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tjack
Premium
join:2003-10-13
Buffalo, NY

3 edits

How did RR become my default search engine?

How did Road Runner powered by Yahoo Search become my default search engine, both in IE and Firefox? I never made any changes and both are set to Google as my default. What is happening is if I type an address in the address bar which it can't find I get the Road Runner page saying "Sorry, we couldn't find www." How can I go back to my real default Goggle?
Thanks for any help.

»ww23.rr.com/index.php?origURL=http://www



hobgoblin
Sortof Agoblin
Premium
join:2001-11-25
Orchard Park, NY
kudos:9

1 edit

»/forum/news,90502

There is an opt out right at the bottom

Hob



MacLeech
The one and only
Premium
join:2001-07-14
SoCal
kudos:3
reply to tjack

Welcome to DNS redirection when using RR DNS servers for unknown addresses.

See this:
»ww23.rr.com/prefs.php

or change your DNS servers to something other than the RR defaults assigned to you.


tjack
Premium
join:2003-10-13
Buffalo, NY

3 edits
reply to tjack

Thanks guys. It's back to normal. Now can I ask another question? Why did they do that and what is the purpose of it? I just read the messages in the forum Hob left so I edited my message here. I guess it's to give us more ads. Oh well lol.



NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

1 recommendation

said by tjack:

Now can I ask another question? Why did they do that and what is the purpose of it?...I guess it's to give us more ads. Oh well lol.
One of the four secrets of life...more money.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

Well...but the effort at more ads or any ads will be lost on savvy folks who use the Proxomitron. I see no ads and have not seen a single ad since about six months after I got my first computer back in 1999 when I got Ad/subtract the day it went to beta and no one hardly knew about it. I saw no ads with it and had it (free) for several years and then moved up to the Proxomitron (also free). It makes no sense to me why RR would bother with something stupid like this as even the clueless users who still see ads on the internet won't put up with this.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason



NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

Does Proxomitron prevent DNS redirection? The issue is that a typographical error in the URL will result in either an NXDOMAIN (Non-eXistent DOMAIN) error, or a redirection, depending upon how the DNS server operates. Using my normal ATTIS DNS servers:

C:\Documents and Settings\Norman>nslookup xyzzyizdatso.com
*** Can't find server name for address 192.168.102.1: Non-existent domain
*** Default servers are not available
Server:  UnKnown
Address:  192.168.102.1
 
*** UnKnown can't find xyzzyizdatso.com: Non-existent domain
 
Using OpenDNS at default configuration:
C:\Documents and Settings\Norman>nslookup xyzzyizdatso.com 208.67.222.222
Server:  resolver1.opendns.com
Address:  208.67.222.222
 
Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    xyzzyizdatso.com.aosake.net
Address:  208.67.219.132
 
The difference is that the second result takes a web browser to the OpenDNS "Guide" page, complete with ads, and suggested alternates to the bad FQDN.

--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

No, Proxo doesn't prevent DNS redirection although I think it could with the proper filter.

Instead of changing DNS servers why not just put the RR redirection page in your hosts file? That is what I did with that damn searchportalinformation.com crap I was getting redirected to when I made a typo.

But my point in my earlier post was that I wouldn't see any ads if I was directed to the RR page.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason



NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

1 edit

said by Mele20:

But my point in my earlier post was that I wouldn't see any ads if I was directed to the RR page.
I'm sorry. I thought the point of the thread was DNS redirection, not ads.

In any case, Opera has a fairly decent ad-killer built in.

--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

But the reason for the redirection is so RR can show ads which is pointless if the user has an ad blocker. So, I guess RR figures most users are not using ad blockers.



MacLeech
The one and only
Premium
join:2001-07-14
SoCal
kudos:3

1 edit

Click for full size
The "ads" are the links and not something most ad-blocker software would catch.
said by Mele20:

But the reason for the redirection is so RR can show ads which is pointless if the user has an ad blocker. So, I guess RR figures most users are not using ad blockers.
The DNS redirection shows search results based on the unfound address the user entered. There are sponsored links at the top of the page where users are much more likely to click on, which RR probably gets click through revenue.

There are no "ads" that ad blocker software would catch. I've got AdBlock Plus installed on my Firefox browser along with an extensive hosts block file installed in my router and I see the pic above when going to the link the OP posted.

Try the link the OP posted at the top.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

2 edits

What's wrong with auto quote? It does nothing when I click on it.

Those are Yahoo ads. Proxo would block them. I never visit Yahoo but there are Yahoo filters (lots of them) in the Proxo filter set I use. I do use Google search and Proxo blocks the Google sponsored ads. Google periodically changes something like they did last week and I started seeing their sponsored ads and had to go to Sidki's Proxo forum at Castlecops where there were new filters posted by users to stop them again and I don't see them now. But if other Ad blockers can't catch those (I didn't know whether they could or not) then you are right most users will see them because Proxo is too unknown and has a reputation of being too hard to use (not true) so not many RR users have it.

When I clicked on the link the OP posted, I just got an Oceanic TW Around Town page with no pictures...I suppose the page is using Flash or something that I don't have on Firefox. I did not get that redirect as it has not come here yet. The Around Town Page tried to use Google Analytics on me. It can't as all the addresses are in my hosts file and I use Customize Google extension too. But just the fact the page tried irritates me enough that I will not go there ever again.

Seems to me still though that just putting the redirect url into your Hosts file would be the easiest way to deal with it. Not having to opt out and have a cookie, etc. Since it isn't here yet I can't know for sure. The reason to use the Hosts file, rather than an opt out cookie, is that I see no reason RR should be able to track me (Google Analytics and who knows what else) and know I opted out. With the hosts file, they won't know and they will think I am meekly watching their ads. Plus, I can continue to use the local DNS servers...I don't have the choices mainlanders do with other DNS servers as they are too far away and the others in Hawaii block outsiders.

--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason



MacLeech
The one and only
Premium
join:2001-07-14
SoCal
kudos:3

4 edits

said by Mele20:

When I clicked on the link the OP posted, I just got an Oceanic TW Around Town page with no pictures...I suppose the page is using Flash or something that I don't have on Firefox. I did not get that redirect as it has not come here yet.
Your results are interesting.... Oceanic TW (or something you have running) must be doing some other form of redirect for that address the OP posted for you to get the TW Around Town page, as that link the OP posted generated the screenshot I posted from my Charter connection at home, using a Level3 DNS server. That screenshot is also similar to what I get on the RR network when I'm at work.

Either way (in my opinion) most users could care less about the ERROR page they get when they put in a bad address and most of the users who could care less might actually appreciate a page with possible intended links displayed. Does the average user really want to see an unhelpful error page when they put in an incorrect address or do they just want to find the website they wanted? DNS error redirection becoming quite a popular feature with ISPs, browser makers, and 3rd party DNS lookup providers alike.

Those who do care, know how easy it is to circumvent which makes it a non-issue. There's more important things to waste time on (like researching all the OTHER insidious ways your connection can be tracked and your browsing history made available to others).


Grail Knight

Premium
join:2003-05-31
Valhalla
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Time Warner Cable

quote:
Does the average user really want to see an unhelpful error page when they put in an incorrect address or do they just want to find the website they wanted?
Of course not. Regular old users like any help they can get and the faster it is to get to them the happier they are IMO.

quote:
Those who do care, know how easy it is to circumvent which makes it a non-issue. There's more important things to waste time on.
Not for some.
--
Verizon has been serving up redirects but 90% of the page is suggestions that may pertain to what was being searched for and then a few ads which are blocked by Adblock Plus.

I opted out which Verizon made easy enough for any skill level and use the ErrorZilla Extension in Fx for even more options for Error Pages.
--
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact". - Sherlock Holmes

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

1 edit
reply to MacLeech

Click for full size
OP's link
Click for full size
normal link
Evidently that link is bad. The Around Town page displays much better from a "normal" link.

edit: DNS redirection should be banned. It is what keeps the domain tasters, cybersquatters and typosquatters in such a very lucrative business. RR users should care also that they are being redirected to a page full of ads where profit is made if they click on any of the crap on the page. They should care that the page doesn't take them where they wanted to go. If they make a typo then that should end in an error message not at a page full of crappy ads. Domain tasting/cyber squatting/typo squatting is becoming a huge problem although the Dell lawsuit may go a long way to stopping it. I was a victim too of typo squatters as I was not getting the correct error when I made a typo involving Dell site (or some others...Castlecops was another). Instead I got co-opted by the king of domain tasting. Average users should be educated as to why the error page is what they want when they make a typo. Yahoo and Google are making money off of the shady domain tasters and Road Runner is promoting this crappy activity.


MacLeech
The one and only
Premium
join:2001-07-14
SoCal
kudos:3

2 edits

Why isn't the address displayed in the address bar of your first pic the same as address of the OPs link?

Also can you tell us why "Average users should be educated as to why the error page is what they want when they make a typo."? Why should average users want to see a useless, ignored, or unread error page.

[edit] Many "average" users miss the differences between the standard server not found message and no connection message, they just become oblivious to all the gooblygook the computer spits out which isn't totally obvious and easy to understand. I've had more then a few people swear at me for their connection not working, when in reality the address they were typing was just not found. A search page eliminates most of that particular problem.


Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

Click for full size
said by MacLeech:

Why isn't the address displayed in the address bar of your first pic the same as address of the OPs link?

Also can you tell us why "Average users should be educated as to why the error page is what they want when they make a typo."? Why should average users want to see a useless, ignored, or unread error page.

[edit] Many "average" users miss the differences between the standard server not found message and no connection message, they just become oblivious to all the gooblygook the computer spits out which isn't totally obvious and easy to understand. I've had more then a few people swear at me for their connection not working, when in reality the address they were typing was just not found. A search page eliminates most of that particular problem.
I don't know why the address in the first pic is different from that of the second. I recall when we first had a thread here about it that I clicked on the same link and opted myself out although I didn't think the opt out worked because it is supposed to only work once your division gets the redirection and Hawaii did not have it then or now. So, I figured checking the opt out would not do anything ...maybe it did though?

But I just tried the OP's link on a virtual machine where I don't think I tried to opt out. I got a Proxo DNS error. What is the "xn--" that the beginning of the url got changed to?

I understand that average users will not get what "cannot find host" message means or may understand but not realize they got that because of a typo in the url. So, they don't know what to do and feel frustrated. Keeping them happy with a RR redirect page would be fine if the redirect page told them in plain English why they were there and how to fix it. Instead of being a really great ISP and actually helping the average users, RR has elected to earn money using Yahoo which links them to domains that squatters are on for free. If you typed "deel.com" in the address bar when you meant to type "dell" you won't get "dell.com" or a normal DNS error rather you'll get SearchPortal which is the king of the domain squatters and a major party that Dell is suing. How does helping the domain squatter problem which is huge now help users who made a typo? What does the RR page show when you type "deel.com" in the address bar? It should show "dell.com" as the first choice as it is rather obvious the typo. If doesn't do that then it is of no service to even average users.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason


Grail Knight

Premium
join:2003-05-31
Valhalla
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Time Warner Cable

quote:
If you typed "deel.com" in the address bar when you meant to type "dell" you won't get "dell.com" or a normal DNS error rather you'll get SearchPortal which is the king of the domain squatters and a major party that Dell is suing.
Funny thing is I type in Dell Lawsuit against deel.com and get one site explaining that deel.com is also a legitimate variant of the word Deal. The rest of the links on the page are about lawsuits filed against Dell itself.

Perhaps you will post some links to this lawsuit you claim Dell is involved in.
--
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact". - Sherlock Holmes


rcdailey
Dragoonfly
Premium
join:2005-03-29
Rialto, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

I'm struck by the assertion that "deel.com" is an obvious typo. It may be an obvious typo to a human computer (your brain), but since there is an actual website named "deel.com" it is not a typo in terms of a DNS lookup. Therefore, the lookup won't be redirected to a list of suggested alternates, but will go to the actual website that is named "deel.com" and that is because computers generally do exactly what you tell them to do unless it is to divide by zero.



MacLeech
The one and only
Premium
join:2001-07-14
SoCal
kudos:3
reply to Mele20

said by Mele20:

But I just tried the OP's link on a virtual machine where I don't think I tried to opt out. I got a Proxo DNS error. What is the "xn--" that the beginning of the url got changed to?
There isn't any xn-- in the original URL.

The original address was "ww23.rr.com/index.php?origURL=http://www"

Somehow the address you are looking up is "xn--ww23-pia.rr.com"

How does that happen? Are you actually clicking on the link the OP posted?

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

1 edit
reply to rcdailey

There is no "deel.com". I get a search page (on the computer where I have not put the crap search page address in my hosts file). The search page is full of suggestions (paid links) to domain tasting sites where supposedly I can buy a computer. There is no link to deel.com because that is a domain squatter address and I get taken to the main domain squatter page.

On the computer where I have the domain squatter in my hosts file, I get an error that the domain squatter page cannot be reached.

EDIT: I see now why you think there is a deel.com. I typed "deel.com" in Firefox 1.5 address bar a few minutes ago on my old 98SE machine. On that OS, I got taken to a page that said it was deel.com but it is not. What you are seeing is Searchportal Domain tasting/typo squatter page. It is not paid for and it gets rotated from registrar to registrar every 5 days so the squatter essentially has it for free. It is one of the "sites" Dell is suing over. On my XP computer, I see what you see but the address bar is not so deceptive. It shows "searchportal" not "deel.com". Searchportal is probably the major Domain Tasting squatter and you are taken there under the guise of it actually being "deel.com" because you made a typo that the Domain squatter is tasting that "deel.com" site for five days and then passing it to the next registrar so they never pay for the site. "Deel.com" was registered by the Domain Squatter Searchportal to divert obvious typos meant to take one to dell.com to the typosquatter page.

So, yes, "deel.com" exists but it is a total ripoff and is a part of a criminal scheme which is getting larger and larger and really beginning to hurt the internet and take away business from legitimate sites like Dell.com. Dell, in their lawsuit, lists over 1100 sites like "deel.com" all of them typosquatter sites ...none paid for and all managed by the Domain Tasting squatters. There are a lot of blogs describing how to make a lot of money through Domain Tasting/squatting. It is very lucrative and causing major problems for ICANN and tremendous criticism from those businesses that know what is happening. Not many do. Dell does and hopefully their lawsuit will raise awareness among businesses, which are getting ripped off major time by the Domain Tasters, and users most of whom have never heard of Domain Tasting.

--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason


Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to MacLeech

said by MacLeech:

There isn't any xn-- in the original URL.

The original address was "ww23.rr.com/index.php?origURL=http://www"

Somehow the address you are looking up is "xn--ww23-pia.rr.com"

How does that happen? Are you actually clicking on the link the OP posted?
Sure, I am clicking on the OP's link. I also tried typing it in the address bar. On my host XP Pro machine, I get that strange looking Hawaii Around Town home page. On a virtual machine with XP Pro SP1, I get a Proxo error re DNS lookup failing. On BOTH machines whether I click on the link from the OP's post or type in the address bar on Firefox (1.5 on the Host and 2 on the guest machine), the address gets changed to "xn--" at the beginning.

I just ran a HijackThis and Runscanner and I see nothing strange or unwanted.

Well, well...mystery solved. It is Firefox both 1.5 and 2 messing with the url. I just started IE6 and came to this thread and clicked on the OP's url and got what you post a screen shot of. I just opened Opera and clicked on the OP's url. That took me to the rr page and rr wanted to set FOUR cookies. I refused them of course. IE accepted no cookies at the RR page and did not prompt me about them which is odd. I guess on IE no cookies were offered.

Safari also goes to the RR page and, of course, it happily accepts four cookies.

I just checked my 98SE machine which has Fx 1.5 and on it Fx goes to the RR page and RR wants to set cookies that I told Fx to block. So, the strange addition of "xn--" on Fx 1.5 and 2 as a prefix to that address happens only on XP both Service Pack 1 and 2.