Access and Visit US-Only Restricted Websites (Hulu, Pandora, Veoh, ABC, CW) from Outside of United States  

Posted by Maddi in

There are some Internet services and websites that is been restricted or viewable by visitors from continent of United States of America (USA), and most likely Canada only. Most of the restrictions are placed on video streaming contents which may subject to copyright, or sites that target specific audiences only.

Some of the free contents services that restrict block viewers and visitors from outside of United States (some does permit Canada) including the following, together with the error messages that accompanied on the inaccessible pages, embedded video clips or contents.

Sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed from within the United States. (Hulu, a popular video hosting service offering high-quality streaming video of TV shows and movies, primarily from NBC and FOX and their cable networks.)

We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. (Pandora)

Veoh is no longer available in COUNTRY_NAME. or This video is not available in your region. (Veoh Internet Television which also opens to some other wealthy countries)

Only viewers within the United States can watch these full-length episodes. (ABC Full Episode Player)

Thank you for your interest in The CW. This service is currently available to viewers living in the United States. (The CWTV Video)

Some other websites and Internet services that are blocked and restricted to non-US or many international countries include online game Mabinogi and OpenPandora which exposes Pandora music discovery service.

If you’re American, then you must be thinking that you supposed to be able to watch and browse these “US-only” websites and video streaming contents, especially to catch the latest and newest series of TV series and dramas, music videos or listening to shared music. Luckily it’s possible to bypass and unlock the country-based ban or blockage.

All US-only websites or country-based restriction relies on the IP address. Blocks of IP addresses are issued and assigned to specific country in bulk. When an IP address is translated to be located in an unsupported countries, access will be blocked. So in order to bypass the IP address based blocking ban, just mask the real location with an IP address to one within the supported country, primarily United States.

There are plenty of ways to virtually change the IP address or mask the real IP address to an IP address in US, so that the website or service such as Hulu, Veoh, Pandora, ABC.com Full Episode Player, the CW and etc is fooled and tricked into verifying that the visitor is actually from America even though he or she is thousands of miles away in another continent. Three main methods are using a proxy, a VPN or Tor network.

Web Based Proxy

Proxy server or web proxy has long been used to bypass government or company filtering or to ensure privacy and anonymity online. It’s also been used to access blocked websites by firewall, router or filtering service. For examples, hundreds of proxies for accessing blocked MySpace or Facebook, which the US hosted web based proxies can also be used to try to access the US-only website from outside of United States. There are compilation of web proxies available at sites such as http://privax.us/, glype proxies and http://proxy.org/.

HTTP Proxy Server

If you’re not keen on web proxy, but a real proxy server, Charon is a program that can search through search engines for posted proxies and check if the proxies is good or bad. And of course there many sites that compile HTTP proxies available. Again, only US hosted proxy server is meaningful. To use a HTTP or HTTPS proxy server, user have to configure the information of proxy server settings in the web browser. For Firefox, go to Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Connection Settings -> Manual Proxy Configuration and add the proxy IP address and port. For IE, go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections -> LAN settings -> Use a proxy server for your LAN to enter the IP address and port number of the selected proxy.

VPN

VPN is costly, and there is hardly any free option. But one good choice is Hotspot Shield, which originally is intended to provide secure VPN tunnel for users accessing Internet in unencrypted wireless network using public WiFi access point. The VPN server of Hotspot Shield (AnchorFree) is located in United States, and once connected to the Hotspot Shield VPN, user will be browsing the Internet with the VPN IP address, and will trick all websites into thinking that the PC or Mac system is in United States of America.

Another viable alternative to Hotspot Shield is the newly launched AlwaysVPN, which is still in beta.

Unfortunately Hotspot Shield is currently limited to 3 GB of bandwidth usage over 30 days rolling period. Although it’s possible to spoof MAC address to increase the Hotspot Shield bandwidth limit, the connection speed may be slow too. If you willing to pay, there is much better choice such as WiTopia and HotSpotVPN.

Tor Anonymity Network

Tor (The Onion Router) is a free software implementation of second-generation onion routing – a system enabling its users to communicate anonymously on the Internet by bouncing network communication around a distributed network of servers called onion routers. It means that if the onion server is located in US, then it can be used as a trick to access US-only web contents.

To use Tor, user need to force the last server to be in US and use Tor only for network transmission by the web browser or application such as OpenPandora. Follow these steps to use Tor to bypass out-of-US ban.

  1. Download and install Tor.
  2. Open torrc file from Start -> All Programs -> Tor, and then append the following two lines to the the bottom of the file:

    StrictExitNodes 1
    exitnodes desync,whistlersmother,lefkada,bettyboop,croeso,TorLuwakOrg,nixnix,inap1,redpineapple,cronic,sasquatch,slowturtle2,moria1,moria2,torxmission,augrime,err,sasquatch,foundry,peertechdata

    Note that the exitnodes may change, dead, offline or no longer relay traffic. If the above exit nodes doesn’t work, try to change the exit nodes (after the exitnodes declaration) to any mix of the following: BostonUCompsci, lefkada, croeso, bettyboop, moobzilla, sasquatch, jalopy,nixnix, ThreadAbort, CH1rrskur7, A1D7DB57EFA57ACA20, agrippator, AoF, ArikaYumemiya, AscendedDaniel, asclepias, augrime, bettyboop, blueice, BostonUCompSci, Butterfly, cjb, codemonkeysorg, croeso, cronic, desync, err, foundry, httpdnet, ieditconfiggg333, illuminata, inap1, Insytez, invisitor, iris, jalopy, lefkada, MasterMindZ, mmarketinfo, moilen, moria1, moria2, moria5, MrRelay, mushin, nbx, nixnix, peertechdata, pickaproxy, random, redpineapple, rodos, sasquatch, schadenfreude, serifos, sipbtor, slowturtle2, soltor, stugsDOTcom, styx, theprocess, torftw, TorLuwakOrg, torxmission, vwglobaltoadcom, whistlersmother, ygrenys, yo2, BostonUCompsci, lefkada, croeso, bettyboop, moobzilla, sasquatch, jalopy,nixnix, ThreadAbort, CH1rrskur7, desync, whistlersmother, lefkada, bettyboop, croeso, torxmission, nixnix, jalopy, soltor, MrRelay.

    The updated torrc file will force the last server to be located in US.

    Note that you can also manually edit the torrc file in Windows. It’s located under either \Application Data\tor\torrc or \username\Application Data\tor\torrc in Windows. On Mac OS X, open a text editor and load /Library/Tor/torrc. On Unix, if you installed a pre-built package, look for /etc/torrc or /etc/tor/torrc or consult your package’s documentation. If you installed from source, you may not have a torrc installed yet: look in /usr/local/etc/ and note that you may need to manually copy torrc.sample to torrc.

  3. This step uses Pandora.com as an example. For other site or service, define accordingly. Open Notepad and paste the the following text:

    function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
    {
    if (shExpMatch(host, "www.pandora.com")) return "SOCKS 127.0.0.1:9050";
    return "DIRECT";
    }

    Save the file with file name as tor.pac. Remember the full path (folder location) to the saved tor.pac. This configuration allows HTTP traffic to route through Tor SOCKS interface to its virtual circuit.

  4. Set tor.pac to be used for automatic configuration in Internet Explorer. To do so, in Internet Explorer, Go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections -> LAN settings. Check or select Use automatic configuration script, and the in the text box, write in the full path to tor.pac preceded with file://. For example, file://C:\tor\tor.pac.

    Note: In Firefox, go to Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Network -> Settings (Connection) and check the radio button of Automatic proxy config URL. Type file:// follow by the full path to tor.pac.

  5. Start Tor.
  6. Load browser or other application that needed to be spoofed as visited from US location. It may take some time to load the contents though.

How to Download and Save All Images, Icons, Embed Flash and Media Files on a Web Page in Firefox 3  

Posted by Maddi in ,

When browsing a web page which has lots of beautiful pictures, graphics, photos and images, or has embedded Flash video, or has attractive icons and other media components or elements, Firefox 3 can download and save all of these graphics and media on the web page altogether at once simultaneously, without any plugin, extension, add-on or third party programs.

To download and save all web page’s graphics, images, icons, media and other files, click on the site identification icon to the left of the Location Bar.

Firefox Site Identification Button

The Site Identity Information button is the new feature of Firefox 3, and normally represented by the favorite icon (favicon.ico) of the website. When clicked, a dialog will display information about the site with a “More Information” button. Click on the More Information… button to open “Page Info” dialog panel.

Click on the Media tab. All elements such as background, image, icon and embed on the web pages are listed in the elements listing, together with their respective address link location. Some graphics even come with a preview. Select and highlight any element that wants to be saved, then click on Save As button.

Save All Media in Firefox 3

To download and save all file elements on the web pages, press Ctrl-A to select all (everything), then click on Save As.

Comprehensive List of How (Key to Press) to Access BIOS for Various OEM and Computer Systems  

Posted by Maddi in

BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is a firmware code that run by an PC when first powered on to identify and initiate component hardware (such as hard disk, floppy and optical disk drives), and then run bootstrapping or booting up process to load or execute and let operating system taking control of the computer machine.

Most OEM PC or custom-built clone PC using third-party motherboard (MOBO) allows user to configure various settings in BIOS (CMOS setup) to enter BIOS Setup or Configuration Utility in order to enable or disable devices or ports available, and more commonly, boot device priority or sequence. Some advanced settings also allow user to tweak computer performance, such as CPU clock speed multiplier and CPU front side bus (FSB) rate for overclocking, chipset features, DRAM parity, speed and timing, etc.

To access BIOS configuration screen, user need to press and invoke a specific hotkey or keys combination during the initial BIOS load screen (usually right after the computer is powered on). Here’s a list of the ways and access keys to press to access BIOS Setup Utility on variety of popular OEM computer systems, motherboard makers and major BIOS brands. Note that some BIOS or computer systems may have more than one method of accessing BIOS depending on when the BIOS is released.

Acer (Aspire, Power, Veriton, Extensa, Ferrari, TravelMate, Altos): Press [F2] or [Del] Immediately After Power Up
Acer (Altos 600 Server): Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] or [F1] During Boot (for Advanced Options)
Acer (Older PC): Press [F1] or [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] to Access BIOS
AMI (American Megatrends AMIBIOS, AMI BIOS): Press [Delete] During Boot
AMI
AMI (American Megatrends AMIBIOS, AMI BIOS) – Old Version: Press [F1] or [F2] During Boot
Award BIOS (AwardBIOS): Press [Del] After Powering Up Computer
Award BIOS (AwardBIOS) – Old Version : Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] During Boot
ALR: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] or [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del] During Boot
ARI: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] or [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del] During Boot
AST Advantage: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] During Boot
Compaq (Presario, Prolinea, Deskpro, Systempro, Portable): Press [F10] When Blinking Cursor Jumps To Top Right Corner of Screen
Compaq (Presario, Prolinea, Deskpro, Systempro, Portable): Press [F10] When Logo Screen Is Displayed
Compaq (Older Computers): Press [F1], [F2], [F10], or [Del] Key
Cybermax: Press [Esc] Key
Dell (XPS, Dimension, Inspiron, Latitude. OptiPlex, Precision, Vostro): Press F2 When Dell Logo Is Displayed Until “Entering Setup” Appears
Dell (Older 486 Models): Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Enter] During Boot
Dell (Some Models): Press Reset Button Twice (i.e. Power Reset Button)
Dell Dimension L566cx System: Press [Del]
Dell (Older Laptop Models) : Press [Fn]+[Esc] or [Fn]+[F1]
DTK (Datatech Enterprises): Press [Esc] Key Right After Powering On the PC.
EISA Computer: Press the Reset button on the Front of the Computer, then Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] immediately when the memory count begins or Press [Crtl]+[Alt]+[S].
eMachines (eMonster, eTower, eOne, S-Series, T-Series): Press [Tab] or [Del] During Boot
eMachine (Some Older Computers): Press [F2]
Fujitsu (LifeBook, Esprimo, Amilo, Tablet, DeskPower): Press [F2] When Fujitsu Logo Is Appearing.
Gateway Using Phoenix BIOS (DX, FX, One, GM, GT, GX, Profile, Astro): Press [F1]
Gateway (Some Older PCs): Press [F2]
Hewlett-Parkard (HP Pavilion, TouchSmart, Vectra, OmniBook, Tablet): Press [F1] Upon Startup or Bootup
Hewlett-Parkard (HP Alternative): Press [F2] or [Esc]
Hewlett-Parkard (HP) Tablet PC: Press [F10] or [F12]
IBM ThinkPad using IBM BIOS (Early Models): Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Ins] When Cursor Is At Upper-Right Corner of Screen
IBM ThinkPad using IBM BIOS (Later Models): Press and Hold [F1] When Powering Up Laptop
IBM ThinkPad using Phoenix BIOS: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F11] from DOS Prompt
IBM PS/1 (Late Models), PS/ValuePoint and 330s: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[?]
IBM PS/2 with Reference Partition: Press [Insert] During Boot
IBM PS/2: Press [Ctrl]+[Ins] When Pointer Is At Top Right of Screen
IBM PS/2: Need Reference Disk and ADF Disk for Setup
IBM PS/2 75 and 90: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[?]
IBM (PC, XT, AT): Press [F1] Immediately On Powering On the Computer
IBM (Older Computers or Notebooks): Press [F2]
Lenovo (ThinkPad, IdeaPad, 3000 Series, ThinkCentre, ThinkStation): Press [F1] or [F2] on Boot Up
Lenovo (Older Products): Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F3], [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Ins] or [Fn]+[F1].
Microid Research MR BIOS: Press [F1]
Micron (MPC Computers ClientPro, TransPort): Press [F1], [F2] or [Del] On Startup
NEC (PowerMate, Versa, W-Series): Press [F2] During Boot
NEC Versa Notebook: Press and Hold Down [F1] Upon Startup or Bootup
Olivetti PC Pro: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Shift]+[Del](in Num Pad) During Boot
Packard Bell (8900 Series, 9000 Series, Pulsar, Platinum, EasyNote, imedia, iextreme): Press [F1], [F2], or [Del].
Packard Bell (Early 386 and 486 Dodels): Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[S] Sequence
Phoenix BIOS (Phoenix-Award BIOS): Press [Del] During Power On Self-Test
Phoenix BIOS (Phoenix-Award BIOS) – Old Version: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[S], [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc], [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Ins] or [Ctrl]+[S] During Power On Boot Self-Test Right After Startup
Sharp (Notebook Laptops, Actius UltraLite): Press [F2] On Computer Starts
Sharp (Old PCs): Require Setup Diagnostics Disk to Access BIOS
Shuttle (Glamor G-Series, D’vo, Prima P2-Series, Workstation, X Mini XPC, Surveillance): Press [F2] or [Del] on System Startup
Sony (VAIO, PCG-Series, VGN-Series): Press [F1], [F2] or [F3] After Turning On the Computer
Sony Vaio 320 Series: Press [F2] During Boot
Tandon 386: press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Esc]
Tandon: press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Esc]
Toshiba (Portégé, Satellite, Tecra): Press [Esc] During Boot
Toshiba (Portégé, Satellite, Tecra with Phoenix BIOS): Press [F1] during Boot
Zenith, Phoenix: Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Ins] During Boot

Miscellaneous and Other Common BIOS Key Sequences

[Ctrl]+[Esc]
[Ctrl]+[Ins]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[+]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F3]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[S]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Enter]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Ins]
[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc]
[Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Esc]
[Tab]
[F1]
[F3]
[F4]
[F10]
[F12]
[Fn]+[Function Key]

Note that for some older system with Phoenix BIOS, the following steps are required to get to BIOS setup screen:

  1. Exit or boot up to DOS.
  2. Press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Esc] to enter setup screen.
  3. If hot key sequence above doesn’t work due to changes or problems been made on the system, then try to use the key to lock the keyboard while leaving computer switched on.
  4. Press the Reset button on the front of the computer. A message will appear asking user to unlock the keyboard.
  5. Unlock the keyboard and press [F2] to run the CMOS setup.
  6. Press [Del] to bring up the CMOS setup program.

Use Google Calendar To Track Mysterious Gmail Users  

Posted by Maddi in ,

Occasionally you receive some important email from clients, business partners, etc. You might wonder why the email is sent as a carbon copy (cc) to some unknown parties and you’re probably keen to find out who these people are. Well, if these unfamiliar people names use Gmail service, a small trick here probably can help you find out who they are.

Since Google has allowed users to consolidate their Google services with one single log in, there are strong tie-ins between users’ Gmail and other services provided by Google. Hence, users can use the Google calendar to find out the name behind those unknown Gmail addresses:

a. Log in to your Google Calendar

b. Go to “My Calendar”. Click on your name and a sub menu will appear.

c. Click the “Share this Calendar”

d. Enter the unknown Gmail address into the “Person” box. For instance, we try admin@gmail.com. Click “Add Person” or press enter.

e. The name will be added and displayed on the screen. Click “Save” to save the changes.

f. Now type in the same email address again, admin@gmail.com, and a sub menu will appear showing the name and the email address as follows:

It seems Smart Ass is the name behind admin@gmail.com.

Tips of How to Hide Data in Notepad  

Posted by Maddi in , , , , , , , ,

When you create a new file and type some data, one unnamed default stream is created to store all data written to the file. Since NTFS file system in Windows 2000 or above has supported Alternate Data Streams, so you are allowed to create additional streams for text file. All data stored in the addition streams will be hidden and none of us will be able to read the data when opening the file. This may be useful when you would like to hide some sensitive info from being read by others when sharing the file to public.

To create hidden data in the text file, follow below steps:

1) Open command prompt, you may change to any directory as you like to create the text file.
2) Type notepad MyFile.txt:StoreHiddenData then press enter. MyFile.txt is the text file you are going to create whereas StoreHiddenData is the alternate stream name.
3) A message will be pop up “Cannot find the C:\MyFile.txt:StoreHiddenData.txt file”. Do you want to create a new file?”, click OK button to proceed create the new file.
4) A notepad will be pop up. Type any data that you want to be hidden from others. Save the file and you are now successfully creating hidden data for this file.

The hidden data you have created will not contribute to the total file size. Just open Explorer and look for this file, you will observe that the file size is still zero. Now you can go ahead to type some data and saved it as usual. Good thing is, it will not affect the hidden data that you have saved earlier. On top of that, you can display or delete all the hidden data you have saved previously. However, you must download and install Streams application before you can do so. To delete hidden data, go to command prompt and type more <>

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