weev pointed out something that’s been bugging me today also. First boingboing and then Slashdot have carried the “story” that some guy was arrested and led off in chains “for using Lynx”.
For those not in the geek way, Lynx is a text-only web browser that’s often used on a text console, especially by administrators and others who need a nongraphical view of a website.
The story as reported by the websites is that our hero was just viewing this site using Lynx and then was arrested for being a hacker! Because the “user agent” information that’s sent to the site tells you which browser you’re using, and that isn’t a standard one. Or something.
This cannot be. Anyone who’s run a well-trafficked website will tell you that weird-ass user agents clog your logs all the time. Not only do you see lots of variations on every known browser and several programming languages’ web routines, but anyone can submit any user agent, so programs with names like SpoogeMonkey-ItalianDinner-0.003a and UrMomHawHaw-43-Kmart go by all day.
I have no idea what this guy was doing, but no one kicks down your door for having a weird user agent.
What a load of ignorant crap. Even for boingboing and Slashdot this is terrible.