The Internet of Things (an actual term used to refer to the ever growing list of internet connected gadgets populating our homes) seems like a good idea. I, your blogess, love the idea of walking into a room and commanding it to tend to my environmental needs, like Picard dictating his favored ambient temperature, light level, and music selection all at once before ordering a nice mug of Earl Grey (hot).
We just aren’t there yet, as much as I wish we were. It seems that daily, we see another story about ‘Smart’ devices recording, watching, listening in. Here’s a short list of Smart Things which have betrayed their users:
We’d like to welcome to our team Bartas, who will be taking on the roles of technical support analyst and programmer. We thought this would be a great time to start doing some staff profiles so that you, our beloved customers, can get to know the people behind the proxies.
We asked Bartas a few questions as the inaugural profile. Here’s what he had to say!
Where are you from, and what’s the best thing about your home town?
Well, I grew up in a small mountain town in Colorado. The best thing about that town is it’s smallness and cuteness. It had all these nice little shops and there were only a few thousand people living there. There was this true small town feeling. I also remember spending all day jumping from rock to rock in the river that runs through the middle of the town on a hot summer day. And in the winter during the ski season, you could hear the “booms” of the dynamite the avalanche control crews used on unstable snow pack way up above the treeline.
What drew you to FoxyProxy? Were you a user prior to joining the team?
I remember using the original FoxyProxy extension for Firefox a long time ago. What drew me to FoxyProxy was speaking with Eric, the founder and CEO of FoxyProxy, and realizing that we were on the same page on many issues such as privacy in computing as well as a commitment to excellent customer service.
How long have you been interested in computer programming?
You’re something of a baker, according to your bio. Do you have any feelings on The Great British Bake Off’s ‘Brexit’ from the BBC? (I also love baking, and this broke my heart.)
You know, I love baking, but I have to say I haven’t seen The Great British Bake Off. But now it’s on my list of shows to watch.
What’s an interesting hobby you have that people might not expect from you?
A few months back I heard about the health benefits of broccoli sprouts. I just started, but they are already germinating and soon I won’t have to pay five dollars for a handful of sprouts from the store!
Have you got any pets?
My one pet is a snuggly Australian Cattle Dog/American Bulldog. He’s really sweet, inquisitive, and loyal.
Star Trek or Star Wars, and why?
First of all as a disclaimer, I have only seen a few movies from each universe, not to mention the other media both universes have produced. Based purely on feel and my uneducated judgement on the subject, I’ll have to go with Star Trek. (this is the correct answer. – ed.)
Look, it’s a weird time right now. The world is going through some stuff and no matter what area of the globe you occupy, chances are that things are happening which are making you say ‘This is weirder than usual.’
Speaking of the internet and how private we humans are while using it, Firefox just released a privacy focused browser for iOS users. It will probably come in handy for our friends in the UK, after their own government just quietly introduced some very heavy handed surveillance legislation.
The bottom line is, we’ve been here for 10 yearswith the goal of keeping information flowing over all parts of the world. We fight for Internet freedom. We advocate for privacy, free speech, free press, government transparency, sensible copyright and sensible DRM.
We have been getting a flood of complaints about accounts not working in the last 12 hours.
We hear you!
Our servers are actually up and have been up this whole time. Our suspicion is that there is another DDoS attack on the internet causing general internet problems, like that big one that happened recently. You may have read about the recent attacks in the last week since it affected millions of people. Here is one story about it
These problems affect some geographic areas but not others. They also affect some websites but not others.
That is not something we can control, but please know we are investigating the situation and looking for remediation.
There actually is no need to buy a license, and you won’t be asked to supply any personal information to the BBC. All you need to do when you see the dialog box (see the handy illustration below) is click ‘I have a TV license.’
Another concern has been whether the BBC can somehow how figure out that you’re using a proxy. Don’t worry, the answer is no!
Once you do that, you’ll be on your way to all the BBC programming you know and love, whether you’re breathlessly watching Paul and Mary judging bakes on The Great British Bake Off or catching up on Poldark’s bodice ripping adventures.
A bit of exciting news: we’ve added Costa Rica to our list of available countries!
Costa Rica is home to the most magical place on Earth. The Sloth Sanctuary.
Check out our servicesand choose something that’s right for you. We have paid proxy/VPN service that comes with our full customer support and service, and we also offer free downloads if you’re more the do it yourself type.
You business folks out there should also know that we offer custom plans for a whole range of corporate needs. There’s a reason we’ve been around for 10 years!
Check out some recent feedback from our customers:
‘Rarely these days do products live up to the hype. FoxyProxy not only lives up to the hype but exceeds it beyond all expectations. Runs solid, straight out of a very easy to install package (VPN)’ – via Facebook
‘It’s been 3 months, maybe more, My Android signs in to Foxyproxy in 2 seconds, much faster than in the past. Not only that, but it has a faster transfer speed. I like what you are doing, keep it up folks. You’ll soon rule the internet proxy service.’ – via Facebook
Gawking at Gawker
Some of you may have heard about the recent bankruptcy via lawsuit of Gawker media. Some of you may have even enjoyed it a little bit, because let’s be frank here…Gawker has made some very poor editorial and journalistic choices.
Very poor. One of those poor choices was to out PayPal founder Peter Thiel back in 2007. It’s never ok to out someone who doesn’t want to be outed, and that particular editorial decision came back to bite them in the ass recently when Thiel teamed up with Hulk Hogan who was suing Gawker Media for releasing a private sex tape.
Thiel financially backed Hoganin his lawsuit as retribution for the piece from Gawker outing him, with the intent of taking the company down. And it worked, as you know. So what does this mean for journalistic freedom when a man with a lot of money and a grudge can set out with the intent of silencing journalists (For all the bad pieces they ran, Gawker does employ actual journalists and has produced numerous pieces of merit)?
Here is a great piece on why we shouldn’t be celebrating the downfall of Gawker. From the article:
The Gawker story is just as much about press freedom and the emerging threat of millionaires and billionaires … who are financially capable of destroying journalists and publications for nothing more than shits and giggles.
In the end, Gawker was shuttered after having to approach a media giant for a financial lifeline. Granted, this really was just the final nail in the coffin, as this piece details that there were possibly many factors to why Univision chose to shutter Gawker.com while keeping the remaining Gawker Media properties running.
Only time will tell what this ruling and it’s fallout mean for the future of journalists who ruffle the feathers of the financially powerful, and that is a potentially dangerous road to go down.
If so, you and a few million of your friends have been having fun exploring, catching Pokémon, and battling it out with other enthusiasts in the augmented reality geocaching tiny monster hunting phenomenon.
Awesome! Kids and adults are running around and having fun. It’s something we need to see right now, collectively as humans, because unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that a lot of things out in the world seem a little bit awful right now.
However…because this is The Internet you should also know that nothing will remain innocent for long.
You’ve probably heard that the Pokémon Go app is pretty liberal with your privacypermissions. Some of these make sense, such as access to your camera and location services which are pretty necessary for the game to work.
Some folks have been raising alarm bells over the permissions for this game, understandably, and it’s enough to keep a lot of people from trying out the game.
Our absolute favorite on this front, however, goes to Gawker.
Pokémon Go is a Vast Government Fueled Psy-op Intelligence Gathering Conspiracy!
By now you know how much I, your blogess (is blogatrix better?) love a good conspiracy theory. And this one is a great one. Ashley Feinberg of Gawker Media does a really great and pretty thorough explanation of why Pokemon Go is actually a Government conspiracy.
To break it down, she essentially posits that the ties which the game’s creator has with government intelligence agencies will allow the government to gather data on everything from your movements to mapping the insides of buildings.
Does this sound far fetched? Some in China don’t think so. There are already rumors swirling that the game is a Trojan Horse of sorts, a plot by Japan and the US to pinpoint the locations of Chinese military bases.
It’s a good read, and well worth your time.
So what do you think, dear readers? Is it all a vast Government Conspiracy?
There’s a reason we’ve been in the business for 10 years. We’re good at what we do.
Anyway, those interesting times have meant that I’ve been in the UK for the past couple of weeks, so it could be worse. In the midst of eating as much clotted cream (Google it) as I possibly can, and doing my best to soak up the Cornish sun, I stumbled across a bit of good old fashioned internet censorship while trying to do some catching up on my stories via a video streaming site.
This being Britain, it’s polite and to the point, loading up this simple message:
Naturally, I followed the linkto get a better idea of just who decided that I couldn’t internet surf freely. Which led me to this:
If you have a moment, take a look for yourselves. It turns out that the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has a lot of influence over what our friends in the UK can see. Over 60 sites on that list are blocked by order of the MPAA, with even more getting blacklisted courtesy of the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry), and the Premier Football League. As you might suspect, these blocked sites are mostly streaming, torrents, and sports streaming websites.
Cartier has also obtained court orders against some of these websites. Yes, the jewelry company. Most of the websites they and a couple other jewelry companies have blocked are what I assume are knockoff sales sites.
YES, WE SAY. We’re so excited about our shiny new websitethat we’re offering you 50% off any purchase. Just use the code a-new-hope at checkout. We’ve made some changes in layout and function, making things easier all around. Have a look, and let us know what you think!
It’s certainly worth the read, and it really drives home the point that the motives and methods of so many players on the VPN scene these days are questionable, at best.
Our founder, Eric Jung, took a few minutes to point out just why FoxyProxy meets so many demands for dependable VPN service.
What To Look For
is the VPN using up-to-date protocols, what’s the reputation of the company and the people behind it (and their history or expertise), are terms of service easy to understand, what does the VPN protect against and what doesn’t it cover, and is the service honest about its disclosures?
FoxyProxy, in business 10 years and going strong, with tens of millions of customers served. We forever changed the way proxies and VPNs were used by creating awesome F/OSS software for Firefox and Chrome. We are all career IT professionals with decades of experience each.
No noobs here.
Aside from these factors, Campbell recommends looking at any company activism, which he says is likely to demonstrate how much an organization cares about customer privacy.
FoxyProxy donates free accounts to Columbia and Harvard Universities for price discrimination and privacy research. We donate to the EFF, FreePress, StopWatchingUs, Center for Democracy and Technology, Center for Biological Diversity, Tor Project, and others.
As a final precaution, Campbell also looks for VPNs that do not use third-party systems to capture sensitive customer data. “Any VPN service that respects their customers’ privacy will self-host all systems that interact with customers, such as third-party live chat scripts, support ticketing systems, blog comments, etc. Customers often submit very sensitive information in support requests without knowing that the VPN provider doesn't have exclusive control over the system,” he said.
Yup. We use highly-customized, self-hosted versions of osTicket, phpBB, and WordPress for support, as well as a number of custom-written back-office systems, all self-hosted.
So there you have it.
People are right to question the business practices, ethics, and motivation behind companies offering VPN services. FoxyProxy has the answers you need to feel good about using our service.