Three Links for March

Some good things I recently came across:

1. Gladder: an auto-proxy addon for Firefox. Very convenient! Unlike TOR, it’s not either “always on” or “always off.” Just works for the sites you need it to work on. How did I not find out about this sooner?? (Via JP)

2. Olympic Game Piracy. Shameless. The best thing to do about this is to spread the word when it happens and turn up the scorn. (Via Dave)

3. The Deadly Huashan Hiking Trail: a photo journey. Don’t let the use of Comic Sans fool you; this is one hardcore mountain climb. Make sure you see the pictures toward the end…


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. I climbed up Huashan in April/2006 and either fortunately or unfortunately, I didn’t know about that plank-walk and über scary part as my friend and I only went to the east and north peaks. We took the trail to the north peak and spent the night there so that we could get to the east peak by sunrise but sadly we were about 30 minutes late, though it was no big deal as it was really cloudy.

    The author really makes it seems more dangerous than I felt it was. I never once thought that it was “deadly” even if I didn’t visit the south peak but then again it wasn’t snowing or windy either. That’s not to say that you don’t have to be careful, but I think he wrote “deadly” just to get more hits because there were tons of children and elderly when I was there.

    As for the Olympic game being pirated, I read about it yesterday on Slashdot. One user linked to a wikipedia article and stated that it does violate China’s copyright agreements. If anyone’s interested here’s a link but beware, there be geeky jokes abound!

  2. John, you can turn turn TOR on and off systemwide easily… RTFM 🙂

  3. Huashan may not be the ‘deadly’ climb that is described, but it sure looks compelling to a person who has a love-hate relationship with heights. Great pictures!

  4. Tora,

    Yeah, I did kind of get the impression that the author was having a first experience outside of the ultra-safe USA (that even has to protect the public from hot coffee).

    Still, some of those shots looked quite scary…

  5. Jakob,

    Yeah, you can easily turn it off and on, but you have to actively control it. What if you want TOR on for one tab, but off for another? With Gladder, you don’t even have to think about it.

  6. Wow, great find, John. The footholds carved into the rock face combined with loose chain link for hands to hold onto is cause and effect for heart pumping! The most I can claim is river rock hopping on foot through the rapids and slipping, scratching the bracelet of my platinum gold Chase Durer watch 😉 But we traveled a number of mountains, I cannot remember which – Yandang, Huangshan?

  7. Good God this Gladder app is great!

  8. Hi John,

    I cannot thank you enough! Gladder is really “great” as well as its naming. I could not access Wiki China until yesterday even through proxy, but there is no problem at all now. If I missed this article today, I would regret it for the rest of my life! Thanks again.

  9. I cannot access Youtube even using Gladder now. Is it just because of the riot in Tibet? Anyway, Chinese censorship bureau responds very quicklly. Good job!

  10. A local friend of mine visited Huangshan about ten years ago, and one of the people in his tour group, and the porter carrying her, fell to their deaths. Scary!

  11. Frank Rizzo Says: March 18, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    People regularly fall to their death at Yosemite. I’m not buying the “only in China” hysteria of that page.

  12. Hey John! One of my co-workers tipped me off on this Chinese app for getting around the censorship. It’s lightning fast. I can’t use gladder because I’m not patient enough, but this app I can leave on all the time and things still go super fast. It’s called 无界浏览 (Ultrasurf)

    He said that every now and then the robots find it and shut it down but they quickly release new versions. Here’s the latest

  13. Does Gladder add sites automatically? I’ve been vacillating between FoxyProxy and a personal proxy autoconf script for quite some time now.

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