No info on cookies under "More Info on Items"

Discussion in 'SpywareBlaster & Other Forum' started by Vanguard, Dec 22, 2003.

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  1. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Posts:
    69
    I was having a problem with eBay.com. When trying to get into their online help web form, a page would show up instead that said that I was blocking cookies. Turns out that I was: SpywareBlaster had added "mediaplex.com" to the block list for cookie management in IE. When trying to navigate to their web form to enter my help description, I'd get the "you are blocking cookies" page instead and the hazard icon in the status bar would list the cookies that had been blocked which were from mediaplex.com. I don't know why eBay is using 3rd party cookies when their customers are trying to get help with problems in using eBay.

    Once I realized that it was indeed me blocking cookies from this domain, I opened SpywareBlaster to see why this domain was listed to be block (if selected, but then most users are going to just click Select All, anyway). Clicking on "More Info on Items" doesn't popup a window showing the info on the currently selected item in the list. Instead a separate window appears that lists them all. However, this list is not sorted so the user has to hunt around manually looking for the item. With as many items as there are listed, it is real easy to miss the one on which you want to get more info. The list should be sorted so the user can scroll through the long list to find it. Alternatively, just let the user get "More Info on Item" (notice it is singular for "Item") when they have selected it in the list. Having to go to a separate window to then select it just disconnects the action from the intent of the user.

    However, none of the cookies shown in the list have "more info" on them as to why they qualified to get put into SpywareBlaster's list. Yes, they are probably used for tracking. But that's what all cookies do! So why were these domains selected to get blocked by SpywareBlaster's list? Don't know because you don't say. *ALL* items that SpywareBlaster offers to block should provide a reason. And just saying "Tracking" as the reason is not sufficient since that's what all cookies do. They record you use of a web site similarly to a config file so upon return your preferences get reused. They keep track of your online wishlist or order number so upon return to the online vendor you still have all your items in their list which gets retrieved from when you compiled it last time. And they track you in other ways, too. If all cookies were bad, they would all be blocked (or forced to be per-session cookies). But obviously not all cookies are bad since SpywareBlaster doesn't list them all (nor could it), and I wouldn't need SpywareBlaster to be listing cookies to block as opposed to configuring the web browser or other utilities to always block cookies or purge them when the browser got closed (i.e., forced them to be per-session cookies). So there must be some reason that SpywareBlaster lists just a particular and limited number of domains to have their cookies blocked.

    I don't use the IE-SpyAd list because there's no way to know why a domain qualified to get included in their list. Is SpywareBlaster the same and simply shoves domains in its list without providing a reason and information to the user?
     
  2. Vanguard

    Vanguard Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Posts:
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    If SpywareBlaster doesn't actually provide any info on ALL the items it may block if selected then I'd like to issue a Request for Enhancement.

    RFE: Add "Select All Spyware" and "Select All Cookies" buttons.

    Currently the user can only click on the Select All button to select all items in SpywareBlaster's list of items that it will block. If I cannot get good information on why SpywareBlaster has decided to qualify an item as something that should be blocked, like cookies, then I probably won't use SpywareBlaster to add to the cookie block list in my browser. It would be a pain to have to either: (1) Manually select all the spyware items so only they get blocked; or, (2) Use the Select All button and then have to manually unselect all the cookie items.

    SpywareBlaster doesn't remember any choices you made previously to ignore items in its list. If I select to exclude a cookie domain from its list, the next time I use SpywareBlaster then I'll have to remember which items I had deselected. So the actual use of SpywareBlaster is to select all. Users aren't going to bother with always having to go through some other list they record of items that they decide they don't want to block, and have to manually deselect them everytime after downloading a new list and running SpywareBlaster again. I'm not even sure if SpywareBlaster is smart enough to first check if a domain has been whitelisted (i.e., in the cookie list with an "Allowed" status) before it then adds that same domain as blacklisted.

    I'd like more control over what SpywareBlaster will block without having to repeat a manual process each time of pulling out a separate list to manually unblock those items. Until SpywareBlaster gets updated to remember the user's previous selections, I'd like additional buttons to let me choose between just blocking spyware, just blocking cookies, or block them all.
     
  3. javacool

    javacool BrightFort Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Posts:
    3,997
    More control over blocking will be available in the next version of SpywareBlaster, but I may also incorporate a variation of what you suggested. :cool:

    Expanding the "More Info on Items" listing is also on the "wishlist", so-to-speak. ;)

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Best regards,

    -Javacool
     
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