The Blog of Ryan Foss

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PdaNet for Android Doesn’t Work For Me

I follow a number of tech blogs, game blogs, fun blogs and serious code blogs, and then some, and the best time for me to do it is at work. Granted, much of it is personal interest, but it turns out my work is often very related. This was working fine and although they block everything cool or interesting on the main network, they didn’t on the guest network so I was free to roam via my laptop. Until Monday that is. They have now installed the worlds most ridiculous, draconian, big brother web blocking scheme imaginable to guests. Game is a four letter word. Storage sites like imageShack are blocked, no questions asked. Absolutely no streaming anything, including YouTube, Viemo, and a sad consequence is the Ted presentations. This from a company that is shouting (though its up-to-the-era internal message systems, such as that paper newsletter we can pick up near the door or get in our mail box) how innovative and cutting edge we are.

Damn it pisses me off. The internets is video and they block it. The internets is streaming and they block it. If I try to search for something graphics or programming related, it often ends up blocked, flagged as game or hacking or forums. Forums and IRC and newsgroups are off limits, good thing this isn’t where the answers to common questions are easily found. The company is digging themselves a grave IMO; a shallow grave of cold old technology to cuddle up with and wither away as the world passes them by and their employees dream of greener pastures.

Anyway. For mostly personal reasons I was trying to find a way to bypass their guest internets connection all together so I looked to my G1 phone and found an app called PdaNet. It basically tethers a Smart Phone to a PC via USB and the phone acts as a modem, using the 3G (or Edge I guess) network to access the internets. The install is one of the best I’ve seen and was painless. The software is easy to use and has user controls where they should be (it only runs if you ask it to). But the problem is that although I’m able to see the internets unfiltered, much of it just doesn’t load or times out. Gmail and Reader fail to load, as did a few others I tried. Other sites opened fine, but it was of little consequence since my main hope was to bypass the filtering so I can read the blogs I like as they are intended, with images and video.

One of my objectives at work is to stay up to date on relevant technology. I can’t do that at work now. A project I’ll soon be working on will incorporate interactive technology, which is impossible to research at work because of the blocking. To me, this is basically guilty until proven innocent shit that is going to hurt them more than help.

BTW, if you want to e-mail me at work, don’t put swears in the e-mail because I won’t get it. That’s right, they filter my e-mail and if it has a naughty word in it, they swat it down.

!= Tractor

My son Nathan, who’s three, is allowed on occasion (after incessant pleading of the ear bleeding variety) to surf YouTube. You just type in “tractor” or “bulldozer” or some variant and he’s good for an hour or so. He finds some pretty wacky stuff, but he’s figured out a lot in the process, such as the back button.

Anyway, he was doing the bulldozer thing the other day at grandma and grandpa’s when I noticed that some of the suggested videos didn’t look like heavy machinery. They were clips of girls of some sort or another. (How they relate to bulldozer clips is something I’ll have to investigate.)

“Are you going to click on the girl?” I ask Nathan.

Nathan responds “that’s not a tractor dad!”

No problem there, 3 year old self content filtering activated.