Front Page Poll Vote Reset?

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Apr 23, 2008
1,331
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#1
I've noticed this happening a lot lately, but after I make a vote on one of ANY of the front-page polls, the vote seems to only last for a few days, before I get the pre-vote screen in that area again. Is this a glitch on my explorer's part, or are they actually being reset every couple of days? :confuzzledRandal:
 

SoulKat

Katbox Forum Member
Apr 17, 2007
243
427
#3
That doesn't make any sense. It's set to check against an IP table and to retain that information for 99999 hours.
 
Apr 23, 2008
1,331
1
40
#9
That doesn't make any sense. It's set to check against an IP table and to retain that information for 99999 hours.
You should not be able to vote again from clearing your cache/cookies.
:nod: I figured that this was weird. It started happening about two months ago. And it's happening, regularly, about every couple of days...

Crimson, is your computer set to rotate your IP address with every new session? That might trick an IP check.
:shakes head: Nope. In fact, I have a set IP for my computer on my home network, and I'm logging into a signed session when I'm at school... but that doesn't seem to make a difference, as it resets when I'm on my home network as well. Very weird. :amazeSnowman:
 

Mowser

New Member
Dec 9, 2009
144
0
36
#11
Many service providers give dynamic IP's by default. You shut off your computer, you give up your IP and get a new one when you turn it back on (connect).

Edit: I should also add that this is not the *only* way some of these providers rotate your IP. It can require the modem to be turned off, or even be an automated process in which your modem drops your current one after a fixed time and requests a new one. This was introduced to provide a small measure of security/privacy to users. Don't know the user's IP address because it keeps changing? Makes them harder to attack.
 
M

mrkelly22

#12
It seems the script that runs the poll only uses your IP address to identify you, which is unfortunate. It should leave a cookie on your computer when you vote, and then every time you visit the page check for that cookie. If you don't have the cookie, then it would check your IP address so see if it's in the list of people who have voted. That way it would still recognize you as having voted, even if you had a different IP address (unless you intentionally erased your cookies, but there's nothing that can be done about that).

So, does the script running the poll have an option to use cookies as well as IP addresses?
 
Apr 23, 2008
1,331
1
40
#13
Well, yes, I do have my cookies erased every time I close the program (FireFox), but my IP isn't dynamic at all, it's static. Always has been, even before I moved into my new apartment. So, for the IP to suddenly be dynamic without any kind of systems alteration is very peculiar at best. At worst, it's unsettling. :pointsRandal: Also, this doesn't happen every day; more like two-three times per week at most, but sometimes it's been four days before it occurs; the timeframe involved is non-specific and has no pattern. All in all, this makes me wonder what is going on... :confuzzledRandal:

On a side note, my former poll entry seems to have been restored. Was the problem identified and fixed?
 
M

mrkelly22

#14
Well, yes, I do have my cookies erased every time I close the program (FireFox), but my IP isn't dynamic at all, it's static. Always has been, even before I moved into my new apartment. So, for the IP to suddenly be dynamic without any kind of systems alteration is very peculiar at best. At worst, it's unsettling. :pointsRandal: Also, this doesn't happen every day; more like two-three times per week at most, but sometimes it's been four days before it occurs; the timeframe involved is non-specific and has no pattern. All in all, this makes me wonder what is going on... :confuzzledRandal:

On a side note, my former poll entry seems to have been restored. Was the problem identified and fixed?
Well, we can investigate this. Visit http://www.whatismyip.com/. It'll show you your external IP address. Record it. The next time your poll results disappear, visit that site again and see if your IP address changed. If it did, then your ISP assigned you a new IP address (which they shouldn't be doing since you said you requested a static IP from them, but you never know...). If, however, your IP address is the same then there's a problem with the polling script remembering IP addresses.



Anyway, this whole issue has gotten me curious so I went to the site that distributes the polling script and downloaded it. After poring over the source code, I found something: the script does use cookies, but they're hard-coded to expire after 4 days. Since Las Lindas polls stay up much longer than that, people will typically get extra votes! The expiration time should be longer--I'd say 30 days. SK, if you'd like to fix this, you can edit line 10 of poll_cookie.php included with the polling code and change the 96 to (24 * 30). That'll keep people who don't intentionally erase their cookies from getting extra votes if their IP address changes after four days.

Another problem is that the script's IP address detection could be better. There is a folder called "include" which has a file called class_poll.php. Line 38 of this file reads
Code:
$this->ip = getenv("REMOTE_ADDR");
change that to

Code:
if(is_null($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR']))
  $this->ip = $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
else
  $this->ip = $_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR'];
Now you have more reliable detection of IP addresses for users who are behind proxies (though proxies that intentionally anonymize their users will still work to hide the user's real IP address).

Another interesting tidbit: the poll script records what browser and operating system you're using when you cast your vote (taken from the user agent identifier). It doesn't appear to do anything with that data, but it means it's possible to create a breakdown of browser or OS usage by people who visit the Katbox. That would be interesting...
 
A

Arasaka_Nentou

#15
I just noticed this thread, and it really caught my eye because with some of the programs I use, for my own safety, my IP address is changed every hour. And cookies are cleared at the same time. Does that mean it's a good thing I don't participate in the polls?
 

JSB

Katbox Forum Member
May 31, 2007
1,217
0
29
New Jersey
#16
I just noticed this thread, and it really caught my eye because with some of the programs I use, for my own safety, my IP address is changed every hour. And cookies are cleared at the same time. Does that mean it's a good thing I don't participate in the polls?
Not really, I don't think that the polls are really used for anything other than gathering opinions. I don't think they really apply them to what happens with the comics. Could be wrong, I don't remember exactly what Soulkat said about that.
 

SoulKat

Katbox Forum Member
Apr 17, 2007
243
427
#17
The polls are made by me 99% of the time. And every time it's just to sate my curiosity about something.

Or just the fun of hearing who was the favorite bust chart pic, or whether our fans like pie or cake.
 

Nekonny

The Katbox
Apr 20, 2007
3,249
187
Personal Text
But its a good one!
#18
The polls are made by me 99% of the time. And every time it's just to sate my curiosity about something.

Or just the fun of hearing who was the favorite bust chart pic, or whether our fans like pie or cake.
Yeah, I have real trouble coming up with new polls all the time so I just leave it up to SK. Perhaps we should have a poll suggestion topic?