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Earthlink Intros Spyware Blocker

     
6:22 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Adware and Adware Cookies—track your online activities and sell information about you to marketers
System Monitors—allow a stranger to watch what you're doing on your computer
Trojan Horses—hide out on your hard drive and wreak havoc with your operating system
Ready to shut down these intruders and others? Download EarthLink Spyware Blocker!*

[earthlink.net...]

6:34 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Ironically bundled with their TotalAccess software which was quickly retooled to remove their spyware after it was originally discovered.
6:36 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Problem is, like their popup blocker, it seems to require running their TotalAccess software.

I want my ISP to give me a connection to the Internet. I would be very happy to use any standalone tools, but am not willing to accept a "Complete Connectivity Solution".

7:15 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Question is.. how will this affect first and third party cookies? We do end-to-end tracking of user visits from the SE by Keyword to the Point-of-Purchase and Sale Completion. Any word how it will affect 1st party (our in-house) and 3rd party (the external reporting tools) cookies?
7:23 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Question is.. how will this affect first and third party cookies?

Cookies, like popups, are going to get blocked more and more often as time goes by. There are lots of cookie blocker addons, and Mozilla has a builtin one.

I know enough to allow cookies when I am on an ecommerfce site, I suspect that many users do not.

7:35 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Cookies, like popups, are going to get blocked more and more often as time goes by

Cookies are so differnt to popups. Popups can be annoying but cookies are necessary for logins, shopping carts etc.

Hopefully as the public see more of those 'Enable cookies to use this service' - they will relax about them.

8:07 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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We redirect non-cookie users to a certain page that explains what cookies are, why we use them, and how to enable them globally, or just for our web site.
8:51 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Question is.. how will this affect first and third party cookies?

I would guess it would allow first-party cookies (since these affect end-users and disabling them would break a lot of sites).

It probably blocks either all or some (known trackers) third-party cookies by default, since this would not affect end-users. I, personally, always block third-party cookies.

We redirect non-cookie users to a certain page that explains what cookies are, why we use them, and how to enable them globally, or just for our web site.

This should be standard practice on any site requiring cookies for functionality, but, unfortunately, is not.

10:18 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Popups can be annoying but cookies are necessary for logins, shopping carts etc.

Its not a common practice, but I've used eCommerce sites that save the shopping cart contents on the server side. Cookies were fully blocked, yet the site functioned perfectly. Why do buyers have to adjust their browser preferences when it is not necessary?

[edited by: sun818 at 11:56 pm (utc) on Oct. 8, 2003]

11:24 pm on Oct 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Is this going to harm the affiliate marketer?
12:15 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Is this going to harm the affiliate marketer?

Yes it is going to harm affiliate marketer :(

12:27 pm on Oct 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Problem is, like their popup blocker, it seems to require running their TotalAccess software.
I want my ISP to give me a connection to the Internet. I would be very happy to use any standalone tools, but am not willing to accept a "Complete Connectivity Solution".

I don't think you quite understand. Earthlink is doing this stuff to try to lure away unhappy AOLers into using their service instead. Do you really think AOL customers could handle standalone tools?
5:17 pm on Oct 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Its not a common practice, but I've used eCommerce sites that save the shopping cart contents on the server side. Cookies were fully blocked, yet the site functioned perfectly. Why do buyers have to adjust their browser preferences when it is not necessary?

Exactly...Asking somebody to enable cookies to view your site is like asking them to change their browser, operating system or anything else they have configured to their liking. To somebody that doesn't realize what it is a site that asks them to change settings or displays a message that a cookie was blocked can be just an intrusive as the anti-virus software jumping up and saying it blocked a virus.

Cookies certainly make some things easier, but there are alternatives. In addition since the cookie is stored on the users computer they have the chance to alter it which can cause problems.

I think that over time more sites will stop using cookies.

7:32 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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can someone explain the great alternative to cookies and how they it is used?

without a cookie, how does the server tell one user from the next?

7:33 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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without a cookie, how does the server tell one user from the next?

Server-side sessions

8:03 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't think sites will stop using cookies over time. Search engines either do not spider or do a very poor job spidering URLs containing session IDs. They also make a URL non-user friendly to remember. Sites should be designed though to work without cookies in case a visitor has it turned off.
8:05 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Earthlinks focus is on "Adware Cookies".

They aren't clear how they will determine the difference between cookies used for customization of the user prefs and for opt-in "remember me" access and those cookies used for adware.

8:10 pm on Oct 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Search engines either do not spider or do a very poor job spidering URLs containing session IDs. They also make a URL non-user friendly to remember.

True, but there are very few reasons to put the SID in a URL when using sessions - and very easy to rewrite the legacy BBs and other apps that are using this scheme.

4:33 pm on Oct 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Server-side sessions

Server-side sessions are implemented using.... cookies. Or URL re-writing. Those are essentially your options.