Why does Poker Copilot talk to the Internet?

An anonymous (but hopefully loyal) Poker Copilot user asks:

Little Snitch shows some Internet sites that Poker Copilot connects to. Could you explain this in some detail?

Sure thing, anonymous.

  • Once a week Poker Copilot checks for an updated version at http://pokercopilot.com/. You can turn this off in the Poker Copilot preferences.
  • If you agreed to Usage Tracking when you installed Poker Copilot, then Poker Copilot efficiently and quietly sends the name of each feature you use to our feature tracking server. It also sends a session id with each feature, so that we can tell, for example, how long people tend to use Poker Copilot. No identifying information is sent. The server is called hotfeatures.barbarysoftware.com and is owned and operated by me. You can turn this off in the Poker Copilot preferences.
  • Poker Copilot accesses a time server when the HUD is started. In order for the HUD to work reliably, Poker Copilot ensures your computer date, time, and timezone are set accurately. Poker Copilot 1 accesses the US naval observatory site (http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/timer.pl) to determine the accurate time using HTTP. Poker Copilot 2 will access an NTP server using the Network Time Protocol at start-up, and automatically offset dates/times by any observed inaccuracy. I haven’t yet decided what time server to use in production, but in development it’s time.apple.com

The world of always-on broadband Internet gives software developers great opportunities for creative solutions to problems. I may add some more background features that use the Internet in the future. But always for good, not evil!