Maybe Jeeves *does* understand what a 404-Not Found means... It means that the server can't find the file right now. The semantics of 404 imply no other meaning, so it doesn't mean the file was or was not intentionally removed, and it doesn't mean the file won't be restored 5 minutes from now -- or never. It just means the server can't find it.
However, Jeeves apparently does not understand what a 410-Gone response means. It takes them about a year to get that one right, IIRC.
My intent here is not to be picky, but just to highlight that the correct response for a file that was intentionally removed and is being requested via HTTP/1.1 [w3.org] is a 410-Gone. The earlier HTTP/1.0 does not define 410-Gone, leaving only the ambiguous 404 response... Which is how we (and Jeeves) got into this mess in the first place.
> The semantics of 404 imply no other meaning [...]
> My intent here is not to be picky [...]
Yes, you are correct, and I don't consider it to be picky to point out the differences between a 404 and 410 response. (Coincidentally, I just re-read what RFC2616 had to say about those earlier today as I scrolled my way down to read up on 502 Bad Gateway - darn corporate proxy servers!)
I think I'm guilty of expecting bots to understand that when I serve a 404 that means the resource is gone, due to the poor implementation (on the SEs' side) of the 410 response. IIRC, only Google deals with it properly, but I shouldn't be quoted on that!