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Author Topic: Finally figured out why I couldn't connect to Bitcointalk.org  (Read 1005 times)
Singlebyte
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October 02, 2014, 04:32:11 AM
Last edit: October 02, 2014, 05:41:25 AM by Singlebyte
 #1

Over the last 10 days or so I was unable to connect to Bitcointalk.org on my cellphone and it was driving me crazy.  First thought I had was the VPNs (I use a lot of different ones) I use were being IP blocked by this forum.  I tried a lot of different free ones and even tried my straight ISP but still had no luck. My PC and Ipad were working fine so I knew it had to be an issue on my phone.  Next thing I did was wipe the cookies and cache on my cellphone.  Still didn't get me anywhere.  So I figured the browser I was using had an issue.  Tried chrome, dolphin, firefox, etc. but to no avail they all showed bitcoingtalk.org offline and not accessible.  This was getting frustrating.  As a last resort I reset my phone to factory and loaded up a new custom rom.  After 3 hours of re-configuring everything I tried to come back to this site but it still was not allowing me access. Baffled, I was wondering if Theymos had some trick up his sleeve and had written some type of server-side script to (accidently) block me somehow and I was trying to ponder all the possible ways.  Couldn't really come up with an answer until.....it dawned on me....

My pop-up blocker may be the culprit.  Sure enough, Adaway was using a blacklist source (Adblock also uses) to block ads that has bitcointalk.org domain on it by changing the hosts file.  Not sure why this forum is listed on the Adblock blacklist other than it may be serving up ads like primedice and other advertisements to other sites and someone added it to the blacklist.  I guess it could have also been accidentally added.

Here is one of the blacklist sources that Adaway by default downloads:
http://adblock.mahakala.is (27+ MB Hosts file)


As you can see there are a few other bitcoin domains on the list. I have now added BCT to my whitelist and everything is now A-OK.  Anyhow, I'm glad I finally figured this damn issue.  Only good thing to come out of it is I now have a freshly installed OS on my phone and cleaned up a few un-needed apks that were taking up space!  

Hope this may help someone else....


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October 02, 2014, 04:37:04 AM
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I don't understand. So the issue is adblock? Or adaway? Then why does the forum also work on your home computer? I'm using a browser with adblock right now and everything is fine.

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October 02, 2014, 04:43:04 AM
Last edit: October 02, 2014, 05:43:32 AM by Singlebyte
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I don't understand. So the issue is adblock? Or adaway? Then why does the forum also work on your home computer? I'm using a browser with adblock right now and everything is fine.

Adaway is installed on my phone and it was downloading a list of sites to blacklist.  Bitcointalk was on this list and it was preventing me from accessing the forum.  I do not (usually) have blockers on my PC or Ipad so they did not have any issues.  However, I did discover that AdBlock also uses this same list I referenced in the post above.  You probably are not having any issues because your Adblock must be loading a different ad blacklist.  There are several list out there.  Adaway by default uses the source blacklist I mentioned in first post.


Summary:
Adaway downloads a "hosts" file that includes bitcointalk.org on the blacklist.  It replaces your "hosts" file with this new list of sites to blacklist. It prevents you from accessing this forum unless you add BCT to your whitelist or remove the entry from the downloaded Adaway "hosts' file.
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October 02, 2014, 10:20:06 AM
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Yeah, a lot of ad-blocking lists are really stupid. I'd recommend not using any of them, but unfortunately the Web is basically unusable without some sort of ad blocker.

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October 02, 2014, 10:36:15 AM
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Yeah, a lot of ad-blocking lists are really stupid. I'd recommend not using any of them, but unfortunately the Web is basically unusable without some sort of ad blocker.

I use the best ad blocker in the world... my mind.  I just ignore the ads.  Smiley

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October 02, 2014, 10:55:52 AM
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Yeah, a lot of ad-blocking lists are really stupid. I'd recommend not using any of them, but unfortunately the Web is basically unusable without some sort of ad blocker.

I use the best ad blocker in the world... my mind.  I just ignore the ads.  Smiley

Sadly, your mind doesn't manage to block pop-ups / pop-unders, unless you're a jedi... then I stand corrected. Well, that's technically the force then, so I guess I'm still technically right...ANYWAY back on topic.

@OP why you no ping bitcointalk.org in the first place? That'd show the IP it'd resolve almost instantly and you'd think "hmm, DNS or host file...".

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October 03, 2014, 12:53:21 AM
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@OP why you no ping bitcointalk.org in the first place? That'd show the IP it'd resolve almost instantly and you'd think "hmm, DNS or host file...".


Since cellphones don't typically come loaded with a terminal or shell windows it wasn't on my mind.  I was thinking to try the first few easy steps like reload my browser apks and clear my cookies/cache might have solved it.  Early on I was also really thinking my VPN IPs were blocked.   Hind sight it may have been the way to go (Hell I even DO HAVE a terminal program loaded on my cell).

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