Quick Thoughts on my Not so New Wifi Radio

Some of the best value gadgets are of course not brand new but a few years old, I found a little beauty called the Squeeze Box radio for a very reasonable price.  These were extremely expensive when they first came out but now can be picked up for almost half the price.  They have also had a few firmware updates to sort out various issues that were reported when they were first released.  Cool design, cutting edge technology (now fixed) and a huge discount in price plus a great design – what could be better?

The Squeezebox Touch is a big upgrade from its little sister, the Squeezebox Radio. With a 4.3inch color touchscreen display, the same build quality and sound quality that made the Squeezebox Radio so popular, some are seeing the Squeezebox Touch as the first truly dependable wireless touchscreen radio.

Wireless radios connect to your home system using Wi-Fi and can subsequently be used to listen to radio stations all across the globe. As a result of the stream being taken straight from the web, there is a noticeable improvement in the quality of the audio when compared to a standard FM receiver. Just touch the “My Music” or “Internet Radio” prompts or one of your many online subscription services like Pandora, Rhapsody or Napster for instant access to your favorite music.
The Squeezebox Radio left many buyers wanting more. Is the Squeezebox Touch really the radio for the job?

I was wowed by the huge 4.3 inch screen in the compact Squeezebox Touch. The fact that it displays in clear, full color is outstanding. It is instantaneous in its response, and the on-screen menus are laid out in a very sensible, flowing pattern.
I really like the album art or available graphics that are displayed as you access different music, podcasts or stations. It keeps the music experience fun, and helps educate you as to what other music may be out there that you would enjoy.

Easy Setup

I have to say though that the “pull it out of the box and turn it on” setup is dramatic. Nothing could be easier, and this step really sets it apart from the other internet radios out there. You literally un box it, plug it in, let it find your WIFI, and you are jamming! Whether you want to listen to the BBC, live Australian Rules Football from “down under”, or any of the thousands of free internet stations from around the globe, the Squeezebox Touch takes you there.  It also has the ability to add network specific connection details so that you can even add VPN and proxy servers.  I am lucky enough to have some great residential ones which I use as private proxies for Instagram.  You can actually add them here to access music sources which are often blocked due to your location.  In my instance I use them to access Pandora which is geo-locked to the USA only.

Control from your computer is sort of clunky, so I just stuck to the remote, and everything was fine. As I moved the unit around the house, it never drifted or lost clarity. If you have a signal, the Logitech Squeezebox Touch can access your stereo system and deliver your favorite sounds to your home stereo system or other powered speaker set.
Rich Hi Fi Sound

The Squeezebox Touch is designed to connect to your home hi-fi system or powered speakers. It offers “high resolution encoding support for full, rich stereo sound” which is a fancy way of saying this compact, space-saving 10 x 8.5 x 5 inch table-top stereo receiver transfers digital music to full-sound via your home stereo or other powered speakers easily.
The USB port and SD card slot allow access to all your music hardware. And there are a ton of software programmers who have created a load of apps for the Logitech Squeezebox Touch that extend its versatility even further.

Additional@  How to Watch UK TV in Portugal


Choosing Accommodation Option While Studying Abroad

When you decided to study abroad, there’s an important decision awaiting you.  Choosing the type of accommodation can be crucial especially if you’re in an unfamiliar environment.  Selecting something where you feel safe and comfortable is essential especially in the early days whilst you become used to your new environment.

What’s the best kind of student-accommodation?

There three basic options for students living-abroad are: Home stay programs, dormitories, or apartments.
In a home stay program you will stay with a family chosen by the school. They will provide some or all of your meals for you, and in general, do their best to provide you with a comfortable environment for your studying. The daily interactions with your host-family can also be a great chance to practice your conversational skills.
Dormitories are large, shared residences for students. They are usually located on the university campus itself, although they are sometimes found at the larger “private” language-schools as well. Your meals may be provided. Shared accommodation like this is usually cheaper, and there is almost no traveling involved in getting to school! There are always lots of people around to talk with and develop your

Choosing to live in an apartment or other form of private housing gives you the most freedom, but can be much more expensive than the other options. You will have to do your own cooking, of course! The biggest problem is likely to be finding housing like this, however – it is much easier after you are already living in the country, and can then look for an apartment in person. Assistance may be available from the institute you are applying to; information regarding accommodation at specific schools is also available online.


What are host families like?

From old couples who’ve just recently retired, to young couples who’ve just gotten married, or even single mothers – many different kinds of people offer home stay services. They are all under contract to the school, however, and many already have experience with hosting international students. They may know what kind of troubles international students frequently have, and so they will be able to offer help. Of course, each family will be different; you should be prepared to live by their rules while you stay with them.  Remember to check things that are important to you before you choose, things like internet access can be important for people living abroad for example.  Especially to keep in contact with home when you might even need a residential IP service as well,

I have heard that some host families are not nice, is that true?

Before joining the home stay program, every host family has had an interview with the school involved, so there shouldn’t be any problems. Sometimes you may have difficulties because of differences in culture, but most host families are sensitive to these issues, and know how to deal with such problems. However, it is true that sometimes things just don’t work out, just as with any family! If you do need a change, you should request it as soon as possible, as it is most important that your trip is a positive experience for you. You can always talk to your school counselor or us, and a better arrangement will be found, if possible.

Will I have “hostmates” if I am on a home stay program?

Some host families have many rooms for international students.
Depending on the program, it may be possible for you to request a home stay with or without other students.

Is it possible to change the length of my home stay after a few months?

Yes, it is possible. Many students live with a host family for the first few months, and when they get used to life in a foreign country they move to an apartment or dormitory. Staff in charge of housing may be able to assist students in finding new accommodation. If you wish to move, however, you should let your host family or school know at least one month in advance. As well, you may have to pay an accommodation fee again.

When can I get information about my host family?

Your home stay placement is not decided until about ten days before your course starts. We will send you the information about your host family as soon as we receive it from the school. Usually, we also get the host family’s name, address and phone number, so we recommend that you send a letter with your picture before you leave, if you’d like to introduce yourself ahead of time.

I would like to stay in a dormitory. Are meals included?

It depends on the particular school, so please check the right-side of the dormitory fee section in the school-information table. In some dormitories you can choose “with meals” or “no meals,” which will also affect the cost, of course.

By the same author: How to Find the Best Proxies for Instagram

Places to Visit – Portugal

There are so many wonderful countries to visit in Europe, that it’s almost too difficult to decide. There are obvious candidates for those who are visiting from another continent of course. France, England and Spain are probably the most popular destinations however for the budget traveller they’re often the most expensive too. Certainly if you’re looking at visiting capitals then Paris and London can make a big impact on those travelling with a smaller budget. However there are some bargains, some beautiful places where costs are much more manageable and the sites just as wonderful. One of the often neglected countries is Portugal, however it’s a fantastic place to visit and you can even find places to stay in the capital Lisbon which are very reasonable.

Portugal is often considered as among the most historical and oldest nations within Western Europe. Adorned with breath taking historical churches, magnificent citadels, and brilliant monuments, these are just a few of the things which will essentially help form your ideal Portugal Holidays. Of course, one of the very best things about choosing Portugal for your vacations is that they similarly are equally equipped with an expansive variety of technological and architectural innovations, which makes Portugal among the most distinct tourist destinations. Read on to find out more detailed information about your perfect Portugal holidays …

Society and the Architecture

This is by far some of the most attractive things about Portugal, simply because they have quite a developed society full of dynamic provincial traditions which additionally are a part of the numerous architectural distinctions you will certainly recognize when moving from one area to the next. In the event that you are truly adventurous, then you can try residing in a holiday villa, where you will be able to possess a first hand experience of both the culture and style.

You’ll also find now large communities of English speaking expats in many of the large Portuguese cities and especially on the coastal regions.  They do tend to blend in with the locals though and you’ll find them mixing in with the local nightlife too.  The internet has made moving to places like Portugal easier, in the passed many have found it difficult as English is not as widely spoken as in many European countries.  Nowadays they can slowly integrate while learning the language, after all you can even watch UK TV online in Portugal nowadays if you use a VPN and a decent internet connection.


The climate of Portugal is additionally among the primary reasons why it has become a popular location over the years. The capital city, Lisbon, normally has a warm and comfortable climate with a quite sunny and warm spring and summer, with an average temperature of about 30ºC. But, winters are regularly blustery and wet, with approximately around 10ºC. However, the general climate for the majority of Portugal is neither too hot nor too cold, but instead just ideal.

Experience the Music

This is just one of the most distinct aspects of your Portugal vacations, because the live musical experience can essentially add a ton of fun and excitement to your vacation. As with any country, music is most certainly a significant aspect of their culture, nevertheless Lisbon particularly has one of the most brilliant musical forms, known as the melancholic fado. The very best method to experience the music is through Lisbon, the place you can easily discover various fado clubs around the Bairro Alto and Alfama neighborhoods.

Wine tasting

Naturally, Portugal is celebrated for it’s Port wine, but also for the various light wines which typically use a variety of indigenous grapes. You can find a substantial assortment of wines in addition to vineries across the country. This could be among the most luxurious parts of your Portugal holidays, and the very best place to go for this is Oporto, as they are definitely famous for port wine.


Virtually every perfect vacation includes a breath taking sight of the ocean, and Portugal most certainly provides there. With the Atlantic ocean surrounding the south and west, the coastlines of Portugal are famously known to be attractive. In the event that you are more energetic and would like to pursue a more adventurous holiday, then you can try a variety of water sports on Portugal’s coast. If you love the water, you might want to find an excellent coast holiday where you can go for a swim, snorkel, water skii and even windsurf. You may well also wish to try diving or if you enjoy fishing as a sport, Algarve is well-known for big-game angling.

Lastly, Portugal is a perfect tourist destination because it essentially houses such a variety of breathtaking adventures in one. You can unwind on the beach, tour the ancient architectural master pieces, or just simply soak up the noises, smells, tastes, and sights of the culture and stunning surroundings.


Residential and Backconnect Proxies.

Russia Prepares for World Cup Fever

There are only a few sporting events which can claim to attract a truly global audience and the World Cup is definitely one of them. Although there has been some controversy about the bidding process, worries about the political situation and indeed the reputation of Russian hooligans, ultimately that will all be forgotten when the teams face off. Thousands of football fans across the world, will have spent months planning their trips and indeed it’s a testament to the love of the game as Russia is not the easiest place to travel to.

For soccer fanatics everywhere, there really was a bit of nervousness the moment Russia was declared as the host of this yrs world cup. So far the fears seem to have been unfounded at least with regards the infrastructure required to host such an event. Undoubtedly the primary worries are about potential violence as well as what sort of welcome football supporters will be given but it’s likely that all of these will not be issues either as President Putin is keen to use the occasion in order to promote Russia.

He will not be the first leader to reckon on a huge economic boost on the back of the tournament. In passed years this has not been as large as hoped for, certainly the South African economy didn’t benefit quite as much as many had hoped. It certainly will bring an exciting atmosphere to the football fans who are little bit more adventurous than those of us who will have to settle with watching the Match of the Day stream over the internet.

What can the economy expect? Well it will almost certainly bring a short term boost to the economy in many sectors. The Russian Central Bank is hoping that the boost might be somewhat targeted as it has placed stadiums in areas of the country which require this type of financial investment. The increase in spending was probably required anyhow, so the chance to recoup some investment is definitely welcomed by Putin. He is obviously hoping to exhibit the country as a worldwide superpower once more, and it’s very likely that spending will be rather lavish in some public facing areas in addition to in safety and security.

There certainly ought to be an expansion in jobs and a similar boost in the demand for consumer product and services. This ought to continue the positive growth that the Russian economy has experienced in the last year after a sharp fall in the previous two years mostly pertaining to the oil price.

The competition is spread out over 11 cities and it is strongly believed will generate an additional.2% of gross domestic product in both the second and 3rd quarters. This does not sound huge but it is in fact a huge rise in response to a single event like this. President Putin’s hold on power though is heavily reliant on improving the living standards of the average Russian. There is a danger here though in that inflation is most likely to rise particularly in those cities as lots of visitors arrive in a short time.

These types of price rises will probably occur in things like hotels plus ordinary goods and services in line with the increased demand. The Russian authorities are however likely to clamp down on any excessive profiteering and abusing visitors. Lots of tourists have been in fact attempting to bypass these cost rises by scheduling using a VPN or proxies like these in order to access domestic prices wherever possible.

Why You Should Pick France for your Next Holiday

So you’ve decided on a European vacation, you’ve checked the flights and booked a few weeks off.  But the choice is huge, Europe is packed full of fantastic places to visit especially for those seeking history, art and a gastronomic experience.  So with all this choice, why should you consider choosing to visit one of the most popular European destinations – France? The answer to this question is as varied as the nation. Why visit France? Go to for the culture, the food, the wine, the art, the architecture, the celebrations, the activities, the atmosphere, the scenery, the chateaus, and all the other wonderful things found in France and belonging to this fabulous country. There is genuinely something for everyone here, no matter what your personal interest.

The majority of those who fly into Paris invest a few days or a week seeing the popular museums and travelers sights. There’s enough to see that would fill a go to enduring years. Beyond the Eiffel Tower, Musée de Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, Centre Pompidou, Sacré Cœur and Montmartre are gardens, parks, monuments, and restaurants galore. And when the weather conditions allow, there’s no more desirable place to walk and explore.

Don’t worry about feeling disconnected, all the major cities in France have wonderful internet access indeed normally much better than US ones.  If you take with you a mobile device, then you can keep in touch wherever you go with fast access usually free or a few Euros at most.  Personally I always use a British VPN service so I can keep watch the BBC when in France like this post illustrates,

However many individuals who check out France never ever get beyond Paris. That would be a big error. Although Paris is an amazing, vibrant city with lots to see and do, by getting outside the capital and into the countryside, you’ll see a totally different side to France. The little rural towns have a special character reflected in the region where they lie. From the coast of Brittany to the pebble beaches of the Côte d’Azur to the sunflowers and lavender fields of Provence and the hills and mountains of the Rhône-Alpes, each area has something unique to provide.

No matter size, each town has a weekly market, where farmers bring their products for sale. Driving numerous hours south of Paris, you’ll discover the Loire Valley, house of a few of the most exceptional chateaux in France. Here you can discover Chambord, Amboise, Chaumont, Chenonceau, and many other grand chateaux.

Continuing further south are the lavish fields of Provence. And beyond this is the French Riviera. Here you’ll find water sports, beach activities, painting, museums and galleries of every description, fantastic fresh food, and marvelous wines. Living is luxurious and costly here – there are sophisticated rental properties along the coast at Cap Ferrat, just down the coast from Monaco, and in the cliffs above. Pebble beaches extend from Good past Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and Antibes, and throughout the summer season they can be crowded.

Nice has something for everyone, no matter exactly what you may searching for. There’s an opera house, a wealth of museums, gardens, hiking tracks, cycling, horseback riding, sailing, wind browsing, gourmet dining, and the list goes on.

Beyond Nice are the towns of Arles, Aix, Avignon – all worth a see, particularly if you enjoy art and painting. This is where Van Gogh and Cézanne painted their landscapes. Lavender fields and sunflowers can be seen everywhere. The surroundings is particularly stunning.

Driving to the Dordogne, there are a variety of lovely towns to explore, consisting of Sarlat. Close-by are the well-known caves of Lascaux and Lascaux II, and the Roman ruins of Périgueux.

And naturally there are the wines of Bordeaux and the Champagne area, and the apples and Calvados of Normandy. France has so much to provide, regardless of where in the country you occur to be. So if you’re planning to have an amazing time and a great adventure, you’ll understand why to go to France. Check out for the good life. And you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic experience.

Further Reading – How to Watch British TV Abroad

The Bizarre Sneaker Wars

If you’re of a certain age, i.e younger than me then you’re probably aware one of the hottest fashion items are sneakers (or trainers in the UK). The big sports firms routinely release ‘special edition’ sneakers and they are extremely difficult to obtain. Although they’re supposedly available online, it takes a huge amount of luck and persistence to actually get a pair.

There are options though and with a little investment in some technology tools you can either grab the latest pairs for your own enjoyment or make a few bucks reselling them. Now it sounds a lot of trouble to go to but these sneakers are really hard to obtain and without software your chance are limited. There are actually quite a few software programs or ‘sneaker bots’ which you can buy and all they do is repeatedly try and buy the latest pairs until they land in your shopping basket at which point you can check out. Unfortunately there are complications as because they simulate multiple buyers, then they tend to get blocked if you do it all using the same internet connection.

Lots of people devote literally 1000s of dollars a month on using proxies, a reality which surprises many. Anyway if you perform a quick google search you’ll spot lots of lists of absolutely free proxies everywhere. Many are actually listed as being super safe and secure and elite, so why in the world do people invest lots of money on them.

Well firstly, it’s important to remember in which any person who has the vaguest idea regarding online privacy, anonymity and the dangers of cyber crime would never go anywhere near a free proxy server. At best there poorly managed proxies unintentionally left available by some overworked on-line admin someplace, which in turn means that you are actually essentially stealing bandwidth in the event that you use them. At worst, and also it’s an increasingly likely scenario the proxy has actually been exposed consciously in order to rip off user credentials such as emails, accounts and security passwords. It’s not much of an option actually, so you ‘d be encouraged to stay well clear of them.

There is a big market for safe and genuine proxies for a variety of uses and one of the more popular is actually buying sneakers from online website retailers. You see all the big retailers of sneakers (trainers in parts of Europe) release limited edition versions of their sneakers which are very much in demand. You can try and buy them online but it’s very difficult to do and you ‘d have to be very quick and luck to even grab even a  single pair.

Obviously because they’re scarce and useful then some people want to obtain lots of these– there’s an obvious revenue opportunity there even if you usually do not prefer to use them. Therefore exactly how do individuals get to buy loads of these sneakers on-line from places like Supreme, Footlocker and Nike well these guys pretty much use software.

There are lots of automated tools and bots which anyone can configure to attempt to purchase these sneakers the moment they become available. If you get the right set up you can buy loads of these for whatever function you like. The software acts like a human customer but with infinite patience repeatedly trying to buy the specified sneakers up until they achieve success. Considerable amounts of people buy up loads of these and certainly run successful businesses simply re-selling these sneakers at inflated costs.

TO maximise their opportunities they set up the software programs on high availability hosting servers with considerable amounts of bandwidth. These could be programmed remotely to jump into action as soon as a new release becomes available.

The problem is that naturally the sellers really don’t like this and try and block out access to all automated efforts to buy the sneakers. They identify things like multiple connections from the exact same IP addresses and prohibit these instantly. Which implies even in the event that you possess your own server if it attempts to frequently to purchase the sneakers then it will certainly get banned and the server and software program will be simply of no use.

The solution is to incorporate another level of protection by employing sneaker proxies to hide your geographic location and permit the software or Bot to rotate it’s identity in order to keep operating. It’s not actually difficult to do but the important requirement is that these are sneaker proxies with a specific configuration.

The first important component which you’ll never get with free proxies is actually to make sure it has lots of residential IP addresses. These are actually rather hard to obtain since these types of addresses are actually only normally handed out by ISPs to home users. Most online retailers understand that people try to hide their geographic locations and typically block all non-residential IP addresses by default. Typical commercial VPN and proxies will certainly have commercial IP addresses so won’t work in this situation – you need a residential proxy in order to succeed.

This is what makes sneaker proxies so unique, they need to definitely have residential IP addresses that makes them virtually undetectable from typical home users. It’s also what makes them so expensive as obtaining, supporting and running these sorts of residential proxies is pretty costly.


Source: http://residentialip.net/

Will Computer Referees Control Football

For any sporting fan, the referee is rarely a popular figure.  When they make decisions that benefit our team we’re happy but suggest it was obvious.  However when they make other decisions, there’s normally a torrent of abuse or criticism.  Basically it’s a very difficult job and one where you really can’t win.  If anyone has sat on the touchline of any football game and listed to the comments a referee or assistant gets then you’d be amazed that anyone actually wanted to do  the job.

For years now though technology has been creeping into all sorts of sports, primarily aimed at assisting the officials in particularly difficult or crucial decisions.  No major sport really relies completely on humans currently although some sports use computers and technology more than others.

Football has always been one of the front runners in utilizing technology partly because it is one of the richest sports in the world of course.  The latest development is the Video Assistant Referee system (also known as VAR) which is being trialed in various leagues across Europe at the moment.

My first encounter was watching the Tottenham Vs Rochdale FA Cup final which was broadcast last month.  However watching it on Match of the Day online, here’s how to from abroad, It did little to reduce controversy during the match in fact it did quite the opposite.

It’s first appearance was when Spurs took an early lead, yet after consulting the VAR the goal was ruled out. The reason was rather unclear but it appears a foul was committed in the build up to the goal.  However a few minutes later VAR was consulted again and confirmed a penalty which was duly scored. Again the decision looked fairly dubious after the event and it certainly lead to some long delays in the game.

The VAR operates on three stages – incident, review and decision.  It is supposed to be used in only four specific category of decisions which are deemed ‘game changing’. It’s not designed to be used frequently and VAR should only be used to check serious omissions and only in match changing situations.  All the officials involved in the game can recommend consulting VAR but only  the referee can initiate the process.

The referee is the only person who can decide whether the original decision should be altered by the VAR system or ignored.  Indeed the referee can also use the option to review television footage themselves on a pitch side monitor.  This is usually a last resort though as it obviously causes substantial delays to the game and it’s flow.

The sort of areas that the VAR is designed for are things like goals, penalties and serious incidents which could lead to red cards. All these can lead to the result being directly affected

Jon Williams

The Ninja Proxy

Fraunhofer Diffraction Means You Can’t See Properly

It’s depressing as you get older and your vision seems to get worse with every passing year.  But in reality the human vision is pretty poor anyway.  You might be able to see a passing ship on the horizon but you won’t be able to read the name on the side at any distance.  Our eyes have pretty useless resolution so images get blurred the further the distance you are.  Of course we can use binoculars to magnify an image but why can’t we see this stuff with the naked eye?

The reason is basically down to the size of our pupils also known as their apertures.  Our eyes need to be open wide enough to let through enough light to make sure that the sensors in the eyes start working.  However the more open the aperture is the more the light entering the pupil will blur.  The reason is that  all the light arriving into our eyes comes from a variety of directions, again the wider open the more directions the light will come from.


Most of the light waves come in parallel and form a bright clear central spot.  But the width of this ’clear spot’ is blurred at the edges by light waves arriving in different phases and hence cancelling each other out.  The result is that the edges have a series of light and dark alternating bands but looks very much blurred.    The width of the clear spot is actually what regulates the finest level of detail that our eyes are able to pick up.

Fraunhofer diffraction describes the blurred images that will be observed when the light rays arrive on a lens or aperture like the eye in parallel routes.  It is also known as Far-field diffraction and is easiest seen when we pass a light source from a long way away (perhaps the Sun) through a lens.  It doesn’t matter if the lens is in our eyes or a telescope the effect is the same.  The diffraction effect will also smear the final image for a camera, eye or telescope.  The limit of clarity is imposed when the light is passed through any sort of optical lens.  To learn more about science subjects like this, make a habit of watching the best science programmes.  I’d particularly recommend some of the superb ones being shown on the BBC recently, you can watch on the Iplayer.

If you’re outside the UK you’ll need to change your IP address to view the Iplayer – try this site for downloading from the BBC – http://www.iplayerabroad.com/2017/04/28/download-bbc-iplayer-videos-abroad/   It’s quite easy to do, routing your web connection through a British server takes minutes and gives you full access to all the wonderful BBC Iplayer programmes.

The Electronic Barriers of the Internet

The internet certainly has the capacity for change.  It has the potential for political change, to overthrow dictators, implement social improvements and a myriad of other benefits.  The problem as always is that many people are being put at a distinct advantage when using the web.  It used to be irrelevant where you lived when online, however that is certainly not the case now.  Many countries increasingly used filters or firewalls on their nations internet access. There are of course the extreme cases like North Korean and China where access is highly regulated and monitored.  Although these countries aren’t ideal examples as there is little pretense to providing much more than a glorified intranet.  The Chinese restrictions grow stronger every year and they also have a growing ability to restrict these workarounds including these VPNs and proxies too.  The Chinese want to control where people get their information and their news from – i.e. not from UK TV channels online but State controlled sources.

But on a lower level social sites like Facebook and Twitter are blocked in many other areas from time to time.

If it wasn’t bad enough now commercial barriers are being instigated in the form of geo-targeting.  This technology is used to deliver or restrict access dependent on where you are located. Companies like Hulu for example only want users based in America to access their content so if you try and watch from outside the USA you’ll get blocked.  Even less commercial organisations are doing like the BBC who restrict access to the wonderful iPlayer to the United Kingdom.

However it’s not just media companies either, any large business with and international presence is likely to do the same.  Usually this is down to profit maximization due to a method called price discrimination.  Basically a company needs to be able to offer it’s goods and services at different prices depending on location in order to make the most money.  The internet blasted away these barriers, but they are slowly being rebuilt.  A simple example is the online games retailer – Steam, which offers computer software but at vastly different prices depending on where you are physically located. However they obviously have to stop people from the expensive areas buying from the cheaper ones.

Of course there are ways around it – this post about a Euro VPN server for example illustrates a method to watch BBC Iplayer from anywhere.  But that method involved a subscription service which may well be un-affordable for a huge sector of the internet’s population.  These restrictions stop open access, allow companies to operate shady price discrimination mechanisms and basically just rip the heart out of the internet for many of us.

In the USA there are even more worrying actions – statutes being proposed like Protect IP act which would make web site owners liable for links and content put on their sites. Good luck on running a forum on free speech if that every gets though !  You’d spend more time at the local court defending yourself than running the site.

Greek Government Reallocates Research Funding

The Greek government is having to make some tough choices to survive with every penny spent being accountable to their Euro and IMF bailout partners. However it is a very short term and in many ways retrospective measure to start taking funds from educational and research budgets.

The money seizure was authorized in a crisis decree passed by the Parliament in a heated and intense session in Greece last week. The decree powers government as well as other state bodies that are local to transfer their cash reserves to the Bank of Greece to be able to cover pensions and wages of public sector workers. As Science went to press, it remained unclear when it will be taken and just how much cash will be targeted, but researchers expect the authorities to snatch resources set aside to buy overheads. These amount to as much as 20% of the worth of grants and purchase expenses which are not covered by research bureaus and temporary staff in addition to utility bills.

“We do expect a reasonable deal in the on-going discussions for the Greek debt is likely to be reached shortly, by the end of June,” he said in an email. “Subsequently this measure will likely be waived.”

To decrease the amount of confiscations, many research workers are anxiously changing or spending as much of the overhead reservations as they can, in a few instances by stocking on consumables and paying Ph.D. pupils’ wages for several months in advance or investing in such technology or software like this residential VPN system.   “I ‘ve little doubt that the substantial activity in concealing research funds in the authorities might be under way,” says Costas Synolakis, a marine scientist now in the University of Southern California in LA.

On another front, researchers and educational reform will also be fighting the authorities declared without public consultation on 17 out of the blue. The reform entails fighting universities’ governing boards, removing present rectors, and giving pupils a sizable share of the votes to name rectors that are new. As a result, it overrules many changes brought in by an 2011 law that sought to restrict the powers of administrative staff and pupils.

That earlier law activated tremendous student demonstrations and proved highly contentious. Nevertheless, parliamentarians approved it by a big bulk and it was seen by professors as a confident part of lessening the ability of political parties. “Since the 1980s, university managements are voted, not on merit or administrative art, but on party qualifications,” Synolakis says. In effect, he maintains, the most recent reform–expected to be voted on by Parliament inside the the next couple of weeks–will “transfer Greek higher education back about 30 years.” Other scientists are likewise essential. He adds that it also fights electronic voting in university elections, which, he says, may enable pupils intimidate voters and to steal ballot boxes, as they’ve done before.

The brand new law also seeks to alter functions and the makeup of the National Council for Technology and Research, an 11-member panel that advises the authorities on financing and the business of research.

Further Reading:
James Addams – How to Get a Netflix IP Address