Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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

Is the Web Getting Smaller?

When you talk about the growth of the internet, there’s one word that you don’t expect to use and that’s contraction. However although the web does continue to grow at an exponential rate, it can easily be argued that access to quality content is in fact doing just that – contracting.

If you look at this in a simple way, there’s little doubt that every day the web grows by millions of pages. However much of this is of limited value to most of us. On YouTube videos are added every second, but many barely gain anything in terms of audience. The same is true of the web, millions of pages in websites, blogs, e-commerce stores and so on appear every minute some of it barely ever looked at. There’s also the increased use of automated content generated or scraped by software simply to add pages to establish sites in lieu of the perceived SEO benefit (Search engine optimisation).

In short much of the content on the internet, is either ignored or pretty much junk. However where is this contraction? Surely if the web grows by millions of pages it all can’t be rubbish. Well this is true, but there is a problem with the increasing amount of filtering, censorship and restriction of access to web sites.

Take for example my favorite site on the internet, the BBC web sites. Packed full of up to date content, music, TV programmes, documentaries and radio shows – the list is huge. I use it every single day and yet if I was accessing the internet from outside the UK 99% of the site would be inaccessible. This is because it uses something called geo-blocking, restricting access to the site based on your physical location. It may be one the best websites on the planet but it’s not available outside the UK. The same is true for loads of other huge websites especially those in the media business.

Of course, there are workarounds, technology is available to change ip address online and bypass these blocks. However these generally cost money and is often a barrier to large parts of the world’s population. So there maybe thousands of these sites adding fantastic new content every day but if you’re in the wrong location none of it is accessible.

This combined with the increasing use of filtering on commercial, political or ideological grounds mean that the web is actually getting smaller for some people. The facility to spoof my ip is something that is available at a cost but not for everyone. It is unknown how long these technical ‘fixes’ will work though, as they tip the balance of control back to the user themself. Certainly commercial sites are always looking for ways to block these applications and certainly governments will be likely to use these too.

Choosing a Domain Name for your Business

If there’s one decision that you should not rush in taking your business online – it’s choosing a new domain. For many established brands and companies it can be quite straight forward, as long as there are suitable options available. One thing is for sure, it’s a decision that should be taken carefully after considering the possible consequences.

It is very tough to get the domain name you want for your business unless you are willing to pay somebody for it. Of course that is really just a silly dream that pops in and out of your head. But there is no need at all for that kind of torture when you can locate an ideal name that will work beautifully. The most powerful domains will have an effect and also be a good marriage to the site. In this article we will share some useful tips for finding the perfect domain name for you.

There are little things with domains you don’t know, and here is an excellent example of this. For example, you know that short domains are better than long, convoluted names. It’s great to have a name that is not long, but it must be a word that people understand. Don’t try and stuff too many keywords into the name either, for example if you sell high quality US proxies, then it’s tempting to stuff all those words into a domain name for SEO purposes – this unfortunately is no longer effective,

This is something that more local businesses are guilty of than anyone else and it’s a real fail. Plus, they tend to be very awkward to read which makes them completely impossible to remember.

If you want to have a serious business, then it’s really best to do things the right way. Keyword phrases used in domain names is nothing new, and now with Google you have to be careful about too much SEO. So you will lose that totally different effect with keywords even though you do benefit in some ways. Perhaps the best place for you to start is deciding on the importance of branding and your primary marketing methods. One always solid piece of advice is to avoid trying to game the domain name by using something closely related. If you play domain name tricks, then you will maybe lose the type-in traffic when people know your domain but make a mistake with it.

Perhaps you have heard of sniper sites. They are also called small or “thin” sites. They are very targeted and are used for many reasons. Usually created to target a particular product with a model number, these websites do very well at attracting people to them on the SEs. You can still do that, but you have to make sure you are not using any company names or brand names in your domain. It is in your best interest not to do it, mainly because of legal issues that may arise. It is important to respect the fact that the lawyer could actually charge you with infractions, and fine you for doing this. Locating a domain name for your online or off-line business is actually very easy as you can now see. Now that you know what to do in regard to finding a domain, we also recommend doing your own research to complement this information. It is in your best interest to not be lazy and do as we have recommended, or else your business may suffer. So it is important to know that your domain has more of an impact on your potential visitors than what you may have thought. And by choosing the right domain, you can find success with your online business much more quickly.

James Holden
Choosing VPN or Smart DNS

Crossing the Digital Divide

Can you imagine buying a fantastic new MP3 player whilst on holiday, perhaps you spotted a bargain in duty free or some custom electronics shop.  Then when  you come back from holiday the customs guy at the airport takes it off you because it wasn’t made in this country.   It would be incredible, outrageous – the sort of hard line, protectionist move that even the worse run state countries would probably flinch from.  yet this is effectively what happens in the digital market everyday.

A few years ago I decided to treat myself to a Netflix subscription, I was doing a lot of travelling which mostly involved staying in rather dull hotels on edges of industrial estates.  It was rather boring and the TV channels in these hotels were usually fairly limited for the English speaker.  Someone had shown me Netflix and I was blown away hundreds of TV shows with literally thousands of episodes perfect to while away a few evenings after work.

I was very pleased with my purchase until I started my travelling again and then the realisation set in.  I thought I’d bought myself a subscription which I could take anywhere with me in the world, after all it was internet based.  It turned out that I had actually bought a subscription service that MAY BE available depending on where I was located.   In fact over 50% of the times it wouldn’t work at all, and if it did work it was some other countries variant of Netflix filled with foreign language films and invariably missing my favorite shows!

Now it has changed somewhat since then, a couple of months later Netflix pushed forward with a massive expansion to hundreds of other countries.  I didn’t get the complete block but merely the different version of Netflix, however some of these were very short on content depending on which country you happened to be in.

It does illustrate the incredible difference between physical and digital goods.  We buy access to something on the internet and think it will be available anywhere we go but that’s simply not true.  Digital goods shouldn’t be affected by physical location but they are, often your service will only work in the country you bought it in.   As millions have discovered while trying to access the BBC, this is what happens if you try and access the BBC iPLayer in Ireland for instance – .

The European Union is trying to change all this, they realise for digital markets to develop for everyone we need to break these artificial barriers.  A single market for the digital marketplace won’t be easy to achieve yet it is possible, legislation was being prepared to ensure that if you bought something online in one European country it will be accessible in all of them.  The BBC was looking at implementing a user login to allow UK license fee payers to access the BBC iPlayer in any country for instance, unfortunately that might be delayed due to Brexit.

John Williams

Travelling Tools – Smart DNS and VPNs

For artists, travel is part of the lifestyle in fact for many it’s the inspiration itself.  Commuting to work every day to the same place is hardly likely to inspire the mews which is why many forgo things like security and money in order to travel. The internet has of course made this much easier to both plan and execute.  Certainly in a practical way, it’s much simpler to just take off if you know that you can pay your bill, speak to your friends and organize your life online.

Even when travelling it’s great to know that you can just pop the news on or watch something familiar if you’re feeling in homesick.  It’s something that does happen to me particularly when travelling on a budget as luxury isn’t always available.   For years laptops have made the perfect companion and now notebooks and tablets have made it even easier to carry around the internet with you.

Useful Links

However as many ex-pats are already aware, when travelling there are some unexpected problems with operating your life online.  For example did you know that you may not be able to access your online banking from another country?  It’s often a shock to people that banks block access when you’re physically located outside your native country.  It’s for understandable fraud reasons, but that’s little help when you’ve realized your electricity is about to be cut off as you forgot to mail the bill.  Not as important but you probably won’t be able to watch your local news station or entertainment channels through their website either.

Frequent travelers have tools to circumvent these issues.  The VPN was made popular years ago when the BBC stopped allowing access to non-UK IP addresses to their wonderful iPlayer application.  The idea was simple the VPN hid your real location and enabled you to appear to be in the country of the VPN server.  That means a UK server would allow access to all British resources, a US one to all US resources and so on.  It works till this day, and what is more the VPN provides important security to your internet connection too.

Next came a system called Smart DNS which operates a little more selectively by routing only specific requests to an intermediate server, using DNS.  This provides no security but does potentially cost less as it used much less bandwidth – read about it here – US DNS Netflix.

If you’re travelling a lot and want to check out secure sites like your email or online banking and stuff from internet cafes and dodgy Wifi access points in hotels then using a VPN is a much better choice.  However Smart DNS is a good option for those who actually live abroad and can use a secure private internet connection, who just need to hide their location.


What Exactly is the Point of Modern Art

When any ‘ordinary’ individual makes comments about modern art. Perhaps they’ll make fun of Tracey Emin’s unmade bed or fail to see the point of a Skull encrusted in diamonds, then art experts (whatever they are) tend to ignore the criticisms. There are of course many avant garde artists whom the vast majority of the public just don’t see the point of.

However sometimes, the criticism comes from within – when Julian Spalding starts to attack this scene then the rest of us can perhaps feel somewhat justified. This is no outsider, Julian Spalding is a former director of three of the biggest museums and galleries.

Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s ship in a bottle

His attack focuses mainly on the amount of money being spent on such art, which he claims ‘ rejoices in being incomprehensible to all but a few insiders.” This work is often funded by the public purse, which the arts council spending billions of lottery money over the years on some very dubious projects.

Did you know for instance that over half a million pounds was spent on Yinka Shonibare’s piece – Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle which was installed in Trafalgar square some years ago. Spalding himself described it as a ‘crassly designed piece……floating on a sea of public funding’. Other criticism was directed at ‘Creed’s ‘flickering light installation or Louw’s oranges both which were funded by the public purse for many thousands of pounds.

He claims that the public purse should not be invested in such art, public money should be invested in art that lasts, not this years expensive fad. He argues that such money should be spent on preserving and displaying art that will still be loved in years to come. It is not the place of the arts council to seek to direct art and pander to the intellectual snobbery among the art establishment.

Money from these sources could be utilized to make art more accessible. The Metropolitan Opera House in New York has used grants to produce screenings of their performances which can be seen worldwide. The BBC could replicate this for theatre productions with similar funding, as such their content although world class is restricted to the UK, you even need a special program called a proxy – explained here, to view their content from anywhere else.

Jeremy Hall

Technical Source:

The New Value of Digital Art – Bitcoins and QR Codes

Art is of course, largely inspired by the present. Some of these inspirations are soon forgotten, failed experiments or the results of passing fads and fancies. At the moment we’re not quite sure where this current idea will end up.

The core thought, is that art should have some intrinsic value beyond what a viewer places on it. Put simply that even if you thought a piece of art was completely valueless from an aesthetic point of view, there would still be a value of even more than just the components.

It’s easy to think of the value of something fashioned from rare materials of course.

But what if art could secure its value? What if it contained an intrinsic merit beyond the cost of materials, a worth that was separate from the whims of the consumer and the critique of the elite?

Art with a hidden message

SatushiCrypArt, a company based in the Isle of Man, has set out to achieve just that by producing art out of QR codes; some of the pieces contain hidden messages that can be scanned into a phone, others contain imbedded bitcoin wallets.

It all started, as these things so often do nowadays, with an email. Early in 2014, a group of Manx bitcoin enthusiasts were contacted by an artist who identified himself only via the pseudonym ‘Satushi’. His vision, for an open source, collective art, resonated with the burgeoning cryptocurrency group and plans on how to create and evolve a stable of CrypArtists were quickly drawn up.

By insisting that the protocol was open source, Satushi enabled other enthusiasts to follow suit in the creation of bespoke, finite art designed from the ground up to encourage the owner to take responsibility for generating and protecting their own wallets. Each piece carries with it a hidden treasure, in the case of wallets, literally so.

Open source and anonymous art

Satushi was soon joined by other artists such as Crypsi, another anonymous street artist known for his/her libertarian themed pictures. Little is known about Crypsi other than to say that he/she has gone on record stating that the current global system is flawed and needs to change.

“[We] believe our bespoke art will satisfy customers wanting art with real value in the form of a bitcoin wallet.”

That was then and this is now; several months on and the idea has moved from concept to reality, with art on display and available for purchase directly from their website. The CrypArt foundation itself is typically grass roots; run by local residents Adrian Forbes and Owen Cutajar both of whom feel passionate about what this new form of art has to offer.

“We feel truly honoured to be involved in such a radical new concept in the art world and to help promote and spread the CrypArt ethos,” Forbes told Inside Bitcoins.

“We share Satushi’s dream of spreading QR technology and bitcoin as a global currency and believe our bespoke art will satisfy customers wanting art with real value in the form of a bitcoin wallet.”


When Irish Eyes aren’t Enough

When you’ve been away from home for a while, you can end up missing the strangest things. When I was living in Dublin I used to occasionally watch the TV3 media site called 3player. I wasn’t an avid user but the odd bored dinner hour or on the train home of an evening, it’s a nice little site but much of it has a distinctive Irish feel to it.

However a few months away from Ireland and it becomes much more important, the soaps, the documentaries and even the chat shows – i miss them all desperately for some reason. A friend suggested that perhaps I’m just a bit homesick and hearing an Irish accent is what I crave.

The problem is that if you try and access 3player from anywhere outside Ireland you just get a message saying ‘sorry this video is not available in your region’. It’s annoying as it implies it’s just that video, but actually you get that same message from the whole site whenever you try and play something. The reason is that for licensing restrictions nothing is accessible even from the UK.

Fortunately there is a way around this, you just need an Irish proxy like this video demonstrates –

As you can see you just have to fib a little and pretend your inside Ireland by using the server located in Dublin. This gives 3Player the impression that you have an Irish IP address and everything works ok. It’s very useful and I’ve tried it in several countries and it always works, in fact the principle means that you can access other players which are normally restricted too. I enjoy the HBO one which streams Game of Thrones and of course the BBC iPLayer is one of the best.

There’s another video demonstrating a similar service but they all pretty much work the same, the main difference is usually speed. You can even find a few free Irish proxies but I am reliably informed these can damage your computer as often they’re used to install malware and viruses on people who use them.

Searching for Lost on Netflix

Do not get me wrong I was really impressed I was amazed, after I saw the US Variation of Netflix. Yet when you see the difference between both variants you can not help feeling a little bit changed.

Actually the reason I started checking out different variations was last year when their streaming of Lost abruptly dropped with no warning. That’s rather annoying when you’ve are hooked and only reached episode 23. I was quite cross and I found that Lost was accessible other variants of Netflix once I began searching online.

Therefore I figured I Had have to discover a means of seeing the US version instead.

Here’s the video demo the way that it worked, efficiently relaying my link by means of a proxy located in the united states.

It lets you see other nations variants of Netflix also and works excellent, the Canadian version has rather lots of things that is not on either the US, European or UK variants of Netflix. Obviously the contents of all these state forms are always changing so it is worth checking out them from time to time. Netflix relays and only accommodates one to the variant you want to make use of – thus you will see Canadian Netflix when you get in touch via a proxy that is Canadian etc.

I began thinking if there was another way, to redirect my link so that I really could put it to use on Roku and my Smart TV. Identity Cloaker is outstanding on PCs and hand help apparatus like smart phones and Apple tablet computers where you may put it to use as a VPN. Well there’s a manner and it is called Smart DNS which operates in a way that is similar but just selectively courses part of your link using DNS.

It is primary advantage is that changing your DNS servers as revealed in the video only enables it. So you are effectively using a DNS proxy for Hulu Netflix or whatever, but it is much more easy to alter DNS settings on apparatus that are distinct. In fact in the event you’d like to route everything this means it is possible to merely shift it in your router or access point so the service is used by anything too. The video only reveals BBC Iplayer but it works for connecting one to the US Ip Address variant of Netflix (or whatever variation you need.

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