Sunday, September 14, 2008

strip=1 ftw

I use lots of browser flame-retardant suit layers these days... NoScript, AdBlock, etc. I even tend to NoScript by default. If you only go to "normal" web sites this might seem extreme, but if you are poking around the seedy back streets of the intertubes, you probably know what I mean.

Here is another good pair of tips for safer browsing:

1. Use the cache, Luke, and
2. Always use strip=1

You can use the google cache to search for your topic of interest, and the oracle will return some hits (e.g., "100th monkey"):

  1. Hundredth Monkey Effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The “Hundredth Monkey Effect” is a supposed phenomenon in which a learned behaviour spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys ... - 32k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
  2. The 100th Monkey Studio

    An open art studio using art therapy and creativity in Portland Oregon. - 14k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
Then, click on the "Cached" link to view the page from the Google servers -- and avoid nastiness that might be found and the listed web sites themselves.


That little trick doesn't completely protect you. Don't believe me? Just start up your favorite network sniffer (tcpdump, wireshark, etc.). You will see, if the page has certain types of content -- such as images, they will still come from the original web site. Oops! You have been identified, and hopefully not served.

The way to avoid this is to Right Click on that "Cached" link, past it into a browser's URL bar and add "&strip=1" to the end of it, such as...\

Now your sniffer will happily report that all information comes only from Google.

Happy browsing!