Calling for a new file host for this blog — and how drop.io failed me

March 31, 2011

Back when I created this blog in February 2010, I chose WordPress to host the text of the blog, Imgur to host my images, and drop.io to host all my downloadable files — as a free user of WordPress my abilities to store media directly on WordPress servers are limited. Here’s a screenshot of drop.io in 2010:

So far, WordPress has not corrupted a single one of my posts, neither has Imgur lost any of my many hastily photoshopped images. But some time in December, readers started emailing me telling me that my download links were broken. WHAAT?

Sure enough, when I clicked one of my own download links, all I got was a blank page telling me that their service had shut down last week without notice, and all the files have been deleted. Fml. I thought I could count on you, drop.io!

Well — not exactly without notice. In October, a month before closing down, they announced their closing down in a blog post. If only I had known this before everything was deleted.

I can’t say I’ve ever anticipated that such a popular service suddenly closing down, so I never made backups or mirrors or anything. Fortunately I had most of the files stored on my computer, but at least one or two of the files are lost forever :(

With drop.io gone, I need a new file host:

  • I only upload relatively small files (<1MB usually)
  • They should store files indefinitely (not automatically delete them after 6 months, or a month without 20 downloads, or whatever)
  • I have to be able to link files from my blog
  • Preferably¬†painless (I dislike captchas and 60 second waits but I suppose I can live with that)
I’m thinking of Mediafire, but I’m open to suggestions.

A rant about Facebook Fan pages

March 10, 2010

So I’m on Facebook one day, and in the news feed I see a fan page, “I LOL’D at “. Being used to these fan pages, I click “Become a Fan” before going to the fan page and looking at what it’s actually about.

Going to the fan page, it looks something like this, with a big arrow pointing to the right, with something like “Click X tab”:

I apologize for having to scale down the images. My blog’s width is only 450 pixels.

Fair enough, I go to the CLICK HERE tab. The page looks something like this:

Sometimes it’s even worse, requiring you to invite all your friends before proceeding.

Often it will go one step further and offer you a piece of javascript to invite all your friends (usually without you knowing what it actually does). The code they want you to copy and paste into the browser looks something like this:

javascript:elms=document.getElementById('friends').getElementsByTagName('li'); for(var fid in elms){if(typeof elms[fid] === 'object'){fs.click(elms[fid]);}}

I’m pretty sure it’s not technically possible for them to detect whether you have actually invited any of your friends.

Anyways, supposing we click the next “Click here” button:

Now they link you to some random blogspot page, or whatever hosting site. There’s some javascript popup of some survey you have to complete, before the popup supposedly disappears.

The website owner gets paid a considerable amount for a survey. $1-3 the last time I checked (much more than you could expect to gain from ads).

Of course the surveys themselves try to rip you off, usually demanding your cell phone number to give you a ‘pin code’. You don’t actually get anything, except perhaps a worthless monthly subscription and a bill. Zynga does it too.

Back to the blogspot page. Notice the text:

Depending on your screen configuration, you may or may not be able to see the text. Adjusting the contrast in Photoshop:

Scroll down. Except you can’t scroll down, because there’s some javascript that sets you back to the start of the page when you try to.

By this point, I’ve forgotten what I’m trying to do. Oh yea, there’s supposed to be a funny picture at the end of all this.

And unless you manually remove yourself from the fanpage, others will see that you’ve became a fan of something. This is a chain reaction, seeing that the page currently has 287k fans.

I don’t mind really stupid fan pages. I don’t mind pages like this if there aren’t too many of them. The problem is, there’s such a huge number of similar fan pages.

Advertising is fine, but this is beyond advertising. They are actively scamming the less informed members of Facebook. It’s incredible that this is allowed to happen, and at such an extreme rate.


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