Christina Is a Genius!

I’m dating a crazy-super-hacker-nerd …

… or maybe that was a dream.

Regardless, Christina has found a way to get around the troublesome Chinese firewall: Hotspot Shield. The purpose of Hotspot Shield is to protect your computer while unsecured (or even secured) wireless networks via a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Basically, it sets up a private little connection between me and the Hotspot hub, which, in turn, is connected to the intertubes. This protects my intertubing from any eavesdroppers that might want to know what I’m doing, as well as protecting passwords, bank accounts, etc.

It is, in a sense, my own private tunnel under the Great Firewall. See, the firewall doesn’t monitor private networks, so as long as I’m hooked up to my VPN, the Chinese won’t be monitoring what I’m doing. And as long as they aren’t monitoring what I’m doing, they won’t be blocking my searches because the firewall only blocks what it knows is in violation of its definition of “decent.” If it doesn’t know what something is, it doesn’t bother with it.

Booyah.

So now I am able to see my blog. And Christina’s. And anything else on the internet. Wee!

It just makes the Chinese firewall all the sillier. It took Christina an afternoon to figure out how to thwart it. Two minute download, seconds to install: open access to the internet. It begs the question of why they should even bother censoring the internet at all. Whatevs. I don’t care anymore. The only price I have to pay is a slightly annoying bar across the top of pages I open that asks me if I want to invite any friends to the Anchor Free Hotspot Shield Network. Free and open access to the internet? That’s a price I’ll gladly pay.

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The Great (Fire)Wall

It’s been some time since my last post and for that I apologize. I also have a pretty good excuse:

I blame China.

Firstly, our internet service seems to be a tad shaky. We lost the precious intertubes for about four days. At first we thought it might be a virus of some sort. Anyang Normal University gave us two computers and it seems that, along with the operating system and every bloated, add-on software they could find, they installed at least one virus to one of them. The other seems to work OK … except that everything is in the Chinese characters and neither Christina nor I can read what they hell is going on on the screen. But we have our laptops.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough for the Chinese intertubes. For whatever reason, we weren’t getting a connection until, finally, the university sent for a repairman. He showed up, turned our computers on, and—lo, there was a connection! Before he even did anything. So, apparently, sometimes we just lose the internet. Awesome. Makes posting regularly real convenient.

Secondly—that wasn’t enough for China, oh no. Secondly, I am unable to see my blog through the oh-so-wonderful firewall China has set up between me and information. I think the whole blogspirit service is blocked, or something. I don’t know. All I know is that I can see the website’s homepage, I can even log in and post (as illustrated now), but I can’t actually see my blog or what I just posted.

I’m told there are ways to get around The Great Firewall, but I don’t know them. I’ll try googling how, but I’m not optimistic that I’ll be able to see the sites that come up. I have a friend here, Adam (another foreign English teacher from Poland), who is very good with computers. He also has a blog and no trouble seeing it, so maybe he can help me out too. All else fails, I may need to create another blog on a different service. Because I can’t very well change the look or content of a website I can’t see.

Christina is also pissed. She can’t even log in to her blog to post. It’s all very annoying. Thankfully, mercifully, both the websites for The Daily Show and NPR come through the firewall, so I’m not wholly cut-off from the sites I love. Also, most wikipedia entries come through, they just take a whole long time to load.

Anywho, that’s all for this post. Hopefully, I’ll find a way around the firewall and upload some pictures soon.