This is topic Beta Testers Wanted in forum Your News! at The Geek Culture Forums!.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=15;t=002147

Posted by Ti (Member # 941) on November 29, 2004, 19:37:
Beta testers wanted for a concept website; Website Spooks.

Webpage Spooks

Webpage Spooks are characters that you can customize and download for use anywhere in your webpage, journal or e-mail. More then just eye candy or plain web-counters, Spooks keep track of who is visiting your site, and give you detailed reports! They will tell you when Mom read that Mothers Day e-mail you sent her, or when your sweetheart took a look at the Blog entry you left professing your unending love. You are just a few pages away from creating as many Spooks as you desire.

Technical Description:
Website allows for easy creation of "Spooks" which are images that count hits, and track information on people who visit your website, using cookies and the headers that browser passes. Information available is IP, Browser, Date/Time, and if available unique cookie. Other features include dynamically generated hit counter (optional) and comments pages (also optional, click on spook for example)

Example has been removed due to public outcry and my adversity to pitchforks. If you would like to see an example, try clicking the eyeball on the spooks main page
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on November 29, 2004, 20:30:
God damn you. Stop doing this crap!
[reader warning: Enter this thread at your own privacy risk!]
[recommended course of action prior to entry: disable image loading, or at least from]
Posted by greycat (Member # 945) on November 30, 2004, 05:29:
Originally posted by Ti:
They will tell you when Mom read that Mothers Day e-mail you sent her,

Anyone who's fucking stupid enough to use an HTML e-mail agent gets what they deserve. There's a reason why spammers use these tricks: to determine which e-mail addresses actually worked and led to the message being read by a real, live sucker.

or when your sweetheart took a look at the Blog entry you left professing your unending love.
You don't need fancy tricks for that. Just read your web server logs.

What you're actually doing here is tracking who reads this thread. Or, in general, tracking whoever reads a page on someone else's web server as long as you are allowed to insert your own image on that server, and as long as the reader has image loading enabled in a graphical web browser.

Dragonman is pissed off at you for doing this, and I understand that. But one must remember that this is a public forum on the unencrypted, insecure World Wide Web. If you want privacy in terms of what you are reading, there's Freenet and... uh... things that look a lot like Freenet. And that's about it.

To avoid confusing pronouns, let's make up a hypothetical user named "Jane".

Even without these web bugs (the traditional term for them when they're embedded in a spam mail), or "spooks" as Ti calls them, the fact that Jane perused this web site is no secret. It's going to be in her browser cache, and in her proxy's cache and logs, and in the web server's logs. If Jane doesn't think she has a web proxy, she should think again -- most ISPs run one, transparently, to save bandwidth.

Every third-party image posted in every one of these threads gives the image host the IP address and timestamp whenever Jane reads that thread (or more precisely, whenever the image is loaded). That includes all the external smiley-faces, all the photoshopped images, etc. The only difference is that most of us: (a) don't advertise the fact that we're logging Jane's reading habits, and/or (b) don't read the logs. I, myself, don't have the inclination or time to go reading my web server logs to see who loaded what image, when, from where. I don't even log referers or user agents. Can I prove that? No, of course not. Jane will just have to use her own judgment.
Posted by drunkennewfiemidget (Member # 2814) on November 30, 2004, 06:36:
*right clicks, clicks "block images from", moves on*
Posted by -ct- (Member # 209) on November 30, 2004, 15:03:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
*right clicks, clicks "block images from", moves on*

//rightclick> add to block list//moves on also//
Posted by Ti (Member # 941) on December 02, 2004, 02:31:
Please note, due to public outcry, and common sensibility I've added the following to my spooks website:

Privacy Statement

Opt out / Erase Logs

The opt out page gives you the ability to delete all record of your presence on the spooks page, and the ability to store a cookie to prevent loading of future spooks.

I'm still looking for help beta testing this page, and would love to hear any feedback you have on it. Thank you!

Kevin Lohman

© 2018 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0