners and losers but lots of them! You can maximise your success rate by doing some keyword research and targeting keywords but it’s not completely necessary, in fact many people just ignore this side and focus on volume entirely.

Here’s the link to a FREE TRIAL of Content Samurai, try it out and you can be uploading videos to a YouTube Channel in minutes.

The program is a subscription base so make sure you use it and keep uploading videos. If you have websites, grab pages and post them into the program to make the process even quicker. With content prepared there’s almost no limit to the number of videos you can produce.

So for example, if you’ve got a website with a few hundred pages of content you’re already sitting on a potential goldmine.  For every page of content you have, simply paste it into Content Samurai and create a new video.  Don’t get sidetracked, someone once told me to use a program called Explaindio video creator software instead.  It was ok but all it really achieved was wasting time that I could have been using with Content Samurai to produce more videos.

There’s no need to mess around with special features, learning complicated software and taking days to carefully produce individual videos.  The reality is that even these could get completely ignored by both viewers and the search engines.

You can always find some software which is more complicated and has more features to create your videos, but what they won’t have is speed to create professional videos which is the focus of Content Samurai.

Here’s it is again the ultimate sales video creator –   link to a FREE TRIAL of Content Samurai


The BBC iPlayer is developing all the time, it’s even introduced a new Beta area where they can try out new features.  Already you can watch every channel live, plus everything else for a few weeks on the BBC iPlayer site.   It’s my main source of entertainment from the news, to sport and dramas like the wonderful Gunpowder Plot which started this week.  I am always finding new stuff on the site, for example I’ve just discovered if you look in the categories section you can switch to all the different regional versions.


Now of course, a lot is the same but it’s really useful for watching specific versions of sport broadcasts and the local news.  I can watch BBC Wales even though my TV aerial only delivers the North West News because I live near the border.

It’s truly a wonderful application, however of course for those outside the United Kingdom there is a problem because the BBC block access and allow only access to the ‘International Version’ which has none of the radio or TV broadcasts at all.

Using a BBC Live VPN

When you first realise you’ve been redirected to the international version of the BBC site, it’s certainly disappointing. You’ll soon discover that all the best stuff is missing – certainly radio, Live TV and archived programmes. Yet there’s always an workaround on the internet and currently the solution consist of using a BBC Live VPN programme to give you access from outside the UK.

The VPN is a Virtual Private network and is a slightly more sophisticated version of a proxy server. A VPN is a server that hides your real location and encrypts your internet connection to keep your data safe. It also unlocks all these region restricted websites all over the world including the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and all the other UK TV stations.

Here’s the BBC live VPN I’ve used for nearly ten years now when out of the UK:

As you can see it’s very simple to use on a computer or a laptop – just use the software which sits in your task bar to select the country you need. So to watch a US online channel pick a US server and for the wonderful BBC iPlayer just select one of the many UK VPN servers to connect to. It potentially opens up all the world’s TV channels, most broadcasters have something similar to BBC iPlayer and they all restrict to domestic users.

Now if you search online you may come across some stories about BBC iPlayer detecting VPN programs and blocking them like this page.  It is in fact true, at the end of 2016 and beginning 0f 2017 there was a huge effort of BBC iPlayer blocking VPN services from all over the world.   No-one was quite sure why they became so aggressive suddenly, but it might have been as a result of impending budget cuts. Fortunately no-one has actually figured out how to reliably detect the use of VPN programs so this all had to be done manually.   What they did was basically identify these in two distinct ways, firstly all the service which were foolish enough to openly advertise the ability to bypass the BBC region locks were targeted either by blocking or threats of legal action.  The second was to manually identify the IP addresses with large numbers of concurrent connections and block these one by one.

Although time consuming this actually stopped a huge number of people using the BBC iPlayer VPN workaround.  Most of the easily identified services were the cheaper overloaded ones which many people used.    Fortunately this has not continued, and although the market has reduced slightly – the major VPN service providers are still working fine with the BBC.  They have the ability to spread connections across a large IP address range and switch out addresses that do get blocked.  So fear not, BBC iPlayer VPN 2018 is still working fine as long as you pick a decent one like Identity Cloaker.

In fact it’s just not limited to the BBC, if you have a decent VPN then you can effectively watch UK TV abroad free on most devices.  You can even access subscription channels which are normally only available in the UK try for instance you can watch Sky Go abroad anywhere.

Remember you can even use your Identity Cloaker account to connect to the servers on other devices too. It’s simple to establish a VPN connection from tablets, android and iPhones and lots of other smart devices. Here’s an illustration of how to get the BBC on an iPad abroad but it’s a fairly similar process on most other devices. You just set up the VPN connection to different country servers and then enable them whenever you want access.

Give it a try and watch the BBC iPlayer from Anywhere

Try the 10 Day trial here.

IP Cloaker – IP Address Questions

This article will cover the main reasons, that I personally have been using an IP cloaker for well over a decade now.   However I appreciate this is the internet and many  people get bored quickly  – I’m going to bullet point my top two reasons here.

  • I don’t like being spied on – what I do on the web is my business.
  • I don’t like being blocked – my IP address is used to block access to good stuff like the BBC iPlayer, Hulu, ITV and Netflix.

IP Cloaker software solves both of these – removing the region blocks and maintaining my privacy.

Anyway, back to the article – your IP address is nothing very exciting, it will be something like – it looks boring too, doesn’t it?  When people look at these numbers they tend to glaze over, they’re impersonal almost random – they mean nothing.  Except that’s not true, the IP address questions are quite important if you learn to ask the right ones.

Ip cloaker

First of all, that boring, nondescript set of numbers is actually better thought of as an address.   Not a normal address of course, but a network one but which crucially points to you. Remember that it’s completely unique and is linked to whatever device you’re using to access the internet with.

So an update – your internet address is unique and can be traced back to that Dell Laptop you’re using to surf the web from your kitchen table. Well unless you use an IP address cloaker of course.

Got that?  Well let’s move on.

The fact that this number can identify you, or at least the address it’s being used at is crucial.  The next step to understand is that address is also logged in thousands of places across the internet whenever it’s used.  Every time you access a webpage, download a movie, upload a file or send an email – your address will be logged with whatever activity it has been used for.  Which is why we hear in crime stories about what the criminals have been doing online.  The information is all there, recorded, logged in a myriad of places leaving a little digital trail of what you do online.

To be honest it’s always worried me, and it’s why I always use an IP cloaker.  For a start, I’m not entirely keen that everything I do online can be checked by people in power. Privacy seems a small and unimportant thing until it’s taken away from you. If I look for information on a subject what business is it of my government?  If something’s illegal online, go and find the people who put it there and prosecute them.  Don’t spy on millions of ordinary people on the off chance you’ll come across the odd thick terrorist.

It’s worse though, my IP address is traceable to me, my name and my home address.   The reason it’s me is that I pay the phone bill and the ISP bill, so every bit of data is logged against my name.  Never mind I have a 17 year old son who spend every minute of the day surfing the web – what for I shudder to think, but it’s my name those websites will be logged against. Well they would do, except knowing my son I have already installed and activated an IP cloaker on my router.

Which of course, leads us to the reality that usually at your ISP a list is compiled which contains details of absolutely everything we do online.  Just being extra paranoid, my name is linked to every single web search that has taken place on my property just because I’m the poor sod who has to pay the internet bills.

Of course, we know that governments would be able to sort this out.  They’re good at that sort of stuff – you know looking after data and sorting it all out.  If I had an irony font, that last sentence would have used it just so you know.

No it’s bad, so much of our lives are online now it’s a huge intrusion for any sort of organisation to have access to it.  Even if the data was rarely used, you just know someone somewhere is going to download it all and accidentally leave it on the train/bus/tube.   Let’s face it why should our government have access to all this personal information.
So be advised if you want any privacy whatsoever use something to hide your IP address and encrypt your connection. There are plenty of them about – just look for IP cloaker or VPN programs and you’ll find something to suit.

Indeed there is another bonus if you do start using IP Cloaker program to hide your location. You can bypass all the ridiculous region blocks that all the large media sites put up. Yes simply by hiding your real IP address you can watch BBC iPlayer abroad free. It took me 30 seconds to learn how to use Identity Cloaker several years ago and I’ve been using it ever since to provide privacy and bypass blocks on things like UK TV,  Hulu and HBO.  Last year there was an Identity Cloaker Netflix update which also introduced some special servers into their infrastructure, these were registered with residential IP addresses making them completely undetectable.

The software runs directly on your PC, laptop or MAC but you can configure a the identity cloaker vpn settings directly onto other devices like smart phones, tablets or onto your router if you wish,

Our recommendation for the best IP Cloaker is below.

How to Really Hide Your IP Address – Identity Cloaker

Try the 10 Day trial here.

Why Buy Selincro – an Alcohol Wonder Drug?

There is a perception among many clinical experts that there’s only one way to deal with addictive substances, simply aid people to fight off the urges and stop taking them. So methods like using a new drug like Selincro which helps alcohol dependency are often dismissed too easily.  Usually potential patients never even hear of them instead being routinely forced into the same old failing treatment plans.  Unfortunately even for those who can escape the addictive clutches often their lifestyle is formed around things like drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Therefore abstinence is often only a temporary cure which becomes a life long battle for most.

Here’s another perspective from a very brave lady, called Claudia Christian who talks about how something called The Sinclair Method helped her. The little pill she discusses is something called Nalmefene sold in Europe under the trade name Selincro.

So why is Selincro different?   There’s certainly a lack of selincro reviews and it does seem to have difficulty making it’s way into mainstream treatments? Basically it is a pill which reduces the urge to drink which was formally approved in the UK by the National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) in 2014. The drugs actual name is Nalmefene, Selincro is a trade name and it has produced some astounding results for treating alcoholics in clinical trials all over the world.  It can be prescribed in Europe and the UK, although I found that a selincro online pharmacy was able to help me.  You’ll find the link where I buy Selincro at the bottom of the page.

Most of the current alcohol guidance is directed at people who wish to reduce their drinking levels. The pill is supposed to reduce the cravings they have to drink and thus gradually reduce their alcohol consumption. It works by blocking part of the brain which produces pleasure from alcohol, reducing the attraction to carry on drinking.  There are some very impressive clinical trial results with around 78% success rate, and minimal selincro side effects.

So I Buy Selincro from an Online Pharmacy

Now those of us who are a little too attached to their drink, know that feeling very well. We can take or leave that first drink, but the next one becomes much more important and the rest often follow on with little thought. Selincro stops this behaviour, by reducing that desire.

There is no requirement to instantly try and avoid alcohol, in fact the Sinclair Method works by combining the physical effects of Selincro with the individual drinking.  Each time alcohol is taken with the drug, the brain is reconditioned slightly not to expect the release of endorphins which create the pleasure.

buy selincro

I’ve tried it and it works, you take the Nalmefene an hour before you expect to drink. When you do start drinking, it has a strange effect the pleasure simply isn’t there.

My initial experience was conducted with an expensive bottle of Argentinian Malbec. The drug made me slightly dizzy but nothing too bad, however the enjoyment from this stunning red was almost completely obliterated.

To try and describe the feeling is difficult, normally when I enjoy my first glass of red wine I get that warm, fuzzy relaxed feeling. However with Selincro this was different, my glass was pretty much transformed into tepid tap water. The taste didn’t change as much but my desire for it was completely different. Normally my first glass would last about 15-20 minutes, using the drug it took me over an hour – there was simply no urge to drink.

If you’re looking for information on this method, I’m going to put some of my experience up on this web site. However here’s some quick points to get you started as it can be quite confusing – researching this stuff.

  • Selincro is brand name for the drug which is actually called Nalmefene.
  • There is an alternative drug called Naltrexone which has a very similar effect.
  • Both drugs are designed to reduce the opiates released from your brain when you drink.
  • Most successful trials have occurred by using the drugs in tandem with – The Sinclair Method.
  • You will need a prescription – but there’s a link to Seclinco online pharmacy below

The Sinclair method is slightly controversial as a alcohol treatment method as it doesn’t discourage participants from drinking unlike traditional routes like the AA.   The idea is that abstinence will come from reducing the pleasure of alcohol, not by enforcing some artificial ban.

The drug does have some effects and you might see some Selincro side effects, which you’ll find listed on the medication.   Commonly reported effects are nausea, dizzyness and problems with sleeping.   I suffered all these to some extent and the effects lasted about 14 days but gradually reduced over that time, it’s a small price to pay for the end of my addiction.

At the time of writing I have taken 15 pills of Selincro on consecutive days.  The reduction in the desire for alcohol is very apparent although the drive from simple habit is still there.   Currently my alcohol consumption has dropped by about 50%, I have not made any real effort other than taking the pills.    It’s looking at a minimal downside, although if you do buy selincro online it’s not cheap!  I’ll update more on this blog.

Additional Information

Nalmefene/Selincro forum with lots of discussion on The Sinclair Method –

The Selincro Online Pharmacy I used from the UK can be found here,  you just have an online consultation with an NHS doctor before being given a prescription.

Watch UK TV Online in USA

Every time’ I’m dragged over to the USA, I think I’m going to hate it.  I’m not sure why – the last time was Florida, the expectation of theme parks and fast food outlets and the horror of International Drive made me dread it.   The irrational fear that everyone I meet would have gun holster under their T-shirt or the practicality of ordering food which was vaguely healthy.

Watch UK TV Online in USA

But as always I was wrong, I absolutely loved it.  Florida is a wonderful place, sure it’s over commercialised and of course Harry Potter’s World doesn’t quite look right in 40 degree heat but everything is fun.  Americans are friendly and pretty kind apart from the grumpy ones in New York and I’m fairly certain the majority of people I met weren’t armed either.

Every time I go to the USA, the more I want to return yet there’s still certain things that drive me to distraction.  Firstly tipping in restaurants, yep ok I’ve just got to get over it! The other is US TV channels, and therefore the title of this posthow to watch UK TV online in USA.

There are many, many things which are done better in the USA, but unfortunately TV is not one of them.  Of course there are individual shows that are fantastic, yet there’s always something to spoil it – advertising it’s just so much more intrusive than when you watch British TV.   Perhaps you eventually get used to the non-stop noisy interruptions but as yet I can’t – commercial TV in the USA is hard work.

Of course in the world of the internet, you’d think this wouldn’t really matter.  After all most TV stations broadcast online so you can watch anytime and anyplace.  Yet if you fire up your laptop and proceed to the sublime BBC iPlayer application whilst in the US – you’ll be rather disappointed – ‘cos it won’t work.

Just like every media company on the planet, they restrict access based on their location. So all the UK TV stations are available online, just not if you’re outside the UK when you try and watch them.  Before any US readers start laughing, the same will happen to you when you try and access ABC, NBC or Hulu from outside the US too.

It’s slightly crazy, but true and becoming worse year by year.   Websites look up the location of your IP address when you connect and then decide what you can watch.  For the media companies this normally means blocking anyone outside their domestic market presumably due to copyright issues and the profit motive.  It matters not that I am a middle aged, license fee paying BBC junkie – I’m not in the UK so tough.

Now there are some sites which pretend to offer free internet tv streaming, or even simply selections of free tv show episodes.   Unfortunately these so called online Tv channels are very slow, and spend much of their time trying to install adware on your computer.  You’d be well advised to stay away from these sites, in reality there’s no safe method to watch uk tv abroad free online.

Fortunately of course, on the internet there’s always a workaround or a way to sidestep authority and here’s the video which demonstrates how you can actually watch UK Television from anywhere in the USA – here it is.

So that’s it, basically you bounce your internet connection off something called a VPN server based in the UK and you can watch British TV online.  The BBC or ITV site, will then just see the IP address of the server and think you’re actually in the UK and allow you full access.  The software in the video makes it incredibly simple and all you need to do is click on a UK server and it’s sorted.

It also works on other channels, you watch ITV player abroad or even watch Sky Go abroad if you have an active subscription.

The service can also be set up on your phone or tablet too so you can even watch UK TV on other devices whilst in the USA.   It takes a minute to setup but it’s not very difficult, and you only have to do it once.   The other great advantage is that you can use it for other media sites too, use it in Canada to access US TV stations or vice versa.  Try the Irish TV or perhaps brush up your French by watching some great TV stations like M6 Replay which broadcast from Paris.

So if you’re in the US or anywhere abroad and want access to watch UK TV online in USA or anywhere else then it’s a sensible investment.  Make sure you test out the 10 day trial first to see if it works ok for you.

10 Day Trial of Identity Cloaker.

How to Watch UK TV Online in the USA.


Anyone for Tennis?

There is no doubt in my mind that the right sports coverage is essential to the enjoyment of an event.  Of course, actually attending and watching live is the best way to watch sport but there are often practical reasons that is not possible.   If you’ve ever tried to buy a ticket and arrange accommodation for a Champions League Final you’ll know what I mean, in fact even the hotel room can cost a King’s ransom.

Even without the cost, there are other reasons for avoiding the live event.  An important one for me is ‘hay fever’ – one of my favourite sports is tennis however after years of sitting in itchy eye, sneezy purgatory on center court I gave up that activity.  I never knew quite why my allergy was so bad in Wimbledon, after all there’s surely not that much pollen there.  The courts aren’t exactly fields of long grass, yet for me there is something in Wimbledon Tennis Courts which sets off my hay fever with a vengeance.

So it’s one sport I have to watch at a distance, which is unfortunate really as Wimbledon tickets are usually easier to get than many sports.  The reason is that most clubs get an allocation and they are normally distributed to members, Wimbledon also retains some tickets to sell on the gate which I think is a great gesture to allow normal tennis fans in.

The advantage is you can watch all the best matches without the crowds and hassle by watching the wonderful BBC Wimbledon coverage.  Now I’ve only ever seen Wimbledon coverage once from another broadcaster and it was truly awful.  Of course the matches were fine, but the background, the commentary and the dreadful adverts crammed in whenever there was a minutes gap completely spoilt it for me.  The beauty of the BBC coverage is that’s it is so relaxed, drifting effortlessly across the courts with idle musings from tennis legends like John McEnroe to fill in the gaps.

The problem is that although the coverage is all streamed live on the BBC website and through the BBC iPlayer application none of this works from outside the UK.  It’s because of the standard geo-restrictions that most of the world’s best media site now employ which restrict access to specific countries.  So if you try and connect from anywhere outside the UK you won’t be able to watch the BBC and that includes Wimbledon!  But fear not there is a solution, where you can be saved from endless adverts at changeovers and watch the BBC Wimbledon coverage abroad.  It’s cheating ever so slightly, but basically hiding your IP address from nosey websites by using a VPN connection is actually a very good idea in this day and age.  If that VPN server happens to be in the UK so I can watch the BBC iPlayer online is entirely coincidental !!


An Undemocratic Democracy

The United Kingdom, is one of the oldest continuously functioning democracies in the world.   There are other contenders but many countries have dipped in and out of democracy over the years. Greece was almost certainly the first to embrace democracy but have dipped in and out over the centuries.  Now the title probably rests with somewhere like Iceland, Faroes Islands, Isle of Man or possibly the UK depending on your particular definition.

Whoever the winner, the point is that the UK has been democratic for a centuries and you’d expect them to be pretty good at it.  However sometimes a UK citizen can look at the political system and see there’s something very wrong.

Firstly there’s the voting system, it is perfectly possible to get millions of votes without a single representative elected into Parliament.   Sometimes there’s a sigh of relief where some extreme party can effectively be ignored despite garnering a sizeable following of voters.  Other times it just looks profoundly unfair, consider the Green Part getting over 1/2 million votes and one member of parliament against the SNP (Scottish National Party) who got less than a million and have 31 members.  It’s enough to drive you to drink, if you do then you might enjoy this article about the drug Selincro.

There’s lots more examples and outside the two main parties, there’s few political parties who consider the current situation fair.   However even within the elected representatives strange undemocratic situations seems to occur with remarkable regularity.  Take for example the Brexit situation that currently is causing utter chaos within the United Kingdom.   The current Prime Minister Theresa May decided she didn’t have a big enough majority for her preferred version of Brexit so called  an election to increase it.   Unfortunately this didn’t go quite to plan and now there is complete disarray, with her majority disappearing.

In fact now within the British Parliament, no-one has a majority for anything.  The ‘hard Brexit’ people have lost supporters because of a backlash against those who wanted to remain, the ‘remainers’ have lost supporters from a switch of voting from UKIP.  The people who sit in the middle are perhaps the only hope, with maybe a drift from both sides reluctantly recognising the futility of the situation.   The situation changes daily though, and political students would be advised to invest in a solution like this to watch the changes on the BBC News.

Maybe democracy will triumph in the end but at the moment it’s difficult to see.  Many complain that the UK democratic system was sidestepped by using a simplistic referendum in the first place.  The issue was a complicated decision with a myriad of options was reduced to a yes/no vote which was completely inadequate.   Which is why we find the shambolic situation now with a divided country run by an unpopular leader with similar views.

Further Information: Bypassing region Locks – Video Proxy

Just ‘Lost’ without a Netflix IP Address

Would it be fair to say, that people become more relaxed and accepting of life’s little obstacles as you get older?   I think maybe it is, the angry young man turns into something a little bit calmer and relaxed.  After all if you’ve survived a few decades you’ve inevitably learn a thing or two – never buy anything from your doorstep or if something’s free then there’s inevitably a catch somewhere.

Lost on a Netflix IP Address

For me personally, I can accept most little setbacks relatively easily – after all I know they don’t just happen to me and there isn’t much I can do about them.  Yet again, utter annoyance and frustration is always there bubbling under the surface.   It arose the other week when I and my good lady settled down for an evening’s TV watching , our chosen series the Science Fiction show Lost.  Now every body else seems to have watched this about ten years ago, but we’ve only just found it.

Finding the Right Netflix IP Address

However when we signed on to Netflix to watch episode 54 out of 70 something, I couldn’t find it.  It had completely disappeared from the Netflix subscription, not a word or a warning for those of us who had spent the last few weeks ploughing through this confusing box set.   After some internet sleuthing I discovered that it had been removed but only from certain regional variations of Netflix including the UK one I was using.   It seemed I had the wrong Netflix IP address, typical.

However it still remained on others including the US version which seems to have much more than the UK version of Netflix.  Anyway the cross part soon receded and problem solving was the order of the day – here’s the solution I found in this video, how to spoof ip address to watch Netflix.

It’s actually quite straight forward, to switch between the different versions of Netflix you just need to change your IP address to match the country you need. So for the Canadian version you need a Canadian IP address, for the US one you need a US based address and so on. You can’t actually change your own IP address but you can bounce your connection off something called a VPN server and have a Netflix IP address which obscures your real address from view.

I suppose you could call it Netflix by proxy watching with the help of a third party.   So in the video they make a connection to a US based VPN server, which then routes you to the US version of Netflix. It works just as promised and ‘Lost’ is there happily sitting in the US Netflix movie list!

However before you go looking for a super cheap VPN, there’s something you should know about the specific Netflix addresses.  Unfortunately although many people switch netflix domains it’s not something the company like and they take a lot of effort in blocking these VPN servers.  In reality only about 5% VPN companies have a valid Netflix ip address list, because the company also blocks ‘commercial’ ip addresses.  These are addresses which are tagged from a commercial source which most VPN services are from.

Certainly the move has been welcomed by IT departments across the world.  No longer do they have to wonder how to block Netflix at work to stop people flooding their network with video.  This is because most corporate networks run on commercial based IP addresses which won’t work anymore, so Netflix have effectively saved them a job!

The solution, which you should check with the provider, is to have a ‘residential IP address’ assigned to the VPNs, without this your netflix ip address change will be pointless – it won’t work.   It’s the reason why Netflix won’t be accessible from most corporate networks either,  a relief for many network administrators who were learning how to block netflix on firewall or external routers.   Of course, many administrators have already installed rules to block Netflix IP range too and most content filters have an updated black list of Netflix servers.  They are the only company who have done this and it’s been extremely effective,  fully expect others to follow suit.

It’s a developing situation though, digital products like Netflix subscription change depending on where you are. Netflix is better than most though because at least your subscription is normally accessible – if you pay for a UK TV license you’ll lose access to all their channels the moment you step outside the UK. Unless of course you invest in a British address  that allows you access from anywhere!

Anyway here’s the VPN service which I use – it includes residential IP address ranges that work and are on the approved netflix ip address list.

Try the trial first to see for yourself – 10 Day Trial of Identity Cloaker.

Who’s Been Snooping at Your Email?

There’s been loads in  the news recently about countries snooping on each other, it appears we’re all at it.  The UK Intelligence services at GCHQ hoovering up all the internet data that crosses the UK, Russians, Chinese and Israeli Intelligence all investing heavily in internet surveillance and the NSA in the US well spying on everyone including their own via Prism.

Many of us now feel that we have to use technology to protect ourselves,  a simple VPN can go a long way to blocking those who are spying on us.  They have other uses, for example to access region locked sites – watch this video – BBC News Streaming , for an example.

So it’s obviously quite understandable to start thinking about how much of our communications is so easily monitored. Our web traffic at least the majority of it, is I’m afraid very easily accessible by just about anyone in any position of power.  At every ISP a detailed list of the majority of your communication traffic is easily picked up.  The web’s favorite protocol – HTTP is unfortunately rather lacking in security features and as such web traffic is mostly transmitted in the clear.

So what about email? It’s still one of the most used messaging systems in the world, but how secure is email – read this report?  There are two main issues regarding the security of your average email –

1) It’s transported in clear text so everyone can read it.

2) The email is transmitted across the shared infrastructure of the internet.

It means that email is not private at all. Not only is is transmitted in a completely readable format with no encryption at all but this ’open letter’ is delivered by using a network of shared routers, servers and cabling.   Anyone at any point can tap into this data a little like GCHQ have tapped into the major fiber connections in the UK.

There are solutions that can make Outlook or Thunderbird a little more secure – one of the major improvements is to encrypt your messages.  This means that if done properly only the sender and the recipient would be able to decipher the contents.  Look for applications like Hushmail and programs like PGP to offer different solutions to this issue

James Williams

Author of RAI Streaming Estero