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Showing posts from November, 2010

A Community Account Is Required, For Following

The Blogger / Google community building accessory, Following, has become so popular that recently we are seeing requests about Following by people without Blogger / Google accounts.How do I Follow a blog using my HotMail account? As if any email account can be used, for Following.

Right now, you can Follow a Blogger blog, using any of 6 different account hosts - 5 outside Blogger / Google authentication space.GoogleTwitterYahooAIMNetlogOpenID

Enabling Cookies And Scripts In Your Browser

As Blogger becomes both easier to use, and more full of features, it becomes an application with more code that runs on our computers.

The code on our computers requires both cookies and scripts, installed on our computers as we use the various Blogger utilities. The cookies and scripts are increasingly susceptible to damage, from improperly implemented layered security.

Blogger, Layered Security, And You

One of the biggest problems with Blogger, right now, is how we allow Blogger programs to run, on our computers.

Whether a problem involves Blogger / Google logins, commenting, Stats, Template Designer, or the Dynamic Templates, Blogger writes the code - and we run the code - when we allow the code to run, without interference.

If we want our computers to remain under our control, and not become part of one or more worldwide collection of computers controlled by hackers, we have to be selective about what code we allow to run on our computers.

It's Winter In The USA Again, And It's Time For More Seasonal Blog Decorations

And just as we saw earlier this year, we have more reports of blog hijacks.My blog is getting redirected to some other website.And, as noted last time, we see a possible "falling snow" decoration as the first suspect in the never ending drama of our blogs, under attack.<script src='http://skigeninfotech.com/snowstorm.js' type='text/javascript'></script>
This problem, fortunately, was not too deceptive.My blog is getting redirected to some other website (http://fileinxt.com/?dn=skigeninfotech.com&fp=pqVXxjF5eZbZPUdjA2CrQZZYLeqa1yd9fqFglE50v8v4EC1bOn33UcPSed%2FwDeiJ9Reh2eiwg8SutCcQJKwtDg%3D%3D&prvtof=pvwzxikjk5Y8qIVO5T2y%2FXDEmNhqCs0%2B8Ro0gzCGabvCE6HiL7ziqtwSEZqp3rEKm6Jh9%2FJ1f%2F2wvhisupe6NXdlr3gpOBXWMdVDWrkFKlk%3D&poru=M%2F0o7laCl49QHRW5Qtdx3sFgJ9q8HQrB4cyfP%2Fqb9agYFzJufaOkqO8J%2BtnyVG5HntoKr9AJzMJSk1shzG2Y7oQgw7gogohmR%2Fc7iiJpC6Y%3D&cifr=1&flrdr=yes&nxte=js)A simple string search on "skigeninfotech" yields the…

You May Not Have To Speak The Local Language

Blogger and Google want to make their services available to the entire world - and this involves recognising that the entire world does not speak English.

Not only is the English language not spoken by the majority of the worlds inhabitants, it's not even the second most common. With this detail in mind, Blogger / Google tries to display their pages in the language of the local inhabitants, based on geo location of the Internet connection.

Security Change To BlogSend Leaves BlogSend Email Distribution Broken

This week, a few blog owners who use BlogSend to distribute notices of new posts to various readers noted a change - and not a change that they appreciated. Various reports were noted in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.The email notification about my blogs new post is not in my spam, nor is it "pending approval" in my Google Groups management. It appears that the notifications are just not going out via BlogSend.andI wrote a new post today and then hit publish. I checked my email and it had arrived, but the sender was not my name, it was "blogger.com".
Blogger Support informed us that they recently changed the address that notifications get sent to - from the users' address, to "no-reply@blogger.com". This was changed as a quick fix, for a security vulnerability that they found.

This change will cause two issues of confusion.For blogs which depend upon direct email from BlogSend to your readers, the recipients of BlogSend will see email fro…

Blogger Blogs, And The Hall Of Mirrors

In the now distant past, one popular attraction in a theme park (then, called an "amusement park") would be a fun house, or maze.

My favourite section of a fun house would be the "hall of mirrors" - a maze where all of the walls were mirrors. One person, entering the hall at one end would be seen in dozens of mirrors, all reflecting an image from other mirrors.

You would see one person, and would have fun trying to decide whether that person was right in front of you, or perhaps a few feet away from you, with his / her image reflected off dozens of mirrors.

Access To Custom Domain Published Blogs In Singapore Blocked By Malware Detection

Bloggers in Singapore are reporting inability to access Blogger blogs published to non BlogSpot URLs, and cite apparent (false) malware detectionFor the past week, I can't seem to view my website from my home!

It says-

Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network
Right now, this appears to involve customers of MaxOnline / Starhub, and to only involve access to blogs not published to BlogSpot (custom domain publishing).

If you are in Singapore, and you are experiencing a problem accessing any Google service and see the above quoted error message, can you please provide details.Your IP address. If you do not know your IP address, you may use either of the following:IP-AddressWhat is my IP AddressPlease verify the scope of your outage, using my standard 5 link connectivity test.
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Install HTML / JavaScript Accessories On Your Blog, Using Care And Discretion

Recently, we've had a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from unwary blog ownersI can't see my blog! I load it in the browser, and another website loads in its place!orI am getting reports from my readers that my blog contains a virus.or evenBlogger just deleted my blog, and tells me that it contains malware. Help!Some of these are people who have seen a shiny gadget or website, and either added the gadget to their blog, or added a link to their blog - and now, they are regretting that addition.

It's not difficult to add a link to your post or to a linklist gadget, or add a new HTML / JavaScript gadget to the template. Unfortunately, past experience has taught us that what we add to our blogs today may look and work great today - but not so great, next month (or even, next year).

And even if you do add a shiny gadget or link, to your blog - and it does not cause an obvious problem - be aware that some of your readers will filter untrusted content, …

Clearing Browser Cache

I've been helping bloggers maintain their Blogger blogs, and had to remind them of the occasional need to clear browser cache, for many years.

One of the challenges, with clearing browser cache, is that each browser - and different versions of each browser - have different menus and wizards, for every maintenance procedure, and for every different setting.

What we used to call "cache" and "cookies", so long ago, is now called "private data" - and there are multiple selections, varying by browser, for various components of "private data".

It's important to understand why you should not clear cache, indiscriminately - and alternately, why you should clear cache, at the proper time.

Spammers, The New Comment Moderation System, And Forum Activity

The new Blogger commenting system has been in place, in many of our blogs, for almost 3 months. Many bloggers have started to notice a marked decrease in spam, hitting our Published, and Awaiting Moderation, queues.

The spammers, who attempt to abuse our blogs, are seeing the effects of the new filters, also. They will have to increase their spamming activity, to keep a steady level of income. This will require constantly increased levels of spamming activity.

Besides posting more spam to our blogs, spammers will spend time posting in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken and similar forums, and causing confusion there. As spammer activity is increasingly attenuated, we'll see more complaints. Don't expect them to openly complainI can't publish my comments, because they are being filtered!as people will recognise complaints like that, and know who is publishing them. Expect more devious complaintsThe new spam filters don't work! Blogger needs to trash them, an…

Custom Domain Published Blogs With Earthlink As Registrar Are Showing "Not Found"

Today, we see discussions in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken about a problem with blogs published to custom domains, and using Earthlink DNS servers.I have a blog showing "Server Not Found", and never got an answer here, so I called Earthlink tech support. It turns out it's an Earthlink problem with the "CNAME"s.
A straight "A" retrieval Dig shows us simply no DNS addresses.
; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> @localhost blog.data-miners.com A ; (2 servers found) ;; global options: printcmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: SERVFAIL, id: 52920 ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;blog.data-miners.com. IN A ;; Query time: 584 msec ;; SERVER: 127.0.0.1#53(127.0.0.1) ;; WHEN: Fri Nov 12 02:58:59 2010 ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 38 If we dig a bit deeper, we find out an interesting detail. ; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> @localhos…

Clearing Cache, Cookies, And Active Login Sessions

I've been advising people about clearing cache and cookies, for a long time.

Recently, I realised that terminology is changing - and some browsers refer to "cache" and "cookies" generically as "private data". Some browsers also refer to a third type of "private data", as "active logins" or "authenticated sessions".

It's important to understand why you should not clear cache, cookies, and sessions, indiscriminately - and alternately, why you should clear cache, cookies, and sessions, at the proper time.

Clearing Private Data Can Cause Various Problems With Blogger

I've been advising people with various problems with accessing and maintaining Blogger blogs, that involve cache and cookies, for a while.

Recently, I explored the ongoing problem with Blogger Stats and the "Don't track my pageviews" setting. Besides the known (and widely argued) problem with blocked third party cookies, I discovered a similar problem, with cookies being cleared when the browser is closed.

Besides Stats, it appears that the Blogger login process, and authenticated commenting, are also sensitive to blocked cookies / scripts - and to inappropriately cleared content.

If regular clearing "cache and cookies", which is now generally known as "private data", is part of your browser optimisation or security strategy, you may wish to examine your policies carefully. If you have a problem with cookie filtering, clearing cookies won't make your problem go away.

If you want to avoid problems with Commenting, Login, and Stats, you need…

Neither "Anonymous" Nor "Name / URL" Provide Comment Authentication

From time to time in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see the naive query / suggestionHow do I disable "anonymous" comments, yet permit people to comment using "Name / URL"?This question is common among blog owners who think that people who comment, providing a blog / website URL, are somehow authenticating themselves.

Buying A Domain For Your Blog Starts With A Working Major Credit Card

An occasional sad story, from people trying to purchase a non BlogSpot URL for their blogs, results from lack of preparation before using "Buy a domain".I had my domain all chosen, but when I entered my credit card number, the card was declined. I straightened out the credit card problem with my bank - but now, I getWe found an existing order for this domain.Help me!
Generally, when this happens, we have the blogger clear cache, cookies, and authenticated sessions, and restart the browser. But this uncertainty is unnecessary, if you have a working credit card ready for use, before you start the purchase process. Paying for your new domain is a major part of the purchase process, so plan and prepare.

Ongoing Problems With Stats

The Blogger Stats accessory, which complements established third party products like SiteMeter and StatCounter, has been offered as a Blogger option since 2010.

We see periodic complaints about it's accuracy and functionality.My numbers don't add up!andI can't get it to ignore my visits to my blog!andWhen I check my stats in the late afternoon, I show a number of page views for "today". If I check my stats in the evening (just a few minutes later, maybe), the stats for "today" show zero and the numbers, just seen for "today", now show for "yesterday".
There are multiple discussions in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, which open with one of the above topics, and which contain "answers" describing another of these concerns.