Another quickie, this one a follow-up to last night's post about the EVE University.
I've mentioned how much respect I have for The Nosy Gamer's coverage of botting issues -- he does such a good job that anything I write about it most of the time would be superfluous. And he has caught something interesting in his latest post. Go give it a read; it's worth your time.
The short version is that one of the ways in which "John" was helpful to E-UNI was in his frequent updates to their wiki articles. One of the articles on the E-UNI wiki is a the "Third party tools" page, which is partially duplicated on the corresponding page on the official EVE Online wiki. NoizyGamer points out that one of the website tools listed is the website for Jitonomic.(1) He then implies -- without evidence -- that John might have edited both pages with this link.
I wasn't familiar with this website, but on review it looks like an interesting combination of EVE Central and some of the stuff available on Grismar's site. In particular, it features a fairly typical database of prices of items for sale in New Eden with frequently updated prices. I don't particularly object to this, of course; I use EVE Central myself all the time. But the problem comes because Jitonomic apparently uses a bot to gather its market data instead of asking players to download and run a client to pull that data. NoizyGamer finds it ironic that E-UNI is endorsed a website that admits to botting. In the five hours or so since he wrote his post, the link to this website has been removed from the EVE University wiki (but not the official EVE Online one).
That said, in and of itself, this link proves nothing. In particular, it's not a smoking gun. Kelduum Revaan even points out that the link to Jitonomic was added to the E-UNI wiki a year before the blog post about botting that NoizyGamer references.
At the end of 2011, I mentioned that botting had gone from a cancer upon the body of EVE to something that was just accepted by both players and by CCP with a shrug. Things didn't change on this front significantly through 2012. But with this issue coming unexpectedly back to the forefront of the conversation about security, it'll be interesting to see if CCP pays more public attention to the issue. Because God knows the bots are still out there, in enormous numbers.
(1) He incorrectly identifies it as "Jitatronic".