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Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the nose-meet-knife dept.

Censorship 164

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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164 comments

the rationale involved has already been explained (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30292738)

here [wired.com]

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30292896)

tl;dr, got an executive summary?

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30292926)

Craigslist are doing fine without you, me and yahoo.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (-1, Flamebait)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#30292992)

Exactly bro, and it's none of HIS business.

I so wanna slap him in the face and tell him go try doing something on his own and stop living off people's feces data mining.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293370)

Craigslist are doing fine without you, me and yahoo.

... but they certainly like google - they let google crawl them.

The guy just has to do a scrape of the cache from the results of a google query of "site:craigslist.org" - it returns results from iowa, hawaii, san francisco, manila, singapore ...

Or scrape each cached result of a query based on each geographical area: "site:kansascity.craigslist.org", "site:losangeles.craigslist.org", etc.

Never need to hit the actual craigslist domain at all.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30294066)

It goes without saying that scraping the cache for use in an app not using Google's official APIs is against Google's TOS. Wouldn't surprise me in the least if Google didn't ban the user agent for Pipes. They ban a whole bevy of other automation agents as it is.

Craigslist wants to disable mashups? Their prerogative. Or you might say it's Jim's prerogative (Craig owns the place, Jim runs it). Part of the no-frills approach also means going through the website and not some third party.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (5, Insightful)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293044)

In my opinion, the executive summary is that Craig Newmark values his notion of small, local communities more highly than he values money. I mean it in as cool and non-bleeding-heart a manner as possible.

He has the ability to direct the flow of visitors to his site to make money, or he has the ability to encourage what he sees as small, local communities basically unconnected to one another. He uses his site for the latter, and consequently forgoes substantial amounts of income. Sites that aggregate content or otherwise amalgamate the disconnected communities run afoul of his personal and, perhaps, business preferences.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (4, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293078)

I would make the case that Craigslist makes money, rather than foregos it, because it does that.

Indeed, FTA:

In all the complaints and requests we get from users, this is never one of them. Time spent on the site, the number of people who post--we're the leader. It could be we're doing one or two things right.

From their CEO.

They have 30 employees. 30.

Whomever has dicked up Slashdot's UI could learn a thing or two by browsing Craigslist after reading the above quote.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (2, Insightful)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293182)

30 sounds about right. I'm always flabbergasted to hear how many employees Google, or Microsoft have. In a way I guess it is good that they have soe many people or unemployment would be even worse. But Craig is actually leveraging tech in the appropriate way if the goal is to do as much as possible with as little as possible.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293220)

Google and MS are businesses that do far more than what Craig's list does. Even just with the software development, it takes far more than 30 people to do that at either company. Let alone the other work of promoting the products and doing the accounting. And even with the staff that MS has the company is probably, if anything, understaffed for the real needs. Had they had far more people working on developing software they'd probably have released there first 32bit only OS a couple years earlier.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (3, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293352)

Google and MS are businesses that do far more than what Craig's list does.

Well, ok, but you have to admit that single-handedly destroying the newspaper business model is pretty impressive. Not too many people can say they've collapsed an industry.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293364)

They're not making nearly the same revenue per employee, though, so there seem to be some diminishing returns. Craigslist brings in somewhere around $6 million per employee, while Microsoft brings in about $600,000, and Google about $1.1 million.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (4, Informative)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293550)

Craigslist leverages the Internet to provide a hell of a lot of service to a hell of a lot of people without doing much work at all. They skim a little money from some of those people and say that's enough.

Microsoft creates a lot of work for themselves by making lots of new features and then convincing people that they need them. It's how they leverage their advantage as the world's largest software company, and the rest of the industry (and lots of people doing OSS) fall for it.

Google is probably pretty much the same these days. The point is that these companies are worried about shareholder value first, they're worried about winning. That's why they make all this work for themselves. Craigslist just provides the service. Take it or leave it.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (4, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293236)

But Craig is actually leveraging tech in the appropriate way if the goal is to do as much as possible with as little as possible.

That's the thing so many companies just don't get. They feel they need big teams. They think they need to spend this or that and have Flash and Flex and AJAX and all sorts of stuff. But sometimes simplicity, lightweight, and a small team can do amazing things.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293454)

30 sounds about right. I'm always flabbergasted to hear how many employees Google, or Microsoft have.

Estimated revenue of Craigslist in 2007 was $150 million, and mere $25 million in 2006. Net income of Microsoft in 2009 - the worst year ever, IIRC - was $14 billion. Net income of Google in 2008 was $4.2 billion.

(All figures are taken from Wikipedia)

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (4, Interesting)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294154)

But Microsoft has 93,000 employees and $58 billion in revenue, and Google has 20,000 employees and $22 billion in revenue (I'm quoting revenue, seeing as wages come out of revenue, not out of profit).

So Craigslist pulls in $4,687,500 per employee, Microsoft $623,655 per employee and Google $1,100,000 per employee.

Don't forget that Craigslist likely has the lowest R&D costs and investment costs out of any of the three.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (1, Insightful)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294896)

For Microsoft, their income mostly unrelated to what their tech employees are doing. Just look at what's been happening from Windows NT to Windows 7--mostly theming. Microsoft's success comes mostly from marketing and business "strategy" (aka questionable practices).

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (1)

garynuman (1666499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294152)

normally i hate when people say this but as an avid user of craigslist to buy/sell things without fees I couldn't agree with you, and the overall ethos of craigslist, more and wish I had mod points....

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294854)

small, local communities basically unconnected to one another

You make it sound so wholesome. But it's really small, local communities of hookers, real-estate agents, and those looking for unusual, risky sex.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (0, Flamebait)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293202)

Executive summary? Let me google that. Ahhhh. Executive summary. Something required by a pompous ass with delusions of grandeur. Such requirements are generally needed by lazy asses who can't or won't read, and are willing to burden their peers with doing the reading, thinking, and decision making, while taking all the credit for their peers work.

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (1)

zubinwadia (1355675) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293678)

Not a mess. Just happens to be a little idiosyncratic - two years ago I tried to offer a complete web2.0y rebuild of their site for free and they refused! http://zwadia.com/ [zwadia.com]

Re:the rationale involved has already been explain (2, Insightful)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294642)

Maybe they went to your site without javascript enabled and weren't impressed with your "web2.0" skills?

Hint: keyword spamming is pathetic. Totally failing your site layout because of keyword spamming is just hilarious.

Mashups... Last year's cloud computing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30292740)

Mashups... People still dabble with those?

I still don't know of anyone who actually uses them. None of the developers I know use them, even the ones they had created for themselves at one point. Most non-technical people still have no idea what mashups are.

I think we'll find cloud computing to be much like mashups; nothing but hype in the end. A few bloggers raved about them, the ones that were produced really didn't do anything useful, and they're soon forgotten about. A relic of the failed "Web 2.0" experiment, if you will.

Re:Mashups... Last year's cloud computing. (3, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293344)

Mashups are mostly cool because they look hard to implement. You look at them and think oh wow that's cool it looks like a desktop. Maybe you play with one for a few hours before forgetting about it. They're one of many things that seem like impressive technical achievements- but that no one really asked for- and that people tire of quickly.

The best example that comes to mind is that voice recognition feature that works over the phone. At first, you hear, "Press 1, or say... yes!" and you decide to say "yes" and it understands you. So you think oh wow that's cool... it can recognize my voice, how impressive. But really, you've seen enough, and afterward you always use touch tones as before. Until... voice recognition infects all the phone tree systems you use like a plague, and the touch tone option disappears! "The serial number you entered is XXXXX. Is that the correct number? Please say 'yes' for yes, 'no' for no", or... 'I'm not sure' if you're not sure!" Now since I don't want the guy taking a dump in the next stall to hear me say "yes" and find out that I'm in there on a cellphone (ew) I try to get away with what worked in the good old days... pressing 1. "Sorry, I did not understand your answer. Please say 'yes' for yes, 'no' for no, or... 'I'm not sure' if you're not sure!" ARRGH... People who are forced to undergo credit counseling under the terms of the recent bankruptcy reform law are put on the phone with these things, and have to sit there like idiots all day talking to them. It sounds like hell. Many cellphones also have voice recognition- you set it up so you can say "Mary" and it calls Mary and you think oh wow that's cool... but have you ever seen anyone use it? Me either. Mary has a bad reputation- I don't want you to know I'm calling her.

Drag and drop is another one. I can see drag and drop is useful in some situations. You drag a file to a folder, an icon to another window to open it there, etc. So everybody has to implement drag and drop everywhere, whether it makes sense or not, even though nobody outside a feature design meeting has ever asked for it. I have never wanted to drag and drop anything on any "web 2.0" site. But a lot of times my finger clicks the mouse by accident, and I find myself dragging a mouse pointer around that's pregnant with some strange little icon dragged from who knows where. I usually keep dragging it across the screen until I see it turn into that little "no not here" thingy and then I let go. Unless I'm too slow to catch it, and I get stuck trying to figure out WTF I just did and how I can undo it to get things back to the way they were.

Touchscreens- that's another example. When you first use one, you think, oh wow that's cool. Then you put your oily fingers all over it until all you see is a mash of filthy fingerprints dimly lit from underneath... and suddenly you realize those horrible little thumb keyboards weren't so bad after all.

Re:Mashups... Last year's cloud computing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30293554)

Now since I don't want the guy taking a dump in the next stall to hear me say "yes" and find out that I'm in there on a cellphone (ew)

Or you could, you know, not use a cell phone while in a bathroom stall.

I know people who use the voice dialing all the time and find it very handy, though I am not one of them. And (unlike the voice-recognition on the other end of the line) you're not forced to use it. It causes you no inconvenience.

Drag and drop is a good technology when properly used. 90% of implementations are crap because 90% of everything is crap.

Touchscreens are an improvement for many operations, though typing is not one of them. Those screens can be cleaned, you know, as can your hands--if you're not too busy using your cell phone.

I'll get off your lawn now; I just wanted to make sure you know that you are the old man on the porch.

Re:Mashups... Last year's cloud computing. (0, Offtopic)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293684)

Dude, I thought this was the 21st century! If I can't use a cell phone in a bathroom stall why'd I bother getting the damn thing? Oh, right, I didn't get a cell phone. But if I did I'd probably use it in bathroom stalls, this being the 21st century and all.

Re:Mashups... Last year's cloud computing. (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293654)

I use cellphone voice recognition all the time with my Droid. "call " "navigate to " or just "website name" when I don't want to be bothered to type in an address. real nice stuff.

I Wonder... (4, Insightful)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

waste of resources/traffic ... (4, Informative)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30292872)

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.

Re:waste of resources/traffic ... (5, Informative)

klossner (733867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30292906)

Yeah. Which is why he used RSS instead of scraping the web pages, and cached the data to avoid pounding the servers.

Re:waste of resources/traffic ... (2, Interesting)

PastaLover (704500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294814)

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:waste of resources/traffic ... (2, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30292934)

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.

Re:waste of resources/traffic ... (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294022)

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:waste of resources/traffic ... (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294906)

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

You apparently don't understand the meaning of "scraping".

In this case they were so kind to cache, but the principle stays.

Which principle would that be? RSS feeds can't possibly be a big drain on their site.

So, they must have some other reason to lock the data in. What is it?

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

pla (258480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293014)

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.

Re:I Wonder... (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293068)

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:I Wonder... (2, Insightful)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293188)

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...

Re:I Wonder... (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293376)

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.

Re:I Wonder... (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293464)

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?

Re:I Wonder... (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293546)

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...

Re:I Wonder... (1)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293798)

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, get walking distances to various important landmarks (the office, their favorite little Italian deli, Red Line stops), and weigh them against each of their personal criteria. They wound up finding a great place. Even if Craigslist were sorted by neighborhood, Chicago neighborhood boundaries are fluid enough that it wouldn't help that much.

Re:I Wonder... (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293782)

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 everything near me, or using RSS to aggregate all three of those site's content?

Re:I Wonder... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293886)

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:I Wonder... (2, Interesting)

drtsystems (775462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293290)

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.

Re:I Wonder... (1)

garynuman (1666499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294234)

as an avid user of craigslist i think you are being pretty bitchy, all you have to do is click on your state/neighboring states and look in the categories of things you interested in available in the areas you're willing to drive, really its not all that hard, I do it all the time, takes like maybe a minute longer than a dedicated search and holds much truer to the original intent of craigslist

Re:I Wonder... (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294362)

as an avid user of craigslist i think you are being pretty bitchy,

As an avid user of Slashdot, I think you are a fucking tool.

all you have to do is click on your state/neighboring states and look in the categories of things you interested in

Well, I interested in different things at differing times. But search is split up by region, and it's not at all clear which regions are close to which other regions from the listings. If I'm going to be traveling someplace, it would also be nice to be able to check for the things I want in all the regions along my path, which gets even more complex. I live in California, where there are lots of towns because there are lots of people because there is lots of demand for the land.

really its not all that hard, I do it all the time, takes like maybe a minute longer than a dedicated search

Visiting each region and pasting the search terms is tedious and stupid. Computers exist to help us do stupid things faster, not to create more stupidity.

and holds much truer to the original intent of craigslist

What, to waste my time?

Re:I Wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30293140)

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.

effin yea! couldn't have articulated it in a better way

Re:I Wonder... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293982)

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:I Wonder... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30294512)

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 hijack the network in favor of their own, either through botfloods, or spamming their "webchat services" for my network, and if you checked to see if they had IRC running, they did, and it was a near-complete copy of what I had running, with a few exceptions. Then the delusional idiots who thought they could persuade me through vague and fictitious legal threats that I somehow had to give them power by law, and step down.

Funny, but it shows, that even with any sizeable group, someone wants a piece of the pie, or the whole thing, they want to feel empowered over someone else. That's what many of these people wanted, power to hold over others. I just wanted to provide some free chat services, and learn from the ordeal. Ultimately I learned that it isnt worth it and your users will almost always hate you if you're too giving, as they demand more and hold no respect for you. But sadly, some people see things for more than that.
Hell, the craziest attempt was when one guy told me point blank that he will take my network over, he even said he'd take over freenode, and use his new powers to take down world governments, and that he was "the one".

Fun times.

Re:I Wonder... (1, Offtopic)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293234)

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.

The reason is obvious (5, Insightful)

bigjarom (950328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30292800)

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:The reason is obvious (2, Informative)

taustin (171655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293008)

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.

Re:The reason is obvious (3, Interesting)

story645 (1278106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293696)

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:The reason is obvious (2, Insightful)

rhizome (115711) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294010)

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.

Re:The reason is obvious (3, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:The reason is obvious (4, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294874)

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.

Re:The reason is obvious (2, Interesting)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293098)

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, average bargain hunters might feel more intimidated by the competition and post less ads. Maybe this is not their motivation, but it is something I actually like about the site.

Re:The reason is obvious (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30293896)

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.
Now I know who is posting granny-with-whip-4mmmm

Pipes? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30292804)

All this time I thought it was tubes.

Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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 everything we do and that will make us think things are improving and moving ahead. So let me pretend to be modern by using the cloud and jabbering on Twitter and making an Internet phone call. Just know that we're only fooling ourselves. It's just 1997 with a little more online bandwidth.

There, I wrote it.

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30292946)

McCain's gonna getcha for that "lipstick on a pig" remark, dude. Won't somebody think of the Sarahs?

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30293252)

Good point; McCain explicitly said that the phrase "putting lipstick on a pig" exclusively refers to Sarah Palin.

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293214)

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 was fun sometimes...

Nowadays, there's nothing to get excited about anymore. As you said, when you can get a machine with a Core 2 Duo CPU running at over 2 GHz each core with gobs of memory and hard disk space and usually pretty decent graphics cards at less than $500 or so, it makes getting good performance easy. Furthermore, the benefits of getting better performance are slimming. Most apps are going to the web (including Office starting with Office 2010, which runs pretty nice), and the next wave of OSes seem to concentrate on how to better serve the low-end by co-opting the internet with the live desktop. Installing Linux is a nice alternative, but from my point of view, the result is nothing but an operating system that's functionally indifferent from Windows and inferior in terms of compatibility and application support.

Then again, it could be because I'm "getting old." (Though at 22, I hardly doubt it.)

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (2, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293308)

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*

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (1)

trenton (53581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293508)

... 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.

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (1)

Boycott BMG (1147385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293756)

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.

Err, I think you are neglecting one category that is probably driving more computer use than 3 of those 5 put together - communication. In fact communication is the whole point of a bunch of these web 2.0 ideas. They rely on social networking to, for instance, get recommendations for some purchase. This existed before "web 2.0" of course, but these newfangled sites are supposed to make it "easier" and "more accessible" without having to trawl through message boards/google/whatever.

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (1)

genner (694963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293890)

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.

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293940)

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.

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (0, Offtopic)

genner (694963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294446)

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.

Remind again how midi's are superiour to mp3's?

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30295572)

They download quickly over a modem and have their own volume slider in the mixer.

Re:Going Nowhere Sort of Fast (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293924)

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 of arbitrary? After all, looking at it from a very low-level point of view, the only thing the computer is good for is calculations. Everything else you do with it boils down to that.

I agree with your statement that most of the "advances" being touted today are really just rebranding; but real, usually incremental advances do take place and shouldn't be discounted. In my own favored area, audio manipulation, the past few years have seen lots of expansion in both what can be done and how easy it is to do it, in commercial products like Propellerhead Reason or Ableton Live and in weird, ungainly yet powerful beasts like PureData or SuperCollider. I think we are also only beginning to see the implications of multi-touch screens, motion capture like Project Natal and other interface technologies that could free us from the constraints of keyboard-based interaction.

I don't subscribe to the Singularity, a deus ex machina if ever there was one, but it's a few decades too early to claim the industry is eating itself. It's a little stagnant right now, but give bandwidth another decade to grow and interconnectivity some more time to become normal, and I think we'll see more original uses start to appear again as the industry is forced to find some new area to focus on.

Example ... (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30295182)

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. Perhaps the sluggishness of the Web in general has lowered people's expectations regarding the performance of PCs (esp. with web-based AJAX apps that try to provide faster deskop apps' functionality).

Too much extra traffic (2, Insightful)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#30292898)

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!

It has been this way for months, if not, years... (1)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 4 years ago | (#30292954)

In breaking news!! A new search website has been released called "Google"

One Yahoo is enough (3, Funny)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293050)

Blocking some irresponsible Yahoo's pipes is the only way to stop it from reproducing.

Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293058)

So this means that Craigslist has plugged up the portion of the Intertubes belonging to Yahoo? Sounds like lawsuit material!

Re: Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes (2, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293126)

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, if it was a case of discrimination against an individual based on skin color, or some other form of legally prohibited discrimination, but in general, you can't sue because someone won't accept your email/let you access their website/etc.

Back in the days that Craigslist was useful... (4, Interesting)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293100)

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.)

Re:Back in the days that Craigslist was useful... (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293164)

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:Back in the days that Craigslist was useful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30293828)

I've overwhelmingly had an excellent CL experience. It is one of the few internet sites that has a sociogeolocational (yes, I made that up) relevance.

Yes, I've had a spam message or two, in the personal sections. But it's the best for getting music gear, and maybe motorcycles (if I get the money!)

Re:Back in the days that Craigslist was useful... (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294252)

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 only been going up. Craigslist is well on its way to total uselessness, and their refusal to allow others to mangle the data is a contributing factor. Nine times out of ten if I use google to search craigslist, everything I'm interested in is a deleted posting, so I have the choice between breaking the AUP by using a scraper site to hit multiple CLs, or just going to eBay. Luckily, I have no particular use for CL personals ATM.

Fow what it's worth... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30293194)

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.

fuck3r (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30293294)

Reaper Nor Do the despite the in the sun. In the are tied up in about bylaws interest in having world. GNAA members are looking very walk up to a play

Oh no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30293388)

Now how am I supposed get an rss feed of local prostitutes...

Overkill, innit? (1)

moniker (9961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293400)

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.

Re:Overkill, innit? (1)

moniker (9961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293428)

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.

Newmark & Murdoch (0, Flamebait)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293510)

Rupert Murdoch whines and complains about Google "stealing" traffic by bundling his content/data to work in different ways: Slashdotters get up in arms, saying he's "missing the point" or is somehow mentally defective and pushing a failed business model.

Craig Newmark shuts out Yahoo for unstated reasons: Slashdotters support him and think he's doing a great job, and should keep preventing other people from building apps that bundle his content/data to work in different ways.

Ah Slashdot, is there anything you can't be hypocritical about?

Re:Newmark & Murdoch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30293942)

logic and reasoning - you fail them.

Did this long ago ... (3, Interesting)

dougmc (70836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30293518)

... 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.

http://www.game4power.com (-1, Offtopic)

searcher88 (1691192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30294662)

Game4power often aion gold [aionkina.com] have a number of recent activities Buy wow gold [game4power.com] buy aion gold [aionkina.com] sale of gold coins is really cheap aion gold [aionkina.com] cheap wow gold [game4power.com] hard to believe a Web site World of Warcraft players buying wow gold [game4power.com] buy gold wow [game4power.com] can cause such a strong reaction Buy aion gold [game4power.com] even some Aion players to drive over the

Re:Did this long ago ... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30295600)

I have a couple of pipes that I use as filters, and they get wedged all the time (one of the feeds starts on feedburner, so my initial guess is that there is no problem with pulling that feed, but I haven't dug into it, the feeds aren't real important).

dimwit (1)

zubinwadia (1355675) | more than 4 years ago | (#30295104)

it's a wordpress site with nothing special done to it... quit whining I didn't even have this blog when we were exploring this.
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