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  1. #1
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    So, I wanted to get the latest ST Enterprise episode, and the kazza network is supposed to be one of the best ways - however I knew to keep Kazza off the home PC. Found Kazza Lite which is supposed to be spy and scumware free. The install has an option to "speed up" transfers, including a replacement HOSTS file to further block ads.
    I didn't put 2 and 2 together for a few days when I started noticing CJ ads weren't loading - I figured it was just a temporary network problem on CJ's side.
    I watched the boards here, and no-one else was mentioning CJ down time, so I figured it was my problem. Finally, thinking back on my early days with trumpet winsock, early unix systems, and all that hand-tinkering, I remembered the HOSTS file. Yup there it was - CJ's tracking domain (www.qksrv.net) pointed back to myself (anyone remember telling newbies on usenet about the great FTP server at 127.0.0.1 ?)
    So here's yet another thing that can kick you in the arse. Even people who try to stay scumware free by going to "clean" alternatives can gum up the works with this alternate HOSTS file.
    Will it never end!?!?!

    L4

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador CrazyGuy's Avatar
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    Good find.

    Some folks here may recall my panicky rantings of some weeks ago when I couldn't get to cj.com and linkshare.com from my new PC - and things like linkshare DRMs wouldn't show up?

    I fixed it by going through my ISP proxy - but now see the problem is with an old Kazaa Lite install. I didn't opt for any speed improvements, but my hosts file has been overwritten with 650 entries. Most are arguably useful blocks, but cj, qksrv, linksynergy, linkshare are in there.

    There are even stranger hidden ones in there. It blocks ebay/cj links - obviously I though as they go through qksrv.net. But removing that line doesn't change anything, only removing the whole list fixed it.

    Are you Crazy?

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Third World programmers creating the spyware/adware free version of KaZZaa are like the Popup stoppers ..ignorant and blind to affiliates needs to set cookies and tracking sales. The only purpose for any P2P network is to steal & share copywrite materials and the cleaned versions just try to keep this activity from prying eyes. They have no concern for affiliate networks or banner serving Ad networks. Their only purpose is to facilitate thievery without bothersome Ads of any type.

    You can bet the Popup Ad blocker & cookie cutter programs have a mass kill mentality too. There are some driveby or hidden installs of Gator, TopMoxie and spywarez in that group of FreeBee frontends. The sooner the major SE's and PPC keyword places bann the FreeBee popup farm listings the better as they are just helping the vermin spread the disease of theftware and spamm.

    WebMaster Mike

  4. #4
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    I've been thinking on this for a little while now. Perhaps there is a solution in here some way.

    What are the ethics of offering a HOSTS file ourselves? One that has the scumware domains link back to 127.0.0.1, but is free of any cj, befree, etc. loopbacks so that they all work properly? This would solve the problem of the legitimate domains being blocked by people who unwittingly overwrote their HOSTS file when installing a kazza lite type product, PLUS, it would block the scumware from getting to their own servers to get the redirect links that cheap us?

    The only thing that bothers me is how to disclose it to the user so that we don't sink to the same level as the parasites... It's important to keep our ethics levels higher than theirs.
    (it would need an installer too, since HOSTS goes in different paths depending on the Windows version).

    L4

  5. #5
    Eternal Optimist Look4's Avatar
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    Mike noted that:
    "Third World programmers creating the spyware/adware free version of KaZZaa are like the Popup stoppers ..ignorant and blind to affiliates needs to set cookies and tracking sales. ... They have no concern for affiliate networks or banner serving Ad networks."

    You're right on the money with the first observation. For the most part, they are ignorant and blind to the underlying commerce that pays for their free access. They have one goal, to speed up surfing and reduce distractions. They lump any image servers associated with sales (mostly double-click type domains, but also the affiliate managers) with unecessary overhead.
    When you combine the technical expertise with the fact that many of these programmers come from socialist and communist backgrounds, you start to understand why there is little concern about the wheels of commerce - whether it be intellectual rights or affiliate sales. But I digress from the topic at hand...

    L4

  6. #6
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    Kazaa definitely has a bigger stick than affiliates. I mean, all we can say is that we were responsible for the sale that the merchant made. Kazaa can say that they have the actual power to block merchants, CJ, BeFree, etc., from millions of users.

    Even worse, they are able to do this under the guise of giving users an authentic ad free internet access (complete with free pirated music.) They can claim the bloody high ground while affiliates are petty bourgeoise.

    Kazaa's club is a thousand times stronger than the endless affiliate whining of "that's not fair."

    Why do you think most local merchants finally give in and pay the local gang whatever protection money the gang requires?

    I really can't blame overstock and others for caving in and paying the protection money. After all Sun Tzu favors the warrior's collecting protection money from the peasant. Trying to get money for content on the Internet is a peasant occupation.

    Whoever has the most power wins. That was the mantra of new economy--get power first, you will find a way to take money later. There is no real concept of right or wrong...just pure, unadulterated power. The ability to block and control internet usage is the "Power of P2P."

    A year ago, I spoke with some tongue studded brown shirts who were "helping" install P2P programs for people at University X. They were blathering about the power of P2P and how they would get to the point where they could kill and maim any site that doesn't bow to the power of P2P. They were drunk with power. It was scary.

    These P2P brown shirts had worse intentions than any affiliate marketer or content web site ever dreamed.

    Oddly enough, the academic elite would call them authentic, while affiliates are simply petty and bourgeoise.

    Protophoto - Short Stories

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    That's it! We get someone to create a really great and cool looking screensaver or background, and we slap our little hosts file in the install program pointing ebates, wurldmedia, etc to 127.0.0.1. Bang, no more redirects, users computer ofcourse will no longer work correctly until they remove the programs, we all add webpages telling users how to "fix" their systems. Problem solved, hehe.

  8. #8
    ABW Veteran jc101's Avatar
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    Great idea qball© LOL that's funny.

    Jason

    Santa Cruz, CA 95060

  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    L4,

    quote:
    The only thing that bothers me is how to disclose it to the user so that we don't sink to the same level as the parasites... It's important to keep our ethics levels higher than theirs.



    The verbiage and actions would be greatly under libel scruitiny, this I can assure anyone of! Such actions must be carefully planned and executed pursuant to advice from council!

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  10. #10
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    Thanks Look4, for the head's up.

    After reading your post I checked out my site on my son's computer, which has Kazza Lite installed.
    I couldn't believe it. All CJ and Linkshare links and banner ads, when clicked upon, bring up a "this page cannot be displayed". Pure hell from website owners standpoint.The text links look normal when displayed, but the banner ads do not display the graphic, only the alt tags. My computer is parasite free, so I would never have known.I checked out my site on my daughter's computer, a Morhpeus user, an all seems fine.The date of the installation of Kazza Lite was Oct 6,2002. I've been in this business for 3 1/2 years,and up to this point someone passive and silent on the issue, building a very sucessful financial directory.These people are outright thevies, liars and sabateours interfering with honest commerce. They are nothing but white collar crooks trying to make a fast buck at hard working affiliate's expense. Well Haiko, my eyes are finally wide open. Let me know what I can do to help

  11. #11
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    IE can be set to do the same thing through your privacy settings. I can also block cookies with my firewall. There are oodles of free ad blocker software programs which are becoming more and more popular. AdMuncher was the one I tested. Even blocked the pixel URL's

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  12. #12
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    You need a trojan horse to install the parasites. People are more than happy to install the ad blockers for free. Anything to get rid of those hideous popups. Personally, I never return to a site that uses popups. I wish the idiots running those sites realize that every nickel of short term profit they get from a popup, they lose $5.00 of long term income for Internet advertisers.

    I actually helped a school with 1000 students install an ad blocker. I helped a library's do the same thing. When I set up computers for the elderly, I install an ad blocker as well.

    I hate the fact that I cost the affiliate community revenue, but popups are such a useless annoyance--especially with young kids and the elderly, that running an ad blocker is the less of two evils.

    Of course, there are now programs that just block popups. I think it is worthwhile to push those as an alternative to full ad blockers.

    Protophoto - Short Stories

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    Now, don't take this the wrong way, but if you ask me running a website trying to make money and installing ad blockers on people computers, lets see, that just sounds really stupid to me. Why don't you just start making your websites without affiliate links now, sounds like a normal progression from that. Save everyone else the trouble. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    Duplicate post, stupid computers.

  15. #15
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    Sorry, but, I don't like ads either. I generally don't run with pop-ups disabled because I generally stay out of the "bad neighborhoods." If I know I'm heading to one, they get disabled though. I used to have doubleclick filtered. Ads are just annoying plain and simple.

    A well done affiliate site with affiliate links interspersed among content is not annoying. I'd never block CJ, qkwsrv, etc.

    Good catch L4.

    I don't really use P2P networks very often at all. Are there any networks/clients without spyware or other evils? Gnucleus?

    --
    ...only in the affiliates interest...
    The Newer Nicer Joseph [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  16. #16
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    Ads are just annoying plain and simple.

    To take your argument further, why can't I say something like "affiliate programs are just annoying, I try and circumvent them as much as possible because it just makes the goods cost more in the long run"?

    Disabling ads, disabling affiliate links, it's all the same -- preventing a website from making money. Either will have the same effect if enough people do it -- sites will either close, or go pay-per-view. Why hasten this?

    Ralph

    http://www.hockeydb.com

  17. #17
    I like traffic lights
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    One thing that networks like CJ could do is ensure that the hostname used for serving banners is different from the hostname used for click-redirects.

    That way these idiots can load the banner server hostname into their HOSTS file, preventing banners from displaying, but clicks will still go through.

    The best think to do RIGHT NOW would for CJ to start using two new hostnames for banner serving and clicks, but keep the old hostname working as well. Then all the old links won't suddenly break, and people won't have to fix thousands of existing website URL's.

    Those webmasters that can easily change links could update their sites to the new hostnames, and get all those customers back whose children have installed kazaa lite on their system without their knowledge.

    Should be pretty simple to do at CJ's end - add two A records to their DNS pointing to the same IP # as the current banner/click server, then change the hostnames in the java code that produces URL's.

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