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How does Google know about my GameDev.net profile?


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#1 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6966

Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

This is kinda weird. I just got the following email from Google:

Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 10.31.32 AM.png

 

The weird thing is that I use my Hotmail account for my email for GameDev.net, not my Gmail account. I have no clue how Google associated my GameDev.net profile with my Gmail or Google+ accounts. I myself never added anything. And when it says "you've added Google Authorship markup to your pages" I have no clue what "pages" it's talking about (I have none in my Google+ profile). How on earth did Google know I wrote this post (4 years ago!)?

 

Black magic, I tell you...


[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

Sponsor:

#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 19006

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

Google knows everything.  

 

In reply to someone saying "Pics or net never happened": Google has photos from everywhere to prove it.


Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#3 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

They're slowly acclamating you to how much they really know about you so you don't find it as outrageous when you find out it has video of you taking a bath with lavender bath salts and vanilla candles as you listened to enya this weekend.



#4 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6966

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

Oh my... this is getting creepier... So looking at the list of pages it's associating with me, it's found stuff by me on Wikipedia... It's creepy because there are a bajillion Michael Bradshaws in the world, and it's somehow correctly found me and my stuff.


Edited by Cornstalks, 14 January 2013 - 12:45 PM.

[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#5 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9639

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

The weird thing is that I use my Hotmail account for my email for GameDev.net, not my Gmail account. I have no clue how Google associated my GameDev.net profile with my Gmail or Google+ accounts. I myself never added anything.

You are absolutely sure you never set your hotmail address as the fall-back address in case you lose your gmail password?

 

If not, it is probably following the link to your blog from your GDNet profile. And that blog's about page links directly to your Google+ profile...


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#6 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6966

Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

The weird thing is that I use my Hotmail account for my email for GameDev.net, not my Gmail account. I have no clue how Google associated my GameDev.net profile with my Gmail or Google+ accounts. I myself never added anything.

 

You are absolutely sure you never set your hotmail address as the fall-back address in case you lose your gmail password?

Ah, now that I have done. Yes, my Hotmail account is set as that for my Gmail account. But even then, Google shouldn't even know my GameDev.net account's email (it's not publicly listed, so how would it know the email I use for GameDev.net matches my backup email for my Gmail account?).

 

If not, it is probably following the link to your blog from your GDNet profile. And that blog's about page links directly to your Google+ profile...

I've thought of that, but then there's the Wikipedia stuff too (I guess it's possible I used my Gmail email for my Wikipedia account... I dunno if I did or not, that was years ago and I don't even remember my Wikipedia username (I just had to look it up)). But even then, that's a pretty incredible feat. GameDev.net is a good sized community, but it's just a tiny speck in the Internet, and I'd expect other GameDev.net users to be getting the same kind of emails (maybe I'm just the first? People, let me know if you get this).


[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#7 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6966

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:02 PM

Ah, swiftcoder, you seem to be right. One way to get this is to add a <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a> tag from my webpage (which was probably added to my blog by the template), and then "add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated."

 

Yup, that seems to be how it did it. It probably followed the author profile link (my Cornstalks profile), found the link to my website, and then linked it to my Google+ profile. The weird part is that the second link I posted there (the one analyzing my Cornstalks profile) says "Error: Author profile page does not have an authorship link to a Google Profile." and yet, it has linked my GameDev.net profile to my Google+ profile.

 

Surprisingly, it hasn't found any StackOverflow stuff, but somehow managed to get some of my Wikipedia stuff...


Edited by Cornstalks, 14 January 2013 - 01:12 PM.

[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#8 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17262

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:41 PM

Fact: GameDev has a google +1 button at the bottom of the thread.

Fact: If you're logged into your Google account, google can automaticly detect what pages you view if that page contains a +1. (Facebook does the same thing with 'Like'). Poor theory: Maybe they somehow detect you 'submitting' the text in some way?

 

Stack Overflow doesn't have any +1 buttons, so they can't track what pages you view there.

Wikipedia doesn't either... but doesn't wikipedia publicly show IP addresses of contributions - or is that only with anonymous edits?

 

More theory: If wikipedia says, "This page was editted on <timestamp> by <ip>", and Google says, "<ip> accessed a different webpage with a +1 button two seconds later, and the user was logged into their google profile..." they could automatically put the two together, and with Wikipedia being one of the largest sites in the world, Google might've created a few special web crawling routines to harvest data from it. They wouldn't bother with a site like StackOverflow, but they probably would with Reddit.

 

Solution: Tin foil body armor


Edited by Servant of the Lord, 14 January 2013 - 01:55 PM.

It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.                                                                                                                                                       [Need free cloud storage? I personally like DropBox]

Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal


#9 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6966

Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:52 PM

Stack Overflow doesn't have any +1 buttons, so they can't track what pages you view there. Wikipedia doesn't either... Doesn't wikipedia publicly show IP addresses of contributions - or is that only with anonymous edits? If wikipedia says, "This page was editted on <timestamp> by <ip>", and Google says, "<ip> accessed a different webpage with a +1 button two seconds later, and the user was logged into their google profile..." they could automatically put the two together, and with Wikipedia being one of the largest sites in the world, Google might've created a few special web crawling routines to harvest data from it. Just theorizing.

Decent theory, but I have a dynamic IP from my ISP, and my contributions to Wikipedia were about 5 or 6 years ago (long before Google+), so I wouldn't expect my IPs to match.


[ I was ninja'd 71 times before I stopped counting a long time ago ] [ f.k.a. MikeTacular ] [ My Blog ] [ SWFer: Gaplessly looped MP3s in your Flash games ]

#10 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2055

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:47 AM

TBH, the Internet is getting scarier.

 

Pretty much the reason why I don't post stuff on FB page, or link anything to anything else.  Every account gets their own email address.


Edited by alnite, 15 January 2013 - 02:47 AM.


#11 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3220

Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:13 AM

TBH, the Internet is getting scarier.

 

Pretty much the reason why I don't post stuff on FB page, or link anything to anything else.  Every account gets their own email address.

damn, every account get's it's own email address must be kindof insane to keep track of after a bit.


Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#12 LennyLen   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3431

Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:21 AM

damn, every account get's it's own email address must be kindof insane to keep track of after a bit

My girlfriend manages this by having her own domain name with an unlimited number of email accounts associated with it. So her FB email address is facebook@hername.com, her myspace email address is myspace@hername.com, etc.

#13 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3220

Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:24 AM

damn, every account get's it's own email address must be kindof insane to keep track of after a bit

My girlfriend manages this by having her own domain name with an unlimited number of email accounts associated with it. So her FB email address is facebook@hername.com, her myspace email address is myspace@hername.com, etc.

just seems like a bit overkill, although thinking about it, you'd essentially be able to discover what site's are selling your email to advertiser's.


Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#14 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27883

Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:36 AM

My GD.net profile page doesn't list my email, except to people logged in as moderators... but one day I got a personalized email from a google HR representative asking me if I'd like to apply for a job, and they referenced posts that I'd made on this board!
 
They definitely know a lot about everyone.
 
On topic, but regarding Facebook --
Maybe 5 years ago, I signed up to Facebook with a fake account in a fake name ("Bill"), with an old email (also made under the same fake namewhich I use for things that might spam me), because I was going to an event that was being organized on there.
Recently, Facebook has started sending emails to this address trying to entice me to start using this long-idle account. The scary part is, most of these emails are in the form of "Hey Bill, do you know *person*, *person* or *person*?", and I shit you not, about 50% of the people it lists I've never heard of, but the other 50% are either high-school friends, university friends, colleagues (past and present -- from every different job I've ever had), current close friends or even family.
I've not logged into that account for years, and somehow, it has a really good idea of the institutions and workplaces that I've attended!
thinking about it, you'd essentially be able to discover what site's are selling your email to advertiser's.
For anyone with gmail, I'd recommend you do the same thing to catch out people who on-sell emails.
You can add "+anything" to the end of your email address, and it still goes to the same gmail account.
e.g. if you're "bill@gmail.com", you can sign up to gd.net with "bill+gdnet@gmail.com" and you'll know they've on-sold your details if you get spam to that address happy.png

Edited by Hodgman, 15 January 2013 - 04:44 AM.


#15 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3220

Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:59 AM

My GD.net profile page doesn't list my email, except to people logged in as moderators... but one day I got a personalized email from a google HR representative asking me if I'd like to apply for a job, and they referenced posts that I'd made on this board!
 
They definitely know a lot about everyone.
 
On topic, but regarding Facebook --
Maybe 5 years ago, I signed up to Facebook with a fake account in a fake name ("Bill"), with an old email (also made under the same fake namewhich I use for things that might spam me), because I was going to an event that was being organized on there.
Recently, Facebook has started sending emails to this address trying to entice me to start using this long-idle account. The scary part is, most of these emails are in the form of "Hey Bill, do you know *person*, *person* or *person*?", and I shit you not, about 50% of the people it lists I've never heard of, but the other 50% are either high-school friends, university friends, colleagues (past and present -- from every different job I've ever had), current close friends or even family.
I've not logged into that account for years, and somehow, it has a really good idea of the institutions and workplaces that I've attended!

thinking about it, you'd essentially be able to discover what site's are selling your email to advertiser's.
For anyone with gmail, I'd recommend you do the same thing to catch out people who on-sell emails.
You can add "+anything" to the end of your email address, and it still goes to the same gmail account.
e.g. if you're "bill@gmail.com", you can sign up to gd.net with "bill+gdnet@gmail.com" and you'll know they've on-sold your details if you get spam to that address happy.png

your story is quite scary, my dad asked me the same question when he first started using facebook, and the only response i could give him was that it might be linking people who had tried to search for him in the past, although reading that you used fake names, and it still discovered your real friends is just....scary....

 

also, that tid-bit with adding + to gmail emails is actually handy to know, thanks=-)


Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#16 wintertime   Members   -  Reputation: 1606

Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

I think this whole "web 2.0" stuff is really setup to collect as much data about unaware people as possible to the sell targeted ads. And really, why do you need to post on FB when you could just email a selected few of your friends with what you wanna tell them? This picture I saw somewhere really makes this visible:

http://www.ethannonsequitur.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/facebook-and-you-pigs-450x360.jpg



#17 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17262

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

This picture I saw somewhere really makes this visible:
http://www.ethannonsequitur.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/facebook-and-you-pigs-450x360.jpg

 

Very good point. xkcd: Instagram comic, in a similar vein.


It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.                                                                                                                                                       [Need free cloud storage? I personally like DropBox]

Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal


#18 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1494

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:37 PM

Fact: If you're logged into your Google account, google can automaticly detect what pages you view if that page contains a +1. (Facebook does the same thing with 'Like'). Poor theory: Maybe they somehow detect you 'submitting' the text in some way?

 

I wonder, does this also happen for sites with Google Analytics? This seems to be like 99.99% of sites on the internet right now, it's practically impossible to find a site that doesn't have that.


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#19 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2964

Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:47 AM

This is serious shit. A run a search on myself a few times per year but so far I never found anything even remotely as scary as that!



#20 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8187

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:39 AM

I had the same problem with Facebook, I created a brand new account a few days ago due to some personal life requirements (I deleted my old one like years ago) and the thing instantly came up with lots of people I knew, including people I talk to on Skype only. It's ridiculous.


The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis





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