Two separate emails crossed my desktop this morning.
An email about "flash cookies"
A cartoon about a serious issue, "swine flu" (H1N1).
The first item - and I checked with Snopes, which is attempting to verify the story - basically reports that even though you may THINK you are deleting cookies, you are not getting them all.
The article, You deleted your cookies? Think again is on the WWW @ http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/08/you-deleted-your-cookies-think-again/
The leed paragraphs read:
"More than half of the internet's top websites use a little known capability of Adobe's Flash plugin to track users and store information about them, but only four of them mention the so-called Flash Cookies in their privacy policies, UC Berkeley researchers reported Monday.
"Unlike traditional browser cookies, Flash cookies are relatively unknown to web users, and they are not controlled through the cookie privacy controls in a browser. That means even if a user thinks they have cleared their computer of tracking objects, they most likely have not."
Don't think you have any Flash cookies?
A search of my XP system turned up 462 *.sol files. Yep, four hundred sixty two.
Now, Mac and Linux users, don't think you are immune. If you use a browser and look at anything on the Internet - even some *.gov sites - you, too, can be victimized.
Users who want to control or investigate Flash cookies have several options, according to reader Brian Carpenter:
* Better Privacy extension for Firefox -
* Ccleaner - http://www.ccleaner.com/ (Freeware)
* Windows: LSO files are stored typically with a ".SOL" extension, within each user's Application Data directory, under Macromedia\FlashPlayer\#SharedObjects
* Mac OS X: For Web sites, ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/FlashPlayer. For AIR Applications, ~/Library/Preferences/[package name (ID)of your app] and ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/FlashPlayer/macromedia.com/Support/flashplayer/sys
There was one additional bit of related information I picked up this a.m.
Turns out if you are a member of a Yahoo group, Yahoo is lurking on your system even after you log off Yahoo.
According to Snopes (http://www.snopes.com/computer/internet/webbeacons.asp) , "If you belong to ANY (Snopes' emphasis) Yahoo Groups - be aware that Yahoo is now using "Web Beacons" to track every Yahoo Group user. It's similar to cookies, but allows Yahoo to record every website and every group you visit, even when you're not connected to Yahoo."
Snopes adds that "Yahoo's invasion of privacy - and your ability to opt out of it - is not user-specific. It is MACHINE (Snopes' emphasis) specific. That means you will have to opt-out on every computer (and browser) you use."
The opt-out option is at http://info.yahoo.com/privacy/us/yahoo/opt_out/targeting/details.html
The second item crossing my desktop was a Dry Bones cartoon. Dry Bones, which bills itself as "Israel's Political Comic Strip Since 1973," took note of "swine flu." The cartoon apparently was inspired by two news articles.
The first, from IslamOnline.net & News Agencies (http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1248187687780&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout) is headlined: Swine Flu Restricting Hajj, `Umrah
"TEHRAN/JEDDAH — As swine flu fears are growing, Iran has banned `Umrah during the holy fasting month of Ramadan while Saudi Arabia ordered mandatory measures for pilgrims during hajj.
"We will have no pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during the month of Ramadan," Health Minister Mohammad Bagher Lankarani said, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Wednesday, August 5."
The Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year. It is sometimes called the "minor pilgrimage"' or "lesser pilgrimage" (contrasted, of course, with the "major pilgrimage" of the Hajj). The Umrah is generally regarded as not compulsory but highly recommended, and it is undertaken by many Muslims. (Source: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/saudi-arabia/umrah-pilgrimage.htm)
Israel, on the other hand, is taking a different approach.
According to a Ynet (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0%2C7340%2CL-3760270%2C00.html) article by Nissan Shtrauchler, "Fifty people, most of them kabbalists join flight aimed at containing epidemic by prayer.
"On Monday morning an Arkia airlines plane took off from Lod Airport (near Tel Aviv) carrying rabbis and kabbalists and flew over the country in a flight aimed at preventing the swine flu virus from spreading in Israel through prayers.
Picky editor's note: I doubt the writer intended to suggest that H1N1 was spread by praying, but that prayers were offered to prevent the spread of the malady.
"The purpose of the flight was to stop the epidemic, thus preventing further deaths' explained Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri whose father, Rabbi David Batzri had initiated the flight. We are certain that because of our prayers danger is already behind us, he added."
The cartoon, by Yaakov Kirschen, is at http://drybonesblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/swine-flu-fever.html
As an Enterprise Risk Management practitioner, I think I would use a combination of both the Moslem and the Israeli "mitigation" measures. For the non-religious reader, trust me, there is at least a psychological benefit for those who want to "cover their bets."
John Glenn, MBCI
Enterprise Risk Management/Business Continuity practitioner
Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale Florida
Planner @ JohnGlennMBCI.com