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Changing Fonts

The first day of a brand new year, 2019, today and a strange thing happened to one of my websites. The fonts changed.

I use a program called Artisteer to produce the template that creates the design of the website. The fonts and many other details are saved in a form called a Cascading Style Sheet (CCS). There is apparently a trigger buried or has been hacked into the CCS. This first day of 2019, the script style text fonts in one site changed to Russian or Cyrillic fonts.

Actually, the site displayed a normal Arial style font, but the page was created with a flowing script font. It’s worked (displayed) fine for many years. What I first noticed was the text was too wide for the column it was in. Then I noticed the script was gone.

I went to the Artisteer program and that’s where I see the font I had been using now displays in some weird Cyrillic-looking format. I had to close the window to bottom bar then reopen the window for the fonts to change. I had to change the template to a non-script font that wasn’t changing.

I can only see the effect and I have no real idea why this is occurring. Apparently, there is a date coded trigger in the font file. All I can see is the effect, not the reason. It’s a hack from somewhere…

It seems there is always a new surprise from the internet spoilers…

SSL Website Encryption

One of the reasons I moved to InMotion as my website server provider is they included FREE SSL (Secure Socket Layer) for every domain I add to my account. There are nice technical reasons why they can do this, but I won’t get into the details here.

There are two reasons I wanted to add this feature to my websites. First is the eCommerce (store) sites I use to run a KautzCraft Studio Store , where I offer mostly my silver work and Ramblin’ Dan’s Store, where I offer Taig machine tools for sale.

The second reason is that today’s browsers make everyone feel insecure with the browser’s built-in constant warning about sites that don’t use SSL as being “unsafe or insecure”. Not every site needs to be HTTPS (The “S” means secure) by installing SSL, but the browsers don’t differentiate. They mark all sites not using SSL as unsafe.

In the past it required a static and single user IP address to install SSL on a website. It still does for the highest security for sites that might attract the most serious hackers. Some forms of the SSL certification can cost over $1000 per year and offer financial “insurance” as a reason for the high cost. That plus the cost for the IP means SSL was not feasible for non-revenue sites.

There are ways to create and use free “self-signed” SSL certification, but it is the lowest level and the browsers always warn that these are not secure. They are perfectly fine for private use between known users. They offer the same level of encryption as the purchased certificates.

The InMotion ‘Free” SSL is equal to the low cost purchasable ($40-$50) certification and is backed by Comodo, a universally accepted (by browsers) certification agent. What makes it so good for me is that it doesn’t cost me any extra and I can put this recognized level of SSL on every website I create.

Certainly, this is how all websites can affordably offer SSL. On today’s internet, SSL encryption should be a given, as InMotion has done. There are other providers certainly making the same offer. It’s not going to replace the pricey high-level certifications, but it is the right step in making all internet traffic more secure.

After all, the whole internet concept was created based on FREE and easy communications. Of course, there are needs for standards, or nothing would work at all. Making standard SSL encryption free for common uses, is the right move. It works for me.

Getting’ A Move On!

This ”Ramblin Dan” blog and about 15 other of my websites have moved (physically changed servers) from the US East Coast to the US West Coast. I not giving exact locations as I consider that information should remain confidential.

It’s not secret, but I don’t want to endorse my choices. Ask, and I will tell, and you can decide if my choices would be good or bad for you. For me, I had to make the change.

My previous ISP website server provider was not a choice I made. I have written about the grief they gave me here in Ramblin Dan. Initially they were terrible. All my websites […] Continue reading » Getting’ A Move On!

Broken Threads

Emails that are like a conversation and are exchanged back and forth, with each participant adding their comments above or below existing text is called threading. It lets each participant read the complete conversation as parts are added.

That threading on my email servers was broken without my knowledge. I was responding to friends and customers as I usually do by adding my text and pushing reply.

Customers were telling me they were not hearing back from me, but there was no indication of undelivered email. No bounce, nothing. Most of my send / received email was working just fine.

I had trouble with my email about the first […] Continue reading » Broken Threads

POBOX Has Gone Berserk

I have been using an email service called pobox.com for four years. It is a purchased service that I began to use to provide a “collection point” for the dozens of email accounts I use with my many websites. It also provided a great email filtering service.

I use a process where I direct all my accounts to their one email address that I use to send (SMTP) and read all the mail from all the accounts at one location.

They use various commercial filtering services which I have noticed add a HUGE amount of header information to all emails. There is a whole […] Continue reading » POBOX Has Gone Berserk