Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cookie Monster wants to know ...

Why is a cookie called a cookie? Anyone know?

I'm talking about the web tracking techy doobry wotsit that my scans flag up as being security risks - not the American biscuit.

Although, come to that, just why is an American biscuit called a cookie? Wouldn't a bakie be a more appropriate name?

But then they have something called bakes in the Caribbean - and they're often fried ...

14 comments:

Minx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Minx said...

The Wikiwikiwhatnot says:

HTTP cookies, sometimes known as web cookies or just cookies, are parcels of text sent by a server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. HTTP cookies are used for authenticating, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users, such as site preferences and the contents of their electronic shopping carts. Cookies have been of concern for Internet privacy, since they can be used for tracking browsing behavior. As a result, they have been subject to legislation in various countries such as the United States and in the European Union. Cookies have also been criticised because the identification of users they provide is not always accurate and because they could potentially be used for network attacks. Some alternatives to cookies exist, but each has its own drawbacks.

Cookies are also subject to a number of misconceptions, mostly based on the erroneous notion that they are computer programs. In fact, cookies are simple pieces of data unable to perform any operation by themselves. In particular, they are neither spyware nor viruses, despite the detection of cookies from certain sites by many anti-spyware products.

Most modern browsers allow users to decide whether to accept cookies, but rejection makes some websites unusable. For example, shopping baskets implemented using cookies do not work if cookies are rejected.

Minx says:
If I come and visit you I drop a little cookie in yer jar so as you know it's me.

Debi said...

Yeah - I KNEW that! But why are they called 'cookies'?

Doh - you screen deaf or something?

Meloney Lemon said...

I don't know about cookies - but too much cleaning up can destroy yours and your computer's immune system , which I I think is what has happened to ours. We have lost everything and have had to reload Windows because of too much hoovering up of temporary files of biscuit crumbs.

Shameless said...

Debi, I am no computer geek! But ...
I remember talking about this with a certified computer geek while reporting years ago. If I remember rightly the term goes back to the late 60s, early 70s, when computer networks were first being set up. A bunch of university types were setting up their early version of an operating system and they jokingly came up with lots of terms, their own language. The term they used was "magic cookies", which is still used on MACs. I think it was something to do with give the machine a cookie -computer, server, programme talking to each other - and they will smile, accept and do nice things for you. It's like bribing your way in with a cookie, then you're able to leave crumbs to find your way around later. Does that make sense?

John said...

Shameless is right--cookies are code left by visited websites on user's hard drives, containing the username and date and time at least, and possibly other information. The term cookies was meant to disarm the paranoia people feel about being watched as they surf.

The word comes from the Dutch koekje, diminutive of koek, cake, and has been in use in the US since the Dutch settled New Amsterdam to refer to the thin sweet cakes British people, inexplicably, call biscuits. Biscuits, as everyone knows, are the gluteal muscles of particularly well-formed humans.

"Bakies," while we're about it, are fudgy chocolate cakes containing enough cannabis to leave the eater both sugar satiated and thoroughly baked. v."brownies"

Atyllah said...

The name cookie derives from UNIX objects called magic cookies.

Nope, doesn't mean a thing to me either.

But then there's this:

I have heard a few different reasons why the little files servers and browsers are using are called cookies. Each is probably less creditable than the last but, for entertainment purposes, here are a few.

1. In UNIX, files of this type had a name something like k00k.z. Thus the strange pronunciation as "cookie" (uh-huh...).
2. The guy who got really really really rich by creating Netscape digs these particular chunky cookies--thus the name (hmmm...).
3. Because distributing cookies is like leaving crumbs all over (uh...).
4. Just because (probably the most truth in this one...).

But Wait! (Added 6/28/97)

Ben Buckner offers what sounds as if it could be a true story:

About the term's origin, it's a very old bit of programmer slang (usually) for a piece of data stored to communicate between two processes, typically separated in time, and often as some kind of tag. The fuller form is "magic cookie." I know I've heard it used as far back as the late '80s anyway. The real defining point of the magic cookie is that some part of the data is unique to the process(es) so that the receiver can ensure that it's getting the message from the expected source. In the HTTP cookie, the server domain name serves that purpose, though in this case the client actually performs the verification to prevent server-based hanky-panky. I've heard that the term "magic cookie" was originally coined in reference to one of those old adventure games (perhaps "Adventure" itself) in which you had to give some character a magic cookie to get something from it (analogous to cookie verification), but that's just a vague memory.

Debi said...

Blimey! Talk about be careful what you ask for!

So let me see if I've got this right ...

It's the equivalent of going into someone's home -
- you may know them or they may be complete strangers
- you may speak to them or you may not
- you may leave them a note or you may not
- but you do leave them a biscuit to let them know you've been!

When did you last do that in Real Life? Who are these people that come up with this crap???

Bedi says, this really takes the biscuit.
Debi says, what a load of fuckery.

PS John - please send emergency supplies - I'm urgently in need of baking!

Minx said...

Deaf? No! Probably half-baked!

Lee said...

As to the American edible cookies, the word probably originated from the Dutch koekje, diminutive of koek, cake. Little cake, in other words.

Debi said...

Urgent request - please send some of those little cakes.

I badly need to be fully baked.

Confucious Trevaskis said...

Oh FFS....cookies don't really exist!
They were dreamed up by govrnment propoganda experts to induce paranoia into the population.
Long term, they will be identified as the cause of terrorist activities by whoever it is that the state wants us to hate next.........
American biscuits are called cookies......because it's easier to spell.......

There now, isn't that easier to understand than all that techno jibbersish.............?

Meloney Lemon said...

Oh crumbs!

Debi said...

Crumbs? Where? Let me at 'em!