Saturday, January 07, 2012

Noms Exercise and Google

Hey, Cyndi here.  Happy Caturday.  We have a funny video for you today, a puppy demonstrating the art of eating and exercising at the same time.  We figure the idea is to burn off the calories as eaten to keep the lean puppy figure.  Watching this not only made us hungry, but tired!

If the video doesn't play, click here.

 Now, we (all us Funny Farmers) would like to get serious for a moment.  Many of you are aware that for some time Blogger blogs have been suddenly deleted for no reason - supposedly for suspicious activity (spam) - and the blog owner has had to request a review and hope the blog reappears soon, even though not in violation of any TOS (terms of service). 

Yesterday "Old Kitty" and Charlie's blog was suddenly deleted.  Now you can't get any more innocuous content than they post.  There is nothing untoward or spammy about their blog.  It has been restored, but what we learned yesterday deeply disturbs us. 

You see, for some reason they could only request a review by giving a mobile (cell) phone number.  When they tried to use the drop down box for their landline number, they were told the number didn't fit the mobile format.  In other words, the only way they could communicate with Google/Blogger was to receive a text message on the cell phone they don't have. 

For months Jan was pestered by Google to give a home phone or cell phone number for 2 step protection, to retrieve her password, for blog identity protection or whatever.  She ignored the requests until she got disgusted and gave them her home LANDLINE phone number.  She didn't think any more about it until yesterday.

She started checking the settings in her two Google accounts.  Not blogs, Google accounts, there's a difference - your blog is part of a Google account but the Google account covers gmail, Blogger, Picasa (and yes, if you have a Google account, you DO have a Picasa account!) and all the other Google-related  applications.  From our understanding and reading, if Google closes your blog, it closes everything related to that Google account.

Jan was shocked to find a reference to her account using text verification, but she doesn't have a cell phone!  So she started digging around in settings and found Google had taken her LANDLINE phone # and marked it as a mobile number to receive text messages. There was no option for a landline, mobile only!  So if something happened to our blog, we would have been in the same boat Old Kitty and Charlie were in yesterday,.  No way to contact Google.  Jan deleted the phone #  and hopes if something happened to her account, Google would use her recovery address. 

Some of you are no more tech-oriented than our Jan, so we're going to explain how to check your settings to be sure you won't have this problem. We don't know whether you are using the old or new dashboard, but there is a means from each to access your settings.  In the new dashboard, just click on the name of your blog in the upper right and click on Account Settings in the drop down menu.  That will take you to Google accounts.

Click on Recovering Your Password.

Email: check your email address.  Do you have a recovery address in case you are using gmail and the gmail has been deleted?  You need a non-gmail address. 

SMS:  This is where your cell # goes if you have one so they can text you a password reset code if necessary. 

Security question: If you haven't set up a security question, this would be a good time to.

If you made changes, click SAVE, if none, click CANCEL to return to your personal settings. 

Now for the part that really upset Jan.  She read a lot of information yesterday that says to open a gmail account now you have to give a cell phone # for verification.  This sound innocent.  Especially when they say it is to cut down on spammers opening blogs and a mobile phone is more reliable than an email address because you keep your phone with you.   But they add, if you don't have a mobile phone, ask a friend to use their cell number to get your verification code. 

Jan read that and said if Google closes her account and tries to blackmail her into doing that, her blog and email will remain deleted.  Because she neither knows anyone who would let her give Google their cell number, nor would she ask anyone to do so. This could cause problems down the road.  We know that once that number went into Google's records, it would be associated with Jan's personal information and never be deleted from Google's files.

We found an interesting article on Gmail SMS verification details and reasons

Have a great weekend!  Oh, in case you didn't notice, we asked Jan to give our blog a makeover.  We hope you like it. 


  1. Google is at it again, they just aren't very nice!

  2. We just had a look in our settings and had a big surprise. It has far too much information, it even shows all the sites we have visited. We know it is password protected, but our history is just that, OUR history. Google really is Big Brother and is collecting and keeping too much information.

  3. Yes, I do like your new blog setup!

    I'm getting more and more upset with Google. I know if our blog suddenly disappears, it won't be back because I don't have enough energy to try and chase it around. I will go over and look at the settings though. I didn't give them a phone number either when I opened the account a year ago.

  4. Dear Jan,
    When we started blogging, we had only a WordPress blog. Wes started a Blogger blog cuz it was too difficult for peoples who had Blogger Blogs comment or follow WordPress Blogs. For a long time we published in both places but Blogger had troubles and everybody else had so many problems that wes stopped doing blogger except tos add a link to WordPress (when Mommy remembers).
    We thinks that as companies gets bigger, they quits thinking about what they can do for you and starts only thinking about what yous can do for them.
    Sorry for the rant, but me thinks that some companies should just stop expanding, sit back and think about their customers.

  5. We went through this a couple of months ago when Mom Paula lost both Sweet Praline's and our blogs. Luckily, she had a cell phone with texting capabilities, but it took her forever to even find out how to ask for that verification. It was very scary.

    Thanks for the information and we love your new look.

    Truffle and Brulee

  6. I am really put out with Google and except for being in contact with friends here am sorry I ever started my blog back up on Blogger. They will not get my cell phone number and if they delete my blog again I will not put one back up. Thank you so much for this information.

    We like your blog makeover. Hugs and nose kisses

  7. Thanks, Jan. We checked our dashboard out. Our alternate email and security question are there, but we don't have a cell either, so if it goes it goes. We think it's very short-sighted of google to insist, however not surprised.

  8. That doggie sure has a very interesting technique!
    I hope nono of those things happen to my blog... I would not be albe to restore it!
    Happy saturday!
    Kisses and hugs

  9. You don't need to be in the Dashboard to do this, you just need to be in any Google application and click on the menu to get to your account settings.

    THANK YOU for this!

    Actually, this had happened to me back in October or November, and I had typed in my cell #, but it didn't recognize the area code (new area code), so I had to use my work #.

    I just went in to take a look at my settings and saw that the work # was listed as the mobile #, so I changed that. And also realized I had put the Fuzzy Tales email account down for recovery, which was dumb. Used my work email instead.

    No such thing as privacy on the web, truly. But my life is on Google, so if I want to continue with their applications, I have to conform. But this is partly why I refuse to do FB or Twitter. There's already enough info about me out in cyber-space!

  10. P.S. Yes, the new look to your blog is great! :-)

  11. We love the new look to your blog! Thnaks for the paws up on the google information. ggrrr

    Have a great weekend
    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  12. Nice makeover you did :D
    Too funny of a video. Pretty good paw stand for a little fella :)

    Thanks for the tips on google!

    Waggin at ya,

  13. Lovely Jan!! Thanks for all the info about settings!! I am so going to town with my settings!! It really is scary because Google is taking over and continues to invent all the fun FREE stuff on the web but in exchange they truly want you as the user to conform to whatever they want. It's like a pact with a very stern teacher - there is no negotiation. You do as Google wishes otherwish you won't have access to any of what the whole world is using! I learned that the hard way!

    I was wondering maybe the lovely people of CB could have an "emergency" list of people willing to provide a mobile (cellphone) number in very very very dire emergencies that is - but some kind of trust system needs to be in place of course. I don't know if this is possible or I'm thinking stupidly.

    All I know is that if my friend wasn't around or willing to let me use his mobile number I would not be blogging any more! Seriously - I came that close to just giving up.

    Take care, Jan and thanks again for the tips!

    Me and Charlie LOVE your new look blog! Take care

  14. Thanks for the info, Jan. It will take a couple of readings to get stuck in the brain cell, though. Will do what you suggest. All these social network platforms are really wanting control, don't they!! If you want to use them you have to play ball!!!

    Loved the video though. Made us laugh :). Oh and love the makeover.

  15. This is very informative. Thank you very much for sharing it with us, Jan. I've always "skipped" the part where they keep asking me for a cell phone verification so I hope Google won't give me any trouble.
    Very very nice blog makeover!

  16. That puppy video is really cute. We hate giving out our phone number to companies because we don't have much faith that the number won't be used for evil (like telemarketing). We find it very disturbing that innocent blogs can be locked without a valid reason and require the blogger to go to such great lengths to prove their innocence. Thanks for the heads up on where to look on account settings.

  17. Love the makeover. The video was hysterical. Wonder why that puppy does that.
    I do have a cell phone and am going to check my settings too. Thank heavens I don't have a blogger blog. That is all so unnecessary. Poor Jenn, going through all that. Take care.

  18. I have a gmail account and they periodically ask me for my cell number but I never gave it out. Now I know why!

  19. That puppy video sure was cute! :)

    The information about Google and Blogger, however, was not. We'll have to go and check ... off to do that now. Thank you for the heads-up, pals!

  20. "Don't be evil" is Google's motto. But apparently it doesn't apply to themselves.

  21. The puppy was beyond cute! I wonder as he/she gets older if the exercising will continue at meal time.
    I read all that you had to say about the google monster and read it outloud to the dad. Going to go in and check the setting and have security questions put on if asked. If I would ever lose the bog it would be all over for me. I wouldn't want to start over only to have it happen again.

    Idea, do you have information on how to back up our blog? If so could you post?! That would be so helpful so save things before they are gone.

  22. Eating on the run, now that's something we like the sound of! We're all backed up with google so paws crossed we're OK. Don't know if you like us on Facebook because we have several hundred Likes and there's no way we can see to list them in one place. It's so IRRITATING!

  23. things might be different for bloggers, but I just set up a gmail account and they did not ask/require a phone number... I wonder if I'll get those harassing emails asking for one...

    p.s. that "don't be evil" and "google is your friend" are both pretty much obsolete. As a librarian, we used to count on google to give us the most relevant hit for any search. Now just about all you get are shopping links

  24. This scares us! We don't HAVE a cell phone or anything but a landline and internet service. We DO back up our blog monthly.

    TBT will be taking at look at our Google account settings the next couple of days with your suggestions in mind!

  25. Thanks for checking on our Ginger. He continues on his medication and is still having chronic issues. He's out of crisis mode but a low rumble purr is always welcome. He may never be able to be off his meds.

  26. Pee Ess: We are hoping that, because our blog has a Bein name in it, it won't catch Google's attention. Not the best protection, but a thought.

  27. Google keeps asking for a mobile number from me, but I just keep ignoring them. Pffft.

  28. We love your blog makeover # and the video made us smile BIG time (so cute).
    You won't believe this but only YESTERDAY we got locked out of our blog by google. The ame thing happened to us ~ they insisted on a phone number for a text and altho we tried every which way to avoid giving one ~ we ultimately had no choice. We took the precaution of having the text sent to an old mobile phone that hardly gets used (since we were concerned about receiving unwanted messages). It is very worrying.
    As soon as we received the text we were let back on our blog but this seems so WRONG.

  29. We've had a gmail forever and they've never asked us for a cell phone number. Facebook wants one (and no they don't have it), but Google has never asked.


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