I’m without Facebook … again

UPDATE 1/9/11 5:30 am ET — Nevermind. As soon as I wrote this post, by a corollary to Murphy’s Law, everything started working again. JISHOU, HUNAN — My favorite method to climb the Great Firewall of China seems to no longer work. So, my only access to FB right now is eBuddy on my cellphone for Chat and this blog’s feed into Notes. I do get emails whenever someone comments on a note or sends me a message, though. I had been using Ultrareach‘s Ultrasurf, a 1-MB program that sets up a proxy connection to “climb the Wall,” as they say here, and evade China’s Internet censorship. It establishes a proxy connection as before, but as soon as I enter a URL, the connection is lost. I suspect the Net Nannies here have gotten wise to Ultrasurf and figured out a way to block it, as they did the Tor proxy network two years ago. So, if you’re expecting me to learn about news from family and friends via FB, think again. Ya might just have to write me an email once in a while. Oh, and FB recoded their site again, so the plugin I have that pulls comments ...

Slow and steady wins the race

JISHOU, HUNAN — I am happy to report that I can once again post to my Picasaweb photo site, as long as I use the Ultrasurf proxy client I downloaded a couple of months ago. It’s slow, but at least I can use the 80 GB of Picasaweb storage space that I paid for. It also means my photos will automatically get posted to Facebook through the Picasa Facebook app. So, as I wait for my photos to trickle slowly into my Picasaweb space, I can write some posts. Here’s the first one.

The randomness of inaccessibility

UPDATE 28/7/2010 11:25 am: And now everything is back to “normal.” But Firefox went south on me, Winamp got trapped in a loop somehow, and even taskmgr couldn’t kill it. After I shut down the computer, and restarted, the “blocked” sites listed below were accessible again. So I laid blame on the Great Firewall, but maybe it was my laptop or Vista Home edition. JISHOU, HUNAN — Yesterday, I could access a whole slew of my favorite websites. Today, I can’t. I blame the Great Firewall of China. In fact, my own website (this one) is now blocked. I am using the Ultrasurf proxy to climb the Great Firewall just to post this. And to aggravate me even more, Wikipedia seems also to be blocked, just as I was beginning the last phase of a long term project to edit Wiki entries about locations in Hunan, using my students’ research papers as the sources. I managed to edit the Jishou entry two days ago. Now, I’ll have to use the proxy to continue. Here’s a partial list of what I could access yesterday, but cannot today. www.nytimes.com my.yahoo.com www.liitlegreenfootballs.com wheatdogg.computernewbie.info — MINE! and thereby cpanel access en.wikipedia.org www.sadlyno.com questionablecontent.net — ...

China adds another layer of bricks to the Great Firewall 4

JISHOU, HUNAN — With the National Holiday fast upon us, China’s net nannies have blocked yet another Internet service, the Tor proxy network, which had been pretty reliable until quite recently. China typically blocks access to the World Wide Web around important national holidays, such the 60th anniversary of the founding the People’s Republic of China next Thursday. With so many sites blocked already (YouTube, Facebook, Blogspot, to name but a few), I guess the censors decided the surest way to cut off potentially inflammatory websites was to choke the Tor network off. Of course, there are ways around the newest layer of bricks in the Great Firewall of China. I noticed something was fishy when I tried to connect to Facebook using Tor. My Tor client couldn’t complete the connection to the network. My little onion stayed yellow, and never went to green. Tor uses a decentralized network of proxies scattered around the world. The Tor client checks a list of active proxies (computers acting as go-betweens), then logs into the network using one or more of the proxies. An add-on to Firefox then switches Firefox over to use the proxy to access the WWW. An active Tor connection ...

China continues its censorship of Web by blocking Google.com 3

[UPDATE June 25 15:56: Google.com is once again available in China, for now. I’m leaving this post up, though.] JISHOU, HUNAN — Sometime this evening, the Chinese net nannies blocked access to Google.com, part of the government’s ever continuing struggle to combat (officially) pornography and (unofficially) access to sites critical of the government. True to form, the state’s censors are using Google as a poster child to warn those who might want to buck the censors. CCTV, the state-run television, had a report earlier this week blaming Google for “providing ‘vulgar and unhealthy’ content.” The report featured an interview with a young man — later discovered to be a CCTV intern — who said his roommate had become addicted to porn thanks to Google’s help. State censors then blocked the intern’s name (Gao Ye 高也) from permissible searches at Google China, the Chinese (net nannied) version of Google.com. Google.cn apparently agreed last week to restrict access to porn, so we can still use it. But, the Great Firewall of China is now blocking the international site,Google.com, which joins youtube.com, blogger.com and blogspot.com on the no-no list. Experts suggest that the government’s anti-porn crusade is a smokescreen to block access to ...
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