Archive for July, 2012

Finding Good Wine Online

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Wine sold online is both one of the most difficult industries to be involved with, as well as, the most exciting.  We were surprised to hear the other day that the largest online wine store (you can certainly guess what it is, but I won’t mention it here) didn’t turn a profit for well over 25 years after it was founded.

Think about what that means for smaller retailers who are really only struggling to get by!

If you’re looking for the best wine gifts, it makes sense to try and support some of those smaller retailers don’t you think?  Taking a cue from my new neighborhood, Berkeley, buying local and not supporting the largest corporations allows us to have the widest number of choices don’t you think?

Free the Internet – Using Proxies

Monday, July 9th, 2012

There’s an increasing trend for companies and governments to control the internet.  Go to any major website and you’ll probably find something called Geotargeting happening.  This is  the practice of looking up your location and producing content based on your location.  Many websites block access to much of their content if you’re not from a specific country for instance.  If you’re in the US for example you’ll get blocked trying to access UK media sites like the BBC, if you’re in Europe you’ll get blocked from awesome US media sites like Hulu.

Fortunately this internet censorship is easy to bypass – all you need to do is use proxy or VPN servers to fool servers about your location.  This page for example shows how you can use a BBC proxy based in the UK to watch BBC Iplayer.  It’s simple to use, but unfortunately does involve a subscription payment to pay for the servers.  Worth checking out especially if your living away from your home country and are having problem accessing stuff.

If you’re using a mobile device like a phone, iPad or tablet the choices are a little more restricted but still plentiful.  Some of the services will work on other platforms too, this video shows how to set a VPN on an iPad and the method is similar on iPhones, Tablets and even Android phones.