Please Unrestrict the World’s Content!

Tried hacking. No dice. World. World… Yes, I’m talking to every single one of you!

For years I’ve had to live with the fact that Australia is treated like a second-rate citizen. Typically it’s because of the United States of America having a walled country in terms of content. Australia was settled by the British, but in the 21st century we are very much influenced by the USA.

Here’s a few things that have been traditionally hindered on Australian soil:

  • Feature films are released 3-6 months after they’re initially released in the United States. The same goes for DVDs. Films such as Avatar or Transformers are released at the same time as they are in the USA because they’re so popular that they don’t want people to pirate them. People will pirate them anyway.
  • Television shows are broadcast 6 months or more after they’re aired in the USA. Okay, so ever since the final season of The O.C. this has changed. Now, popular US shows such as LOST, Heroes, Flash Forward, etc are shown in Australia a week after they are broadcast in the USA. That still doesn’t cut it for me.
  • Technology doesn’t reach us for years. We’re located so close to Japan, yet America tends to get new technology before we do. Where’s the logic in that? We never had the opportunity to buy the first generation iPod or the first generation iPhone. We still don’t have true unlimited broadband Internet. (We have 25-200GB caps and they’re fairly expensive.) This is being remedied though.

Many of those restrictions aren’t unique to Australia. The United Kingdom is far closer to the USA than Australia is, yet they also get treated similarly. Lots of other countries have similar treatment.

The issue as spread to the Internet. You can find almost anything online, but (depending on the country you’re accessing the Internet from) you might not be able to view it.

Here’s a list of things that are restricted on Australia’s Internet:

  • Hulu. No one can access Hulu outside the USA (most proxy servers are even blocked). They state that they’re trying to become available in other countries, but they’ve been stating that for years.
  • YouTube. You may not be aware, but a plethora of content on YouTube is blocked from Australian consumption. Although some UK-based content is blocked from American viewers.
  • Television stations (NBC, ABC, MTV, CMT, etc). Most American television stations block viewers from other countries. Similarly, you can’t access video content from Australia’s television stations’ web sites if you’re not within Australia. So, America isn’t really the ‘bad guy’ in this whole situation. It’s the idiotic rules based around content in general.
  • Amazon MP3. Sure, anyone can access an Amazon web page. But, in order to download MP3s you need an application. The application can’t be downloaded unless you’re accessing the web site from the USA. Amazon Video On Demand videos are also blocked from view outside the USA.
  • Google Voice. I understand that a service like this might take a little while to role out to Australia because phone numbers and mobile phones are a little different, but Google took over Grand Central a long time ago. You’d think they’d have figured out a way to allow other countries to use the service. Skype does it. I hope that when they do launch it in Australia (and other countries) that we can keep phone numbers from various countries on the same Google account.

As I mentioned above, the USA isn’t the only country that doesn’t allow outsiders to view their content. It’s just the fact that they create a lot of good content that we all want to see as soon as it’s done in the editing room.

Something interesting I discovered today is a British television show called Skins. It’s a teen drama (same genre as Australia’s Home & Away) which appears to push the boundaries of what can be shown on television (e.g. the f-word and sex scenes). I don’t know much about British television, so I’ll tell you what I just learned. Skins is shown on a channel called E4. It’s broadcast in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. E4 is a pay-TV companion to the free-to-air Channel 4.

I am able to access video content on E4’s website. Scenes, behind the scenes videos, video blogs, and photographs from Skins are available on the website. Those residing in the United States can also access all that same content. Though, scenes from the show available on YouTube (uploaded by random users; not E4 or Channel 4) can be seen in Australia, but not the United States. I’m not quite sure why they’re blocked on YouTube and not E4’s official website. Oh, that’s right, because YouTube is a jerk!

It seems that British content is a little more accessible than content from the United States — or even from Australia. Yeah, try accessing the Foxtel web site from outside of Australia (you’d see this).

So what are we to do about this? Well, I’ve submitted my interest to Hulu that I’d like it available in my country. I’m not sure if that even does anything though. I’d say just keep pirating stuff until these various services begin to understand our needs, or until The Zeitgeist Movement is complete.

What do you think about all this? Are you in the USA and could care less? Are you living in Australia and wanting to slash your wrists? Hit up the comments below! 🙂

MeUpdate – January 22, 2010

Here’s an update of what I’ve been up to. Below the video is a brief summary of what’s discussed in the video. It’s well worth a watch.

On the first recording of this video I recorded an entire 50 minute video that didn’t have any audio. I’m thinking about uploading that video anyway and letting you guys put your own voiceover to it.

I’m sitting in the NSA Management office because it’s a little more comfortable than my bedroom or the couch.

It’s quite hot in Sydney at the moment. The humidity is quite unbearable.

I’m heading back to America on the 9th of February. I’ll be going back to Texas to be with Rachel. Read more about it here.

[Follow @DKFEED to keep up to date with my Blog and Tumblr posts.]

I’m not going to MacWorld 2010, but I’m thinking about going to SxSW 2010, and I’ll definitely be at PodCamp AZ 2010.

I’ve been recording lots of videos. I as many of those online as soon as I can.

I’ve been sleeping on the floor and it’s been a much better experience than my bed. Dustin Curtis has a great page on ‘How To Hack Your Brain‘ in regards to sleep.

I discuss some brief topics discussed in The Zeitgeist Movement. It would really make me happy if everyone took the time to discover more about the project. ZDAY2010 is going to be held worldwide on March 13th, 2010. Please get involved. 🙂

Please check out the new design on my blog: djsteen.com/wpRachel did an amazing job with the redesign, and I’ve been keeping it up to date quite regularly.

If anyone in Sydney, Australia, wants to hang out before I leave to go to America on February 9th, then please send me a message on Twitter (or Facebook) with enough time to make plans. 🙂

Other links mentioned:
Tech Hijack episode 64

I’m returning to America in 2010!

Update: I’m flying out of Sydney on the 9th of February, 2010. I arrive in the USA on the same day. If we’re “friends” on TripIt, you can follow the details there.

As many of you know, I traveled all across the USA and up to Vancouver, Canada, from June 2008 to June 2009. It was truly magical! So many online friends became real life friends, and so many more friends were made during the trip.

Well, I’m heading back!

Last time it was all travel and exploration. Although, I didn’t make it to the Grand Canyon — must change that! This time is more of a move-(ish). The reason I say “-ish” is because I’ll always be able to call Australia home (queue Qantas commercial).

No, I’m not bringing my bed. No, I’m not packing lots of boxes. No, I’m not taking my iMac. Gosh, I’m even leaving my Drobo (which I just had sent over from America) in Australia!

Yes, I miss Rachel. Yes, I’m going back to live with her in Texas. Yes, I’m only planning on bringing one suitcase.

Did you know? During my 2008-2009 year in the USA/Canada I lived out of one suitcase and a duffel bag for 90% of the trip! (I added a second suitcase in the last month; my original suitcase was 9 years old and had been beaten around a lot!)

Side note: I’m listening to “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z | Alicia Keys on repeat. I first heard it a few days ago. Darn you, inspirational beats. 😉

The reason for this post is because I’m excited, and I realised not many people knew. I just assumed most of my online friends knew, but how could they know if I hadn’t directly told them? Ha, silly Derek.

I’m trying to catch up with as many of my Australian friends as I can while I’m still here. I’m flying out at the beginning of February, so there’s only about a month left. That’s four weeks, folks!

I’m eager to go out on adventures in and around Sydney. Whether it’s just ‘hanging out’, eating some tasty food, taking photographs, recording video, or anything else you’d like to include me in. I’m in.

I have big plans to explore more of Australia and the rest of the world in a few years time. Read more about that here.

You can buy “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys on iTunes and Amazon1. More information about the song can be found on Wikipedia.

Disclaimer: I use affiliate links for iTunes and Amazon, so if you buy something I recommend, then I get a tiny percentage. Yo, I’ll buy you lunch some time. 😉

My First Thanksgiving

My mom is American, so I know of Thanksgiving. Plus, Australia is influenced a lot by America, thus most Australians know of Thanksgiving.

Seeing as I was in America during Thanksgiving this year, it my first year ever attending a gathering/dinner for Thanksgiving. It’s all about the Turkey; I still haven’t looked up why. I also haven’t figured out what Thanksgiving is all about, but I guess it’s a good excuse to get family together.

I was staying with Cait & Jason in Phoenix, Arizona, at this time and they invited me to Thanksgiving with Jason’s family.

I had no intention of eating the turkey. My mom has always tried to get me to eat it for Christmas, but I’d always refuse. I’m an extremely picky eater, and will suffice with bread and water. When the Thanksgiving turkey was cut in pieces it looked just like chicken. Many people know I love chicken! So I had some and it was pretty tasty! It tastes like chicken. Ha! The bread rolls (known in America as biscuits) were also yummy.

Thanksgiving is basically an American Christmas without the presents and Santa.

It was fun to check out the desert scenery where Jason’s family lives.

Here’s a video of the whole day:

Music in the video:
“I Heart Thanksgiving” by Robert Lund (The FUMP)
[Buy on iTunes/Amazon MP3]

“The Thanksgiving Song” by Adam Sandler
[Buy on iTunes/Amazon MP3]

Where Do I Go?

You may know I’m currently traveling the United States, and having a lot of giddy times while doing so!

I’ve been to Washington D.C., New York City (incl. Long Island), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago (I want to go back!), Tampa Bay (Florida), and I’m now in Phoenix, Arizona.

I’d like to know where the best events and excitement can occur in the coming months. Sure, I can look on Upcoming or Facebook, but I want to know where YOU know is going to be awesome! Either because you live there, or because you’ve had a rockin’ time there once.

I’m planning everything around Geoff Smith’s Ustream Christmas Party at The Big Bang Bar in Nashville, TN, on the 15th of December. I feel that going to chill with Rachel after that (for Christmas?) would be the most economical thing to do, but I feel kinda bad not visiting my relatives (in Vancouver, Canada) for the ‘holidays’.

What about New Years? Is there an amazing place to see lots of fireworks and intoxicated people around? Sydney is known for some pretty wicked fireworks!

I also want to know where there are great places to go skiing. I love skiing, and I know America/Canada has much better slopes than Australia!

I’d really appriciate it if you could give me some ideas (include links) via the comments on this post, and or the video above. 🙂