Watching and listening to the BBC from abroad

With the Super Saintees back in the SPL, there's a lot more media coverage. Unfortunately, most of this has been on the BBC, and they block access from outside the UK. This includes BBC Alba (streaming through Zattoo), Radio Scotland commentrary (real audio and/or flash), and BBC Sport website highlights (audio and video, using flash).

I'm working around these blocks using a UK VPN egress point. There are a bunch of commercial and non-commercial offerings: In my case, I'm using http://www.hidemynet.com/, which costs $5/month. The setup instructions are very straightforward from my laptop -- it's just a standard PPTP (GRE) VPN.

I did hit one hiccup: The flash based streams (including Zattoo) use a Content Delivery Network for efficiency. In other words, your streaming client is given a server IP address that is as 'close' to you as possible. Since the streaming all seems to be TCP based, this is significant.

Unfortunately, the CDN redirection is implemented using DNS. This meant that, when I was using my standard ISP's DNS settings, I was being redirected to a streaming server in San Jose, even though my IP address was in the UK. The net result was that the video streams were maxing out at around 250kbps, which isn't sufficient. By default, Windows XP continues to use your default DNS settings even when you're pumping all your Internet traffic through the VPN.

There is a fix: After connecting the VPN, I run this script which puts the VPN's DNS settings at the top of the list that Windows uses. I picked up the script from this site.


' KB311218 - Cannot Change the Binding Order for Remote Access Connections
' ========================================================================
' VBScript that places the \Device\NdisWanIp entry on the top in the 
' registry value Bind (multi-string) that is found under the key 
' HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Linkage\.
' If the entry already is at the top, no registry update is done.

Const HKLM = &H80000002

sComputer = "."   ' use "." for local computer

' Connect to WMI's StdRegProv class
Set oReg = GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" _
         & sComputer & "\root\default:StdRegProv")

' Define registry location
sKeyPath = "SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Linkage"
sValueName = "Bind"

oReg.GetMultiStringValue HKLM, sKeyPath, sValueName, arValues

arValuesNew = Array()

For i = 0 To UBound(arValues)
   If i = 0 Then
      If LCase(arValues(i)) = "\device\ndiswanip" Then
         ' Entry is already first in the list, no point in continuing
         Exit For
      Else
         ' Put NdisWanIp in the first element in the new array
         ReDim Preserve arValuesNew(0)
         arValuesNew(0) = "\Device\NdisWanIp"
      End If
   End If

   ' Continue adding the rest of the elements to the new array
   If LCase(arValues(i)) <> "\device\ndiswanip" Then
      iCountNew = UBound(arValuesNew) + 1
      ReDim Preserve arValuesNew(iCountNew)
      arValuesNew(iCountNew) = arValues(i)
   End If
Next

' If there are elements to be found in the array, update the 
' registry value 
If UBound(arValuesNew) > -1 Then
   oReg.SetMultiStringValue HKLM, sKeyPath, sValueName, arValuesNew 
End If

SBASL Premier Division: Update after game day 5

We're mid-way through our first season in the top division after being promoted, and we've been holding our own with a 50% record so far.

We should have got something more from every games we didn't win too.

Premier
TeamsGamesWinsLossesTiesGFGADiffPointsP10Streak
 Real Madrid  4  3  0  1  10  3  7  10  3-0-1  W 2
 Arsenal FC  5  2  1  2  17  10  7  8  2-1-2  L 1
 Clockwork Orange AFC  5  2  2  1  13  9  4  7  2-2-1  W 1
 FC Spain  5  1  2  2  9  12  -3  5  1-2-2  L 1
 Celtic  4  1  2  1  8  8  0  4  1-2-1  W 1
 Monaco FC  5  1  3  1  5  20  -15  4  1-3-1  L 1

SBASL Division 1: Spring 2008 Final table

We blew it on the last day with a 2-2 draw.

Division 1
TeamsGamesWinsLossesTiesGFGADiffPointsP10Streak
 Arsenal FC  10  7  1  2  44  24  20  23  7-1-2  W 2
 Clockwork Orange AFC  10  7  2  1  28  14  14  22  7-2-1  T 1
 La Sombra Negra  10  5  4  1  29  27  2  16  5-4-1  L 1
 SJ Mustangs SC  10  5  4  1  21  23  -2  16  5-4-1  W 1
 Inferno FC  10  2  7  1  15  22  -7  7  2-7-1  T 1
 Real Sunnyvale  10  1  9  0  14  41  -27  3  1-9-0  L 5

SBASL Division 1 Update after gameday 9

With one game remaining:

Division 1
TeamsGamesWinsLossesTiesGFGADiffPointsP10Streak
 Clockwork OrangeAFC  9  7  2  0  28  14  14  21  7-2-0  W 4
 Arsenal FC  9  6  1  2  38  20  18  20  6-1-2  W 1
 La Sombra Negra  9  5  3  1  25  21  4  16  5-3-1  W 3
 SJ Mustangs SC  9  4  4  1  18  21  -3  13  4-4-1  L 1
 Inferno FC  9  2  7  0  15  22  -7  6  2-7-0  L 3
 Real Sunnyvale  9  1  8  0  12  38  -26  3  1-8-0  L 4

SBASL Division 1 Update after gameday 8


Division 1
Teams Games Wins Losses Ties GF GA Diff Points P10 Streak

 Clockwork Orange AFC

 8

 6

 2

 0

 26

 14

 12

 18

 6-2-0

 W 3

 Arsenal FC

 8

 5

 1

 2

 33

 19

 14

 17

 5-1-2

 T 1

 La Sombra Negra

 8

 4

 3

 1

 24

 21

 3

 13

 4-3-1

 W 2

 SJ Mustangs SC

 8

 4

 3

 1

 18

 19

 -1

 13

 4-3-1

 T 1

 Inferno FC

 8

 2

 6

 0

 14

 17

 -3

 6

 2-6-0

 L 2

 Real Sunnyvale

 8

 1

 7

 0

 12

 37

 -25

 3

 1-7-0

 L 3

Not gutted any more

I'm a few games into the new season with both my indoor and outdoor teams. It's been "interesting".

Outdoor: Won 3-2, then 6-1, then 10-1.
Indoor: Won our first game 13-0.

I'm clearly not accustomed to this sort of form, and have had to spend most of the past few weeks sitting down and fanning myself.

Gutted

In many ways, the mistake was in getting my hopes up. Thursday night was the first time that I can remember challenging for any footballing success, with the end-of-season playoffs in our indoor soccer league.

We'd finished the regular season with only one defeat, in second place behind the unbeaten Cosmos and things were looking great when we strolled through our semi-final 7-0. I even had the luxury of resting some of the guys towards the end of the game.

The final was an hour later, and we faced Sudacas, who had surprised everyone by getting through at the expense of the aforementioned Cosmos. The rumors implying that they were playing with ringers were not unjustified.

Either way, we had a heartbreaker: Ahead early on, we faded and eventually lost 5-4 to a sudden-death 'golden goal' in extra time.

I wasn't happy. I was even less happy when I woke on on Friday with a migraine.

Bad to business as usual then.
  • Current Mood
    high on codeine

Fitba' update: It keeps getting better

I'm on a bit of a roll right now. Saints finally won a game last week, after their dreadful start to the season.

That was followed by another CWO victory on Thursday evening which meant we finished in second place, with six victories out of seven, and bye through to the semi-finals of the playoffs.

At the weekend, Scotland won on Saturday, followed by a decent CWO result outdoors on Sunday.

And just when it couldn't get any better, this happens:



I watched that at the Brit in San Jose, and I was still coming down this morning.