marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Dreamwidth was unintentionally DDosed by someone's homework a few weeks ago. And no, you can't make this stuff up: Tonight's intermittent 404's.

While I was busy being mostly unable to use the site (along with [personal profile] conuly, whom I was having a comment exchange on this DW with at the same moment said homework went on a rampage) I hit upon a few DW pages that thanks to our CDN (CloudFlare) had been converted on-the-fly into read-only, which lets us view the site without actually being able to use it.

Fascinated, I studied the read-onlyness of them while exchanging replies with someone on an Anti-AOL post about AOL shutting off their News comment sections, which occurred approximately eleventy bajillion years ago but somehow is still news. The person replying was in a pique that comments to that post were less than, shall we say, civil.

For her, this included comments from my commenters (who think my blog is officially sponsored and run by AOL, and who therefore address the blog owner - that is, me - as though I'm not only an AOL employee, but also like I'm The Reason Why They Can't Have Nice Things) and comments from me, because I don't enjoy people still thinking I work for AOL after telling them a thousand times a second that no, I don't.

After exchanging a few comments with her (she was actually rather nice, which I appreciated) I looked back at DW's Support page, which I was also trying to reach while it was set to read-only, so thanks specifically to DW's homework DDoS Anti-AOL is now (permanently) read-only, because while I was waiting for DW to get un-DDoSed I shut comments off, just like they did over at AOL News.

If you're a blog owner who wants to completely disable comments, it's not that hard, just time-consuming. Step 1: Log in, go to WP admin and disable comments. Step 2: Screen all publicly visible comments - that's it. It took a while because's admin is 1983 dial-up slow and you can only screen one pageful of comments at a time.

The way I did it (I'm not sure if there's a sorting option or if having one might help) newest comments screen first, which gave me a nice, chill walk down memory lane back to when Anti-AOL was on LJ and nearly no one thought I worked for AOL and sometimes I miss the hell out of just being thought of as myself but oh well, the blog will be 12 years old this November and I stopped having anything constructive to say about AOL years ago.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

ETA: after posting I did a bit more Googling and found this and this, which both say has turned on AMP for all users by default, while the latter page states there is indeed an opt-out (yay, because actually, I wouldn't let Google cache Anti-AOL if I could figure out how to stop that while still allowing indexing so people can find it).

ETA on the ETA: but apparently, even opting out won't remove the content right away. The fastest way I can think of is to opt-out (which I did, already), then edit the page to, say, be completely blank, save it, re-visit the AMP URL, and since it fetches the latest version, that should remove the content, if not the page itself, from AMP servers. Of course I'm not going to do that, so oh, well. I have to sit back and just let someone else control it until they decide not to anymore.

What I don't like is the AMP version of my content is hosted on Google's servers, which in this case, is Wordpress deciding where my content should live without my input or permission. While I haven't looked through a ToS or EULA in forever (maybe never) I wonder if them farming out my content to Google's CDN servers violates it, because I never said they could.

Also, clean URLs, which I saw in one article (can't find it) that they promised to do "when possible", my foot. Not that it matters...clean URL or dirty (and my God, the one seen below is a mess), I don't want my content on their servers. Also-also, this:

To take advantage of the Google AMP Cache, an AMP URL must be accessed directly from the cache using the AMP Cache URL format. Each time a user accesses AMP content from the cache, the content is automatically updated, and the updated version is served to the next user once the content has been cached.

Sounds like they took a page from AOL's playbook and said, "Hey, let's download the entire Internet!" except they're downloading it only after insisting the source gets rewritten by content creators or CMS owners, so they can serve ads from it even faster.

AOL literally wrote the book on "Hey, let's download the Internet!". Not original thinking. But caching the entire Internet to serve super-speedy ads from it (which is probably the entire point of AMP, let's not kid ourselves)? All Google, man, all the time - AOL missed the boat on that, completely.

Think this is resolved, for now (see ETA above) - thanks for reading!

...without my knowledge or permission, an action which tends to bother me (previous examples that have drawn my ire: (one user scraped a post on Anti-AOL for a forum post) and a post about* (which was inserted through Javascript into the HTML of a post on another person's blog, which had the awesome effect of stealing my page rank for the search terms it corresponded to), the latter of whom reciprocated my call-out by claiming a domain name with my name in it for the next four years, apparently so I couldn't have it for myself.

Today when I logged into to do some image uploading (about the only reason I log in, anymore) I checked my stats and saw a referrer from:

Long link, huh.

To be clear, this was a referrer, which means the visitor in question (assuming, as I might, that it wasn't a bot) was coming into my blog from the Google AMP page, not exiting out to it. The page is my content, mirrored from end to end. All links in the scrape seem to point back to my blog, but still. According to DTWhois the site belongs to Google. Playing with the URL to find different pages of my blog hosted on the domain hasn't worked so far, but then again, my blood pressure is a little too high right now to play with the URL too much.

So, questions:

  1. Who exactly is scraping my page? Or is this the work of bots?
  2. All the documentation I see seems to indicate website owners create their own AMP pages. I didn't create that page. So, did Wordpress create it? [ding ding ding we have our winner] Or did Google, or someone else? If yes, how do they do that without being me, and why would anyone do that?
  3. Is Google creating another entire web cache/new index out of AMP pages [yep], or is some individual doing this to some or all web content creators?
  4. How do I get this page taken down? [WP opt-out allowed]
  5. How do I find out if other pages of mine are on their servers?

I could easily serve as the literal poster child for confusion right now.

*Edited after posting to correct info on who scraped what.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

"Yahoo will be combined with AOL".

While I'm all for the synergies presented by Verizon owning both companies, I am - I realized after writing about it - *not* in favor of a) AOL being completely absorbed by Yahoo nor b) the opposite happening.

As I just got done bitching about under lock, if either thing occurs it means something like this fiasco might be the end result, which means I might have to blog again.

And noooooo, noooooo, noooooo. I don't want to.

ETA, minutes later: googled around and found The Verizon Yahoo purchase, explained. It seems Yahoo's the one shutting down about half of its "verticals" (aka, mostly their "websites") not AOL, which jibes with my thinking: AOL still has a vibrant sort of thing going on in some cases, traffic-wise, while Yahoo does not. Which also finally solves the riddle of Yahoo shutting down Messenger. Of course! Because now everyone can just use AIM. I knew something weird was behind that. I just never guessed what.

This is the better of the two folds for me because it means I won't have to blog. Historically I don't help people with losing their Yahoo stuff and have no reason to start now.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (lol aol lol internets lol lulz)

And with that, the consummation of the union I've pined away for for 10 freaking years (synergies, man; all the synergies) is well underway. Wedded bliss, at long last!

Like many marriages, this one was arranged by the groom's dad (Verizon, the proud adoptive parent of AOL) after the would-be-bride (the regal and perpetually purple-attired Queen Yahooniti) freaked out about it, saying, "I will NEVER marry you! Stop telling me I've got male! I don't want it!!!"

Finally her parents were like, "Money, bitches. Show us the money, and you can have our daughter; otherwise she will never be yours". So they showed it - $4.8 billion pieces of it, to be precise, one handsome dowry, indeed - which even includes Tim Armstrong, who the Queen's secretly been crushing on for years.

And the Yahoonitis were pleased.

But then there's Marissa. What will become of her? At least until the transition completes, her and Timmy are coworkers again (co-CEOS, I guess? Stranger things have happened), which might make me titter under normal circumstances, but from what I've heard they get on rather well, or at least did over at Google...the synergies, man.

I'm just basking in the warm glow of all these synergies.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
Anti-AOL stats

I'd show you folks more of these things...I could screencap every day's stats for the last year...but since they're all the same *yawn* it'd just bore you.

And more of the same... *sigh*

more Anti-AOL stats

The only reason I keep this blog online...and I've told plenty of people so right from the start - back when I pressed "delete" and almost kept it deleted perhaps dozens of times...are for the folks who want to cancel or uninstall AOL.

You could blame me for getting sidetracked and writing about other things but writing the words "cancel AOL" over and over again gets old after a while I take the motto "all search traffic publicity is good search traffic publicity" and mix it with the grocer's philosophy of the doorbuster sale, wherein you give away comparative junk (10 boxes of mac 'n cheese for 50 cents) in the hopes at least a few people will grab the $4 bag of asparagus sitting right next to it.

For the analogy-allergic, the pages I write about AOL's classic view are the mac 'n cheese of this example. People who decide to visit (or stay at) my site to cancel AOL or remove their products? That's them oohing and aahing at all the asparagus I have, darlings. And yes, I just mixed analogies, metaphors, mac 'n cheese, doorbusters, search traffic, psychology and philosophy with're welcome.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

...installing AOL. For the first time in like, many years. Version number's up to 9.8. The last version I tried was probably a beta of 9.7 at least 2-3 years ago. I also installed the AOL Toolbar and am downloading (at gasp! 41.6MB) the installer for a thing they call AOL for Firefox. I have no idea what it is or does. There's also a thing they call AOL for Internet Explorer, but my operating system is just modern enough to not support it.

Which is not helping my purpose: I want to know why I often get almost 200 visits a day on the other blog all just looking for some classic missing home page that some people say can be restored by visiting certain links on AOL that restore nothing for me nor many others. Science, I tell you, this is for science, because my readers are not good at telling me anything except what they can or can't find. I have to sort of find the backstory on that for myself.

I forgot I didn't post there for almost two years, then I looked at my archive list tonight and was like wow, I went missing for a while, didn't I. Not a thing for me after my mom's passing, I suppose. She never did like - not the blog, specifically, she seemed in favor enough of my reason for having it, if not wildly enthusiastic or anything - but the amount of time I spent testing, screencapping, googling, linking, and coding on it as the early months of its existence turned into years, but it took off so slowly that wasting time on it wasn't really an issue until 2006, and it was still not a total timesuck until AOL began imploding around 2007-2008.

But, you know, I guess I was enjoying it? I can't say it didn't work out to something I didn't want to spend my time dissecting and talking about with people, nor that it felt like a total waste of time.

Anyway, I guess I'm about to destroy another operating system. There is just nothing like me getting so pissed off that I actually want to do that.

For science, of course.