Bug in just one FPP. May 7, 2008 7:02 PM   Subscribe

"Protection from the Atomic Bomb" doesn't display a link anywhere in the text of the post (for me). The rest of the page is fine. What happened?

My OS is Windows XP SP3, and the browser is FF with the following extentions: Aging Tabs, DOM inspector, Download helper, DownThemAll, GreaseMonkey, SiteAdvisor, Newsfox, NoScript, Shazou, Snapback, Sun Cult, Tab Effect...(wait...I have to catch my breath...) and Talkback.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth to Bugs at 7:02 PM (36 comments total)

Turn off Greasemonkey first. Still see it without any link?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:15 PM on May 7, 2008

Works fine for me. Mac, Safari 2.0.4.
posted by Kattullus at 7:15 PM on May 7, 2008

The URL contains ".../vintage_ads/..." so I'm assuming an overzealous ad filter has helpfully removed the link and text. Adjust whatever you use to block ads.
posted by majick at 7:34 PM on May 7, 2008

It had no effect; disabling Greasemonkey (through Tools>Add-ons) left me linkless. (Also, NoScript is set to allow all sources of javascript in MetaFilter to run.)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:41 PM on May 7, 2008

This is the link in the post which points to a LiveJournal domain. Any livejournal-related settings in the extensions you have installed?

If you want to narrow this down to an extension problem, start Firefox in safe mode and bring up MetaFilter. If you can see the link, you know it's one of your extensions.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:48 PM on May 7, 2008

Musta got nuked.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:55 PM on May 7, 2008

Checking Firefox in safe mode is going to take a bit. Back in a little while....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:58 PM on May 7, 2008

Try pressing alt-f4
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:09 PM on May 7, 2008

I was wrong. That was much easier than I thought. I killed all the extensions in safe mode, and it still came up without links.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:11 PM on May 7, 2008

Very funny, frecklefaerie.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:17 PM on May 7, 2008

huh, well, pull up MeFi in IE and see if the link is there. If not, could be something at the OS level: firewall, anti-virus, or spyware/ad blocking software.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:43 PM on May 7, 2008

How do you breathe with that many extensions?
posted by blacklite at 8:54 PM on May 7, 2008

No, IE doesn't help. I checked the firewall's ad blocking feature (Norton) and none of the names that show in the status bar as MeFi renders (I think some of those are for ads....) show up as prohibited.

Yes, I almost blushed when I listed those, blacklite, but in my own defense let me say that a couple of them come with Firefox, and that at least it's nowhere near as bad as this.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 9:30 PM on May 7, 2008

I know this is getting into weird probably-not-it territory, but if you do a view source on that sucker, is the html for the link there?
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:07 PM on May 7, 2008

There's a Norton ad blocking product that's notorious for doing this kind of thing silently. That might be what you have. Turn it off and see what happens.
posted by majick at 10:11 PM on May 7, 2008

Check the source where the link should be, on "Protection from the Atomic Bomb". Alternately, check it on another computer on your network. The findings of either one of those should narrow it down.
posted by puke & cry at 10:48 PM on May 7, 2008

We should have more MeTa's like this. It has a uniquely old-fashioned, folksy charm. And the link works fine for me.
posted by Jofus at 10:57 PM on May 7, 2008

Well Jofus, I've been responding from out on the porch on my rocking chair and puffing on my corncob pipe. I didn't think anyone would notice though.
posted by puke & cry at 11:01 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

majick...you're beautiful. That was it! The link was completely zapped by the ad blocker. It reappeared when I shut it off (along with the link html in the page source.) Jiminy christmas, at one point I even checked the OP's profile to see if the link had gotten kicked over there somehow (clutching at straws), read "...there never was an enemies list." and began to wonder.... (Well, no.) Thank you all very much. I'm gonna go buy a different firewall.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:02 PM on May 7, 2008

Well, that about wraps her all up here on Ad blocker Mountain. See you next week when we'll be backslashing the foobars with special guest, 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan.
posted by Jofus at 11:11 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't use any software level firewall on my computers. They tend to run into bullshit like you experienced.
posted by puke & cry at 11:16 PM on May 7, 2008

My recommendation is that you not use any Norton products whatsoever. They have turned to liquid shit since the marketers took over the company from the engineers many years back, the same fate that is befalling Microsoft with Ballmer at the helm.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:56 AM on May 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

When I run troubleshooting training for the new hires at my company, I dedicate an entire section to issues like this. I call it: Software Firewalls: The Bane of my Existence, and Proof that the Devil Exists.

It helps to ensure that, if nothing else, they won't forget how many problems can be caused by having software like this on your machine.
posted by quin at 7:23 AM on May 8, 2008

With the quality of the garbage they're slapping his name on, Pete must be rolling over in his grave. His gold and diamond-encrusted, billion dollar grave. I'd strongly suggest going with the stavros program here: A thing having "Norton" or "Symantec" in the name has a mark of not just low quality, but a mark of warning against use.

"Software Firewalls: The Bane of my Existence, and Proof that the Devil Exists."

I dunno about that. BSD pf works well. IPCHAINS was decent and whatever replaced it is supposedly better. There are a handful of software firewalling products for OSX that are rather good. The awfulness of security software seems to be primarily a Windows thing for some reason.
posted by majick at 7:56 AM on May 8, 2008

Holy crap! It removes a link with "ads" in the URL, because it might contain ads! WOW!

Those clever adblockers. There's no WAY that could be circumvented, or misapplied. I'ma have to install this one.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:47 AM on May 8, 2008

My recommendation is that you not use any Norton products whatsoever.

Ditto. I had nothing but trouble with them.
posted by languagehat at 10:00 AM on May 8, 2008

read "...there never was an enemies list." and began to wonder

Aw. Now I'm nostalgic for the enemies list. Good times, good times. Remember that one where I baited that guy & made the conversation all about me in a bunch of different threads? Sigh... memories... like the corners of my mind... misty water-colored memories...
posted by jonson at 11:59 AM on May 8, 2008

stavrosthewonderchicken: "My recommendation is that you not use any Norton products whatsoever."

Seconded and thirded. Whenever I get "those" calls from friends and family for whom I am the technology go-to guy, one of the first things I ask is "what virus checker do you have installed?" If the answer is anything with Norton in it, I ask them to uninstall it, download and install AVG and then call me back if the problem is still there. Usually it isn't.
posted by dg at 1:44 PM on May 8, 2008

Fourthed, fifthed and sixthed, and why don't people listen when we tell 'em that?

Norton Internet Security is more troublesome than most of the adware it fails to protect you from.
posted by flabdablet at 8:22 PM on May 8, 2008

majick: With the quality of the garbage they're slapping his name on, Pete must be rolling over in his grave.

Not to nitpick, but Peter Norton's still alive, isn't he?
posted by Pronoiac at 8:37 PM on May 8, 2008

Maybe. But the spirit of the DOS-era Norton Utilities is long, long dead.
posted by flabdablet at 9:58 PM on May 8, 2008

Peter's body may well be up and about, doing the various things that millions of take-the-money-and-run dollars can do for you. I should hope it is, otherwise it'd have been a terrible shame to have sold the rights to paste his name all over inferior products for nothing.

But the Norton I know is dead and buried.
posted by majick at 8:12 AM on May 9, 2008

The writing has been on that particular wall for a good long while, incidentally. I mean, the original Norton Utilities were fine and wonderful things, but they came in a package with a picture of Peter looking Pleased With Himself and Competent with his Sleeves Rolled Up... always struck me, at least, as somebody just itching to sell out.
posted by flabdablet at 5:33 PM on May 9, 2008

Have you seen the cover of his assembly language book circa 1987? I've got one of those on the shelf and it's pretty much the same thing. I'll be the first person to admit Pete milked his name for all it's worth.

It's unfortunate that Symantec keeps milking it, because it's not worth anything any more.
posted by majick at 6:15 PM on May 9, 2008

... But wasn't the PC Tools defrag better anyway?
posted by Pronoiac at 9:53 AM on May 10, 2008

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