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cfmx, flash, cookies et everything [build a plan to identify a pc]

I'm trying a build a very straightforward 'flash poll' [i.e. instant poll (not Macromedia Flash)] ... and I'm immediately stuck by the following question;

- how can I recognize whether a user on a pc (I've imagining I can ONLY identify a pc) has voted already!?

- I'm a newbie ... self--taught with CF (and mysql interaction) ... and someone gave me the impression that I can plant a 'flash cookie' on a pc ... that will help me detect if a pc has been used to vote on my wee flash ("instant") poll.

What do you think!?

ELSE ... I'm going to create a record (many reasons why) for each vote ... with a vote_id that incremements. I'd LOVE to catch the session_id, the ip_address and ANY other identifier I can catch from the user's PC !? ... PLUS plant a cookie on the user's PC that marks it as already voting on this specific insta_poll.

Is this possible? If so ... could u please give me a pointer as to the keywords to use!?

Again - I was 'told' (mistakenly?) that Flash Cookies are more sublime and permanent - than regular cookies? (??????) so would be perfect to use!?

Thanks and hope this is not too silly and longwinded a question.
Richard Buchanan
The Opinion Exchange
www.opinion-exchange.com
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rcbuchanan
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rcbuchanan
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mrichmonCommented:
Well in actuality you can't.

SO the next question is what is the next best answer?

1) You can look at an IP address and only allow that IP address to vote once every hour or so.  That way a person couldn't vote again right away, but if it was a dynamic IP then the next person could vote in about an hour.  Down side - you still could get the same person voting every hour.

2) You can set a cookie.  But the user can delete cookies.  Again they could vote a second time.  Additionally a user could use a different browser to vote a second time.

3) You could force the users to create accounts and log in.  This would prevent duplicate votes, but requires the addtion of accounts for each person which is more than what the average person wants for a simple poll and it requries you to store extra data.

Hope that helps give you some ideas.
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rcbuchananAuthor Commented:
Hmm. Doesn't sound hopeful. Thanks for the tips.
is it true though ... about Flash cookies!? ... or somehow saving data on the flashplayer on the users' pcs!?

Thanks!
R

p.s. as you can see from my site ... I already take hefty registrations for the complex opinion polls.  I just wanted a more simple and 'immediate' fun 'insta'poll. hence these questions.
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mrichmonCommented:
I am not too sure, but I would guess that it is not.  The reason being that a cookie is just 1) a bit of information in memeory only or 2) an small text file on the user's machine.

There was a big concern a few years back about cookies being evil and being on a person's computer without thier knowledge.  That is why browsers built in an interface so people could view their cookies.  So I would guess that Macromedia would not take a step back and put some kind of hidden cookie in Flash or users would again start distrusting cookies and just turn them off.
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