The MVPS HOSTS file was recently updated [December-06-2013]
Download: hosts.zip (136 kb)
How To: Download and Extract the HOSTS file
HOSTS File - Frequently Asked Questions
Note: the "text" version makes a great resource for determining possible unwanted connections ...
http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.txt (519 kb)
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Important Note: This update contains a change in the prefix in the HOSTS entries to "0.0.0.0" instead of the usual "127.0.0.1".This was done to resolve a slowdown issue with the new Win8.1/IE11 and the HOSTS file.
I'm not sure what Microsoft changed in the new version, although I suspect it has something to do with the new "TCP loopback interface" in Win8.1 ... this change in the prefix should not affect users.
If this proves to be a permanant fix ... I will update the website to reflect the changes.
Also, the following entry had to be disabled ... otherwise Healthcare.gov fails ... Imagine that!
# 127.0.0.1 static.chartbeat.com #[affects Healthcare.gov]
"chartbeat.com is a domain used by ChartBeat which is an analytics company that is part of a network of sites, cookies, and other technologies used to track you ..."