Crappy Google Disingenuousness: Good-bye “View Image” Button

Still another item from the “In Order to Serve You Better, We Are Now Going to Fuck You Over” file:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Really, Google? You’re really making this change to “help” users? The motivation for making your image search less useful is to help us?

Oh, wait, maybe the change is not to help us:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

<shaking my head>

The NEW Crappy Software Blog!

Blogger slowly turned to crap.
Blogger slowly turned to crap.

On August 24, 2005 I created the Crappy Software blog to chronicle all the malfeasance in the world of software. I happily ran it on Blogger software running on one of my own Web servers. Then, in 2010 Google—which had bought Blogger in 2003—decreed that all Blogger blogs must run on blogspot.com.

I didn’t like entrusting control of my data to Google/Blogger, but I complied and moved Crappy Software and a couple other blogs over there. There were a few bumps in the transition, but I was basically satisfied with Blogger even as I began to use WordPress for more and more of my blogging and basic Website design needs. It’s gotten to the point now that whenever I need a quick-n-dirty Website, I slap together a WordPress installation in, like, 20 minutes.

Until…

Until the day (and I don’t even know exactly when) when Blogger decided to delete all of the images I’d uploaded between 2010 (when I moved to blogspot.com) and 2014. Dozens of images were suddenly missing. I still don’t know exactly why beyond some sort of weird clusterfuck among Blogger, Google+, and Picasa (and PicasaWeb). You see, Blogger, unbeknownst to me, was storing my new, uploaded images in PicasaWeb. Best I can guess, there was some shift in my Google account—perhaps when I activated Google plus—that disconnected Crappy Software from its PicasaWeb album.

I spent an hour or so yesterday trying to figure out exactly how it happened—following leads suggested here—but I was not able to track down Blogger’s crap move.

So, Good-Bye Blogger

And so that motivates me to bid adieu to Blogger. WordPress is a superior blogging platform. Why stick with Blogger when it’s going to do crappy stuff like this?

Many of my images are permanently lost, best I can tell. I still had all my pre-2010 images, from back when Blogger was good software. And several of the post-2010 images were still on my hard drive. It’s taken me the better part of the day to move all the text and re-upload images, but I think I’m going to be happier with WordPress as Crappy Software‘s new home.

Hello, Crappy.Software

In related news, I’ve taken advantage of the new top-level domain names (TLDs) and nabbed crappy.software for this blog. Ain’t that cool?

 

New Crappy Gmail Ads Right BELOW the Reply Box

Don’t get me wrong. I love Gmail. But Google has implemented a new ad format that is downright crappy. They’ve started putting ads below the message — not in the text of outgoing messages (thankfully), but underneath the Reply box when you’re viewing a message (see the pinkish ad block):

(Image missing because of some crap Blogger pulled–deleting dozens of Crappy Software images when this blog was hosted there.)
This just started today for me and it may have been related to me changing my Gmail theme, but from Googling around I gather that Google has been testing this for months. Comments about it turn up back in December 2010.
I don’t begrudge Google the need to sell ads. They offer a terrific free service and they need to make their money somehow. But the sidebar ads should be enough. They aren’t as intrusive as this crappy new ad block stuck in between the reply box and the buttons for Archive, Report Spam, etc.
I don’t want to resort to an ad blocker, but I’m very tempted now.

Crappy Gmail Backup

Don’t you hate it when you pay for a new software utility to make your digital life slightly easier and it throws all sorts of odd, undecipherable error messages at you?

Recently, I paid for Gmail Keeper in hopes of automating my Gmail archiving. I’d read a positive review of it online somewhere and opted for it over a free, open-source alternative (Gmail Backup) that would have to be run manually. Big mistake.

Gmail Keeper fails with the following, unhelpful, crappy error message:

8:32:04 AM: Your Gmail display langugage has changed to none-English language, try to edit the profile and identify Gmail folders manually.

“none-English”? What the huh?

To be fair to Gmail Keeper, I have contacted its support email and it’s only been 24 hours since I did. If they respond in a timely and helpful manner, I’ll update this post.

Until then, I’m going back to using Thunderbird for manual backups.

Update 5/19/11:


Well, I will say that Edwin Yip, of Gmail Keeper, responded promptly with the following solution:

Please edit the backup profile in question and set ‘important’ as a ‘label’. actually, it’s corresponding to  ‘priority inbox’.

Making this change allowed Gmail Keeper to run, but it still did not succeed in backing up the thousands of messages I have accumulated over the past seven years of using Gmail. This time, it threw several other errors — after running for five hours:

6:31:41 AM: Error adding the EML file into the ZIP archive. Make sure the ZIP arhive is not opened by other archiver programs and it’s writable. Error message: Error code: 527; Error message: Error creating file
Due to a temporary Gmail server error the following 7253 emails couldn’t be downloaded.
Retry again might solve the problem.
6:31:41 AM: Subject [Re: Featuring TV Styles in CSM newsletter?] From [Steve Anderson <sfanders@usc.edu>] . Error code: 312; Error message: NO System Error (Failure)
6:31:41 AM: Subject [The KODAK Gallery: Your order has partially shipped.] From [service@kodakgallery.com] . Error code: 6; Error message: 

At this point, I prefer not to do any further trouble shooting as it appears that Gmail Keeper is not going to suit my needs.
And so I have requested a refund. Their Website promises a “60-day money guarantee”. I’ll update this post to report on how promptly they process my request.
Mozilla Thunderbird, with a few tweaks, will have to serve as my back-up system. I’ll have to see if I can figure out a way to automate it…

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Update 12/16/2014:

In December 2014, Blogger pulled a crap move and somehow managed to delete dozens of my images. Consequently, The Crappy Software Blog is no longer active there. I’m hosting the blog on WordPress on my own site now.

Blogger was getting dated anyway. Seems like it went downhill after Google bought it.

Google Toolbar: Small, Irritating Crap

Recently the following message appeared in Firefox:

What’s new in your [Google] Toolbar

Search smarter with instant suggestions as you type
Bookmark frequently visited pages and access them from anywhere
Add buttons to the Toolbar to search your favorite sites — view available buttons
Share web pages via blog, email, or SMS

Actually, the latter was not so “new.” In fact, the main reason I installed Google Toolbar was for the ease with which one may email snippets of Webpages. Highlight text/images on a Webpage, click a button in the Toolbar and bada bing email is created with that text/images.

But not any more.

For the past two weeks, when I attempt the above, I’m given an error message:

Temporary Error (502)

We’re sorry, but your Gmail account is currently experiencing errors. You won’t be able to use your account while these errors last, but don’t worry, your account data and messages are safe. Our engineers are working to resolve this issue.

Please try accessing your account again in a few minutes.

 

The galling thing is, this is no “temporary error” (#502 or not) resolved in a “few minutes”, it’s a semi-permanent error that has been going on for at least two weeks. And there is little information on this on Gmail’s help system. All I found was this inconclusive posting.

Since there’s not much else in the Google Toolbar that I find useful, I’m on the verge of uninstalling it.

Update 8/24/08:

Possible solution: Turn off the option to “Always use https”, under “Browser connection.” I just turned that off and the first time I tried the “send to” function, it worked.

Not a perfect workaround (as it means less secure browsing), but still a workaround.

Blogger Lets Us Down

Okay, so now Blogger is not working correctly.

One of the Crappy Software team posted an article just now and it won’t appear in the blog.

How come?

Update @ 14:03: This one may not have been Blogger’s fault. It appears that somehow the stored FTP password information for Crappy Software was changed, but (1) I can’t explain how it was changed and (2) Blogger did continue to tell us that the FTP process had succeeded.