Archive for the 'General' Category

iOS7 Mail Question

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

AnonymZ, I guess

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

A new-to-me anonymizing referrer appeared in the referrer logs today, AnonymZ.Com.

From the Web site:

To make a long story short: anonymz.com is a free and easy way to block the referrer when a visitor clicks a link on your homepage. It works with every browser as you do only have to add a http://anonymz.com/? in front of every outgoing http:// link. Use it as you want.

Example: http://anonymz.com/?http://www.microsoft.com

A note, this service does *not* block your IP Address, cookies or other information that may be logged when you visit a Web site, it only blocks the referrer of the site you may have clicked a link.

Kobo Touch eReader User Agent

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Long time reader Harald shared his new Kobo Touch eReader with cleverhack.

Interestingly enough, the browser shows as Safari 1.3 in logs, which is an absurdly old Safari version.

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.0; en-us;) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1 (Kobo Touch)

Nook User Agent

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

I had no idea you could browse the Web on a Nook.

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2.1; en-us; NOOK BNRV200 Build/ERD79 1.4.3) Apple WebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1

Here’s an IP address you don’t see that often

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

in your Web site logs…an IP address from the range of 2.102.206.* Wow.

That’s an IP4 address starting with a 2. As someone fascinated with the history of the Internet, I find this pretty cool.

It’s a RIPE address (European) and assigned to the UK.

Rogue SEO spells out oh so not awesome

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

So earlier today I was doing some catching up on Google Alerts for some domains that I manage.

And I kept on finding pages which were unusually formatted.

When I first noticed these pages the middle of last week, I took them for a stupidly overzealous SEO who was planting link farms on sites he owns.

Now, I don’t think so - after examining a number of these rogue SEO pages, it looks like someone is taking advantage of an exploit in Apache to post directories full of these rogue SEO pages, to boost their page rank (while adding outside links on these rogue pages to, I guess, appear genuine).

All of the pages I’ve found are on machines running Apache in shared hosting settings with poorly maintained / designed parent sites. That sure as heck points to exploit.

Take for example the page I posted above. The full URL looks like http://destinationconcerts.com/tmp416/cnf336/neurology_49.htm.

Since, like I noted before, the site is poorly maintained which means you can go ahead and browse the parent directories. The main Web site seems to be a homepage (created in Microsoft FrontPage) for a concert promoter in Allentown, PA. The hosting provider is E-Commerce, Inc. And this was just one, out of a number of pages that I found hosted by E-Commerce, Inc. I also found other pages on sites hosted by The Planet and, irony abounding, The Institute for Intelligence Studies at Mercyhurst College.

So, just who is planting these pages and why?

Don’t like Shyftr? Block the IP.

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

This past weekend there’s been a conversation about Shyftr a new RSS service that allows people to read and comment on full text stories on the Shyftr site, rather making the reader click through to the originating blog to comment. The thought is that folks who care about pageviews for advertising will lose out in such a scenario.

So, in the spirit of helping the wider, feathers in a ruffle, blogging community out, I’ve pasted the Shyftr RSS bot info below. The good news is that you can block the Shyftr IP address from accessing your blog (if you already have that capability through your blog hosting solution, etc.). As of present, the IP address is 66.234.234.34.

Unlike other annoying bots, I would not block the user agent in your .htaccess file as the RSS bot software the Shyftr folks are using is the generic MagpieRSS toolset, which is used by other RSS services. Hopefully, the people at Shyftr will rename the user agent to something more uniquely identifiable in the future so you can block via .htaccess.

(Note: Blocking a future unique Shyftr user agent via robots.txt probably won’t work as the crawler would need to fetch the robots.txt file first before fetching your feed and I didn’t see that behavior tonight.)

Host: 66.234.234.34
*
/feed
Http Code: 200 Date: Apr 12 19:48:28 Http Version: HTTP/1.0 Size in Bytes: 6244
Referer: -
Agent: MagpieRSS/0.72 (+http://magpierss.sf.net)
*
/favicon.ico
Http Code: 200 Date: Apr 12 19:48:28 Http Version: HTTP/1.0 Size in Bytes: 1406
Referer: -
Agent: -

Brute force SEO: NY Times using keyword tagging in the page title tag

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Building upon a discussion elsewhere on the Web, here’s some brute force SEO for you.

Apparently, the NY Times is inserting tagging in the page META title tag, in the instances where it seems that article headlines lack sufficient keywords. Normally, the Times just carries the article’s headline into the page META title tag.

For example, in the article headlined The Falling-Down Professions, the page title tag reads as “Economic Conditions-Economic trends-legal profession-lawyers-prestige-doctors - New York Times”.

You see, the page title tag is important for SEO as Google in particular lends much weight to the text contained within the title tag.

All in all, the NY Times approach is definitely an interesting methodology for organizations deploying content management systems and who wish to build traffic from search engines.

YouTube spamming

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

I was browsing YouTube tonight for that baby got back wedding dance video, which is actually quite hilarious if you haven’t seen it yet.

Anyway, there I was searching (view search results) and as you can see, that same video was posted multiple times by multiple people. Honestly, I can’t tell who was the original poster.

But I guess my question is why did people repost the video? My best guess is that people are reposting videos so they can get views especially for the About This Video text box and populate their channel subscription numbers. Are there any other reasons I’m missing?

Yahoo Store Shopping Cart Goes Down, Owners Howl On Cyber Monday

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Good grief, Yahoo Small Business really fouled it up big time on “Cyber” Monday. It seems that the shopping cart for both Legacy and Merchant Solutions stores went down for at least 11 hours. Holy Moly.

Considering the types and size of stores that use the Yahoo platform, you’re talking a good guestimate of thousands of dollars lost per store. I’m sure people will be looking for alternate solutions after this.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Yahoo e-commerce store offerings, there are actually two types of platforms, the old pre-2004 legacy stores that are built upon proprietary RTML based templates and if I remember correctly, I believe this platform was bought by Yahoo. Needless to say, RTML is an incredible pain to work with and there are a few small businesses which specialize in RTML programming.

The newer Merchant Solutions stores feature HTML based templates, but doesn’t allow for as many products in a store because of performance issues. And yes, Yahoo charges a per product insertion fee.

From what I’ve read, there was a big update pushed to the stores just before Q4, which included an updated shopping cart and cross sell functionality. Apparently some legacy stores which reverted to the old cart during the outage did restore functionality.

When I worked on the platform, Yahoo tech support was wanting in many areas. Aside from the hold times, a clueful tech was hard to fine and system status messages were not at all verbose. For some reason, Yahoo tends to push updates all the way up to Thanksgiving (I’ve seen it happen when I worked on this platform) and it seemed like this one was a doozy.

The official word out of Yahoo so far is not enlightening, but the store owner comments are. After reading about the outage, I agree with the owners, there is no excuse for Yahoo whether it was traffic or a borked shopping cart.

LargeSmall non-existent

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Looking through my log files, I find a crawler from a company that doesn’t yet quite exist on the Web, the user agent sans descriptive URL looked sorta spammy, so I had to Google them.

Not much on the homepage but a three columned div layout with a Web 2.0 green background, a commented out section in the source code about who is investing in them, and this hyperbole filled description….

“…an exciting new disruptive media and content publishing technology with many interesting applications.”

If anyone can parse that quote (into meaningful dollars), please let me know. All I know is that they are sending a crawler out to fetch feeds, how they are going to parlay that into content, I’m not sure.

Host: 74.86.17.253
/feed/
Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 25 13:42:48 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 21847
Referer: -
Agent: LargeSmall Crawler

Holiday 2007 E-Commerce post

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Christmas is a month away and the 2007 holiday season has officially begun. While online merchants have been preparing for weeks, if not months for these next three and a half weeks, let’s go take a look at e-commerce trends for holiday 2007.

-Since Christmas arrives on a Tuesday this year, this means that the UPS ground deadline looks to be about Tuesday, December 18th for the lower 48. This is good, since the usual cutoff is about the 13th or 14th of December.

-I liked this roundup of Holiday promotions the WSJ found.

-Yes, we should be just a little skeptical of the claims that “Cyber Monday” as being the biggest shopping day of the year online. Hint, it’s not. Mondays are usually the highest traffic days for most Web sites (hence Cyber Monday) but you’ll see that the days just before the UPS ground shipping deadline are the highest volume shopping days. So for Holiday 2007, look for the numbers on Monday December 17th and Tuesday December 18th.

-From the “well, duh” department Web Research Drives More Real-World Purchases. You don’t say…

-It’s interesting that Google has reintroduced the Products link at the top of their homepage. Interesting to note that the link reverts back to Video if you click on some internal Google pages, I’ll bet that the Products link is there just for the holiday season.

However, I’m a little perplexed that with the apparent troubles of Froogle and of Google Base and the ongoing promotion of Google Checkout, why doesn’t Google name the link Shopping rather than Products? Don’t they want people to think of shopping with Google? Products just sounds so generic.

As someone who used to work in retail once said to me, “Christmas comes once a year and we know exactly what day it is.”