The School of Communication

One of the keys to success in business and in life is good communication. There is a large gap between the meaning we intend and the meaning that the listener understands. It is a gap that has perplexed linguists, writers, artists and philosophers from the time of Socrates. In our daily lives we often find ourselves saying: 'I didn't mean what I said'. There is so much more to communication than just words. There is also context, body language and tone. Nowadays, there is also digital communication and communication between people of different native languages. These can all be impediments to conveying your meaning.

On the simplest level we cannot take language at 'face value'. Someone might be standing in the rain, waiting for a bus and comment to another person waiting for the bus 'what a wonderful day!' In context it becomes clear that this is irony. It is also to be understood in a cultural context as a conversation gambit or an 'icebreaker'. It is the invitation to interact. It is only when it is understood that comments about the weather serve often as a way of initiating communication, that the situation and the initial ironic or sarcastic comment can be understood.

We instinctively know all of this. Computers do not. When we go to a very different culture we have to learn these contextual meanings if we want to appear 'polite' and 'not strange'.

Body language plays a huge part in communication. Potential lovers use lingering eye contact and unconsciously shadow each other - sipping their wine at the same time etc. By doing so they are signaling to each other on a non-verbal level that says so much more than any words can.

There are a whole range of body language signals for all types of interaction including business. For example the firm handshake to mark consent or the two handed handshake used by politicians when they are 'pressing flesh' to signal to the general public that they care, that they are a person of sincere beliefs.

One of the big advantages of learning a foreign language from a person who speaks that language as a native speaker is that while they are pursuing their pedagogical duties they are unwittingly bringing into the classroom the non-verbal communication signals from their own culture. Studying a foreign language abroad is even better because students become submerged in an entirely new communication nexus that forces them to release their propensity for the systems inherent in their own countries. Perhaps this is why they say that those who take foreign lovers learn the quickest.

On top of all these concerns, it is vital in business to master the new technologies of communication. This means Skype, social media, tweeting, texting and so on. Mastery of both the hardware and the software is required to use all these modern mediums of communication. Those who don't keep abreast of new technologies to do with communication are those who will lose in the competitive world of business.

Perhaps the greatest tool for communication is Those who are able to put themselves on the first page for important search phrases have the opportunity to communicate with thousands and potentially hundreds of thousands. In this sense business communication has become a cut throat competition to dominate profitable conversations. In many ways this is replacing the idea of 'branding' that sought to communicate through auto-suggestion to engender a mass response.

It is those who learn all these interpersonal, psychological, technical and SEO techniques who will be the most successful in making their communication count, in getting their message over, in being understood and converting that understanding into results.

Dangerous Law Drafted in Burma/Myanmar

It’s not uncommon particularly in countries without a stable democracy, that a law that’s supposed to protect minorities appears to achieve the opposite. One of the newest laws in Myanmar safely comes into that category. It’s supposed to protect religious freedom, but in line with the military government’s earlier laws it actually achieves almost completely the opposite effect.   What the laws purports is the establishment of boards at a local level which will analyse any individual’s proposal to change their religion.  In fact you need a permit from these boards in order to make any meaningful change to your religion.

In many countries you might think – ‘big deal’ , I’ll just change without the boards.  However in this country your religion is very important and is displayed on most personal information – identity documents and such.  In fact your religion can play a very important role in some circumstances concerning marriages, employment and even issues involving inheritance.  All will look at your religious standing especially with issues traditionally dealt with by religious courts.

Here’s how these boards will be compromised – (taken from the AHRC press release)

Under section 3 of the draft law, the inquisitorial boards will consist, at the township level, of the head of religious affairs (chairperson), the head of the national registration department (deputy chairperson), the deputy administrator of the township and a person of his choice, the chairperson of the women’s affairs federation, and a member of the education department. Under section 7(a) at least four of these persons form a quorum with which to interrogate someone seeking to convert her or his religion. Under section 7(b), the interrogation, to take place within 90 days of an application, will inquire about the extent to which the person wanting to convert has grasped the “essence” of the religion to which she or he wishes to convert; its cultural practices relating to marriage, divorce and the separation of property, and inheritance and child custody. Following this inquisition, the board will either issue or deny a permit with which to convert.

So if you want to change your religion and you’re in Burma, then you’d have to wade through a series of questioning and inquisitions by various government officials.  If you live in a Western democratic nation, could you imagine going to the town hall to ask permission from a group of council officials to ask their permission to change your faith!!

Even if implemented in a fair, unbiased and democratic manner, it would of course be completely unacceptable and a serious violation of human rights (to worship freely whatever deity they wish).  But in reality this will be used in a very different manner, it will be used to prevent Buddhists converting to any other religion.  It’s probably mainly targeted at stopping people switching to Islam more than anything.

It’s almost certain that these boards will be anything like fair, and most Burma watchers are predicting interrogation and intimidation to be built into the process.     In truth it will probably be a rubber stamp to anyone wanting to convert from any religion to Buddhism and a way to block anyone wanting to switch the other way.  It’s almost certain that this law will be abused greatly and will further erode human rights in Burma.  The country is straying away from it’s path which once looked set for a free and democratic society after years of military dictatorship.

Freedoms are still not in place, voting, religion and even the ability to use the internet without resorting to using a fake ip address. Restrictions are still in place but perhaps not enforced quite as aggressively as previously. The updating of the telecommunications and internet infrastructure helps greatly as people can access outside media through things like this page which shows how to access a free trial of BBC iplayer from abroad usiing a VPN.

Julian Basenky
Online Anonymity

A New Choice – Digital Employment

Up until the last decade or so, there have been traditional choices when it comes to employment but that has all changed now.  The digital revolution has given many people like me one gift that’s transformed many of our lives.  That is freedom, in years gone by I like many others was tied down to the daily commute, a nine to five job and a measly allocation of holidays.  Of course there were options, but self employment was in many ways restricted to those who had a trade or wanted to set up in business.  Now the digital age has brought many more options of employment for each and everyone of us.


There are of course the practical advantages of the internet – where we can teleconference over the net, work from home, emails and remote management.   Indeed these have given many people much more flexibility in their working lives, millions of people now work from home on a regular basis. The costs saved can be quite substantial on both sides, travel costs are obviously reduced but from the employers perspective the need for expensive office space is reduced too.

The home office and remote working concepts are nothing unusual anymore and both sides have embraced the advantages.

However the digital revolution has brought us much more, the ability to become self employed has become  much easier. The world wide web is the biggest communication network ever seen, but it is also the biggest marketplace.  All across the planet millions of people make their living completely online.  Through internet marketing, ebay shops, writers and a host of other occupations the world of self employment now needs only a computer and internet connection.  The great advantage is that employment possibilities are opened up to people who previously weren’t able to work or support themselves properly.  Parents can now look after their kids whilst running a successful web based business.

So what is needed to take your stake in this new digital world.  Well in truth the possibilities are virtually endless any interests or skills are a potential source of income.  If you like writing a successful blog in even the most obscure subject can become very profitable in the global context of the internet.  There are some tools you’ll need of course, a computer and an internet connection are pretty essential.

If you’re going to be targeting a global market then you should get access to a few proxies or VPNs to add the ability to change your IP address. This example the VPN is used to watch BBC iPlayer in Ireland but it works for a multitude of situations too including many you’ll need for online marketing.

It’s one of the tools that is in my opinion a necessity if you’re going to work online. If you’re going to travel and work at the same time, then it becomes even more essential. The problem is that if you use random, unsecure networks it’s very dangerous to access any money sensitive sites like Paypal, bank accounts and such, unfortunately you have to do this to run an online business. There is another video on this page entitled Can I Get BBC iPlayer in Spain which shows you how to use a  program to further protect your connection and change your network address at will.

Many people start their online careers in their spare time, it’s certainly less risky than quitting your day job. However it’s important to make a serious attempt, the majority who try and succeed in some online venture and give up after a few weeks is staggering.

New Generation of Smart DNS Services

One of the big drivers behind the expansion of the VPN/Smart DNS market is the increase in use of region locking.  This is the practice where a web site controls what you can access based on your physical location.  It used to be a fairly benign technology mainly used by the search engines to ensure you got region specific results which matched your location.  However in the last few years it’s been used by media and commerce sites to lock people out of content or control what they can use on their sites.  For example one of the biggest uses is by the media giant Netflix who make extensive use of region locking based on your IP address.

Although the Netflix subscription is a global account, the version you access is based on your physical location.  So although I subscribed in the UK, if I logged on from Tokyo I’d get the Japanese version, in Paris the French version and so on.  Many people find this hugely inconvenient simply because the content both quantity and quality varies so much between these different versions, consider the American businessman confronted with lots of Japanese Anime content when he logs into Netflix for example.   The reason is usually cited as copyright restrictions however it is hugely inconvenient for the subscribers.


Previously users were able to switch to the versions they prefer by using a VPN or Smart DNS system to spoof their location and watch the version they wanted.   However this year, Netflix made the unprecedented step of blocking access to connections like this and people were forced to turn off their VPNs if they wanted to watch.   The same went for the Smart DNS solutions which routed part of the connection through localized servers in order to beat the locking – they all stopped working.

It been a few months now and a couple of VPN providers have figured out how to bypass Netflix’s block on VPNs and proxies however until now there have been no Smart DNS that have worked.   The issue is that Netflix are blocking all IP ranges which originate from commercial IP ranges – which unfortunately is all of them!  Now though the first company has updated their infrastructure to include residential IP addresses which you can read about here – Smart DNS Netflix.

The company haven’t released details on how they’ve got their DNS solution back working with the Netflix site however it’s almost certainly by incorporating residential based IP addresses into their infrastructure.   This is pretty much essential as any connection which originates from a commercial IP address (even if it’s not a proxy/vpn) will get blocked instantly from accessing anything on the Netflix site.   Although using DNS doesn’t provide any security and can be easier to block their are significant advantages – firstly you don’t need any software all you need is an account and then to point your DNS settings to the specified servers.  This means you can install on devices other than computers and laptops by just adjusting the network settings.  Secondly there is a little more control because you are allowing the DNS server to make decisions this can be configured by the user.   So you can determine whether you want UK, Canadian, or even US DNS Netflix settings –  indeed you can change these at will.

The battle continues between the web sites and the VPN/DNS providers and who knows if this will be the final installment.  There are certain to be further developments and it is hard to see where the next move will come from.  The logical solution for a provider of Netflix’s media sites is to standardize these across the world however this will likely reduce their revenue.

EU’s Digital Single Market

The European Union have a dream to expand the single market to the digital world or the DSM for short. It’s a very laudable goal, despite the success of dropping trade barriers for physical trade doing business in the digital world is pretty complicated at least n any scale. The problem is that in cyberspace Europe is still pretty fragmented with most companies trading through 28 sets of national laws concerning digital transactions.

This is probably one of the reasons why there are so few large technology businesses based here – only 26 of the world’s 176 biggest tech companies. Having to deal with all these different digital laws adds an estimated 5-9 billion dollars to their costs, although this is difficult to gauge accurately.


The EU is very aware of these problems which do in fact affect other countries too and their plan to bring down digital boundaries is expected to bring technology companies back to Europe. At the center of their plans is a series of aims and one of the most important is to enable people to access digital content across Europe in whatever country they are in.

The idea is that if they purchase something like a Netflix subscription in the UK then exactly the same subscription should be accessible from another European country say France. Currently this is not the case and you can’t access Netflix across boundaries without using something like a VPN to access like this.

It’s not an easy task especially as archaic copyright rules are the underlying issue in this scenario. In years gone by licensing access rights to content based on physical location seemed a sensible thing to do, unfortunately nowadays this looks increasingly inappropriate. What’s worth it causes all sorts of hidden costs and problems for both the suppliers and the consumers. In the world of digital entertainment a virtual war is under way with consumers needing to hide their physical locations and IP addresses whilst companies like Netflix block VPNs. This can cause other concerns as well because the use of this software helps keep internet connections secure and are used as a standard in the corporate world to secure their information.

There are proposed rules currently being circulated however this is a complex issue and is likely to take some time. There are concerns that these changes may be driven by corporate interests rather than creating a fair and open digital market. For example News publishers want publishers like Google to pay for the snippets they use, which would require more copyright powers not less – it is expected that these will be created in some way.

A Question of Encryption

For centuries, man has created codes to keep their secrets and for nearly  the same time others have attempted to break those codes to discover the secrets.  Over the years encryption has been at the heart of wars, politics and virtually all aspects of human history.  It has shaped the course of human history in important ways – some obvious and well documented as the battles to defeat the enigma codes in the second world war to the myriad number of international incidents enabled or protected because of cryptography.

Today encryption is arguably more important as the only feasible method of protecting our digital lives.  Securing the internet, protecting our emails and even protecting the machines we use to take cash out of the wall. Encryption and the privacy it provides protects and underpins our entire digital infrastructure.

It is an important issue and an emotive one, which is why when Government’s suggest that they should perhaps be entitled to ‘back doors’ to encryption that people feel so uncomfortable.   Not only is it a tool to protect our infrastructure it is also the only way we have to protect our personal privacy online.

Which is why so many people use a VPN (Virtual Private Networks) when they use the internet.  Without the encryption provided by these digital tunnels pretty much everything you do or say online flies across shared servers and hardware in clear, readable text.  The provide security and protection to the ordinary person who just doesn’t want their every movement logged, tracked and monitored.  So this is a problem to many – the issue is straight forward – using a proxy for Netflix yet the potential issues far reaching.

What at first seems like a genuine attempt to protect a specific service – i.e. Netflix restricting users to the service in their physical location, suggest some bigger problems. The media giant has basically enforced a rule that you cannot use the only viable privacy protection online to use their service. It is in effect a block on privacy applied through restricting VPNs. Of course they can argue that you can turn it back on after you leave a site yet we all know that’s unlikely to happen – even the inconvenience will see to that. The problems is that this is likely to spread as more and more companies and organisations see the control they can enforce.

The problem is that prior to the Netflix block, most of these filters were relatively easy to bypass however this is not the case with their method. It involves blocking commercial IP addresses and the reality means that you will need a residential based VPN in order to access these services in future. Unfortunately these are expensive and all this does is drive the price up excluding huge numbers because it of a prohibitive price. Effectively you can have privacy and security online but only if you can afford it.

Security Risks of VPN Wars

For many people VPNs represent a method of accessing content that they can’t normally see. For British ex-pats retiring in the sun, they mean the BBC News, Match of the Day and their favorite soaps. Americans abroad use them to watch Hulu, listen to Pandora or stay up to date with local news while travelling for business or pleasure. However although millions use VPNs in this way, this was never their primary purpose, which was simply security.

For many business travelers who use corporate hardware, connecting via a VPN is an essential requirement. It provides a layer of security and encryption which simply doesn’t exist on the internet, add to that a layer of encryption which protects data whilst it streams and you can see why it’s essential for anyone with business to transact online. The amazing success on the internet has been built not on a secure infrastructure but an available one, the reality is that doing anything vaguely confidential across the internet is a very risky thing to do indeed.

We need more VPNs, not less, they add a huge layer of security that every single one of us should use. How many of us have checked our email, online banking or paypal account whilst using a hotel wifi or the one at a coffee shop or airport. Are these access points secure, have they been carefully configured and secured to the highest standards – it’s highly unlikely that most have. The fact is that anyone of these points could be easily compromised and your credentials stolen.

Cybercrime like this is appealing, it’s low risk high reward crime – you can hack into (or even impersonate) a wireless access point and steal hundreds of valuable accounts. Emptying someone’s bank account digitally is way safer than mugging them in the street – you can even do it from another country. Which is why the ‘wars’ on VPNs are so dangerous, they may get upset when you unblock US Netflix by using a VPN, but the media giant are putting millions at risk by deterring the use of this technology.

There is a solution for this, and it’s not blocking anyone from watching whilst making their internet connection secure. What is needed is a fundamental change in how the large media companies license their content. It’s plainly ridiculous in an inter-connected world to sell rights to stream to one country and not the other then upload it to a globally connected network. The copyright and licensing industry seems stuck with a business model that belongs in the last century and it needs to change. Their latest restrictions mean that you even need a residential IP address to access the service which clearly millions of business and leisure travelers won’t have whilst away from their home address.

Time for the Online News

One thing I always remember from holidays of yesteryear is how completely out of touch you felt with current affairs.   Especially if you went abroad, you’d get back and ask if anything had happened – cocooned completely from news events by a fortnight in the sun.  If you went for longer, then you’d  get into week 2 and start to get desperate, perhaps rumors of a shock football result or celebrity scandal would drive you into the hotel shops where you’d find a three day old Daily Mirror for sale at ten times the normal price!

Of course, it’s all changed now – when we go on holiday we have our phones, laptops and tablets and of course the internet.  There is no doubt that communication levels have changed completely from our daily interactions with the world wide web.   However it’s still not completely straight forward because of a strange practice called region locking which automatically links your physical location to what you can see online.

You may have seen this happen when you open a search engine like Google whilst travelling, it will automatically redirect you to the local version of the search engine.  It does this by looking up your IP address to determine your location then redirecting you to the appropriate page. Unfortunately it also used to block access and thousands of web sites use it to restrict their sites to people based in certain locations including the BBC.


The BBC will route any non-UK connection through to the International version of their website, which is basically another site with all the good bits and programmes removed.   So for instance the wonderful feature that allows you to stream any BBC programme live on your laptop doesn’t work on the international version.     This is a huge disappointment if you settle down on holiday intending to watch BBC World News streaming and find that it simply won’t work despite you being a long holding UK TV license holder.

Fortunately there are now solutions involving hiding your true location by using a VPN connection.   This works as an effective IP Cloaker because the website only sees the location of the VPN server and not your real address.   Many people have been using these for many years both to supply some privacy online and to access the many websites which block content depending on your physical location.



Learning About TCP/IP Protocol

The Network Access Layer contains data link protocols like Ethernet and Token Ring. When IP receives a datagram that’s addressed to the neighborhood host, it has to pass the data part of the datagram to the right Transport Layer protocol. It’s possible to see from this quick overview that IP performs many crucial functions. As an example, IP is not intended to be reliable and is an ideal effort shipping protocol.

While IPv6 is really a typical version of IP, it isn’t yet popular in operational, commercial networks. It’s not a wholly different protocol however a conservative extension of IPv4. This emphasized the requirement to come up with the following generation protocol known as the IPv6. This is a good strategy to develop into familiar with several of the standards which exist in networking, along with how they apply to protocol stacks and when you need to refer to them.

There are many other factors which you will need to have a look at. Both of These protocols have a distinctive tradeoff. It stores data in a special storage area in this way in which the data may be retrieved as and when required. This indicates the data isn’t received within the exact order as it absolutely was sent.


All modern-day networks are now designed employing a layered approach. This model provides a brief concept about the process of information formatting, transmission, and finally the reception. The data conversion occurs at this layer. This control info is called a header, and also the addition of the header is known as encapsulation.

This describes attributes including pin configurations, voltage levels, as well as cable requirements. This layer gives you end-to-end delivery of information between two nodes. This procedure is called fragmentation. While doing that, it has to manage difficulties like network congestion, switching complications, etc..

One of the serious blessings of the web is swift communication throughout the world. A computer without the Internet nowadays isn’t even imaginable. Besides the net, computers needed to have each of the tools to deal with several high end applications. Consequently, it becomes extremely important for the OS to supply proper security so the computer’s security isn’t compromised in such instances.   These are often centered around proxies and VPN’s – this article also discussed another use of the technology – best VPN for Netflix.  It discusses how you can hide your IP address to bypass the blocks for media sites like Netflix.

We’re in the interval of networking. Computers should communicate with one another. Yearly plans are only helpful for massive multinational corporations which should transfer huge data very frequently. Many well-established providers provide a free plan under which you’re allowed to transfer 20MB with no charges, although this amount of data is minimal now but does allow you to select whether you have a US or British IP address when travelling.

Emailing has become a fantastic tool as it permits you to send several kinds of files to a lot of recipients at the same go. These allow different regions of the similar software to run at the similar time. You may always locate a different machine with features that aren’t mentioned here. All these included many different features.

Indeed, an electronic video recorder server is quite a sensitive machine. Some computers might be utilizing the FAT 32 file apparatus, even though some might use the NTFS file system. Here are a few characteristics of DVR servers. Blue-Ray discs are comparatively new.

People who understand how to transfer large files in a brief time use a reputed file transfer services. There’s absolutely no such requirement in case of the file transfer support. Those people who are conscious of the several methods of how to really send huge files ought to know that files can be transferred through FTP (File Transfer Protocol). To utilize a file transfer service you’re required to decide on a plan which may be fortnightly, monthly or yearly.

Commercial and Residential IP Address Classification

You might not think it’s important, how a particular IP address is classified and for many years you’d have been largely correct. An IP address is of course essential to take part in the largest network ever known to man – the internet. Without an IP address whatever device you have wouldn’t be able to converse via TCP/IP and as such would never be able to send an email,download a movie or browse a web site.

Of course to a computer or server there is little distinction between IP addresses, as long as each one is unique then the system will happily function. However those who control the computers, the website owners and administrators do see IP addresses in largely different ways. Take for example what happens to A French IP address when it visits the BBC web site – it quietly gets rerouted to the international version of the BBC. This is because the BBC restricts all it’s programmes and online content to license fee payers based in the UK.

All the big media sites are the same looking up the nationality of your IP address before deciding whether you’ll have access or not. It can be annoying at best and often very inconvenient particularly as we travel more and websites restrict access to a greater extent. Some banks for example restrict access to online accounts from outside the country which is fine for protecting against fraud but not so good when you want to pay a bill or check your balance when travelling!


Of course this is the internet and the more big companies tried to block and filter your access, the more workarounds appeared.  Fast forward today and pretty much all of these filters can be bypassed by using VPNs to spoof my IP address and pretend it’s from another country.  All across the world people use VPN services to take control of what they can see – instantly switching to another country when meeting yet another pesky region locked web site.

However a warning, this is likely to change in the next few months as the web sites have discovered a way to block these services.   It has always been possible to check and block individual IP addresses from VPN services however it is extremely time consuming and allows providers to simply switch addresses easily.  Now Netflix have introduced a new method for blocking the VPNs by using the IP address classifications rather than their location.

Each IP address is assigned to either a commercial or residential user for utilization.  All the companies with private address spaces and the data centres will have ‘commercial’ ip addresses whilst ISPs will use mainly ‘residential’ IP addresses which are assigned to you and me.  Unfortunately this stark distinction between the two types of IP addresses works perfectly as a method of blocking the use of VPNs.   Virtually every VPN is assigned a commercial IP address because the servers are all based in data centers across the world – so blocking these addresses basically stops people accessing their web sites through a proxy or VPN server.   Netflix have done this and suddenly millions of people who need VPNs to access the site have been blocked – simply VPNs no longer work.

Although I should clarify that commercial IP VPNs no longer work – if you want to read about the next stage in this virtual battle , you’ll need to find a residential VPN service.   That is a virtual private network which has access to residential IP addresses which can’t be blocked.


Communication Battles – Blocking the VPNs

There was a hope that the internet would eventually help break down geographical and social barriers, and in some ways it has.  However where you are and who you are still have a huge effect on what you can do or access online.  Many internet entrepreneurs for example have huge difficulties running online businesses from places like Africa or India, simply because they lack access to many marketing and payment sites.   Using Paypal to receive payments is much more straight forward from the US or Europe than it is in Nigeria for instance.   There are a variety of reasons for these difficulties relating to unregulated financial systems and the much higher risk of fraud but it still has a huge negative impact.

There are many other restrictions online, including from the world’s most popular sites – media companies like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and the BBC all operate forms of region locking.   This is the system of restricting or blocking access depending on your physical location.  Mostly this is due to the rather antiquated copyright systems not really designed for the internet age – the company licenses for broadcast in North America so have to stop someone watching from anywhere else.

It’s kind of crazy and led to the mass use of proxies and VPNs to hide your location so that these blocks wouldn’t work.  The idea is that I could connect through a proxy and effectively hide my IP, the web sites sees the address of the server and not your real one – so you’d connect through a US server for things like Hulu and a UK one for the BBC.  This has worked for years and VPNs are now commonplace on most computers and smart devices – they are still almost impossible to detect (although proxies can be detected and are often blocked automatically).

Yet this is now changing as one of the biggest media firms Netflix has stepped up their attempts to control these connections.  They seem to be under commercial pressure probably from the owners and distributors of the movies and media that they broadcast to stop people using these online IP changer programs to bypass their blocks.

This is what commonly happens now if you use a VPN to connect through to Netflix –


The web site still can’t detect the presence of the VPN but instead has figured out that it is being used because of the IP address of the connection.    This is because as well as being categorized by location there are two other important labels assigned to addresses – commercial and residential.   Netflix has decided that instead of trying to detect and block the VPN technology it will instead block a specific category of IP address – commercial this means that Netflix is blocking proxies and VPNs with almost 100% effectiveness.

All these commercial addresses are typically assigned to corporate networks and data centres (where the VPN servers mostly are located), so by blocking these you effectively block access to every VPN too.  There is some collateral damage when people are not able to stream to their Netflix account from work but that’s likely to be negligible anyway.  Now the only IP addresses that are allowed through are the residential ones which are normally assigned via your ISP.

There is of course, a logical solution -simply ensure that the VPN servers are assigned residential IP addresses instead of commercial ones.  A couple of the VPN service providers have worked this out and are utilising such a solution, however expect the market to shrink as residential IP addresses are more expensive and more difficult to source.   You can read more about this situation in this post which illustrates one of the residential VPN services currently available.

Using a Proxy to Hide Your IP Address

If you live in somewhere like China, Thailand or Turkey them you’re probably already aware of the benefits of switching your IP address.  These are just a few countries which extend their governmental control online by filtering and censoring what you can do or see online.

China has the most extensive and pervasive internet filters, usually described as the ‘ The Great Firewall of China’ , however there are many countries attempting to emulate this control across the world particularly by despotic regimes.  Although it sounds trivial, the blocking of a few web sites usually ends up by extending to a vast list of unavailable sites.  These are often legitimate sites and organisations which the ruling powers have deemed unsuitable – including social networking sites like Facebook where free speech is obviously encouraged.


Other times the blocks come from the destination site, for example if you try and access the US media site like Hulu to catch some Simpsons, you’ll get blocked it you have a non-US  IP address. In fact most of the media sites across the world work on this basis, blocking all non-domestic addresses from accessing their content.

Sometimes this is genuinely depressing, for example the BBC News would be a fantastic source of impartial news in countries where there is a less than free press.  However try and watch the BBC News Live or from the iPlayer site and you’ll get blocked from all these countries.   I often think even if all the programmes are blocked then at least the news should be accessible across the world over the internet.

However the reality is that it is really available with some little effort and expense, by hiding your real location.  The BBC site, like all other internet media and TV sites can be accessed if you hide your connection behind a server based in that country.  For example to watch the BBC online from somewhere like China you just need to use a UK IP proxy to bounce your web requests through.   Then when the BBC site looks at your IP address it will see the address of the server, which as it is based in the UK will register you as a UK user and the site will be fully functional.

In fact although this sounds slightly technical it is in fact very simple to do and it is estimated that over 60 million people access the BBC site ever week using proxies and VPNs to hide their real location (i.e. outside the UK).  It is almost a farcical solution very much like the fact that Netflix had nearly quarter of a million Australian subscribers before the channels was supposedly even be accessible there.

Smart Buying on the Digital Marketplace

We mentioned in  the previous post the problems that are facing many digital retailers who are trying to see over the internet.  The reality is that although the Internet should provide a level, global platform that is actually some way from the truth.  Internet users have vastly different experiences and have access to different sites depending on their location.



For example you’ll find the same product or service available at different costs over the internet depending on your location.  Buying the same flight, from the same airline can cost much more from one country that another, which is obviously completely unfair.  The technique is called price discrimination and is the way that companies can maximise their profits by selling their goods or services at the maximum price possible.  They do this by splitting up the markets, which is difficult but not  impossible to do online.

The method involves allocating a price structure based on  your IP address, or more specifically where the IP address is registered too.  So if you arrive at the Netflix site from a French IP address then you’ll be assigned to the French version of Netflix.  It can be gained to the customer’s benefit too, you merely choose the best value product then go and buy IP address to match that location.

The battle has begun then, at least  those who have the technical know-how to fight their corner.  Anyone else just has to accept the fact that you may have to pay more for a worse service than someone across a border than you.   Often though you won’t have any access to that service at all – until recently for example Netflix was only available in a North America and a few European countries.  However using these tools like VPNs or a Smart DNS proxy then a couple of million Australian users have been members for years without it being officially available there.

The market simply has to change and hopefully sometime in the future there will be a genuine, seamless digital marketplace where we all buy goods and services at exactly the same price.  The European Union is pushing to create something like this in Europe but there is uncertainty about how high a priority this is currently.



Splitting up Global Media Sites

The digital marketplace is of course a relatively new concept that has seen huge growth over the last few years. In fact as a concept it didn’t really exist twenty years ago but nowadays billions of dollars of transactions take place every year.

Specifically of course, we’re referring to non-physical products – digital goods and services which can be delivered over the internet without physical packaging or the need for a store. One of the biggest and most profitable areas is of course media and entertainment. Companies like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon have invested heavily in the delivery of digital entertainment like music, films and TV series which can be streamed directly into your living room.

This of course sounds great in theory, one product which can be effectively delivered to a global market with minimal distribution costs – it sounds like a model for success. However it’s not quite that simple for a variety of reasons which can be difficult to understand. One of the main problems is licensing particularly for the broadcasters, who negotiate distribution rights based on location. This means that what they can stream into a room in France is very different to what they can stream into an American household.

So the global product is actually very difficult to achieve with current traditional licensing agreements. In fact many services are simply not available in some countries, you can pay for something online and only access it in a specific physical location.


It’s something that the European Union are trying to change, to establish the first truly digital marketplace. The idea is that if you buy something in Germany online then it is available to you wherever you happen to be in Europe, irrespective of your location. At the moment thought then this is a concept that simply doesn’t exist.

What a potentially global provider does is check on your location and then delivers the goods or services depending on your location. However this can lead to some distinct differences in the services that are received and how good they are. Of course, this is a very clumsy way of using a global delivery system like the internet and it can actually be exploited.

For example the US version of Netflix is considered to be far superior to any other version available in the world. So people use various systems to ensure that they can access this version when they subscribe to Netflix. From using proxies to using an American DNS for Netflix, means that you can actually select the US version irrespective of where you actually live.

This will have to change, because the technological barriers applied don’t really work. For example BBC iPlayer is supposedly only available in the UK but estimates are that over 60 million people watch it from outside the UK, roughly the entire population of Britain. The reality is that it’s easy to watch iPlayer USA side by just hiding your real location.

Case: Prisertagsten – The handyman

Read more about the work of a handymanIt’s time for a new case here at, this time about a local handyman and his company prisertagsten. Another success story of a small company taking the step from a small one person local company, to getting a lot of new customers online. Let’s start out by taking a look at what kind of busines Prisertagsten – the Handyman really is, and go through the steps he took by expanding his company from a one person local business, to have a few employees and providing his server to many more customers.

Background of prisertagsten

As mentioned earlier, the company Prisertagsten is run by Sten, a local handyman doing all types of carpenter, plumming and minor construction tasks, such as installing a new kitchen, renovating a carport, putting up a nyt tag, fixing up the pool etc. He has been doing this type of work for the last 15 years and a small base of loyal regular customers, who often uses his services. But this customer base it to small for Sten to get a nice salery every month, so he has to drive around and do various types of advertising, like putting up notes, offeringer special discounts and asking other companies if they need any help.

The Handyman

A few months ago, I need a carpenter to help fix my broken garage, and I hired the handyman Sten for the job. He did a great job and we ended up talking about marketing doing his work. We put together a small strategy of how we could get the service of Prisertag out to more people, and expand the handyman’s area of work. You can see more about the work of a handyman here.

Going from local to online

The first thing we did, was to take his 5 year old website and freshen it up with a modern design, add some more content, like describing what kind of jobs he did and how much it would cost to hire him. After that we setup an Adwords campaign, targeting the local area and a 50 mile radius. We also had a few of his old customers post a review about his work, so that others could see what a great service he offered.

Expanding the business

Already on the second day, he started getting more work, several customers had called or emailed him about some tasks and after a week, he asked me to put the adwords on pause, since he had more work than he could handle alone. I suggested that instead of saying no to work, he should at least considering bring in some temporary extra employees for Priser Tagsten. A few days later he had hired to unemployeed carpenters and then things started to speed up. Now almost a year later, he has 3 people working for him full time, and the business is going really well. Not only does he still have this local customer base, but also customers in many of the other cities near his own, such as Aalborg or Sæby. Sten the Handyman and his business PriserTagsten is now doing really well, and a lot of this success is due to him taking the step from a small one person local business, to an online business.

So as you can see, ofte it’s a good idea to not only focus on the area right next door, but look a bit further and see if you can offer your products or services to more people. In case it’s more work than you can handle, then it could consider hiring more people to help you out, and thereby growing your business.

Video your Way to Success

Creating videos for your business used to be an expensive and complicated, in fact most smaller companies would never get involved in this way of marketing. However nowadays it’s changed dramatically with much cheaper equipment costs, you can even shoot a video on your phone.

Although falling costs for equipment were partly a barrier for most people, the biggest hurdle was definitely the knowledge required to actually produce a decent video promoting your business or services. It was complicated and time consuming unless you were very experienced at producing such things, hiring people obviously solved this but increased the expense. However that’s all changed now and there are a host of tools available online that can help you produce a slick online video quickly and easily.

Here’s an example of one such tool which is an online slideshow video maker, from a company called Noble Samurai who produce a host of online tools.

You can see from the demonstration that you need virtually no knowledge of video creation to produce a professional looking video that can be used to promote your business. The software is designed to minimize the creation time and so is ideal for producing a large volume of videos which are usually needed to create a successful YouTube channel.

There are lots of other tools like this which are available both online or as computer software to run on a PC or laptop. Which product you use is probably reliant on the style of videos you want to create, for instance for cartoony style presentations why not have a look at Powtoon.

Video marketing is becoming big business now online, there are so many millions of users who rarely step outside the YouTube interface. You can also promote your videos through paid advertising through Google Adwords which can make commercial sense.

Jenny Hallston
Editor Video Online

Using Video to Promote Your Business

For many years we read about the expansion of the internet, how many more users, sites etc every year. However nowadays the discussion is how we use and access the internet and that’s changing dramatically too. For years Google has been the main entry to the internet if we were looking for something, anything however that’s not the case for many people. Sure you’ll still find Google on millions of homepages but you’ll also find sites like Facebook and Youtube there too, more significantly both these sites have the capacity and technology to provide search results too.

This means that simply obtaining high search engine rankings for your site may not always be enough and you should look at other sites to promote your business online if you want to succeed. One of the obvious targets is YouTube and if you’re already promoting your sites in the SERPS then this is a logical next step. YouTube is owned by Google and it has it’s own search engine built into the site, it also has literally of millions of active users.

To access the YouTube users you obviously need videos which is where many businesses come unstuck. However this doesn’t need to be difficult as there are many places which can help – this video demonstrates video making software online which is very easy to use.

The system demonstrated here is called Content Samurai and is one of many such applications you can find on the internet which enable anyone to produce professional looking videos with no experience or prior knowledge. If you want different types of videos look for companies like Powtoons or Animoto which provide similar services but a different style of videos.

There’s no doubt that YouTube is one of the most important sites on the internet nowadays and it’s actually very business friendly with few restrictions on content. There are a host of video editing tools within YouTube itself if you need to make any adjustments. You can also redirect users to your web site after they’ve watched the video – just look at including annotations in your videos.

Hayley Forrester
Video Online Editor