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I'm currently working in a bank, and while about 99.7% of the internet is blocked, Stack Exchange thankfully isn't (yet) however imgur is.

It means I can't view images posted alongside questions. The only workaround I have found is to search Google images for the URL, but you get a tiny thumbnail image which is a bit useless.

Does anybody know any clever tricks for viewing the images accompanying questions when you are somewhere where imgur is blocked?

Are there any plans to route the images stored on imgur through a Stack Exchange URL?

  • VPN, web proxy, Ultrasurf Circumventing your corporate firewall could get you in trouble though. Perhaps you could explain the sysadmins why you need access to imgur? – Stijn Nov 27 '13 at 15:35
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    Unfortunately, there's not much you can do that wouldn't violate your company's policies, except try to get that changed. Being familiar with that situation, I suspect that's highly unlikely. – Andrew Barber Nov 27 '13 at 15:35
  • hmph as I feared. Was asking on the off-chance there may be something clever on StackApps that I had missed, or something similar. Thanks! – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 15:41
  • Probably not a solution to your problem, but are you able to check using another browser? When at the office, I am unable to see imgur images when using Chrome, but Firefox works, and I think IE works too but I don't use it enough to be sure of that. – psubsee2003 Nov 27 '13 at 16:23
  • @psubsee2003 Interesting... could it be due to the computer's default Internet proxy settings, and maybe Firefox doesn't use them? – Andrew Barber Nov 27 '13 at 16:25
  • Nah tested on any browser I can get running, I get that lovely websense blocked page when I try and visit the site itself, thanks guys, will run with @Wont's suggestion but not holding my breath! – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 16:26
  • @AndrewBarber I haven't cared enough to investigate, but I don't get live updates on Chrome either, but do get it on Firefox. But I do get other proxy messages through Firefox (such as other blocked sites), so I'm not sure that is the case. I've actually assumed it was a local, browser specific issue. – psubsee2003 Nov 27 '13 at 16:29
  • I discovered a simple solution! Don't use the internet there! – Cole Johnson Nov 27 '13 at 20:07
  • What @ColeJohnson said. Tether your phone, connect, voila. – gitsitgo Nov 27 '13 at 20:19
  • @gitsitgo To do that I would need to open up the computer and physically re-connect the front USB ports (the two on the MB are used for keyboard/mouse), then work out how to get around the Windows restrictions currently applying to the back ones, they might not be too cool with that to be honest! – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 20:32
  • @JMK Yeah that sounds difficult, my bad, I assumed your desktop could go on wireless. – gitsitgo Nov 27 '13 at 20:40
  • @gitsitgo Nope, i gather it's a fairly common setup in banks with PCI etc which I fully understand but thanks for the suggestion! :) – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 20:44
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    one fairly clever trick that comes to mind is 1) find job-relevant question(s) with job-relevant image(s) 2) escalate through official channels request to whitelist http://i.stack.imgur.com/ justifying this by the fact that blocking it puts an obstacle in performing your job function – gnat Nov 27 '13 at 21:26
  • @gnat totally, however I am sub-contracted into the bank and our work web-mail is also blocked, and I have been trying to fix that, so I don't fancy my chances but worth a try :) – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 21:57
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I suggest you ask that they carve out a hole for i.stack.imgur.com in the firewall.

It's too bad, because this is a pretty funny picture.

enter image description here

  • You've given me something to look forward to for when I get home, it better be funny! – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 16:23
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    You are mean, Won't. Very, very mean. Oh; and that's a good answer, because that might be specific enough for their IT folks to consider. – Andrew Barber Nov 27 '13 at 16:24
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    @AndrewBarber he Won't care how people feel ;) punpunpunpun – Cole Johnson Nov 27 '13 at 20:08
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    @ColeJohnson Yes he Will ;) punpunpunpun!!! – Andrew Barber Nov 27 '13 at 20:09
  • @Wont Home now, image indeed funny, you got lucky! – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 20:35
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    This is basically what happens at my work. Imgur is blocked, I.stack.imgur is fine. – ben is uǝq backwards Nov 27 '13 at 23:17
5

I guess not, but if after clicking "Unblock" on http://unblocksit.es/unblock/imgur.com/ (to get some cookie) you see two images here:

Curious bunny This should show a curious bunny; did you click Unblock first? http://i.stack.imgur.com.prx2.unblocksit.es/tfSdv.png

...then you can rewrite http://i.stack.imgur.com/tfSdv.png to use the unblocksit.es proxy, yielding http://i.stack.imgur.com.prx2.unblocksit.es/tfSdv.png

A userscript might help doing the rewriting on the fly. Or as jQuery is loaded on Stack Exchange anyway, one could save this as a bookmarklet to rewrite on demand:

function r(i, v) {
  return v===undefined ? v : 
    v.replace(
      /(http)s?(.*)(imgur\.com|gravatar\.com)\/(.*)/,
      '$1$2$3.prx2.unblocksit.es/$4'
    );
}
$('img').attr('src', r);

(This will also rewrite https Gravatar URLs to use http with that proxy.)

Of course, more sites like these can be found, maybe some that doesn't need a cookie.

  • Thanks, however I'm at home now (on my own internet connection) and don't see the image! – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 19:52
  • Wow, that's weird...! Could some virus scanner be blocking it, and if so: is there something I need to know? – Arjan Nov 27 '13 at 19:53
  • On Firefox on Ubuntu I don't see anything, on Chrome I see an image placeholder! – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 19:55
  • I don't see the image either.. – Josh Crozier Nov 27 '13 at 19:55
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    Ah, maybe too many people asked for the image already. web-sniffer.net is blocked for its user agent; maybe somehow your browser is blocked too. Ah, or maybe I have a cookie after visiting their website. – Arjan Nov 27 '13 at 19:56
  • aah makes sense, thanks for the answer though, something to think about (and test out when I get into work in the morning) +1 – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 19:57
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    Yep, you need a cookie, see the edit. Maybe we can find another proxy that doesn't need one, @JMK. On Cannot see pictures on Stack Overflow the solutions were filmot.com and imgur.voxcdn.com, but those never worked for i.stack.imgur, and seem to have died anyway. – Arjan Nov 27 '13 at 19:59
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    Is there an unblocker for unblocksit.es? ;) – Andrew Barber Nov 27 '13 at 20:12
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    If we start that, it's just going to get into this ridiculous Russian Doll situation, but @Arjan, thanks very much, will check it out – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 20:15
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    I thought you were referring to the Mysterious Butt, but that is unrelated :-) – Arjan Nov 27 '13 at 20:18
  • (As an aside, @JMK, you might also run into issues with third-party cookies, with this proxy. One could easily set up a private proxy using some Apache rewriting on one's own domain. But I guess one would get many users and be potentially blocked if too many people know about it...) – Arjan Nov 27 '13 at 20:21
  • @Arjan Good point, I might fire something hackish onto a free Azure website for my personal use only and see how far that gets me! – JMK Nov 27 '13 at 20:51
  • This post is dangerous, viewing a site unblocker for any reason can land people in hot water under some IT departments (education comes to mind immediately, though I'd imagine other cases exist) – ζ-- May 22 '14 at 20:55
3

There is an option for this, but it takes work.

  1. Write a user script that looks for *.imgur.com images, cranks up a JSONP request to a server you have, which fetches said images and returns urls to them. (Or, CORS, if you aren't restricted to old browsers)
  2. Upon getting the list of images back, rewrite the image URLs in the current document, now served by something you can actually access

This is heavily dependent on you being able to poke a hole for something other than Imgur at the great corporate nannywall, but might be easier than asking for a loosely moderated image hosting site to be allowed (thinking in devil's advocate mode).

The other option is to come to work dressed up as a Nyan cat in protest until they relax policies, but that could lead to unexpected results.

  • Nobody will be able to resist such a thing - that's an excellent idea! :-) – Shadow The Princess Wizard Mar 17 '14 at 15:14
  • Why the JSONP or CORS? Why not rewrite to one's own server URLs right away? (And have that server proxy the images when requested.) – Arjan May 22 '14 at 22:30

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