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Comments and discussion on TBTF for 2000-02-06

Calin M
04:16 AM ET (US)
Something I don't like about Hubat is that it records what link one clicks on AND the IP of the clicker. Having a search engine that records the IP and where you go is as bad as the doubleclick cookies.
Alastair Rankine
12:42 AM ET (US)
re: Cookie management

To answer my own earlier query on blocking cookies, I've found a far better solution than cleaning out the cookie directory on a regular basis.

The internet junkbuster proxy (http://www.junkbusters.com/ht/en/ijb.html) is a small footprint executable you can run on your machine to block cookies, banner ads, and all sorts of other junk. It's GPLware and runs under win32 and most unices.

I've been playing with it with great success so far.

Even if you're not interested in the software, you might want to check out the website anyway. There's lots of resources for information about security and privacy on the internet, as well as pointers to other software.
Greg Roelofs
10:32 AM ET (US)
re: Hubat: A promising automatic directory builder

``In my exploration of Hubat.com I've often found it hard to believe these summaries were not written by humans.''

They are--at least some of them. Observe the first and third matches for "PNG", then check out the January 1995 entry here: http://www.cdrom.com/pub/infozip/Info-ZIP2.html . The server very cleverly excerpts other pages' descriptions of the link in question--impressive enough by itself, but not actually on-the-fly natural-language generation.

I also see that the server doesn't go out of its way to retraverse its database and cull out the dead links. The third match has been dead for 18 months, the fourth for more than 3 years.
Alastair Rankine
10:25 PM ET (US)
re: DoubleClick flip-flops, gets sued

This week's TBTF finally stirred me into action to do something about all the cookies which have been accumulating on my hard drive for months now.

[Aside: It really is amazing just how many sites will send out a cookie! Some of the ones I found I barely remember visiting.]

The old issue of TBTF mentions a technique to clean out the cookies directory of Netscape each time you start it.


I use IE5, so I thought I'd try to apply the same principle. But it seems there are about 5 different locations where the cookies are stored! (In addition IE seems to lack the "only send cookies to the originating server" option)

So, has anyone got any pointers or tips for getting cookies under control for IE users?
Rory O'Connor
05:15 PM ET (US)
RE: Threats to Privacy -

"But the fact is that in the privacy arena, Big Brother may not be the biggest threat -- it's thousands of Little Brothers, private actors in a capitalist free-for-all."

That statement is a strange mixture of naivete and hypocrisy. We must keep in mind that "private actors" have nowhere near the coercive power over our lives, liberty, and means of existence ("property" to use an archaism which has come into disfavor ;-) that Big Brother has - they are merely annoying when we don't want what they have, otherwise of possible benefit.

Now I happen to believe that the inhumaneness of bureaucracy is inherently oppressive in all areas of our lives - whether it's in government, business, education, religion, or anything else one can name. But we should be aware of the differences in consequences. Government's power over our lives has a much greater impact when malignly used (it does have benign effects when it protects our lives, liberty and property - I'm not quite a raving Libertarian ;-) than is the case for other institutions of our society. It must always be viewed as potentially the most dangerous segment of society if un-controlled.
John Ratti
10:30 AM ET (US)
re: DoubleClick flip-flops, gets sued

The Center for Democracy and Technology has a (JavaScript ?) facility to fix the DoubleCLick cookies on your system. See: http://www.cdt.org
Keith Dawson
10:10 PM ET (US)
Use this forum to comment on or discuss TBTF for 2000-02-06: Privacy at the boil. I've set up another forum for one of the articles in this issue; if your contribution is about the book review, please follow the link.

- TBTF book review: Database Nation

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