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1426  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / The issue of Ad-Blocking in our browsers. on: October 02, 2013, 11:02:38 PM
I thought this was priceless. A rather fatuous and self-aggrandising post in http://blog.pagefair.com was somewhat pwned in classic manner in the comments - where is made a lot of sense arguably reflecting the feelings of a lot of users (including myself).
For posterity (in case it gets deleted), an .mht copy of the page is attached as a .txt file, if you want it (just change the extension to view it in a browser).
[attachurl=#]
Quote
Detect Adblock: Our Secret Sauce
Published October 2, 2013 by Cody Beck

How do we do it?
[Image] How do they do it?How do they do it? [Discovery Channel]
We’re often asked how our adblock detection script works its magic: how do we detect that someone is blocking ads? Most people expect us to guard this secret closely, but the truth is we use an approach that’s widely discussed online. We observe what happens when a web page loads and detect the effects of adblocking plugins.

Understand Ad Blocking
In order to know what effects to look out for we need to understand how adblock stops ads from loading. The first technique used to block ads is to intercept requests from the browser to particular domains or for particular files. Most publishers use hosted ad servers that operate from well known domains; for example Google’s display ads are served from doubleclick.net. The adblock community maintains ‘filter lists’ of these domains that are updated regularly with the latest ad server domains. Filter lists also name particular files for which requests should be blocked regardless of domain; for example any javascript file called ads.js.

The second technique used to block ads is to hide ad-related page elements based on css rules. Publishers carefully design their web pages with space for both content and advertising, but when ads are blocked this could leave large, empty areas on screen. The adblock community’s filter lists specify page elements that should be hidden, for example any element with the ID ‘leaderboard-ad’. Page elements that match standard ad dimensions are also hidden. By hiding these page elements, adblock ensures that the space they would have taken up can be re-used by other parts of the page, such as the main page text. This has the bonus side-effect of also hiding any ads that slip by the first blocking technique.

Choose Your Bait Carefully
With these techniques in mind we insert bait elements into the page that adblock will attempt to block; including a javascript file, an image and an iframe. We then carefully observe what happens when a page loads. onLoad and onError events tell us if they’re successfully retrieved or if requests have been blocked. Their css style tells us if they are visible or have been hidden. We have run these tests billions of times, and have now refined them to the point that we can accurately detect when a user is blocking ads using adblock.

The Devil is in the Detail
As always, there’s more to this than meets the eye. Anyone who’s tried their hand at web development will be familiar with the frustration of cross-browser (in)compatibility and the challenge of staying current with a shifting landscape of browser and plugin technologies. Not to mention the challenge of  building a scalable server infrastructure that can handle vast quantities of analytics traffic in real-time.  We won’t bore you with complaints here though; hopefully you’ve now got enough information to understand what’s going on in the background when you sign up to use our free adblock measurement service.

Tags: adblock, detect adblock, technology
← Ad-news For Publishers
END OF POST============================

Comments:

    PhasmaFelis
    So has anybody ever tried to address the root cause of adblocker use, i.e. ads are really fucking annoying? I don’t like ads in general, nobody does, but that alone wouldn’t be enough to make me bother to install and maintain AdBlock. What does it is strobing “YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY WON” and animated “one weird trick” scams and softcore porn. This shit is *everywhere*, even on allegedly respectable news sites.

    If you want me to turn off AdBlock, you need to insist on reasonable, non-offensive, non-animated ads. If your ad provider doesn’t do that, get a better one, or lean on yours until they do. If this industry spent one-tenth as much energy pushing ad services for better quality standards as they do wringing their hands about ad blocking, shit would happen.
        http://brandonbrown.io/ Brandon Brown

        I whole-heartedly agree.
        oGMo

        Yeah seriously. And if your site refuses to load or whatever due to adblock, it wasn’t worth reading anyway. Your content is not that special. I’ll just go elsewhere.

        (Also the techniques discussed in the article are pretty much nothing special and exactly what I would have expected. Expect the next wave of adblockers to alter reporting for elements they block if this becomes necessary.)
            Rick Burgess

            How would you suggest paying for the content? are paywalls less annoying?
                PhasmaFelis

                I would, and did, suggest less offensive ads.
                    Rick Burgess

                    Lets be honest though, ad blockers originally came about to block pop-ups because they were horrible. pop-ups are dead on all but adult sites for the most part and what you have now are small text or image ads thats really aren’t a big deal.

                    You could also argue that even if they made ads that were less “offensive” you would never see them because of your blocker :p
                http://www.trisweb.com/ Tristan

                I suggest a simple and universal “tip” service. You would dedicate a certain amount, such as $5 per month, to be used for tips, and every time you click “tip” (a universal and recognizable UI) it’s recorded. Your $5 budget is then split amongst all the tips clicked that month.

                Obviously you could do a certain micro-payment amount as well if required. Or a simple pay-switch (rather than a wall) — the key is to make it a seamless and universal experience, as easy and ubiquitous as this Disqus form, so you’re not inconveniencing users at all.

                Add a “pay wall” and people will not climb over it. Hell no. But make it easy and fun to pay for content, and people will embrace it and feel good about it.

                This is a UX problem, not an economic problem.
                    Toranaga

                    marketing is the tax you pay for not being interesting. Pony up!
                    Rick Burgess

                    I agree that solution would be better in theory, if people were to actually use it. I fear that the majority of users are used to what they perceive as free content online and will simply not pay if they don’t have to.

                    We have the paypal donate type functionality which has been around for years and has a standard (although not nice) UI but I would guess (as i have no data to back it up) that the actual donation rate is pretty low.

                    The only way I can see a tipping type service working is if there is some benefit to the user for doing so, much like subscriptions on twitch.tv for example.
                oGMo

                First you need actual content. This means not a link chain to some other site or some blathering commentary piece. Hint: If I can skip your site and find the same or very similar content in the next link down the chain, your content is worthless.

                Yes, this means doing real work. This means having something to actually say, some research or something of value you’ve actually done. Then a paywall isn’t even necessary: I’ll subscribe to you even if I block your ads. For instance, I subscribe to places like di.fm and Destructoid which provide real, actual content I can’t find elsewhere.

                If you can’t be bothered to do the work and you just have drivel that no one is even willing to see an ad to read, your “content” doesn’t deserve monetary support. However, if you have quality content, you will get support.
        pagefair

        We agree that intrusive ads are bad! In fact we highlighted this issue in a previous blog post ‘Dealing With Adblock: 5 Options That Don’t Work’. The problem is that existing alternatives are bad for both publishers (less revenue) and web users (less access to information). The ad industry is gigantic and sadly change is slow to happen.
        Justizin

        Having worked at (and left in disgust) an ad-driven company, the answer is simple and clear: The most annoying ads yield the best click-through rates, but I can’t possibly believe they yield the best consumers. Companies like Google who once tried to challenge the shittiest ad strategies are now serving them up, and many companies relying on those ads have offices full of people using AdBlock “because our fucking site doesn’t load otherwise”. I think we should organize to boycott sites with the most visually distracting and CPU intensive ads (FLASH).

        What would astound you, BTW, is that for direct sales, you can barely sign an agreement anymore without a large % of video ads, so sites with no substantial video content have to invent an excuse to have video content and TRY THEIR BEST to distract their users away from the actual site, to watch these 1:00 ads on top of :15 video clips, sometimes bought wholesale.

        It’s abhorrent and it’s a fucking ponzi scheme, but it pays. :/
    kjs3atl

    An even more important reason to run an ad blocker is that the ad networks have become very effective malware distribution mechanisms. I have huge numbers of events like the following (edited slightly for readability):

Formatted for Generic Code with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1.   GET /7f01baa99716452bda5bba0572c58be9/afr-zone.php HTTP/1.1::
  2.    ~~Accept: text/html, application/xhtml+xml, */*::~~
  3.     Referer: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/_uac/adpage.html::
  4.     ~~Accept-Language: en-US:: ~~
  5.     User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64;Trident/5.0)::
  6.     ~~Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate::~~
  7.     Host: delivery.globalcdnnode.com::
  8.     ~~Connection: Keep-Alive::~~::~~
   See that referer? HuffPo ad launch page. That host? That’s not a CDN, it’s a malware farm registered to some guy out of RU. That GET? It eventually leads to a Darkleech exploit toolkit.

    We’ve seen these coming from all sorts of legitimate sites and ad distribution networks. We’ve had to block a couple of big ad networks in our web hygiene proxies, and they’ll likely stay blocked until they clean up their content, and that’s probably going to take a lot of big sites to make them.

    Haven’t had a single complaint from the users, tho.
    ende

    We’ve tried the same technique to detect ad blocker and then show the people an unobtrusive “Please switch off the ad blocker, that’s how we are paid”-banner. It took 3 days for the ad blockers to adjust the rules to not block the bait. It seems the only way to have even such an unobtrusive banner displayed is pay ABP for the exception.
    flamer96845312

    Good job linking to jQuery’s API when talking about JavaScript events.
    Also, if you start complaining about compatibility issues when talking about a few lines of JS, you must be quite the pro.
    Don’t write “technical” posts to attract clients when they’re only a display of how skillless you are.

    Tweets by Pagefair
    tweets
1427  DonationCoder.com Software / Clipboard Help+Spell / Re: Cannot delete single clips on: October 02, 2013, 07:53:47 PM
It should work. Pressing the Delete key also works by deleting the clip(s) selected.
As a longtime CHS user, when I find something inexplicable/odd like this happens in CHS, the quickest workaround is to shut CHS down and restart it.
You will invariably find that does the trick and the problem has gone away.
1428  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NASA puts first Curiosity Rover scientific papers behind a paywall? on: October 02, 2013, 06:46:54 PM
I think this kind of pay-walling stinks. It shows a complete lack of ethics and professional scientific integrity and it goes hand-in-hand with the equally odious practice of deliberate restriction of access - by blocking FOI access, or locking-up and in some cases deletion - of/to data/information used in dubious scientific/academic research which has been partly/wholly funded by the public purse. This seems to be invariably attributable to a desperate need to avoid critical and open review leading to the very real risk that the research can be falsifiable - e.g., (QED) Climategate, S-E Anglia CRU research FOIA and the now apparently discredited hockey-stick chart from Mann (Penn.U.).

These all seem to be reflections of the same thing: a complete lack of ethics and professional scientific integrity.
1429  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Blacked Out Government Websites Available Through Wayback Machine on: October 02, 2013, 06:08:49 PM
This could arguably also go into the jokes section...
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Blacked Out Government Websites Available Through Wayback Machine
Posted on October 2, 2013 by brewster   

Congress has caused the U.S. federal government to shut down and many important websites have gone dark.  Fortunately, we have the Wayback Machine to help.
Many sites are displaying messages that say that they are not being updated or maintained during the government shut down, and the following sites are some who have shut their doors today.  Clicking the logos will take you to a Wayback Machine archived capture of the site.    Please donate to help us keep the government websites available.
noaa.gov - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - noaa.gov
parkservice - National Park Service - nps.gov
LOClogo3 - Library of Congress - loc.gov
NSF_Logo - National Science Foundation - nsf.gov
fcc-logo - Federal Communication Commission - fcc.gov
CensusBureauSeal - Bureau of the Census - census.gov
usdalogo - U.S. Department of Agriculture - usda.gov
usgs - United States Geological Survey - usgs.gov
usitc - U.S. International Trade Commission - usitc.gov
FTC-logo - Federal Trade Commission - ftc.gov
Corporation_for_National_and_Community_Service - Corporation for National and Community Service - nationalservice.gov
trade.gov - International Trade Administration - trade.gov
 
This entry was posted in Announcements, News, Wayback Machine and tagged blackout, Wayback Machine. Bookmark the permalink.
← Celebrate at the Internet Archive — 1024 — Thursday Oct. 24th
One Response to Blacked Out Government Websites Available Through Wayback Machine

    Pingback: YSK that the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine" has cached versions of all government websites before the shutdown. | Awesome Facts
1430  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: LastPass - What are your thoughts? on: October 02, 2013, 05:39:56 PM
+ 1 for LastPass - which I have been using since I started trialling it in June 2011. (FREE version - I don't need the paid version's features, but would be happy pay for it if I did.)

LastPass periodically seems to get improved/updated, and previous peculiar idiosyncratic features tend to get fixed.
I initially started trialling both LastPass and Xmarks. I had stopped using Xmarks because it started duplicating my bookmarks and I had to invest a lot of time in clearing the mess up. However, LastPass later acquired Xmarks, and I gather the two now work pretty seamlessly together.

By the way, if you have been running LastPass for a while, there is an adjustment you might need to make (for potentially improved security) - as per the LastPass account Help: (my emphasis)
Quote
LastPass also performs a large number of rounds of PBKDF2 server-side. This implementation of PBKDF2 client-side and server-side ensures that the two pieces of your data - the part that's stored offline locally and the part that's stored online on LastPass servers- are thoroughly protected:
     (screen capture image, not copied)

By default, the x number of rounds that LastPass uses is 5000. LastPass allows you to customize the number of rounds performed during the client-side encryption process. If you log in to LastPass, open your LastPass vault from the LastPass Icon, and launch Account Settings, you will see the "Password Iterations" field displaying the current number of rounds used for your account. Although 5000 is currently the default number of rounds, your number may be lower if your account is older.
___________________________
The notes on the account settings page recommend that you tweak up the round to 5000 if your setting is less.

As some kind of comparison, I wouldn't touch NortonIdentitySafe-v1 FREE with a bargepole though. (No trust.)
1431  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Yay! I've got the old style of Gmail Compose back - in Firefox! on: October 01, 2013, 04:41:55 AM
Many thanks, IainB!  I thought I'd pretty much reconciled myself to using the ugly, annoying new style until I read your message, downloaded the add-on, and tried it out.  What a pleasure!   
Yes, I was dee-lighted about it too.    smiley
1432  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Yay! I've got the old style of Gmail Compose back - in Firefox! on: October 01, 2013, 04:40:03 AM
also featured in Lifehacker, there is another add-on which automates the UA trick called 'Old Compose'.
http://lifehacker.com/hat...ose-brings-the-1308260149
Yes, thanks for getting that link. I referred to the Chrome/Chromium extension in my opening post, but I had not trialled it. Actually, I went to trial it before making the post, but then abandoned it when I read:
Quote
...Old Compose is free, but it requires you to share the link on Twitter or Facebook before you get the download. ...
Not with a 10-foot bargepole.
1433  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: September 30, 2013, 12:14:26 AM
[attach]
1434  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage. on: September 29, 2013, 09:03:57 PM
Interesting interview. Here are a few interesting snippets.
Quote
...snip...
Boyce: Well, I agree with what my wife Cait said here not so long ago: The average American is more interested in how much cream and sugar he has in his coffee than his civil liberties.
Sigh...
I wish more people would get angry about this. Or upset or just talk about it. Something. Just to keep up the pressure.
__________________________
So @Renegade, how much cream and sugar do you have in your coffee? I drink coffee by the mug-full and prefer milk, not cream - just a dash, and of the skimmed variety, not full cream.
Sugar, I like maybe a level teaspoon-full in the mornings, and at most a half teaspoon-full in cups of coffee after that. I love coffee.     Kiss
I didn't know this was going to be a discussion about coffee. How nice!
1435  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: VPN Gate - Univ. of Tsukuba launches Academic Experimental [Crowd] Project. on: September 29, 2013, 07:05:34 PM
@Shades: Thanks. Very informative.
I was generally aware of the reasons why all that information was sent out, and that you could change/obfuscate the information by altering the user agent info from the browser. However, I am unsure of how many VPN Gate users might be aware of this.
(I use the Firefox add-ons UserAgentSwitcher and now UAControl for this.)

What I was rather appalled at though was that the user profile provided by that information was effectively a kind of fingerprint (or at least a semi-unique ID) in VPN Gate - where VPN Gate is supposed to be an anonymising network to make it "safe" for people in totalitarian regimes where "Big Brother" scrutinised their every move.
Post-Snowden, it seems that it is now certain that those regimes include the US (where BB's agent is the NSA), so I am somewhat averse to using any US-based volunteer server nodes in the VPN Gate network. (Zero trust.)
1436  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: VPN Gate - Univ. of Tsukuba launches Academic Experimental [Crowd] Project. on: September 29, 2013, 02:55:51 AM
Well, I have just about given up re malicious IP addresses. My post to the VPN Gate forum seems to have taken a somewhat surreal turn. I can't understand it. It's nonsensical.
You can take a look at the discussion thread here:
Evidence that SoftEther VPN Service exe has embedded malware
I had to remind myself of this:
Quote
Timothy 1:7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
- which quote I came across when I was using VPN Gate and went to take a look at my IP details here: http://aruljohn.com/details.php
- and was surprised at how much of my anonymous ID browser's "fingerprint" was revealed.
1437  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What to do if threatened by a defamation suit on: September 28, 2013, 01:07:09 PM
Thanks. Interesting!
1438  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Strategy for capturing and retaining OCRed text ("Alternative Text") from images on: September 28, 2013, 09:21:48 AM
Sorry for the length, but I need to explain this in context and in some kind of sequence for it to make sense.
The question I have at the end is:
Quote
How could one make best/optimum use of the potential for bulk copying (as opposed to the current piecemeal capability) to capture OCRed "Alternative Text" in a more readily accessible form than the present Clipstory html files seem to offer?

  • 1. How I came to be using ClipStory: (bear with me; this is relevant)
    On 2012-02-18 I posted a Feature request for CHS - "Detritus" database(s)
    It was not of pressing importance, and I didn't know if/how the request could be met, but it was at the back of my mind when I discovered that my can't-live-without clipboard information management tool - CHS - had somehow, without my knowing, deleted the bulk of my hard-earned Favorites that it held in its database. Fortunately my backup cycles meant that I was able to find older CHS database backups that were much larger in size than the more recent shrunken CHS database.
    Lesson learned: Monitor your critically important databases for any significant changes in size.

    However, because it was likely to be such a chore, I have procrastinated and not given myself the time to go back and see if/how I might be able to recover the Favorites from those older backups.
    So, with the "detritus" idea at the back of my mind, and having also by that stage spent some time experimenting with NirSoft's InsideClipboard, when BitsDuJour announced they were giving away Clipstory, I got a free, licensed copy. I installed it and am still using/trialling it. This was to be my de facto detritus collecting tool. I have it set up to save all stuff copied into folders (which are backed up), thus:
    • ClipStory audio files
    • ClipStory files      
    • ClipStory images    
    • ClipStory text      
    • ClipStory webpages  

    Essentially, anything you copy/cut gets saved into Clipstory (there's a max limit on file size though). The "webpages" folder saves anything copied from an html source. This means there's some doubling-up - e.g., a snippet of text copied from a web page apparently goes into the Clipstory text folder and the webpages folder - but that's OK by me as I periodically empty all the folders except the text one.
    There is also some duplication with CHS, which retains in its database the same text and images as Clipstory. However, again, that's OK by me as I periodically empty out all the images and all the text in the CHS databases - except for that text that I wish to retain, which gets flagged as "Favorite" and is kept for good and for easy access via CHS.

  • 2. How MS OneNote OCRs/captures text from images:
    If you paste/drag an image into OneNote, or if you capture a screenclip image using its superb built-in screen-clipping tool, or if you paste/drag content containing images from a web browser, into OneNote, each image gets immediately OCR-scanned and any text found by OCR is made available almost instantly in the form of copyable (and search-indexed) text - what OneNote calls "Alternative Text" or "Alt Text". This is tedious when you want to copy text from multiple images, as it needs to be done on a per image basis.
    Here's a picture of the "Alt Text" that you get if you right click-such an image: (this was a single image in a OneNote table that had several text-containing images pasted into it)

    [attach]

    I had built that table in OneNote so that I could use it in a DCForum post about buying MS Office for $9.95 as a corporate "Home Use" special deal. When I had built it, I copied the table and pasted it into irfanview (it pasted in as an image), saved the image, and that image went into the DCF post.

  • 3. What Clipstory did with the copied table:
    It saved it as an HTML file in the ClipStory webpages folder. But that's not all.
    In my housekeeping, I had deleted all the Clipstory image files, and was about to delete the HTML files, when I thought I should just take a quick look and see what I was about to delete. It was then that I discovered that Clipstory saves some stuff from OneNote that is potentially more interesting/useful than one might at first realise - viz: "Alt Text" as html code.
    I reconstructed what seems to have happened.
    When I looked through the Clipstory html files, they were all in html.

    Reconstruction: This is the html content of the file (2013-9-28 8497.html) of the copied OneNote table:
    (Look at all that "Machine generated alternative text".)

    When I viewed the file with Universal Viewer, I got this:
    (Click to enlarge/reduce.)
    [attachthumb=#]

    That looked very familiar. The bits marked as "Machine generated alternative text" were images, and I couldn't select/copy that text, so I copied some of the (copyable) heading text "What you get under the MS Office". Then I started up OneNote and searched for that string. Found it in the table in OneNote straight away, and went back to compare the table with the view of file 2013-9-28 8497.html, but now that file looked like this:
    (Click to enlarge/reduce.)
    [attachthumb=#]

    After a bit of mucking about, I figured out (but am not absolutely sure) that the html was probably linked to the original in OneNote, from whence the images had been copied, but the images were inaccessible until I started up OneNote, at which point they were fetched, and (it seems) put into Temp, from where they were fetched again and inserted into the web page displayed, thus covering up the Alt Text image placeholders in the view of the html - all made possible because I had opened up OneNote.
    This would seem to be consistent with OneNote's being organised something like a huge and complex wiki - it hyperlinks everything it holds in rather clever ways. Everything you do in the Notebooks is linked to date, time, and author, and material in OneNote is cross-linked internally within OneNote itself and externally to sources of material from across the internet and the client PC. Thus, if you copy anything from OneNote, the copied content will include all the relevant links related to where it was located at the time it was copied. If you move stuff around, the links are tracked and dynamically reassigned as necessary, so there is continuity and you don't easily get dead/broken links.

Given the above, the Clipstory html files afford the potential to do bulk copying of multiple images' text, and thus overcome the tedious per image copying referred to above. The question I have is: How could one make best/optimum use of the potential for bulk copying (as opposed to the current piecemeal capability) to capture OCRed "Alternative Text" in a more readily accessible form than the present Clipstory html files seem to offer?
1439  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: VPN Gate - Univ. of Tsukuba launches Academic Experimental [Crowd] Project. on: September 27, 2013, 09:06:32 AM
@Shades: Thanks for that. Interesting. Looks like "misuse" alright.
1440  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Yay! I've got the old style of Gmail Compose back - in Firefox! on: September 27, 2013, 08:53:05 AM
It has really been p#ss$ng me off - the way Google, not content with making Gmail a space-wasting, glary, and eye-straining as all heck mess, then decided to arbitrarily take away the Compose page and replace it with a compulsory squidgy, cramped-up piece of rubbish. I detest being dictated to by service suppliers.
If you use Chrome/Chromium, then there is apparently an extension you can download from the app store that will restore the old-style Compose page and functionality, but there's apparently nothing similar for Firefox.

Then today I read in a Lifehacker post:
Gmail Compose Windows, Noisy Environments, and Progress Bars
Quote
...
Force Your Browser to Load the Old Gmail Compose Window
Scott shares a way to force Gmail to use the classic compose window:
  • I learned that specialized extensions that bring back the old Gmail compose window mostly work by switching the user agent to Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0). So I just downloaded the UAControl extension for Firefox, which lets you set up the user agent on a per site basis. Now whenever I am using Gmail in Firefox, I have the classic compose window!
    __________________________
If you're using Chrome instead of Firefox, you can use the extension User-Agent Switcher for Chrome to get the same effect.
_______________________

So, I downloaded/installed the Firefox add-on UAControl
Then I restarted Firefox opened the new add-on's Options panel, and added the two properties lines thus:
   mail.google.com
   Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.0)
[attach]

Then I refreshed the Gmail page, pressed the stupid big red Compose button, and presto! There it was. The old-style Compose page, ergonomically rather good, with appearance and functionality returned.
Try it yourself if you want the return of the old-style Compose page.
Then you too can flip Google the bird.
1441  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: VPN Gate - Univ. of Tsukuba launches Academic Experimental [Crowd] Project. on: September 27, 2013, 05:59:47 AM
After some experimentation, I think I have this sussed, but cannot fix it.
So, I made this post at the SoftEther VPN forum:
Quote
Post subject: Evidence that SoftEther VPN Service exe has embedded malware
Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:33 am 

WARNING: Evidence that SoftEther VPN Service exe has embedded malware.

Thought I should report that the Windows Service called SoftEther VPN Client (program executable is vpnclient_x64.exe) is sending outbound messages to IP address 80.82.64.193 - a suspicious site that is blocked by Malwarebytes. These outbound messages are being sent even when the SoftEther VPN Client Manager is NOT connected to a VPNGate node - i.e., when it is inactive.
Also 80.82.64.193 (dea.anonymouse.me) is often listed on the VPNGate Hostname list in the VPN Client Manager GUI.

I asked on the Malwarebytes support forum why Malwarebytes is blocking outgoing VPN Gate IP address 80.82.64.193 (WHOIS says Host dea.anonymouse.me Country Netherlands).
They advised that this IP address was on their blocked list, because:
____________________
That IP is on a range of servers that are known to recently be participating or housing threats that can potentially harm someones computer and why the IP is blocked.
IP Address 80.82.64.193= ET-RBN Known Russian Buisness Network IP with malicious detections as of Today-9-27-2013
It would seem your software is allowing you to connect to IP's that can be malicious.
____________________

I had been running VPNGate using installer vpngate-client-2013.07.20-build-9091.127245.zip

So, I fully uninstalled/expunged the SoftEther VPN and all related VPN Gate system files, and clean reinstalled from vpngate-client-2013.09.27-build-9387.127802.zip (downloaded from http://download.vpngate.jp/common/cd.as ... 127802.zip)

However, the outbound requests to IP Address 80.82.64.193 continued as before.

This would seem to indicate that the installer package may have malware embedded in it, resident in the SoftEther VPN Service exe, and that it is ALWAYS ACTIVE when the Service is running.

Hope this makes sense or is of use.
1442  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: VPN Gate - Univ. of Tsukuba launches Academic Experimental [Crowd] Project. on: September 27, 2013, 01:35:32 AM
Got this comment/suggestion from someone on the MBAM forum:
Quote
IP Address   80.82.64.193= ET-RBN Known Russian Buisness Network IP with malicious detections as of Today-9-27-2013
It would seem your software is allowing you to connect to IP's that can be malicious.
You might want to wait for a Admin or Expert's opinion as I am neither, just a helper
1443  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: VPN Gate - Univ. of Tsukuba launches Academic Experimental [Crowd] Project. on: September 27, 2013, 01:34:07 AM
My contribution: does their webpage get kicked by Ghostery/other for any trackers?
I have been reluctant to drop my phaser shields to find out...
1444  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Interfaith Explorer (FREE) - Mini-Review on: September 27, 2013, 12:16:25 AM
My remarks will have to wait a few days until my project machine comes back online.
I will test out the Buddhism section because that's a bigger faith than most people realize.
Yes, that's what my Thai (Buddhist) wife just reminded me.    smiley
1445  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / SUSPICION! - VPN Gate on: September 26, 2013, 08:36:41 PM
"SUSPICION!" (from the song of the same name).
As a trial, I've been using VPN Gate on and off for a few months. For probably most of the time it sits passively in my Systray (executable is vpnclient_x64.exe).
However, MBAM (the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware proggy that I use) regularly reports it as being blocked whilst trying to communicate with a dodgy IT address - 80.82.64.193 (Type: outgoing, Port: 57126, Process: vpnclient_x64.exe)

I did a WHOIS via http://ipaddress.is/80.82.64.193 on this IP address, which returned this information (and more):
Quote
IP Address 80.82.64.193 Profile
A detailed IP address report for 80.82.64.193 is below. The timezone of 80.82.64.193 is Europe/Amsterdam. The current local time of 80.82.64.193 is Friday 27th of September 2013 03:08:36 AM.
IP Address Location Information For 80.82.64.193
IP Address   80.82.64.193
Host   dea.anonymouse.me
Country   Netherlands
ISP   Eyes4media GmbH
Organization   AS29073, Ecatel LTD
Latitude   52°30'00" N
Longitude   5°45'00" E
_______________________

That looks like it is probably one of the "anonymous" VPN Gate network nodes, but I would like to find out more about why MBAM blocks it and why it (in Holland) is a main node for my client in the VPN Gate network - which I thought was Japan-based.
I just wonder whether there might be an NSA connection sucking on the end of that IP address...

I am relatively ignorant. This isn't an area of expertise for me at all. Anyone know how I might be able to ferret out more information about this?    tellme
1446  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Interfaith Explorer (FREE) - Mini-Review on: September 26, 2013, 12:12:56 PM
^^ Yes, orthodox Christians generally seem to have become pretty well-behaved and peaceful this century, but nevertheless they have suffered and continue to suffer persecution in different parts of the world.
The Baha'i faith is an interesting sect, relatively very young, not barmy, and seems to have been "made up" starting from 1844:
Quote
23 May 1844 – Siyyid Ali-Muhammad, a 25-year-old merchant in the city of Shiraz, Persia, announces that He has been sent by God to prepare humanity for a new age and the imminent appearance of another Messenger even greater than Himself. Source:  - http://www.bahai.us/welco...ders-and-history/history/
________________________
I guess because Mohammed had earlier proclaimed himself to be the absolute last true prophet of Allah, and that any subsequent prophets would thus be false, was probably a major reason why the Baha'ists were/are persecuted (for their "heresy/blasphemy").
By comparison with olden times, making up a new religion nowadays seems to be a relatively very easy and safe thing to do, and can apparently be highly profitable, especially if they are granted tax-free charitable status - and it seems the barmier the better (e.g., Scientology, the Moonies).
Still, I'd give the Baha'ists top marks for their apparently wholesome principles/ethics and lack of fascist religio-political ideology/dogma.
I do think there is a lot of truth in the old saw that:
Quote
By their fruits ye shall know them.
- just look at the Interfaith Explorer, for example. That's evidence of benevolence and good curatorship and good curatorial practice, right there.
1447  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: September 26, 2013, 08:31:35 AM
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1448  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Interfaith Explorer (FREE) - Mini-Review on: September 26, 2013, 01:15:46 AM
@Renegade: You could reasonably expect that it would include all the Baha'i texts, since it is a Baha'i-created repository, after all, but actually it seems pretty comprehensive over the other faiths' texts too - though that is only what I observed from the English translations, so I am unsure whether it might be true for translations in other languages.
For example, having six (6) English translations of the Koran ("Qur'an") is quite impressive, but the French version ("Le Coran") looks pretty limited in that regard, by comparison.

Another impressive thing: the principles of the Baha'i faith make it genuinely inclusive - and seem to make it and its representatives independently take up the mantle of responsibility for accepting, embracing and accommodating all those other religions, and for providing this sort of central, safe and "Open technology" repository for their religious texts, for posterity.
Given that Bah'ism is a branch of the Islamic sect, I find that inclusive aspect of the faith a most hopeful sign for mankind, though it apparently marks Baha'ists out as blasphemers and unbelievers in the eyes of many of the orthodox and exclusive Wahhabist form of Islamicism, whose acolytes have apparently decreed that Baha'ists are all going to have to die and burn in Hell for eternity for their blasphemy, or something. It must take real faith/conviction and guts to be a Baha'ist (or a Christian for that matter) in the Middle East.

You might not know this, but I am pretty skeptical of religion (and religious belief and religio-political ideology) in general. However, I have to say that I rather like the Baha'i faith - it seems to me that it really does deserve the name of "The Religion of Peace"™. Certainly more so than an orthodox older sister/bother who might falsely try to lay claim to that title - e.g., Christian or Islamist.
For evidence, you only need to look at the example of that website (http://bahairesearch.com) and the Interfaith Explorer - all apparently pulled together by two guys -  Ian Vink and Runa Ali. A seriously inclusive and dedicated effort and a work of faith and (I suspect) of love.
1449  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: CISPA is the New SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/etc. etc. etc. on: September 26, 2013, 12:13:24 AM
Well, maybe it is merely a politically pragmatic and stealth approach to securing the legal sanction of NSA spying legitimisation whilst avoiding the risk of any more blowback from the Snowden/NSA revelations.
I mean, it could make sense to use CISPA (or some SOPA**/CISPA** permutation/derivative) to legislate implicit sanction for indirect NSA access, and as a lever to gain agreement from senators who might otherwise be reluctant to publicly approve any new, direct access NSA spying legislation.
Those senators might need to save face that way.
From what I have read it's all pretty much a foregone conclusion. It's gone too far, and there's too much at stake, commercially and politically, for government to allow retraction on this matter.
From the evidence - i.e., what we have seen so far - you are arguably up against the usual remorseless totalitarianism/fascism, and if you don't like it then you will have to lump it. Chances of change and survival AS-IS are probably equivalent to the proverbial chances of an ice cube in Hell.
You will get that legislation passed, one way or another, regardless. So, "forgetaboutit" - quote from Donnie Brasco, which context was also American gangsterism.
1450  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: September 25, 2013, 10:00:23 PM
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