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In my hotel in Shanghai, I get the error message

MathOverflow requires external JavaScript from another domain, which is blocked or failed to load.

Is there a work around for this? Posts load very slowly, I cannot vote, some comments are not viewable,...

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps it's a slow internet connection? (I'm not sure, since I'm not a computer expert.) $\endgroup$ – user62675 Jun 16 '14 at 1:00
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you're enjoying Chinese censorship? MathOverflow now works under https, so you might just try changing the URL to https://mathoverflow.net/ and seeing what happens. Alternatively, presumably you have ssh access to some computer back home. Run ssh -D 1080 username@math.tamu.edu, and then tell your browser to use a SOCKS proxy on port 1080. (Google for more details, or just ask me.) This will tunnel you out of the Great Firewall. $\endgroup$ – Scott Morrison Jun 16 '14 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the fix, Scott. $\endgroup$ – Bill Johnson Jun 16 '14 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ I have yesterday seen this message as well, from Germany -- but the problem was intermittent -- sometimes I saw that message, sometimes the formulas were rendered strangely or not at all or omitted completely. But now everything seems to work well again. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Jun 16 '14 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ Your problem was likely different, Stefan. My problem was the Chinese firewall that had to be circumvented. $\endgroup$ – Bill Johnson Jun 16 '14 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ Scott's comment should probably be an answer. $\endgroup$ – Ryan Budney Jun 16 '14 at 20:25
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This is due to some very aggressive firewalls permitting our sites, but not our CDN (sstatic.net). You'll hit this, unfortunately quite often, in mainland China. If you're in the Special Administrative Regions (HK/Macau, etc) then you should be fine.

You have two options:

  • Go with https:// (which sometimes works)
  • Go with a proxy service like Hola Internet1 or similar if that fails

It's hard to design around a use case of someone intentionally breaking the Internet, so unfortunately, there's not much we can do to get around it (if we want to use a CDN, which we really need to do). We're hoping that enough bug reports (yes, the GWOC does have a bug tracker so 'legitimate' domains can be unblocked) finally gets them to stop blocking our CDN.

1We don't officially endorse any third party proxy, I've just had luck with them, as have users that acted on my recommendation to try them.

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  • $\begingroup$ I tried https; it does not work. I did not try Hola, but Scott Morrison's second suggestion allows me to work around the problem. If Scott writes it as an answer I will accept it. $\endgroup$ – Bill Johnson Jun 23 '14 at 15:17
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    $\begingroup$ Why was this answer downvoted? $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Jun 23 '14 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @ToddTrimble because I lost my keys. Could be because it was answered in comments which I mostly reiterated, but .. it's my job to do that and make sure these have actual answers :) $\endgroup$ – Tim Post Jun 24 '14 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ @BillJohnson I think in some sense Scott Morrison's suggestion is a special case of the second point here, as it suggests to use a particular proxy. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jun 24 '14 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ @quid For me the key point in Scott's comment was to use the ssh -D 1080 command when connecting to my home domain via ssh. I did not get that suggestion from my system administrator. I now set one browser to use that and a different browser to use the local port in Shanghai. $\endgroup$ – Bill Johnson Jun 26 '14 at 1:32
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    $\begingroup$ @BillJohnson Yes, a simple SOCKS proxy is the easiest way to go if you (1) have a decent SSH client that'll do it for you and (2) something you can connect to. I wrote a nice init script that wraps that all up simply with a nice launcher program, gotta dig that up and get it in my public repo. $\endgroup$ – Tim Post Jun 26 '14 at 5:39

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