Thursday, July 02, 2015

Internet service has crapped out

My studio's building normally has very fast, very reliable Internet service, but for most of Wednesday, I've been unable to access the Net through my laptop, which slurps donkey balls. Instead, I've had to use my phone: out of necessity, I discovered the very easy procedure by which to turn my phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot, thereby allowing me to use my laptop again (I had been doing the opposite before: using my laptop as a Wi-Fi hotspot so as not to burden my phone's data usage). I have to do so sparingly, however: using the phone as a hotspot is going to burn up my meager available bandwidth (3 GB per month, which goes fast when you watch as much YouTube as I do) pretty quickly.

I tried everything to see what might be wrong with my Net connection. I unplugged and re-plugged the Ethernet cord leading into my laptop. No change. I did the same for the Ethernet cord where it went into the wall. Again, no change. I restarted the laptop dozens of times. Nothing. I clicked the "turn off/turn on Wi-Fi" icon at the top of my Mac's screen just as many times. No effect at all. I've done everything I can to establish that the problem is somehow on my end, and I can only conclude that the problem isn't me: it's something about the building's service. Perhaps there's a server, somewhere, that needs a good bit of percussive maintenance done with a steel-toed boot at the end of an angry leg.

In a strange twist to the above problems, I can hit "preview," while typing this blog post, and the preview window will show up, despite having the same "" URL! What gives? It can't be the fact that the preview screen's URL begins with "https" instead of "http," because I tried truncating the preview URL so as to see my regular blog. Nada. So how on earth am I able to see my blog's preview? I regret not being a computer nerd.

A second twist: going to Elisson's blog, which is also a Blogspot blog, produces the following frustrating result:

Translation: next to the stylized "T," the Korean says cheongsonyeon yuhae chadan seobiseu, i.e., roughly, Youth-endangerment Protection Service. Below that, the text says basically that "The site you're trying to connect with contains dangerous or illegal material." Sure, yeah, I did recently post a picture of a friend's inadvertent sex toy, but as you see above, I can try to reach a Blogspot blog as innocent as Elisson's (OK, maybe Elisson's blog isn't that innocent, either, but he's got more class than to post photos of silicone fuckholes) and still not get through. So what gives?

I should explain the situation a bit further. I've had this "youth endangerment" notice appear on my cell phone before, too. Normally, it's a matter of waiting a few minutes and trying again for the block to disappear from my phone. That, or I log in (again on my phone) to Korean Naver, a portal site, through my Naver ID; I fiddle around with some settings, and the site is unblocked that way. (To be honest, I'm not sure what determines blockage or non-blockage.) I suspect that SK Telecom, my phone's service provider, is the entity behind the blockage. By using my SKT-powered phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, I now permit SKT's ethics to invade my laptop and govern what I can and can't see. It's unsettling to know that these services have that much control over what you see, and also to know that these services can't distinguish my blog from a porn site. (It could be that some spiteful folks, sometime in the past, flagged my blog, which put it on several watch-lists. But if that's the case, why would Elisson's blog be flagged? What has he ever done to earn Korea's ire?)

I'm just hoping the crappy service will have returned to normal by tomorrow, so I can use my laptop normally and not waste my phone's bandwidth. I feel as if I were back in the days when the MIC (the ROK government's Ministry of Information and Communication) had blocked all Blogspot blogs to keep people from seeing the Kim Sun-il beheading video.

ADDENDUM: yet another twist: Steve Honeywell's movie-review blog, 1001 Plus, is reachable, despite being a Blogspot blog. Da fuck?


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