Quick Tech Update: Mobile Site Blues


The mobile site is going to be a pain for a couple more days and I’m sorry. The mobile theme vendor provided me with a link to download a file from another of their themes and I thought that would suffice until next week, but it causes the mobile site to be pretty unusable for a number of readers (much less commentors!) and thus I’m replacing the new file with the original file.

This whole issue is because of the new European privacy laws, GDPR.

WordPress released an update to accommodate the new privacy laws, and the checkbox to allow saving your nym, email, and website is missing on the mobile site so now every time you view a post and go to the comment form, you have to re-enter that info. I’m sorry it’s a pain. Perhaps users can offer some suggestions or workarounds until this can be solved.

Before I waste real time trying to make this hybrid work, I’m awaiting clear instructions and since it’s a holiday weekend, that means Tuesday. This replacement file is different enough from what we were using as to require a lot more work than I’d hoped for and so I’m returning the mobile site comment form back to what it was. We’ll sort out this mess later this week.

My apologies for a less-than-ideal solution, and have a great holiday weekend for those in the States.


22 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Thanks for all you do, Alain. I’m not even mad at Europe. I’m glad someone is looking out for our privacy.

  2. 2
    hilts says:

    Stuck Inside of Balloon Juice with Donald Trump as President Blues Again

  3. 3
    Yarrow says:

    Thank you, Alain. Appreciate what you do, especially working on this for us on a holiday weekend. I noticed the mobile style changed. Is it now going back to the way it was before? I preferred that style if we get a choice.

    Also, appreciate Europe and their privacy laws.

  4. 4
    Major Major Major Major says:

    Thanks for all you do Alain, feel free to email if you think I could help out.

  5. 5
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Baud: Me too. Being Swiss and American, I was brought up to keep my and others’ privacy sacrosanct. I don’t look because I respect others and expect the same. When I help folks with onsite computer or tech issues that require passwords, I make them enter them and pointedly look away. I don’t want to know what I don’t need to. So bully for Europe!

    Doesn’t mean we all don’t need to use encryption and security/privacy enhancing tech and best practices.

    Ok, time to clean some shrimp. New grill has issue and new part arrives next week, so not quite as celebratory as I’d planned, but oven-grilled shrimp ain’t bad.

  6. 6
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I might, once Tuesday hits. I can probably figure it out and painful as it may be, that’s a good learning opportunity!

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for letting us know

  8. 8
    SgrAstar says:

    Thanks, Alain!

  9. 9
    Ruckus says:

    Not on my phone so I just checked.
    Android, FireFox, private window and yes the boxes are empty but if I click on the boxes, name/email pop up.
    It’s been this way off and on for some time now. If I stay within a post the names stay, if I go to another post the name/email boxes clear and I have to do it over again.

  10. 10
    hedgehog mobile says:

    Thank you, Alain.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    On the one hand, I wouldn’t (and don’t) check the box on the desktop site anyway. The extra half a second it takes to click on the empty entry fields and choose from the dropdown offered by Firefox isn’t a bother. Operating that way may be placebo effect privacy but it does make me feel better.

    On the other hand, don’t have any mobile devices so have only second-hand understanding of how much of a travail the mobile site may be.

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    Alain, we appreciate everything you do here. I hope this is not eating too much into your holiday weekend.

    I am glad the Europeans are more stringent about privacy; yet another issue where we’d do well to learn from their experiences.

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I exclusively use mobile devices (iPhone at the moment, iPad before I sat on it and rendered it all gefükt a few months ago) but always use the Desktop setting and so far, touch wood, have had none of the issues others have reported. Those of you on iCrap devices might want to give it a try and see if life becomes a tad easier for you.

    (P.S. I am superstitious and firmly believe that because I posted this out loud my BJ access is going to be most grievously fucked up for a while. That’s just the way my luck rolls on stuff like this.)

  14. 14
    satby says:

    Thanks for trying Alain! It’s 👌, it gives me comment discipline.
    Enjoy those shrimp!

  15. 15
    JWR says:

    Hi, Alain! I don’t know from mobile, but as far as the desktop site, maybe this will help others having similar issues…

    First, Firefox updated to 60.0.1, which caused Twitter threads to show up only as links. I would have to click the Twitter links to see the actual posts, and the video above the Archives and Blogroll links was stuck on autoplay. (Also of note, over at Dailykos, the apostrophes in blockquoted passages showed up as odd characters.)

    I uninstalled Adblock Plus, (disabling it didn’t have any effect), did a Refresh Firefox, (which only seems to show up after disabling add-ons), reinstalled Adblock Plus, and these actions seem to have fixed the Twitter thread issue, as well as most autoplay video ads. (Dailykos seems to be fixed, as well.)

    Right now, however, BJ is constantly showing, in the lower left, “Transferring data from etc…”, then “Read cdn.syndication.twitter DOT com.”, just as an example. And the loading icon at the top of the BJ tab never stops, well, loading.

    Aside from these few remaining annoyances, things are looking normal again, for me, anyway.

  16. 16
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    Thanks. Comment numbers and sticky time stamps are more useful than a sticky nym, it turns out.

  17. 17
    Shantanu Saha says:

    I was wondering why the comments looked different when I was on the site earlier today on my iPhone. BTW my name and email are prepopulated as they were before. I’m using Safari on an iPhone 8+ running the latest version of iOS.

  18. 18
    Platonailedit says:


    BJ is constantly showing, in the lower left, “Transferring data from etc…”, then “Read cdn.syndication.twitter DOT com.”,

    Yup, the never ending blue circle is happening in older firefox version 56.0 also.

    The last version of BJ was pretty stable. Why tinker with it?

  19. 19
    Steeplejack says:

    @JWR, @Platonailedit:

    Re pages failing to complete loading: you might need to manually neuter the Connatix autoplay ad. See discussion and instructions here for Firefox and Adblock Plus.

    JWR, I am using Firefox 60.0.1 (on Windows 10) and haven’t experienced the problems you did. Just updating to 60.0.1 might not be the cause. Just sayin’.

    Platonailedit, the site is being “tinkered with” because a lot of web developers are updating their modules to confirm to new European privacy rules, and some of those modules are used on this site, in addition to WordPress itself, of course.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    Tech question: Are we all supposed to be restarting our routers? On the FTF NYTimes website right now:

    F.B.I.’s Urgent Request: Reboot Your Router to Stop Russia-Linked Malware

    Hoping to thwart a sophisticated malware system linked to Russia that has infected hundreds of thousands of internet routers, the F.B.I. has made an urgent request to anybody with one of the devices: Turn it off, and then turn it back on.

    The malware is capable of blocking web traffic, collecting information that passes through home and office routers, and disabling the devices entirely, the bureau announced on Friday.

    A global network of hundreds of thousands of routers is already under the control of the Sofacy Group, the Justice Department said last week. That group, which is also known as A.P.T. 28 and Fancy Bear and believed to be directed by Russia’s military intelligence agency, hacked the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 presidential election, according to American and European intelligence agencies.

    The F.B.I. has several recommendations for any owner of a small office or home office router. The simplest thing to do is reboot the device, which will temporarily disrupt the malware if it is present. Users are also advised to upgrade the device’s firmware and to select a new secure password. If any remote-management settings are in place, the F.B.I. suggests disabling them.

  21. 21
  22. 22

    I would advise doing what The Chicago Tribune and LA Times did. They blocked access to European IP numbers, basically telling Europe to f*ck off with their concept that their laws trump our laws.

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