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1  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / Re: *Report Questionable Ads Here* on: July 04, 2011 05:45:36 PM
Malicious comes in different flavors. I count anything that affects my computer so that it can't do what I want as malicious. Tracking my movements and what I look at, even if I don't buy them, so that those same type ads can be displayed when I go to other sites, is malicious.  Using personal information that I enter (like e-mail address, name, address, etc.) and selling that information I also consider malicious.  Every time someone clicks on one of the ads that Craftster is selling space to on here, the person that clicks is risking their information being used for other uses way beyond what they where clicking for. I'm not saying that Craftster themselves are doing this, but Craftster does not know what those ad agencies are doing with the information that they are getting because people click on an add thinking that it's safe to because Craftster allows it to be on their site and appears to be endorsing it.

It's not so easy to just block cookies any more. For instance, Craftster won't let you log in if you block the cookies from this site. Or at least block all cookies. I'll have to check to see what exception I need to put in my firewall to allow the login cooking but not let all the rest in as well. There are a lot of other sites like that as well.  And yes, some of us do clean our cache and cookies out on a regular basis, many others don't even know they need to do that.  Oh well, I deal with this stuff on a day to day bases, so I'm more aware than most.

I don't know what FOC, means.  Anyway, I'm through with this thread and I'll leave you all in piece with your cookies and milk.

Mike
2  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Stringer Bowl on: July 04, 2011 11:23:56 AM
That is very very nice, Grobarka.  Excellent job.

Mike
3  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Tray & Magnets on: July 04, 2011 11:22:38 AM
They look great, Joby. Excellent job.

Mike
4  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / Re: *Report Questionable Ads Here* on: July 04, 2011 11:20:55 AM
I for one find more than a few ads to be very annoying. If they were simply trying to get your attention like the ads you see when you walk down the street, it would be one thing, but to compare ads on the street to ads on the internet is like comparing a neighbor with an annoying barking dog to having the super bowl played in your back yard... including all the trash that is left after the game is over.

The ads that just post an image on the screen don't bother me so much, it's the interactive animated ones that insist on leaving tracking cookies and other bits of (sometimes malicious) active-x, java and who knows what, code on your computer and pop up in the middle of your screen to distract while reading or writing. Unfortunately, most people don't know (or care) what is going on in their computers. And if there was ever a case of "Ignorance is bliss" this would be it... at least until their computer stops working. Cheesy

I have finally fixed the problem with Craftster being so slow. Now it's running as fast as it did before they over loaded the pages with interactive and animated ads.  Instead of just using a software firewall, Zone Alarm, on my computer, I've now added a very good quality hardware firewall, Sonicwall o my total network. This blocks a lot of the stuff coming not only from Craftster but a lot of other sites that do the same thing and means the firewall I have installed on my computer (and the other 5 computers on my network) don't have to use up a bunch of CPU resources keeping us protected and they all run a lot faster and a lot more secure. And believe me, I don't mind at all not knowing what I'm missing. Wink

Mike

5  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / Re: *Report Questionable Ads Here* on: June 26, 2011 03:13:31 PM
Bea, in IE8 you can set it to delete cookies on exit (that is when you close IE8 down).  You do this in your browser, under tools, Internet options and the General tab. Under Browsing History you will see a button for deleting cookies and a check box that says to delete on exit.  Deleting on exit might be a bit more aggressive than you want as there are some cookies that are beneficial.  You could click on the Delete button and then select what you want to delete when things slow down or it's been a few days, depending on your browsing style.

For those that have or think they need to go to IE9, you might want to Google some information on it before you do.  IE9 seems to have changed a few things about how people can manage their own cookies and browsing history (that's Microsoft thinking they know best) plus, once you go to IE9 you can't back out like you can IE6, IE7 or IE8, if you decide you don't like it. Once you install it, you are stuck with it unless you know how to clean out programs that don't want to be cleaned out.

For sites like this, I wish there was an option to pay for a ad-free or limited ad membership. I'm on a few sites that have that capability and I have no problem with paying (within reason of course) to use a site that I do use. I don't know what the going rate is per key click that this site is getting, but individually, it can't be that much... unless inflation has improved the pay off. Cheesy

It is a mixed blessing, that's for sure.

Mike
6  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / Re: *Report Questionable Ads Here* on: June 26, 2011 10:55:01 AM

Like many things in life, ads like they have on Crafters were created to help sites like this bring in revenue to offset the cost of running the site.  Many sites would not be free or even available if it wasn't for the ads placed on the site.  But there is also a number of valid reasons why ads can be bad. For each page you click on here at Crafters, there are about 20 things that happen between key strokes. Most of it is hidden from the user, but a bunch of tracking cookies are left on your computer and cookies already on your computer from other sites are harvested. This is why the site has gotten so slow. It's also why if you go to Amazon or one of many other sites that also leave tracking cookies, and look at toasters or cameras or books or paint or any number of other things, that when you come on a site like Craftster or bring up Google or Bing or any site that has ads displayed, you will get ads showing the same type items. That's what tracking cookies are for, so they can target their marketing to what you have shown an interest in on other sites.  This is also how sites like this get revenue, for every page you click on with an add from Google, or MSN or Oscer Myers or Dodge or Stauer or any number of other ads placed on those pages, this site gets paid. There is nothing wrong with this most of the time, since it's what keeps a lot of sites more or less free to us users... when it's done in moderation.  I've been on sites that are even worse than Crafter's is, but not many. And if you actually click on one of the ads and buy something, you are going to be in some big marketing computer for life and they will sell that information to other marketing companies.  This is why even if I want something I see in a ad and I know it will help the site, I don't click on it, I'll go to the site directly to get more information.   

This is why it's important that you set your browser to not save cookies or to go in and manually clean your cookies out from time to time. You do have to be careful if you save your login info this way so you are logged in automatically when you come back to the site, but to me, keeping my cookies cleaned out is worth it... and if you don't check, you wouldn't believe how many hundreds and hundreds (even thousands) you have in your browser cookie jar. Wink This is why some sites won't even let you on (they say the site won't work) unless you have cookies turned on for them.

 The big problem with these cookies and the whole process of placing and harvesting them, other than just slowing everything down and just being annoying, is that they can be used by the bad guys to do bad things with your computers and pull personal information off your computers that you might not want others to know.  But, because keeping track of where you go and what you do is worth billions to the marketing industry (this is why the Postal Service is going broke, they made their money on junk mail, which has dwindled over the years), it will only get worse for the common users like us that use the internet and sites like this.

Mike
7  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Stencils for Etching on: June 25, 2011 09:13:26 AM
Sorry for the duplicate post above. This forum runs so slow for me that I don't know if it's taken my key strokes sometimes. I tried to delete the second one, but they don't allow that in the edit mode.  Maybe the moderator can delete the second post?

Mike
8  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Stencils for Etching on: June 24, 2011 06:54:22 PM
If you are going to be using a glass saw, the way I do it is to print off the design I want to cut out and then tape it to the glass with the wide clear packing tape. Then I cut the design with my ring saw. Depending on how big it is, I can usually finish before water has worked it's way under the tape and it starts to come lose.

I've also used a wood scroll saw to cut out templates in plastic and stiff cardboard and fiber board for when I wanted to cast frit (you have to be aware of dust when you use a scroll saw to cut out fiber board, but it's manageable). 

There are also template cutters that work. The Cricket works as do any number of sign cutters. You can find them for a few hundred on up. I've been wanting to get a sign cutter to cut out templates because it will cut thicker material than a Cricket will, but a lot of people use the Cricket and there is software you can get that will let you control it with  your computer so you aren't limited to the cartridges you have to buy for it.  This makes the Cricket a lot more versatile.

And if you can see through the glass, put your glass on a light table with the image underneath and trace it with a Sharpie fine point pen. You can make a light table using a piece of clear or translucent white glass on a frame with a light underneath it. Then place your image and the glass you want to trace on, on top of that.

Mike
9  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / Re: is it just me or has the loading of craftster pages gone really slow lately on: June 19, 2011 09:41:49 PM
I just saw this month and half old thread. I have a thread going on now where I've commented that it's been slow the last couple of months and has recently gotten worse... at least for me.  I was told in my thread that others were not seeing any slow downs so I started investigating more and what it looks like is there are so many ads and cookies and google analyitical tracking processes going on, that it's causing my firewall and intrusion prevention programs to go into hyper activity as it blocks it all.  This is affecting through put from this site even though I'm getting up to 25 MBps up/down transfer rates at times.  Right now, this is the only site I'm having trouble with as others, even when open in another window at the same time, are pretty normal speeds.  I also tried this site on another computer that I don't have so tightly protected and it was a lot faster, but then I could see the adware, cookies and other tracking processes coming through everything I changed pages.  Although I've not paid real close attention, I believe that Craftster has added a bunch of new ads over the last few months. This could be what is affecting others as well... at least those of us that run more protection on our computers than the average users seem to do.

Mike
10  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Craftster Itself / Re: Craftster's is just to slow on: June 19, 2011 09:30:58 PM
No, I'm wired in directly to a CISCO router which is connected to the Fiber router coming into our house. If I was, that would be one of the things I'd check to make sure someone in the neighborhood hasn't been able to hitch a ride on our wireless router

I notice that it is almost back to normal right now. A lot of people must be watching TV or doing other things rather than browsing the site... or if your hosting site is back East, it's after midnight there while it's still daylight here in Oregon, so maybe a lot of your normal users have gone to bed. 

Oh well, maybe it will fix itself over time.  I've seen that happen on some sites before. Someone will upgrade something somewhere and that improves the whole link. Although there is something going on from this site that just causes my firewall, intrusion protection and forcefield shield to just into hyper drive and kick my CPU usage sky high. I'll have to get on the system from work so I can trace what's going on from the firewall I have on our company network. That firewall will give me a lot more information as to what I'm having to fend off when I connect to this site. Although fend off may be a bit strong, it's obvious stuff that I don't let in on a normal bases.

Mike
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