2014-05-29 02:17:16 UTC
neighborhood in the Barron Park area of Palo Alto; it wasn't until later
almost at the end of the day's festivities that I remembered I wrote here
that I would ask folks "What is the first thing that pops into your mind
when you hear the phrase 'bit torrent'"; from a sample of 15 people still
in attendance the almost unanimous response(s) were "pirates", "Argh!"
and "illegal downloads" noting two folks didn't recognize the term. This
was a very informal survey and people had been drinking a lot of beer,
but still ....
Early in the afternoon my best friend and I were conversing with his
neighbor who works for YouTube. That neighbor became a bit "testy" when
I discussed what's below which I also now realize I never posted here in
ba.internet based on a search of my local archives and a search on the
eternal-september site for this group; eternal-september is the free
Usenet NNTP provider I use:
The neighbor also didn't take kindly at the name of my program: fug.
Guess what 'fug' means. :-)
Note the YouTube neighbor stated (paraphrased) "click the Google-result
link then get the clean URL from the page to which you were redirected".
No way! That suggestion requires more work and it only benefits Google
who now owns YouTube. Besides Google slurping-up the tracking info for
ads from the mangled URLs it returns for searches, it further burdens the
Internet with extra DNS lookups and HTML traffic.
So, with that written and with the following posted to many other groups,
I hope you'll find the information below helpful and useful.
BEGIN "Post from the Past":
For those unaware, until several years ago Google would provide clean
URLs as part of the search results. For example, if you Googled using
the following search term:
you'd receive this result along with this URL (via right-click and a
"Copy link location" in the context menu in Firefox and similar in other
browsers) as the first hit:
Archive of Mapug-Astronomy Homepage ...
Today you'll receive a 219-character-long URL embedded with tracking
info and who knows what else that looks like this unholy mess:
2014.02.02 20:11 Archive of Mapug-Astronomy Homepage ...
I write a lot of technical papers and I cite references via URLs so
folks can corroborate my writings. What Google has been returning
for several years now is totally unacceptable for writers who need
"clean" URLs to their sources.
So I wrote a kwik'n'dirty C program that accepts the mangled Google
URL and returns a clean version per this example:
$ fug http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source= ...
whose output, "http://thadlabs.com/MAPUG/", could be copy'n'pasted
into whatever document I was composing.
The fug program worked fine but became extremely tedious to use 100s
of times a day. Yes, I write a lot of articles nowadays.
And then I "stumbled upon" a Firefox addon that does the same cleaning
of both Google and Yandex mangled URLs (noting Yandex is Russian search:
The Firefox addon is named "Google/Yandex search link fix" as you can
see in these 2 small screenshots (Linux and Windows):
Loading Image... 91kB
Loading Image... 107kB
I don't know if the add-on is available for other browsers since I only
use Firefox on my *BSD, Linux, OpenIndiana, Solaris, UNIX, and Windows
For Firefox the plugin is available here:
If you've been pulling out your hair in frustration of Google's mangled
results, this add-on should allow you to keep what hair is left. :-)