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laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

Annoying "Shift+R improves the quality of this image."

Recently I've noticed that when surfing and hovering over any image on a page (e.g. the Virgin Mobile image on this page) I get a box: ... Shift+R improves the quality of this image. Shift+A improves the quality of all images on this page.

Searching on this issue, it appears to be one of the ISP compressing images, and the pop-up verbiage is javascript. Indeed, I can make it go away by disabling javascript in Firefox. Further, if I switch from VM to Hughesnet (via my Cradlepoint router), using Hughesnet I do not get the popups at all. So it seems VM/Sprint has done something to inspire this odd behavior in my browsers (afaict it affects IE also).

Has no one else seen this? Anyone know a solution?



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

Re: Annoying "Shift+R improves the quality of this image.&q

If you are using the virgin mobile software directly on your machine search through the options for "mobile broadband accelerator" or "image compression" and see if you can uncheck or disable it.

Could you post the location you find it at, if you do find it?


laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

I had not thought of that, thanks dib22! I will try that later today.

I can't recall when I first saw the "Shift+R improves..." but it seems to me I've had some wierd slowdowns w/VM recently and I wonder if it's something they recently implemented, or if it's something they do when a tower's traffic gets high or something. If no one else here has noticed this then it must be a local problem...



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

1 edit

said by laserfan:

... I wonder if it's something they recently implemented, or if it's something they do when a tower's traffic gets high or something. If no one else here has noticed this then it must be a local problem...

I will be activating a MC760 for a trip here in a couple of days... and just for you I will install their dreaded software to see if it's happening for me as well.

Can you post the version of VM dialer you have (it should be in help, about)?

Edit: just realized you use the cradlepoint... hmm... sounds like it must be happening tower side... wonder if changing any settings in software would even make a difference?

laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

said by dib22:

sounds like it must be happening tower side... wonder if changing any settings in software would even make a difference?

Yeah my MC760 has not been used outside of the MBR900 for almost a year, since I last traveled with my Netbook.

In surfing on this problem it was suggested that changing the browser's user agent might avoid the problem, as if you needed to tell VM "I'm not a cellphone but rather a PC--don't compress for me" but I could not make the problem go away in either Firefox or IE, except of course to disable javascript.

It's truly no more than an annoyance; I am pretty anal about PC stuff but I didn't take note of when this first started appearing. In any case one other thread I found suggested Sprint did this routinely a few years ago and then stopped for some unknown reason.

I've been busy and wasn't going to test the MC760 in my Netbook, but seeing that you're making a trip I'll surely do so soon.

laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas
reply to dib22

OK I unplugged my MC760 from my Cradlepoint and plugged-in to my Netbook which I've not done for a year, and after the usual fiddling with Device Manager and starting the Novacore service which was in Manual and not started, it works! Posting from my Netbook w/MC760 right now!

But I was not able to find any "compression" setting in the BB2G app itself, and in Windows Network and Connections, in 3G Connection Properties, I found two such settings:

1. Under General > Configure was "Enable modem compression" which was un-checked already

2. In Options > PPP Settings there was a "Enable software compression" setting which was checked, and I un-checked it, but after initially thinking it might have done the trick, after more testing it seems it did not--I still get the "Shift+R..." pop-up

So will be interested to see dib22 if you see this in your browser when you take your trip. Don't you HAVE TO install the "dreaded VM software" to make it work? Here's the About info I have:

Broadband2Go
Version 3.00.13  Build 011
8/26/2009
Settings Version 1.01.301
Driver Version 3.0.20.0
SDK Version 1.01.01.022
 

Thanks for your help/advice on this!


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

2 edits

said by laserfan:

1. Under General > Configure was "Enable modem compression" which was un-checked already

2. In Options > PPP Settings there was a "Enable software compression" setting which was checked, and I un-checked it, but after initially thinking it might have done the trick, after more testing it seems it did not--I still get the "Shift+R..." pop-up

Those are just standard stream compression settings, so they are not involved. You can put software compression back on if you want.

said by laserfan:

So will be interested to see dib22 if you see this in your browser when you take your trip. Don't you HAVE TO install the "dreaded VM software" to make it work?

I have not for some time... I grab the device, log into the VM homepage, add some credit, activate the plan, then pop it into a cradlepoint To be fair I have not had to re-program one in forever might need it for that eventually (however since 2.0 my cradlepoint interface has a mdn msid area for programming, havent tried it to see if it works however).

The fact that it is happening in the cradlepoint really points at it happening before it hits your machine/router to me... was hoping it was an optional thing the software was requesting ... but I will report back what I find (should hit several towers as well so will be a nice sample, in the Kansas/Oklahoma area anyway )

Good to know that simply killing javascript ends it.

Will update when I can!

EDIT: does it do it on all browsers or only one? Let me know.

Another Edit: while browsing around looking at messages about people having this happen on vodaphone, orange, att, tmobile, verizon one message I came across had a great idea. He said he looks at the page source and finds the javascript loader and then goes into ad block and adds that address as an address to block.

Might be a way to stop it without killing off your javascript.

laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

quote:
The fact that it is happening in the cradlepoint really points at it happening before it hits your machine/router to me... was hoping it was an optional thing the software was requesting ... but I will report back what I find (should hit several towers as well so will be a nice sample, in the Kansas/Oklahoma area anyway )
Yeah but it was worth a try in case my "id/terminal" was capable to signal the tower to change the way it feeds me.

quote:
EDIT: does it do it on all browsers or only one? Let me know.
Yes does it with IE9 too. I'd done quite a bit of Firefox fiddling (having recently updated to 14.0.1) before trying IE which in hindsight I shoulda done right away.

quote:
Another Edit: while browsing around looking at messages about people having this happen on vodaphone, orange, att, tmobile, verizon one message I came across had a great idea. He said he looks at the page source and finds the javascript loader and then goes into ad block and adds that address as an address to block.

Might be a way to stop it without killing off your javascript.
Sounds impractical, for having to do it w/gazillions of disparate pics/elements, but would be a data point.

Have a safe trip!


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by laserfan:


Sounds impractical, for having to do it w/gazillions of disparate pics/elements, but would be a data point.

I think you only have to block the server that is sending the .js... so you would only need to do it once.

Let me see if I can find the link... here we go:

»social.msdn.microsoft.com/forums···92ecbee/

Search for adblock or for godlimauz who wrote the reply I am refering to. Would be an easy fix... note that is from 2009 and whoever sells the image mangler might be doing it differently now, but worth a shot.

You could always just use a vpn provider to bypass their routing all together as well... I think that conversation shows up in that thread as well

Hope it helps!


raypsi1

join:2001-04-09
Redford, MI
Reviews:
·WOW Internet and..

I put the server in firefox add on adblocker and adblocker blocks that server I don't know if it would work on this forum topic

I have a 2200 hot spot it does it no matter were I go in Motown Although some of the firmware can be edited I didn't see anything like this

just my 2 cents
later
ray


laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

1 recommendation

reply to laserfan

Nice link dib22, I'd not found that one.

Ok I created a custom filter in Adblock Plus (which I was already running in Firefox) to filter this:

"http://1.2.3.4/bmi-int-js/bmi.js"

And it worked! Restarted Firefox and got an immediate 14 hits on this filter, but the "Shift+R..." B.S. is gone! And AFAICT this one filter has fixed this problem for all websites!!!?!!!

I must confess I am clueless as to where this came from and why/how I so recently started displaying the "Shift+R" in the first place. I looked-up 1.2.3.4 and it's an Aussie IP?

Thanks you guys, any further thoughts/ideas about whowhatwherewhy would be appreciated as this has blown my mind!



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by laserfan:

And AFAICT this one filter has fixed this problem for all websites!!!?!!!

Correct the one internal server they were using to inject the java script from was doing it to all the images. Since you blocked the server that sends the java script re-direct code, it can never run.

I must confess I am clueless as to where this came from and why/how I so recently started displaying the "Shift+R" in the first place. I looked-up 1.2.3.4 and it's an Aussie IP?

I think they are just injecting it locally (inside their network) so in reality they could use any address... of course they *should* be using private space for it... it is very odd that they are using the exact same one as the european guys carrier... perhaps its always the same address since the same manufacturer sells the image mangler to all the carriers?

It is also possible that adblock is just matching the "bmi.js" without caring what the address is... like it sees a pattern that matches and blocks it.

For what its worth I grabbed a MC760 from the pile and activated it at home for next week. I am not seeing that behavior here... makes me wonder if they only do it on select areas.... or if the "image mangler" aka image optimizer is malfunctioning in your area. In the past when we had sprint sticks, perhaps 2 or 3 years ago, I remember seeing this optimization show up... but you could disable it in the sprint dialer. They then killed it off because it was so horrible.

laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

said by dib22:

I think they are just injecting it locally (inside their network) so in reality they could use any address... of course they *should* be using private space for it... it is very odd that they are using the exact same one as the european guys carrier... perhaps its always the same address since the same manufacturer sells the image mangler to all the carriers?

It is also possible that adblock is just matching the "bmi.js" without caring what the address is... like it sees a pattern that matches and blocks it.

For what its worth I grabbed a MC760 from the pile and activated it at home for next week. I am not seeing that behavior here... makes me wonder if they only do it on select areas.... or if the "image mangler" aka image optimizer is malfunctioning in your area. In the past when we had sprint sticks, perhaps 2 or 3 years ago, I remember seeing this optimization show up... but you could disable it in the sprint dialer. They then killed it off because it was so horrible.

Nice to have someone w/experience relating that here--I appreciate it very much dib22!

It seems to me that every month on a Sun night and/or Monday VM or Sprint does some sort of maintenance or "optimization" on the network and I have trouble for a few hours getting connected or operating "at speed". This happened again recently and perhaps they just jazzed something up (a technical term) causing me to have the bmi.js problem. Where I live there can't be 2 other customers set-up on VM for 24/7 access (just vehicles/cellphones) to this tower so who knows whether anyone else might be complaining about it.

I've tried communicating w/VM via email/support ticket in the past but it seems they just want you to call their support line which is a PIA for a technical problem like this! But as the solution seems to be to just tweak Firefox on a couple of PCs I'll let it rest.

Thanks again and safe journeys to you...

shadowstitch

join:2012-07-18
Muscle Shoals, AL
reply to laserfan

I just recently noticed this behavior on my Broadband2go as well, back at the beginning of July, and I've been fighting with VM over it ever since.

If I email them to demand an explanation, they tell me to call the support line. If I call the support line, the phone techs won't even acknowledge they're doing it; every time I try to talk to them I have to go through the same routine of convincing them it's not a virus or some software on my PC, it's their server-side image compression.

They've been doing this same thing to Sprint customers for years, but up til now they haven't inflicted it upon Broadband2go users...or at least not on me.

A few things I've discovered of note: Changing browser headers won't change anything. Blocking the javascript with adblock or whatever will stop the javascript popups, but it won't remedy the poor image quality, so if you're okay with downsampled, compressed images and just didn't want the Shift+R popup, you're good. Otherwise you have to force refresh every image you load in order to view the full resolution version.

You can't get around it by switching browsers, as it does all this from the server side. I've tested images from Chrome, Firefox, and IE, along with the same image sent to me from a friend on another service, and the VM version is always downsampled unless I've forced a refresh to pull the full resolution version.

Even with the Javascript popup disabled, their HTML injection protocols have been playing hell with some of the more complex scripted sites I access routinely, sometimes crippling them entirely. In addition, their image resampling is shoddy and causes many sites to come up with horrifically corrupted image files used as part of the sites layout.

There is no setting in the Broadband2go or Novatel software to disable this unwanted feature, and there is no setting in your Broadband2go account online that will disable it either.

I haven't yet tried the technique, initially discovered circa 2005, that supposedly circumvents the image downsampling by altering your browser's user agent, but I don't have a lot of confidence in that tweak working on a modern system either.

I feel somewhat cheated here, because while I'm fine with caps and throttling, when they start tampering with the actual content I'm downloading and watering down the graphical side of the internet on an UNLIMITED account just to save a few KB, that's where I draw the line.

Besides, it's not actually saving them any bandwidth if I have to reload each page and image 3~4 times just to make sure I get the full resolution images.


shadowstitch

join:2012-07-18
Muscle Shoals, AL

Well, I just tried a whole bunch of user agent switching tricks, and I can categorically confirm none of them impact the way VM delivers the data.


laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

Thanks for chiming-in. I did also fiddle with user agent to no effect.

As for image quality, I have never noticed that the images were "any different from expected" i.e. that aspect has not been any problem for me.

I'm REALLY glad to have disposed of the "Shift+R improves..." hovering addon though.


shadowstitch

join:2012-07-18
Muscle Shoals, AL

Even if the popup issue hadn't been a glaring sign something was wrong, I was startin to notice the image degradation. A lot of smaller images started to look like they were progressive jpgs that hadn't fully loaded, and at first I suspected some sort of browser setting or malware (Especially once I noticed the popups.)

I'm not 100% sure, but it only seems to affect jpgs, so pngs and gifs are not affected. Once you notice the little rough-around-the-edges sheen that appears on jpgs, you can't ignore it. And that's when the compression doesn't completely screw up the page directly.

Here are some comparison screenshots:

»imgur.com/fqChW
»imgur.com/jOQOh

I'm truly disappointed in this decision on their part, and while I loathe the hard 5gb cap on Verizon 4g, I am probably going to switch just to get away from this unacceptable downsampling.


laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

said by shadowstitch:

Here are some comparison screenshots

Pretty nasty, though until I clicked-to-enlarge I really had to lean forward to see the problem.

Would you happen to have a real website link I might play with?

shadowstitch

join:2012-07-18
Muscle Shoals, AL

Well, if you're on Virgin Mobile, you should be able to use any affected jpg as a test.

Load up any jpg image, view that image alone, save a copy of it, then do a forced reload of the image in your browser. Save that one as a different name, and it should come in at a visibly higher resolution and larger filesize. Compare the two and you'll notice more grainy artifacting in the compressed image.

The worse the original jpg is, the worse the VM compressed version will be as a consequence, so on really high quality images you will notice less of a difference than on smaller thumbnails, navigation panes, or things like online catalog pages.


laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

Got it, thanks--I suppose I should "leave it alone" lest it end-up bugging me, but I like to live dangerously...!



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

I'm getting it too Laserfan. Sprint and CDU-680. Very annoying


laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas
reply to laserfan

I thought so too. Thankfully I use Firefox and Adblocker kills the popups dead. Haven't noticed the jpg degradation but I guess I do the wrong (er, I mean, right) kind of surfing!