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So, the people on SuperUser are really awesome and I'm glad you guys are keeping that place full of information.

However, I visited SuperUser today after my little plugin told me that I had visited SuperUser for 30 consecutive days. The thing is, I almost never visit SuperUser. So obviously I was surprised to learn that I got a badge for visiting a site I never go to.

I'm guessing this is not a program issue. So, my theory is that it has to do with this plugin I have on Google Chrome. Everyday, multiple times a day, it goes to my recent activity page on all 4 sites and finds out my rep.

Would this be how I got my badge?

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Cheater. Uniformed officers are on their way. –  Aarobot Mar 23 '10 at 4:48
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you think SU is smart enough to tell that it's a plugin requesting the page for processing and not the browser requesting it for rendering? hahahahaha. (seriously tho, enjoy your badge; eventually this functionality will go thru an API and (probably) won't count towards the badge.) –  quack quixote Mar 23 '10 at 5:00
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Why are people down voting this guy for reporting a bug ? –  user144856 Mar 23 '10 at 6:57
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@bob: jealousy. a riot... is an uugly t'ing. unt i t'ink it iz joost about time ve had vun! –  quack quixote Mar 23 '10 at 7:06
    
Same thing happens with top sites in Safari if you have them in there. –  tvanfosson Mar 23 '10 at 11:25
    
+1 - clearly the SO sites are all about clever answers to posed questions - using script to gain SO badges is an answer to a question that needed asking! Now if anyone asks 'how can I get an 'enthusiast' badge the answer is ready. Will you check back in on 1 June with information on how to get the 'fanatic' badge? –  amelvin Mar 23 '10 at 12:02
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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yep, you have effectively scripted the badge.

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I feel so happy... –  Tyler Carter Mar 23 '10 at 5:44
    
@Jeff: Do you plan on 'fixing' this? –  David Pearce Mar 23 '10 at 6:48
    
@joshhunt: How would you fix it? As far as I know the requests are entirely identical, there'd be no way to stop it without having many false positives. –  Phoshi Mar 23 '10 at 9:16
    
@Phoshi, I guess you could ask the designed of the plugin to alter the user-agent, however this would then mean designing the site to skip certain behaviours for a certain user-agent, and is probably far too much work for a simple badge-fix. –  Mark Henderson Mar 23 '10 at 9:19
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I've always felt that the Enthusiast badge should be awarded for 30 consecutive days where you visited the site and actually did something (left a commment, voted on something, anything really beyond just getting a page view). Perhaps that should be a new badge " Real Enthusiast". –  Kris Mar 23 '10 at 10:54
    
@Kris True Enthusiast –  Jared Harley Mar 23 '10 at 11:04
    
Would this mean that a possible API to screw with some of the badges, by tricking all the badge-event triggers? –  Ivo Flipse Mar 23 '10 at 12:38
    
@Jeff: Is it true that the Fanatic badge does require additional activity of some sort? I think I remember seeing that somewhere, but not sure where. –  mmyers Mar 23 '10 at 13:12
    
@ivo, I think it would be easy for access through the api to not count towards all or some badges –  jmfsg Mar 23 '10 at 13:37
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This is a known issue with the Stack Overflow Notifier Chrome extension:

I just wanted to point out a potential issue (that you can't really fix) with the extension. By doing a page scrape of the different sites, you register a hit for your account (makes sense) but this caused me to get the Enthusiast badge for my SU, SF, and Meta accounts (I actually earned it properly for SO). I know for a fact that I didn't visit those sites consecutively for 30 days and they were just awarded 4 hours ago on all three sites at the same time. I know I browse everyday with Chrome so unless Jeff just changed the rules, the unfortunate page scrape awarded me the badges.

I'm guessing once an API is in place, the extension won't need to scrape the user page to get this information.

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When your plugin send request to your recent activity page, browser also send your cookies together, Its just a normal behavior, IMHO.

Edit: I just confirmed that you need to login (need your cookies) to get your recent activity list.

So, may be there is no way to avoid that. Just enjoy it!

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So, given I open my browser everyday, I should eventually get a Fanatic badge on all 4 sites? –  Tyler Carter Mar 23 '10 at 4:55
    
@chacha: what plugin is this, by the way? i'm missing fanatic on SF & MSO... –  quack quixote Mar 23 '10 at 5:10
    
@Chacha102, if you want, yes, you will. :D –  YOU Mar 23 '10 at 5:19
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@~quack: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/38544/… –  Jared Harley Mar 23 '10 at 5:22
    
I just realized that I didn't have Serverfault logged in. Well, now I do! –  Tyler Carter Mar 23 '10 at 5:47
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