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Tech: 403 Forbidden

GUEST,redhorse at work 18 Jun 12 - 08:38 AM
Nick 18 Jun 12 - 03:44 PM
Nigel Parsons 19 Jun 12 - 05:59 AM
JohnInKansas 19 Jun 12 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,redhorse at work 19 Jun 12 - 08:23 AM
JohnInKansas 19 Jun 12 - 01:28 PM
redhorse 19 Jun 12 - 01:40 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Jun 12 - 06:57 PM
Rain Dog 26 Jun 12 - 07:42 AM
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Subject: Tech: 403 Forbidden
From: GUEST,redhorse at work
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 08:38 AM

For the last couple of weeks, when I try to open Mudcat on my computer at home I get 403 Forbidden.

What have I done wrong?


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Subject: RE: Tech: 403 Forbidden
From: Nick
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 03:44 PM

Click here to see if it works

Nothing wrong

If you have done it at work it could be a different reason

Possibility you have linked to the wrong level of something for some reason

If the click here works save it as a favourite or something

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Subject: RE: Tech: 403 Forbidden
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 05:59 AM

Maybe your work server has been set to limit your internet access.
It is possible that some of the bawdy songs on Mudcat,also the discussion in BS about American use of the word 'Vagina' might set alarm bells ringing.

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Subject: RE: Tech: 403 Forbidden
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 07:26 AM

I've known of a few cases where employees were allowed to connect their home computers through a company network (so they didn't have to subscribe to a separate ISP), and a company network that you use as a pass-through might still block some sites. Permission for such use has been rare, but I've also known of a few cases of employees trying to "sneak through" the company rig surreptitiously.

If a "nanny program" is turned on for the home computer, the kids may have tried to "crack" it (to look up vagina?), and accidentally turned it on for the whole family.

Or a neglected spouse might have turned on the nanny in a fit over time spent here, in order to get some individual face-time - although that would almost never happen to any of our regulars since we're all such loving persons devoted to fulfilling all our home obligations.

A browser setting for excessively "high security" browsing might block mudcat, since the site doesn't present a "certificate." In IE, Tools|Internet Options|Security Tab is the place to check the setting; but I can't comment about other browsers.

Any other symptoms we can consider more seriously?


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Subject: RE: Tech: 403 Forbidden
From: GUEST,redhorse at work
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 08:23 AM

Sorry, I wasn't very clear

I have no problem logging onto Mudcat as a Guest from work though VW Group's servers.

It's when I am at home logging on through my home ISP (the dreaded talktalk)that I get 403 Forbidden. I'm not aware of any "nanny" program or ISP settings being applied. Maybe I should see if I get the same if I try to access some genuinely dirty websites :-). Any suggestions?

That said I was able to connect to Mudcat fine last night.

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Subject: RE: Tech: 403 Forbidden
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 01:28 PM

The usual use of the 403 message is if you try to open something that requires a membership or login. The message can be returned from the place you're trying to get into, or from your own computer based on some error code from the site or from a list of messages in the innards of your browser.

The most common cause of an unexpected error is probably mistyping the site address. It's a little more mysterious if you use a link in your Favorites/Shortcuts, since usually what works one time works every time.

Even with a reliable link, the error may still appear due to a failure/error by your internet provider (ISP) or of any of the inevitable relay servers that passes stuff across the web.

The URL (universal resource locator) that you type ( isn't really the "address" of the site, but has to be "translated" to the numerical "IP" value actually used by the web. The translation is done most generally by certain of the relay servers, and occasionally one of them gets it wrong. When one of the relays gets a request it doesn't recognize, it "asks" another server for the right translation, and if the first server doesn't get an answer it passes the message to another server until one of them finds the right answer. If a server has been down and has lost it's "answers" the search to restore it's stock of translations can sometimes take a relatively long time, and could possibly result in a failure to connect. (Rebuilding of the translator/address lists is occasionally due to a "redirect" malware attack on the server, in which case it may be simplest for the server to "delete and rebuild." It's hard to say how often this may happen, but we all hope it's rare.)

Fairly rarely, a new "update" may fail to install correctly on your computer, especially if the computer isn't always on to receive the updates, and isn't on long enough to get everything installed when it's been down for a while. This may "spontaneously" be corrected the next time you're turned on for a while, depending on how you've set up to receive and install patches. This can come from OS updates, browser updates, or Malware Protection program updates.

Browser settings may block certain sites, but I haven't heard of any that would give a "403" error. Mine tells me my toes will rot, I'll go blind, and the apocolypse will begin if I connect to a site, but then politely asks "are you sure you want to." If you let us know what OS (Windows/Mac/Unix) and browser (IE/Chrome etc) you use, and possibly what kind of AV/popup blocker/site safety you have turned on, someone might know of a "quirk" peculiar to your setup; but advice is still likely to be pretty generic.

Surprisingly, "dirty sites" are, as a rule, probably safer than lots of other places, since they're making (lots of) money off the connection and are very seriously conscientuous about keeping malware out (with some exceptions, of course). It's probably not a real test of your system to go there, but we won't tell anybody if you just need an excuse - suit yourself.

If the problem doesn't happen again, there's probably little reason to worry a lot about what actually caused it. "Temporary Glitch" is about as good an explanation as we're likely to find without enough information to let someone else get the same message the same way you did.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 403 Forbidden
From: redhorse
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 01:40 PM

Thanks for the detailed explanation John

Connecting OK again tonight, clearly the action of posting the problem on Mudcat was all that was needed for it to spontaneously cure itself.

so I'll file under Temporary Glitch (albeit one that lasted a couple of weeks.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 403 Forbidden
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 06:57 PM

Of course solving a problem, even if by accident, doesn't necessarily stop us from yammering on about it here, but the question hasn't seemed to raise a lot of interest so far.

As an incidental note, logging in does nothing except put a cookie on the computer you're using, so you can be logged in on as many different computers, all at the same time, as is convenient. The next time you visit, the 'cat looks to see if you've got a cookie, and knows you're you if it's there.

On your home computer you can probably leave the cookie in place forever (I've been logged in on the same cookie for as long as 8 or 9 years at a time, before it crumbled).

Most people consider it good practice to log out after using a "public" computer, like at a library, so that the cookie isn't left on the computer for someone else to use or steal, and a few nervous sorts have recommended the same for a "work computer" at the office. Whether you'd need to at the office would probably depend on "management attitude."

For a multi-user machine, with separate usernames and passwords for each user, cookies are in a separate place for each user log on, so if nobody else can use your username to run the machine, it's probably okay to leave the 'cat login when you leave the 'cat for a while (and logon as separate users also prevents accidentally posting as your roomie). A site like your bank, where you send/receive personal info, or a site where "hacks" are common, like Facebook, probably should always be "logged out" whenever you leave the site.

If you want to keep it, the mudcat cookie may be a little more "persistent" if you identify the site as "trusted" in your browser. In IE, for example, Tools|Internet Options|Privacy Tab should have a "Sites" button where you can enter "" and click Allow, and having the site name there may reduce cookie losses and other problems with connection. The Sites entry does not affect the connection if the "Security level for this zone" on the Security Tab is set above "Medium High" (in IE8 or IE9) since anything above that is a "don't trust anything" sort of setting.

Other browsers should have similar settings.


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Subject: RE: Tech: 403 Forbidden
From: Rain Dog
Date: 26 Jun 12 - 07:42 AM

Not that it helps answer the question but it is related to the topic.

Call for Ray Bradbury to be honoured with internet error message

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