Smart Tabby Tags Toptext Hyperlinks
A tipster alerted El Gato to a controversy concerning a peer-to-peer application that appeared in the Aug. 13 "Litter box Lynx."A tipster alerted El Gato to a controversy concerning a peer-to-peer application that appeared in the Aug. 13 "Litter box Lynx." It seems a lot of folks on the Web are accusing the new file sharing system Kazaa of depositing what they are calling a "hijacking tool" named TopText onto your Web browser. Operating within the browser, TopText highlights various words on each Web page you visit and turns these keywords into links to advertisers or other Web sites. "Mmm, werent the villagers waving torches and ready to march on Redmond for a similar little process called smart tags?" mused the Mouser as he decided to look further into the situation. Although the file sharing app is free, Kazaa is subsidized by eZula, which runs the TopText linking system. Similar to the smart tag hoopla, this means a company like BMGan eZula partnercould pay to have the word "music" always link to its site. According to an eZula spokesman, the user is fully informed about the TopText process during the initial download and can opt out and remove it from his or her browser at any time. "This advertising is unobtrusive yet still offers targeted, contextual links that are relevant to the users," the spokesman added.
This still leaves Webmasters worrying that visitors to their sites who are running TopText on their browsers may be whisked away from their sites or may follow a link to a competitors site after clicking on the yellow highlighted links that magically appear in their content. Webmasters concerned about having hyperlinks added to their Web content may want to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and ask if the company can block TopText from operating on their Web pages.