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Rob Pincus
December 6, 1998, 07:16 PM
Okay, someone has told me that they will not be frequenting TFL because of the cookies.
They contend that the cookies can allow people to track the members web habits. I have always been told that this was not true.
Now, even if it is, I am not worried about Rich or Zach abusing this technilogy, which is used by 90% of the websites that most of visit, I'm sure. (set your browser to alert you to cookies and you will find out just how prevelant they are).

So, what is the deal? I think I've been told by a dozen people who know a lot more about HTML than I do that cookies cannot be used to tell the sending webmasters what sites you visit. Furthermore, it would seem to me that such information could only be gathered IF you had accpeted cookies from a site in question. SO the strategy would not be to avoid cookie sending sites, but to not accept cookies from those sites that you don't want people to know you visit, if you are worried about such things.

Anybody got a definitive answer or a source that people concerned about this can be turned to, ie- a "truth about cookies" FAQ or something.

Thanks

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-Essayons

Dennis
December 16, 1998, 01:49 PM
Additional question.
If (in Internet Explorer 4.0) I pick "view", "internet options", "General" and then "Delete files" and "Clear history", does that delete the "cookies" or any other method of someone investigating my "habits"??
(I'm new to "on-line" subjects. Please help.)


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[This message has been edited by Dennis (edited 12-16-98).]

DC
December 16, 1998, 10:05 PM
A cookie is a micro program that sends communicates with the originating site; allowing a custom-type configuration and can tell the site software when you visited last. To my knowledge, there are no cookies that can give, say, TFL your total browsing habits. Further, if you are afraid of them, learn how to configure your browser to not accept them...kind of like shooting safety...i.e. learn what you are doing. In Netscape: click edit; Preferences; Advanced...click disable all cookies.

Now if this is too difficult you have no business having a firearm either

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"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"

DC
December 16, 1998, 10:13 PM
Dennis...
I don't know Macs, but if you are using a Windows machine...there is a subdirectory in the Windows directory called "Cookies"...delete it if you wish. Just be aware, that certain sites (microsoft.com, NY Times) will not allow you to either get in or go very far without setting a cookie. So I edit that directory, or delete the cookie all together after I get what I want.

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"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"

Rob Pincus
December 16, 1998, 10:40 PM
Hey, DC, there are a lot of us who know how to change our cookie settings without having a damn clue what the cookies are capable of doing. I'd rather learn about them than hide from them in ignorance.

BTW- Thanks for trying to help. ;)

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-Essayons

DC
December 17, 1998, 12:56 AM
check this out

http://www.ozemail.com.au/~dcrombie/cookie.html

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"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"

Rob Pincus
December 17, 1998, 01:02 AM
Thanks!

Dennis
December 17, 1998, 11:10 AM
DC,
Thanks for the info! I found the cookies folder and now regularly delete 'em all! Along with the Temporary Internet Files, and History files.
(For sure, I keep TFL in my Favorites!)
Paranoia resolved! Thanks, again.

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DC
December 17, 1998, 11:25 AM
Here are a few more sites you may wish to read:
1) http://first-amendment.com/analyze/index.asp

2) http://home.att.net/~craigchr/tracks.html
in this one, when you pick your browser, you will be shown the actual files on your particular hard drive that have online data. Please read carefully before tinkering as you can bollix up your browser. To be safe, make a copy of each file and put in another directory, then you can tinker to see what happens....if you screw up, just put the copied files back in the appropriate directories and you'll be back to normal.

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"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"

spark@onestopknifeshop.com
December 17, 1998, 11:27 PM
The cookies for TFL and other forums using the UBB software *only* do the following things:

1. Record the last time that you visited, so that you know which messages are unread.

2. Record your "preferences" for the board in question.

3. (If Selected) Store your username and password so that you don't have to enter it in yourself.

That's it. That's all. If you find that your cookies stop working on this (or other forums site using UBB) just reset your preferences and your cookie will be refreshed.

Spark

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Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com
http://www.bladeforums.com

Rob Pincus
December 17, 1998, 11:49 PM
Of course, I never meant to suggest anything else, Spark.
For the record, I was interested in what cookies are capable of doing.

Thanks

spark@onestopknifeshop.com
December 19, 1998, 01:42 AM
Sorry, I posted that message so you could forward it to your friend, and calm his/her worries.

Also, you can tell them that the board will work just fine if you have your browser set not to accept cookies. You'll just lose some of the functionality, like storing your preferences, username/password, etc.

Spark

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Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com
http://www.bladeforums.com

Dennis
December 19, 1998, 12:25 PM
Rob,
I had the same questions and even goofier "answers".

DC & Spark,
Muchas gracias for the explanations! Now I understand why the bullet holes and crosshairs weren't working on the TFL forums (or the folder colors on the threads). I will delete all but the TFL cookie rather than "delete all". Thanks again from a newbie.

Rob,
Wrong thread, I know. But what great pictures of your hunt! (My God, with a knife...)

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