Anyone else having google search issues?

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    wprager
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    Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by wprager on Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:54 am

    The last couple of days when I use the goole search bar I've been getting this message:

    We're sorry...

    ... but your computer or network may be sending automated queries.
    To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.

    To continue searching, please type the characters you see below:



    At one point I didn't even get an image in the image box, but the message telling me to please enable images in my browser (which they are).

    Weird stuff.

    I've googled the error message to see if I could find some hints as to what's going on. One suggestion was to remove all google cookies. So I did (spent about a half hour removing all kinds of cookies -- no wonder my PC is so slow, it's stuffed full of cookies). Anyhow, that didn't help.

    I also saw some comments saying how this was related to some attack on twitter. In all, quite a few comments came from users of various blogging sites.

    So I am wondering, was this site hacked? Certainly things have been a little weird lately. The problem with PMs, for example; the general slow operation (has anyone else noticed?), the server returning garbage (see my post on the PM issues thread). A couple of times when I clicked on of the links like PM or Memberlist the browser popped up a dialog box asking me what I wanted to do with some .php file -- open it or download it. I think that indicates that the browser is not correctly identifying what the server sent it as something the browser can handle internally. Could be a browser issue but, since canceling the dialog box and trying again usually results in success, I'd say it's a server-side issue.

    Do we require an exorcism? Could Notch *really* have done something (as he apparently has claimed)?


    Last edited by wprager on Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:34 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by spader on Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:57 am

    I have noticed the lag on this site, but I attributed it to the PM problem and whatever band-aid solutions or real fixes the admins decided on. No other problems with my comp so far.
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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by shabbs on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:20 am

    When you say Google search bar - do you mean in your browser or are you using the Google search function from within this sites search facility?
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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by wprager on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:23 am

    OK, this is what I've tried so far (in that order):


    1. restarted Firefox (without opening any GMHockey bookmarks)
    2. restarted Windows
    3. tried in IE (works fine, no warning message -- this leads me to believe it is not my PC)
    4. completely wiped out all my browsing history (including *all* cookies, all login sessions, everything I could check-off)
    And I'm still having this problem.

    Two recent things I've done were to install Avast (but that was about a week ago,or more) and HotSpotShield (proxy tool to be able to watch Hulu without moving to the States). HotSpotShield was disconnected, but still running in the tray. Since then I've closed even the systray application. There could be "left-over" processes, but I don't think so.

    Checking my Network Connections my PC is sending out 5 packets every second, and another 2 every 3 seconds. I'm pretty sure that's always been the case. I sometimes wonder why it has to be so chatty, but it does not seem out of the ordinary.

    I thought it might have something to do with the outage on the Rogers network yesterday (cable and internet were down from early afternoon until after supper). But since it's not happening with IE I think I've eliminated it being on my PC, much less the Rogers side of the internet. And by expunging all my cookies I thought I had removed anything that Firefox could have been doing.

    I guess I have to look at plugins and extensions. I don't have a lot that I added (AdBlock and Flashblock are the only two) but Firefox comes with a lot of plugins pre-loaded.


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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by wprager on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:32 am

    The google search bar in my browser. I've also tried simply going to google.com and trying from there -- same result.

    I've disabled every plugin and extension, blew away all my history (cookies and all), restarted Firefox -- no change. Still getting this message.

    I tried Firefox's "Start private browsing" function -- never tried it before, but what the heck -- same results.

    What's bothering me is that this is only happening with Firefox and not IE, on the same computer. Clearly it has something to do with Firefox, but by disabling all extensions/addons and clearing out all cookies -- what does that leave?


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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by PKC on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:33 am

    wprager wrote:The google search bar in my browser. I've also tried simply going to google.com and trying from there -- same result.

    I've disabled every plugin and extension, blew away all my history (cookies and all), restarted Firefox -- no change. Still getting this message.

    I tried Firefox's "Start private browsing" function -- never tried it before, but what the heck -- same results.

    What's bothering me is that this is only happening with Firefox and not IE, on the same computer. Clearly it has something to do with Firefox, but by disabling all extensions/addons and clearing out all cookies -- what does that leave?

    Uninstall/Re-install
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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by shabbs on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:36 am

    Looks like it may be as a result of using that anonymizer...

    http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/06/googles-were-sorry-error-page.html

    Try un-installing HotSpot Sheild and give it a go.
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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by wprager on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:48 am

    The only thing I saw there about anonymizers is this:

    It also happens when you are using an anonymizer but start it (the anonymizer program) after you've opened your browser.

    HotSpot Shield *is* running in the SysTray, but since 've restarted Firefox a few times, it's safe to say that it wasn't started *after* the browser. Also, although the SysTray app is running, the anonymizing part itself is not.

    However I will have to try, right?


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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by shabbs on Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:50 am

    I say give it a go. Google seems to be interpreting your results as "coming from an automatic source" and when a whole bunch of people use an anonymizer service, it could look like a ton of requests coming from one source. People using "Tor" get this as well.
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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by wprager on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:00 am

    OK, I uninstalled HSS and restarted Windows. Same thing is still happening.


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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by wprager on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:01 am

    Just tried Help->Check for Updates and got an Access Denied (403) error. Very, very curious.


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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by PKC on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:07 am

    wprager wrote:OK, I uninstalled HSS and restarted Windows. Same thing is still happening.

    Have you tried doing a fresh install of Firefox?

    If you have lots of bookmarks, you can export them to your e-mail, uninstall Firefox, delete the directory, and re-install 3.5 and see how that goes.
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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by shabbs on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:13 am

    Yeah, maybe a fresh re-install of Firefox is needed. Backup your bookmarks and make note of the add-ons that you have installed.
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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by wprager on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:46 am

    OK, I right-clicked on the Avast systray icon and "paused" all of the providers. The problem then went away. I then re-enabled each of the providers one by one, checking google in-between. They are all re-enabled, and the problem is still not happening.

    I have a feeling there was an issue with one of the "providers" in Avast, but by stopping/restarting it fixed itself.


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    Re: Anyone else having google search issues?

    Post by shabbs on Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:49 am

    That is interesting... I've been running Avast and Firefox for as long as I can remember and I have never seen this issue. I wonder if it's just co-incidence?

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