Archive for the ‘Goods’ Category

America Sees Decline in Maths

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

This week has seen the release of the latest educational scores from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) , these rate educational systems across the world and are largely regarded as one of the best educational assessments.


This set of results covers an assessment of 15 year olds in 70 educational systems across the world.  The focus of the study is based on an exam which is taken by a representative sample from each of the countries taken part in the study.

So how did the US get on?  Well overall the results are less than inspiring in the 2015 exams which this report is publishing.  Scores in reading and science have remained largely the same since the last study, but there has been a significant drop in maths results.  In fact the maths results have dipped to a low not seen since 2006, remember the PISA exam is only taken every three years though.

The scores don’t make positive reading for the US educational system – reading and science although static are still only average at an international level.   These results are only compared with developed countries who are members of the OECD.

It is the maths scores which are of most concern particularly because they seem to demonstrate a declining trend.    To out into context in Science – 9% of US children received a top score, compared with 6% in maths.  The average of OECD countries was 11%, which is obviously quite a lot higher.

The US Education Secretary is expected to speak about the results this week which are obviously extremely disappointing.  There are though some reasons for being more positive because the results are actually quite different when regionalised.   There are several regions in the US which are performing much more strongly, such as the education sector across New England.

The problem is than in this digital, globalized world US students are  not just competing for jobs against American students but those from Germany, Italy and Singapore.   It is a simple task to employ and utilise skills from anywhere in the world.  Despite the various blocks and filters there are tools like VPN and anonymous tools which can bypass these blocks and allow people to work remotely.

The US has closed the gaps of socioeconomic disparity across the country though, there is less difference between different social and economic classes than previously.  However this seems to have been achieved at a cost of overall standards with most subjects either static or declining.  Much points to a drop in investment in education though, something that

Further Information:

BBC News Site


Free the Web – Well Netflix

Monday, September 5th, 2016

I travel a lot with my work, unfortunately not the sort of travelling that other’s seem to manage to exotic and interesting places across the globe. Nope my travel consists of mainly industrial estates and factory towns distributed mainly across Europe. The entertainment options particularly when I don’t speak a particular language are fairly limited, especially when you factor in the limited expense account that is normally available.

You see the places I visit, don’t have tourist attractions like museums, theaters and tourist friendly bars. They have factories and supermarkets and business hotels often on the edge of a major road or industrial estate – it can get very boring. However these places usually have one distinct advantage – super fast broadband or wireless is almost always available.

Which of course means that instead of the hotel cable channel or some foreign satellite channels – potentially I have a world of up to date movies and TV shows at my fingertips all ready to stream to any device I happen to have with me. Best of all it should mean I can use my Netflix account, except for this slight problem

Netflix has always restricted access to it’s site based on a system of region locking. Meaning that you can only watch the version of Netflix that is available in the physical location you are in. Which means it doesn’t matter that I am a US Netflix subscriber, what matters is where I am actually located when I connect.

So if I’m stuck in a hotel next to a factory in Belgium, I cannot log on and watch the US version of Netflix – I have to watch the Belgian version! Now I have nothing against Belgium, but frankly their version of Netflix is nowhere near as good as the US version plus obviously not all of it is in English !!

There was a simple fix, and for many of us it was quite easy. Because I work for a US company on every laptop we have a VPN client in order to dial back into the companies servers. I generally used it for accessing invoice systems, checking my company email account and document shares – simple stuff like that. The bonus was that when this VPN was active I actually had an American IP address irrespective of my actual location. Which meant that when I connected to Netflix I got the US version not the version of the country I happened to be in that week.

Alas if you read this post you’ll find that Netflix wasn’t happy with this and blocked all access from proxies and VPNs which meant I couldn’t watch anymore – a bit annoying when I’m half a dozen episodes from the Person of Interest Finale !

So forget about using commercially based proxies or VPN services because they don’t work anymore with Netflix. You can relay through your home connection if you have the technical skills or there are some residential IP services available although they can be quite expensive.

VPNs and Netflix

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

However, though helpful typically, the categorization doesn’t get the specific areas that Netflix can deliver. It is quite easy to look for titles on Netflix. There are a number of others which might even be generic to a particular category of movies on the internet. The issue is that Netflix is only accessible in certain specific areas throughout the world. Nearly all of these revolve around how it’s a satellite-based support. After that you will manage to see what’s currently being aired and also you should be on your own way enjoying whichever programmes you wish.

A tablet may be used for many of your own computing wants, and for a lot of the tasks there will not be a difference from a laptop. Netflix doesn’t need a DVR to begin and stop movies and programs. The great news is there is a good way where you can access Netflix Brasil regardless of your pc experience. The web site offers both full-screen and embedded viewing capabilities. The reason being its is a completely free service which is compatible by many smart devices. However using a VPN will help these problems with accessing the media channel – check this article best VPN for Netflix before purchasing though.

This is among the most ordinary reasons regarding why a cable Internet keeps dropping. Bear in mind, connection issues may possibly not be on account of the tablet but your ISP you stream with. Insomnia-This will allow it to be so your device doesn’t turn off your wi-fi once the screen goes off. But in regions with few wireless networks, an individual band wireless router is going to do equally well. But for the best internet gaming experience, you are in need of a speedy online connection.

The speed is very high and just counts on the speed of your own internet connection. In the event the camera isn’t that important, the remainder of the efficiency of the tablet is decent. In the event of low online speed, you could have to hesitate for some time and view the steaming movie in bits. Employing this website, users may enjoy complete length movies from classics to contemporary ones at no cost. It is also possible to watch in your tablet device. These devices usually transmit over dual band frequencies and offer wireless online access during a lengthy variety, enabled by their own powerful transmitters.

If you’re setting up a wireless network, you’ll need to be familiar with difference between the two of these devices. And so, if you plan on making excessive use of your own VPN then you’ll just want to look at those options that provide unlimited bandwidth. The application will undoubtedly be immensely beneficial for you to make online calls from any online connection. This is still another perk, and something which you would need to pay for one more service if you used Netflix. Let’s see a number of the differences between both, and see whether it’s worth paying the additional money. This is the recommended solution to stream and listen to anything utilizing this tablet.

May not connect to game servers, being disconnected within the middle of the game, losing a game due to slow connection speeds… just some problems which are caused as a result of poor networking equipment. The advantage is concerning interference. The viewer should observe the progress bar at the ground of the monitor. Naturally, the step stated above, the majority of the time fixes the issue, but in some specific cases you might have to alter the cables or the connectors. They come with an integrated firewall, that lessens the vulnerability of your own network to hacking. It’ll lessen your bandwidth and raises the latency of your own internet traffic.

Further Reading

Coutts, Aj – Using a UK Proxy Online, Harber Press, 2013

Apple Purchases Digital Media Publisher

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

PRSS is a relatively new firm based in the Netherlands which provides a simple platform for building digital magazines.  There’s long been a debate about the future of magazines and whether they have one, but now it seems that the smart money is looking towards the digital format to save the genre.

We’ve probably all seen a favorite magazine disappear over the last decade or so, along with newspapers and comics from our childhood.  But if you’ve ever looked online you might be surprised to find the number of titles that actually exist in digital format.  It makes sense really, all the digital devices we use are capable of downloading and viewing magazines.  They also have the huge advantage of being instantly available by download and distribution costs are very low compared with traditional magazines.



PRSS owns a platform that makes it much easier to produce high quality magazines online without a team of web designers and coders.  It’s kind of like a version of iBooks Author but just focused at the magazine market.    In many ways it seems a sensible acquisition for the technology giant, a platform that makes it cheaper and easier to produce content that can go straight into the digital news stand and into the iTunes store.

It’s the production of digital content which is essential to Apple, and by taking control of a platform which enables this to happen they’re actually controlling some of the verticals of the magazine production.   What the future holds for the platform is unsure, this maybe simply an exercise in grabbing some design talent from the firm.

Hopefully initiatives like these will allow magazines to flourish in digital format, however there are still many concerns for their future.  One is that for many magazines particularly in niche markets is their potential audience.  You would expect that a digital format would make this much simpler to reach more people but often this doesn’t work out.  In many media markets like films and TV, companies are actually restricting access based on location – so for instance you need to change your IP address to watch most US media sites from outside America – here’s how.  It’s not just the TV stations, big firms like Netflix restrict what you watch to your physical location, so to access the British version you’d need either a UK proxy or to connect from that country.

More here

US Economy Starts to Slow

Monday, March 30th, 2015

US Economy — That was unrevised from the prediction the authorities last month printed.

Strong consumer spending restricted the slow down in the rate of action, although companies restrained back on equipment and stock investment. The market grew in the 3rd quarter. Slower investment could be meant by slower profit increase in the forthcoming months.
Corporate gains from outside the USA dropped at an 8.8 percent speed, the steepest drop since the 2007-2009 downturn.

“Slower profit increase could mean slower investment in the forthcoming months,” said Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered in Ny.


Multinationals including technology giant IBM (IBM), semiconductor manufacturer Intel (INTC), industrial conglomerate Honeywell (HON) and Procter & Gamble (PG), the planet ‘s biggest household products manufacturer, have warned the dollar will damage their gains in 2013.

As in the United Kingdom, there is increasing worry about the strong value of their currencies. Although sterling is not as highly valued as the dollar currency, the very weak Euro is effectively having the same effect. For US readers, UK economy updates are accessible on British television by using a UK VPN – like this.  The problem is quite simple, a high value (or relative value) of your currency makes your goods more expensive which will affect exports.

The dollar increased 7.8 percent against the currencies of the primary U.S. trading associates between June and December.

For all of 2014, after tax corporate profits dropped 8.3 percent, the biggest annual fall since 2008.

Economists had anticipated fourth quarter GDP growth will be revised as much as a 2.4 percent rate and after tax corporate profits would grow at a 1 percent pace.

The dollar dipped against a basket of currencies, while costs for U.S. Treasuries increased.

Jemma Williams


US Economy Generates Over 1 Million New Jobs

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Washington (AFP) – US companies kept their doors wide open for brand new hires limiting a three-month surge that found a stunning one million jobs created throughout the united states.  A better-than-anticipated January total of 257,000 new jobs that were generated via the internet made for the greatest hiring with a comprehensive variety of businesses enlarging payrolls despite the midwinter economic slow down, since 1997.

Together with the market indicating the 11th straight month of 200,000-plus occupations included, “This was another very powerful employment report for the US,” said Harm Bandholz of UniCredit. Most economists said the new data showed actual signals of the market increasing grip following a bumpy 2014 during which it grew a small 2.4 percent.


There were weaknesses in the amounts Most of the recent occupations were low-wage positions as well as how many long term jobless increased.  Meanwhile a rise a data point saw as an important indication of labor market tightening — was just marginally over the inflation tendency. After dropping in December, hourly wages increased 12 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $24.75.

While the rise was supporting, economists said the wage movements in the last year were not too consistent to declare that American workers’ pay checks are securely rising.

“The labor market isn’t yet tight enough to create significant wage increase, meaning future consumption increase is likely to be restricted,” said Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

However, said Chris Williamson the Labor Department report was largely great news.

“The US labor market showed no signs of cooling in the beginning of the year, despite recent evidence to indicate the economy moved down an equipment throughout winter,” he said in a client note.

“Wage increase remains a significant disappointment but is at least showing signals of picking up.”

The upsurge in job development in the previous year has dramatically cut against the US unemployment rate. The 5.7 percent speed at the conclusion of January compared with 6.6 percent a year past, and 8.0 percent at the start of 2013.  Analysts consider it is going to drop close to 5.0 percent by the end of this year, eventually placing the deep damage of the 2008-2009 Great Downturn behind.

The January occupations marketplace report was seen as powerful enough to support the march of the Federal Reserve toward increasing its near-zero interest rates at the center of the year.  Fed policy makers happen to be keeping their eyes on employment increases and particularly wages to determine whether the market is growing strongly enough to weather a tightening of monetary policy, with inflation tame.

“With three-month average job increase of 336,000, the Fed may begin thinking about liftoff before June,” said Chris Low of FTN Financial.

John Hargreaves

Author of – How to Hide IP Address