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Old 09-12-2010, 09:46 AM   #1
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Question Is the Forum Spying on Us?

This maybe a coincidence, but it seems somewhat unlikely to me.

The ads that appear at the top of forum pages usually seem to pertain to rv's or the subject of the thread being displayed.

The last couple days, I have spent a bunch of time looking on the internet for a large bird cage.

This morning one of the ads displayed at the top of the Airforums pages is a web site for walk in birdcages.

I can only see two reasons for this.

One - it is a total coincidence

Two - the forum is leaving web browsing tracker cookies on my computer.

If it is number two, I would like to know how the stop the tracking.

Anyone else see Bird cage ads on the forum?

Regards,

Ken
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:52 AM   #2
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Cookies! It's how they can make $$ for this site. You can clear put any tracking cookies or block them. I clear mine out every now and then but it doesnt bother me too much. I click on some of their ads that I'm interested in, I hope it helps em out
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:57 AM   #3
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Well DUH!

Of course you are being spied on. Why do you think Andy is always in an undisclosed location. BUT it is an easy fix, if you go ahead and email me your banks routing number and your account (s) numbers along with your DOB and SS number I can get it all cleared up in no time
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:00 AM   #4
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Talking

It's on its way via pm or I could just post it here! That way everyone can help!
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:01 AM   #5
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Forum Spying

Ken,

I work in marketing. The forum is not spying on you. What is happening is that other commercial sites you visit have the ability to follow you around the Internet once you've visited your site. Likely one of the sites you visited for a bird cage is tracking you as you visit other sites. They can then drop a bird cage ad on pages like Air Forums that generate revenue by selling ad space.

This all happens electronically. To simplify, the bird cage retailer has put a tracking cookie on your computer. It sees you are frequently visiting air forums. The retailer then pays Air Forums to put an ad on the page you are viewing. No doubt if you frequent other sites on the internet you will see some of the bird cage ads as well. Air Forums benefits from this as it receives revenue that allows it to cover the cost of sustaining the forums (no different from advertising supported TV). The bird cage retailer benefits in that he gets another shot at putting his wares in front of you, hoping you will buy. In theory you benefit from this in having Air Forums available to you free of charge. This is 21st century targeted advertising and you will be seeing more of it as the sophistication of computers and software increases.

To stop this from happening, set your internet browser (such as Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox) to wipe out cookies when you close the browser. Or, if there are cookies you want to keep, review the list of cookies on your browser and delete the ones you don't want. Eliminating the cookies will not eliminate ads. It will just keep retailers from following you around the internet and putting their specific ads based on your browsing habits in front of you.

Chuck
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:16 AM   #6
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Here's an article from the NY Times Aug 29 about advertisers using "retargeting" techniques to follow you around the internet:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/te...rtising&st=cse
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:29 AM   #7
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Unhappy Now I know how it works, but still don't like it.

Chuck,


Thanks for the explanation, It is more insidious than I thought.

I don't mind the ads, I realize that they pay for the site. What I mind is anyone following me to see where I go. That covers physically as well as cyberly. It is not that I have anything to hide, I just find it very invasive. I realize that it is not illegal, or there would be no private investigators. (is that a bad thing?)

In any case, I have software that is supposed to eliminate tracking cookies, but I guess they need to be eliminated as they are downloaded not just periodically.

What I thought was happening was that the forum was downloading a cookie that tracked where I have been and then checking it when I came back to select ads.


Regards,

Ken
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:57 AM   #8
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When you do a google search, google has tracking, the problem I see is the big brother effect of passing info beyond sellers and on to authorities in charge of homeland security, might be breeding birds for subversive reasons.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:57 AM   #9
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web cookies, beacons or bugs?

hi ken

how it works is intentionally vague and fluid.
_________

once upon a time these things were called 1x1 gifs or transparent gifs or invisible gifs...

basically single pixel 'files' downloaded onto yer machine when an image was viewed/opened.

((scan your pictures folder or downloads/images file and u may have 1000s of 1x1s))

those still exist (especially in windoz) but the process is a lot more sophisticated now.

COOKIE is such a non threatening word/concept and who doesn't like cookies?

while web beacon or web BUG begin to read more ominously.
_________

we do get at least ONE cookie from arf, related to log in, IF you check the "remember me" box.

years ago that "remember me" box was DEFAULT SET TO ON...

i asked/suggested it be change to DEFAULT OFF and this tweak was quickly done.

so don't USE auto log in/remember me and u won't get this memory cookie here.
_________

the ads HERE are generated by guuuuugle.

so guuuuuugle uses cleaver surveillance tools and since arf is a "partner site", guuuuugle tweaks the ads u see.

for example we might ALL see ads (top or side) related to a specific topic title...

right now eye am cn cell phone spying and pop up blocker and spy camera ads along with the usual a/s crap.

the stronger the thread title the more specific these ads become.

they ALSO get tweaked individually based on IF guuuuugle has been tracking your browser activity.

yahoo does this too.

in days past one needed to CLICK on an ad, now all that's needed is to ROLL OVER some ads with da'curser.

and bam u gotz cookies AND bugz.
__________

all the major browsers have tweaks to impede this stuff at least temporarily.

for example YOU can choose WHICH cooks' to allow and which to block.

and many of the browsers have wayz to flush this crap out temporarily...

yahoo even has a TRACKING COOKIE u can accept that BLOCKS tracking cookies...

depending on platform there are free OR $ programs that also clean up or block cooks.

while typing this i ran me'scanner app and found 7 trackers...

cnn, a local newspaper and 5 hits for google ad services (used by partner sites, like THIS ONE)

the google partner sites (like this one) feed/use the google LABLED bugs,

yet they can CLAIM not to do this stuff (blame it on guuugle right?)

didn't nixon refine the notion of "plausible denial" for us?
___________

what we DO HAVE here is just as interesting mehbe ...

so ken u wouldn' happened to be using ie8 and windoz7 would ya???

see along with the beacons and bugs this site actually DISPLAYS who just logged in and a bunch of info...

Click image for larger version

Name:	how ez dis?.jpg
Views:	105
Size:	262.3 KB
ID:	110614

scan to the BOTTOM of any of these forum pages and CLICK on the blue globe/impulse thingie....



cheers
2air'
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:17 AM   #10
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You can download 'C'CLEANER from Piriform, it's free and run it automaticly at every start up with your permission. It does some cleaning and better than nothing at all. You got to have those cookies though sometimes they help.
...well, did you go ahead and get the walk in bird cage?
Sometimes while browsing for a few hours or so, my pointer will 'PING!' across the page by itself like some sort of magnet is pulling it away to the side of what I am doing. That's when I run 'C' Cleaner and it grabs everything and does some thing with it and frees up my activity.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
hi ken

how it works is intentionally vague and fluid.
_________


.................................................. .....................

Attachment 110614

scan to the BOTTOM of any of these forum pages and CLICK on the blue globe/impulse thingie....



cheers
2air'
The blue globe/impulse thingie is freaking scary

I can see people on a map and what pages some of have visited including myself.

We might as well all run around naked... (that's another )

In the process of trying to cut this invasion down some, I got myself to where I couldn't log in anywhere. Took a half hour to recover from that.

I guess I should just be thankful for the extra years I got.

This was supposed to happen in 1984.

Regards,
Ken
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
...We might as well all run around naked...
ya mean instead of 'sitting' around nekked?

naked might be scary but it is generally a conscious choice...

made by folks who are aware there may be peeps in da bushes...

naked isn't the issue.
_______

remember all those ads for XRAY vision glasses in the backs of comic books and other pulp fiction?

how many here purchased a pair or WANTED to buy some?

the drive to sneak a peak is strong always has been...

and that's really the issue here,

only these spectacles actually can see through yer robez...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Ken,

I work in marketing. The forum is not spying on you. What is happening is that other commercial sites you visit have the ability to follow you around the Internet once you've visited your site. Likely one of the sites you visited for a bird cage is tracking you as you visit other sites. They can then drop a bird cage ad on pages like Air Forums that generate revenue by selling ad space.

This all happens electronically. To simplify, the bird cage retailer has put a tracking cookie on your computer. It sees you are frequently visiting air forums. The retailer then pays Air Forums to put an ad on the page you are viewing. No doubt if you frequent other sites on the internet you will see some of the bird cage ads as well. Air Forums benefits from this as it receives revenue that allows it to cover the cost of sustaining the forums (no different from advertising supported TV). The bird cage retailer benefits in that he gets another shot at putting his wares in front of you, hoping you will buy. In theory you benefit from this in having Air Forums available to you free of charge. This is 21st century targeted advertising and you will be seeing more of it as the sophistication of computers and software increases.

To stop this from happening, set your internet browser (such as Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox) to wipe out cookies when you close the browser. Or, if there are cookies you want to keep, review the list of cookies on your browser and delete the ones you don't want. Eliminating the cookies will not eliminate ads. It will just keep retailers from following you around the internet and putting their specific ads based on your browsing habits in front of you.

Chuck
this is incorrect. individual sites cannot track it's users history on other sites. GOOGLE, however, can. this site uses google adwords to display ads, and google knows your search history and tries to target ads to you specifically.

you can opt to not use google for searches or email or anything else, but then it's MSN tracking you.

i am a search engine / internet marketing professional, i worked for lexis nexis and now have my own firm.
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:17 PM   #14
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We don't do any of the tracking, it's all the ad networks that do that. The information on retargeting posted above is probably whey you are seeing birdcage ads on AIR. You can opt-out of this targeting through this site:
Network Advertising Initiative
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