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The ways of the GNOME people

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This is a serious post. Or is it? 😉

Hidden away in the farthest corner of the planet, its slopes covered in mist and darkness and its peaks lost in the clouds, stands the formidable Mount GNOME. Perched atop the mountain is a castle as menacing as the mountain itself – its towering walls made of stones as cold as death, and the wind howling through the courtyard like a dozen witches screaming for blood.

Living inside the imposing blackness are a group of feral savages, of whom very little is known to the world outside. The deathly walls of the castle bear testimony to their skull-crushing barbarism, and their vile customs have laid waste to the surrounding slopes and valleys. Mortally fearful of invoking their mad wrath, no human traveller has dared to come near the vicinity of their territory. Shrouded in anonymity, they draw their name from the impregnable mountain that they inhabit – they are the GNOME people.

Legend has it that they are unlike any human settlement known to history. Some say that they are barely human. They are like a foul amorphous mass that glides around Mount GNOME, filling the air with their fiendish thoughts, and burning every leaf and blade of grass with their fierce hatred. Living in an inferno of collectivism, the slightest notion of individuality is met with the harshest of punishments. GNOMEies are cursed with eternal bondage to the evil spirits of the dark mountain.

Happy Easter!

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Written by Debarshi Ray

30 March, 2018 at 11:48

Posted in GNOME, Internet

Forcing Google to show a mobile OAuth approval page

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I did not find this mentioned anywhere on the Internet. Hopefully someone might find this helpful.

This stupid bug had me confused for the last couple of months. It turns out that the Google-specific btmpl parameter does not work as documented. Neither do they recognize the Nokia N9’s user-agent as a mobile phone browser.

Not unsurprisingly, Android phones work, and so does the iPhone.

Here are the relevant user-agents, in case someone out there needs them.

  • Nokia N9: Mozilla/5.0 (MeeGo; NokiaN9) AppleWebKit/534.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) NokiaBrowser/8.5.0 Mobile Safari/534.13
  • HTC Wildfire: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2.1; en-us; HTC Wildfire Build/FRG83D) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1
  • iPhone 4S: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B206 Safari/7534.48.3

Screenshot

It appears as if they are grepping for the names of well-known mobile platforms instead of just looking for “Mobile”. I am surprised because Google does not seem to have an Android branded or iPhone branded page as some people (like Facebook) have.

Written by Debarshi Ray

16 May, 2012 at 14:08

google.cn

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Here is the announcement: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-approach-to-china.html

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

They shouldn’t have done it in the first place.

Written by Debarshi Ray

13 January, 2010 at 03:35

Posted in Internet