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Browser-blocking weirdness.

 
 
Daniel Bell
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      08-09-2003
In April, I posted here asking people to write to the Weight Watchers
website because it oddly blocks Mozilla on it's home page (despite the
fact the site works perfectly if you start with link within the site).
Their .co.uk site has fixed the problems, probably due to in part to
our complaints, but the .com one is still screwed up.

I've been using Firebird 0.6.1 lately, and to my surprise Weight
Watchers doesn't have a problem with it! I diffed the browsers'
requests. Firebird's "Accept:" line includes "video/x-mng,". Here's
the only other difference between Firebird's request (first) and
Mozilla 1.5a (second):


User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.5a)
Gecko/20030728 Mozilla Firebird/0.6.1

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.5a)
Gecko/20030718


10 days in the build date, and the words "Mozilla Firebird/0.6.1" are
the only differences. Again, Firebird works, Mozilla is blocked. I
know this sounds paranoid, but does this mean the site is specifically
and intentionally blocking Mozilla?

Thanks,
Daniel J. Bell

P.S. Thanks to Brandon Blackmoor his example for a Mozilla-blocker
complaint post.
 
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Keith Bowes
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      08-10-2003
Daniel Bell wrote:
> In April, I posted here asking people to write to the Weight Watchers
> website because it oddly blocks Mozilla on it's home page (despite the
> fact the site works perfectly if you start with link within the site).
> Their .co.uk site has fixed the problems, probably due to in part to
> our complaints, but the .com one is still screwed up.
>
> I've been using Firebird 0.6.1 lately, and to my surprise Weight
> Watchers doesn't have a problem with it! I diffed the browsers'
> requests. Firebird's "Accept:" line includes "video/x-mng,". Here's
> the only other difference between Firebird's request (first) and
> Mozilla 1.5a (second):
>
>
> User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.5a)
> Gecko/20030728 Mozilla Firebird/0.6.1
>
> User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.5a)
> Gecko/20030718
>
>
> 10 days in the build date, and the words "Mozilla Firebird/0.6.1" are
> the only differences. Again, Firebird works, Mozilla is blocked. I
> know this sounds paranoid, but does this mean the site is specifically
> and intentionally blocking Mozilla?


No, it doesn't work in Konqueror either.

However, I felt playful and decided to put up a parody page. Enjoy!
<URL:http://movieplace.freeyellow.com/ww>

>
> Thanks,
> Daniel J. Bell
>
> P.S. Thanks to Brandon Blackmoor his example for a Mozilla-blocker
> complaint post.



 
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Daniel Bell
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      08-11-2003
Keith Bowes <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
.. . .
>
> No, it doesn't work in Konqueror either.
>
> However, I felt playful and decided to put up a parody page. Enjoy!
> <URL:http://movieplace.freeyellow.com/ww>


Ha. Thanks.

But Konqueror is a totally different engine. Netscape, Mozilla, and
Firebird all use Gecko, and the only server-identifiable difference
would be that User-Agent request field, no? If Netscape and Firebird
work, wouldn't they have to explicitly code to disallow Mozilla?
(That is, they did NOT explicitly code to disallow Firebird, so it
works.)

I dunno, it seems pretty weird to me. Anyway, the code on that site,
I think, is provided by this company: http://www.browserhawk.com/

Thanks,
Daniel
 
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