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Got A Website Uncensored

There are a few things that Internet users in the UK (where I have just moved) need to know.

  1. The close brushes Canada has had with censorship are nothing compared to the UK. It really matters whether you get an ISP that wants to fight this trend.
  2. Some companies, such as Andrews & Arnold, have filled this niche by providing broadband of a quality that's hard to find on the other side of the pond. I first became aware of this company when I checked for the ISP with the top rating on ISP Review. My impression just got better and better as a I spent more time on their website. It is remarkable how many resources they put at your fingertips — SIP services, an IRC channel, a wiki on how to use many different modems and routers, a blog that advocates for digital rights, numerous references to xkcd, the ability to pay every full moon, etc.
  3. If the appointment to set up your line doesn't happen right away (which is inevitable with a small company like AA), you will probably come across the "Cloud" wireless hotspot run by Sky News. This is a pretty slow option that even has some bugs with how packets are handled. I don't know whether it's a keepalive connection, persistent connection or referrer check but some basic property of web forms failed most of the time when I tried to edit Wikipedia.

Anyway, on one of the good days using the free wifi, I tried to go to MEGA only to find out that it had been blocked. Blocked for copyright reasons you ask? Because its controversial founder launched the site in order to make it more resilient to the types of infringement cases that took down Megaupload? No, the network said that it had been listed under the blocked category radicalization.

This was truly absurd so I sent an email informing Sky's SonicWall partner that MEGA merely facilitates backups like any other cloud hosting site. They responded by saying that it would be reclassified as information technology / computers. Thankfully, the company wasn't actually targeting MEGA; they had just solicited recommendations from third parties about which sites should be blocked. And those third parties probably happened to include oligarchs who regard cryptography as a threat.

More recently, I finally got around to playing a parody of Where's Wally / Where's Waldo based on The Wire. Hailed by many as the most honest depiction of what the war on drugs has done to once thriving American cities, The Wire has a scene that lends itself particularly well to this reference — the nephew of a drug kingpin angrily shouts "Where's Wallace" from a police interrogation room after the lawyers arrive. His uncle's associate refuses to answer, knowing full well that his friend Wallace has been killed for being a snitch. Those who have watched it will know that I'm referring to the crew of Avon Barksdale — four young men who've been manipulated into a life of crime because they have nowhere else to turn.

  • Poot: A man of few words who is quite ruthless when he needs to be.
  • Bodie Broadus: A loyal drug dealer who has been orphaned from a young age. While his actions are based on some underlying sense of morality, he is willing to kill when ordered to, or when someone gets on the wrong side of his quick temper.
  • D'Angelo Barksdale: A mentor to the other boys who initially revels in the family business (bragging about multiple murders) but later comes to the conclusion that it is not for him. The one instance of him actually killing another person was accidental.
  • Wallace: The youngest of the four who would never hurt a fly. He joins for the camaraderie but the unsavoury aspects of the drug trade make him sick to his stomach.

All these characters and more show up in the game which shows a huge crowd gathered in the projects. You win by finding all of them in order with Wallace being the last one.

An imagined scene from The Wire where most of the characters are highlighted because I am near the end of the game.
While going through the list, it is likely that you will see a familiar face when it's not your turn to find that character. As such, it helps to take notes while playing. It so happens that I never saw Wallace early. I thought this was because he was absent, i.e. the game would leverage some Javascript to make it possible to find him only at the last minute. But no. He's always there, just well hidden. This screenshot shows the relevant area of the scene from the beginning of the game.

Upon finishing, we are greeted with a delightful screen.

The text referring to the drug trade as the game... shown after Wallace is found.