• First The Voice UK Auditions

    Hi folks,

    On Saturday, the first ‘The Voice UK’-auditions were broadcasted on BBC One. As expected, a lot of good singers, however, it is interesting that especially the singers who once were successful in the 90s sound quite boring, so it seems that auto-tune was used a lot in this era…

    Will.i.am is as funny as always (I couldn’t imagine that he would be so funny, before I saw the first ‘The Voice UK’-series last year), nevertheless, my wife and I are quite big fans of Danny.

    So, quite looking forward to the next installment on Saturday.

  • 27th of March – Winter in Austria

    Sometimes I am really wondering, if Christmas shouldn’t be postponed to February or March, as – at least in the last years – these months provide a much higher chance of having ‘White Christmas’. This photo was taken from the window of my office in Vienna yesterday.

  • Cyprus is saved… Is it?

    Hi folks,

    Politicians in Europe are quite proud at the moment that they saved Cyprus… have they? Imagine… You have a bank account, savings account – whatever. It has about 2,000 EUR on it. On first sight, be happy, you are quite far below the 30%-extra-tax-value of 100,000 EUR. But then you begin to think ‘This was only the first round’ and remind yourself that it took several steps to save Greece (if it has already been saved!). That’s why you start to think about the next steps, the European politicians could think, if the first step was not enough. And then you come to a conclusio: Get your money off the bank! The next step might be to do the extra-rate for every account amounting to more than 50,000 EUR – and then? Third step: Everybody has to pay this (it always comes down to the poorest in the end) – so it might be much more safe for the money to be under the cushion of your bed. You don’t get a too high interest rate anyway.

    If it comes to Austrian bank managers like Andreas Treichl, you shouldn’t  be safe by only putting money on a savings account where you think there is no risk (there can’t be a risk can it? – see http://derstandard.at/1287099604945/Erste-Chef-Treichl-will-hohen-Selbstbehalt-fuer-Einlagensicherung – page in German). So it might definitly be more safe for your money to keep it at home instead of putting it on a savings account and receiving 0.125 % or so interest rate (it does not weigh up the risk).

    Well, so far for my black-painting for Cyprus, I still hope, when banks are opening there today, people don’t think like that and do not storm the bank and withdraw all their money (at least, that would be more safe for my money on a non-Cyprus bank account ;-)).

  • About my Webhoster – UPDATED (new affiliate plans)

    Hi everybody,

    Today I want to tell you about my webhoster. It’s Dreamhost and it also hosts another site I am managing (http://www.mgcvoesendorf.org). The cool thing is that if you are looking for a webhoster and use the following link, not only I get some reward for this, but you can also take profit by having $50 off your first payment:

    So, it would be nice if you would support me and this site by using this link when signing up with them. Thanks a lot in advance!

  • ‘Black Tie’ by A.R. Gurney in Vienna’s English Theatre

    And now for something completely different (I warned you, this blog really covers a lot of topics)…

    On Saturday, my wife and I went to Vienna to watch a play in Vienna’s English Theatre: ‘Black Tie’ by A.R. Gurney. A very amusing piece about the changes of dresscode (but not only dresscode) in today’s US during the time, offered by 3 generations. First, there is the main character, Curtis, who is about to write a speech for his son’s rehearsal dinner (or, as his father might want to put it, the bridal dinner). He is the one most torn apart between good old manners and modern lifestyle. During the play, his late father arrives as a ghost to support him with the task, however, as his father has rather old-fashioned manners, this leads to quite some trouble, especially with Curtis’ daughter, who is helping his wife to organize the dinner.

    This play leads to a lot of laughter, so if you are near, it definitely is worth spending some money and have a very relaxing evening.

  • UK television outside uk – other options

    Hi again,

    Reading through my last post again, I noticed that I forgot to mention 2 more possibilites:

    4. Satellite Dish
    Of course that would be the most easy solution, however, since most British programmes are broadcasted using Astra 2D, which is only covering the British Isles, one would need a quite big dish (2 – 3 meters) in the east of Austria.

    5. TOR Network
    In short: Please don’t use this option, that’s not what the TOR network is about. Media data like television streaming needs a lot of bandwidth, and besides this option being rather slow (it used to work when you only needed a one-time-connection with a UK IP-address and then a direct connection between streaming server and receiving device was established), you also keep people who really need this network (because of censorship in their countries) from using the network in a decent speed.

  • How to watch UK tv outside the UK

    Hi everybody,

    Nice to see you found my blog – I am new to this and just arrived from the “analogue” world. I want to begin this blog with a question that has appeared about thousands of times already on the Internet, however there are few “good” solutions: How can I watch television from the United Kingdom when I don’t have a UK-IP-address?

    Actually, as I said, there are a few good solutions out there, but let’s start with what does not work (in my experience, at least):

    1. A UK proxy:

    This won’t work – most proxies are on black list of all major television studios in the UK. Furthermore – at least free proxies – are slow and you have to change several times in only a few hours, because these proxies are available only for a short time.

    Anyway, now 2 or 3 solutions, that do work and are either free or at least not too expensive:

    2. Virtual Private Network (VPN):

    I found this the best solution to watch UK television over the internet, as they are compatible to most platforms and when you set up a proxy, you can even connect your TV or game console to the UK tv stations. A free provider I found and that works quite well is http://www.ukipvpn.com/, but I also used http://www.focusvpn.com/ (GBP 4,99/month – a 2 MB Shared IP is enough, at least for non-HD-TV).

    3. Other Solutions:

    For some time I used http://www.easy-hide-ip.com/. It’s a good solution for USD 29,95/year, but only for MS Windows, but has the advantage of providing other IPs as well (US, Canada,…). However, it installs a Windows service, I am not sure what it does (it is active, even if you are not starting the tool), that’s why I try not to use it any more.

    So, that’s my solutions – but do not forget: To legally watch UK television like BBC or ITV you must have a valid UK TV-license (I know, you cannot purchase one if you do not have a UK mailing address :-(). Nevertheless, If you have one, enjoy these solutions (warning: they may still be illegal, even if you are within the EU and think that due to Information Freedom you are allowed to do it – it has not yet been completely clear!). Another warning: these tipps do not work with tv-catchup.