Amazon Video and it’s lame geographic restrictions (for Android)

Got interested in Amazon Video due to their new series “The Grand Tour”, a.k.a. TGT, a.k.a. “Top Gear Two”. I decided to try Amazon Prime 30-day trial, that includes the video service. To my big surprise, I could register in a minute and was watching the show in HD. With a laptop browser. Video quality was very nice.

However, it is convenient to be able to watch the videos on a tablet or a phone as well. Amazon does have apps for Android, however they’re not in the official Google Play Store, but in their own Amazon Underground. I got the Amazon Underground App installed, but when trying to install the Amazon Video from there, it told me I was unable due to “geographic restrictions”. Sigh. Yet another artificial problem.

Solution: install Amazon Video App from http://www.apkmirror.com/apk/amazon-mobile-llc/instant-video/ and watch all the videos you want.

No need for fake mail addresses, fake IP/DNS or VPNs. At least not for the TGT. At least not today.

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Moved to DigitalOcean

After running my external web site and e-mail on a “webhotel” (at www.louhi.fi) for five years, I got fed up to the inflexibility of the solution and started to look for VPS (Virtual Private Server) options.

Five years ago, a VPS was still quite expensive, but as the prices seem to have dropped, they are no longer much more expensive than webhotels. My colleague recommended DigitalOcean so I decided to give it a shot. At first glance, it looked perfect: the smallest VPS has 1 CPU, 512 MB RAM, 20 GB HD and 2 TB monthly traffic, static IPv4 and IPv6 address. Their web interface is very clean and efficient. Registering and setting up a Debian 8 “droplet” only took about two minutes. I got the root password by e-mail and was ready to SSH in. It seems extremely easy and user-friendly compared to e.g. Amazon. It is also much cheaper – just 5 dollars per month. (For more dynamic setups, they offer an API and hour-based charging as well – so that you can e.g. create large Linux clusters on demand automatically from your own software.)

Luckily I had saved the old configurations from the VPS I was running before the webhotel era, so I didn’t have to configure everything from scratch. After spending a couple of evenings with my laptop, I now have my e-mail (postfix, dovecot, sieve, spamassassin) and website (apache, wordpress) running 24/7 in DigitalOcean’s data center in Amsterdam. I run automatic backups over SSH to my home server each night. I also moved rinta-aho.org DNS servers to DigitalOcean. They have a very neat web page to configure the DNS records and they don’t charge any extra for that.

After a few weeks, I am very happy with the change. I now pay less than I paid for the webhotel, I have more disk space, I have complete control over the software running on my server, and all services at rinta-aho.org are now accessible through IPv6.

Give it a try: https://www.digitalocean.com/?refcode=44faab0c4f59

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Twitter wins

Being using social media sites for almost 5 years now, I would say that Twitter will win.

Why?

The competition: Facebook and Google both make things too complicated. First of all, they don’t give a proper list of your own stuff where you could delete anything you have written earlier and don’t want to have available any more. Twitter has a single stream which has *everything*. You can delete anything and everything at any time.

Sometimes openness is best privacy.

We’ll see…

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