Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cookies. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blogger Browser Support, And Layered Security

The official Blogger browser compatibility reference, Compatible browser and operating systems states Blogger requirements, very succinctly.
To use Blogger, your browser must allow cookies and have JavaScript turned on.
This is a very brief hint of Blogger browser support policy.

Use of Blogger includes various activities.
  • Moderate Blogger hosted comments.
  • Post comments, as a blog reader.
  • Edit, preview, and publish posts.
  • View Stats.
  • Use the Template Designer.
Each of these activities, and more, require cookies and scripts - and each are vulnerable to improperly setup filters.

As Blogger implies, both cookies and scripts are vulnerable to being disabled (turned off) - although the term "turned on" suggests that there is one single setting, possibly affecting each individual cookie or script. Considering the effects of layered security, we know this won't always be true.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Comments And Layered Security

One of the most common complaints, seen regularly in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, involves publication and visibility of comments.
Why can't I publish comments, on some blogs?
or
Why can't I see my comments, after I publish them?
or even
Why do my blog posts show no comments?
These are questions asked by blog readers and owners, alike. The answers all start with security filters and settings.

Comment Form Style
The majority of the problems, with commenting and filters, involve blogs which use the Post Page ("Embedded") comment form. Use of the embedded form requires third party cookies, on the reader computers.

The Full Page form is least vulnerable (though not totally so), of the 3 form styles. Embedded, Full Page, and Pop Up comment forms are all vulnerable, to differing extents, because of the different blogs, that attract different reader populations, each with differing abilities and needs to maintain security on their own computers.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The New Google Login, And Using Public / Shared Computers

I've written a few times about protecting your Blogger / Google account, when you use public / shared computers.

Generally, any concern about use of public / shared computers discusses cookies, which are simply invisible traces that you might leave behind when using any computer. If you only use your own computer - and never share your computer - this issue is probably of no concern to you.

If you use a computer that someone else, who you know, also uses, cookies are a small concern. If you use a computer that other people, who you don't know, also use - as in a public computer in a coffee shop or library - this should be a larger concern.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Access To Your Blogger Account, Using The New Google Login Wizard

Ever since the new, integrated Google login was provided for us, several months ago, some Blogger blog owners have been losing access to their blogs.

Problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, illustrate the confusion.
I can't login to my blog!
and
I can only use my GMail, not my Blogger, account!!
These are typical examples of the problems which come from misunderstanding the new login process.

Many times, we resort to
Clear cache, cookies, and sessions (yes, all 3 elements) - then restart the browser.
This advice, however, has drawbacks.

Proper use of the login screen can avoid the confusion - and the drawbacks.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Quick Edit Feature, And Domain Based Filters

Some Blogger features are so subtle, and so simple, that everybody takes them for granted - and nobody thinks about them, until they stop working.

One example of this is the Quick Edit option that lets us edit a post, or tweak a template feature, without having to access the Blogger dashboard. Sometimes, the icon is just not there - or maybe it's there, but when clicked on, nothing happens.

Quick Edit, like many Blogger features, is affected by both cookie and script filters - and many filters are domain based. Any domain based filter needs to allow cookies and scripts - both from "blogspot.com", and from any non BlogSpot domain that may be relevant.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Custom Domain Publishing Will Contribute To Problems Which Involve Domain Based Filters

Some blog owners, having endured the frustrations of custom domain publishing, may later discover new problems with using Blogger - or with using / viewing some features of the blog.

For people who are security minded, as well as people who are conscientious about what is permitted on their personal computer, a few domain based filter related problems should be obvious.
Where are the pencil / tool icons on my blog?
and
Why can't my readers comment on my blog?
and
Why can't I use Stats, on the Blogger dashboard?
are just examples of the various questions being seen in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, for domains that have completed Transition, and having righteous DNS addressing.

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Stats "Don't track ..." Option Does Not Work, For Everybody

Problems with the Stats "Don't track ..." option, in general, are not new.

Ever since Blogger added that option to Stats, years ago, it's been a problem for some blog owners. Sometimes, the problem is individual, other times (as this year) the problems are seen by more people.

The most common problems with the "Don't track" option, when selected by the blog owners, involve cookies, hosted by various browsers - and interpreted by Blogger scripts. Cookies and scripts are misunderstood features in Internet life.

Some countries require websites, published by their citizens, to display disclaimers, warning readers that "This website drops cookies onto your computer!" - as if cookies are are part of an evil plot.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Disable The "Mention people in your posts with Google+" Popup In Post Editor

We're seeing a new sense of frustration, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
How do I prevent the constant offer to
Mention people in your posts with Google+?
in Post Editor?

This is a new Blogger / Google+ feature. Like many Google+ features, this one can be refused. Many blog owners, seeing this offer, refuse it - and are never bothered by it, again. Their refusal is retained, by Blogger, in a Blogger cookie.

If you refuse the offer properly, Blogger Post Editor will remember your refusal, and not bother you again - if your browser / computer does not unwisely block cookies and scripts.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Use Two Browsers, When Working With Multiple Google Accounts

Google has been providing single login access, to (almost all) Google services, for many years.

Properly maintained, we can have one Google account, which lets us access all services, using one login. The single login approach is a convenience, when all of the services, which we use, are part of the same Google account.

The single login approach becomes a challenge, when some of the services, which we use, are part of different Google accounts. As owners of Blogger blogs, there are some scenarios, where we have to deal with two different Google accounts simultaneously.
When we have to deal with two Google accounts, simultaneously, the single login approach becomes a problem.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Making Blogger Run Properly, On Our Computers

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

We protect our computers from threats - known and unknown - using layered security. Right now, some of us are protecting ourselves too carefully - and we are seeing the results, with problems in Blogger.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Confusion From The Message "You have logged out from another location."

This month, we have a small flood of reports, from blog owners who are seeing the latest monolithic error.
You have logged out from another location. Do you want to log in again?

This error has actually been reported previously - but in smaller volume - for some time. It appears to be similar in nature to a previously reported problem, "Conflicting Edits".

The problem appears to possibly affect anybody who has logged in to Blogger - and it appears to be persistent, and has inspired imaginative measures, from some blog owners.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Google Apps "bloggeradmin" Password Reset Uses A Standard Google Account Reset

As Google Apps updates their limited function ("bloggeradmin") account setup process, we see reports from confused Blogger blog owners.
After I reset my password, I still get
The username or password you entered is incorrect
when I try to login, later!
and
I reset my password - and it changed my Blogger and GMail account - but I still can't login to Google Apps!!


The Google Apps password reset uses a standard Google account reset process - and is subject to normal account reset behaviour. If you don't reset the right account, you won't be able to login, later.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Stats And The "Don't track ..." Option, Used With Multiple Browsers And Shared Computers

The controversial nature of Stats and the "Don't track ..." option, which requires a third party cookie to enable the option to work, continues.

Even with all possible cookie filter properly set, and a consistent cookie clearing policy established, some blog owners persist in reporting that there are problems with Stats inconsistently observing the setting to not track their pageviews.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Would Be Blog Owners Report Inability To Create A Blog

We are currently seeing frustration, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about new blog creation.

Would be new blog owners have various concerns
I can't create a blog - the "Create" button is grey (inoperative)!
or
It keeps saying
Verifying availability
when I enter a blog name!!
or even
It said
This blog address is available.
until I hit "Create blog!" - then it changed to
Sorry, this blog address is not available.

Each of these problem reports - and others - may come from people who don't read the instructions, for using the wizard. Alternately, some folks may be complaining about yet one more case of over done layered security.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Blog Readers Report Comments, Supposedly Published Using A Mobile Computer, Appear To Disappear

Recently, we've been seeing a few problem reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, mentioning problems publishing comments on Blogger blogs, when using mobile computers.
My readers tell me that they can't comment on my blog, using an iPad. Comments disappear, when they try to publish them.
As with a previously explored problem with comments on a non mobile computer, this problem may involve unfamiliarity with the publishing sequence.

The dialogue involved in publishing a comment, when using a desktop computer with a full size display and a non mobile Blogger template, is not simple. Depending upon the various commenting options selected by the owner, the publishing sequence may be even more complex. Blog owners may need to consider the additional details involved in comment publishing, when using a mobile computer.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Stats And The "Don't track your own pageviews" Option On Mobile Computers

As mobile computing becomes more popular, we're starting to see questions about use of the Blogger dashboard on mobile computers (iPhone / iPod, PDA, smart phone), in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken. Most recently, we're seeing people trying to use Stats, and the "Don't track my own pageviews" option, with Blogger on mobile computers.

Problems with Stats and the "Don't track ..." option are not unknown, in the past. We've helped many blog owners with this setting, which is sensitive to cookie and script filtering in general - and to "third party cookies" in particular. "Third party cookies" may be filtered in any of several places, any which will interfere with "Don't track ...".

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Country Code Based Aliases Will Contribute To Problems Which Involve Domain Based Filters

As the Country Code TLD aliases, for blogs published to "blogspot.com", become more and more noticed, incidental problems are being reported.

For people who are security minded, as well as people who are conscientious about what is permitted on their personal computer, a few domain based filter related problems should be obvious.
Where are the pencil / tool icons on my blog?
and
Why can't my readers comment on my blog?
are just a couple examples of the various questions being seen in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, since the CC TLD aliases went into effect last week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Two Level Commenting Now Available, For Blogger Blogs

Blogger blog owners and viewers have been asking for the ability to post threaded comments, for many years. Today (slightly late for Christmas 2011), Blogger released it's first answer to that request - two level commenting.
Blogger now supports threaded commenting, which means that it is now much easier to differentiate between whether someone is making a general comment on the thread, or responding to another comment on the thread.

This is not what I would call classic "threaded commenting", but it's a reasonable alternative.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Comment Notification Option Is Subject To The Realities Of Authentication, And Cookie Filtering

Some blog guests cannot understand why they can't get notifications, when someone leaves a comment after them, attached to a post comment form.
Why don't I see the option to "Email follow-up comments to xxxxxxx@yyyyy.zzz"?
or maybe
I selected the option to "Email follow-up comments to xxxxxxx@yyyyy.zzz", but I don't get any reply notifications. Why am I being mistreated by Blogger?
These people do not realise that comment follow-up notifications are subject to the same problems as the embedded comment form.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Dynamic Templates And The Embedded Comment Form

We've been observing problems with commenting on blogs using the inline comment form ("Embedded below post"), ever since Blogger changed the inline form, many months ago. First, we observed an overall problem with cookie filtering and the embedded comment form. Later, a more subtle problem with using the CAPTCHA form with embedded comments was discovered.

Now, we're seeing a similar problem, with the new dynamic templates, and the embedded comment form. This problem may not be any more obvious, to some blog readers, than the preceding problems were.