orange asian man

scattering ideas for the good of humanity

2 Short Films by Erwin McManus — December 27, 2020

2 Short Films by Erwin McManus

Time and again, people interviewed said that religion is negative, spirituality is positive. These 2 short documentary films from 2010 have a similar flow: Erwin McManus interviewing people in 2 major Canadian cities about the intrinsic cravings of humanity, interweaved with his meaningful commentary.

Crave: The Documentary about Vancouver

Crave: The Documentary explores how we all have one thing in common, regardless of race, background, or beliefs: the cravings of our soul. Crave features intimate interviews with people young and old. What they have to say about life’s biggest questions may surprise you. Erwin McManus explores the soul of Vancouver, Canada.

Crave: Calgary

Crave: Calgary explores the deepest questions of the human spirit: What does it mean to be human? What are the intrinsic longings that inform our choices and motivate our actions? Why do we do what we do?

Crave unwraps how regardless of race, religion, or status, we all have one thing in common: the cravings of our soul.

This 30-minute documentary is a definite must-see for those seeking new ways to dialogue about faith, spirituality and the inner journey of the soul.

Join Erwin Raphael McManus as he connects with people about life and its deepest meaning. Expand your understanding and respect for those whose paths are different from yours and yet, are on a common journey.

Filmed in Calgary, Alberta, Crave features private interviews with people young and old—from CEOs, celebrities, entrepreneurs and business leaders, to musicians, artists, chefs and fashion designers.

What they have to say about life’s biggest questions may surprise you. You may never look at people in the same way again.

Directed by acclaimed author, activist and filmmaker Erwin Raphael McManus.

How to get a Bluehost staging site in 2020 — December 7, 2020

How to get a Bluehost staging site in 2020

There’s one page in the Bluehost knowledge base (at time of this post, on December 7, 2020) about how to setup a WordPress staging site https://www.bluehost.com/help/article/switching-wordpress-theme

Supposedly if your Bluehost WordPress site was created after July 2017, you’d automatically have a Bluehost section in your admin dashboard, as illustrated above. But, I’m working on a Bluehost account older than 2017, so it doesn’t have that Bluehost section. And the instructions to download the plugin going to the URL http://blue.host/Ng4F30mCcod actually only goes to bluehost.com and there’s no plugin to download.

So I’m stuck. I’m on hold with Bluehost Support via Chat. They’re trying to install a plugin called Mojo Marketplace. Now s/he has to increase the PHP limits. Still waiting.

What is that plugin called?

It’s called WordPress Staging Website (Beta), according to this Bluehost knowledge base article-

Duplicating a WordPress Website

If an installation needs to be copied, several plugins are available to handle duplicating and migrating content. See WordPress Staging Website (Beta) to learn more about putting your WordPress website in Maintenance Mode. Please take note, this option in WordPress is still under development by the developers, which means it’s not the final version yet. If further assistance is needed, WP Live can be purchased on a monthly subscription. Call our 24/7 support staff to add WP Live at 888-401-4678.

Error When Creating Staging Environment in April 2019

Someone had 66% success with using the Bluehost feature to Create Staging Site, back in April 2019:

My site is hosted with Bluehost and I’m attempting to use their staging feature to create a staging environment. FWIW, I’ve done this successfully on two other sites I have with Bluehost.

However, this particular site is being problematic. Every time I click the “Create Staging Site” button it starts to setup the staging environment but almost immediately shows a grey error message at the bottom of the screen, “Unable to authenticate the action”. Then is disappears.

Meanwhile, the screen continues to say, “we’re setting up your new staging environment” but it never completes. I even let it run overnight and it was still “setting it up” by morning. My other two sites completed the setup in just a few minutes.

https://wordpress.org/support/topic/error-when-creating-staging-environment/

And, after trying for 3 months, still couldn’t get it to work.

Why Hosting Brands Like Bluehost use Mojo Marketplace

A user named Dion mentioned this in the WordPress Support forum

The one-click WordPress installs for all EIG hosting brands (Bluehost, Hostgator, Arvixe, and about 75 others) include a bunch of garbage, Mojo Marketplace among them. Last time I checked, the garbage also included a couple MU plugins.

This is a common problem with one-click installs, which is why most applications (WordPress included) strongly advise to not use them. It is also a problem with many “WordPress Hosting” plans. Such plans are oftentimes nothing more than a standard hosting plan with a “one-click install” version of WordPress pre-installed.

when Google Chrome can’t reach internet but Safari can — September 26, 2020

when Google Chrome can’t reach internet but Safari can

Recently ran into this on my MacBook Air, where I could connect to the internet via wifi on Safari, but I would get an error, “This site can’t be reached” on Google Chrome. That’s weird, right?

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_SECURE_CONFIG

After some research on search engines, I found my own solution, that wasn’t mentioned on the pages I looked at, while tinkering around, and depending on your settings, this could be the fix you need.

In my Chrome settings chrome://settings/security under Advanced, there was a section: Use secure DNS. I had recently turned that setting on, but apparently it wasn’t working today and stopped my Chrome from accessing the internet.

To fix that DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_SECURE_CONFIG error, all I had to do was toggle OFF the Use secure DNS setting, and my Google Chrome browser is working again.

Error Message in Google Chrome Browser

This site can’t be reached

duckduckgo.com’s server IP address could not be found.

Try:
Checking the proxy, firewall, and Secure DNS configuration

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_SECURE_CONFIG

Check your Secure DNS settings
Check your secure DNS settings. You may have configured a secure DNS server to which connections are failing.

Allow Chrome to access the network in your firewall or antivirus settings.
If it is already listed as a program allowed to access the network, try removing it from the list and adding it again.

How to close an InstantConference.com account — September 18, 2020

How to close an InstantConference.com account

Free conference call service InstantConference.com has been around for more than 10 years. I remember using it back in 2008.

And actually, InstantConference.com has other paid conferencing plans for more users and more minutes and more features.

How to Cancel Account

To close your InstantConference account, there is not an easy one-click way to do that. You’ll have to contact Support at instantconference.com/contact-conferencing-support.aspx – the contact form requires conference dial-in number, access code, contact phone number, email, name, and put “close account” in the subject and description.

letsmonitor.org pricing — September 8, 2020

letsmonitor.org pricing

Let’s Monitor offers free monitors for SSL Certificate Validity at letsmonitor.org and has simple pricing for other types of monitors:

Upgrading unlocks advanced monitor types, and allows for unlimited SMS messages.


Monitor Types

The following monitor types are available

  Website

The website monitor uses our global network of monitoring stations to make sure your website is available and responsive from around the world. The website monitor continuously checks your site for the following issues:

  • If the site is up or down
  • If the site loads within a time that you set
  • If DNS is responding
  • If content on the site matches what you expect (see the ‘match phrase’ item)
  • How long it takes to resolve DNS, connect to the site and download the HTML
  • For secure sites, whether the certificate is matches the domain
  • For secure sites, whether the certificate is expired
  • For secure sites, whether the certificate is valid
  • If the URL redirects, that the target exists

  Certificate Validity

The certificate monitor is used to check validity of certificates and alert you prior to your certificates expiring:

  • Whether the certificate is accessible
  • Whether the certificate is matches the domain
  • Whether the certificate is expired
  • Whether the certificate is valid
  • Whether the certificate has a revoked root CA
  • Whether the certificate supports a cipher that has been deprecated

  Google Safe Browsing

The Google Safe Browsing monitor checks if your site has been flagged by the Google Safe Browsing service for hosting malware or being a phishing site.

Google provides this service in order to warn users to websites that the site is unsafe. It is also used by security systems to prevent users from browsing listed sites.

If you are listed, it is an indication that your site has been compromised and/or infected with malware.

  Domain Blocklist

This monitor checks if your domain has been blocklisted, using the most reputable blocklists. This can occur if a certain threshold of complaints are received by the listing services. Website domains can be blocklisted by appearing on emails that are considered spam.

However, you do not actually need to be engaged in spam to get listed. Domains are listed based on algorithms that can trap non-spammers unknowingly.

The effect of being blocklisted is that most of your emails will no longer be delivered.

  Email Blocklist

This monitor checks if your email server’s I.P. address has been blocklisted, using the most reputable blocklists. This can occur if your email server is misconfigured (as an open relay), compromised or is sending spam.

Like domain blocklists, you do not actually need to be engaged in spam to get listed. Email servers can be blocklisted due to hacks, or in some cases, because the server’s I.P. address is close to a spam sending email server’s I.P. address.

The effect of being blocklisted is that most of the email transmitted by your server will not be delivered. Generally, the emails are simply dumped – not routed or delivered.

  DNS Expected Values

The DNS monitor uses our global network of monitoring stations to make sure your DNS values have not changed. You can set up specific checks at specific stations in the case of regional differences in DNS record values.

The DNS monitor supports checking all common DNS record types. You add a record type and expected value, and if that changes you will alerted. This protects against malicious or accidental changes.

You can populate the expected values with your existing DNS values by clicking on the ‘Get Existing Values’ button.

  Botnet/Malicious User Detection

This monitors suspicious or fraudulent users and alerts you when the user quality score drops below a threshold. This is enabled by placing a JavaScript snippet on your pages.

We score each user on your website based on algorithms that detect the likelyhood that a user is a bot. To see how we score users, click here.

User quality is scored as a number from 0-1000. Lower is worse. Quality scores are catergorized as follows:

Score RangeCategory
0 to 99Invalid – there is nearly a certainty that these users are not valid. Being in this category indicates that the user failed a determinitive test on validity. The strongest policies should be put in place for these users.
100 to 200Low Quality – The users failed one or more non-determinitive checks.
200 to 500No major issues found with the users, but it is possible minor issues were found.
500 to 1000In the future, we will be implementing whitelisting checks for users. If a user passes a whitelist check, they will score above 500.

Once implemented, there is sophisticated reporting available on the types and origins of the malicious users and bots.

  Real User Performance

Monitors global load times and satisfaction levels from real users. Find issues based on real user experiences. Optimize your site’s performance based on dozens of attributes including location and device. This is enabled by placing a JavaScript snippet on your pages.

We monitor the following metrics for issues:

DNS TimeThe average amount of time DNS resolution takes.
Response TimeThe average amount of time the webserver takes to begin the response to the user.
Interactive TimeThe average amount of time in milliseconds before the page becomes interactive.

Once implemented, there is sophisticated reporting available on performance issues that can be segmented by:

  • Geolocation
  • Browser
  • Platform
  • Device
  • Time of Day

…and many other attributes. You can even compare traffic levels to performance issues to determine if you need extra capacity.

  TCP Port

The TCP Port monitor checks if a server is accepting TCP connection requests on a specific I.P. address port. No commands are sent, and the connection is immediately closed. This is used as a way to determine if services are accessible.

  Ping

The ping monitor simply tests if an I.P. address or host is responding to pings. This can be any device, as long as it supports the ICMP protocal and is not blocked by a firewall.