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Archive for September 2010

15 random observations from the road

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From time to time I’m going to take a break from my social media findings and have a little fun with this blog. This is one of those times. Traveling around the world over 3 1/2 months, I observed a great deal. Here’s are 15 observations:

1- The British are obsessed with making a proper cup of tea.

2- Norwegian Women tend to congregate in large groups

3- Iceland + Eurovision = Love!

4- Sweden has no TV’s in their Bars, nor Grey Goose

5- Icelandic young adults are down with big band music

6- Early Do-Wop and Rock& Roll from the 1950’s are played everywhere in Europe

7- As well 80’s pop music

8- Latvians love mullets

9- Russians enjoy Smoking

10- Russians hate to accept large ruble denominations.

11- Chinese people love t-shirts with random english words.

12- Mongolian nomadic tribes have modern accessaries such as satellite dishes, cars and cell phones.

13- Russians don’t believe in queues

14- Chinese men are involved parents.

15- Germans are everywhere!

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Written by Derek Reese

September 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Travel

Tagged with , , ,

Why the Great Firewall is Nothing More than a Tiny Flame

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I think it’s appropriate I write this post in China where the following sites are currently banned under what’s called the “Great Firewall.”

  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • BBC America

There are hundreds of additional sites banned (see greatfirewallofchina.org). You would think the lack of access would be detrimental to my ability to communicate with the outside world. However this is not the case.

A great number of innovative minds have developed alternatives that are one step ahead. For example there’s a solution called Pimpmyip.org, which allows you to utilize an external IP address from another country to access the internet. Another alternative is to create your own VPN (Virtual Private Network) for your computer (Bootleg copies are abundant). There are also numerous other alternatives in development.

This leads me to the question: If there are so many ways to circumvent the system, does the government really want censorship? I believe they do, but they also realize digital is the future and need to create a balance that allows their population to navigate while the government feels in control. One could compare it to the subway system in Beijing. At every stop one needs to put their bag through an X-Ray machine. However, I noticed the attendant who is supposed to be monitoring what’s passing through frequently isn’t paying attention and if there’s a large crowd the police just wave everyone through.

While I’ve enjoyed my stay in China, I find the “Great Firewall” to be a nuisance and quite arbitrary in the sites I can and can’t visit. I wonder how the rest of China feels….

Written by Derek Reese

September 20, 2010 at 2:07 am