Have I ever written or used a scraper?

05 Apr

In light of all the Facebook news about the data being scraped – the answer is yes.

When I was on Hilton Head, I wrote something that scraped data on properties coming up for auction at the tax sale at the courthouse. It would download all the data in an Excel spreadsheet.

I could look at the data and say, “You should bid on this one, this one, this one but not these.” Then I would look at the photos and I could see – WINNER, LOSER, LOSER, WINNER, LOSER…”

And that’s where the data falls apart and it takes human to judge each one.

But that determined how much cash that buyer might need to take into the courthouse.

It’s not an easy thing to do because none of the form fields line up or having consistency when trying to obtain that data. Hilton Head is a mess from a tech prospective.

But the answer to , “Do you know how to do it?” Yes, I know how it works.

But that was a situation where everybody wins – the government wants the tax money, we want the property (the buyer and I because I was doing design work), and they want to sell that property and the highest bid wins. Everyone gets a chance to outbid. It was not at all like the Facebook situation.

But you know I do not do Facebook. I’ve said all along this was bad news. I put my data on my servers and if someone breaches it then I go after them. It’s very, very rare that someone is able to get into one of my servers. But lots of people try. It’s the older servers on the Internet that are still in use that pose the biggest security risks.

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