Archive for the 'Tech' Category

MSN HRS

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Does anyone know what MSN HRS is? I received the following referrer from a Qwest DSL IP address. If you go to the MSNHRS page referred below, you see the MSN logo with a HRS designation and a simple login page. The most recent info I could find out about this MSN search was from a post on SEO Roundtable and another one on this blog post from a few days ago.

Perhaps Microsoft is deploying this HRS (human research system or human relevance system) now? What I don’t get is why the user I saw didn’t come from a Microsoft IP.

/blog/archives/2003_08.html
Http Code: 200 Date: Dec 07 21:57:44 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 263429
Referer: http://mshrs.search.msn-int.com/hrsv3/Judging.aspx?QueryID=1096242&UrlIndex=37&
Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.6) Gecko/20060728 Firefox/1.5.0.6

Filseclab

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Filseclab appears to be a consumer oriented software firewall for Windows based machines. Allegedly the creator of the software has been around since 2001, but I hadn’t heard about it before I, of course, noticed the referrer of a visitor. As you can see, the firewall not only customizes the visitor user agent, but also obscures the referrer. For which I see no real exploitable reason to do so.

There’s free and paid professional versions of the software. Users on CNET seem to like it.

[tags]Software, Windows, Firewall [/tags]

/
Http Code: 200 Date: Dec 06 22:14:50 Http Version: HTTP/1.0 Size in Bytes: 60079
Referer: DELBY
Agent: FILSECLAB FIREWALL WWW.FILSECLAB.COM Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)

GoDaddy Domain Forwarding

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

More than a few of my readers have the following scenario. They have a blog hosted on one of the big providers like Typepad or Wordpress.com and they want to redirect a custom domain name to the blog. So, if you type http://cutedomainname.com it will redirect to http://cutedomainname.bigblogprovider.com.

What I am hearing on the street is that the home of famously cheap marketing tactics and the scourge of thousands of parked domains GoDaddy provides domain name forwarding. However, from what I could find online, GoDaddy only provides a 302 temporary redirect for the domain forwarding, not a 301 permanent redirect.

302 Redirected URLs could possibly be subjected to a domain hijacking and but for most people, the bigger issue is that Google doesn’t trust a temporary 302 redirect as much as a 301, which is why real SEOs use 301.

BuzzRanking

Monday, December 4th, 2006

BuzzRanking.com is a not yet released service which promises to track the blogosphere and the buzz around it. Here is the blog entry translated from French to English announcing the upcoming service. In addition the creators do have an information page about the bot, which can be found here.

Host: 213.251.187.124
/robots.txt
Http Code: 200 Date: Dec 02 12:36:18 Http Version: HTTP/1.0 Size in Bytes: 6702
Referer: -
Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; BuzzRankingBot/1.0; +http://www.buzzrankingbot.com/)

[tags]BuzzRanking, BuzzRankingBot, Robots, Crawlers, Spiders, Blogosphere [/tags]

MetaEuro Blog Crawler

Friday, December 1st, 2006

A search engine I suppose that is targeted towards, well, Europe, MetaEuro also has a blog directory. I daresay that the blog directory is even better styled than the plan jane search interface. I haven’t personally seen a referrer from MetaEuro, but the MetaEuro blog crawler visited cleverhack a few days ago.

Host: 85.91.136.210
/feed/
Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 29 09:53:01 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 27088
Referer: -

Agent: MetaEuro.com Blog Crawler (http://www.metaeuro.com/blogs/) Java/0.3.2

[tags]Robots, Crawlers, Spiders, Web, metaeuro, metaeuro blog search [/tags]

Co.mments

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Co.mments.com bills itself as a service which “helps you stay on top of the conversation by keeping you updated of new comments.” Basically, you bookmark comment threads you want to monitor. I haven’t used the service myself, but a reader of mine does, so maybe he will chime in with a (har har) comment about his experiences with it.

The one neat Co.mments feature which I like is the ability to track your bookmarked comments via a RSS feed.

Host: 64.34.192.12

/2006/11/27/explicit-gmail-referrer/

Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 29 18:28:29 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 18764

Referer: -

Agent: CommentTracker/1.0 (http://co.mments.com)

[tags]Co.mments, blog comments, social bookmarking, social bookmarking service, RSS feed, Web 2.0 [/tags]

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IlseBot

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

It never fails to amaze me observing how the Web grows.

IlseBot is a crawler belonging to what I think is a Dutch Web portal called Ilse.nl. The crawler came to my blog, I believe because the particular post it crawled was linked to by a Dutch blogger. Ilsebot was very polite and only crawled the linked post.

Host: 62.69.178.24
/robots.txt
Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 29 04:44:03 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 6702
Referer: -
Agent: IlseBot/1.0

/2006/11/26/kind-of-neat-stuff/
Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 29 04:44:04 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 5728
Referer: -
Agent: IlseBot/1.0

[tags]Robots, Crawlers, Spiders, Web, Ilse.nl, IlseBot [/tags]

Newshutch

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Yet another Web based RSS reader, but I really, really like this one called Newshutch. Newshutch provides another option for those looking for the perfect newsreader. While Newshutch isn’t quite perfect yet, it could be there soon.

What I really like about Newshutch is the the look and feel of the site. The colors and fonts that used are readable and not in a light color on light color, a design mistake that I see on too many Web 2.0 sites these days. Another feature I like about Newshutch is that when you hit your user page for the first time, there is a large box with clear and concise user instructions (including instructions on how to add Newshutch to Firefox and how to add your OPML feed). In addition, what makes Newshutch stand out is that when there’s that momentary pause of pulling an RSS feed, the page does not move or wobble or look like the DNS is not resolving. This is accomplished by pulling your userpage first, then pulling the subscribed RSS feeds. These guys are in the right direction as far as usability.

What these guys could improve on is that the front page is underwhelming and doesn’t sell the service at all. Very little text, lots of images. They could probably take the features and screenshots page and use that for the front page. Also, a really minor gripe in that the “Add Newshutch to Your blog” code was hidden on the development blog. That is something which should be available on the service itself.

As for design, Newshutch is using XHTML Transitional with CSS and the underlying platform looks to be AJAX and, according to their blog, some Ruby on Rails on Linux. I’m not a programmer, but I am wondering if some of that Javascript could be optimized. The navigation on the site is displayed simply, at the top of each page, in two groups - a left navigation tab group and a right content box that changes within context (for example, it will show each newsfeed individually).

In closing, I like the execution of ideas and the look and feel of Newshutch. Let’s hope the project continues and provides some much needed savvy competition in the online RSS newsreader category.

Add Cleverhack RSS to Newshutch

[tags] Newshutch, RSS, RSS feeds, RSS Newsreader, RSS Aggregator, Online Newsreader [/tags]

Explicit Gmail referrer

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Recently, I had a visitor who clicked through a link in an email he/she received via Gmail. That isn’t so unusual, what was unusual was that the referrer read like this…

http://mail.google.com/mail/?account_id=username%40gmail.com

And thereby the visitor’s Gmail address was shared with me, merely by the visitor clicking through an email link. Normally, Gmail referrers look something like the example below (and yes, other Web mail providers - Yahoo Mail, AIM, MSN, etc. have similarly obscured referrers.)

https://mail.google.com/mail/?auth=somereallylongalphanumericstring

I suspect that the visitor was reading his/her Gmail through something other than an official Gmail client, but I don’t know what.

[tags]Gmail, referrer, Web mail [/tags]

Competitio.us

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

So, I get this unknown to me referrer this morning from a Web site called Competitio.us and I just had to check it out. Competitio.us is another brand tracking Web site service currently in beta. From what I could gather on the Web site, you (as a brand or project manager) sign up for the service and then set up Competitio.us to monitor news and traffic statistics about your…competition. Get it?

As for design, Competitio.us is using XHTML Transitional and their markup looks pretty clean. The underlying technology platform appears to be Ruby on Rails on Linux. Their color scheme and font choices just work. I’m going to give them bonus points for minimizing the use of images on their public pages and their harnessing of the H1 and H2 tags. I think their front page looks really good in terms of how much copy they’ve integrated, although they’re not currently not showing on Google for “competitor research” a term I’d think they’d want to show for. They may want to look at the keywords in their copy and maybe introduce some link anchor text with those keywords. In addition, their images are not alt tagged. The title tag on their pages could use some keywords, along with the fact there are no meta description tags.

As for “hacking” Competitio.us, even with the referrer information I have, I cannot view how or why my blog is being tracked. The referrer only links to this blog’s main URL. For giggles, I even signed up for a Competitio.us account, and tried the URL in the referrer, and only saw an ugly Application error (Rails) message - someone at Competitio.us may want to redirect a request like that to a page with information - so one cannot see URLs not associated with their account.

Host: [User’s IP Address]
/
Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 26 10:52:58 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 15447
Referer: http://competitio.us/project/5217/competitor/23433
Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1) Gecko/20061010 Firefox/2.0

[tags]Competitio.us, ruby on rails, competitor research, competitor tracking, Web 2.0 [/tags]

Amazon.com DDoS’ed by Customers Vote Winner

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

In case you were hoping to take advantage of the Amazon Customers Vote deal for a $100 Xbox 360 on Thanksgiving, Amazon.com was reportedly not reachable from least 2-2:15pm EST (11am-11:15am PST). Presumably, the traffic caused by the $100 Xbox seekers was simply too much.

Some people are complaining that they couldn’t even load the Amazon homepage…I tried to around 2:10 EST and couldn’t get a response from the Web server.

Update: There are over 500 comments in a thread on the Amazon Customers Vote Forum with disgruntled customers chiming in, in addition to other blogs which have noted the outage. Plenty of people are not happy and some are filing Better Business Bureau complaints.

Google

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Well, since Google stock hit $500 today, I thought I’d do a Google post.

-I had someone pulling my feed who was on Google wifi.

-My Dad just had to compare Microsoft Virtual Earth vs. Google Earth. He seemed to like the zooming action of both, but thought it was difficult to tilt the view within Google Earth.

-I am administering a Google AdWords campaign which is unfortunately showing ads on a number of those cruddy waste of bandwidth Made for Adsense (MFA) sites. While I don’t want to take the ads off the content network, the only solution I can think of is to Google for the advertised URL and manually remove the MFA sites from the campaign. What a pain.

[tags]Google, Google Wifi, Google Earth, Google AdWords, Google AdSense [/tags]