Is AskMe sending unsolicited info? January 17, 2005 1:40 PM   Subscribe

I have only been a member since Jan. 1, but today for the first time my firewall program alerted me that Ask Me was attempting to send information in the "private information" category (my home address) to the Ask MeFi site. Has anyone else noticed this? Why is this being done?
posted by mlis to Bugs at 1:40 PM (11 comments total)

Also: I read the multiple-post thread and still have to ask: Is there a way to change a MeFi profile from all caps lower case? I sent Matt an email & tried an IM - negative results. Know he must get hundreds + emails a day - anyone else know how to do it?
posted by mlis at 1:40 PM on January 17, 2005

It sounds like the bug is in your co-called "firewall program." Ask doesn't go around soliciting POSTs containing mailing addresses. You might want to get in touch with the vendor's support folks about that.

Also, no, you can't change your username. Matt can, but he has mentioned in the past that there should be a seriously compelling reason behind the request.
posted by majick at 1:46 PM on January 17, 2005

You've done a spyware check, I assume...
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:02 PM on January 17, 2005

What firewall program are you running? I think it's trying to make itself look busy. As in, thank gosh I'm running that firewall program, or Metafilter would totally have my home address now!
posted by Voivod at 3:17 PM on January 17, 2005

Spyware check was negative - run it x1 week but jut ran it again now to make sure. I have NIS - it is updated as well. I have not changed any configurations on NIS (actually, nothing on my computer) since then. The program earning its keep sounds like a good explanation - I am just puzzled why it would begin now.
posted by mlis at 3:45 PM on January 17, 2005

Is there a way to change a MeFi profile from all caps lower case? I sent Matt an email & tried an IM - negative results. Know he must get hundreds + emails a day - anyone else know how to do it?

To the best of my knowledge, there's no way for a user to change their login/userID. Matt would have to hardcode it and I think he's never been privvy to doing it for any reason (examples from memory include taking the "_" out of names (like dash_slot to dash slot) or adding spaces in names (like MiguelCardoso to Miguel Cardoso". Even in cases where logins have changed hands (via ebay or, more recently, gmailswap) I don't think matt has ever touched someone's username.
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:10 PM on January 17, 2005

I'm running OS 10.3.6 on my Mac and also get a pop up that says it is checking/updating my Mefi registration or something to that effect. Not sure what that's about. The pop up is random and not result of me opening an app.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:43 PM on January 17, 2005

I use NIS2004 for Windows (usually with Firefox, sometimes with IE) and have never seen this behavior.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:15 PM on January 17, 2005

I don't think matt has ever touched someone's username.

Actually, there was one case, way back in the mists of MeFi history (before 9/11, before Kaycee). It involved harassment of a user with a long posting history. Matt stated at the time that this was a one-time deal, as he believes that the community places great stock in reputation-by-username.

For a long while the answer was "get another account with the username you like", but then signups were closed, and now there's the fiver. I'm sympathetic to a paying customer, essentially, wanting some customer service, but then again I've wished my username weren't my name for a long time now.
posted by dhartung at 12:02 AM on January 18, 2005

NIS is simply seeing some data that is being requested (most likely a string in your cookie) as matching some data you have told it to keep private. My dad's copy of NIS regularly blows his computer up because he's sending the number "24" out to the internet, and that number happens to appear in his home address. You might be able to tweak NIS's settings to only have it match the complete string you want kept private (ie. your entire phone number), or you could disable that "feature" all-together.

Of course, I'd recomend ditching that useless bloated waste of system resources entirely and switching to a router w/NAT and Firefox/Mozilla. You'll sleep easier.
posted by bizwank at 12:46 PM on January 18, 2005

Thank you Ufez Jones, dhartung & bizwank.

There is something I just realized. At the same time I began receiving the "private information" propmts I also began receiving a Cold Fusion error:

"The value "****" cannot be converted to a number"

Also the Spell Check & Italics commands are are not working (clickable and ctl-shift-t).
posted by mlis at 8:57 AM on January 19, 2005

« Older One should be allowed to ask questions more often   |   How are metafilter .org and .com different? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments