|01-09-2007, 09:31 PM||#1|
Microsoft bans Scroogle
By Andrew Orlowski
Published Monday 8th January 2007 19:49 GMT
Updated Microsoft's MSN Messenger service doesn't want you talking dirty - and its definition of dirty talk is quite peculiar.
If you send an instant message containing the word "scroogle.org" via the Microsoft service, the message never arrives. The sender doesn't know it was discarded, and the recipient has no indication that it was ever sent, as the original message remains in the chat window and history.
Scroogle.org is Daniel Brandt's Google scraping proxy. Scroogle scrapes Google's website to return its search results without ads - bypassing the Google cookie, and protecting the user's privacy, because Google is unable to match the searches to any other information- such as your IP address or your GMail account. Scroogle putters along, makes around 50,000 scrapes per day, without being sued. As Google has failed to challenge the legality of the service, it's an odd choice of domain for Microsoft to ban.
Or perhaps Microsoft thinks it's protecting us from filth - the company has made strange and arbitrary decisions before.
In 2002, it prevented Reg reader James Woodcock from signing up for its Passport authentication system, telling him that "Your lastname contains a word that has been reserved or is prohibited for .NET Passport registration." His alternative choice, "Harold Wanker", was happily accepted, while another reader, Dr. Mark Stitson found his name was failed the filth test. Internet filters have a less than noble history when it comes to blocking innocent sites, as the Horniman Museum discovered a couple of years ago.
So perhaps "scroogle" refers to some bizarre sexual practice, or, in some arcane vernacular, is a term for the human genitalia. But if that's true, it hasn't shown up in Roger's Profanisaurus [probably NSFW], which we regard as the definitive resource in these matters.
We contacted Microsoft for an explanation on Friday, but they haven't returned our call. Brandt hadn't heard of the block, but he also declined to comment.
Have readers discovered any apparently innocuous trigger words? Let us know. ®
UpdateThanks to the Gaim project's Stu Tomlinson for explaining the cause of the mystery:
If you try to send a message containing any of the words' ".pif", ".scr", "download.php" or "gallery.php" the message will be silently discarded. The official client from Microsoft will provide no indication to either the sender or recipient that the message didn't go through.
So "Scroogle.org" goes through fine. Gaim detects this and tells you the message wasn't delivered. Can't Microsoft tell if a .scr is a .scr or not?
"Pah. What a pants regex!" says Alain Moran, summing it up nicely. Chalk another triumph up to genius censorware...
|01-10-2007, 12:24 AM||#3|
I R Happy Goat
Join Date: May 2002
Oh Thats Just Lame M$ needs a time out !!
"There is also a river called Helikon [in Pieria]. (...) But, they go on to say, the women who killed Orpheus wished to wash off in it the blood-stains, and thereat the River sank underground, so as not to lend its waters to cleanse manslaughter."
—Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 30. 8
|01-10-2007, 07:11 AM||#5|
same as he ever was
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Tampa, FL
Billy, go to your room for timeout, NOW!
"If I give up my rights, I might be safe, but what good is being safe if you have no freedoms?" by n3m35i5
"I always turn to the sports page first....They record people's accomplishments; the front page, nothing but man's failure." by Earl Warren
|01-10-2007, 01:43 PM||#6|
tagged and bagged
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New England
and why is it bad to send text with file extensions on them?
oh sh*t! EVERYBODY PANIC
the next big thing
"the skaarjcrusha fund is to help poor dino prostitutes who have to sell their bodies just to make ends meet like in your avatar. beautiful that you would devote yourself to such a cause, i am truely touched."-Mathlete
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