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Tue, Feb. 18th, 2014, 01:06 am
Adventures in Computer Illiteracy

Sat down to finally get back to my math at Khan Academy, only to have one of my plug-ins + Firefox disable my ability to get in. Of course, it took me two hours, at least, to figure out the problem (including 5 minutes of S/o's assistance, which would have saved me from the majority of fumbling around blindly with my computer).

THE PROBLEM


Facebook button "doesn't click" on Firefox. It works on Safari. And both the Google buttons and standard email buttons work on Firefox. Of course, I could have logged in using Safari. But my pedantic nature won't let me drop it. The button obviously works, so the problem must be on my end.

MY BLIND STUMBLING


I remembered I'd just had an Adobe update, so I reinstalled Flash. Then, since I run LittleSnitch (it's a program with stops traffic) I checked all my rules. I didn't see anything, but just in case I opened everything up marked "adobe", "firefox", "facebook", "khan academy" and even "youtube".

Nothing, not a blink. Same problem. And I rebooted my computer about a dozen times. And then I looked through about a bazillion things I shouldn't have, using a search engine, but at least I'm smart enough not to go deleting bits of code and random processes in my computer...at least, not lately. *looks innocent*

Of course, I put back all of my exceptions in LittleSnitch after that, but I did take the time to delete some stuff that was old. After all, no point in keeping an exception for Zynga and Playfish when I know longer play games from those companies.

Then I went for help.

THE FIX



S/o, firstly, says, "why are you looking for Flash, since this is JavaScript." Um....because I'm an idiot? (Actually, I'd just cemented in my head "new update + something broken = because of new update".) But I will also accept "because I don't know what the hell I'm doing or anything about computers other than Force Quit+Reboot".

He then discovered somehow that all of my JavaScript was somehow broken in Firefox, or wasn't working correctly, and that it was because of a privacy blocker plug-in I had, which he disabled. And then Khan Academy worked. And then he went back to his desk (and work).

At most this took 15 minutes. As I said, probably it took 5, the first 2 of which were me showing him what was wrong.

FINAL TOUCHES



Still, I need my privacy add-on, because I'm a crazy person. And, from the depths of my brain, I vaguely recalled an exception I'd put in for Khan Academy, but I couldn't remember how I'd done it. They had, however, changed their login screen, so I thought maybe it had deleted the exception. I also recalled that there was an icon for my privacy tracker, which should have been on my toolbar, but was missing.

So I went to the website, only I couldn't remember my password. Spend 20 minutes getting frustrated because I also couldn't remember exactly the email I'd used, and for some reason couldn't get a new password. Turns out, I was at the wrong site. I'd searched for the name "Do Not Track Me" (which is the name of the plug-in) on Google, and that actually brought me to NIA, which is a scammy little company that happens to own a good domain name. Luckily, LittleSnitch stopped THEM from requesting information. I should have known something was wrong when it popped up two items, one of which looked like a tracker. Do NOT go to the DoNotTrack Opt-Out website, because it has ad trackers on it. Figures.

Anyway, I went back to the plugin manager and found out the place I was looking for was https://abine.com/ They had more helpful tips for recalling the Firefox icon, except that for whatever reason the icon in Firefox wasn't blue, so at first I didn't identify it when I went searching. I almost uninstalled it and reinstalled it (the nuclear option, as they say).

After that, it was easy. You just put in the exception from the icon. So now I have Khan Academy AND my privacy add-on working. YAY!




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