- weird error!

I’ve tried getting on a couple of threads today, and I kept getting a dialogue box reading, “Enter username for Restricted at” and then it asks for a user name and a password.

What’s up with that? Does it have something to do with a URL code going out to another site to get an image? I’m way confused. At first I thought it was just one thread, but now I see it’s on a few, including the “smileyin’ around” thread here.

What’s up?


Ask the Gay Guy!

Yeah, I’m getting that too. I just figured it was my computer, but I guess it’s you guys. One less problem for me to worry about.

I saw that message a couple of times on Friday, and ignored it. I assumed it was an incorrect link that the UBB software somehow shipped to my screen.

Well, the source for several of the smilies that were being played around with in some of the threads came from the “” site. It’s one of the hazards of “bandwidth theft.” When the site that the images are “stolen” from decides to change things, then this board ends up with a lot of broken links, wrong images, error messages, etc…

There are plenty of posts warning people not to do it, but the smilies are just too much for some to resist, I guess. In fact, Yue Han warned people in the “Smiling Around” thread, but was ignored.

Here’s a couple of threads on the subject?

Uh, Tuba, About bandwidth stealing.

Bandwidth Using = Bandwidth Stealing?

All it takes is copy the image to your own web space and reference it there and then these things don’t happen.

Okay, JimB, while you were the one that brought this up weeks ago, and I didn’t understand what you meant, the reference was to a smiley face shooting at another one. So, I didn’t * get it. *

I wrote about this in GQ, one day last week about the box that Esprix is referring to, and your answer is about ‘copy to my webspace’ but I don’t know what you mean by that.

Are they (in the box) asking for my e mail password?? Straight Dope password?? What ‘user name’ are they referring to??

I never meant to do anything wrong, and would like to get this straightened out, but I just don’t know how.


Please make your explanation for the computer illiterate, okay???

“Um, according to who? Nothing more than a high brow troll, though occasionally the bi polar personality swung in a constructive direction on innocuous topics.” Omniscient

Incidentally, this thread is a good example.

Here’s another thread from GQ called Curling? that is asking for a password. It doesn’t appear to me though that any password protected sites are linked in it.

Whoops, my mistake. The second post in the thread, by opus, has an image linked to

** meara **, when I clicked on the thread you mentioned, it brought me to the thread that caused me to come here. Never mind…I didn’t use any smiley faces other than the original one recommended/used by SD. I simply ignored the “beginbids” password inquiry by hitting “CANCEL”. Still it’s irksome…and a little scary since this board’s been hacked at least once.

Ahem. I explained what happened here:

And then again here, only bitchier:

Basically: people used images without permission. As predicted by others, the website changed and the changes screwed things up.

Now we get this box on every thread where certain smileys were used, and as I predicted on the “Just Smiling Around” thread, the mods are gonna come down like ** wrath of God.**


'Twis brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Moral of the story:

unless you have explicit consent or it’s your own site, don’t include an image in your post.

As a web site owner and designer, it is important that people be sure that the images they post are approved from the web site owner.

BTW in the past, my pic, a pic I posted of Opal and Leo DeCaprio, a pic I did of Cessandra as Super Girl, purplebear and Rachelle are on my own site.

If you want to post smilies that aren’t on the UBB, ask the owner if you can use them. They may give you permission.

Admittedly I have been guilty of the same thing, just remember in the future to ask the site owner if you can use them :slight_smile:

John, your points were valid and accurate. So…where are the mods’ wrath? ** BRING IT ON!!! ** That little box freaks me out, and I dinnunt dew nuthin’!!!

Anti Pro, I’m sorry that you didn’t understand what was wrong with outside referencing images. Or, didn’t understand how to avoid it. I missed your question in “GQ” or I would have tried to help at the time.

By reading your responses in the “Smiling Around” thread, I have to guess that you knew what Yue Han was talking about when he made the warning. But yes, if it had stopped at your “just once”, probably only minor damage would have been done. But, as I pointed out in the “Uh, Tuba, About bandwidth stealing.” thread, these are the kind of things that can snowball very easily.

Ok, so, to be try to be informative rather than just say “I told you so”, what you should do if you want to post an image of any sort on this message board is to first download the image to your own web space. *I know this is where people get lost. *
If you have AOL, then every screen name has some web space that you can publish a homepage. If you have an ISP, they should provide some webspace for a homepage (call them if you aren’t sure). Just go thru the basic homepage setup and establish your webspace. It doesn’t have to say anything other than “under construction.” But what it does give you is a URL to access files. If you upload an image file to that space, then you can access it from anywhere on the web.

So, if you make a homepage with a URL , and you upload a file named bouncingsmiley.gif to that same space. Then, on this board you could display a smiley by using the UBB code

. Of course this would work with any URL that referenced your homepage.

If you do it that way, even if the original source for the image takes the entire site down or anything else they may think to do, your image would remain the same.

But, please, if there is any question about whether the image is free to use, contact the webmaster for permission to download the image.

If anyone is still not clear what we are talking about, please keep the discussion open. I, and I’m sure others, will be glad to help if we can. It is better than having the board further restricted. So, please, ask.

We are here to fight ignorance, even (or, especially) in ourselves.


Excellent posts all. I never even thought about uploading something to my own page to avoid problems - thanks for the suggestion.

Esprix, who uses smilies not on, but needs to be cautious anyway

Ask the Gay Guy!

Actually, I was wrong - I have been guilty of using smilies from

Yue chastised me accordingly in the “Smiling around” thread, so I will also mea culpa here.

Esprix, who is living and learning

Ask the Gay Guy!

This is probably a good place to mention that the management is reconsidering their decision allowing the use of images on this site for precisely all the reasons given above and more.

It’s abuse. Abuse of our system, abuse of the sites these images are “stolen” from. And we’ve asked you all not to do it.

We really really mean it.

So we’re cleaning these things out as we find them. If you see one we haven’t gotten to, please send me email and we’ll get right on it.

your humble TubaDiva
The Straight Dope