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Censorship Yahoo! News

Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes 164

Posted by kdawson
from the nose-meet-knife dept.
Romy Maxwell posted a blog piece on Craigslist apparently shutting off access to Yahoo Pipes. Maxwell was working on a project, one of 2,111 using Craigslist as a data source, for a (non-commercial) Pipes-based mashup. He sent Craig Newmark an invitation to the alpha test, after a few rounds of friendly communication — "...as a rule of thumb, okay to use RSS feeds for noncommercial purposes." The apparent response, 4 days later, was for Craigslist to redirect any request with an HTTP referrer of pipes.yahoo.com to the Craigslist home page. Maxwell writes: "It's a sad day for me. I'm not too upset about my own project, as Flippity was already removing Craigslist as a data source. With the likes of eBay and Oodle not only providing open APIs but encouraging and rewarding developers, spending my time wrestling with Craigslist is just plain stupid and exhausting. I'm sure I'm not the only person to have come to that conclusion, and I wish it were different. ... If Craigslist wants to keep its doors shut to the world, so be it."
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Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:37PM (#30292738)

    here [wired.com]

    • Once you start adding fancy features, the site starts becoming responsible for the content. The atmosphere on craigslist is one that, if you get screwed over, it's entirely your own fault. On eBay, people can run to customer support if there's a scam. On craigslist it's such a basic site that it gives a real atmosphere of all responsibility being placed on the users.

      It makes sense to me.

  • I Wonder... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Asm-Coder (929671) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:40PM (#30292746)
    I understand that Craigslist doesn't want to go out of it's way to make it's website more elaborate, (In fact, I appreciate it) but I don't understand what purpose it serves to prevent others from adding their own features to the site. (In the same way greasemonkey is so great) I wonder what they are trying to do with this move.
    • by Lazy Jones (8403) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:56PM (#30292872) Homepage Journal
      scraping other websites' content over http is generally a huge waste of resources (and money) for that websites' operator, so unless you can give him something of considerable value in return (like Google does - I'll gladly serve 4 million pages/day to their bots if I get 200k visitors through Google in the same time, visiting my website and not just looking at my content somewhere else), be prepared to get locked out. Naturally, something you consider "a cool feature" isn't necessarily the sites' owner's idea of sufficient compensation. Perhaps some day ISPs will pay websites for the traffic and bill their clients for it, then websites might react differently.
      • by klossner (733867) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @11:02PM (#30292906)
        Yeah. Which is why he used RSS instead of scraping the web pages, and cached the data to avoid pounding the servers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PastaLover (704500)

          TFS states explicitly that they were "one of 2,111 using Craigslist as a data source". So even if they were nice enough to cache everything, that doesn't mean all the Yahoo pipes users where. From the perspective of Craigslist there is probably no way to distinguish between them, so it only takes one malicious (or more likely, stupid) scraper to ruin it for everybody.

          I think Yahoo pipes is, in retrospect, not such a great idea really.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tomhudson (43916)

        scraping other websites' content over http is generally a huge waste of resources (and money) for that websites' operator,

        If you had read the summary (or the article), they weren't screen scraping - it was the rss feed.

        • by DMiax (915735)

          scraping other websites' content over http is generally a huge waste of resources (and money) for that websites' operator,

          If you had read the summary (or the article), they weren't screen scraping - it was the rss feed.

          with which protocol do you think RSS is obtained? ESP?

          Not that it matters, if you get to their content you are using their bandwidth. In this case they were so kind to cache, but the principle stays.

    • Re:I Wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pla (258480) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @11:18PM (#30293014) Journal
      I don't understand what purpose it serves to prevent others from adding their own features to the site.

      Simple - they have zero interest in letting someone else get between them and their market.

      The only real "power" Craig has comes from the size of his userbase, and he knows that. If Company-X starts offering "Craigslist, now with Fleem(tm)", and somehow grows to serve a significant portion of the Craigslist user base, that gives Company-X power over Craigslist itself - They could potentially fork away on their own, rather than as a middle-man, and leave Craigslist itself a ghosttown.

      As another point, Craig wants a totally vanilla interface, a fact that I think most of us appreciate (at the same time that it makes Web2.0 weenies cry, another fact that most of us appreciate). If for no more reason than petulantly insisting his users get the interface he wants, he has the option of making it as hard as possible for third parties to change that.
      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @11:25PM (#30293068) Homepage Journal

        As a person willing to drive to get what I want, I am saddened and dismayed that I cannot search within x miles. A simple interface is one thing; lacking important and useful features is a huge failure, and the minute something else comes along that is craiglist plus a worthy search, craigslist is over.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PachmanP (881352)

          As a person willing to drive to get what I want, I am saddened and dismayed that I cannot search within x miles. A simple interface is one thing; lacking important and useful features is a huge failure, and the minute something else comes along that is craiglist plus a worthy search, craigslist is over.

          Yeah I don't care if that free couch is in $TOWN I only care if it's with in $DISTANCE from $HOME. And I don't care if that apartment is on $STREET I just want to know if it's within $DISTANCE2 from $WORK... Maybe that'll be my million dollar website and I shouldn't post it, but on the other hand I'd be fine with better location awareness if someone else did it...

          • by Trepidity (597)

            That's contrary to Craig's preference for fostering small, local communities that do deal primarily within $TOWN, though, which is why he goes out of his way to structure his site that way, and block people who try to restructure the listings in other ways.

            • by corbettw (214229)

              Which is completely asinine. I live in Richardson, TX, but I'm much closer to parts of Plano and Garland (or even Murphy) than I am to most parts of Richardson. Using Craig's "logic", I should only be able to search for things within Richardson, and not the towns I'm actually closer to. How does that help me or the people I want to buy from/sell to?

              • by Trepidity (597)

                Well, suburban Dallas is so far off from Craig's view of a "town" to begin with that there's probably a bit of a clash of worldviews...

                • by Al Dimond (792444)

                  TBH little we have today is that close to Craig's view of a "town". When looking for apartments in Chicago there's a big difference between Hyde Park and Uptown unless all your major commitments are downtown. If you work in Lakeview one is a couple stops down on the L, the other requires at least an hour and at least a transfer.

                  When a couple of my co-workers were looking for an apartment they wrote a Python script to go over Craigslist RSS feeds for apartments, plug the given street names into Google Maps,

                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by drinkypoo (153816)

                    Just keep in mind that it's against Craigslist's AUP to access Craiglist any way other than directly with a browser, so your above example is an AUP violation as far as Craigslist is concerned. And of course, if Craigslist made intelligent use of metadata, they could use google maps (for free) to get location-aware features. Unfortunately, they have no metadata to speak of, so the listing format is the same for a car or a cheeseburger. This is probably why they're not more popular.

                    Craigslist is stupid becau

                    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                      by drinkypoo (153816)

                      More popular than what?

                      eBay. Okay, okay, I kid. But seriously, Craigslist could easily be several times its current size if it just offered features that cause people to want to use other services. Lack of location awareness is my number one (with all that it entails.) It makes me look on eBay before I search other-region craigslists, for example; if I want to list something that I expect someone out of my area may want to buy, I won't even consider listing it on CL.

            • by edmicman (830206)

              The problem with that is this: I live in a small mid-Michigan town. My town of course does not have it's own CL site; but I live within an hour's drive of *3* towns that do have Craigslist sites. I'm willing to drive to any of those for a particular item I'm looking for. Conversely, if I'm selling something or wanting to post a "looking for" ad, I'd like to make it available to any one of those communities. Why should I have to make and manage three different searches instead of having a search of ever

              • by drinkypoo (153816)

                I have put just a bit more thought into this problem and come up with some even more dismaying (to me) personal (of course) opinions which I will now share (making them public, ho ho.) The most sensible way to solve this problem is with technology, in the RSS feed. Craigslist should have a bit more metadata about location; the user could optionally use a google map widget (or similar... but you don't want to run your own mapserver if you can avoid it) to select a geolocation, with as much resolution as they

          • by Lehk228 (705449)
            to do distance tracking you need a location for every posting. CL only knows which city board you post on and if you include a town/city tag.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by drtsystems (775462)

          Very true. Craigslist is the new classifieds section for cars (I just bought my car from a craigslist ad actually). But I had to use crazedlist.org to search, because I was willing to drive as far as needed to get the car I wanted. Craigslist's lack of features and resistance to third party addons breeds sites like crazedlist, a complete hack relying on iframes and you turning off referrals in your browser. And crazedlist itself sucks, it just adds an obvious feature that craigslist refuses to add.

        • by pongo000 (97357)

          As a person willing to drive to get what I want, I am saddened and dismayed that I cannot search within x miles.

          Sure you can... [searchtempest.com]

        • First to market is hard to overturn in the web world, so I think you'll be waiting for a long time for CL+.

      • As another point, Craig wants a totally vanilla interface, a fact that I think most of us appreciate (at the same time that it makes Web2.0 weenies cry, another fact that most of us appreciate).

        You don't know how true that is. I used to work at a company that has (sells) a web 2.0 site with JavaScript / DHTML / Ajax up the ying yang. Using it makes you feel like you're trapped in Candyland. In a bunch of design meetings I brought up Craigslist as an example of a user interface that people really like. Nobody even considered that a serious comment.

        I miss the nineties when Yahoo looked like Craigslist does today. I never visit Yahoo anymore.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This is understandable, this may be innocent intentions at work, but in my experience running a service, you often find that people want your users, even if there is no real gain. People crave power, greed is a symptom of that. I ran an irc network for several years, while it wasnt wildly successful (it still exists, but the average user count is now below 25 at any given time vs. 250+ users.) However, even with that tiny amount of users, Almost a month would go by before I'd find someone else attempting to

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      I understand that Craigslist doesn't want to go out of it's way to make it's website more elaborate, (In fact, I appreciate it) but I don't understand what purpose it serves to prevent others from adding their own features to the site. (In the same way greasemonkey is so great) I wonder what they are trying to do with this move.

      Greasemonkey is great... until you get some vague but insistent problem report regarding your site, and after spending significant time trying to figure out why the HECK this particular user insists a particular site function is "broken in Firefox", you eventually figure out he's a Greasemonkey user and has no idea what he's doing.

      Not that I'm bitter or anything.

  • by bigjarom (950328) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:46PM (#30292800) Journal
    Craigslist want to make it moderately difficult to quickly access its listings for more than one location at a time. As soon as it becomes super easy to access listings and perform more powerful searches, then the spammers and corporations will move in and make craigslist into what ebay has become in recent years. I personally want craigslist to stay just how it is, and so I support any attempt to block access for silly things like Yahoo Pipes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by taustin (171655)

      I hate to say it, but Craig's List has been a spam haven for some time. Some parts of better than other, but at least 90% (really) of everything in the personals section is pure, 100% spam and scam. Very little of the community section is real now, too.

      • by story645 (1278106) <story645@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @01:04AM (#30293696) Journal

        I hate to say it, but Craig's List has been a spam haven for some time. Some parts of better than other, but at least 90% (really) of everything in the personals section is pure, 100% spam and scam.

        Same with housing, at least in New York Cty. It's almost all shady brokerage firms (one was a total bait and switch job) that neglect key details, such as addresses, in their listings. Trying to find something near school when the neighborhood option for craiglist encompasses about 40-60 blocks on the west side is some what fruitless. I love craigslist in theory, but sometimes I wish the rules were a bit stiffer.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rhizome (115711)

          It's almost all shady brokerage firms (one was a total bait and switch job) that neglect key details, such as addresses, in their listings.

          Via the Craigslist TOU [craigslist.org], it's your responsibility as a reader to flag [craigslist.org] bad ads. Community moderation is the price we all pay for Craigslist to remain as (mostly) free as it is. If spammers are able to keep ads up, it's because people--possibly people like you--aren't flagging bad ads.

          • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @01:55AM (#30294058)

            It gets disheartening to flag 30 bad ads in a row from the same user only to come back the next day and see the same user with another 100+ bad ads. You get burnt out and just give up after a while.

            I'm speaking from experience searching the real estate ads in places like Los Angeles and Las Vegas where a handful of brokers keyword spam their ads with the name of every single town and neighborhood in the entire area. In my case it became a lot more worthwhile to find something unique about the keyword spammers and add that as a negative search option rather than flag every bad ad that I happened upon from using a more naive search.

            • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @04:34AM (#30294874) Homepage
              In fairness to Craigslist, they have a pretty thorough anti-abuse system. If you read spammer forums (I do) you'll see that they learn reputation on IP blocks, ad content, links, and force phone [re]verification on anything that looks suspicious. The bar has been raised dramatically over the last 6-8 months, so, they are trying. Beneath the humble covers is a pretty sophisticated anti-abuse operation.
              • I'm a bit curious about the spammer forums... got links? I'd love to see what those fuckers are up to.
            • by rhizome (115711)

              It gets disheartening to flag 30 bad ads in a row from the same user only to come back the next day and see the same user with another 100+ bad ads. You get burnt out and just give up after a while.

              You don't have to flag every ad. If it's the same user/agency/account, you can send the URL to one of the ads to abuse@craigslist saying that they are overposting and vote for them to be banned that way (and they will). Irrelevant keywords are absolutely prohibited [craigslist.org], should be flagged, and habitual posting of them

          • If spammers are able to keep ads up, it's because people--possibly people like you--aren't flagging bad ads.

            So if the users don't do it and the spammers get through anyway, why can't we have more powerful searches again?

          • by ErikZ (55491) *

            Machines can spam far faster than any human can cope.

            Which means Craigslist needs to hire some good programmers and clean things up. Last time I checked, they had less than 20 employees and were raking in tens of millions of dollars.

            They cannot plead poverty or expense costs.

            Their main offices are near Silicon Valley, they cannot complain about finding quality people.

            I'm just a hobby programmer, and I've had to create a spam filter for a web page I've created. It's part of being on the Internet. ...hell, ma

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by uvajed_ekil (914487)
      I think this also could relate to maintaining a relatively level playing field for all. If even the fanciest CL ads are not too elaborate, then even the most casual computer user's ads will not necessarily look that much worse. Maybe limiting the technology makes it easier for non-tech savy folks to read, understand, and post on CL with success? The posting interface is so simple that even my grandma can whip up an ad with a picture and get responses to it in no time. If they allowed a whole lot more, avera
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @10:52PM (#30292842)

    Old wine in new bottles seems to be the constant theme of the computer business. We are always redefining old ideas with new monikers and names as if something drastic has changed. It's a sucker's game.

    For example, the so-called Web 2.0 revolution is essentially a rewording of things that were going on in 1998, an era now called Web 1.0. I'm reminded of this only because I attended a social networking meetup (also called a meeting or gathering) and realized that all the buzz over social networking is really nothing new. You can read book after book about the social networking revolution and soon realize that these books are not much different than generalized "how to do marketing" books that floated around in the 1960s. The rules, the philosophies, the ideas are all old but re-jiggered to fit into the social networking meme.

    This is the way the computer scene operates. Everything is gussied up to look hip and new when it's really putting lipstick on a pig. When all is said and done, the computer is good for a limited number of uses. These include calculations, entertainment, information retrieval, image manipulation, and word processing. That's it. Everything is a subset of those Big Five.

    But when you boil computing down to five basic mechanisms, you have to constantly jazz up the categories with new terms. Word processing evolves into desktop publishing or blogging or content management, for example. It's all variations on the theme.

    In the early days I would generalize about these same Big Five using early terminology. Back then, before it was actually boiled down, only "word processing" remained as a constant insofar as a naming convention is concerned. "Entertainment" was always referred to as "gaming." "Information retrieval" was "database management." "Calculations" were always "spreadsheets." There was no image manipulation in any serious way until the invention of Photoshop, and that was the last brick in the wall.

    So if we are going to really boil down computers and try and project the future, it turns out to be rather simple. They get faster and faster and faster but not really any more useful (except for the fact that they are faster). This basic idea has been lost in the "there's an app for that" world of confused Web 2.0 jargon and the Intel Atom chip. The industry as a whole is losing its way. Each new development fails to increase performance Performance is the only thing important to the basic computer. All improvements such as newer and slicker versions of Photoshop, for example, require higher and higher performance machines. This holds true for networks and everything else. As performance increases things become more practical and easier to use. So where is the performance?

    Part of the problem stems from the emergence of cheapskate computing. Getting the cheapest machine you can find that will manage to do the job--meaning it will boot an OS and actually run some sluggish apps.

    When desktop computing got its start a good machine cost about $3,500, and to keep up with the technology you generally bought a machine every year or two and typically spent between $2,500 to $3,500 until the prices started to erode. By the time of the dot-com crash in 2000 a typical rig was selling for $1,500. Now its' gotten to the point where the median price is hovering around $800 and usable machines can be had for $400.

    Instead of using Moore's Law to make machines more powerful, the "make them cheap" switch has been thrown and now everyone has a cheap machine in one form or another. The problem with cheap computing is that it's really not exciting. Moore's Law can affect performance, price and size. Size is the other direction the industry is going with the iPhone computing platform. This is another move away from the performance direction.

    The trend, unfortunately, is not going to change. Once people get into cheap and small they seldom return to extravagance. So what do they do? They turn to old wine in new bottles. We'll just keep changing the name for everyth

    • by MrCrassic (994046)

      And I appreciate that you did! You took the words out of my mouth.

      When I was a bit younger, I remember being all sorts of excited over the newest processors, graphics cards and all of those whiz-bang devices. The performance boosts you could get from overclocking your CPU, for instance, actually made a difference between tolerable and FLYING FAST, which let you do things with your computer that you couldn't do before (at least acceptably). Linux was nowhere near as complete as now, so getting that to work w

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tomhudson (43916)

      When desktop computing got its start a good machine cost about $3,500,

      Let me fix that for you ...

      When desktop computing got its start a turdle machine cost about $3,500, and a good one was double that. (And the definition of "good" was something that today you'd be ashamed to have sitting in your garbage can on collection day).

      *grumble* You kids nowadays *grumble*

    • by trenton (53581)

      ... the computer is good for a limited number of uses. These include calculations, entertainment, information retrieval, image manipulation, and word processing.

      I've got to ask, did you go to the Michael Scott school of business [tv.com]?

      Michael: There are four kinds of business: tourism, food service, railroads, and sales; and hospitals/manufacturing; and air travel.

    • by genner (694963)

      It's just 1997 with a little more online bandwidth.

      There, I wrote it.

      and a 747 is just a modified Kity Hawk that flies a little faster.
      I mean all anyone uses airplanes for is for flying around. There haven't been any real improvements.

      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        no it's pretty much the same shit, except instead of angelfire and geocities pages made by idiots with animated gif flames and spinning skulls it's myspace pages with animated gif glitter and spinning rims.

        though now we have streaming MP3s and flv video instead of MIDIs so things have actually gotten worse.
    • When all is said and done, the computer is good for a limited number of uses. These include calculations, entertainment, information retrieval, image manipulation, and word processing. That's it. Everything is a subset of those Big Five.

      Hmm, I don't know about that. I do a lot of audio manipulation on my computer. Shouldn't that warrant its own category if image manipulation does? If so, then there's a sixth category you missed, and it came later than image manipulation. If not, why not? Either way, is it so inconceivable that there will be other uses as computers continue to get faster, smaller, and cheaper? I doubt many people thought they'd ever be used for entertainment when ENIAC went online...

      Also, aren't those categories kind o

      • by WNight (23683)

        I don't subscribe to the Singularity, a deus ex machina if ever there was one,

        Not if you don't expect it to save you from anything. It's as likely to be evil AI, grey goo, or gene-mod werewolves as to be helpful stuff.

        That's the point, it's by definition the stuff you can't predict. At that, it's tautological. For any knowledge base, there has to be something you can't reason about.

        It might never get to the point where everything changes unpredictably by tomorrow as in fiction. Or, as some have suggested it's already passed the majority by. (As in, trying to make a complex determinat

    • I laughed the other day when a (much younger) workmate complained about automatically generated mails he had to handle: Thunderbird was very unresponsive when he opened those 100KB (~1700 lines) pure ASCII e-mails. The reason was apparently some badly installed/configured "Internet security" app, but it was hilarious to see him not find it unusual that his modern PC could not handle such text files and asking not have to work with them, when our 50-100 times slower PCs were handling them fine ~15 years ago.
    • New low for anonymous cowards!

    • by steelfood (895457)

      When all is said and done, the computer is good for a limited number of uses. These include calculations, entertainment, information retrieval, image manipulation, and word processing. That's it. Everything is a subset of those Big Five.

      How about, computers are good for information storage, retrieval, and transformation?

      Then it becomes a matter of how we perform these three tasks. Data by itself has no meaning. We assign meaning to the data. And by doing so, we can then figure out how to enter, manipulate, and display meaningfully.

      There are human limits to computing. We can only enter data at a physically defined speed. We can only absorb regurgitated data at a physically defined rate. Thus, after a certain point in time, the only thing th

  • i hope all these link agregators die. good stuff.
  • Craigslist is basically run as a public service. They are well within their rights to block something that increases their bandwidth costs and has no benefit for them. Heck, the way the project was described, I'm not sure it had benefits for anyone!

  • by GaryOlson (737642) <slashdot@garyol s o n.org> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @11:23PM (#30293050) Journal
    Blocking some irresponsible Yahoo's pipes is the only way to stop it from reproducing.
  • So this means that Craigslist has plugged up the portion of the Intertubes belonging to Yahoo? Sounds like lawsuit material!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gujo-odori (473191)

      How so? You can't sue (well, successfully, anyway), someone for refusing them access to your network[1]. It is, after all, your network. The entire anti-spam (in which I work) and anti-virus industries basically revolve around that central principle: that a network or site operator gets to decide who is - and is not - allowed access, and said operator's decision is final. If Craigslist doesn't want to allow Yahoo Tubes access to their RSS feed, they are fully within their rights to deny it.

      [1] Well, maybe,

      • How so? You can't sue (well, successfully, anyway), someone for refusing them access to your network[1].

        It's a joke, son. You know, "pipes"? "Tubes"? "The Intertubes"?

  • by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @11:31PM (#30293100) Journal

    While I can't comment on the logic behind the actions documented here, I can definitely say a word or two on what I believe to be the end of Craigslist's usefulness (at least for me).

    About two years ago, I used Craigslist for everything. From iPhone purchases to small free stuff in my neighborhood (and others), Craigslist did it all. I even used its Personals section, which I actually had some success with (NO, not the NSA area...get your head out of there!).

    Nowadays, every time I try to use Craigslist for those same purposes, I leave utterly disappointed. Almost every search I've run on the site has returned 95% SPAM. It's ridiculous that I can't trust a single entry because spam on there has gotten clever enough to resemble real listings. If you're even thinking of finding a mate on there, don't; it's a cesspool of fakes and cheap prostitutes. If I've left Craigslist for that reason, so has many other people, which means that it gets more noise, less hits.

    I understand that the service is free, but let's put things in perspective. This very site sees ridiculously high traffic on a daily basis, yet does a very good job at moderating spam postings on EVERY discussion. We get dupes and stupidity, sure, but not (that much) spam.

    Kind of sad, really. I shouldn't have to use eBay to buy something from a seller 5 miles away and hope that he's cool with local pickup...

    (BTW: That project is awesome.)

    • It is hard to find a spouse on CL, but easy to find a widget on eBay.

      There is a lot of spam on a commercial services and stuff for sale site where people to go spend money, but not much on a tech discussion site.

      Oranges are orange and apples are not.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      About 50% of the craigslist ads I've responded to were from the same scammer, who tried to get me to paypal them "because they were out of town". Unfortunately, craigslist doesn't have a "fraud" flag, nor are they doing anything to prevent this kind of fraud spam. I tend to look at my local listings every day and the percentage which is the same crap that the same idiots have been spreading across twelve posts (like the dipshit parting his VW camper... and listing every part separately) for months now has o

      • About 50% of the craigslist ads I've responded to were from the same scammer, who tried to get me to paypal them "because they were out of town".

        Interesting. My experience trying to sell anything over $20 has had just about the same problem ("I'll pay you 20% extra, oh and I need you to send it to me in another country).

        I really think creating an API for viewing posts in different ways would really help Craigslist. They could keep the posting method the same which both protects their market (you still have to go to Craigslist to post) but allows someone else to do the work on trying new search features, data organization, etc.If they are concerned

    • by istartedi (132515)

      Similar experience here. I used to look at their real estate ads a lot. I've almost totally replaced them with a site run by a nationwide broker that provides open access to MLS. Craigslist is right about not having any flash on their site; but they're wrong about not having even the most simple things in their DB. For example, I can't reliably separate mobile homes from condos from SFRs. Any decent MLS-based search will do that. These would be very simple features to implement, and CL wouldn't have to

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've moved a lot the last few years. I find personally that craigslist was mostly genuine in areas with a lot of smaller towns, whereas in larger metro areas, it's generally loaded with spam and scams.

    That being said, it's definitely easier to find yourself a happy ending massage parlor in the bigger areas.

  • Last time I tried to use Yahoo Pipes (on InstantWatcher.com), I couldn't build a pipe because Yahoo obeyed the robots.txt file. Redirecting based on referer seems like overkill when they can just change their robots.txt.

    • by moniker (9961)

      It's easier to proxy before yahoo pipes then after yahoo pipes. Hence skipping to the end. Nevermind, too tired to think and answered my own question.

  • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Wednesday December 02, 2009 @12:41AM (#30293518) Homepage
    ... and found CL's RSS feeds to be too unreliable to really use with Yahoo Pipes -- the pipe would get wedged because the RSS feeds were. I kept thinking that they had intentionally blocked YP -- and sometimes it seemed like they did, because the feeds worked properly if I went to them directly. And then it would start working again. (It might have simply been something that looked for abuse and blocked it, and with lots of people using YP, it might have looked like a DoS attack, all coming from just one or a few IP addresses.)

    Ultimately I just wrote my own setup that worked very much like Yahoo Pipes, but without the GUI to configure things (I just wrote perl code to do what I wanted) and it also did caching of the RSS feeds for a while and if there was an error it would simply work with the cached data rather than failing. Took a while to get right, but now that I have it working properly, I love it.

  • Guess I'll spending my day re-implementing Yahoo Pipes on my own server.

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