* Posts by FoTD

6 posts • joined 14 Jun 2008

Apple tops customer satisfaction poll as rivals' ratings slide

FoTD
Paris Hilton

Apple, possibly more evil than M$?

I don't want this to get into the tierd old debate of which is better, Mac or Windows, that is not the point of my comment. What I wish to point out are purely business ethics differences between Apple and M$. Full disclosure: I don't like either company, nor do I like using their products.

We all know M$ is a horrible, evil company that has abused it's monopoly in the desktop OS market to force things like IE and SilverLight down our throats. But as horrible and evil as they may be, they aren't the ones I am constantly reading about trying to cover up product flaws by threating people with legal action for discussing them on blogs. Nor are they the ones I am constantly reading about message board posts and entire threads being suddenly removed from their tech support areas in order to hide the fact that people are complaining about their products. No, it is Apple that has been doing this to their customers more and more in recent years! So which is more evil, a company that knows they are mass selling crap to us and doesn't care? Or a company that claims to sell perfection but doesn't and then tries to cover it all up with hard core legal tactics? Sure, M$ has lied to us all about plenty of things. And they have probably engaded in some of the activies I am talking about here. But people are constantly complaining about Apple deleting their tech support posts, or message board owners being sent threatening legal letters just because they dared to point out a flaw in Apple's supposed perfection.

I honestly never thought I would call any company more evil than M$, but as much as M$ messes things up they still end up discolsing the facts at the end of the day and admitting to flaws. So I am sorry, but I would have to say at this point that Apple is more evil of a company than M$. How ever I think Apple only gets away with this because they are currently such a small player in the market, and these actions are less visible. Just think of the media scandle that would ensue if M$ tried using some of these Apple tactics to cover up product flaws! If M$ tried pulling an entire message thread from Technet, or threatening a blogger with legal action for openly discussing a product flaw, the press would be ALL OVER THEM! But Apple does this on a regular basis and very few people pay attention.

Appearntly many of their customers are not paying attention to these matters either. If they were I doubt Apple would get the approval rating they did...

So here's to you Apple fan boys! Ignorance truely is bliss!

Paris, because you know she's a Mac user.

AVG disguises fake traffic as IE6

FoTD
Flame

Time For Legal Action!

That's it! AVG and their linkscanner bullshit has got to go. We need some enterprising lawyer to find a way to put a stop to this, some sort of class action lawsuit. I will gladly sign on to any legal action against Girsoft at this point. Just tell me where to sign! I have pen in hand. And I am sure if you post something here, and in Webmaster World, you will get more than enough supporters.

And no Roger, you don't sound "flip", you sound like AN ASS!

AVG scanner blasts internet with fake traffic

FoTD
Dead Vulture

@Stephen Usher

"In the future browsers may walk web page links and pre-cache them for the user in case they need them... should this be banned as well just because the content providers find it inconvenient?"

No, it shouldn't be done because it's a stupid idea. I'm sorry but the Internet is still limited in bandwidth in a number of ways. As an engineering community we do not need to be designing things that waste bandwidth by pre-loading content that may never get used. This is a problem for EVERYONE one, not just the content providers. Pre caching data is a waste of the end users bandwidth, and raises security and privacy concerns as pointed out by many on this forum.

Some people on here have complained about marketing people tracking your browsing habbits. And I agree with some of you, to an extent. I do not like cookies and java stuff being used to track my browsing. How ever as a server admin there is no reason I shouldn't know who is visiting my sites. And as a end user I also find this acceptable that when I visit a web server they know my IP and can track page loads. For a long time we have had a nice arrangement were HTTP clients properly annouce them selves to HTTP servers, and by filtering out rouge agents we can get fairly reliable stats as to how often and by who our sites are being viewed. If you as an end user want to change that relationship it is simply going to result in more of the things we both don't like, tracking cookies and java silliness.

Now, to those of you who are concerned about privacy and marketing, I say this. Using linkscanner will actually allow site owners to get even MORE marketing metrics about users! If I wanted to I could use the hits from the linkscanner user agent to track how many times my sites are being seen on search engine results, and also how many times that turns into a visit from an actual user. So now I know about your browsing habbits with out you having even visited my site! Perhaps some of you need to rethink your support of pre caching and linkscanner style activity...

"After all, the person browsing the site is the customer and the service provider the vendor and the old mantra is "the customer is always right" after all."

You're assuming an aweful lot here. First of all no, the customer is rarely right when it comes to the computer industry. We are talking about a group of people who the majority of them don't even know what the right mouse button is for (ok, bad example for Macs I know). And if you are the customer, I just prooved you wrong in my previous statement, so what does that say about you as a customer? Plus alot of us also run non commercial or non profit sites, where ad dollars are NOT paying for the content and the site owners are burdening the entire cost to bring content to people FOR FREE. Why should they get screwed like this just because Girsoft wants a marketing edge? That is completely unacceptable...

The bottom line here people is that there are some unwritten rules on the Net that you just don't break. It's called common courtesy. If someone leaves a bowl of candy out that says "Take One Free", you take ONE! If you get caught taking more than one then don't be surprised when you get a swift kick in the ass!

Still road kill.

FoTD
Dead Vulture

@Stuart Udall

"Actually, on my Apache, it shows a 302 "Moved Temporarily" message. It does NOT redirect the user, they must click."

I don't know why you have to click. 302 temporary redirect should not require this. And I did test the rule logic with an actual web browser, it auto redirected and I didn't have to click any thing. You could use a permanent redirect by changing the last line to:

RewriteRule ^.*$ http://www.grisoft.com/ [R=301,L]

Infact I think I am going to make that change my self, if linkscanner uses normal conventions it should cache this redirect and reduce the number of repeat requests to my server. I've notice linkscanner will scan the same page several times in a row, from the same IP, with in a short period of time (say 30 min). Which of course is extremely annoying and lame.

"Also from this I assume that the traffic will still be logged locally, thus not solving the skewed stats problem."

I use AWStats, and by default it doesn't count redirects as page hits. So by doing this redirect we have solved our stats skewing problem. Most other stats programs let you define new robots or ignore certain user agents, so you should be able to fix your stats that way. The fact that it is still wasting log space and stats processing time is annoying, but less critical than the wasted bandwidth and stats skewing.

Hopefuly enough people are redirecting this crap back at Girsoft that perhaps now they will finaly pull the plug on this thing. How ever if they retaliate by changing the user agent string then they are asking for an all out arms race against us network admins. We will not tolerate our servers being abused like this. Plus there is of course the potential for legal action, ISPs and data centers do not take kindly to their networks being abused!

Road kill, because that's what it is!

FoTD
Linux

@Timbo

"Any way in which a "robots.txt" file can do the same ??"

No, probably not, and I highly doubt linkscanner bothers to parse robots.txt any way. I assume you pay somone else for hosting and don't have direct control over the web server? You can still use my suggestion if you are hosted on Apache and your ISP allows you to adjust your site settings through the use of a .htaccess file. Add this to your .htaccess file for the site:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ;1813\)$

RewriteRule ^.*$ http://www.grisoft.com/ [R,L]

This turns URL rewrite module on (if they allow this and have it installed) and redirects all requests from the rouge user agent to Girsoft. If you are hosted on IIS server you will probably have to do something in the way of an ASP script instead, and it would need to check the user agent and issue a redirect before serving up the pages content.

FoTD
Flame

I suggest throwing this back in Girsoft's face!

Well, until this problem gets bad enough that we can all ban together and start a class action law suite against Girsoft for effectively DDoSing our HTTP servers, I suggest the following. Instead of allowing them to waste our own bandwidth with their ineffective and misguided attempt at blocking malware laden sites, I recommend all of us web server admins simply redirect this traffic right back at Girsoft! Those of us running Apache can simply add this directive, either server wide or per directory:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ;1813\)$

RewriteRule ^.*$ http://www.grisoft.com/ [R,L]

This of course will redirect all hits from this rouge user agent to Girsoft's own servers. Screw em! Let THEM deal with the traffic burden! And perhaps if enough of us do this Girsoft will get the point and scrap this stupid linkscanner BS. This should work until they change the user agent string, in which case it's either back to the drawing board or time to sue their asses! I for one will be more than glad to sign up for any class action suite someone puts together. Their "product" generates malicious attcivity on the Net and should NOT be tolerated!

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