Unacceptable security policy on Sparkol use

  •  I am really unhappy about the Sparkol use policy, and I believe it is totally unacceptable and hope the community supports this. This week I was on a 12 hr flight to Tokyo planning to spend most of the time working on scribes that I needed to finish. I even spent a few hours preparing outlines, gathering material etc. Just before I boarded the plane, I made sure that all my online scribes were local so that I could access them.

    GUESS WHAT FOLKS ....nothing, nada, could not use for entire 12 hour flight...LOCKED OUT!!! WHY SUCH A STUPID AND UNREASONABLE SYSTEM. Well it turns out, that the last access I had was ONLINE. WHen I tried to log in on the plane, the only explanation I can come up with is that it tried to log on the LAST USAGE which was online....Now HOW blinkin STUPID is that. If I dont have internet access, the chances of be being able to go on line are approx zero. So the very stupid Sparkol security came to the conclusion I could not log in...Tried 50 different approaches, none worked including creating new scribes, NOTHING worked. Needless to say, one of my targets now is to find out where the security is and post an unlock mechanism. This is not a reasonable working model for a software package I paid over $500 to have access to. Come on sparkol people, when you shut out your paying customers, dont expect me to sing your praises.

  • Hi JP, 

    Your post concerned me as I also need to travel regularly and don't always have an internet connection, so I logged out of VS, tuned off my internet connection, restarted my machine without an internet connection and went back into VS to see if it is the same for me but I logged in without any problems. All of my locally stored scribes are there and I was able to continue working without the internet. 

    It sounds like someone from Sparkol support needs to give you a hand to work out what is going on. 



  • As ryan suggested, I think it is all about understanding how the offline login works and following some specific steps.

    I believe the KEY for successfully logging in with no internet connection is that your most recent online session needs to have been started AND EXITED properly with the "remember me" setting selected. You will probably need to manually disable all internet connectivity. (and you have to be a pro member)

    (you will not be able to access online scribes while working in offline mode.)

    If you just let the previous session time out or if your laptop went into standby mode or sleep mode and disconnected you or if you used a different login or retyped your login info on the login screen instead of using "remember me", then it may not work. Laptops and portable devices can present a variety of behaviors that affect videoscribe logins, mainly due to power conservation setting disabling the network connection.

    As a test, (with "remember me" enabled) login ONLINE successfully. then log out and exit videoscribe (don't just leave videoscribe running and close your laptop for example). Then disable your internet connection, open videoscribe and click the LOG IN button with the information that is already filled in.

    (if the username and password are not already filled in for you then that is the problem we need to address next)

    The above steps allowed me to successfully login without an internet connection. I hope they work for you too.

    -Mike (videoscribe user)


  • (I'm not saying that it is obvious or intuitive. I  am just saying I think that is the way you can make it work the way it should)


  • Yes - you are all right - BUT there is a caveat - It appears to be true that the critical thing is that you MUST log out when in local mode....AND you MUST turn off your connection totally. For example, if your computer even thinks there is a viable connection, but you cant log in, you WON'T be able to use Sparkol. I use an AT&T mobile device to link my computer when I am not in normal wireless connection. The computer actually thinks that this device can connect to the internet because the computer can connect to the ATT device. BUT I was on a plane at 35,000 feet and there was actually NO internet at all, but good ole' SParkol decided that there was internet and so it put up all sorts of security "features" that caused my problems. So there are some rules:
    1. Just don't use online saving...
    2. Physically turn off your wireless connection on your computer BEFORE trying to login. If you dont, once you log in even once incorrectly, you are dead! Sparkol apparently creates some kind of security feature which shuts you down.

    I actually did some tests and made a movie which is very scary. There is a bug in the system that defaults to online saving under certain conditions and it actually DELETES your scribe instead of saving it. I tested and recorded this process twice to prove my point and I will post it. I ended up permanently deleting two scribes that I had worked on for some hours - after it telling me multiple times it was saving, but in fact it was not.


  • I guess it is because of my limited computer resources for what I do that I am in the habit of closing all of my software correctly. 

    It just tells me that Sparkol needs to create their login system a little more robust based on the way people actually use the application rather than how it is designed to be used - that is an Apple philosophy. 

  • Hello to everyone in this community post.

    Firstly, I've moved the post into 'Questions and Answers' to enable support to spot updates more easily.

    Secondly, If we can find what's going wrong with the offline mode then we'd love to get it fixed for you, and everyone else.

    I'm had a go myself, following JP's instructions as best I could (I didn't go in a plane!) The only issue I achieved was a crash on one of the times I tried to close VideoScribe having gone from being online to going offline, but that may not have been related: I was able to get back in fine.

    I haven't tested the 'thinking you're online when you're not' scenario as I don't have access to the router here, but if that looks like the problem then we can get that tested.

    I'd be really interested to see the video, JP, as it might shed some light on what's been happening for you.

    Just to clarify about the whole 'saving online' thing: at the moment (version 2.0.x) the online store is thought of as 'save a copy online' so continue to use your local store for scribes and, when you want to, save a copy of your scribe online.  I hope that makes sense.



  • OK, so i made a short video to demonstrate how to destroy an existing scribe when off line. I destroyed at least 2 scribes before I realized what was going on. I dont know if this still happens in V2 ...
    the following youtube is not public and can only be access by knowing this link


    Perhaps there is something else that one has to do when you are going to work offline, but since I spend untold hours on very long flights, I find its a convenient time to work on scribes...(well when I can get it to work). But I dont like killing off scribes I have been working on either...


  • Thanks for making the video JP

    I can see that you're still frustrated about this.  Losing work is awful.

    So there's clearly a bug.  VideoScribe shouldn't tell you it's successfully saved when it hasn't.  There's also the fact that you clicked the 'x' where VideoScribe was trying to save; stopping the save process.  

    The video is of version 1.4.  We made a change in the save process going from 1.3 to 1.4 and this may be where the bug was introduced.  The great news, of course, is that we've made another change in the save process in the next update we released: version 2.0 saves locally and then makes a copy online.

    So we've already fixed this and I recommend you upgrade to version 2.0.1 as soon as possible so as never to experience this again.

    If there are any further thoughts on security policy please let's have them.  We want VideoScribe to be as secure, yet usable, as possible.


  • Ian
    thanks - yes what I would really like is to make sure the offline operation is secure. I realize that most people will not work off-line - but I travel a lot and work on the plane....and I also identified another issue and that is if you are working on line on the plane with wifi- and the wifi goes off....if you try to save after the connection is broken, you can lose the scribe as Sparkol gets confused presumably related to your security mechanism. It refuses to save, but like I showed on the video, it can also end up deleting the material in the scribe you are working on. I have not tried to work offline with V2 but I will try before my next trip to see how it behaves.


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