CE spams display with "Covenant Eyes has detected a problem with your internet connection" alertbox multiple times daily.

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  • Updated 5 years ago
  • (Edited)
The fundamental of the problem is in the title.  I have previously contacted CE about this problem and got a promise it'd get forwarded to a dev, but never heard anything and the problem persists, so to recap:

Request: Add a simple toggle-able boolean checkbox to user prefs, "show alert when Covenant Eyes detects a weak or lost connection"

I work in places with normal-to-shaky wifi signal-to-noise (e.g., office building, cinderblock walls, hundreds of users nearby with smartphones, tablets, and/or laptops; sometimes all of the above).

Every time the connection drops or is interrupted, the CE client overlays this on everything I'm focused upon and busy with:



By doing this, the CE client drops me out of my work up to multiple times an hour.  It makes flames creep up the sides of my face, dear CE support rep.  Flames.  

After the first several hundred times seeing this across months and years, I get it.  There's a problem with the WIFI that will shortly self-correct.

Another fail is that the alert does not self-dismiss, as far as I can tell, once WIFI gets back to normal.  Most of the time, everything's up and running before I can dismiss the alert, but I still have to stop what I'm doing and dismiss it no matter what.  Does that seem right to you?

The problem with CE being so distracting is neurobiological in its basis, and focus recovery is slow.  It costs all of our employers real money.  Please forgive me for referencing Wikipedia just now; I will get prayer for it...I digress.  

The fix is so profoundly simple: a little opt-out checkbox buried in user preferences.  Thus, the blood-soaked appetite of Jakob Nielsen (prophet of software usability) for alertboxes is slaked.  The alert "is a blunt instrument that hits users over the head and causes them to stop everything they're doing. Don't use them for low-priority items or background information."  

Put another way, using principles of Emotional Design to make users fall in love with CE and use it for a lifetime doesn't work when the emotions triggered are: 
  • irritation at being distracted and 
  • frustration at not being able to address it.

Make the alert opt-out so the non-power users still have to deal with it instead of jamming up customer support.  That's fine.  Spend their time, but for users like me who understand that CE is not the source of the problem, this is a clear failure of User Experience design.

Give it to a dev, and they can fix this in a matter of minutes.  Minutes!

// C#, because why not?
using System;
using System.UI.Annoying;

public class ImproveCustomerRetention {  
// Alerts opt-out, not in, by default public bool NopeTheHeckOutOfDistractingAlerts = false;  private bool ShowingDroppedWifiConnectionAlert = false; public bool PreventLoyalCustomersCommittingHaraKiri = false; void CheckWifiDecibelLevel () { if( CE.HardwareUtils.Network.Wifi.Strength < 10f ) { if( ! NopeTheHeckOutOfDistractingAlerts ) { ShowingDroppedWifiConnectionAlert = true; SpamAlertBoxRightInFrontOfEverything(); } else { ChillTheHeckOut (); IncrementUsability (); EmailPatOnBackToSelf (); VirtualBrofist (); } } } void ToggleDistractingAlerts () { NopeTheHeckOutOfDistractingAlerts = ! NopeTheHeckOutOfDistractingAlerts; } // It is possible that other code may be required, YMMV... // I'm pretty sure this code is, like, super optimized. }
In conclusion, I'd like to point out that Dropbox, Google Drive, Bittorrent Sync, and almighty OSX itself avoid this hassle/headache by silently allowing wifi connections to self-repair.  
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Logan

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  • Distracted and irritated

Posted 5 years ago

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Cory M. Crockett

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Thank you for notifying me although I was unaware of this happening.
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Nick Quinn

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I concur. This post said how I feel so eloquently. My wife brought this issue to my attention and is very frustrated about how often this popup comes up.  Hopefully, your team can address this issue ASAP. Thanks!
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Logan

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I would like to clarify that I am a huge supporter of CovenantEyes both as a concept and a company. John, the customer service guy, has been prompt, effective, and pleasant in previous interactions, for example.  Their phone support folks (maybe the same folks?) are also awesome.

Thank you for all your hard work and sense of humor.  If any of the above came across as genuinely hurtful, please know that 0% was intended to be so.  At times the software drives me nuts but the people make it alright.

Logan


Edit: egads, it appears this issue has been annoying people for a year.  The response from CE is less-than-encouraging, emphasizing that this is not a priority as recently as four months ago.  In the comments, one of the CE staff notes that the current posture is to let the software squawk so that (inexperienced) users aren't confused.

Covenant Eyes devs, please please do something about this.  Please give us the option of disabling the distracting network connectivity alert box.  Put it in Notification Center, badge the CE icon up top, let us just turn it off.  Just get your software out of my beset-on-all-sides concentration.  <3  I love you, with sprinkles on top, metaphorically speaking of course.

Edit 2: Here's another thread with someone getting driven to distraction, and another one here.  C'mon, CE mac devs--let people work without public embarrassment when the popup shows up in front of clients.  Pretty please?
(Edited)
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John, Official Rep

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Hey Logan,

Sorry it took so long to get to this thread, I took some time away for the long weekend and am just now getting caught back up to speed.

First of all, thanks for sharing your passion/pain on this issue. This may sound odd but we really appreciate feedback like this, even if it is not "positive" feedback. Your stories help us understand the underlying issues that are going on and give us (as people who interact with our community) ammunition to keep pushing issues like this with the Covenant Eyes higher ups. (which I will do today again btw)

This is an issue I have brought up before, and am more than willing to bring up again. I don't have any sort of good timeline on this to help you out.

GOOD NEWS TIME: Our Mac client is really close to some neat connectivity improvements (similar to what we have been working on for a long time on Windows) which should resolve SOME of the pop up messages that you are seeing.

The rest of them are on my personal radar (my official Job here is User Experience, basically finding the rough edges and trying to get them resolved) and I actually had a good conversation about this topic fueled by this thread earlier today.

I will update as I am able, thanks for understanding
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Logan

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No problem about the weekend off.  It isn't a "server farm is melting!"-scale problem, it is a "individual client heads are exploding"-scale problem. 

Thank you again for going to bat with your bosses on our behalf.  I really meant it when I said "I am a huge supporter of CovenantEyes both as a concept and a company. John, the customer service guy, has been prompt, effective, and pleasant in previous interactions, for example.  Their phone support folks (maybe the same folks?) are also awesome."  

You let me know if an EECB or well-placed phone call would help move the needle on this issue.
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John, Official Rep

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Will do Logan,

After speaking with one of our Mac Developers about this yesterday I feel confident that we are headed in the right direction. The new server communication tech that they are putting in place should solve many of the times that you would currently get this issue. 

We also hashed out some ideas of what to do with any cases that arent covered by implementing the new tech. I will let you know when I have a realistic eta for these improvements, but for now, they are being worked on
(Edited)
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Rob Tull

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John,

We appreciate that you guys are working on new server connection tech that should result in a reduction of these notifications. That's great.

However, what we're asking for is a simple ability to silence notifications in ANY CASE. New tech still won't solve the occasional glitch in the network and this is not the solution we're asking for anyway. We don't want better connections - connections are fine. We want to get RID of the NOTICE about bad connections.

I hope this is clearly passed along to the team as it seems to me as a programmer that this is a relatively simple change. You even have a faked code example above. Please don't make us wait on complicated new server tech for something this simple. Thanks!
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John, Official Rep

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Rob,

Your message has been received, clearly.

I don't make the decisions about what gets worked on, all I can do is report on what is going on. There is a strong case for an improvement here, no one is doubting that. The new server tech is not far from completion however, and progress looks good.

I will see if I can get an ETA on when we can implement improvements to this, but it is worth considering that things are usually less simple than they appear. A simple toggle off/on for notifications could easy cause problems for other users as simply as it would resolve problems for you. Rarely is a rushed solution, even an apparently simple one, the best way to solve a problem.

Granted I'm not a programmer, but as a designer I CAN speak about  how failing to consider all circumstances when implementing a fix can backfire severely. 

Thanks for sharing your frustration. 
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Jonathan

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Hi John, just so Logan doesn't seem like an isolated case in his persistence that this be part of an upcoming release, I was ultimately redirected here from email support after going back and forth about this issue. This has been something that has bothered me from the beginning of using CE several years ago and while I had emailed about it some time ago, only recently has it reached such a tipping point that I decided to do one last check in with support to see if this was any kind of priority. If it wasn't, I would just have to uninstall it from my work pc and/or look for another solution altogether.

For every 1 person who writes in about an issue, there are numerous others who are bothered equally about it, but just don't write in. 

A simple toggle off/on that was default on would not cause issues for users who weren't bothered by them but would allow the many who are to simple disable it (and rely on the eye).

I would much prefer that the built in Mac notification center would be used as it would give users the maximum amount of control, but even a preferences box in CE itself to just disable connection notifications would be preferred.

Your post above doesn't give me hope that this will actually be fixed soon. I'm on 2.6.0 and because of my connection (not your servers), I'm still having to deal with intrusive alerts. It would be nice to go from 2-3 unwanted alert boxes daily to 0 (if the user desires to).
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Logan

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Thank yous to Rob, Jonathan, and John for keeping this focused on a workable solution in a respectful manner.  

My offer stands for pizza to the dev (team) that gives us all a long-term distraction-free (not reduced!) solution, whether it is a CE-native pref checkbox or an OSX-native Notification Center (sounds more complex to implement) broadcast or any third solution.  I'd even hunt down a gluten-free pizza solution if celiac disease makes this an undesirable reward!  There must be a constructive way through this.  :)  

I empathize with not wanting to rush a weak solution--nobody wants to create new support headaches for newbie CE users or good men like John.  Still, let perfect not be the enemy of good enough on our way to a CE user experience that gets out of the way.

edit: Alert box rate for today: 0.8 per hour (3 alerts in 4 hours of computer use)
(Edited)
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John, Official Rep

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Hey Logan & Jonathan,

Pizza is awesome, fair warning though, I originally hail from Chicago so I have a pretty high standard when it comes to pizza =P

On a more serious note I want to clarify what I mean when I say we are improving our server tech. Essentially what we are doing is building redundancy into the system which would allow the Covenant Eyes program to continue to function (without interruption) when there are minor to moderate internet issues.

 We first developed the technology on Windows, and through refinement it has proven to be exceptionally useful. There have actually been a couple of server disruptions on our end that Windows users never even knew about because the backup system kicked in and kept them online.  It is this same tech that we are bringing to Mac.

Granted with any tech like this we need to ensure it works well, does not allow people to bypass Covenant Eyes, and it has to be flexible enough to respond to a variety of situations. When it drops (and progress is still looking good btw) it should reduce the vast majority of disruptive pop ups. 

At that point our management team will evaluate what (if any) errors are still popping up, and look at further solutions to help remove them. 

It's not that we do not want to fix it, but the tech that is being upgraded onto the Mac client is fairly heavy, and to pull the team out of it would be extremely costly in terms of development and momentum.

I don't share these things on her to make excuses, but rather to help you understand how we are tackling things. I wish it was faster, I have personally followed up on this more than I probably should have already, but it is only because I feel your frustration. 

Thanks for hanging with us, feel free to keep checking in, and I will post something when I have it
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Logan

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Hey all, just checking in.  John, thanks for offering the insider perspective, above.  It helps to know that the Mac dev team is pushing hard.  At this point, I think I'm out of ideas that don't overlap what's already been said.  

So, today's a fairly regular day, I have only lost focus to the Covenant Eyes popup twice today; just finished lunch.  
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John, Official Rep

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Thanks Logan,

You and I will both celebrate when we can drop that number to zero!
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Jonathan

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John and Logan, we can make that a party of 3 when it goes down to zero (currently around 10+ interruptions today!). 

Pizza looks like it's taken care of, I'll bring drinks!
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e f

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I work and travel very often to Latin America (based in Dallas) and the network connection problems there are beyond anything you will ever see in America.  Imagine a popup every 40 seconds for 3 hours while you are struggling to keep connectivity and simply reply to an email and use iMessage with your wife (see my Tuesday & Wednesday night this week in Brazil).  I cannot even type because Covenant Eyes wants to remind me that wifi connection is spotty.  Couple that with your boss asking "what keep popping up on your computer".  Not a great week for me as a user of CE.

John I understand you are not the developer and you love Giordano's (who doesn't).  But we really need your help finding the right person to solve this usability (not network improvement) issue?  Who can I call, email, fax, or mail a letter to who can this usablity change?
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John, Official Rep

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Who can I call, email, fax, or mail a letter to who can fix this usablity change?

Me. (wince)

Honestly there is no more direct conduit to our development team than UX. Every day we keep hearing progress reports (internally) about how the Mac work is progressing, and it is getting close. But until we finish that work, there is nothing else to be done. No amount of pizza bribery can make the developers code any faster. 

Honestly we have some of the most amazingly talented people in the industry working for us, and the work they are doing will have a direct impact on this issue. After that release, we will evaluate again how this issue is evolving. 

Projects take time, but they deliver huge amounts of value. Hang tight. I know this is not the answer you want, but it is progress. 
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Logan

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Hey all, just checking in with a CE alert box weather report.  End of last week I was not able to use laptop for more than a few hours at a stretch, so no more than a few alertboxen.  Maybe one per ninety minutes or so? Not acceptable, but not the worst it's ever been for me.

Sunday's bout of watching nerdy YouTube videos (I kid, I kid!) on our 50 Mbps home wifi went well, with zero alertboxen.  My serum cortisol levels were consequently reduced.  One day at a time.... :)
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Logan

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Today, not so good.  Slightly more than one alert box per hour.  According to my multinomial logistic regression analyses, that is approximately just more than one alert box per hour too many.
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Tom Perkins

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Had to bow out of CE temporarily. In a conference w one evere ten seconds
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e f

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Yup. Same for me. In Mexico this week for a conference.  Will reinstall when I get back home. 
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Josh Wong

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I emailed support@covenanteyes.com and you can install an older CE that will help keep monitoring but eliminate the pop up. http://www.covenanteyes.com/files/releases/CovenantEyes_2.1.2.dmg
I had this issue with the previous version as well and after installing this version, I had no issues. Just ignore the "update to 2.6" messages. This one is for the Mac. 
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Logan

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The 2.6 point release just dropped.  I have installed it, and hope that those under-the-hood networking logic changes help!  The past couple days have been averaging maybe 2 - 3 unwanted alert boxes per day?

Forward unto unobtrusive UI.

Thank yous to John and the Mac dev(s).

L
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John, Official Rep

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2.6 is not actually the release I was speaking of (sorry for any confusion)

Work is looking good on that future release (we get updates every A.M) and I will be sure to let you know as soon as it is available

Hang tight
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Josh Wong

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I recently downloaded 2.6 at the prompting of CE telling me to update CE from 2.1 (which support told me to install because I had this issue before and their suggestion was to install 2.1). Since downloading it, I have had several pop ups today and went to the forums to see if I can do anything about it. I see that there isn't a solution. I think I will go back to 2.1 if I can find it. 

John, any timeline on when this will get fixed? It sounds like this is an issue that has cropping up for over a year now. 
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John, Official Rep

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As soon as possible, literally

I know that is not a great answer, but the work that our Mac team is doing right now will have a direct impact on this issue. 

I will post concrete dates (and potentially beta links) as soon as I have them
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matthewmatician

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John,

Even with 2.6, I'm getting this alert every 20 seconds while on the train.  Just the other day, I was doing a presentation to several superiors and peers when this popup reared it's ugly head.

I gotta say it was very embarrassing to see this popup on the projector in front of all of these people, and have them all ask me, "what's Covenant Eyes?". It was extremely awkward for me to figure out how to explain to them what this meant. "It's a family thing", I said. It was definitely not the time nor the place for an explanation of pornography addiction.

Thanks for all your work on this issue.
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Logan

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> I gotta say it was very embarrassing to see this popup on the projector in front of all of these people, and have them all ask me, "what's Covenant Eyes?". It was extremely awkward for me to figure out how to explain to them what this meant. 

I know this feeling. :(
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John, Official Rep

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This actually happened internally last week, 

During a presentation they had the same issue. (Covenant Eyes taking the Mac out of presenter mode) Needless to say they were aware of the irony.

I only share this to let you know that everything that can be done is being done right now.

The work is still progressing well. Will update as soon as I am able

*Edit: Matthew I just wanted to acknowledge the awkward situation we put you into, and apologize. I know it is tough, and not everyone has the luxury I do where my colleagues do not need to have Covenant Eyes explained to them. Thanks and again I apologize.
(Edited)
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nathanmlong

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Another user with this issue. Just a few more points:

- The popup is useless to me because there's nothing I can do about it: the only button is "OK".
- In my case, using CE for accountability only (not filtering), it makes no difference to me if CE loses connectivity for a while; it could record activity locally and sync up later. As long as it's within a day or so, no problem.
- I had the popup during a presentation to a large crowd, despite first disabling my WiFi. It was embarrassing.

In summary: I'm getting an interruption from an internet monitor when I've disabled all internet, alerting me to a "problem" that isn't a problem, and which in any case I can't do anything about.

Yes, I definitely want to turn this popup off. Badly. Forever. :)

Thanks for your software, and consider this an upvote on the issue.
(Edited)
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Logan

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I have mostly been able to avoid the embarrassment of the CE popup in front of peers/ bosses lately, and then it happened twice in half an hour yesterday. :(  You jinxed me, nathanmlong!  Just kidding, but I was pretty mortified.

Thank you for pinging the conversation.
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Jonathan

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Yes, thanks for adding to the conversation, Nathan. I'm in the same situation (accountability, not filtering), so if I understand the process well enough, there's no reason that CE can't continue to monitor my activity when its connect to CE servers is spotty or interrupted, and then upload later within a reasonable amount of time. 

While I'm excited for this improved release to drop, I think that if I even see one pop-up, it will be one too many, given that I'm simply using it to record my activity (it should simply be able to do that regardless of its own connectivity).

That aside...I'm truly hoping that some dev could sneak in a boolean option in preferences to disable the popup altogether (just for our blood pressure's sake). 
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John, Official Rep

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When the update release drops, if I understand correctly, you will not get the pop up message that you have been receiving. We have had lots of conversations about this internally, even this week.

There are 2 cases where you will still get messages however, 

1. If you go to log in, and have not successfully logged in on that particular device before, AND you have no internet. You will get an error. (this makes sense)

2. After X amount of hours if your computer has not been able to offload any of the information it is storing locally, you will get a a warning first (think bezel notification, not pop up) and then eventually if it goes for a long period of time without being able to connect, AND it has stored internet traffic, it will shut down until it can send those logs. (our 1st priority has to be making sure we actually hold people accountable)

So essentially the minor internet hiccups that happen in almost every case you guys have described, even if they last hours, will not result in a pop up. 

As a side note, there also has been talk about adding in ways to disable notifications altogether. No promises on that, but it is not off the table.

Thanks for your persistence, and the way in which you have handled it so far. We really appreciate the willingness to converse with us.

If you guys are interested I will post a link to the beta version as soon as it is ready for outside testing.  (think weeks, not days, sorry)

Have a good weekend
(Edited)
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Jonathan

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Thanks John! Really appreciate your help and attention to this issue. I would be happy to test a beta version as soon as it drops. 
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Tom Perkins

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Oh, the irony.  I just uninstalled CE. I travel a lot and lousy wifi seems to go hand-in-hand with hotels, no matter the price. Some people talk like it happens several times a day or "multiple times an hour". How about every five seconds!! No, NOT an exaggeration. The only thing that will get CE's attention is to ask for your money back and I intend to do that. No, not cutting my nose off to spite my face. 80% of my job is online. I can handle blackouts but I can't handle pop ups. Does not matter if you turn wifi off, it still does popups. 
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John, Official Rep

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Hey Tom,

I appreciate your frustration. I understand that connecting at WiFi hotspots can be a real pain. I apologize for your experience.

However it is worth mentioning that there have been many hours and lots of effort put into developing solutions for the problems you have been experiencing. This whole thread exists because we want to communicate and help improve the experience for all of our members.

We hear you loud and clear, we are working on a solution. 

Thanks
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Tom Perkins

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"Covenant Eyes has detected a problem with your attitude."
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Tom Perkins

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Now they're getting personal.
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jdg

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Just to throw in some solidarity with the other commenters, I get this dialog box 60+ times a day. Insane. I've had it three times since typing this comment.
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Southpaw102

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Just got done reading this whole thread. I get this notification every time I open my Macbook pro. Not sure why though, because my wifi connects really fast. I never saw this message before until the past couple of weeks. Happens every time I open my mac now, whether at home or on campus.

Lastly, I too want to throw in my request for an option to disable specific pop ups. Be able to select which pop ups we'd like and which we don't. The notification that has been discussed on this thread is an obvious one. Another one that I'd like to turn off is the "your internet will be disabled in 10 minutes" notification for those of us that have asked our filter guardians to shut off our internet at nights.
I was showing my roommate a funny youtube video when the covenant eyes pop up showed up saying my internet would be cut off in 10 minutes. It was so awkward. I ignored his question about what the pop up was (continuing to watch the video). When the video clip ended I had thought up an explination (that i waste to much time and installed a browser extension that shuts off my internet if i've been on too long).
Anyway, I understand why it pops up to warn you and in most cases can be a life saver if you need to finish someting up. However, shouldn't it be an option whether you want it or not? If I know that my internet is going to shut off and i'm confident I don't need the reminder I should have this option.
 
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Logan

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Southpaw102, sorry to hear this is a problem for you.  I had a particularly rough weekend Covenant Eyes-wise and this alert box. Made watching movies with my wife a mess of interruptions, even though the connection reestablished almost every time before running out of video buffer.  :(
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Jonathan

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Same for me—anytime that any type of streaming media starts to play, I'm interrupted with an alert. In this particular instance, it's not even a connectivity issue—the alert simply pops up exactly as the streaming media begins—I've found that if I want to avoid subsequent interruptions, I can drag the alert so it's mostly off the screen and as long as there is an active alert, it seems to block additional ones from taking focus. Who knew we'd be working out such elegant solutions in 2014 on our state of the art machines/software?
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John, Official Rep

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Hey Guys,

I winced when I read this. Literally.

So the good news is that work is progressing really well. All of the early tests are extremely positive results, especially with regard to issues like you guys are having. I have been in communication regularly with the team, and will have an update again for you as soon as I can pry it from the developers hands. 

I will be entirely satisfied when (to quote every Apple keynote ever) the program "Simply Works"
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benson lee

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@John, I know we haven't seen a release that definitively fixes this yet, but thanks for your empathy, classiness, forthright communication, and advocacy on behalf of Covenant Eyes users on this issue. It hasn't gone unnoticed!
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Southpaw102

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Totally agree with Benson.

Wanted to mention that part of the problem with me lately(since this randomly started happening) is that covenant eyes seems to take up to 30 seconds to "sign in" every time I open my macbook (which seems like forever since I'm used to opening my macbook and jumping onto my email or whatever instantly) And because of that this notification pops up. This didn't used to happen to me with covenant eyes. Not sure why it started.
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Jake, Employee

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Being unable to connect after opening my macbook is something that started happening for me when I upgraded to Mavericks (interestingly enough) with or without Covenant Eyes installed. Granted, having Covenant Eyes installed does seem to exacerbate the issue.

Something that has helped me is turning my wifi off and then on. Instead of 30 seconds, you are looking at about 4-5.

Side note:
I have since upgraded to the Yosemite Beta which seems to have the same wifi issue. I will not be upgrading to full on Yosemite until apple has worked out the bugs. There have been way too many reports of people upgrading from the beta and basically breaking their macs.

Jake
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Southpaw102

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Thats probably it, thanks for the info. I did recently upgrade to mavericks. Though it has been a couple months and this started to happen like 3 weeks ago. 
As far as yosemite goes yeah, there are always bugs with upgrades, which is why I wait after several updates before I upgrade.
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jdg

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This is interesting. I started having this problem too, but it actually never occurred to me that this had anything to do with covenant eyes. I never had problems with Mavericks, but I did run the Yosemite beta, which also didn't give me this issue. Maybe it was when I got on the final Golden Master version of the Yosemite beta or something. But it was the same day we replaced our router and I have assumed it was related to that, until you all started to mention it.
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Peter Thomson

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I began to have this problem only after upgrading to Yosemite. 5-6 messages a day. Very random. Not after sleep. Interestingly, I get the pop-ups even while streaming music via iTunes radio on an iMac.
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benson lee

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Just another data point: I recently upgraded to Mavericks, and I get this prompt every single time I start a Google Hangout. 
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Logan

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Hi, John and the OSX dev team: I started my work week this morning and just endured six popups in just over a minute.  

I don't feel that nagging is a respectful way for us clients to approach this, but hopefully the politely squeaky wheel gets the oil.  So, everything else about Covenant Eyes is working fine, but the interruptions are still a real problem.  I feel guilty about looking for competitor software the other day out of sheer frustration, but CE customer support is apparently better than the other options out there.  Rock and a hard place.
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Jonathan

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but hopefully the politely squeaky wheel gets the oil...
Haha, this got a smile out of me this morning. Can't wait to test a beta version—I'll take buggy improvement (or no bugs at all—rockstar devs!) any day of the week over stale sameness (well, maybe....if the bugginess came in the form of alert popups informing me of anomalies in my internet connection then I'd hold off for a bit).

;)
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John, Official Rep

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Hey Logan and Jonathan,

Just want to throw out that I have personally dropped your names in various meetings about this topic, and we (Covenant Eyes) really appreciate both the persistence and respect that you have shown through this. 

I do not have a great update for you at this time.  Work has not slowed, a couple unforeseen bugs have been hammered out and I should hopefully be able to come back very soon with more info. 

As far as pop up messages go, most of them will actually be removed entirely in the early beta stages of the new build. We then will need to decide when/how to place those kind of notifications back into the client... which is where the input you have already provided and (I expect) will continue to provide will be most influential.

In the meantime thanks again for your honesty and desire to maintain integrity online.
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John, Official Rep

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Logan & Jonathan,

I have a couple of more direct things to talk to you about, would you mind sending me your Covenant Eyes usernames? Email them to getsat@covenanteyes.com 

I will be in touch soon (as in maybe today!)

Thanks
(Edited)
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Logan

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Email is away!   
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John, Official Rep

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Excellent. Thanks
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Jonathan

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Good morning John, did my email ever make it to you? I sent it last week not long after you posted. Just thought I'd check ;)
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John, Official Rep

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Yep! I got both of them.

A couple of new developments made me hold off on getting feedback (positive developments) Look to hear something soon

**Edit** Email Sent
(Edited)
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John, Official Rep

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can you gentlemen confirm that you received the email whenever you have a moment?
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Logan

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Received, installed, running buttery smooth despite wifi signal strength/device competition as bad as ever.  (tentative yay)
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Josh Wong

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Nice! Any word on when the fix is available for others? =D
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Logan

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Still not a single hiccup so far (a day later).  By this time I'd've expected to have seen anywhere from a few to a few dozen at the most alert boxes within 24 hours.
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Logan

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Stil not a single problem or hiccup to report, almost a week out.  So far appears fully stable and (importantly) silent when I need to focus.

It does seem to be running a lot of threads (21-23, top five among all open programs behind kernel, Chrome and Safari...?), also, it is top ten for idle wake-ups (3).  However, its energy drain is reported as negligible.
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John, Official Rep

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Great Logan, thanks

Have your reports looked normal? (not that we expect any problems, we just want to know)
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Logan

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Huh, the above post was me, Logan.  I guess one of my students was still logged into Gmail on my work laptop (a half dozen of them logged in to Google Drive to download some end-of-semester classroom Powerpoint presentations yesterday).  Anyway, mods, if you could reassign the parent post to me or delete it to prevent confusion, that would be OK.

In other news, CE is still running in a good way like a submarine--silent but deadly...? (No irritating popups, logging traffic just fine)

Question for John: above, you mention that CE will shut down due to "being tired and shagged out following a prolonged [inability to] squawk" back to the CE servers (1). I'm the kind of user that will likely trigger this symptom, whenever I travel on field research or teach a field course.  Once that shutdown happens,  will we need to do anything to reassert network connectivity, or will it be automagic once the WIFI shows up cleanly?  Sometimes we have internet but not cellphone coverage way out in the field, as with satellite data connections, so calling the CSR hotline may not help in that case.

Thank you!

Logan

1. Monty Python's Flying Circus, Dead Parrot 
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John, Official Rep

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Logan,

I removed the post in question, (I was quite befuddled when it showed up, thanks for clarifying) and I am glad to hear that the software is running well.

On the matter of squawking, under normal circumstances, as soon as CE detects an open internet connection it will automatically try to send up a fresh squawk to our servers. Assuming that the squawk becomes the twilight squawk (2)  and CE gets a response back from our servers, the lockdown will lift and you will be able to once again use the internet without incident. 

Where this gets a bit tricky is if: say you exhaust CE's squawking ability and THEN you try to connect at a WiFi hotspot that requires a Terms & Condition page or some sort of other authentication, you may have to fiddle with it a bit to get that resolved (for now). The software is being designed to cover these kinds of situations as well, but that is still being polished. These are the situations where we are still looking at how to deliver feedback, in cases where CE is just flat out unable to squawk home and get a response from our servers, and has been unable to for an extended period of time. 

Assuming you were in the case you mentioned earlier, and when you got to an internet connection that was preventing CE from squawking, (for whatever reason) how would you want to receive notice about the trouble? 

Thanks

(2) See Twilight Bark from 101 Dalmatians
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Rob Tull

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John, hope you don't mind me commenting here. Personally, I would prefer that you route the notifications through the standard OS X notifications framework. That framework native to the OS provides a high level of control over how to notifications are handled and would allow a default more prominent notification but give those of us who want an alternate display the ability to configure it accordingly - without placing a lot of the burden for that work on your programmers.

Also, like what I'm seeing in this thread. Any willingness to let others of us in on the beta?
(Edited)
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John, Official Rep

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Rob,

First,  I do not mind the comments at all. Thank you for commenting, and the same goes for anyone else who feels like chiming in. We really appreciate this kind of feedback. 

Second: I do not hold the keys to the beta. I technically just liaise between the Mac team and Get Satisfaction. (I live in the mobile realm, iOS and Android, as far as actually being able to directly handle that sort of thing) HOWEVER i will get with our Mac team today and see how they feel about adding testers. I know that there are still some hangups with Filtering, so if you run the filter they may be less inclined to let you suffer through the incomplete work as it stands currently.

thanks
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Rob Tull

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Thanks for the response! I don't use filtering at all - I'm an accountability only user.

Also, I'd be more than happy to help with anything iOS related as I'm also a heavy user of that browser.
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John, Official Rep

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Follow Up:

We are not accepting any more Mac beta testers at this moment, sorry. The good news is that we are coming really close to open beta! (which we would love to have you participate in) No ETA (even if i knew one I could not post it) but soon. 

Stay tuned
(Edited)
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Cupcake 35521

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say you exhaust CE's squawking ability and THEN you try to connect at a WiFi hotspot that requires ... authentication, you may have to fiddle with it a bit to get that resolved...  

I'm 100% OK with wrestling with a lockdown by rebooting / cycling wifi radio power / whatever, as long as I can indeed get through eventually.  I mean, we have to fix our power equipment with hammers at times, so this is mild by comparison.  

Prolonged disconnectivity is an edge case for sure, and nowhere near as frustrating as unavoidable alert boxes (which still have not showed up on the beta despite my wifi connection dying and reasserting at least three times in the past ten minutes that I'm aware of here at work!).

Assuming [prolonged disconnection and lockout] how would you want to receive notice about the trouble? 

I advocate Notification Center integration, as Rob Tull notes above.  It is the robust, configurable, elegant, right solution.  I accept that this solution would take dev the longest, but I'm only exposed to this potential problem once a year for a month-long wildlands field course anyway, and I can wait for implementation. 

Failing that, badge/change the CE icon in the menubar up top.  CE has us trained to glance there for the closed eye/open eye icon for CE backend connectivity status anyway.  I'd be perfectly happy with that. The critical factor is that I choose to seek the information, it isn't spammed in front of me.  With a single discretionary click on the eye icon, I'd read a brief status message and next-action hint. ("call CE support, get better wifi, etc.")

Failing that, launch the regular CE window (the one that asks for login credentials, for example) that can be moved around, is not modal, can be minimized, dismissed, etc. That way, your users can keep working through the problem instead of breaking the workflow to dismiss a popup.  There, provide the same status sitrep and next-action hint.

EDIT: I have to admit, I'm pleasantly astonished that you, John, have stuck with the original alert box issue with us for months now, and that we're seeing effective movement on it.  This situation is playing out as one of the best corporation-with-excellence interactions I've ever blundered into encountered.  Thank you, and to my fellow users, things are looking up(3) quite a bit.  Imagine the CE accountability client working exactly as it should: fault-tolerant, quiet, and effective.

3. Billie Holiday, "Things Are Looking Up"
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John, Official Rep

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This is how things should* work in an ideal setting. I can't promise that we can prioritize every issue that gets brought to the surface like this (we really only have so much dev power) but I can promise that we are listening and we care.

Covenant Eyes is a company that was founded by a guy who was trying to protect his family, as we grow it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the relationships that made us who we are today. Thanks for sticking with us as we try and deliver an outstanding experience, and please feel free to continue to be a part of the forum here. 

For now, I'll just leave you with this little tidbit...

Cheers
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Tim Frankovich

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I'm joining the chorus. Ever since I upgraded to Yosemite, the pop-ups will not go away. And I'm not even using Wi-fi! I'm using a direct ethernet connection! Under 2.6, I would get a pop-up every single time I started, paused, or stopped a streaming video of any kind. Also random occurrences every so often. I upgraded to 2.6.1 yesterday and the incidents with streaming video seem to have been fixed, but the random occurrences are still happening. 
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John, Official Rep

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Yosemite has some pretty well known wifi issues, and it is possible that some of the troubleshooting they have provided may be able to help in the short term.

The good news is that our work on solving the "Network Down" problem from our end is looking extremely promising. It still has some quirks that need to be worked out, but I am very pleased with the direction they are taking. As soon as it is ready for outside testing we will place a link here, and will look forward to getting feedback
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Tim Frankovich

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I'm not using wifi.

And I was wrong - the incidents with streaming video have resumed. I get the pop-up every time I start, pause, or stop a video.
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Bart Barber

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Just chiming in so you know that there is another person eagerly awaiting a solution to this one.
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Ben

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One more vote for a solution here. Any time I try to connect to a network that requires additional web authentication (e.g., a public wifi network), CE spams this message until I get connected, if I can even get that far, and then continues to spam the message periodically. I have Windows installed on Bootcamp on my MacBook Pro without CE primarily so I don't have to deal with this issue.
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John, Official Rep

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Thanks for chiming in guys.

Stay tuned, as soon as we have something that we can release, I will come back and post information here. Hopefully Soon* 

*Soon expresses no promise of actual release date just an optimism that we are getting close that may not be representative of actual development time. 
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John, Official Rep

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Official Response
Alright Everyone, 

The day has arrived! Thanks so much for your patience on this matter. Please visit this thread here to check out the newest open beta which should fix the issue. I would also request that we put any future feedback in that thread instead of this one.

Thanks so much for your patience as we worked this through. 

Whooo!
(Edited)
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Rob Tull

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Thanks for your patience and work as an ambassador here John. It is much appreciated!
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Peter Thomson

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I've been trying to pay careful attention to when the pop-up happens, and I can say with a fair amount of certainty that it is almost always when some sort of video starts in Safari. Could be on Facebook, a Youtube link or on a site. I don't always get the pop-up, but when I do, it is because of a video.