About a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “How to watch BBC iPlayer shows outside the UK”. The post has become very popular with many comments and views, but the content is somewhat out of date. I’ve been meaning to update it for a while but have not got around to it until now.

For newcomers to this topic, BBC houses many of their shows on the web, however, viewing is limited to those within the UK. In order to be able to watch them from an IP outside the UK, you need to install some software using Windows and Firefox.

These steps also work on other sites, including Spotify if you are outside the UK or Hulu if you are outside the US. For both, just follow steps 1 through 9 as listed below.

Step 1: Download and install the latest stable release of Tor for Windows from http://www.torproject.org/. In this case we will be installing everything that comes with the package. (Tor is a tool that allows you to browse the web anonymously by routing your requests through various servers/proxies).
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Step 2: We now need to ensure that the last server your request is routed through is a server in the UK. Go to http://torstat.xenobite.eu/. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click “Show Custom/Advanced Query Options”. Under “Require Flags” choose “Yes” for “Exit” and under “Advanced Search” choose “Country Code” “equals” “GB”. (If you’re trying to use Hulu outside the US, enter “US” instead of “GB”.) Click “Apply Options”. Take note of all or some of the Router Names of the resulting servers except those marked Unnamed. These are your exit nodes in the UK.
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Step 2a: If torstat.xenobite.eu is down, you can try any of the following mirrors: https://kradense.whsites.net/tns/; http://torstat.kleine-eismaus.de/; https://torstatus.all.de/; http://torstatus.amorphis.eu/; https://torstatus.blutmagie.de/; http://torstatus.cyberphunk.org/; http://tns.hermetix.org/; https://torstatus.kgprog.com/

Step 3: Go to Start Menu and open All Programs -> Vidalia Bundle -> Tor -> torcc. This will open the Tor config file. Scroll all the way to the bottom and enter the following lines:
StrictExitNodes 1
ExitNodes <list of the names you found in step 2 separated by commas>
An example of the second line above would be:
ExitNodes anonion,anotherlink,colinwillsdorkyahoo
If a line starting with “ExitNodes” already exists, then overwrite the line with your new exit nodes. Save the file and exit notepad. Note: you may often have to update your list of exit nodes (step 2 and step 3) as the servers come and go.
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Step 4: Ensure you have the latest version of Flash installed for Firefox. You can do this by going to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/.

Step 5: Run Vidalia. After a few seconds, it should say "Connected to the Tor Network".
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Step 6: In Firefox, there should be a status at the bottom of the browser saying “Tor Disabled”. In order to enable Tor, you click it, and it should say “Tor Enabled”. This is where you can switch Tor on or off depending on whether you are browsing a site that needs it. In my previous post, I suggested installing Foxy Proxy to allow Tor to only be applied to certain sites, and you’re welcome to do this, but you don’t need it. Others have suggested Mgeni, which is another option depending on the flexibility you need. These instructions assume you don’t use either of those.
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Step 7: Right-click on the “Tor Enabled” status and select “Preferences”. In the “Security Settings” and “Dynamic Content” tabs, make sure that “Disable plugins during Tor usage” is unchecked.
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Step 8: Now that Tor is enabled, go to http://torcheck.xenobite.eu/. This page should confirm that you’re now using a Tor exit node.
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Step 9: Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/ to use iPlayer. Enjoy! (at this point you can also go to http://spotify.com or http://hulu.com if you’ve set it up for that)

I should note that trying to watch iPlayer through the proxy server is often very slow, and so some people prefer to download an episode and watch it on their computer. You can do this as follows (thanks to bisquick for the info):

Step 10: Go to the page of the show you wish to download and click on “More downloads” under the video. Choose “Windows Media Player” and save the file to your desktop. Let the file download – it will probably take a while. If you want, you could copy the location of the link from the Download popup, turn off Tor, and download it without using a proxy server, which might be faster.
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Step 11: Once the show has downloaded, you now need to set up Windows Media Player so that it will download a valid license to watch the episode. Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools -> Internet Options. In the “Connections” tab, click on “LAN settings”. Now under “Proxy server”, check “Use a proxy server for your LAN” and enter for Address and “8118″ for Port. Uncheck “Bypass proxy server for local addresses”.
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Step 12: Play your episode in Windows Media Player. The license should download and your episode will play. Once the license is downloaded, you can undo the proxy settings in IE (by unchecking “Use a proxy server for your LAN”)

Deal of the Day: Meerkat Slippers

2 Apr 2010 In: shopping

Discovery Store is having a sale and I found these cute Meerkat slippers on their site. Yes, I’m probably a little too old for them, but I had panda slippers when I was younger and they were very comfortable so I’ve been looking for a similar item for a while now. Some of the reviews say they run small, so I’m hoping they’ll fit me, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

00085902 718869 Deal of the Day: Meerkat Slippers

After tax and shipping, the cost is just $20.12.

The Launch of Twitterbook

20 Mar 2009 In: social media

This post was originally written for NewMedici.com.

Much of the social media news in the past couple of weeks has focused on Facebook’s release of a number of new features. Some of the features have been welcomed, while one in particular has garnered most of the attention and criticism.

n20531316728 2288723 1843313 The Launch of Twitterbook

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This Week in Hulu

24 Feb 2009 In: television

This post was originally posted on NewMedici.com.

huluhq This Week in HuluIt’s been a interesting week for Hulu. A week ago, Hulu removed its content from both TV.com and open-source media center, Boxee, thereby removing one of the only ways to watch Hulu content on your television. As Fred Wilson explains on his blog post entitled “Why Hulu Should Embrace Boxee

Boxee is a browser optimized for the 10 ft experience. Much like mobile browsers on phones, Boxee renders the content it finds on the web in a way that optimizes it for the device it runs on (in Boxee’s case that is the TV).

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Social Media vs. Privacy on the Web

10 Feb 2009 In: social media

This post was originally posted on NewMedici.com.

I’ll admit it. I’m a social media junkie. And it’s not difficult to satisfy my addiction, considering the large number of social media sites that are quickly popping up as of late. But it has also got me thinking – considering the popularity of social media sites these days, should we be more concerned about our privacy? 5 years ago, it was only the early adopters who were on sites like MySpace and Friendster and most people were weary of sharing too much on the internet. These days Facebook has over 100 million registered users, and over 222 million visitors per month. Below is a list of some of latest and greatest social media sites, along with ways you can ensure that the whole world knows everything about you:

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Extending TV on the Web

4 Feb 2009 In: television

sello Extending TV on the Web

This post was originally posted on NewMedici.com.

While browsing Hulu recently, I discovered that the site had “enhanced” versions of episodes of one of my favorite shows, Battlestar Galactica. After clicking on the episode to find out what it was, I was extremely excited to discover that it was basically an episode of Battlestar Galactica, along with running commentary by Ron Moore – the show’s creator.

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How to watch BBC iPlayer shows outside the UK

9 Nov 2008 In: tools, video

I have created a new post with updated instructions and screengrabs, which can be found here: Using BBC iPlayer, Spotify or Hulu internationally.

BBC recently released their iPlayer which allows you to watch many of the BBC shows on the web. Unfortunately for us, BBC does not allow users outside the UK to watch these shows. Luckily there’s a way around this. There are many sites recommending different software to use, but having tried many ways, this is the one I’ve found that works using Windows and Firefox: (note, you can also use instructions below to watch other content blocked from viewing within the US, or even to watch content only allowed in the US when you are abroad)

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Movie Showtimes on Google Maps

3 Oct 2008 In: tools

I’ve been messing around with PHP and the Google Maps API and created a Movie Showtimes/Google Maps mashup prototype. Check it out and let me know what you think:


Comic-Con … Finding the Panels so you Don’t Have To

30 Jul 2008 In: video

Last week was Comic-Con 2008, and my first Comic-Con. I went down for a couple of days during the week and managed to go to a few panels, but would have loved to have attended many more. It was a zoo but fun nonetheless. Anyway, I have some pictures of the Con and SD here and have found some of the panels that I wanted to see and missed online. I’ve listed them below and will continue to update the list as I find more. I haven’t watched them all yet, so if there are better ones or others to include, feel free to let me know:

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With my Freezeray I will Stop the World

18 Jul 2008 In: video

Just a quickie for anyone who’s listening: Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is currently live and will only be available until July 20th, so check it out quick. It’s a 3-part web series from Joss Whedon starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. And, yes, it’s a musical. It’s pretty darn funny, but Joss Whedon can’t do much wrong in my book. Apparently it’ll be released to DVD at some point too, so if you miss it on the web, you can buy it on DVD – but why not see it now while it’s free?

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