Archive for the 'Internet' Category

Web 2.0 review - Webwag, MacScour, TagFetch and MyBlogLog

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

I do believe it’s time for another Web 2.0 review…

First things first, I revisited webwag (previous cleverhack posts here and here) yesterday and I am pleased to say that the service is muchly improved since I last reviewed it.

The improvements include webwag user instructions on the main page, instructions on how to add a new feed and widgets, better labeling of the page tabs, a Yahoo search box front and center (heh) and an intuitive way to add and rename page tabs.

Moving on, while messing around on the Web yesterday, I happened to find an Apple news and Mac software updates page called MacScour. The black background reminds me of popurls. The design works (xhtml markup with alt tags even!) and the page renders nicely even though it’s pulling feeds.

MacScour will be entered into my bookmarks.

TagFetch happens to have a neat idea behind it - in this case searching certain Web 2.0 services for a particular tag, but the execution is half-assed. Aside from the page markup, which should be updated, I tried searching tagfetch for a few tags - including a favorite band of mine, a new browser I recently installed and a certain demographic. My searches, at least, timed out on some of the services.

While having a cute dog in your logo will always grab my attention and creating a static page for the tag search is a good idea, I think TagFetch needs some more work in order to be actually usable. I’ll look again in a few weeks to see.

Ending on one very highly addictive note, MyBlogLog happens to be the thinking person’s Orkut, if you could imagine that. I joined MyBlogLog not too long ago when it was still in beta and thought it was going to be yet another blog directory, but new services have been added in the meantime, and now the service offers a way to build a community around your blog. I stumbled upon MyBlogLog yesterday, not realizing that it had already gotten some sweet publicity this week.

Once I updated my profile and added an image on MyBlogLog last night, I started seeing traffic from my profile page and the cleverhack community page. In addition, I added the MyBlogLog widget you see all the way toward the bottom of the sidebar.

We’ll see how much traffic MyBlogLog actually generates for this blog. I will report back on that later.

[tags] Web, Web 2.0, Webwag, Start Page, MacScour, Apple, Mac, TagFetch, Tagging, MyBlogLog, Blogging, Blog Community [/tags]

Firefox 2.0 for Mac OS X- Can’t import bookmarks from file

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Well, I got all fired up about using Firefox 2.0 as my main Web browser on my PowerBook. I went and downloaded it, and when I tried to import my bookmarks from Camino (after exporting those bookmarks into a nifty html file), I couldn’t.

Why? Because the File > Import menu on Firefox 2.0 for Mac OS X does not have a file import capability. It only imports bookmarks from specified browsers such as Safari, Internet Explorer and older versions of Mozilla based browsers.

[tags]Mozilla, Firefox, Firefox 2.0, bookmarks, browser, Web, annoyances [/tags]

on search engines and trust certification authorities

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

First, Didier Stevens has posted an update on the bogus SERP pages serving badware (Didier calls this method spamdexing). In this update, he reveals the overall number of spamdexing sites and analyzes the AOL search data and finds that roughly 1% of AOL users clicked on these spamdexing sites.

Previous cleverhack posts about these sites can be found here and here.

Not too long ago, Ben Edelman posted an article examining the trustworthiness of sites certified by site certification authorities - most notably TRUSTe. His methodology included cross-referencing TRUSTe’s ratings with the findings of SiteAdvisor - and finding that TRUSTe certified some sites that SiteAdvisor did not rate as trustworthy. These findings should be considered when thinking about purchasing a site certification seal for your site or using a site with a certification seal. (And yes, I will admit my bias - of being on the Web for so long to dislike anything trying to show “trust” - against these seals…)

[tags]SERPS, Google, search engines, traffic, spyware, adware, badware, viruses, trojan, dialers, spamdexing, site certification, site trustworthiness, TRUSTe, SiteAdvisor [/tags]

two unknown search tools

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

An easy peasy post to start off the morning about two unknown search tools I’ve been seeing in the logs.

First is which basically acts as a proxy between you and Google. The cachet is that Google can’t track you if you use the service. I see less than 10 referrers from there every few days. Also, scroogle dot com, uh, redirects you to a very not safe for work search engine. You have been warned.

Gridwell is a beta search engine based in the UK. The search engine appears to be a consultancy project and it looks like they’re just getting their feet wet trying out site SERP design ideas such as showing site favicons with results. Their results, as of this writing, are from Yahoo. Here’s the about page for the gridwell search service.

[tags], gridwell, Google, Yahoo, search engines, SERP [/tags]

Siphoned Google traffic used to install badware

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

A few months ago I wrote up a post about how I found some very shifty results on Google search engine result pages. At the time, I found some pages that were essentially mockups of Google SERPs. These pages were all on a .info TLD, had an iframe linking to a website called and had numerous of links at the bottom of each mocked up page linking to other mocked up .info pages. I couldn’t figure out why someone would go through all of that trouble.

Well, as it turns out, Didier Stevens found out why.

Didier examined Google SERPs on and found the Google mockup .info pages were infecting folks with spyware, adware, dialers and other badware. As of this writing, most virus scanners can’t find these infected files. Here’s video of the infection and cleanup.

Didier has also tried to determine the probability of seeing one of these drive by download sites on a Google search query, and the figure is roughly 1 out of 1000.

Of note, these mocked up sites are rife with misspelled words, so if you’re a chronic misspeller I dare say your chances would be higher.

[tags]SERPS, Google, search engines, traffic, spyware, adware, badware, viruses, trojan, dialers [/tags]

MSRBOT update

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Remember the earlier speculation about a bot called MSRBOT and whether it was Microsoft related?

As it turns out, MSRBOT does belong to Microsoft Research in San Jose. The researchers at Microsoft finally put an identifying url in the user agent string.

Http Code: 200 Date: Oct 05 05:22:51 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 7743
Referer: -
Agent: MSRBOT (

[tags]Web, robot, crawler, Microsoft[/tags]


Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Sleipnir is a Web browser based on Internet Explorer and designed for Japanese users. There is an unofficial Yahoo group for Sleipnir users.

Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) Sleipnir/2.47

[tags]Sleipnir, Web browser, Japanese language Web browser[/tags]

talkdigger, now available

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Talkdigger, a site that written about earlier has emerged from alpha. After exploring the site for a bit, I’ve found it to be a usable resource for tracking links and conversation about a site.

Here is the talkdigger cleverhack tracking page.


Vulcan Everest RSS Crawler

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

If you follow the URL found in the user agent string below, you’ll discover that Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s tech company, Vulcan, is developing a new next generation Web services technology. In other words, some sort of RSS reader service.

Agent: RSS-Reader/0.2 (R&D project;

[tags] RSS, RSS crawler, RSS reader, Vulcan, Everest [/tags]


Monday, September 25th, 2006

From the SeaMonkey home page - it’s a Mozilla derived all in one Web browser, e-mail and newsgroup client, IRC client, and HTML editor.

The SeaMonkey project is a community effort to deliver production-quality releases of code derived from the application formerly known as “Mozilla Application Suite”. Whereas the main focus of the Mozilla Foundation is on Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird, our group of dedicated volunteers works to ensure that you can have “everything but the kitchen sink” — and have it stable enough for corporate use.

Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060909 Firefox/ Mnenhy/

[tags]Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Web Browser, Email client, Newsgroup client, IRC client, HTML Editor[/tags]

Get RSS updates with Yahoo Alerts

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Messing around on the Web tonight, I found this nifty Yahoo Alerts service. Yahoo Alerts allows you to receive updates via RSS to your Yahoo Mail, Yahoo IM or Yahoo Mobile account.

And of course, you can try out receiving breaking news such as it’s Saturday night and I just washed my hair cleverhack updates with Yahoo Alerts.

[tags] Yahoo, Yahoo Alerts, RSS, RSS feeds, RSS to Desktop, RSS to IM, RSS to email, RSS to PDA, RSS to Phone [/tags]


Sunday, September 17th, 2006

Feeder/0.2 looks like another in development feed reader/feed aggregator type of service. The originating IP belongs to the creator’s company and the referrer is the creator’s blog.

Http Code: 200 Date: Sep 17 06:28:02 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 25996
Agent: Feeder/0.2

[tags]RSS, RSS reader, RSS aggregator[/tags]