"Cookies" - values sent to your computer's browser by a web site and returned on subsequent requests you make to that website - have been with us for years. Most sites (including ours) use them; there's little secret in that, and without them most sites simply won't function these days. A change in the UK law requires us to have your consent to set cookies, and to be even more explicit about where they're used ...
We place cookies in your browser in the following circumstances:
1. When you log in to this forum as a registered user, we place a cookie in your browser. This allows us to take action such as:
* keep you logged in on subsequent pages
* assign posts you make to you
* allow you to read your own personal messages
* mark posts which you read as appropriate, so we can indicate posts that you have not yet seen
* allow you to gain rank through the time you spend here and the number of posts you make
This is not a complete list. But please note that we do NOT pass on cookies or details to third parties, the exception being if we're legally required to.
2. We use Google Analytics on this site, so that we can track site usage overall, and analyse the results to learn more about the general profile of our visitors (but not any one visitor in particular), for the purpose of learning about trends, the relative importance of pages, about where our visitors come from, how long they stay, what technlogy they're using, and so on. The purpose of learning about this data is to help us improve the service we offer, and to spot any changes in usage pattern and react accordingly. Google Analytics places cookies in your browser for this purpose.
3. If you choose a non-default look and feel for this website, we place a further cookie in your browser so that our server is informed of your choice on each and every subsequent page.
By using our site, you agree to cookies (2) and (3). By registering as a member of the forum, you agree to (1) as well. I have made this more explicit this morning, to make certain that we comply with new legal requirements to get informed consent prior to placing cookies. If you are an established member and wish to discuss this change further, please send me an email
; there's no change at all as to how the site operates. There have never been any secrets about this as far as I'm concerned, but the law now requires us to take more visible steps to inform you and obtain your consent. See my blog article on the subject
for more details.
Examples of the reports that we get from Google Analystics as a result of item (2):
Hourly access for the last week:
General stats for the last week:
Where our UK visitors have come from in the last week: