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Cookies and "press enter to reload"

3/13/1998 7:57 AM
R.G. Cookies and "press enter to reload"
I have a gripe. I *really* don't like cookies (my machine flags them for me) and the "press enter the BBS to refresh the messages" is a pain.  
Tell me - why are we doing cookies? Is this a result of a hookup with advertisers?
3/13/1998 9:16 AM
I think the "press enter to reload" is to prevent numbskulls like me from double-posting the same response by continuing to click on the 'post message' bar.  
I don't know about the cookies, though. We have a firewall here that scrambles our ISP and keeps advertisers away.  
Happy Friday the 13th ! Second month in a row...
3/13/1998 9:57 AM

I’m a computer amateur as well – I believe cookies are small programs designed (initially designed) to be of help for the client to access programs on the server. I think they still have that function, but more functions are added, such as your profile – where do you go – how often do you access the server, and so on. I agree cookies are a real nuisance, but if you have a modern version of your browser (Explorer 4.0) you should be able to turn the “Accept cookies button” off.  
3/14/1998 12:15 AM
Steve Morrison

I hope you won't be offended if I offer you my thanks for providing an excellent example of the kind of misinformed paranoid thinking that runs rampant on the web concerning cookies; I mean it in the best possible way, really. :-)  
Cookies are nothing more than entries in a simple text file that resides on your hard disk. They are not executable programs, and have no more power over your computer or your life than something like a grocery list that you might type into a text editor.  
Sure, if you provide personal information to a website, that information can be stored in a cookie for later retrieval, but since you've already voluntarily given away the information, what further harm can be done by storing it in a simple text file on your disk?  
That cookie can only be accessed by the server that planted it in the first place, and you've already given them the information it contains anyway!  
Other servers can't access that particular cookie to see where else you might have been on the web; they can only plant and retrieve their own cookies.  
As you noted, it is possible with most browsers to disable cookies entirely if you choose to do so. You can also set your browser to warn you before accepting a cookie, and then choose to accept or deny each individual cookie, though that could become tedious rather quickly.
3/14/1998 11:17 PM

I dunnooo.......  
Are you sure server X  
can't read servers Y's  
I wish they wouldn't call  
them cookies, I always have  
to go get a snack.  
3/15/1998 1:26 AM
Steve Morrison

Are you sure server X can't read servers Y's cookie?  
To be a bit more precise, it is possible for one server to retrieve a cookie set by another server, but only if both servers are in the same domain. The server that sets the cookie has control over whether or not other servers in the same domain can retrieve it.  
I think I have some Oreos around here somewhere.. hmm...
3/17/1998 4:17 AM
>I hope you won't be offended if I offer you my >thanks for providing an excellent example of the >kind of misinformed paranoid thinking that runs >rampant on the web concerning cookies; I mean it >in the best possible way, really. :-)  
Steve,I’m not offended, on the contrary I feel enlightened ;-)  
Being a Swedish computer nerd and writing in English creates some linguistic problems. Further, to differentiate between executable programs and text files that stick to your hard disk is not every mans knowledge. Text files or not, I really don’t like other computers to put anything into my hard disk.  
I’m not paranoid but, to quote H Kissinger:  
“Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t necessarily mean that there ain’t somebody out there to get you!”  
By the way, what’s in those small text files that reside on my hard disk?  

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