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A Pox on your Proxy: Ridiculous Ways to Waste Time at Work

Working hard, or hardly working?

If you don’t know what a proxy is, and more specifically, what a “Proxy Server” in regards to computer networking is, I’m about to enlighten you.

What a proxy server is, is awesome.It, in essence, acts as a ethereal middle-man between the computer you’re sitting on and the information on the web you’d like to access. Proxies are used for all kinds of things: Security, expedite recourse acquirement, a holding pen to scan incoming data for mal ware or outgoing content for ‘leak protection, and most importantly, on the job procrastination.

A Web-based proxy server (either a computer, or a computer application) can be leveraged by even an inexperienced user to circumvent (that’s “to Go around”) IP and URL restrictions set up by your employer/educator. I won’t tell you how it works, but I will tell you what it means: You no longer have to wait to get home in order to update your Facebook status.

Before we get started, a word of caution: You should not completely trust proxies. I personally do not enter important personal information on any any web sites while using a proxy. Accessing your Myspace, Facebook, Yahoo Mail or any other secure site by Proxy can be a risk because you compromise your personal account information. Think of it like asking a friend to give you a ride to the bank’s ATM because your car has been impounded by the police. You get to the bank, no problem, but you’ve gotta ask your friend to insert your ATM your card, as well as your PIN number. Now imagine asking a stranger to do the same thing. That’s what you’re doing when you use a proxy to access personal sites on the web. So, be careful what personal information you expose while surfing web sites using a proxy.

Ok, stepping off the downer-wagon, and getting to the fun stuff: 9 ridiculous ways you can use a proxy to waste time at work.

 

Social Networking Sites
Yeah, this one kind of goes without saying. Seeing as how you probably already spend most of your free-time at home with Face-ster, or Mybook, or Friendspace open anyway, why not spend time at work with it running in the back-ground. Besides, we’re all wondering what you’re going to do with the lonely bull you found in Farm-town… No, not like that, you pervert.

 

Browser Games
“The Empire is yours to conquer, my lord.” You’ve seen the ads in banners and side-bars for years now. Big breasted women inviting you to unsheathe your sword and conquer cities because your nation is under attack and no one can save them but you, one real-life minute at a time. Casual gaming is currently one of the biggest industries on the web, and with good reason: They’re an addictive distraction, and sure beat putting together those Excel spreadsheets for your boss.

 

Personal eMail

Need I say more? That letter you’ve been meaning to write to your ex-boyfriend who was love at first site, and you dated for a week and a half and then he left you after the lake-party because of something you said after too many vodka-Monsterbulls. Well it just can’t wait until you get home because after your morning sales meeting the perfect words came to you and you just have to get on-line and send him the Jane Austen inspired love-fest that will win his heart and lead to happily ever after… but first you’d better eat that doughnut you found in the break-room…

 

On-Line Dating

Well, if the letter to lake-boy doesn’t work out, you can always go sign on to a personal’s site. There are a million out there, and seeing as how it’s clearly a numbers game, you might as well sign up for them all, spending click after click looking for the perfect mate who will share those long nights on the lake drinking Vodka-Monsterbulls with you. Sure, create your profile, upload your best picture… you’re at work. I’m sure the update your manager needed ‘ASAP’ can wait until after we take our fourth personality test today.

 

On-Line One-Night-Standing
Craigslist Casual Encounters. Need I say more? Oh, yes I do need to say that most of those ads are Not Safe for Work (Yes, that’s what NSFW means.) So unless you have a boss with a *very* open mind or an office with a door, I’d skip this procrastination method until I got home. But getting an eMail out there before the lunch rush really might up your chances.

 

Depression Therapy
Well, if the dating thing doesn’t work, you can always go to Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” site. Reading that ought to make you feel better. It always works for me. Those poor suckers. They saw someone and had a moment, but were too scared / busy / shy / stupid to say / do anything about it.

 

Pr0n

Yes, I’m sure you can use a proxy to visit adult media sites while you’re on the clock. But I’d really recommend against it. It certainly counts as a ridiculous way to procrastinate at work though, doesn’t it?

 

Youtube / Hulu / Streaming Media
Much tamer, but still in the ball-park of ridiculous ways to procrastinate at work would be to use a proxy to watch Jimmy Fallon’s Mustache Wrestling on Hulu, or maybe =3 on Youtube. You could likely use a proxy to attach to your favorite radio stations’ web-cast in order to get around listening to Sade’s new album on infinite repeat. That would be a good idea. In fact, I’m gonna do that right now.

 

Top-Ten Lists
You’re using a proxy to read this right now, Aren’t you?