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Tag: Technology (Page 1 of 3)

Breaking Through the (Pay)Wall

UPDATE: Apparently, my syntax on the custom filters was incorrect.  I have corrected them below.  Limited testing has verified these filters as working in both Firefox and Chrome.

The small number of people who follow me on Twitter are well aware of my distaste for the implementation of the paywall on  Given how obstreperous I found the paywall to be, I opted to remove the RSS feeds for the sun from Google Reader. It would be a cold day in Hell before I would return to view content on!

I had not paid much attention to how to workaround the paywall, as I had already implemented a simple workaround–use Incognito Mode in Google Chrome (or the equivalent setting in a modern browser of your choice).  After some time of successfully using this workaround, though, I decided take a deeper dive into how to solve this. Needless to say, thanks to reddit and some tools already at my disposal, the solution is pretty simple.

Some of you who read this might complain that I am stealing content.  I would counter by stating that I am just leveraging technology to take advantage of a feature in the paywall that Tribune Media has invested in.  I would also reply with the following image:

Interestingly, many of the sites that implement this paywall technology–Press+ from RR Donnelleyadmit to knowing about the existence of a workaround to the paywall.  They explain it away, however, by stating that the technical knowledge required to do so is too much for the average user.  In other words, most users are too dumb to realize how easy it is to get around paying for a digital subscription, so we will profit from the dumb.

Following the very simple how-to below, however, shows this to be pretty easy to implement.

  1. Install Google Chrome (if you have not done so already).
  2. Go to the Chrome Web Store, and search for Adblock Plus for Google Chrome (Beta).  Install the extension.
  3. Once it is installed, go to the wrench icon to the right of the address bar, then click Tools|Extensions.
  4. Select the Options link for Adblock Plus.
  5. Click on the Add your own filters tab.
  6. In the text box next to “+ Add filter,” paste the following filter:
    Click the “+ Add filter” button once done.
  7. Repeat the previous step for the following filter:
  8. Once done, open up a new tab to  Enjoy paywall-free browsing, and feel free to say with me “SUCK IT, Tribune Media!”


Bandwidth Concerns

With all the conversation around the FCC’s Broadband Plan, I decided to see what my bandwidth speeds were lately.  My latest test shows my download and upload speeds to be quite good.

I think I can deal with 21 Mb/s down and 3.5 Mb/s up.

I also discovered someone linking to an image on my blog.  Now, my concern is certainly not over the bandwidth consumption.  The fine host I have–A2 Hosting–is quite generous with my bandwidth caps, and my blog is by no means famous.  Still, it was the principle of it all.  I made some edits to my .htaccess file, and the page linked above now has one of the more legendary images to make the rounds on the Internet.

Oh, Hello There!

It’s been a while since I have had a moment to sit down and compose a blog post.  Thus, I am forced to update everyone in the most immediate way possible.

  • Professionally, things are well yet busy.  I would not have it any other day.
  • After the end of snow and the coming onslaught of rain, I spent today cleaning my house from top to bottom.  It needed it, and I actually feel like I accomplished something as a result.
  • After some research, I decided to purchase a Blu-Ray DVD player.  Specifically, I ordered a Samsung BD-P3600 from TigerDirect.  TigerDirect was having a pretty good deal on the player, so I figured why not.
  • Lately, there have been two songs that I have been unable to get out of my head.
    • The Filet-o-Fish Song
      • Even with a DVR, I cannot get this stupid ad jingle out of my head.
    • Shots, LMFAO featuring Lil Jon
      • Yet again, the music selection at my gym strikes again.  In this case, as I was wrapping up my workout on Thursday morning, this little ditty became permanently ingrained into my brain.  I have no idea who this other rap group is, but I am all too familiar with Lil Jon, thanks to Dave Chappelle. Damn you, Lil Jon!
  • Opening Day 2010 for the Baltimore Orioles will soon be upon us.  I have yet to acquire a ticket, but I will begin that search soon enough.
  • In the book-reading department, I finished reading The Quants.  Expect a review of that book sometime this week.  Also, I am almost finished reading SuperFreakonomics.

There you have it—a concise update.

Some Home Networking Activity

Today, I decided to look into the process it would take to connect my TV to my home network.  I recently purchased an updated version of my old router, a Linksys WRT54GL, the Linux version of the venerable WRT54G family of wireless routers.  I was using it to replace a Belkin router I had, primarily since I pined for a return to using the DD-WRT firmware.  The Belkin will be relegated to a new home (with my girlfriend). 

The other part of this little effort involved running some network cabling to my Samsung HDTV.  My TV has an Ethernet port on the back of it, and it has the capability to run some widgets.  My nerd curiosity has gotten the best of me, as I really want to see this TV is capable of when connected to the Internet.  Personally, I am looking forward to using it to stream content.  Now, there is a wireless adapter for my TV, as it also has a USB port, but the network admin in me says the best way to get streaming content is to make sure the connection is stable. 

This project is going to take a bit more effort than I thought. 

  • I need to find out where some of the wiring in my home goes, but I need to get a flashlight. 
  • My house has structured wiring, as all the cable and phone wiring come to one central point in the basement.  The problem here is that makes it a bit more difficult to trace wires. 
  • My wireless router is in my office, and my office is an addition to the original back of my house.  Consequently, I need to find out how the cable and phone wiring was run to my office in the back of the house from the central point where all of my structured wiring resides. 
  • I need to figure out how I want to run the wire to the television from my basement.  I would like to run it using one of the two conduits I see, but I have a feeling that idea will require more work. 

The goal here is to run the cabling as neat as possible without damaging any walls.  It’s possible, but it is a project that is going to take me the better part of a weekend afternoon. 

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