What You Need to Hear

Is Abstinence Really a Cure?

About twenty years ago I finally managed to rid myself of a habit that had plagued me for years – smoking.  Something that had started quite innocently as a study aid during college finals had cost me thousands of pounds and possibly several years of my life is the statistics are to be believed.  The ‘cure’ to smoking is of course quite straight forward – you simply have to give up.  One cigarette will cause you damage, there is no safe number you can smoke.

Now I was lucky, after quitting smoking eventually I lost all urges to do so after a year or so.  yet many people are not so lucky, I know many smokers who are stuck on a carousel of quitting and restarting never actually freeing themselves of the weed.  The white knuckle ride for quitting smoking is mainly due to the addictive nature of nicotine and the horrible feelings of withdrawal when you stop.   The problem smokers have is to falsely identify that cigarettes provide pleasure when all they actually provide is relief from the nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Once smokers realise this, quitting becomes much easier simply because you’re not giving up anything that provides pleasure.   The mind trick is difficult to spot though, and you’ll often hear that smokers simply ‘enjoy smoking’.  For those who don’t get this twist, quitting is simply brutal a force of will to give up and quit at all costs – which most cannot keep up for long.

It is with this in mind, that I was interested in reading about a new drug treatment for alcohol abuse.  Many people of course are similarly addicted to alcohol as they are to nicotine.   The standard treatments for alcohol dependency are similar to cigarettes in that they are all based on abstinence. From the standard drugs, to lifestyle advice and of course the slightly sinister (but well meaning) methods of AA and their 12 steps.

Yet  there is of course a difference, alcohol is not usually defined as clinically addictive as nicotine yet it has a similar hold on people.  The short term consequences can be much worse though based on health and lifestyle.  Being a smoker will rarely stop a person working or functioning on a day to day level while alcohol can render someone incapable of even the most basic functions.   The drug I mentioned targets alcohol abuse in a slightly different way.

The name is Nalmefene, or it’s trade name is Selincro and it works in a slightly different way to most standard alcohol treatments.   Instead of either simply making alcohol taste unpleasant or forcing people away from alcohol – Selincro works in a different way.  It actually blocks the pleasurable pheromones that are released when  people drink alcohol.  In essence it removes the pleasurable feelings that are released when people have a drink – there’s a blog post about someone who bought Selincro here –

The idea is that people who are being treated are allowed to drink as normal.  However because the chemical blocks the release of the brains pheromones then it becomes much less attractive.   Over the next few months, the idea is that alcohol becomes less and less attractive to the patient who will then be given the chance to reprogram their brains.

The drug has had an exceptionally high success rate in trials and many thousands of people have been cured from their alcohol dependency problems.  It is slightly unorthodox but shows that sometimes medical treatments can become too fixated in specific methods.   You’ll still find advocates of AA who will insist that the nalmefene method should not be used despite a much higher success rate than simply stopping.  It is often said that alcoholics need to reach ‘rock bottom’ before they can be treated by abstaining methods perhaps this new drug means that isn’t actually necessary.

John Hawkins

Closing the Internet by Section

Apparently although the vast majority of people don’t have a computer in North Korea, there is a functioning intranet operating in the country.   No-one is that sure what it contains, but it’s very likely that it’s mostly full of praise and propaganda for their leaders.   Most people in North Korea have no access to the internet as we know it and this limited network is the only computer based information system that they’re likely to see.

North Korean Film Festival

It’s an extreme example but there is a real worry that the world wide web as we know it is starting on this censorship route.  In it’s earliest years, the whole network was completely accessible to anyone, yet that changes every year.  The media industry for example has yet to identify a method for dealing with copyright on a global scale.   This means that many web sites, videos and movies are only available to certain countries.  You may have come across this yourself, perhaps clicking on a YouTube video and being greeted by a message saying ‘not available in your country’.

It’s even more confusing when you’re close to home and suffer these sort of restrictions.  For example travel a few miles across the border into Southern Ireland and you’ll suddenly find that you’re unable to watch the BBC iPlayer online.  This blog post shows you a way to access it – Does BBC iPlayer work in Ireland, however it does seem crazy that it’s not available simply because you’ve travelled across a physical border.

Presumably the same happens when you cross the US Canadian border, where you’ll lose access to much of the online media you used in your home country.  Most of the US and Canadian media companies extensively use region locking so expect to be blocked until you return.

Of course, the reasons behind these restrictions are usually to do with copyright.   What you’ll find is that a company will own the rights to broadcast something in the USA but not the rights to broadcast the same thing in Europe.   This ridiculous situation means that they have to work out a way of blocking access to a global medium in order to comply with these rights.  This archaic practice shows little sign of being phased out, in fact the practice seems to grow ever year.  There are literally thousands of the world’s biggest media sites which are only accessible to a small proportion of the world.

It’s not quite at the North Korea intranet stage yet, but there’s a real worry that the internet is being controlled and filtered more each year.  If you combine this with the internet filtering which happens on a State/Government level the trend is growing at an exponential rate.  There is already effectively a tier level system for accessing the internet which will only get worse.

Further Reading:

Can I Get BBC iPLayer in Spain, Jeremy Jones, 2017

Classification of IP Addresses

It sounds a very boring and geeky subject, but it has huge implications for those of us who travel and routinely use VPNs to watch films and movies online.  A VPN stands for a Virtual Private Network and is basically an encrypted tunnel between your client and the VPN server, generally used to keep data safe and to access secure networks over the internet.   There is another reason though and that’s to be able to watch the myriad of websites who lock their content to specific regions.

This includes pretty much all the best multimedia sites on the web, from Hulu, NBC to BBC and ITV in the UK – all are region locked to their specific countries.  So if you’re in somewhere like South America you can’t access any of your favorite sites across the internet.  Fortunately VPNs bypass these restrictions because if the VPN server is in the correct country then you can access whatever you like.  For me I use a UK server to stream the BBC World News  and then US servers for the American news and Netflix.

It all works great but I suspect not for long, due to a new tactic adopted by Netflix.  You see all the IP addresses that are used to connect to the internet have a classification of either residential or commercial.  The one you get assigned by your ISP will be residential and the ones generally used by web and VPN servers will be commercial.   Netflix have decided that anyone who uses a commercial IP address will not be able to access their service, which includes all of us VPN users.

Instead you have to disconnect and use the version of Netflix which is assigned to your current location.  So for instance if you connect to Netflix while on holiday in Cancun and you connect you’ll access the Mexican version of Netflix irrespective or where your account was created/paid for.   Let me tell you know that the Mexican version is nowhere near as good as the US version particularly for an English speaker.

So if you do try and use a VPN or Smart DNS solution, you’ll have to ensure that you use one that has residential IP addresses.  Not surprisingly there aren’t many around but I’ve found a few including this one which uses a US DNS Netflix solution, it definitely includes residential IP addresses  so works perfectly.

The Smart DNS Option for Netflix

I’ve just spent an hour flicking through  the Swedish version of Netflix and I have to say it’s been a disappointing experience.   One of the problems I have is that I’m an English speaker with no knowledge of the Swedish language.    You would think that being on the internet accessing my US subscription to Netflix would be simple but I’m afraid it’s not.   As soon as I step foot outside the US (which I often do) my Netflix account is redirected to whatever physical location I am in – so as I’m in Stockholm, Swedish Netflix is what I’ve got.

Don’t get me wrong there’s still loads of English stuff on Swedish Netflix but obviously the focus is slightly different.   For me being a complete Netflix addict who thrives on the new stuff, it’s just a bit limiting.  Why on earth can’t I watch US Netflix, I mean I’m American, I paid in dollars – why should it matter that I’m spending a weekend in Sweden.    It’s cold here and I want to watch the TV shows I was engrossed in a few days ago.

The reasons cited by Netflix are apparently to do with copyright, they have to individually license films and TV shows to each specific country.   If true this is a ridiculous way t o broadcast content across a global medium, forcing people into specific areas because of their physical location.   Perhaps one day this will change, but for now I’m faced with the problems.

There are solutions, you can use VPNs to hide your real IP address, although I used to have four of these and none of them now work with Netflix.   Even my company one which I use to dial into my office at home is blocked despite being physically located in Denver.     There are still a few options out there though and one I’ve recently discovered is this Smart DNS Netflix solution here, which kind of works in similar way.

What happen is that you change your DNS server settings which is easy to do, then all your web requests are resolved as normal until you try and visit one of the Netflix servers.   At this point the Smart DNS server will route part of your connection through a US location which makes it look like you’re in the USA.

John Williams

Is Using Torrents Safe – Ermm noooo

Many of us have been there, I’m sure – can’t wait for that latest episode, that movie that isn’t released in your country for another two months then you read the entire plot line on a web post or in a magazine.   It’s infuriating, especially in the world of global media – it didn’t used to matter that the film was broadcast six months early in the US – it does now!   It’s almost impossible to avoid spoilers and enjoy a films or TV series if it’s been released anywhere in the world that’s connected to the internet.

You can’t buy the DVD, your cable service won’t broadcast for months so you either book yourself into a retreat or perhaps investigate downloading it from somewhere.   This is where you’re likely to come across the world of torrents, where you’ll find almost any major media file hours after it’s broadcast anywhere in the world.   It’s simple using the various torrent clients, you need no real technical knowledge and pretty much minutes later you can be downloading the latest blockbuster onto your hard drive.

This all sounds great, yet there are some very important points that many people miss about this method of downloading.   Firstly there are some very real security concerns involved in using this ‘peer to peer’ method where you are effectively sharing files on your own hard disk to other downloaders. I’m not talking about filters or content analysers or even using a simple porn proxy, this is basic stuff.    However these issues notwithstanding – there are other risks which are not always apparent.

What are the Torrent Risks

The main one is simply the number of people who know you are downloading stolen content.  Using torrents is essentially a community effort, just look at this sample screen:


It’s from a popular torrenting application, and as you can see everyone can see every other downloader’s IP address.  This is not safe, it’s not private and it’s incredibly risky.  Your IP address can be seen by pretty anyone and most importantly it can be seen by copyright holders who can also obtain your real name and address.

So the risk is real fines, real DMCA infringement notices and all the costs and hassles that this entails.  The biggest risks are downloading the latest blockbusters and I’m afraid porn – both will aggressively target people downloading as an extra income stream.  It’s your call, remember there’s nothing private about using these downloads, you can experience anonymous torrenting if you use a proxy or VPN which is properly secured.



Keeping in Touch with the Cricket When Travelling

For some of us, cricket is by far the most important sport that has even been created.  Certainly we are probably in a minority and in fact many ‘non cricket’ people will look completely amazed when they realize that people do actually follow the whole of a five day test match.  Personally I follow many sports but cricket is something special to me and oddly the only one where I actually prefer to listen to it on the radio.

There’s something about cricket that lends itself to perhaps using your imagination slightly.  You can hear the word’s – ‘glorious cover drive’ and your mind can create the scene in your head, you don’t need a Sky action replay – the description is enough.    However cricket is a Summer sport in the UK most of the time and unfortunately the best matches always seem to clash with my Summer holidays.

What could be better than lazing by a pool or beach in the hot sun, a cold beer at hand listening to the dulcet tones of Geoffrey or CMJ on the Test Match Special.  Unfortunately this isn’t as straight forward as it seems because it’s actually quite difficult to access from outside the UK.  Of course most sports shows are broadcast over the BBC and BBC iPlayer website although for licensing reasons  – you can’t listen to most of these when you’re outside the UK.  So that scene on a Spanish beach or hotel suddenly becomes rather problematic as you just can’t listen to TMS abroad using this site.


The BBC does this with most of it’s online content, reasoning perhaps that because you’re not physically in the UK then you don’t have a TV license.  Well I do and I also go on holiday abroad so let me have my cricket!  Fortunately there’s a solution but it’s a bit annoying having to use it, you just have to bounce your computer connection through something called a Virtual Private Network.  This sounds quite geeky but it’s actually fairly simple process – just a click a button and you can connect to a UK based server and listen to Test Match Special Abroad without a problem,

It’s annoying but works, there was hope that this situation would be changed – the EU was going to force digital service providers to make their content available to paid subscribers (like license fee payers) wherever they happen to be in Europe,.  However Boris Johnson and his Brexiteers seems to have buggered that all up.


Success in Building up a Twitter Following

Have you heard of Twitter? Getting Twitter followers is something that many people do. You can even buy them if you get desperate (though this is a really bad idea). Followers should never be measured in volume, especially when it comes to social media.

It is better to have smaller but dedicated and loyal followings than giant and largely anonymous ones. Can you really attract followers like this? How do you do it? How do you make sure that your following is a good one? In this article we’ll teach you some of the things that will help you not only gain more followers but followers that are engaged.

List a specific location with your bio and other things on your Twitter account. Your business will be operating right across the entire planet. That’s the big benefit of being in Internet marketing. People still want to know where in the world you’re located. Listing your location helps with that. Of course, this is also great for those aiming at building up a local following. Would you want to partner with someone who lists their location as “looney-ville” or “Earth”? Besides, when you use your real location, others can find you more easily if they’re searching for that specific area. You also want to earn follower’s trust by being honest about where you are. Make sure that your location matches your profile, there’s no point Tweeting about how to watch BBC iPlayer Canada


Use a picture of yourself as your avatar. In case you have multiple accounts on Twitter, you can pick one that best represents you and use your picture for that one. When you use an authentic picture of yourself, you will find that people respond to you more openly. People are more likely to trust someone who uses an actual photo instead of a piece of clipart or a cartoon version of themselves. It’s especially useful to take this approach if you are trying to get new customers or prospects on Twitter. Without a picture, tweets that are marketing your offers will tend to come across as spammy. Photos are simple to take these days, whether you use a webcam or the camera on your phone.

Whenever you tweet anything, it becomes public, with the exception of direct messages, of course. If a person checks out your profile, they’re able to see your past tweets, as well as any @ replies you’ve made. This should signify how important it is that your Twitter feed is nothing more than a long list of sales hype. Try to get involved in conversations instead, where you can share information instead of just focusing on selling things to people. Show people a free method to watch BBC News live first and then contrast and demonstrate what benefits you get from using a paid versionPeople are more likely to avoid you instead of following you if you show them a feed full of nothing more than sales messages. There’s no denying the impact Twitter has had on the internet. It has been around for years and every day it grows more and more. Even though it’s mainly considered a social site, that doesn’t mean it can’t be leveraged for business purposes. The key to doing this is to create a good and loyal following of other Twitter users. Use the tips we’ve talked about here to get started on that. You can then come up with tactics of your own to make Twitter a dynamic part of your business.

Using Netflix via Proxy Servers

Netflix (NFLX) was all around the news lately, since the business is supposed to have cracked back on illicit video streamers from abroad. I am able to utilize the native Netflix, Sanchez wrote within an email, I am able to also browse different versions of Netflix, but can’t stream anymore. The sole practical solution to get Netflix direct in the TV would be to use some sort of proxy support. The inquiry is when all 190 countries will have the exact same Netflix. I’d recommend INO TV to all those traders who want to continue learn to be improved traders. Our policies never have recently changed,” explained Netflix spokesman Marlee Moseley.

If you’re the fortunate owner of a PlayStation 3, you already understand what a good gaming system you’ve got. These forms of sites are specifically common when you’re searching for video streaming websites, so you are going to absolutely want to get a VPN before signing up for Netflix. You can watch because many videos each day you want. 12VPN is fantastic for beginners. It may even save you some bucks!

The dream of one, global choice of films and TV shows remains the business’s ultimate goal. Netflix’s international audience is the secret to the organization’s future growth. Vudu created it, and the total viewing experience is near the quality you’d expect from a Blu-ray movie.


Should you too are wanting to produce the switch to TV streaming solutions, you probably too might be torn between both of these devices. Netflix is the number one video service available on the internet and it’s getting increasingly more popular each and every day. There are lots of free-to-view channels to really go together with the premium channels accessible on the platform. After the DVD is released, Vudu will get the movie attainable for you to view. Still another great quality of the PlayStation 3 is the capacity to download your iPod tunes onto the system then use it in order to play your favourite tunes also. This is especially useful in case you’d love to gain access to your own movies while you’re visiting friends as well as family but don’t desire to carry around a bunch of discs.

Let’s say you have read within this blog about a terrific film which was recently made obtainable in Canadian Netflix. Quite simply, ONE Netflix subscription is sufficient. INO TV breaks things down nicely also so you can locate the topics you’re searching for. As and you’ll see, it’sn’t even the very best option anyway. To remain in contact with your family and friends. That’s the goal we’ll keep pushing toward.”

In regards to internet video streaming, just a few names often come to mind. Netflix provides its on-line video streaming services within america. With the latest launch of Netflix Everywhere, the business is cracking back on users beyond the country which are using private servers to become around their restrictions. Currently, it really isn’t available outside America through official channels, but it surely is available through online retailers in several countries. Vudu is primarily a rental company, but you also have the choice of getting the videos so that you may re-watch them without needing to pay again. INO TV also allows you to search for experts.

John Collins

Identity Cloaker

Netflix Starts Blocking VPN Services

Netflix has grown into one of the biggest media companies on the planet over  the last decade.  It started out with a video by post model but as the internet and the underlying infrastructure has developed then the company’s focus has now changed to a digital demand model.  If you sign up for an account, you get access to thousands of movies, TV shows and documentaries which you can stream to all sorts of devices from a computer to a Smart TV.

The problem Netflix has had is due to the fact that it needs to license all this content and for some reason most of the licensing arrangement are agreed on the basis of geographical borders when clearly the internet doesn’t work that way.  So for example Netflix will pay to license the right to broadcast a film in the United States, but would have to do arrange separately to broadcast in Germany, France or the UK for example.   Which means that what you see through your Netflix account varies greatly depending on your location and in fact in some countries you simply can’t access Netflix at all.

Now this has had some unfortunate consequences, people quite rightly often resent paying for a service that they can’t use online simply because of their location.  Also the fact that you could pay for Netflix in one country and receive a small percentage of the films and movies that were available to US Netflix users.  People started to take action and ensure that they could both access their service and indeed switch to a more favorable one simply by spoofing their IP addresses.   This works because if you connect via a VPN, Netflix will route you through the same Netflix version as the VPN server not your real location.

This gives the user a lot of advantages but Netflix are not very happy about it presumably under pressure from the copyright holders.  So they have started to block the majority of VPN connections where you receive a message like the following if you try and access through one.  There’s more here about this story – Netflix blocking Proxies.


The way they do this is to detect whether the IP address is from a residential or commercial source, if it’s from a commercial source which 99% of VPN services are then they get blocked with the error above.   Now to access Netflix using a hidden IP address you’ll need to select one of the few providers which allow access to residential addresses just for Netflix otherwise it simply won’t work – this post illustrates one of the best VPNs for Netflix.

Smart Online Shopping – Grab Those Discounts

You know there are bargains out there, but somehow you can’t seem to find them. Just remember everyone who shops online is looking to get the best item at the lowest price. Sometimes this is easy, but at other times you have to be a little creative and invest some time in the process. In most cases, you cannot find the lowest deals at one store only – you will have to look at several websites to find multiple deals. You also have to include any extra fees, taxes and shipping costs when you do your comparison shopping. In most cases, you can find discounted merchandise on the Internet, but you must look in a certain way.

The Internet makes it easy to save money on books, especially if you love to read them. Purchasing e-books can actually save you money, especially if you have a Kindle or Nook. With the advent of smart phones, e-books can also be read. The prices are so low (for both fiction and nonfiction) making this a great deal instead of buying hardback books that cost a fortune. You can get a lot of free books online at Project Gutenberg, a well known public domain book hub. You can find a lot of digital material online, but reading old-fashioned books is still an option. Aside from Amazon, there are sites like where you can buy discount books and other items from members. Shopping for books online can save you quite a bit of cash, which is why you might want to shop there occasionally.

Shopping on the internet is not as simple as might first seem, particularly if you’re looking for the best deals. One of the problems is that many big retailers offer different prices based on your location. They tailor their prices based on your physical location, often varying prices by a huge amount for exactly the same product. For example many airlines will offer different prices for the same flights depending on where the computer you book them on is located. You can do something about this and it’s to invest in some security software which can hide your location. There’s three main types proxies, VPNs and this option Smart DNS, although this is largely used to just view media sites like this – American DNS for Netflix. Mostly for picking up real bargains though, you’d be advised to use a VPN which is very secure and hides your location completely.

Consumer electronics are now widely sold on the internet, and you can often find the best prices this way. It’s easy to locate any type of product you’re seeking, whether it’s a pair of speakers, a digital camera or a computer. When comparing electronics, you should be careful about getting the exact model you’re looking for. The major brands of computers and other electronic devices usually have hundreds of models, and they don’t all include the same features. Sometimes you might do a search for a certain item, but when you get to the actual site where you can buy it, it’s something slightly different.

While it can be convenient to shop online whenever you feel like it, you can save money by watching the calender. Just as it’s not a good idea to shop in stores right before holidays, it’s best to do holiday shopping online with plenty of time to spare (here you also have shipping to consider). Shopping for clothing off season is another good shopping strategy that also applies online. Online retail sites also have clearances and closeouts on certain items, just as physical stores do. These may be featured on the home page, or you may have to search a little for them. In many cases, online retailers aren’t that different from their offline counterparts when it comes to setting prices.

In most cases, you can find the best online shopping deals, yet it may take some time to actually find reputable companies. In today’s modern world, it is actually a very useful and safe place to shop when dealing with online stores on the web today. And finally, always make sure that you are actually getting the best value for what you are purchasing as some companies only offer special deals to attract new customers.

Further Reading: BBC iPlayer on iPad abroad