The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

“Avast ye swabbies! Copyright and Trademark violations abound!”

From: Bob Apthorpe <XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX>
To: Sean Conner <sean@conman.org>
Subject: More run-ins with Nameprotect.com
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 04:52:18 -0600

Early on, I found spiders from Cyveillance.com rummaging through a bunch of my dynamically-generated web pages (message boards, mailing list admin pages, etc.) Of course, there was no reverse DNS on the spider and it was claiming to be some version of Internet Explorer, but hitting pages once a second and crawling every day on a dynamically-generated calendar is a tip-off you're not dealing with a meth-addled web surfer. Rainman, perhaps, but definitely not a real human.

I don't have anything to hide but that's no justification for letting ill-mannered commercial robots rummage through the electronic equivalent of my sock drawer. I close the door when I'm in the bathroom. I wear pants. Modesty and privacy do not imply improper behavior. Besides, I have a few hundred megabytes of photos of improv comedy shows I've played in. I don't want my connection saturated because some anonymous robot was brainlessly and greedily slurping content that no human was ever going to enjoy, at least not in the way I intended. My network, my rules.

Email from Bob Apthorpe

Now I know blogger's readership figures are inflated. I checked and sure enough, Cyveillance came ripping through my site last month for 213 hits (that I didn't notice—I think I'm now down to 75 or so real human hits per day). Now, unlike NameProtect®'s rather terse use of Mozilla/4.7 as a user-agent, Cyveillance has gone the other extreme:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0);Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.05; Windows NT 5.0);Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.05; Windows NT 4.0);Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.05; Windows NT 3.51)

I guess they're running their robot under Windows 2000 (reported as Windows NT5.0), Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT 3.51 and want to cover all the bases.

Brand Protection Solution

Cyveillance's Brand Protection Solution helps companies actively protect their brand equity by returning control over online brand integrity and use. By identifying and providing detailed intelligence on sites leveraging a company's brand for their own commercial purposes, Cyveillance enables companies to transform the Internet from a branding liability to a high-impact branding medium.

With Cyveillance's Brand Protection Solution, clients are able to accomplish the following:

Client Success Story

Many clients have leveraged Cyveillance's Brand Protection Solution to prevent revenue leakage and recoup lost dollars. For example, a large insurance agency leveraged Cyveillance's Brand Protection Solution because the client wanted to stop traffic diversion from its corporate Web site by other sites leveraging this client's name, logo and slogan to drive business. Cyveillance identified several hundred cases of sites diverting potential buyers away from this client's site. These cases included several in which the client's own agents were using the brand to drive traffic from the corporate Web site and others in which sites were using the recognizable name and logo in meta tags, URLs and titles.

With this knowledge, the client could immediately take action against the misrepresented sites, prevent further revenue leakage and strengthen brand equity.

Cyveillance Brand Management

Beautiful the way they phrase things, isn't it?

I would think that effective use of Google would be just as effective and possibly cheaper than hiring an outfit like NameProtect® or Cyveillance, but that's just me.

It would be nice if these sites would follow the Robots Exclusion protocol but nooooooooooooo!

My only consolation is that they find their way towards xxx.lanl.gov, because, you know, the name says it all, and besides, they just <SARCASM>loooooove robots</SARCASM> coming through their site.

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You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

http://boston.conman.org/2000/08/01

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

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