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Archive for February, 2012

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Google, Search Privacy, and You

If privacy is a concern for you, you probably already know that most search engines tend to track and record your habits online. Google has been known to track and utilize user data, but they say it is only to make the search process easier and more efficient. But what information do search engines take, and for what reason?

As we mentioned earlier, Google claims to store only “non-personal” information, and does so only to improve search quality and to “build helpful innovative services.” This means that they use cookies to keep track of your preferences, track your IP address, browser type, and other such info. With their new privacy policies, they also track your information across every Google site, including YouTube. This means that Google most likely have a detailed profile about you that includes your interests, gender, age, and preferences. Don’t believe us? Check your Ad Preferences. Luckily you can edit this page, for now.

Sadly Scroogle, a privacy-first search engine, has recently died. But there are other search engines out there that don’t take your private information and store it. If you are worried about how your information may be used for ads, try out Startpage (returns the same results as Google) or Ixquick (meta search engine using results from multiple search engines). Both of these promise not to track your information, and don’t seem to have any plans on doing so.

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Top 3 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy

1. Use A Good Browser
Do not use an out of date version of Internet Explorer. Although Microsoft has updated their browser pretty well recently, it just happens to be the most popular browser: the more people use a particular browser, the more hackers and jerks who will try to make victims of its users. Google Chrome is currently the most secure browser, and it also happens to be one of the fastest. Some computers have trouble running it well, so you can also try Firefox, a close second.

2. Play With Social Media Privacy Settings
Facebook is somewhat notorious for its privacy settings, and consistently updates their privacy terms and options. With the timeline becoming the only way to use the site, some people are worried about how to protect their past from unwanted stalking. Well good news: you can limit your old posts. It’s definitely worth it to take five minutes out of your day to play with you privacy settings to make sure your information is stored/shared the way you want. This also goes for Twitter, Youtube, etc. Seriously, go do this. You will not regret it.

3. Think About Encrypting Your Data and Network
VPNs, which of course we are a fan of, have a lot of benefits on top of just privacy. They can also protect you from deep packet inspection by encrypting your data and network connection. This way, your ISPs stays hidden and safe.

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Discount on 1 year BolehVPN Package Promo

As we approach our business’ 5th Anniversary, we have for a limited time discounted our 1 year price to RM230.00 representing a RM25.00 discount off our rack rate!

You may place your order by going to our Order Page. Thanks for the continued support guys!

 

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Should we operate solely in Ringgit Malaysia?

We are considering moving towards accepting payments only in Ringgit Malaysia (MYR) and removing USD as an option. The double effect of the devaluing USD and the conversion charges we incur is making it cost inefficient to offer it at current USD rates but we understand that many customers especially international clients feel more comfortable with paying in USD. What are your thoughts?

While considering this, we have updated our USD rates to better reflect the actual conversions and further discounted our 1 year price :D

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I tried to watch Game of Thrones: A tale of trying to resist piracy

I think all of us have at some point in our lives, despite being willing to fork out the cash, have been unable to obtain content from legal sources. It isn’t a matter of price, it’s a matter of convenience and quality. The online retail platform Steam and ITunes has gone to prove that if you make legal downloads easy, people will buy.

Sure there will be those who will still pirate even when they can afford it but more often than not, a good proportion of these people are the sort who won’t spend much on things anyway unless absolutely forced to. Chances are, the applicaiton/game publishers aren’t losing that much money over this group of people.

As for me personally, although I am a supporter of P2P, I am also a huge supporter of legal downloads and software. As long as it’s affordably priced, available quickly, high quality and DRM free. I fall into a large group of people who are willing to pay if the content providers made it simple to do so. Unfortunately, especially living outside the US, such legal content in Malaysia is abysmal. You go to the local original DVD shop and the licensed copies are worse than the pirated versions and spammed with advertisements that you cannot skip. The cinemas at least in my town, often break down  mid-way through a movie or have their sound/picture distorted. There’s hardly any digital content available online beyond the usual suspects such as Steam/Apple AppStore and this doesn’t address the shortage of digital content for movies and music. Chances are, if it’s not on Astro (our local satellite TV provider), you’re not going to be able to get it unless all you want are crappy on-demand movies of mostly obscure shows or drama laden Chinese drama.

Sometimes, even when it does arrive in Malaysia, it’s censored to the point it affects your enjoyment.

This comic from Oatmeal illustrates the many woes of getting legal content.

Please do check out the Oatmeal comic, (clicking on the image brings you to the original source).

However there’s also an excellent article on the converse view posted on Film School Rejects.

In brief the article comes to the following conclusions:

  1. Pirating is wrong.
  2. HBO is a subscription service. You either pay to see it now or you wait and see it later.
  3. HBO and Game of Thrones are particularly vulnerable to pirating because of their subscription service business model.
  4. Hurting Game of Thrones through piracy won’t change HBO’s business, it will just get the show cancelled.
  5. The Oatmeal, while pointing out the flaws in the subscription based business model, is wrong to condone the pirating of material, especially when it is available on DVD and Blu-ray in two weeks.

What are your thoughts on this? Should we deny ourselves entertainment if we can’t legally get it or simply be patient enough for the Blu-Ray and DVD versions to be released?


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