If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Blogger back

The program or the person, who cares?

I was having problems with Blogger over the last few days. Curiously, they were exactly the same problem as I have been having with my work PC over many months now. I go to my blog and get the sign-in page. I sign in as normal and get taken to the Dashboard, where I can 'New Post', 'View Blog' etc. I usually go the blog and have a look around before doing anything else, and if I click 'View Blog' I get straight back to the blog main page, with 'Sign In' at the top right - that is, I have been signed out. If I go directly to 'New Post' I can write a post and publish, but as soon as I go back to the blog itself I am signed out again. This means I cannot comment on my own or anyone else's blog under my own login. Hence a lot of comments by 'Richard At Work' below the line on GFGN. And doing anything to the blog's design is out too.

The work PC seems to have cured itself, although I haven't posted much from there recently. Days have been too busy, and with all the ructions about pay cuts and shift changes there has been too much 'debate' at night, which always takes place in the office where the PC is. Not conducive to sly worktime blogging at all.

A couple of days ago the problem started on my netbook. I did all the usual (cursed, loudly, stamped my feet, threatened to throw it out of the window, even went back to a previous restore point) to no avail. Five minutes ago, I cured it. I found a site which dealt with Blogger issues, and read there that Blogger puts cookies on your PC to keep sessions open. Well, of course it does ... and then I remembered that, a few days ago, I had had a fit of privacy tremors, and had disabled third party cookies in my browser. Normal cookies were still enabled, but I went back and 'allowed' thirty party cookies. Problem solved. Why third party cookies are essential to Blogger's functioning is a mystery, but to be honest, as long as it is working I couldn't care less.


Additionally, a number of people have complained about the new 'captcha' feature for comments. I have noticed this on other blogs I visit, and I assume it is an 'enhancement' from Blogger. I certainly didn't request it, and I find it irritating and intrusive. I understand that there have been a lot of complaints about it, so perhaps Blogger will take that on board and revert to the previous, and perfectly adequate, system. If not, I will disable it and put up with the extra spam that it is designed to prevent. Having said that, I have had more spam on the blog in the last couple of weeks that in the whole of the previous year, so whatever it is, it clearly isn't working.

I'll give it a week.


  1. Welcome back to sanity.

    That 'feature' OKA 'Capcha' is a discrimination against those with failing eyesight.

    At least the previous made up word test used legible letters.

    It can't be beyond the wit of man to invent an easier form of human-identifier if they do insist on change. Perhaps a simple Maths exercise, 4 + 2 ÷ 3 for instance.

  2. I agree - the new captchas are a nightmare to read, even with the proper specs. I used to 'fail' about 1 in 10 with the old system. Now it's about 1 in 2. Maddening. Some platforms use the maths idea, and I like it. 'Four plus [box] equals seven'. Put 3 in the box and you are good to go.

    I shall go and raise a complaint.

    1. And on serious Blogs, they could use something like √pi ∗ 6^3 = ??
      to deter the ignoramuses from commenting.

    2. Bloody hell - would you believe Capcha used a made-up word that included the character(s) "æ" in the verification for my previous response?

    3. Bloody ASH get everywhere (Anglo-Saxon joke).

      Nah, that's just ridiculous, using a character that isn't even on a UK keyboard. What did you do, go to character map and copy/paste it? No wonder people are failing to bother with comments if those are the hoops you have to go through.

    4. Nah, just requested a replacement.

      But it makes you wonder about the algorithms they use!

    5. So glad you have problems reading captcha thingies as well, I was worried it was just me!

  3. I haven't been able to comment as me since the last time (when your works PC first stopped posting), unless I enable "Accept All Cookies" before signing in. Out of curiosity, I ran some network traces to find out why that should be and came to the conclusion they're basically just the widgets, sidebars and a bit of Google retrieving anonymised session information via some badly-signed cookies. Harmless - if annoying - so I don't mind dropping my privacy level long enough to leave comments.

    ReCaptcha - loathsome implementation of challenge/response, but probably best addressed on your later post on the subject. So I shall.

    1. I'm not very techy, but my understanding is that cookies are what a site puts on your machine for its own purposes, whereas third-party cookies are places there by advertisers and the like using that site. I'm happy with the first and not the second, which is why I disabled it. It hasn't affected my use of any other site than Blogger. Oh well.


Comment is free, according to C P Scott, so go for it. Word verification is turned off for the time being. Play nicely.

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