Saturday, October 28, 2006

'Normal' Service will be resumed....?

This could be a 'Where in the world am I?', but I think I'll probably post it on both my blogs.

I live in a country where Internet access is fraught with difficulty and frustration. Partly it's the common problem of a developing country racing to catch up with those glamorous industrialized nations…and sometimes rushing at things a bit too fast. The nationwide Internet architecture is still a bit primitive and unreliable in some respects. Though major cities now all have access to a pretty sophisticated high-speed broadband network, in practice it doesn't work that well because much of the equipment isn't as cutting-edge as the new routers and cabling. There is, in particular, a problem in the last link in the chain: only a handful of the most-recently constructed buildings are actually wired for broadband; the rest of us have to hook up via ancient telephone lines. My connection is rated at a very decent 100Mbps, but in practice, I doubt if it is one-tenth as fast as that most of the time.

Of course, it also doesn't help that I live in a country where the government is virulently opposed to the free flow of information, and thus we have one of the most heavily monitored and filtered Internet systems in the world – which slows things down even further (sometimes to a complete stop: the Google search engine became completely unusable for a few weeks back in May and June this year [and – incomprehensibly! – so did GoogleMail]), and leads to all kinds of (fortunately, mostly ephemeral) weirdnesses.

At first, I was tempted to put down the sudden disappearance of Blogspot to such an annoying but temporary glitch. However, after 24hrs, I now rather fear the worst: it's blocked (AGAIN). Curiously enough, the Blogger site isn't. Not so far, anyway. Yesterday, I was still able to post – although I could only view the results via an anonymizer. The interfering Net goons seem to have closed that rather obvious loophole now. Blogger is still fine, but I'm not allowed to publish to Blogspot. (Since I can, it appears, still edit and save posts to the Blogger site, I may have to call on one of my friends overseas to become my 'literary executor' and log in to my account to publish for me a couple of times a week. Until 'they' close that avenue too….)

I am not greatly familiar with the dark arts of circumventing Net censorship using anonymizer sites and such, but I may have to start trying to get more savvy. Anonymouse is becoming my lifeline at the moment – but even that is extensively interfered with! I had thought that I had managed to log in to Blogger using this site in the past (I had originally been planning to try to do all my posting anonymously, to avoid possible 'trouble'… but then decided I couldn't be bothered.); but perhaps I was mistaken. Now I am unable to log in anywhere using a password through Anonymouse. Has that always been a limitation of the system, or is it new? Or is this further evidence of the sinister work of the goons?

Does anyone know of an anonymizer (or other canny method) that might enable me to log in to Blogger "anonymously" and publish to Blogspot without being blocked?

Anyway, one way or another, I hope to be able to resume posting shortly. Please be patient.

I had anticipated this exasperating development right back when I started this blogging lark a couple of months ago, but I have found it a surprisingly bitter blow – I was just starting to enjoy myself!! Damn it!!!

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