“Bad request Error 400” for GMail on Firefox

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For the last 2-3 days I had an unusual situation to deal with. Whenever I tried to visit my GMail account using Firefox, the response was:

Bad request
Error 400

 At first I checked with the other browsers (Chrome, Opera and Midori) I have installed on my system. All connected without reporting anything.
Then, my next guess was misbehaving addons, but as I tweeted:

So, what is wrong with #GMail on #Firefox today? “Bad request Error 400” (even with all addons disabled)
— A. P. Tsompanopoulos (@aptlogs) March 22, 2012

Since that approach didn’t helped either, I decided to remove the GMail-related cookies. I used the “Remove cookie(s) for Site” addon and it deleted 78 cookies I had for GMail.

Unfortunately, I don’t know which cookie was the “bad” one, but after deleting them I was again able to reconnect without problem.


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How to hide “Mark all as read” in new Google Reader

With the new redesign of Google Reader (the Google+ look-alike), I’ve noticed a new annoying behavior today.
The “Mark all as read” in now a button that takes and keeps focus. This means that if you press it once with your mouse and, then, go to another group of posts and press space to view the next page, you ‘ll end to mark all posts in that group as read!!! [because the “Mark all as read” button has got the focus]
The easier work-around solution I’ve found is to hide that button and use Ctrl-A Shift-A [edited] whenever I want to use the [main] functionality. I know that by hiding all options I miss the option to mark all older than a date as read, but I can live with this instead of marking as read all posts by mistake.

Since I work with Firefox and use Stylish Stylus, this hiding is easy. Just add a new recipe, name it something like “hide mark all in GReader” and insert the following in it:

@-moz-document url-prefix(http://www.google.com/reader), url-prefix(https://www.google.com/reader), url-prefix(http://google.com/reader), url-prefix(https://google.com/reader) {
span#mark-all-as-read-split-button { display: none !important; }
}

and enable the Stylish Stylus recipe when you want to feel safe.

How to hide the new Facebook news feed

In case you are using Firefox and you want to hide the new Facebook right-column news feed, here is a quick hack.

  • At first, you need to install Stylish Stylus, if you don’t have it already.
  • Add a new blank style with the following lines in it and give it whatever name you want.
  • Energize! 😉

The code:

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain(“facebook.com”) {
.fbFeedTickerStory { display: none !important; }
}


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Re-enabling Google FriendConnect gadgets

In case you see blank boxes in your Firefox, instead of Google FriendConnect (GFC) gadgets, you can try searching the configuration window of the HTTPS Everywhere add-on. For me, it was the GoogleServices option, which I had to deactivate in order to re-enable the GFC gadgets.

HTTPS Everywhere Preferences window

It took me some time and several deactivations and reactivations of my add-ons while trying to find the culprit and I found it.


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Google secure search with Firefox

Google has announced recently the option to search the web via an encrypted, secure channel. For Firefox, this can be accomplished by making some changes, like the following:

  • in a new tab, open “about:config” and search for “http://www.google” (search box is located at the top of the tab area). You ‘ll find “keyword.URL” setting and you can change its value by double-clicking on it. Just add “s” after “http”.
  • open bookmarks by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B and search for “google.com/search? q=” (search box is located at the upper right corner of the window). At first, you can eliminate all duplicates (as I did), then change all “http” occurrences to “https”

For Google Toolbar users, I believe there will be an update very soon.


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I don’t like you any more, ScribeFire!

Today I uninstalled the ScribeFire addon for Firefox because I was not happy by its performance.

Don’t get me wrong… I ‘ve used it as an offline blog post editor for more than a year and, I have to say that, it has some very useful features and I recommend it to anyone, who needs this functionality, to try it since it’s in constant development with new versions appearing almost any month.

But, since it was not as WYSIWYG as I thought (at least when cooperating with Blogger), I decided to not use it anymore. Maybe it’s Blogger, maybe it’s ScribeFire, I can’t say for sure… the fact is that my latest post (on another blog) didn’t appeared the same way when I published it to Blogger, so I had to open it again with Blogger’s editor to correct it.

I ‘d like to use such an offline editor, so I can post from the convenience of my browser, keep my notes and references for later use, be able to post to and interact with more than one blogs. In the past, I ‘ve used many alternative solutions and I thought my search was over with ScribeFire. But, if I have to check that everything is OK every time (and most times to edit again the posts), then I’m not content.


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Firefox: autofill URLs

It may be old news to some (or most) people but it’s a useful, productive tip nonetheless, for those using Firefox.

If you want to let Firefox auto-fill the address, while you ‘re typing the first letters, with the most visited URL you have in your history, just follow these steps:

  1. open a new tab and write “about:config” at the address box,
  2. find the “browser.urlbar.autoFill” variable in the list it will present to you when you press Enter,
  3. double click on it to change its value to true

You don’t need to restart Firefox, the change is effective immediately.


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Unblock Jango playing

This post is somewhat out of topic, but I think that it will be useful to someone…

Jango is a startup, still in beta testing, which enables the user to create (and share with friends) specially made internet radio stations. The idea is very good and I decided to ask for an invitation to test the service.

My invitation arrived this morning, so I started creating my account and my first jango-music station, which I named “Classic Rock picks“. But I had a problem: the player could not be started and there was no indication about what went wrong!

I emailed jango’s feedback team and I got a very prompt reply with 3 possible reasons (thank you Cat). The third of them was actually the root of my problem, which was the blocking of the flash player by the Flashblock add-on for Firefox. All I had to do was to add the “www.jango.com” web address into the Flashblock’s permitted websites list and restart Firefox.

Jimi Hendrix greeted me singing “Foxy lady” 🙂


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Firefox ScrapBook: my locally hosted Internet!

One of the most useful Firefox plug-ins I’ve ever installed and used is ScrapBook. This plug-in is like an extension to the well-known “Bookmarks” mechanism, with the added bonus that, instead on not only saving/storing the URL address of a someday-might-prove-useful web page, it can save locally the whole page (images included), a snippet of it, or even a whole site!

Its main purpose is to organize these pages into virtual sub-folders, enabling the user to use them for her research or refer to them when there is a need to, and, additionally, (a) search all of them, in full text (featuring a local search engine), (b) comment on them, or even (c) edit them in order to remove unwanted stuff.

ScrapBook is an indispensable tool for researchers and casual users alike and I think it should be a part of Firefox distribution.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to store locally the pages you ‘ve found useful, or if you don’t use Firefox (there is no excuse for that… you SHOULD), there is an on-line alternative solution from Google, Google Notebook.

You must have a Google account to use this service (who doesn’t have one these days?) and once enabled, it acts the same way as ScrapBook, except that it saves the pages (or their snippets) to Google’s servers instead of the local disk, so they are available from everywhere, provided that you have an internet connection and a browser (and you remember your password of course).

Generally, I use both of them, each one for slightly different purposes of my research habits.


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