Okay, for the scant few fans of Star Wars or MMORPGs that just awoke from their coma, first of all congratulations! Glad to see you back. Second, LucasArts and Bioware made an announcement that stunned the internet today (since absolutely no one has known about this for the last two freakin’ years)…Star Wars: The Old Republic, the new MMO.
(I have fairly high hopes for this game thanks to Bioware’s involvement, but there’s already enough coverage/talk/bitching about cartoony graphics out there to choke a bantha, so you’ll find none of that here…today, at least. But feel free to add me as a friend at the new TOR site…just click here to go to my profile page.)
Today’s announcement did bring something else to mind, however…specifically iTunes and Adobe.
Stay with me for a moment; I’m getting there.
Almost a year ago, there was quite a bit of eFuror© due to a post entitled “Lies, Lies and Adobe Spies” at UNEASYsilence about the fact that, when you launch an Adobe CS3 program, it connects to what appears to be an IP on your local network.
What it’s actually doing is connecting to the 2o7.net (that’s the letter “o,” not a zero) server of a company called Omniture, which makes its money providing website traffic analytics and “aggregate behavioral tracking”. The upshot of this is that it installs a cookie on your computer to track what you do on the site…fairly standard internet stuff that happens all the time…trust me.
The same type of problem made headlines in 2006 when it was discovered that iTunes was tracking what you listened to. Take a guess what company was providing that service for Apple?
No, not PopCap. Pay attention.
(The SW:TOR stuff is coming…just stay with me.)
What’s not quite so standard is the reason why Omniture feels it necessary to do so through a spoofed local network IP, using the letter “o” instead of a zero. The entire process gives a fairly common practice the air of suspicious behavior, as was stated by Adobe’s John Nack when the issue came up. And the official answer to the question of “Why use such a suspicious-looking method to do this?”
This, of course, explains why you will see the IP “eaeacom.112.2o7.net” pop up when you download one of the spiffy wallpapers at the new SW:TOR site.
Which means that LucasArts is using a sometimes-controversial web service to install a cookie on your computer to track what you do at the new site. A big deal? Probably not. However, different people have varying degrees of feeling about this type of thing, so I thought you’d like to know.
I’ll go into my theory that it’s being used to determine what to keep in the game and what to take out based on what gets the most attention from visitors at the new site another time; instead, I’ll leave you with two quotes…the first from the Omniture “What is 2o7.net?” page:
Omniture will not review, share, distribute, print, or reference any session data of visitors to the customer websites except as requested by the customer or as may be required by law.
Who watches the watchmen?
Apparently, no one.