marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-05-11 11:54 pm
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[sticky entry] Sticky: Clearing out my bookmarks: the outré 'Comey condensed' Russian edition (updated 8-7-17)

Timeline to dismissal; updates with ongoing Russian contratemps*, Flynn revelations that tie in, Comey set to testify 10am EST on June 8th, June 14th BREAKING NEWS Trump is now under investigation, and other still-unfolding events

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marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-17 01:31 am
Entry tags:

[sticky entry] Sticky: To person who wants me to contact them re: SEO tactics

You'll need to create a Dreamwidth account to PM (private message) me (you can find the private message link on my profile page after you join Dreamwidth - it will turn from grey to red once your account is active).

I can't unscreen your comment without it becoming public, and I doubt you'd want that. I can't reply on the page, as you commented anonymously, so you can't see my replies unless I unscreen them, which would also make this a public affair. Also, you asked me to contact you, but you left me no contact information.

Also-also, doesn't surprise me there's (at least) two of us! Would love to hear more on this. :)

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-20 04:04 am

Workaround for LastPass in Firefox showing blank site list dropdown and blank search result panel

So, the LastPass blank dropdown menu and blank search results panel is very annoying. The dev hasn't updated the add-on since June and is responding to exactly zero complaints about this and other issues on his Firefox review page, though there might easily be dozens.

Which came to bite me, too, when Firefox finally let me have their latest multiprocess (e10s), 64-bit compatible version earlier this week (e10s is still automatically disabled if you install any add-on that isn't yet e10s capable); ever since I've had both LastPass problems, and saw others are having them, too [Example 1, Example 2, Example 3].

To fix these issues, just switch back to Firefox 32-bit. It's not even necessary to remove Fx 64-bit. It's actually better if you don't, so Firefox can just poke around in your profile folder and recreate the Firefox you've got in the 32-bit version you're about to get (just be sure to create a shortcut or a target that you can easily tell apart from the 64-bit icon).

32-bit Firefox runs LastPass perfectly, fixes the blank dropdown list of log-ins for each site and fixes search result panels showing up blank.

For everyone leaving bitter reviews [Example 1, Example 2, Example 3] and sharing the version number that allegedly works better [Version 4.1.62a]: I tried it in 64-bit Firefox, but it gave me all the same blank dropdowns as before.

My guess is the problems are not confined to any particular version. After I installed the May 31st version and saw the same issues it became clear the latest version is not at fault - it's 64-bit Firefox - and I'll gander that's no matter which version of LastPass going back to the earliest 56*-capable version you pick.

So if you've got 64-bit Firefox, try going back to 32-bit (here are the 32-bit installers. If you have automatic updates turned off, keep checking the directory for the latest). Run Firefox 32-bit with whatever version of LastPass you have and see if that fixes the problems.

marahmarie: So you said you wanted a cookie... (dark side)
2017-08-19 12:32 am
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COME TO THE DARK SIDE STEVE WE HAVE COOKIES!!!

Darkness Is Good is gone, though no one seems able to figure how that came to be: 1,040,000 Google results pronounce HE'S FIRED while 1,360,000 Google results suggest he resigned - twice (the first time effective Aug. 14th, but in the uproar over Charlottesville I guess he forgot to take himself out the door, though it sounds like once things calmed down Kelly reminded him to pack his bags).

Though my title invites him to switch sides and come swing from the branches with us, we're more likely to collectively win Powerball tomorrow night - without buying tickets - than for him to switch sides, so yeah, surely I jest. Anyhow, he claims he's not racist and Orangado likes to echo him on that for whatever reason (they'd poll better as avowed and even belligerent "racists" with their be-all, end-all base, don'tcha think?) but with the mouth on him he's got, he can go pound sand.

He who indirectly brought an entire right-wing, white nationalist so-called "news" agency into the Oval Office - along with the first program to ever essentially automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes - surely won't be too sorely missed, and while I'll let bygones be bygones, I won't forget his every-weekend mayhem-wrecking of earlier this year, and neither will the liquor store where I get the vodka I started drinking because of it.

On "the first program to ever automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes", thank Bannon for working with - and for Trump being funded by - billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. Cambridge Analytica does more damage to the Republican electorate - as low-information, conspiracy-embracing, false-danger-sensing and Faux Noize-prone as it is - than they could do to themselves.

And Bannon used it - this is my personal belief - to shape and script Trump's every public engagement, no matter how big or small. The general gist of his words was given to him daily by Bannon, after he distilled CA's results down into bullet points which he fed to Trump along with his well-done steaks and McDonald's.

That's my theory. But I have a strong hunch - beyond a hunch, I'd say I'm almost certain - that it's so, after Bannon's last words on that (and trust me, they were on that): "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over". Does he say why? No. Does he drop hints? Sure. Try this (emphasis mine): "[...] that presidency is over. It'll be something else. And there'll be all kinds of fights, and there'll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over" and: ""There's about to be a jailbreak of these moderate guys on the Hill" — a stream of Republican dissent, which could become a flood."

When "asked what the turning point was" he blamed moderate Republicans, but the truth is without the messaging Cambridge Analytica gave him to advise Trump with, to keep the dude "on point" with his base, Trump will be like a little boy who can't find his way back home for the lost puppy he keeps chasing after in the woods.

To see why, you need only know how Cambridge Analytica works*: it uses deep data mining and polls social media for "likes" (the ubiquitous "thumbs-up"), then matches those data points against a "predictive personality model" to find its preferred targets. Right now it prefers right-leaning targets, but it could just as easily be programmed to prefer leftists or florists or Jehovah's Witnesses. As it finds new targets, it learns what each of them wants to see, watch, read and think about, then carefully spoons them more of the same, after tailoring it to their specific interests down to the most granular level. Think a bespoke Facebook or bespoke Twitter.

Which is how just one right-winger browsing Facebook might see video of a man arrested for flying a kite over, say, his state's (Democratic) governor's mansion last week that none of his Facebook friends will ever see because he in particular has shown a strong passion for kites, a strong dislike of Democrats, and happens to live in the same state where the criminal kite-flying occurred.

What CA does is reinforce each target's existing beliefs with more of the same until their thought processes are impossible to budge...almost like learning by rote. The end result is you take the base you want, shape it into the one you find the easiest to handle with the least amount of massaging, then use what you receive from the echo chamber you've created to target it even more repeatedly from within the Oval Office, on Twitter and Facebook, at rallies and pressers, or wherever. It's a brilliant, though insidiously awful, product.

And I'm making it sort of easy to grasp (I've read between 5-10 hours worth of articles over the last year in order to distill it down this much) but the sausage-making that goes into Cambridge Analytica is actually crazy-complicated, though suffice it to say, it works. It works almost too well. It's a form of AI which Mercer money - basically endless - has built into one of the best content and message-tailoring platforms on Earth.

Without it - assuming Bannon used it to influence Trump as much as I suspect he did, and that he pulled it for use in the Oval Office shortly before he was canned or resigned - Orangado will indeed soon be up the proverbial creek without his most precise, content-targeting paddle. But just as he said of Bannon: "We'll see what happens!"

*: Updated this paragraph shortly after posting to describe a bit better how Cambridge Analytica works.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-17 01:45 am
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Conservatives must stand by silently to finish the destruction of the poor and middle class

Poor conservatives, they've got it so tough: they just want to finish ruining life for Poors and the already-gutted middle class but the chief citrus fruit juggler just keeps getting in the way.

Hell they care about some neo-Nazi/KKK fluff, they've got healthcare to eviscerate, taxes to delete for the rich, a minimum wage to abolish, and an environment to finish fucking up, and you wanna talk to them about white nationalism when the hell they care. They are white nationalism. Enough said.

Stepping back into my usual form (I'm about to lose it again, so no worries) you all know how I've hammered on and on and on and on and and on in post after post how Trump voters are just one big, closeted pile of slithering, slimy, silent majority racists? And how at least a few of you, how many times now, inwardly clucked to yourselves that I'm wrong and this could not possibly be the case because like, white people want low taxes, too, so how exactly does that make somebody a fucking racist again?

Fine. Like the head orange peeler, I'm feeling a bit on edge tonight myself, so let's go:

A HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted after the Charlottesville unrest (but before Mr Trump's Tuesday press conference) could also give clues as to why conservatives are taking pause. Fully 77% of Trump voters think the president "did enough" to condemn white nationalist violence in Charlottesville. Two-thirds of them had no problem with the president's delay in mentioning neo-Nazis and white supremacists by name.

Perhaps most remarkably, 48% of Trump voters think the Charlottesville white nationalists either "have a point" (37%) or were "mostly right" (11%). And 68% of Trump voters see "a lot of discrimination" against white people in the US.

Let's look at this again: "Fully 77% of Trump voters think the president "did enough"" to condemn white nationalist violence. So almost 80% of the citrus-eating electorate thinks saying both sides are to blame was like him getting on his knees in contrition for what haters of all stripes think they should do in his name. In other words, they just don't care.

And two-thirds (66%) thought it was fine he waited two days to get tired of Ivanka berating him over the nasty thing he said over the weekend, so to appease her, since they can't (but he definitely wishes they could) do the nasty, he read from a dry and meaningless statement that he didn't write, didn't think over beforehand, and didn't give one flying leap about - not to judge by his brain-dead delivery of it on Monday that - while condemning neo-Nazis and KKK because Ivanka and Jared are probably about ready to flee the country, still failed to condemn the very hate rally ringleaders responsible for what happened.

There was just enough to make Ivanka smile again. No more, no less. Just enough.

But that's cool: 66% of those low-information and truth-aversive enough to vote for him thought waiting two days to make an appease-the-left fake offering was great, because why should he have to pander to fuckin' libruls anyhow? How's Murca gonna be great again if we gotta kiss the asses of every fucking ___ and ___ and _____ and ___ in this country every time we just wanna exercise our free rights to speech? See, Bessy, that's why we gotta keep our guns at hand, you know Bummer almost took 'em away before those FEMA camps he was runnin' got shut down...yeah, woman, that's right - coulda been us, that's what I'm sayin'... *swigs beer*

He also quite glaringly failed to condemn himself for making such a brooding atmosphere of hate possible, an atmosphere that would've receded back into the shadows where it fucking belongs had he simply not had a victory which the entire intelligence community blames on Russian interference - not sufficient votes necessary to win - Russian interference, making him the first and only illegitimate orange drink this country's ever had.

And 48% of our Google manifesto-supporting friends think "white nationalists" - rabid non-white haters, to use the normal English term here - "have a point" or "are mostly right". About what? A monument? Violence against non-white/non-Nazi/non-KKK/non-male demonstrators? Shouting Jewish, racial, homophobic and misogynistic slurs? Did shouting slurs at people who don't look like, or have the same parts or tendencies as them prove their "point"? If so, what was it? "We hate anyone who isn't a white man", was that it? Whatever it might be, 48% of people think they agree with it. Presumably they're not all white or men, so go orange eaters, upholding the palest of patriarchies nor for any good reason, but simply because they can.

"And 68% of Trump voters see "a lot of discrimination" against white people in the US." And I'll bet about 70% of them voted for Trump! So tell me again why these motherfuckers aren't racists, and didn't vote for him simply because they are, while I stop my ears up with my fingers and sing "La la la la I'm not listening" like a two year old, because fuck you, that's why.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-10 12:36 am
Entry tags:

I stand with my LGBTQIA friends both known and unknown to me, all over the world

As a straight, cis, white girl I'm indebted to the LGBTQIA community for my ability to continue Anti-AOL when it was just starting out, when I didn't always know what to do with it or myself, because some members would drop in during my lowest moments and bolster my strength and my belief in it and make me think that I could do it. For that, I never thanked them properly or enough.

I don't know why they came to my blog: I had no visible political or other affiliations that would attract them to my cause, discussed nothing related to theirs, and on my personal blog was quite open and public about being a girly girl (I have quirks - like how I write, not to mention how I think and see the world - that make me believe I'm more androgyne than traditionally femme, but that's another story, and doesn't really matter, as I don't know if it attracted the LGBTQIA crowd to my blog or not).

But because they came to me in numbers here and there over the years and lent me their support (emails, comments, linkbacks, information, online friendships) and were there for me in a way that, to this day, most straight people are not, my gratitude was total. I don't forget kindness, and they took the time to show it to me even at my lowest points, often when absolutely no one else would.

So, though I have no offline LGBTQIA friendships, (thanks to a mostly sheltered life) and though I'm not one to bring up LGBTQIA issues too often, I have no reason not to, and often feel like I can and should do more. In the meantime, I'd like everyone to know that I will stand by the LGBTQIA community, that I consider all of you my friends and compatriots in every battle for justice and equality, and that because I believe women's rights are human rights, I don't think of what I go through as a woman without thinking of every one of you and how you often go through so much more.

In that spirit, I'd like to present a few things that are bothering me - and am hoping I'll stay more up to date in the future on sharing what's going on in the fight for LGBTQIA and women's rights.

Firstly, in the spirit of putting someone in charge of an agency who is known to hate it, who wants to dismantle it - like DeathStar Bannon (administrative state deconstructionist), Suer Polluter Pruitt (EPA disassembler) and Gun For Grizzly DeVos (public education destroyer) - now we have Bethany Kozma, an "anti-transgender activist" (gender equality gutter). I know nothing about her except her official title: "senior adviser for women's empowerment". My ass.

Anyone not empowering LGBTQIA is not empowering women. Period. I could go on about how fluid gender and sexual orientation are, not just for some but many of us, how dumb it is to make assumptions based on birth gender, current or desired appearance, admonitions in the Bible or from parents, teachers or communities, and the state-directed propaganda that is the purulence of Trump and his base, but I get why not being a scaredycat phobic bigot is in humanity's best interest, and I'm just preaching to the choir.

This regime does all it can to feed its ignorant base, as they have no quarter anywhere else, while the majority of us watch horrified as they undo the very tenets of treating each other with respect and kindness.

In the run-up to Trump's latest base-baiting, a GOP Congresswoman named Vicky Hartzler, "[f]resh off a committee hearing where she introduced (and withdrew) an amendment banning transgender people from serving in the military", was quoted as saying: "At a time when we should be focusing on the threats from North Korea, and Putin, and ISIS, we’re having to deal with a threat here at home — a domestic threat — of allowing transgenders [sic] in our service [...]".

As though filing and withdrawing her hate bill and spouting this horseshit was not enough, a month later Trump picked up where she left off by barring transgender from the military. Though he phrased his twit (yes, he actually tweeted an order) as though the ban went into effect immediately just because he'd twitted it, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (after Trump claimed he'd already consulted them) denied having any knowledge of it. Then the military announced transgender individuals can still serve - at least for now - as they refuse to discharge anyone without an actual policy in place.

On the same day Trump issued his ban, the Justice Department, without invitation, jumped in on a private lawsuit to argue employers are allowed to fire people for being gay - threatening rights assumed under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act - and the regime appointed infamous anti-gay rights activist Sam Brownback as "international religious freedom" propagandist.

Today we have news (that I didn't know of until I searched Google for the links above) that The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) are representing five active duty transgender service members in the lawsuit Doe vs. Trump, aimed at ending Trump's ban because it's unconstitutional. I hope they prevail. If the ban is indeed unconstitutional, then there's no reason why they shouldn't.

In the meantime there are lessons here, going back to what kind of person Trump apparently became in 2015 to play to his intolerant base. Because I'm a New Yorker and grew up hearing about Trump's antics, it irritates me when people say: "Oh, you should've known you can't trust Trump" on LGBTQIA issues. To us - to typical city and outer borough New Yorkers - it sounds kind of nuts, because we had him pegged as the typical showy, pro-abortion liberal who hung out with gays and celebrities, as one does, so we might have thought he was merely putting on the "conservative" act. To fit in. To win.

While one can rest assured he's not pretending - because if it ever was an act, it's become all too real, be it to play to his rotten base, for his own financial gain, to prevail in the 2020 race, to impress his beloved Putin with shows of similar "values", or whatever - after observing him in New York, many of us assumed he'd be just a little more bendy around the edges in respect to LGBTQIA issues than he's actually turned out to be.

Instead he's taken such a harsh stance against LGBTQIA that I have no doubt that without Ivanka around for him to impress, things might be worse - LGBTQIA might be more routinely persecuted; the office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment might not exist; civil rights might be completely off the table by now, so...it's not going to be easy out there, and anyone with a more upbeat prediction than that is likely just kidding themselves.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-08 02:15 am
Entry tags:

GOOGbye, asswipe!

I'm so glad to see this dude go, there are no words. Except for these words, in order of the sheer, stereoscopic brightness of my outrage:

Let's not stereotype the stereotyping, now

First paragraph: "and [I] don’t endorse using stereotypes." Last paragraph - actually a bullet point (emphasis mine): "Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (I’m not advocating for using stereotypes, I [sic] just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what’s said in the training).

So he doesn't endorse using stereotypes though they are sooooooo accurate aren't they for real so why aren't we using them to train Google employees, already? but hey, he's gotta be politically correct, so he denies in the face of all his carefully hand-crafted evidence to the contrary that they should be used to train people, or something.

You have to consider how insidiousness the creepy-crawly, "I'm not really picking your pocket so stop yelling at me to give your wallet back"-ness of him is, and I'm only up to the first offending snippets.

He thinks stereotypes are bang-on, perfect representations of everyone he thinks fits into one, so much so that they should be used, in his opinion, to teach Google employees how to do their jobs, which to his mind, all involve ceaseless stereotyping in order to succeed. Then he claims he would never "endorse" or "advocate" the use of stereotypes, but hey wait, he just did.

Don't alienate the aliens, now

Some bullet point, way in: "Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require [SIC! Not proofreading your lousy manifesto is NOT a good example of "conscientiousness"!] for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company."

OK, where to start: Bart here has a lot to say about conservatives. He thinks they're more conscientious, a bullshit opinion which he's confused with "obedience to authoritarian dictatorships", which is "not hardly" the same thing, self-sic sic sic. The conscientiousness he so prizes is "self-reported" in most studies that have been done.

Conservatives also self-report being "less open", "less exploratory", and "less open to change"...they're crashing bores, in other words, who are literally (not just self-reported) afraid of everything.

Not the folks I'd want chatting me up at my next dinner party; maybe the ones I'd leave in the yard with "gun for grizzly" to calm dear old Betsy, cowering away inside.

Don't be evil? Heh...don't be "agreeable", now

Some paragraph, way in: "In addition to the Left’s affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable [SIC!] than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women..."

One sentence at a time: "humans are generally biased towards protecting females". Obviously he's not kept up with history, be it ancient (Viking women) or current (female Israeli soldiers; women serving in the US military and fighting for combat spots even as we speak).

"this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men." Eh, uh...no. Women are "generally more cooperative and areeable" because historically speaking, if we aren't, we can be hurt emotionally, physically and economically or even killed just over not being "nice enough". But even given all that, I take offense at the idea that I should be agreeable just because I have parts the author doesn't and vice versa. It isn't part of my "just being me" job description, kthanksbai.

"We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women"....OK, yeah, because? Because men have dominated every arena of public and private life since this country started, so having programs to "protect" us - like having programs to "protect" other vulnerable people - is necessary only because of the inborn privilege men have been inoculated with for hundreds of years to confer them with immunity from competition with us.


It goes on and on - for literally ten pages - but I think I've unloaded the worst of my wrath at this point. Knowing he was fired is the least it will take to smooth over the very real damage he's caused thousands of people with his tired, low-res, 100% recycled (tell me conservatives aren't going green!) claptrap. Don't miss the part where he co-opts our "safe spaces" by calling PC culture "psychologically unsafe" because conservatives are just big, soft, supermelty snowflakes, too!

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-07 02:36 am
Entry tags:

Opened this blog up today on a big, widescreen laptop I may or may not be keeping...

That we're fixing for a friend (the trackpad needs a new circuit board, but he doesn't really want the laptop, so we've been tossing it back and forth) and Other Person was like, "Oh my God, there's room for more stuff! Look at all the room! You could have like, more sidebars and stuff!" and I'm laughing, but I'm also like 0_o, because the last thing I want is to add more code.

But he's right; on widescreens there's enough room to make this into a four column layout (if you're viewing this in your own style, it currently runs one of two, two-column styles depending on your res; on mobile it has one column and nearly no graphics - my favorite of all three).

But - and this is why sometimes I wish everyone knew CSS, so they'd know just what a nightmare it is, and why "bloat" and "page load times" and so on matter - going to a four-column layout for widescreens would mean adding more code, and technically, I consider any background or column changes "a new layout", which would bring me to four of them on a blog maybe a few hundred people a year ever see, and of those, I'd gander 2/3s of them don't see my style thanks to DW's excellent tools to help you never see anyone's.

Plus what would I put in the third and fourth columns? Recipes? Thought of the day? Word of the day? Poems? I could get creative, but...I'd want the extra space on a blog where I could automate the changing of content on a daily basis, but even then, I'm minimalist enough I don't even want the only sidebar I have, so I'd have to think that over. On another website. Because this one doesn't have default support for automated content changing unless I really twist someone's arm to write me some s2 (I know it can be done from the things I saw done on LJ, I just don't know how to convert the code to work on Dreamwidth).

Without automated content changing, if I ever do mess with it - which I'd do only because at anything over 15" wide, the design reminds me of nothing so much as the letter "T", which is why I've taken great pains to widen it over the years, though only up to a certain point - it would be to further widen the main content, but along the same lines as my one-column, with the difference that text would be readable from about three feet away, with no background, maybe just dark text on a plain white page. Maybe some neat typography. Maybe I could use the wider screen to play with the flexbox spec (I almost said "and columns" but no, I really don't think a newspaper or magazine style would suit a personal blog).

Maybe as a winter project.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-04 06:22 am
Entry tags:

Before new Comcast modem and tech support help: 1.5mbps down. After: 578.75mbps

I'm not posting a full screen shot with location, latency information (48ms - actually kind of awful) and protocol (IPv6) so you'll just have to take my word for it, but the initial speed test - while we were still on the phone with Level 5 tech support after he fixed our download speed - shot up to a comparatively decent 578.75mbps:

A screencap showing our new download speed at 578.75mbps - really freaking fast, in other words

I want this screencap framed. Better yet, I want this download speed.

Alas, it was not to be: subsequent tests show speeds as high as 150mbps (entirely on the kitchen laptop, which has the wireless N spec - the prototype of wireless N, in other words - and yet still it flies) to as low as the usual 30-45mbps on other devices around the house, but hey, I can look at this screencap, at what was for a few seconds, and dream.

It's not an unusual speed in South Korea, after all. And obviously it's possible here. The price, though, probably isn't within reach for most of us.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-04 04:19 am
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After getting a new Comcast modem, I logged into Comcast and saw someone else's wifi name and pass

After we brought the modem home one hot and disgusting day toward the end of last month in between ceaseless rain storms, Other Person called Comcast to help us troubleshoot it. The modem was simply not cooperating; we'd exchanged the old one to fix download speeds as low as 1.5mbps when we're supposed to be getting 75mbps down and no less than 30-45 over wifi, but even with the new modem there was no improvement.

OP wound up speaking to what, back in the day, we'd call Level 5 tech. The guy who worked with him over the phone (it was on speaker so I could listen and participate as needed) was well-spoken and clearly knowledgeable, as well as extremely patient and nice, but couldn't figure it out. He walked OP through a number of steps and processes to no avail, before he got the idea to log into our modem as us and make some adjustments.

This meant granting himself access to our gateway admin panel (the panel you normally log into over 10.0.0.0.1, or similar) which made me a bit nervous because I tend to lock things down like Fort Knox the same day we bring each modem home (and this is our third one in a year, so I've gotten rather good at practicing really tight security) but I consented simply to get the modem running right.

Well, it got running right (I'll post an image of just how fast our wifi is on the laptop we keep in the kitchen to use while we're cooking or hanging out nearby, maybe as my next post, only because it is rather funny by itself) but the possible tradeoff for that was when I logged into our Comcast account later on that night, the wifi page told me the modem was no longer ours.

But this was impossible with the way Level 5 would have left things for us. He specifically asked permission to use our last modem's broadcast name (let's say it was Cowboy, though it was not) and our last wifi password (let's say it was c0mca5t5uck5, though it was not) while he was in there making his adjustments*, which we allowed him to do for the sake of expediency.

But when I logged into Comcast later on that night instead of seeing the gateway broadcasting as Cowboy with the password c0mca5t5uck5, I saw this:

Instead of seeing our wifi broadcast name and password, I saw info belonging to someone else on our Comcast account page

The screencap shows our gateway broadcasting with the wrong name and password. To protect the information from search indexing I'm not posting the text.

I'm like, who is L*, and what kind of password is that, because neither I nor OP would ever choose it. There is and has never been a gateway named L* in our area, so it didn't seem like it could be an odd, local mixup on Comcast's part, not to mention our wifi was literally broadcasting as Cowboy - not as L* - even as I saw this strange name and password on the page, so it also didn't seem possible a stranger had overtaken our router. And again, our Level 5 told us he used Cowboy and c0mca5t5uck5 when he went into our router to make his changes, so he should not have been at fault for why the broadcast name and password were showing up as someone else's.

At this point I was wondering if I should call Comcast as I realized I hadn't once logged into the admin panel myself to do my usual Fort Knox lockdown, when suddenly I thought to just refresh the page. Sure enough, the reloaded page showed our broadcast name as Cowboy and the password as c0mca5t5uck5. Multiple refreshes didn't bring the page back to showing the wrong name and password, so at that point it looked like the problem was solved - but not knowing what caused it has been sort of bugging me ever since.

* Edited after posting to more accurately explain what Level 5 did.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-04 03:45 am
Entry tags:

LastPass apparently had/might still have a gravely serious device verification bug

I wanted to post this over a week ago (7-24, according to my computer when I screencapped the relevant messages) but life's got a way of getting in the way. I'll assume (though perhaps in error) that it's untriaged/unfixed/unpatched after doing a quick search on Google, but I'm not going to trawl the results any deeper tonight; if this is a dupe report or has already been fixed I might find out and update this post at some later point.

Anyway, it starts out like this: you switch your IP address to a new one (in our case that's because our Comcast modem, the one I need both arms to carry around, took a crap on us last week, so now we're working on the third iteration of this modem in the past year, with a different IP) and LastPass suddenly doesn't recognize the device you're on or the location you're at (it's not sure which), though it's the same device as always (my HP laptop, which has somehow lived another year without the graphics card destroying itself like the last one did, though pixels are beginning to blow out left and right).

When the LastPass add-on (in Firefox latest on Win 10 Pro - not an Insider build) sees your new IP address as a "new device" or "new location" (though that sounds like a bug in itself, it's not the bug I'll be talking about) it looks like this:

When I switched my IP address recently, LastPass displayed an infobar in Firefox that says: LastPass does not recognize this device or you are at a new location. Please check your email to grant access

The text in the info bar my screen got splashed with says (emphasis mine): "LastPass doesn't recognize this device or you are at a new location. Please check you email to grant access to your new device or location."

See the part where LastPass asks me to check my email? Which means I should literally be unable to use LastPass to log into websites until that one little detail is taken care of? Heh, about that...I just ignored or dismissed the infobar (I forget which), opened the LastPass add-on dropdown menu and finished logging into my Live account like nothing had happened. No checking my email. No granting access. I just went on and used LastPass normally. Which I should not have been able to do!

After logging in, I checked for the email from LastPass just to see what it said, because them even sending it was like, totally useless. It looks like this:

LastPass sent an email intended to grant access to my account which I never needed to read because I got around it, which said: Someone, hopefully you, recently tried to login to your LastPass account from a device or location that we did not recognize. We prevented access until you have reviewed the details of the login attempt

This is where things get funny - if your idea of a good time is when your device gets stolen and your online security is compromised by, of all things, not the thief, but a buggy password manager. What a laugh! The email reads (emphasis mine): "Someone, hopefully you, recently tried to login to your LastPass account from a device or location that we did not recognize. We prevented access until you have reviewed the details of the login attempt."

See the part where LastPass tells me they prevented access until I could review details of the login attempt? Lies, tall tales, and made-up stories because they prevented nothing. I could use LastPass just by continuing to use it. I saw a few more infobars saying the same thing, but I just kept ignoring or dismissing them and like, logging into things. Which, again, I should not have been able to do!

I'm posting this mostly to remind myself to check the LastPass forums and search results more deeply one day for any other news of this issue, and to warn anyone else who comes across this post who might also be using LastPass.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-04 01:54 am

I hope Photobucket fails/folds/goes up in one big fat burst of orange flames

And it will...yes, it will, too. This whole "selling access to your own photos back to you for oh, just a mere $399" is simply their end game to recoup enough lost money in operating costs to fund severance packages for their already overwhelmed and beleaguered employees trapped as they are in a chaotic and disorganized workplace so they can lay everyone off and just shut down, already.

That's my wild guess - perhaps wishful thinking on my part, but hey, after the painful hours of work I endured to painstakingly replace images on my other blog so they could never ransom them again like they did the night I began that process (for some reason they stopped ransoming them not more than a few hours after I bitched about them doing so on the front page of that blog, but I kept replacing them by uploading dupes to Wordpress and relinking them in each post by hand, anyhow), I surely deserve to indulge in whatever flights of fancy I desire.

Oh, but how I digress...I specifically want Photobucket to go up in one big fat burst of orange flames because once they finally deleted the account I replaced the images on (and I have no idea when they deleted it because I haven't been online to check up on the MM side of my life in about a week) they began running ads on the error page that now stands in place of my account, like so - and of course it's an "error" page because they'll never admit their ransom plan has failed spectacularly and we're actually "deleting" our accounts in hordes.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-08-04 01:45 am
Entry tags:

Survey says...

In-house SurveySpot poll tonight asking: I think Donald Trump is...a brilliant leader (29%)| a buffoon (71%)

Bwahahahaha

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-28 03:29 am

Firefox is dead, long live Firefox

I've used this browser for roughly 12 years, about the same length of time I used Photobucket before deciding I'll have to dump it, too (only halfway through that process; I've already deleted one account - though after the two day wait they impose to delete it, they still haven't, so I'll probably have to slug that out with them sometime soon - but I haven't worked with already-downloaded pictures yet from the other).

But between Firefox turning into Chrome, Photobucket turning into a high-priced art gallery and LJ turning into a Soviet spy weapon (that I was never going back to anyway, but forgive me while I indulge my sentimentality) and all the sites I've used or hung out at that either morphed into some alien form or went down or out of business over the years, the web as I once knew it increasingly no longer exists. I mean, I hate Wordpress, so that doesn't even count (but another 12 years, intermittently, wasted on it.)

But Firefox, above all else, is killlllling me. The other night I said WP's "PHP-from-hell backend" slowed Firefox to a crawl? Yeah. Until it was like steering an 18 wheeler uphill with no automatic transmission in the snow for seven hours (my arms actually hurt from this when it was all said and done; even my stomach muscles got a workout): I couldn't scroll without pulling and pulling down, couldn't copy and paste without waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for each tiny operation to complete, and I'm making hundreds of them as I'm working with literally hundreds of pictures and it's not even occurring to me to switch to another browser because I automatically blamed Wordpress. Because Wordpress.

If the world ended tomorrow? Wordpress. And it actually is the only site I'm on that changes Firefox from merely "slow and dodgy, uncooperative, stubborn, too difficult to use" into "just impossible, this is ridiculous".

So I got on tonight and Firefox was acting the same way while loading up and then while using Google and then while checking my email as it was on Wordpress the other night and I'm like, wait a second...it's not Wordpress, I'm not even logged in, their page is not even open in my browser, so it must be fucking Firefox. I checked my add-ons and had five "not compatible with multiprocess" messages when my browser won't even run multiprocess (e10s) because Mozilla has disabled it. Fucking hell.

So I flat out removed two of the offending add-ons, which lost me one of my favorites - DT Whois - and MeasureIt, which stopped working when e10s rolled out about a month ago, so that was no loss because Firefox has already killed it. I restarted Firefox and while it still feels slow by say, Chromium standards, which are insane (as is my connection, but that's impossible to tell if my browser isn't fast enough) I'm using it. And not being tormented by it. Yet.

But I had to be tormented for hours the other night over another site ransoming my images. Then it turned out the site I was being tormented on was not at fault, it was Firefox, and the reason Firefox was tormenting me was over add-ons incompatible with e10s, when my browser doesn't even support e10s, which has already led to the untimely death of one of my favorite add-ons because Firefox is killing compatibility on purpose in order to turn itself into Google Chrome. Does that even make any sense? Yet that's how it all went down. It's just...

I was not prepared to make the rant above until I actually did; the whole reason I even opened this window was to post the following image with the comment that Firefox has literally thrown itself at Google's feet to make the switch from their style of browser to the competition's:

Firefox uses web dialog boxes to bow and scrape toward Google

The full text of the web dialog box I got at The Add-On Bar Restored (another incompatible add-on) with emphasis mine:

Some add-ons ask for permission to perform certain functions. Since you’re in control of your Firefox, the choice to grant or deny these requests is yours.

Please note this add-on uses legacy technology, which gives it access to all browser functions and data without requesting your permission.

No, motherfuckers, you've got that all wrong, so let me fix it for you: It uses your technology which you never coded to ask for our permission, which you then chose to abandon instead of improving it - and in doing so abandoned us as well - for the great white locked-down Google way.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-22 01:35 am

How to view and download ransomed Photobucket gallery images, on a per-image basis (updated 7-26-17)

Update, 7-24-17: in working with images on my other blog tonight I discovered Photobucket has write-protected ransomed images so that even if the method described below works for you, you can only view ransomed images in your browser. Once you download them, they're not viewable on your computer. They also cannot be viewed if you upload them elsewhere. As I say in the post following this ETA, download your albums. Images in downloaded albums were not write-protected - at least not "as of a few weeks ago" when I grabbed my albums.


As I said to Andrew Ducker, it's slow and awful, but until Photobucket disables the ability to use this trick, if you have a copy of Firefox to travel to the image(s) in question, it works even if you're not logged into Photobucket, but does not work on images with the word "album" in the URL, only on images with the word "gallery" in their web addresses.

Which I learned only after my profile meme got ransomed sometime this week, which I caught on to just minutes before posting this. Photobucket images on my blog might be gone now, too, but I don't have time to check.

For Photobucket URLs with the word "gallery" in them, only...

  1. Right-click the ransom badge in your post (for expediency's sake, I'm linking to Andrew's images for testing, so you can try the steps out yourself, as I had no ransom badges of my own when I began this)
  2. Right-click the ransom badge on the Photobucket page you're brought to
  3. The original image has now become visible
  4. Right-click the image and click "Save as" to download (see ETAs at top of post and below for more info) Screencap away - lotsa gotchas, though, if you go this route
  5. Once you follow the above steps, hit your browser's back button. The original picture (not the ransom badge) will show up on its Photobucket page and the post it was added to.

These steps have only worked for me so far in Firefox latest (version 54.0.1) so they might not work in other or older browsers. They do work in both Firefox's regular and private browsing modes. Using Opera with adblock results in a shocking Photobucket directive to install an anti-Adblock script called BlockAdblock, aka FuckAdblock, and links you to a site that I won't share because Web of Trust gives it such a low rating. "Photobucket teams with FuckAdblock" needs to be my next post title, as that's kind of news in itself.

ETA, 7-26-17: Using Chromium (like the barebones version of Google Chrome, which I had to use tonight to deal with Wordpress's PHP-from-hell backend burning up Firefox) the above steps not only won't work, but clicking "Save As" will result in downloading Photobucket's actual ransom badge.

As for other ways to access Photobucket images, Fix Photobucket and the photobucket embed fix app are both dead. You can spam me in the comment section with any apps, tools or websites that actually still work, but I'm quite picky and will try to check a tool before I publish any comment on it. Comments initially will stay screened.

ETA, 7-26-17: [personal profile] killerweasel has found a script via Twitter which, if you own a Wordpress-based site, replaces the images for you. From their web page: "PhotobucketScraper is a script to download all images to your server in the original folder structure." For website owners, this or a similar plugin might be the best way to go.

Downloading Photobucket Albums

Edited on 7-24-17 to add: download your albums. See instructions at next link. See Update at top for more info.

I've had no problem downloading Photobucket libraries, but there are reports that a few people have been unable to. If you don't block ads that could be one reason why; the page basically never finishes loading and will load one ad after another (up to a dozen) which locks your browser up and slows everything down while you're trying to access images, download libraries, or even copy and share file links.

Some people claim Photobucket's mobile site is much faster. There's also a Photobucket app that's said to load up even quicker than Photobucket does on the Web.

As for moving Photobucket albums to a new image host, you might want to skip moving them to imgur. Imgur's ToS prohibits creating libraries that have already been linked to from other websites and will resize images on direct link, making them basically useless.

You might not want to bother with TinyPic, either, because it's already owned by Photobucket.

So I can tell you what others have suggested and what I'm doing: others mainly suggest getting your own domain name and a hosting plan to host images yourself. From what I gather, self-hosted image libraries (not some roll-your-own solution like adding them to posts, or buying a Wordpress-hosted plan) involve buying or at least adding a separate tool or utility to the backend of your website.

Other ideas include using a free Blogger account, then creating individual posts (Blogger allows up to 10 images per post). Kind of awkward...then there's free Wordpress, which along with Dreamwidth's hosting, is what I use for some of my images. Free Wordpress has 3GB of free storage space, and individual posts are automatically created for each image. These posts aren't displayed publicly nor are they indexed by search engines, and you don't need to know their addresses since you can find all your uploaded images in the Media Library.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-21 07:48 pm

What I'll go through just to save $10 bucks

I just...*headdesks with laughter*

My phone's cheapest prepaid plan is $45 through GoPhone, aka AT&T PREPAID (allcaps are theirs, not mine). I don't, to say the least, have $45 for anything, much less my stupid phone, but we're getting into storm season, I still fear the trees and I happened to drop my LG flip phone - which I kind of fucking adored in all its 2G glory - in the toilet the other day and the 3G replacement is such a dud I plan to throw it off the next bridge I come across.

Besides my Windows phone and my bridge-bound dud, I have a tiny Android I haven't used in literally years, so I called Net10, who services it, to ask about plans. Their cheapest is $35, saving me $10 bucks, so I took it (data went from 6GB high speed with rollover to 2GB without rollover; other than that the plans are about the same) only to realize I had to migrate my Windows phone data to Android - mostly contacts, photos and emails (I could be upset about losing call logs and texts but I'm really not, so I haven't sought to restore either one of those).

As I write this Google Drive, aka Backup and Sync (the name change is theirs, not mine, sans the allcaps) is syncing 9,655 files between my laptop and their servers. I decided my folder selection was too aggressive when GUID diagrams for Firefox and my Dell printer began rolling in but whatever. To get this far I had to uninstall Google Drive after merely "upgrading" it to Backup and Sync, which failed miserably, not allowing me to sync the proper folders and basically fubaring everything.

While I was unfubaring the laptop installation, I rolled back Drive on Android to factory-installed settings and broke the sync connection from my laptop, which wiped out all the files on Android's Drive. There weren't many because the Gmail address I use for Android was not talking to the one I use on my laptop so I logged out of GMail on my laptop, logged back in using my Android Gmail address, then re-installed Drive (now Backup and Sync) on my laptop. This installation went flawlessly and is syncing away as I write this - and slowing my connection to Dreamwidth to a crawl.

When it's finished, I should be able to upgrade Drive to Backup and Sync on Android and pull in files from my laptop, which should bring over my Windows phone data, because I threw my OneDrive folder in there and it actually let me, which I cannot believe. Getting that done should pull in all the photos on my Windows phone, which are the only data still missing after the work I did last night to pull in everything else...

First I imported my main Outlook account to GMail, but the import was marked "has not started" with a "provide info" link that made me log in again in a small, separate window that barred add-ons like LastPass from running, then told me my credentials were incorrect although after triple-checking them against LastPass I could see everything was correct.

So I googled these problems and import will probably never finish based on others getting the same error messages since literally 2009, so I moved down the list to Send Mail As and Check mail from other accounts. Those tasks went as expected, so now my Outlook mail is forwarding to GMail on Android, so I'll never really need to check my Windows phone again. I also have a setting that shows what's coming in off Outlook - but according to the unlabelled emails I'm getting at the moment, it's at least partly malfunctioning, so I'll need to fiddle with that some more.

Once that was done, my Windows contacts synced with Android and GMail started receiving Outlook mail, so things were getting better, but I don't like stock Android, so I was in need of a more ideal solution when I stumbled across Arrow Launcher, which uses "pages" in place of launch icons or home screen widgets to let you see email as it arrives (you can use app icons or pages, but pages are amazing) so I set up an Outlook page as my second home screen (just swipe right) and now I don't even need an app to scan my email (though I still need an app to read the body text).

Unlike any Windows app ever, it doesn't crash (well, it crashed immediately after installing - um, it not only crashed, it removed all my custom settings, but after a phone restart and a redo of all the settings, it seems to work just fine).

To get around Android's ugly stock app I'm using Android Messages; I tried Allo but it's too resource-intensive, so I had to remove it after only a few minutes. That I can't update from Jellybean to the current version is irritating because I want the Ibotta app, which so far is the only app that isn't compatible, but I haven't really "done" apps in my rush to get Windows data onto Android, so I guess I'll see what else fails to play well with it eventually.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-13 03:40 am
Entry tags:

10 ways recipes are undermining your cooking needs at least 11 reasons, not 10

I'm about to take an Emeril Lagasse oyster stew recipe prisoner for this communique on why you should always scan recipes for ingredient lists, cooking times and methods, then ignore almost everything they say and just do whatever the fuck you want.

Before this article on 10 ways recipes are undermining your cooking came along I never knew discussing this sort of thing was a thing, but now that it is, hey, let's do this.

The recipe

Emeril Lagasse's oyster stew

The (alleged) ingredients, with notes on what I sub in or out and when in [brackets]

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick), plus 2 tablespoons butter [this is bullshit; you don't need a plop of butter; if anything, it dilutes the finished product]
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour [he adds it at the entirely wrong step in the process]
  • 1 cup chopped onions [I sub in shallots or use shallots and onions; sometimes also leeks, bok choy, and/or green onions]
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery [completely unnecessary; stew tastes just dandy without it]
  • 2 cups milk [makes a thin, runny base. I worked in a restaurant where oyster stew was made with milk, and it was a disaster. I use half cream and half milk or half half-and-half and half milk - just whatever we have on hand]
  • Salt and cayenne [go light on the cayenne unless you want a burning tongue; can be skipped altogether; for milder flavor I'll use paprika and only use coarse sea or kosher salt]
  • Fresh black pepper [I use this and a peppercorn medley which adds allspice, coriander and All the Pepper Colors]
  • 2 dozen oysters, shucked, drained and liquid reserved [works and tastes just fine with half this many but the more, the merrier]
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic [I usually double this and don't chop it, except to get it small enough to mash up in the mortar and pestle]
  • 1/4 cup chopped finely chopped parsley [not even needed; tastes better with fresh basil chopped and sprinkled on top - and we grow our own]

The directions, with what I actually do in [brackets]

Oh God help me *drinks an entire liquor store's worth of vodka before going on*

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. [OK, so far I'm just playing along here, and it's fine. This will be the last time you see me this complacent, so enjoy it.]
  2. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. [Nope, nope, NOPE, what the hell is he even doing? I haven't even cooked the veggies yet. NOPE.]
  3. Add the onions and celery and cook for 2 minutes. [OK, so far I've melted butter and begun cooking shallots and celery, or shallots and onions without celery, or just shallots or onions, or onions, shallots, and celery. Sometimes I'll even throw in some green/orange/red/yellow bell peppers. But I never add flour before cooking the veggies, literally never. And I stir in garlic after the veggies finish cooking but before the next step, heating it no more than 30 seconds to a minute so it won't get bitter.]
  4. Stir in the milk and oyster liquid. [Nope, nope, NOPE, what the hell is he even doing? This is the part where I finally add the flour! NOPE.]
  5. Season the mixture with salt, cayenne and black pepper. [Nope, nope, NOPE, I do that only after stirring in the cream and milk, or half-and-half and milk - which I haven't done yet, because I'm still stirring in the flour. NOPE.]
  6. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. [This is when I stir in the cream and milk or half-and-half and milk and add the spices, then bring to a simmer for about the suggested time, except sometimes I'll throw the oysters in now as well, but a lot of times I'm drinking or otherwise distracted so I'll forget I could just toss them in now.]
  7. Add the oysters, garlic and parsley. [Nope, nope, NOPE, I add the garlic after sauteing the veggies, which was many, many steps and often at least one drink or so ago. The oysters might already be curling in the stew at this point, so it's just a matter of tossing parsley or basil in now.]
  8. Bring the liquid back up to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the oysters curl. [Half the time, they've already curled, so I'll skip this and the next step and any subroutines they involve.]
  9. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and remove from the heat. [Nope, nope, NOPE, no butter gets added now. Or ever. NOPE.]
  10. Ladle the soup into the terrine. [We don't have a freakin' terrine, pardon my French, so we just ladle it out of the pot.]

  11. So yeah, sometimes following recipes can suck for some pretty obvious reasons.

    But if you can suss out...how do I put this...how to work around them, they can help you by suggesting what I refer to as "flavor profiles" and giving you other ideas to work off of, like rough quantities and approximate cooking times.

    To give an example of how I'll (deliberately) mix things up, sometimes I'll make oyster stew by combining Emeril's original recipe with his Creole version (which I think is not his nor truly Creole; if it was truly Creole, then the cayenne would be in it, not in the other recipe). Which means picking ingredients from both lists (but normally I just add bacon and white wine and otherwise keep ingredients and proportions about the same as above) but I use the techniques which I bent to my will in the above recipe to cook the resulting combination.

    When I really want to change things up, I'll use ingredients from another recipe altogether, which adds cooked, crumbled sausage into the mix but is otherwise too bland to use in anything other than combination with Emeril's original.

    What none of these recipes even hint at? That fresh-squeezed lemon applied at the table makes any oyster stew truly out of this world. And that if the stew comes out a bit on the thin or bland side (using my steps, it shouldn't), a drop or two of Tabasco at the table is a good flavor lift. And to cook oyster stew in a cast iron pan or Dutch oven because nothing else tastes like it...

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-13 03:33 am
Entry tags:

Oklahoma just flipped two seats from red to blue. Go....

Oklahoma, for helping us gain at least four seats so far this year.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-13 12:40 am

What the mother**** is Net Neutrality?

NSFW, your kids, your ears, your eyes, your brain, or in general. Author promises to cough up a "cleaner" version in "about eight hours" but if they ever have I can't find it, so here, enjoy.

Highlights from the Net Neutrality Day of Action: there were none. It sucked. No seriously, we (and I *do* mean "we") went so much more all-out five years ago for SOPA/PIPA (so many websites were either temporarily or completely inaccessible - including yes, Dreamwidth) that the underwhelming nature of today's "Just click the little X next to each little "just joking, BUT" message to close it" - and that's if a website even had a message because most major so-called "participants" did not - almost made me pass out several times from the sheer drudgery of it all.

It's been too hot to take my own advice and just go for a fucking walk (which is sort of a difficult thing for me to pull off nowadays, anyhow), so I had little choice but to try to slog through it.

I mean, the most exciting thing I saw all day long was my own DW, which I turned into something else for this highly anticipated, yet underwhelming worldwide event (Dreamwidthians will need to "view page in original style" or toss or suppress Dreamwidth's cookies to see the end result properly, or at all), because I still recall, unlike much of the intertubes, how to conduct an online protest, and real protests - not this fake pretend shit people do nowadays ("Oooh, I changed my profile picture"), all the lazy clicktivism they indulge in) involve actual effort and sacrifice, two ideas no one's interested in pursuing anymore, to the point where I feel like a freak and somehow wrong for even bothering.

Sorry/not sorry, but if taking just one day to let a truly impactful message get across - even if it means risking the loss of some online visitors, some money and the likely, at-most temporary loss of a few codger's so-called "goodwill" - is too much of a chance for people to take, then I hope they don't come crying to anyone when what they were so unwilling to do - stand up, really stand up for what they want and believe in - results in all the damage they feared and more actually being done.

With a Republican-controlled (aka: business-controlled) House and Senate and Russian-controlled/Republican-flavored Orangado at the switches, this is not the time to be uncaring or flippant about anything that matters as much as Net Neutrality. Let's see people post twee little cat memes once our currently unfettered access to the Internet is cut off by the very ISPs being cat-memed as I speak. Oh fuck, that's right: they won't be able to, not unless they "buy" the imgur package (includes AOL and MSN!) for an extra $39.99 a month, subject to multiple, super-restrictive ToSes and cancellation without notice at any time, yippee.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-10 04:35 am

!signalboost...Save the date & get ready: Net Neutrality Protest/Day of Action July 12th

Easy enough to remember: the morning after Prime Day (July 11th) we'll wake to the Net Neutrality Day of Action (July 12th - wait, is this bad timing? I hope not). Google and Facebook, among many other sites, have decided they're all in, so be prepared to not know what you'll be preparing for, because the Internet is the only place where we can pull off something akin to April Fool's Day any day of the year.

I myself have something planned, but an inability to spill my own secrets keeps me from sharing much on it, so here's fair warning: all I can say is I've already checked Dreamwidth's ToS and I think I can do what I've been planning, which is a slightly modified version of what Dreamwidth did some five years ago over SOPA/PIPA (archived Dreamwidth SOPA page). Five years later I can't believe we still need to fight for such basic rights and principles, but here we are.

So I'll be going all out; once the 12th rolls around you'll know why you can take me pretty much at my word.

In the meantime, I've been subscribed to the Fight For The Future newsletter (https://www.fightforthefuture.org/), which brought us this update over the weekend:


The last few days have been intense.

On Thursday, over 100 big-name YouTubers with 150+ million shared subscribers took a stand for net neutrality in an open letter to the FCC and Congress.[1] Later that same day, Google and Facebook surprised everyone when it was leaked they would be joining the day of action after months of silence.[2]

Then, on Friday, streaming giant Spotify and cloud storage leader Dropbox announced they too would stand alongside over 60,000 Internet users, thousands of other sites, and over 100 subreddits to make this day one of the largest protests in history.[3][4]

Think about every website or app you use in the course of a day – for music, video, storage, news, and others. We guarantee that many of them are now part of this day of action.

To truly win this, and save net neutrality, we really need to keep the pressure up. If we make this big enough, we can send shock waves through Congress and the FCC and keep them from doing Team Cable's bidding. July 12th is the day we show them them that opposing net neutrality is political poison.

But we’re running out out of time. July 12th is only a few days away and we need you to do everything you can to make this day of action huge. Here’s how you can chip in:

  • If you have a website, run a widget on your site that encourages your visitors to take action. See examples and get the code here (or use the Cloudflare app).
  • If you have a mobile app, send a push notification linking to BattleForTheNet.com so your users can easily take action. The dating service OkCupid will be messaging all their users this way!
  • If you’re on social media, join the “Twitter Brigade” and opt-in to tweet at key moments, change your profile pics and spread the word to all your followers using these resources.
  • If you’re a video creator, post about net neutrality on July 12 linking back to BattleForTheNet.com, or use our simple 30-second video bumper (see files here).

To truly win this, and save net neutrality, we really need to keep the pressure up. If we make this big enough, we can send shock waves through Congress and the FCC and keep them from doing Team Cable's bidding. July 12th is the day we show them them that opposing net neutrality is political poison.

If we don’t, throttling, blocking, and new fees for Internet users will be the new normal. And we simply can’t let that happen.

Every day we have new reasons to hope and believe that we will win this.

Don’t believe me? Think about this for a second: this protest has gotten so big that, on July 12th, it is entirely possible that all of your friends and family will experience this day of action one way or another. That’s crazy, right?

But you have a crucial role to play in making sure this happens.

Please help us make the best of this historic opportunity. We’re counting on you.

For the Internet,

Josh, Laila, Joe, Sarah, Evan, Holmes, Tiff, and the team at Fight for the Future.

Footnotes:

[1] https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/6/15930170/youtube-stars-net-neutrality-letter-fcc

[2] http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/06/tech-companies-to-join-day-of-action-protest-to-protect-net-neutrality/

[3] https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/8xa84k/spotify-google-tons-of-other-companies-will-protest-to-save-new-neutrality

[4] See full list of participants here: https://battleforthenet.com/july12

Dreamwidth prevents us from running scripts or modifying backend files (to oversimplify things a bit), but there are other ways to protest. We can: change our profile pictures and blurbs, add info and image-only badges to our sidebar custom text areas, post about the fight for Net Neutrality on or before the 12th, and stand in solidarity by taking our DWs offline that day via one-day friends-locks and so on (I'll be in the "and so on" group; please join in however you can and spread the word so others can be ready to participate).

Obviously, clicktivism and slacktivism can be essential activities for raising awareness - much as I'm doing with this post - but they're not a great way to actually get things done, so don't stop at sharing this post (or simply the info contained within it) across Dreamwidth and other social media sites; you should also click here for concrete information on how to contact the FCC and Congress to register your complaint against ending Net Neutrality - let's make positive change happen.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
2017-07-07 08:12 am

Is Photobucket holding "heavy users" ransom or "hotlinkers" in general? Survey says...

For days I've read that it's the latter, only for it to possibly turn out to be the former. Interestingly, neither website says where they get their information from, so if not for users posting locked-out black badges like this one I'd wonder if I should tsk-tsk about "fake news".

The only thing I can say is both things seem to be true: Photobucket's ToS says (emphasis theirs): "The free account does not allow any image linking or 3rd party image hosting" but this might not necessarily result in a ransom situation for any free user - though at any moment it certainly could, considering "free user" does not compute to "light user".

With Photobucket tossing word salad with such impunity, I've downloaded my albums - a measly ~60MB for images on both blogs (I don't use Photobucket for personal image hosting, so at least there's that) because when web hosts of any kind - blog hosts, image hosts, whomever - "get funny", and by "get funny" I mean do strange, unexpected, and quite sudden things without notice, it's almost always presage for a disaster.

And given any notice at all (and/or any time to act upon it) I don't f*ck around, so I downloaded them. My next "someday" project will be rewriting blog image links after I upload them either here (Dreamwidth has its own image hosting) or Wordpress.com (which much to my eternal chagrin, hosts my other blog, but also offers a few gigs of free media storage).

Oddly enough, images hosted on Wordpress might load faster than they do from here; I think I'm seeing this when I test on pingdom.com for how long background images take to load (they take forever coming from either site, where the web's definition of "forever" is more than two seconds and Google's is more than one, but before I decide DW is slower, I'll need to test again and actually note each site's speeds).

I have to File 13 my Photobuckets, though: PB's been impossible to visit for well over a year without on-page memory use clogging up the pipes; they changed how images are accessed so hotlinking's impossible (the so-called "direct link" brings you to a web page instead of the actual image), and I have three image hosts (four, if you count images I shove off onto accountless imgur uploads because I don't ever want to see them again; in that respect, imgur's literally my online trash can).

For now I divide image hosting between two Photobuckets, Wordpress.com (which hosts images on both blogs via just one WP account) and Dreamwidth. I don't think there's space on DW to move all my blog images here, so they'll probably go on WP, or stay split between DW and WP. Which is...I'm considering moving Anti-AOL to hosted Wordpress just to use a plugin to rewrite all the image links. After roughly 10 years of moving around online MM Itinerant Blogger style, done that, got the t-shirt, so spare me.

Though of course it would save money, if not improve my character, to just rewrite all the links myself.