Don’t Panic On The Chrome “Not Secure” Warnings

By now, most bloggers and website owners have seen this message coming through on their email if you’ve claimed your space on the Google Console (Webmaster Tools) page. For everyone who hasn’t, especially people not in the states, here’s one for this site:

To owner of http://www.imjustsharing.com,

Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.

The following URLs on your site include text input fields (such as < input type="text" > or < input type="email" >) that will trigger the new Chrome warning. Review these examples to see where these warnings will appear, so that you can take action to help protect users’ data. This list is not exhaustive.

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Your Comments Going Into Spam For No Reason? I’ve Got One…

I have a few consistent commenters on this blog. Most of them I’ve known for quite a few years and they’re pretty popular commenters on the blogosphere as well. And yet, some of them have an interesting problem.

~Balance~
Stuart Williams via Compfight

They’re comments have been showing up in my spam filter, and spam filters of other blogs they comment on. They didn’t do anything wrong as far as they knew, and as far as I knew either. One day their comments were showing up fine, the next day and every time after that they were going to spam.

Now, I do have some settings where some people are going to go to spam. One too many words in the name field, email addresses that begin with certain words… that’s where you’re heading. If I’ve named you as spam and added your IP address, you’re going to spam. But that’s not what was going on with these folks.

A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to check something out. I was talking to Brian at Hot Blog Tips about it and I asked him to send a comment to me using his smartphone. He did and his comment showed up without going into the spam filter. He thought that maybe it was coming from a different IP address.

I then wrote our buddy Adrienne about it in the private message area of Facebook and asked her to try the same thing. It worked for her as well. However, when I looked at her IP address I noticed it was the same as her normal comments, and when I looked at Brian’s I noticed the same thing. So it wasn’t the IP address.

But I had the mind working well at this juncture. I asked Adrienne to pull up a different browser and send me a comment. She did and it went through; yippee! I told her it worked and asked her which browser she normally used, and she said Chrome.

I then reached out to Brian and asked him to try leaving a comment on my blog using a different browser. At the same time I asked Mitchell Allen if he’d try leaving a comment on this blog using a different browser as well. Both of them did & their comments came through just fine.

What browser were they all using? Chrome! In my mind, it was a pretty good experiment and possibly the reason so many people were ending up in spam filters around the world! Well, that might be dramatic, but one of my friends is in India and he always goes to spam, and I’m not sure which browser he uses.

Firefox cupcake
Mixy Lorenzo
via Compfight

Now, whenever I see something like this that looks like a pattern, I always go to Google to see if there’s anyone else mentioning it. There were lots of topics that looked like it, but they were all talking about something else. So maybe I get to scoop them all! 🙂

Meanwhile, Adrienne decided to try something else first. What she did was uninstall Chrome, reboot her computer, run her antivirus program, reload Chrome, and try again. This time her comment came through perfectly; problem solved.

The only question would be what’s in Chrome that could be affecting so many people? Well, there’s a second question, which is what if it’s not just Chrome users this is affecting? Anyone else who shows up in the spam filter isn’t a regular writer, at least yet, so I don’t know if the initial problem could happen with other browsers and could be solved by switching.

So, this is a twofold testing question for all of you. One, if you notice that your comments, or the comments of someone who comments on your blog often, seems to be going into the spam filter, ask them to try a different browser to see if their comment comes through fine. If it does, ask them what browser they originally used and let’s find out if it’s a Chrome thing (by the way, I’m a Firefox user). Tell them that if they want to continue using their regular browser to try uninstalling, then reinstalling to see if that takes care of things (running the virus program wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not sure if that’s a part of it or not).

If it doesn’t, then it’s possible they’re really on a blacklist, which is a totally different issue and one I’m not ready to address right now. Still, I know I’ve taken care of a couple of people who comment so far, and maybe we can help some other people as well. As an addition, I was talking to Adrienne about this and supposedly some people have found that if they leave everything off before the domain name that it seems to work for them & CommentLuv still works. So try domainname.com to see if that might cure your issue also.
 

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Why I Left Firefox For Chrome And Why I Came Back

Last weekend I finally had it with Firefox. After one more crash because it was blowing up my resources I decided it was time to give up the ghost and I switched to Chrome.

I had two other alternatives, of course. I could have gone to Opera, which has always been pretty fast, but it just seems so sparse. True, one should probably only think about using a browser to browse the internet, but many of us are looking for certain things from our browsers to enhance the user experience, if you will. I also could have gone to IE8 but decided I just don’t want to go backwards, even though I’ve heard good things about IE9, which I haven’t loaded yet.

Anyway, Firefox had suddenly decided to go nuts on me. It was using some major league resources on my computer, once to the tune of 1.8GB; that’s a lot. It was regularly going over a gigabyte, and that was way too much. Then it started crashing all the time, asking me to send crash reports to Mozilla. Last Sunday it crashed the 7th time in one day and that was that.

So I made Chrome my default browser. I had been thinking about it anyway, but not without some reservation. It’s a Google product, as you know, and almost anything related to Google wants to track you. I wrote a post in 2010 telling people that if you use Google Toolbar it tracks your searches and then you start getting targeted advertising. I know they try to tell us it’s for our benefit but I just don’t feel the benefit if you know what I mean. At least you can turn it off for Google Desktop.

I used Chrome for about 4 days and started to feel that, though it had been running better than Firefox, it had issues as well. For instance, every once in awhile it just hangs for a little bit. I went to check the resources and found that it was using a gigabyte of memory as well; what the hey? It seemed to handle that much memory a little better than Firefox but not entirely; that was shocking.

Then I started missing some of my customization. For instance, I was able to modify the look of Firefox to what I was used to in the past; you can’t do that with Chrome. Also, certain plugins that make using a browser that I’ve come to like aren’t available on Chrome. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t figure out how to get anything onto Chrome whatsoever. Well, I did finally get one thing to work, but that was it.

Yup, I started missing Firefox, but I had to do something to help it stop crashing. I decided to take a look at all the plugins I was running, along with other things, to see what I really didn’t need anymore. I ended up disabling, then removing, a lot of things that I noticed didn’t even work anymore. Firefox 5 automatically disabled some thing it said it wasn’t compatible with, but I use both Stylish and Greasemonkey and it turns out some scripts with each of those weren’t working anymore either, and could have been causing a conflict.

The verdict is pretty good so far. The highest recorded memory since I made the changes is 525MB, which is easily more manageable. The browser hasn’t crashed since I started using it again and I’m happy about that as well. Maybe it’s finally going to behave; one can only hope, right?

But customization is really what puts Firefox ahead of every other browser, and in the end that’s really why it’s my favorite. That’s my story; what’s yours?

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Firefox 4; My Review

Yes, it was time for me to download Firefox 4 to see what it had to offer. I thought about waiting up until late last week, when 3.6.whatever started freezing up on me again. No idea why it kept doing that, but I can honestly say that version 3 never lived up to expectation and almost drove me away from what had become my favorite browser.

Actually, I’d thought Firefox 4 was still in beta, but it seems to be the real deal, and it’s about time. It’s promised faster speed and better functionality; let’s see what it’s all about.

The download, of course, was simple, one of the gripes that I had against Chrome. It automatically updated all my bookmarks and all my add-ons and the like, with a few exceptions. I don’t have weather anymore, and I lost this neat little add-on from AVG that tested links before I went to them and gave warnings to those that were dangerous. It looked like I was going to lose my Multirow Toolbar add-on as well, but I searched beforehand and saw that its creators had a beta going for FF4 and, once I updated to the new Firefox version, went and grabbed it and things are working great once more. I was also able to get an old favorite of mine back, Colorful Tabs, which helps me see all the different tabs easier than having them all be the same color.

One of the first things I noticed was how much it seemed to look like Chrome. It took away the toolbars and put the tabs at the top of the browser, with the address bar underneath it. The idea was to open up the browser so we could see more of our content. Me being me, I like change but not that much, so I went into the options setting, which is at the top left, and put things back where they used to be; very easy to do. The one thing they finally added that both Chrome and Opera had was where you can choose the option to Paste and Go if you copy a link into the address bar; that’s sweet.

Firefox 4 is supposed to be up to 6 times faster than its previous version, so of course I had to test that. I’ll say that normal websites seem to load pretty fast, but I had to do the test of YouTube. The videos did load faster but they didn’t play much better than previous. For whatever reason everything was shaky; not sure what that was about, but it’s somewhat irritating.

It’s also supposed to handle resources better, but I just checked and it’s using 430K of my resources, which is pretty much the same as the other version. I had read where the more tabs you have open the more resources it uses but come on. I turned off prefetching webpages to help speed things up and reduce resources, as well as altering about:config to tell it to reduce resources if I minimize the browser to the toolbar, but that seems to be being ignored as well.

The final test I can’t do yet, and that’s to see if the browser will lock up any time soon. That one I’ll just have to wait for, but I’m a patient guy. Overall Firefox 4, at least for the casual user, has some things that are changed around that some people might find fascinating, but since I have no need for synching my browser to anything the only thing that’s different to me might be the speed. I hope the YouTube thing clears up eventually as well.

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Firefox, I Love Ya But…

Firefox and I have always had a love – less love kind of relationship. I left Netscape for Firefox and I never looked back; I often thought that maybe I killed Netscape (no, we all know who killed it), but it didn’t matter. Firefox was better than IE, and that’s all that used to matter.

There are just so many things to love about Firefox. I love the add-ons. I love how I can change the look. I love how I can go into the config.about settings and change stuff if I really want to (don’t do this unless you know what you’re doing). I love how it’s just a bit more protection than IE. I love the tabs. Frankly, there’s not much I don’t like about it.

And yet, there is something I don’t like, something that’s irked me for years, the one thing that I just can’t overcome. Sometimes Firefox hangs, and when it does, that’s it. By hangs, I mean that it just suddenly stops. You can’t do anything because it’s pretty much said it’s had enough. You can’t even go into the task manager and turn it off; I mean, how many programs do that?

I have researched this issue for years and tried to find a workaround. It was suggested to remove Zone Alarm because they don’t play well together; I tried that. It was suggested that maybe it was AVG; I tried that. It was suggested to change your profile; I tried that. Nothing has worked. There have been some suggestions that I don’t have the technical knowledge for, so those I haven’t tried. However, my thought is that someone at Mozilla, the group that makes Firefox, would have addressed the issue at some point.

You know what? Never. Now, that’s a strange one, isn’t it? Through all the forums they have, with this issue coming up often enough, not a single Mozilla person has ever chimed in with a fix. They won’t even acknowledge that there’s a problem; isn’t that weird? I mean, even Microsoft eventually came clean on the dog that is Vista (which I’m still stuck on). And folks, it’s not Vista that’s hanging Firefox, because I had the same issue under XP.

So, I’m stuck. I’m not crazy about Opera, even though it’s never hung on my system, and I’m not a major fan of Chrome. Don’t even try to talk me into, what, IE 8 or 9 now? I guess I’m stuck in “bootup loop” city, and I’m not overly happy about it. There just has to be a solution, right? Someone? Anyone?

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8399 UltraClub Adult Cool-N-Dry Sport Color Block Tee








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