Google Photos Screensaver 2.0

Check your web server logs. The Google Photos Screensaver 2.0 web bot does not respect robots.txt rules. It tripped over my tarpit a few days ago and I just noticed it hitting the same url again this morning. It’s banned now.

The strange thing is, I saw two requests from this user agent a few minutes ago. One from 66.249.85.129 which is a Gooogle IP, and another from 117.193.129.58 which looks like an Indian IP.

Which one tripped over my tarpit? The Google IP address, 66.249.85.129 did.

If you want to ban “Google Photos Screensaver 2.0″, add these lines to the .htaccess in your root directory (presuming you have mod_rewrite enabled of course!)

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*Google Photos Screensaver 2.0.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]

I also ban a number of other user agents. This could could be merged into a few less lines but this makes it easy to add new lines quickly:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Microsoft URL Control.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} WebAlta Crawler/2.0.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*larbin.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Python-urllib.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} libwww-perl.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*Indy Library.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .*Jakarta Commons-HttpClient.*
RewriteRule .* - [F,L]

Tinfoil hat time! Google recognises you now!

Thanks Mike for pointing me towards this Arstechnica article about the new facial recognition in Google Image Search. If you add &imgtype=face to any image search url it will only show you faces. Try this search for Cork, Ireland and compare it with this facial search for the same terms. Scary eh?


Ordinary image search


Facial image search

PS. That 4th picture on the facial search is mine. This should make finding images a lot more interesting.

PPS. My Thieving Duck has been used on the Consumerist website! That photo seems to be rather well known!

Scary! Scary! Google forgets In Photos

I wondered why traffic was slow to the site today and then I searched for donncha. Insted of this site being the second or third link it’s nowhere to be found. I know it’s only a Google hiccup that other blogs have experienced too of late but it’s frightening watching my logs. They’re not moving, much.

You can practically hear the tumbleweed blowing across the screen it’s so quiet.

Much later .. I figured out what caused the problem. It was my Google sitemap. The “R&H Hall” tag caused a problem because it wasn’t encoded properly. Adding a urlencode() around the right bit of code fixed that. Must tell the author of UTWgoogleSitemaps…