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online polls and surveys

understanding how my computer is tracked with these surveys

     

j2cunningham

4:44 am on Sep 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I recently went to www.espn.com and voted in their nightly survey. Once I vote, I get a page that shows the results. I wanted to vote again, but I can't get the screen with the survey to come back, I only get the results. I have tried to clear my cache and cookies. I have disabled cookies, closed my browser, and released my IP address, yet all I get is the results. How are they keeping track of how I voted and blocking me from voting again?

Thanks

8:26 am on Sept 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

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posts:2143
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j2cunningham,

I'm more of a designer than programmer, but maybe they know through your browser's history file. Try clearing it. Just a guess. Can anyone confirm this? Brett?

8:45 am on Sept 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I would guess if you have cleared everything client side that your ISP might have cached the results.

Give Netscape (or IE if you used netscape first) a go -- that would confirm it. Hit shift-refresh --- I've noticed that IE shift/ctrl/refresh in IE doesn't always get my ISP to bring the latest version back -- uses cache instead.

The other option is the history - but that would only work in some browsers and you should be able to see the javascript that does this in the page source.

9:39 am on Sept 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

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j2,

Did you clear the backup cookies in the Windows folder? (My Computer>C:>WINDOWS>COOKIES) If you haven't, try that. But don't delete the .dat file, only the .txt. files. And when you cleared the cookies, did you merely use "delete files" under Internet options or did you go to "view files" (Internet Options>Settings>View Files)and delete them that way which is the only way to guarantee deleting them all. Don't know why I didn't think to mention this before.

9:56 am on Sept 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Walk through the exchange:

+++GET 6+++
GET /cgi/promotions/poll.dll?goto=http%3A%2F%2Fpromotions.go.com%2Fapps%2Fespn%2Ftostitos%2Fentry&domain= .go.com&questions=1&id=24536&service=Promotions&qid=130&count_0=2&expected_0=1&vote_0=436 HTTP/1.0
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98) Opera 5.12 [en]
Host: poll.espn.go.com
Accept: text/html, image/png, image/jpeg, image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, */*
Accept-Language: en
Cookie: SWID=4B3F0DC2-76FB-45E8-A736-08C96D08CFA1; SOURCE=a173
Cookie2: $Version="1"

+++RESP 6+++
HTTP/1.0 302 Moved Temporarily
Set-Cookie: POLL95=800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000; path=/; expires=Tue, 09-Oct-2001 09:50:29 GMT; domain=.go.com;
Location: [promotions.go.com...] 800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
+++CLOSE 6+++

+++GET 7+++
GET /apps/espn/tostitos/entry?POLL95= 800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 HTTP/1.0
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98) Opera 5.12 [en]
Host: promotions.go.com
Accept: text/html, image/png, image/jpeg, image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, */*
Accept-Language: en
Cookie: CP=null*; SWID=4B3F0DC2-76FB-45E8-A736-08C96D08CFA1; SOURCE=a173; POLL95= 800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Cookie2: $Version="1"

+++RESP 7+++
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Cache-Control: maxage=0
Cashe-Control: no-cashe
Content-Length: 14760
Content-Type: text/html
Pragma: no-cashe
Server: registration/1.3.2.0001
+++CLOSE 7+++

+++GET 8+++
GET /espn/tostitos/entrycopy.js HTTP/1.0
User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98) Opera 5.12 [en]
Host: promotions.go.com
Accept: text/html, image/png, image/jpeg, image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, */*
Accept-Language: en
Cookie: CP=null*; SWID=4B3F0DC2-76FB-45E8-A736-08C96D08CFA1; SOURCE=a173; POLL95= 800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Cookie2: $Version="1"

+++RESP 8+++
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Microsoft-IIS/4.0
Cache-Control: max-age=0
Expires: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 09:50:32 GMT
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 09:50:32 GMT
Content-Type: application/x-javascript
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Last-Modified: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 19:44:17 GMT
ETag: "428c0d7d421c11:101e"
Content-Length: 355
+++CLOSE 8+++



Looks like a cookie to me. There could also be some browser caching involved on redirects.
4:49 pm on Sept 18, 2001 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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The poll scripts I've seen work in one of two ways: either they set a cookie on your computer or (my preferred method) they keep a file of previous voters' IP addresses. Generally, they store the IPs of the last X number of voters or they'll keep each IP on file for a set amount of time.
 

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