Jun 17 2010

Use an ssh server as a secure proxy [to access U.S.-only websites, and trick Megavideo for unlimited viewing!]

While trying to watch some World Cup matches online while in Mexico, I stumbled upon many U.S.-only sites. I started reading about proxies again, and while there’s some decent proxy lists out there, you still have to hunt for a good, fast one and when I tried many of them some videos would still have trouble opening.

Instead, I found this article on using an ssh connection as a proxy to route all internet requests through it. As they say, most webhosts provide ssh access and I’ve confirmed the method works with my DreamHost ssh connection, for example. I use the -C argument to compress data, and the connection is virtually as fast as with no proxy at all.

You can change Firefox’s settings directly, as they explain, but if you want a more practical way to switch back and forth between the default settings and the proxy, you can use FoxyProxy, a Firefox extension to handle different proxies and even specify which websites use which proxy. Just make sure to check the SOCKS option to get the ssh-proxy method working:

FoxyProxy settings for ssh server

FoxyProxy settings for ssh server

So this is cool if you’re abroad and want to get to Hulu, Pandora, or any U.S.-only site, or just want to encrypt your connection. It saved me the proxy testing, and everything has worked for me so far as it would with no proxy.

Unlimited Megavideo, other restricting sites?

Even if you’re in the U.S. and can access all these sites, I have found one more bonus benefit of the proxy setup for Megavideo fans, such as myself: when you exhaust your viewing time using your default computer connection, switch to the ssh proxy. Megavideo thinks the request comes from the computer you’re ssh’d into! Exhaust the proxy’s viewing limit, then come back to your computer to keep watching :) .

All methods to trick Megavideo I’ve seen involve resetting your router, if not digging deep into the browser’s cache settings, plus I never really got them to work consistently, so this has been a great, practical solution for me.

I also feel like this would work as a workaround for other sites that make you wait (Rapidshare, etc?) so give it a try.

May 2 2010

Activate HTC G1 on wi-fi without a data plan SIM card

I remember somewhere in my head the CyanogenMod ROM having the option to choose a wireless network instead of an APN when you do a clean install and find yourself on the “Touch the android to begin” screen to start activating your phone, but lately I haven’t found that option anymore.

I’ve read many ways to try to do it through wi-fi, but the one that I find easiest and that has always worked for me is to connect the phone to my computer as it is on that screen, open the terminal on my computer, and then do:

adb shell
am start -a android.intent.action.MAIN -n com.android.settings/.Settings

This opens the Settings screen on the phone and then you can connect to a wireless network from there.

Apr 1 2010

Easily password-protect files on Mac

Cryptor is a nice and easy way to password-protect files on OS X

Mar 30 2010

Can’t find Google Maps on the Market?

I have an HTC G1 and I’ve been playing around with CyanogenMod on it for a while. Every time a new Google Maps came out, it would not show up on the Market at all; I would always have to download the .apk from somewhere.

I could never really find a reason why on any forums and few people seemed to have a similar problem. It turns out, it’s because I have a Mexican SIM card in my phone and I guess Google Maps is kind of a US-only app? In any case, I downloaded MarketEnabler, installed the .apk on my phone, and set up T-Mobile as my carrier to fake (click-and-hold):


Click and hold US T-Mobile

When opening the Market after that, Google Maps (along with a bunch of other US apps I didn’t know about) showed up as it should.

Google Maps on the Market

Google Maps shows up

Note: As far as I’ve seen, when you reboot the phone, the Market goes back to recognizing the SIM carrier so you have to repeat the MarketEnabler process.