Archive for December, 2012

China Tightens Internet Controls

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

There were some that hoped that the new leadership of China would have a more relaxed attitude to the internet and online discourse, however this is looking increasingly unlikely.  Instead of relaxing the rules new legislation is being introduced that will tighten control by the government even further than before.

At the moment China has the most stringent and advanced filtering system on the planet. The Great Firewall if China is justly infamous for it’s extensive restrictions on what you can access online from within China.  Foreign websites like YouTube and Facebook are often blocked completely whilst even internet searches for sensitive words and phrases are censored too.  The Chinese authorities even have an army of paid bloggers who comment and divert conversations away from politicallly sensitive subjects!

The Chinese are hence avid users of a variety of VPN and proxy services designed to allow them access to different sites.  Using methods like these they use them for a variety of reasons simply to be able to get access to these blocked social networking sites.  Many others have specific needs and you’ll often see Chinese websurfers asking – how do I get a UK IP Address for example.  The answer is here and the reason –  so they can watch a less biased news service of world events through the BBC Iplayer!  For news and information closer to home, many Chinese will look to Hong Kong or pay out for Australian proxies which have more localised news on ABC iView.

Of course, the new laws and regulations are not being sold as tightening these already strict controls.  The official like is to enable the authorities to ’safeguard national security and social public interests’.  One of the most important new laws is that all web users must regitser their real names with the Internet service providers.  Strict penalties will be applied to ISPs who do not conform and enforce this new requirement.

The New Holiday Trend

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

The days of heading down to Cancun or other sunny, vaccuous holiday destinations are behind us it would seem with the current trend being people traveling to the UK to experience the famous countryside and stay in luxury lodges

Indeed, it would seem like trying to get some kind of worthwhile experience in life is overtaking the embarrassing drunken antics of years gone by and not before time too. Of course we will never be done with such mindless holidays but it is good to see that some people are taking a bit more time and effort to think about how they are spending their hard earned money. Instead of staying in a cramped sub standard apartment people are looking to stay in luxurious lodges that are actually a lot nicer than most hotels.

These kind of holidays can also do people a lot of good whether it is taking a break from work or inbetween leaving school and going on to further education it is important for people to take a break and relax. These holidays allow people to do that in beautiful settings and it has been proven that this type of break can have such a good effect on people that they will be considerably more productive after such a break.

Getting out and seeing the world is a great thing to do and the saying that travel broadens the mind is very true. It can also open your eyes up to how other people live and experience different cultures. 

Although this type of holiday may seem a bit out of peoples comfort zones the growing popularity goes to show that those that have tried it are sticking to it and it is probably their recommendations that is seeing such a rise in popularity.


A Fun Way to Enjoy Wine

Monday, December 10th, 2012

a wine bottle from California’s Napa Valley

We all have that opinion of wine drinkers on some level right? Stuffy.  Old.  White. Pretentious.  Ok, maybe even most of those are true, but did you know there was a fun way to enjoy wine this holiday season.  Joining a couple of local wine clubs will help you learn about wine in a fun environment, while also helping you to feel more comfortable when you have to deal with a Sommelier or anyone else working in the wine trade.