I have heard through various pipelines that at least one site –defendwisconsin.org – is now being blocked on the Capitol’s network.* If you are affected by this, here is a quick workaround specifically for that site. However, below is a brief tutorial on how to use Tor, should more sites begin to be censored.
For the uninitiated, proxies can be a little confusing. Even for me. So, I just want to get you using the thing (should this be necessary inside the Capitol building) first, and then I’ll explain a little bit about what is going on after.
Now, what did you just do? Basically, Tor takes the information you are trying to send/receive over the Internet, encrypts it, and then bounces it through a bunch of other computers to get around any blocks on your current network. (The EFF has a nice visual illustration, and technical explanation, of how this works.) Also, be aware that because your information is taking the long way around, your browsing experience will slow down – sometimes quite dramatically. Robust multimedia sites may become more difficult to use, but you shouldn’t have too much of a problem with most Websites. If you are a little more tech savvy, or know anyone with a dedicated proxy server, tools like FoxyProxy might be more up your alley.
*UPDATE: I’ve also received word that it may not be that specific sites are being targeted, but that the entire building is experiencing a bit of a telecommunications meltdown due to heavy usage over the last five days. If anyone knows more about the situation on the ground, let me know.
[cross-posted on anthonyhoffmann.org]
Currently reading, and very much enjoying:John Durham Peters. “Information: Notes Toward a Critical History” Journal of Communication Inquiry 12.2 (1988): 9-23.
Well, look at that. I am currently, at the moment, reading (and enjoying) this as well.
Spring semester started yesterday, and one of the things I needed to do was clean out the bags that I basically live my entire life out of from Sept-Dec/Jan-May of each year. The plan was to do that this morning and, inspired by the ladies over at the Hairpin, I decided to do one of those “HEY LOOK AT THIS STUFF IN MY BAG AREN’T A COOL AND UNIQUE AND INTERESTING PERSON” posts.
First: the bags. I regularly alternate between the Booq Taipan Shadow laptop messenger bag and a now-discontinued laptop backpack by the same company. Which bag I’m using depends solely on how many actual books I need to be carrying on a given day. I prefer the messenger bag when I can (lighter, more comfortable), but it just doesn’t cut it when, say, you’re carrying around A Theory of Justice, Political Liberalism, Justice as Fairness, and The Cambridge Companion to Rawls all at the same time (as I found myself doing an awful lot last semester).
Now, onto the items:
1. Stack of papers I’ve already accumulated/readings I already need to get through this week.
a. John Durham Peters “Information: Notes Towards a Critical History” (for an information-centric critical reading group I’m taking part in this semester)
b. A draft of an article that I’m not sure if I can cite/talk about yet (for the same reading group)
c. Syllabus for BSIST 120: Information Technology Ethics (the undergraduate course taught by Michael Zimmer that I am TA-ing)
d. The 2007 Pew Internet report on Teens, Privacy, & Online Social Networks by Amanda Lenhart and Mary Madden (reviewing/mining for a guest lecture I am giving via Skype tomorrow to a group of students in Austria).
2. Alterra travel coffee mug
3. Questions of Taste: The Philosophy of Wine, given to me over the weekend and hadn’t yet been removed from my bag(s).
4. 13” Macbook. I just recently finished the Milwaukee or Internet-centric sticker grid (the unfinished grid is featured in this photo from AoIR 11.0 in Sweden).
5. WTF? stamp. Infinitely useful.
6. The paper insert from a prescription albuterol inhaler. Sexy, I know.
7. 2 highlighters, 1 Sharpie, and 11 pens
8. Warranty for my super rad new Ray-Bans
12. 3 generic allergy pills, 1 Lactaid capsule. Again, sexy.
13. Receipt from a 20 yuan cab ride in Beijing.
14. Travel toothbrush
15. 4 USB thumb drives totalling 7 gigs of space
16. Facebook and Philosophy: What’s On Your Mind, edited by D.E. Wittkower. A super cool little book, we’re pulling a couple chapters from this for the undergrads in 120.
17. Coffee-stained first-draft outline to a paper I eventually wrote last semester.
18. Chewing gum
19. 2 key rings: one with campus keys, one with a bottle opener (so necessary)
20. Sticky flags - absolutely essential. There is no way I could make it through a semester without these.
21. Loose change (from left to right): 21 Swedish krona, 2 Chinese yuan, 57 American cents
23. Tom Bihn “Snake Charmer” - easily one of the most useful purchases I’ve made in my grad school career, this thing keeps all my cords/tech ephemera together so I’m not constantly fishing around in the bag for the right one. Currently inside it:
a. Macbook charger
b. Noise-cancelling headphones
c. Wireless mouse
d. USB charger for my HTC Hero
24. Nature Valley granola bar. I have no idea where this came from.
25. MPLS postcard that I was going to send to Erin Joan as an apology because I forgot to send her a postcard from Norway. Apparently, I forgot to send this one, too. I am a terrible friend. (Sorry, Erin! Please forgive me!)
26. Milwaukee - Chicago Amtrak ticket stub
27. My UWM business cards. I really should get a case for those things.
28. Delta SkyMiles Silver Medallion member (w00t!) luggage tag
30. Emergency pack of Parliaments leftover from end-of-the-semester stress-out time. I haven’t touched them since. I swear.
::shamefully lowers head, shuffles feet::