Netflix Bites The Hand That Feeds Them

Good morning, everyone! We’ve made it to the third Monday of the year. It’s been a rough one so far, in some regards.

Your blogatrix is still reeling about David Bowie, to be honest.

But in other news! You’ve all heard the rumblings about Netflix suddenly deciding that VPN and proxy usage is a no-no. Why did this happen? Who knows, but their announcement of expansion into 130 countries may have something to do with this. They have been under pressure from Hollywood for a while about restricting content and abiding by licensing agreements, so this move may be a way to placate the entertainment hand that feeds them while at the same time biting the other hand which feeds them; paying customers.

the hand

The question remains about how well they’ll be able to effectively ban the tech. But does Netflix actually WANT to do this? Or will it be making a show and a little bit of effort with the intent of quieting the folks pressuring them about international licensing? Netflix must be fully aware that the very international users it’s seeking to block account for a chunk of income it doesn’t want to lose.

Rest assured, dear foxes, that we’ll be playing this cat and mouse game to the fullest! FoxyProxy will be doing our best to stay ahead of the game to keep providing you with the service you need. We’ll be keeping a close on things as they develop.

 

And why not? Netflix is all part of the big conspiracy anyway.

No One Loves Zardoz

Fact: Fennec Foxes are stackable for easy storage

stack

Hello and good morning, readers. The first week of 2016 is down – only 51 more to go! By the way, 2016 is our 10th year in business. In Tech Years, that’s approximately 137 years. We’ve managed to do it by sticking with our ethics and striving to provide our customers with the best service we can give, and putting our free, open-source software out there for everyone.

This week’s weekly run-down has a bunch of good stuff! All useful, and entertaining. You’ll laugh, cry, maybe roll your eyes, possibly snicker.

Netflix has announced that it’s now live in 130 countries, which means there’s even more to binge watch. BOY it’s a good thing you know where to find awesome proxy and VPN service, isn’t it?

Speaking of Netflix:  This story about Netflix’s genre code system has been out and about on the web this week. Sadly, “Steamy Cult Movies” has only one entry (Surprisingly not Zardoz) but it’s Barbarella which is really all you need.

Zardoz would like to respectfully disagree.
Zardoz would like to respectfully disagree.

T Mobile caught red-handed throttling video  The EFF has shown that T Mobile is just indiscriminately throttling video streaming under the “Binge On Optimization” service it recently introduced. Not good, T Mobile. Not good at all. Maybe customers can throttle their payments?

Samsung is doing its part to bring on The Singularity   Smart fridges, smart ovens, smart houses, smart watches, you name it, Samsung wants to put a chip in it and give it a touch screen interface.

David Bowie has died  Died, or returned back to his galaxy of origin as I prefer to think. It’s not entirely FoxyProxy related, but we’ve all felt like a weirdo, outsider, other, haven’t we? And he was our Galactic Prince of the Other.

 

bowie

Happy 2016!

Good morning! The Earth has successfully hurtled around the sun once more, bringing us to the first Monday of 2016. Time to take off the pajamas and put pants back on for the first time in days. Let’s get back to it.

2015 was great at times, really very terrible at other times, and mediocre quite a lot. Next week we’re going to do a bit of a retrospective, but for now, here’s hoping 2016 is going to be a good one, a better one, for everyone.

At least this hasn't happened yet.
At least this hasn’t happened yet.

Hey! Did you know that FoxyProxy was founded in 2006, making 2016 our 10th anniversary year! We’re pretty proud to have been in the game for so long, as a privately owned corporation in a business rife with fly-by-night companies and shady operators with less than stellar ethics.

Being is business for so long means we have a good understanding of what corporate customers need, as well. If you’re in the market for corporate proxy and VPN service, look no further. We can even work with you to come up with a custom package perfect for your needs.

 

Procrastination Time! Here are some good/interesting/strange things to fill your first Monday morning back at work, topped off as usual with another fantastic and 100% believable conspiracy for you folks to ponder.

The BBC got hit with a DDOS attack  The Beebs was down for a span of a few hours on   New Year’s eve. Everything seems to be back to normal for now, so we can all put the kettle on and relax until this whole thing blows over.

The NSA has finally gone to far for the US Congress  The many headed beast known as the US Congress was stirred from its holiday slumber by allegations that the NSA has been keeping tabs on conversations between Israel and various American politicians.

Mark Zuckerberg wants to create Jarvis   A good deal of this is doable with already existing tech, though he wants to make it even more cohesive. An AI in charge of the house and data of Mark Zuckerberg? Here’s hoping he hammers home Asimov’s Three Laws.

A Biologist did an actual study on Zombie preparedness  And guess what? We’re doomed, which comes as no surprise at all. But…what about Werewolf preparedness?  

The iWatch is an Illuminati conspiracy to prepare us for Transhumanism.  Makes sense, right?

Listen to Ray Bradbury

Fox Fact: some foxes have retractable claws, like cats. 

We're very confused right now
We’re very confused right now

 

Happy Monday! It’s been an eventful week, and if you’re like me and the other millions of people out there, you went to see the new Star Wars. If you haven’t seen it yet I won’t spoil it for you, but I will give you the gentle reminder that when it releases to Netflix next year, Canada will be the only place with the Netflix streaming rights.

Of course, you could get around that by purchasing our Canadian proxy/VPN service, or downloading our free browser plug ins and software to do it yourself.

sm501stlogo2
The Empire’s ultra-polite Stormtrooper unit.

One of the cool stories out this week featured a new HTTP Error code which indicates that content has been blocked by a government agency. The code? 451. It’s a great use of a literary work, and most of us immediately grasp the significance of the numbers 451.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Fahrenheit 451 is a book by Ray Bradbury, depicting a future where books are outlawed, and rather than putting out fires, Firemen are dispatched to burn books wherever they are found.

It’s a bit more complicated than that, but you get the idea.

It made me recall, though, reading about how Bradbury himself hated the fact that everyone assumed it was about government censorship, in the 1984 sense of the term. He’s quoted as saying that the book is about television replacing literature. At first, the people of his book voluntarily stopped reading and then eventually the state outlawed books altogether as a source of dangerous social deviance.

In the novel, books served to make people think too much. Books made the people turn off the TVs, stop listening to the state sponsored entertainment/news, discuss new ideas, and so forth. Television was used to divert attention away from anything that would cause societal disruption. Even the looming threat of war was an afterthought to those consumed by the comforting glow of the stories and entertainment fed through the TV.

So, keep reading. Use this magic information box called a computer to read whatever you can. Learn new and weird things. Talk about them. Discuss and debate things with people who think differently than you do. Don’t let governments or agencies or corporations distract you from the real world, and all those things that are so important.

fahrenheit-451

 

 

Choose Your Own Screaming Foxes

Fox Facts: Foxes scream, and it’s actually a little disturbing. 

         

 

Good morning, Fox Fans. Another Monday is here, and that means another blog post from your favorite proxy providing party people.

We offer paid service to give you access to our top notch proxy and VPN servers, as well as a bunch of free downloads for you folks who like to do it yourself.  I want to also take a minute and re-direct you to our blog post from last week. Be refreshed by the concept of a company which actually sticks to its ethics!

As always, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

So what cool, weird, and/or fun things do I have lined up for you today? Keep reading and find out. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure, but with stories of varying importance instead of actual adventure.

All the endings are either "You eat the seal" or "The seal gets away and you starve."
All of the endings are either “You eat the seal” or “The seal gets away and you starve.”

The First Website launched 25 years ago at the CERN research facility. The creator is still actively working to protect the open web against censorship and attempts to crush net neutrality. See? Demon summoning isn’t all they’re up to at CERN.

The Dawn of Electronics saw some great art emerge The golden age of advertising, paired with the emergence of technology for the everyday consumer inspired a lot of great art. Excuse me while I order some prints.

Those fun Facebook quizzes eat your personal data  I know they’re temping. But resist! Do you really need to know your Star Wars name that badly? Is it so important to let Facebook choose your Patronus Spirit? Do you really need to know how long you would survive in Westeros? The answer to that last one is approximately four days.

Looking for some Retro-AltHistory Nostalgia Art?  Because I’m on an art kick this week, here is some lovely retro tech infused, alternate reality nostalgic art. Just click, it all works together.

Data Surveillance is nothing new  The UK has a national database system, born 15 years ago and named PRESTON, which has been recently revealed to be very Big Brother like in its methods. Doubleplus Bad.

AND FINALLY: Because I can’t resist. Here is proof of Facebook’s connection with The Illuminati. The proof lies in the hoodie, apparently.

Our Commitment to Privacy

Fox Fact: a group of foxes is called a skulk. 

Look at these guys, just skulking around
Look at these guys, just skulking around

Happy Monday once more, Fox Fans. You may have noticed us make the announcement last week that we’ve removed anything from our website that involved tracking or data mining.  This includes things like analytic software and social media buttons.

Sure, this is going to make things a little harder for us in some regards, but we think it’s a fair exchange for us to be able to honestly say we’re looking out for your privacy.

DataMining
             Data Miners hard at work

“Well duh, you’re a privacy company,” you might say. Exactly, friends.  You might be surprised at who uses data tracking, and to what extent. Then again, you might not be.

We asked company founder Eric Jung about his decision to remove all the tracking bits from getfoxyprofxy.org.  Here’s what he had to say.

Why has FoxyProxy removed all analytics and tracking tools from its websites?

We’re a privacy company, and it’s simply disingenuous to use such tools.

FoxyProxy has been around for many years. Why do this now?
We were inspired by Mozilla’s recent announcement about its new Tracking Protection feature in Firefox Private Browsing that “actively blocks content like ads, analytics trackers and social share buttons that may record your behavior without your knowledge across sites” along with the continued popularity of tools like Adblock Plus and Ghostery.

How will you know which ad campaigns are working?
We won’t.

How will you track visits to the FoxyProxy website over time?
To be clear, we’ve never tracked sites or URLs that our customers use with our products. Never have and never will. Now, to answer your question about the FoxyProxy websites: although we won’t be using client-side tools like Google Anayltics, DoubleClick, Piwik Analytics, etc for tracking, we will be using 90s-style server-side analytics software (such as AWStats) to give us a reduced level of insight. The key difference here is that Google Anayltics, Piwik Analytics, LiveChat, etc. (client-side) work by placing Javascript, cookies, web beacons, or other nasties on your computer. These things track you across websites to gather behaviors and trends, allowing profiles to be created about you. This is something server-side analytics simply cannot do because of technical reasons. Here’s an example of such a profile:

* Customer 9985235 is from Tehran, Iran.

* His first name is Firuz.

* He sometimes uses a proxy server so he probably wants to hide some/all of his internet activity.

* There is a 95% probability that the customer is male and between the ages of 16-25.
* He likes chocolate, dogs, listens to Christmas music,. He dislikes cats and politics.
* Since he listens to Christmas music, he is probably Christian living in a country with a Muslim majority.

* He has viewed many different Lego packages on various shopping sites over the last 3 years, so he probably enjoys Lego-building (contrast that with someone shopping for Lego during just one month–that person is probably shopping for presents for a birthday or holiday of a relative or friend)

Server-side analytics software like AWStats only analyzes a website’s local log files. The information is not nearly as rich, but it’s better than nothing and doesn’t compromise privacy; e.g. we cannot cross-reference a particular visit to a particular page on our website at a particular time with the name of that visitor.
But won’t this affect the company’s bottom line?
Absolutely. But we don’t have investors or shareholders to report to, so we don’t have to justify a drop in revenue, sales, or profits to anyone except ourselves.

I’d like to mention that even non-profit, privacy-leading organizations are tracking you. Here are some examples. All of these are recipients of financial donations from FoxyProxy:

* the EFF is using Piwik Analytics
* the FreePress is using Piwik Analytics

* The irony of this one is beyond laughable: Stop Watching Us is using Piwik Analytics, Segment Analytics, web beacons for Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and embedded YouTube videos (although they do attempt to alleviate that by using the youtube-nocookie.com domain, an insufficient attempt in our opinion). StopWatchingUs is watching you.

Usually here is where we put in a goofy conspiracy video to round out the post, but we’re skipping that this week.  As it turns out, you really are being constantly monitored.

Monday is Fun Day

Fox Fact: The arctic Fox can survive in temperatures down to -58f. 

Winter is Coming.
Winter is Coming.

A happy Monday to you all!

Chances are, a good amount of you are heading back to work today. And some of you likely own, or make big decisions in, the very office you’re occupying while reading this.

That's a nice stapler you have.
That’s a nice stapler you have.

Did you know that FoxyProxy has a bunch of applications for a corporation? (Don’t worry. We’ll still have some fun and ridiculous links for you this week. Probably also another conspiracy video.- ed.) Using proxy software can help you test out geographically based marketing campaigns, gauge competitor pricing in local markets, and much more.

If geo-filtered content or marketing solutions are what you need, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to work with you. We can even create a custom package, tailored to your needs.

Here are some comments from some of our corporate clients, in case you need a bit of convincing:

“The most surprising thing was the great customer service.  From the moment we switched to a corporate account, there has always been someone available to help us right away.  And when we needed proxies that were not available, a FoxyProxy agent kept an eye out and provided all three that we requested without us ever having to follow up.”

“We have staff who login from various countries in the world to our backend which is geo-filtered and have local offerings by territory. We need the ability for our staff to login to our systems from various regions to test local settings on our backends.”

What was the most surprising thing about using FoxyProxy, and what is the best aspect about using our service? “Personalised corporate service, approachable, and on demand customer solutions.” 

What could we do to improve our service for you? “Literally nothing…its great!”

“We use different proxies so that we can view our competitors’ pricing for customers outside of the U.S.”

“I can’t think of a way that your service could be better.  We are extremely pleased with the service we receive.”

 

And now for some links for your Monday Procrastination! 

The NSA has shut down bulk phone surveillance  But don’t worry, they’re totally still going to be watching us. Hi, NSA.

Warfare is going digital  Good news for all you Cyberpunk fans out there! Sorry to dash your hopes for a Mad Max style apocalypse, but information warfare is the next big thing in meting out righteous justice upon thyne enemies. Still, feel free to wear those shoulder pads and chaps. It’s a good look.

Researchers have created a cyborg rose A cyborg rose, but sadly not a cyborg Rose from The Golden Girls, which would be even better.

Amazon released more delivery drone footage Drones flying around, dropping things in people’s yards. How could this go wrong? The future is going to be weird.

Proof that the NSA is working with the Illuminati! It’s all right there in the logo, folks. Right there for us to easily decipher, from an apparently not-so-secret secret society.

Monday Morning Procrastination

Fox Fact: foxes use the Earth’s magnetic fields to hunt

Go get that mouse, Mr. Fox.
Go get that mouse, Mr. Fox.

Good morning, everyone. It’s Monday again, which means a lot of you are back at the office or back in class, doing your best to look productive.

What better way to start the day off than with some interesting things which cannot possibly wait until after work? You’d better start checking these links out, it’ll make your Monday better.

Once you’re through with these links, you can carry on with your creative procrastination by browsing some TV or websites from another country! Head over to our website to download our free software, or purchase our proxy/VPN service.

The DarkWebInterNet is scary!  Let’s all point and giggle at the wonderfully alarmist local news reporting going on here. For The Internet is dark, and full of terrors.

BitTorrent doesn’t equal piracy  An ISP defending the privacy rights of its customers? Sort of. While Cox’s stance here is probably more about winning a lawsuit than bravely standing up for your rights, it’s a step in the right direction. Just using a piece of technology doesn’t make you guilty of anything.

You can now play D&D in VR  You’re welcome. Now, excuse me while I go dig out my level 15 Wood Elf Druid and dust off my Boots of Escaping.

The Snowden Guide To Practical Privacy  Some handy tips from Edward, ranging from “Average Person” to “Cold War Era Paranoia.”

 

And finally, because why not? Be careful with this one, or else you’ll carry on down the rabbit hole of conspiracy videos I warned you about previously.

The CERN project is a gateway for demons.  Don’t believe me? Homer Simpson predicted this years ago.

Help Us Shoot Things For Charity!

Fox Facts: with a population of only 320, the Darwin’s Fox is one of the most endangered mammals on Earth. 

Look at this face
Look at this face

 

Hello Fox Fans! Rather than our usual list of cool internet things, or helpful hints punctuated with sarcasm, today I’m going to tell you all about an awesome charity event that some of our staff will be taking part in.

FoxyProxy has a team for the upcoming Extra Life Game Day 2015! What is Extra Life? We’re so glad you asked. Extra Life is a great way to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals around the country by holding a 24 hour video gaming marathon, with the players being sponsored for every hour they play.

This will be happening.
This will be happening.

We’re a Proxy/VPN provider, but that’s not all we’re about. We also aim to help people, usually through our open source software and customer service, but we like to branch out when we see a really great cause that fits with our ethics.

Our Team, The Moxie Foxies, will be playing Team Fortress 2 and shooting up the other guys all in the name of raising money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia!

And now, a word from Brent:

A Personal Note from a FoxyProxy Employee…

Hey all- this is Brent. I’m FoxyProxy’s Systems/Network Engineer; you may have even seen a reply from me in a support ticket you sent.

I had a lot of medical issues when I was a young pup. I mean a lot. I was born with some pretty sick kidneys. However, thanks to medical science and the care of my local children’s hospitals, I’m living a healthy and normal life (30 years strong!). I would have never been able to do this without the type of support that these hospitals provide. There would be no me without projects like Extra-Life and other children’s care fundraisers. And I certainly put a lot of myself into FoxyProxy because of how much I believe in the company, what it does for civil rights, and how much they care for people that may not have the ability or resources to help themselves out. Please- give as much as possible to this fundraiser so another kid can have the same breath of life and chance for living that I did- not only would it mean a lot to the kids that it goes towards helping, but it means a lot to me and the rest of FoxyProxy. Thank you.

With that in mind, we’d love it and appreciate it if you were able to spare a bit to donate to this great event. Your donations go directly towards Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The cause is a great one, and you’ll be making it worthwhile for folks to sit on their rear and do nothing but play video games for 24 hours.

If you can’t donate, you can join the team! Hang out with some of the FoxyProxy team members, play some great games, and raise money for an amazing cause.

 

Happy Monday

Fox Fact: The Fennec Fox is the smallest fox species in the world.

Very likely also the cutest.
Very likely also the cutest.

Happy Monday, Fox Fans! Because it’s the start of the work week for most of you, we’re giving a list of interesting stories from across the internet so you can day started right, and procrastinate instead of diving in to work.

If you decide that you want your procrastination on a global scale, you can download our software and purchase proxy services here at any time.

Are you paranoid enough? The answer is probably no.  This is a great article about one man’s slow decent into the realization that the technology we love to surround ourselves with is listening to us and sharing what it hears. Be warned that you may just fall down the YouTube rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and find yourself at 3 am watching videos about lunar waves, numbers stations, and the Dyatlov Pass indecent, nodding in agreement.

When you reach the videos about Sky Trumpets, turn around. You've gone too far.
When you reach the videos about Sky Trumpets, turn around. You’ve gone too far.

EU to US: Your privacy practices are terrible.  The EU courts have decided that the US has terrible privacy safeguards (color us shocked.) They have given the US a meager three months to revamp the Safe Harbor system with the European Commission to ensure EU citizens that their data being transferred by private companies remains safe and secure. We’ll wait patiently, and see what new and interesting rules get formulated from the jumble.

American data security, essentially.
American data security, essentially.

You can buy the rights to name a moth.  By which they mean actually name the species, not just give a moth a first name. What a time to be alive.

There really is only one choice.
There really is only one choice.

Chrome stops being so nosy  Google is finally shutting off the automatic “always on” status for its Ok Google feature. This comes after Google finally figures out that no one uses it, and it’s one of the bigger resource hogging features of Chrome. Have no fear though, you can still turn it on if you like shouting searches at your computer.

How I feel when talking to my computer
How I feel when talking to my computer