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FAQ

Q 1. What service do you provide?
We provide an online collection of categorized websites. It is a commercial managed service. We accept and check removal or addition requests. For more information see the About section on the home page. We do not provide actual web filtering software nor do we support the software; we just provide the lists to use with such software.

Q 2. Why have you blocked my web page?
We have not blocked your web page. You most probably mean "Why has my ISP or network administrator blocked my web page?" In which case you should be contacting them. We only maintain the lists they choose to use or not.
If you mean "Why have you blacklisted my own web site or page?" then please confirm that it is in the wrong category using the search page then report it on the same page.

Q 3. Why have you blacklisted websites of type X, Y or Z?
The service is more than just a blacklist. The blacklist does not only contain sites that are considered 'bad' but it also contains many other categories that can be used as white or grey lists. Being listed does not infer that the site is 'bad' - these are just categorised lists of sites. Most likely a customer has requested the category be added. Customers are free to use as few or as many categories as they like.

Q 4. Will I get a password or login to download the blacklist once I am registered?
No, we do not currently require customers to login to download the blacklist. We rely on honest users to not abuse our service.

Q 5. Please give me a quote for X usage.
Please see the pricing on the ordering page.

Q 6. What categories are included?
Please see the category list on the download page.

Q 7. How do I apply the diff files?
This is not supported however the following information will help you. The diff files are generated by comparing the difference between today's and yesterday's versions. They are generated with the utility called diff. To apply the diff file you must be familiar with the utility called patch.

Q 8. How do you screen incoming addition or removal requests?
They are reviewed by a human and categorised from a liberal western perspective.

Q 9. What steps do you take to discover new sites?
We use active automatic listing as well as passive human listing. What this means is we use a script to automatically download sites from various free listings as well as the human-maintained dmoz.org site. We also check incoming change requests by hand.

Q 10. What do you mean about needing unsorting with DansGuardian?
The blacklist is provided as a gzipped tar file with directories containing text file lists. These lists are now provided in a sorted ordered list. DansGuardian, when reading in the files, will in memory sort the file. It needs to sort them to be able to quickly search them when doing the filtering. However DansGuardian uses the Quick Sort algorithm which is very quick to sort random lists but it will take a very LONG time to sort a list that is already sorted. DansGuardian will eventually start. If it does not then you might have a very old version with a bug. The input URL list being sorted should not affect any script or program and stop it actually working.

Q 11. How do I unsort the blacklist?
Unsorting a single file is very easy. Simply use the 'rl' or 'unsort' unix command on each of the text files. You can find information on these here:
http://ch.tudelft.nl/~arthur/rl/
http://www.vanheusden.com/unsort/

To unsort all the files in the blacklist in one go you could:
cd blacklistdir; find . -type f -exec rl '{}' -o '{}'.tmp \; -exec mv -f '{}'.tmp '{}' \;
This will find all the files in blacklistdir and subdirectories and randomize the lines. It should only take a few seconds if that. If you are using unsort instead of rl you will have to edit the above.

Q 12. Why are the blacklist files now nearly half the size?
The uncompressed list is just as big as normal. However because the lists are no longer random they will compress much better. This means it takes less time to download the same amount of data. As well as the change to the lists, sites beginning with www. have had the superfluous www. removed - this will have reduced the size, but not the number of entries, a little.

Q 13. Why do you no longer randomize the blacklist files?
By popular demand. We had a lot of people complaining that using the diff files was too complicated and they did not understand why the lists were in a random order. Having the lists randomized made update scripts more complex and also artificially increased the blacklist download file size. It also made it harder to see the daily changes. The unsorting was purely to support DansGuardian but making the lists random to compensate for a 'failing' in a sorting algorith for one particular program was silly. The order of the lists should not affect any program or script and if a random list is required it is trivial to unsort. However we are aware that some older versions of DansGuardian may break and some scripts might not function. We appologise for the inconvenience of these problems which we did not find in testing. It is hard to please everybody all the time.

Q 14. Why have you made changes to the blacklist which have stopped it working with older versions of DansGuardian?
The order of the lists provided to DansGuardian should not break it. If it does then that is a bug. It is a known issue and is documented in the DansGuardian config files and there are many work-arounds including those listed above.

Q 15. Why have you made changes to the blacklist to make DansGuardian take a long time to start up?
Please see Q14, Q13, Q10, Q11.

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