Inedible cookies

Apr 21st, 2008 | By | Category: Personal Columns

A big red exclamation mark appeared in the middle of my monitor. A warning of some desperate danger flashed across the screen. A fate worse than listening to “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning” seemed about to befall me.

The notice declared that a tracking cookie had been detected in the system and advised immediate action. Clicking on “Action” appeared to have the required effect. The security system swung into effect with brisk efficiency.

Not having a clue what a tracking cookie was, I clicked on “Info” to find:

A file that can track your computing activities and report them to a third party.

What was mystifying was not that anyone would write a programme to do something as surreal as tracking my computer activity, but why anyone would want to do such a thing.

Who would want to know that I spent time on the computer today working on the parish magazine and exchanging emails regarding a funeral? What value would such information be to anyone? Perhaps the tracking cookie has been sent out by my bishop to check that clergy might actually be doing something.

Perhaps the cookie is to monitor what websites are visited, but who would want to know?

Perhaps it is an attempt at fraudulently obtaining the £23-10 shillings I have in my Post Office book, but computer fraud, like any fraud depends on gullibility or a lack of due diligence, and my savings book is firmly hidden in a biscuit tin under the mattress.

The scams attempted are nothing new – the email requesting account details for processing millions of dollars apparently has its roots in a scam called the Spanish hostage letter that dates back some 200 years.

Some desperately sad person out there wanted to track something and their cookie has been crumbled into tiny crumbs. However, to cheer them up, here are the bookmarks of my favourite sites to show that my life is even more odd than theirs. If they can find any coherence in the list, then I would be pleased to send them a couple of hundred (I have some Italian lira somewhere).

Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough A searchable online Bible

Church of Ireland – A province of the Anglican Communion

Church of Ireland Gazette Home Page

Parish Pump


What’s New @ Christ Church Cathedral Dublin

Ship of Fools: the magazine of Christian unrest

Alpbachtaler Bergbahnen

British Columbia – Weather Conditions and Forecast by locations

Our WebCam – Dick’s Sand Bar – Hossegor Beach – FranceTourism

CSO – Central Statistics Office Ireland

Elections Home Page

Sojourners: Christians for Justice and Peace

AAAS – The World’s Largest General Scientific Society

BBC – Science & Nature – Space


NASA – Home

Welcome to the Astronomy Ireland Homepage


Aviron Bayonnnais

Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque – The Home of Cricket

FC United of Manchester


Truro City Football club – Home

Yeovil Town FC

eircom phonebook online: residential and business name search directory for Ireland

The Phone Book

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  1. If it was this country I would say it was Big Brother watching you as this government seem to want to control and meddle with most peoples lives!!
    I am dissapointed to see that is not amongst your favourites Ian (only joking)

  2. Haha . . well at least if they delve into your ‘Sermons’ category you might achieve a cyber convert! God works in mysterious ways!

  3. Completely off the subject but i did enjoy being a millionnaire each month when I lived in Italy 18 years ago.

  4. I think if is was Mr al Fayed’s PC, he might think the tracking cookie had come from MI6 working in collusion with the French and US intelligence services, with the assistance of Tony Blair under the direction of the Duke of Edinburgh.

  5. I reckon it could have been the famously nosy Bill Gates leaving the cookie. Maybe he wants to convert you. He’s a closet scientologist.

    Just visit a Christian Macintosh Users Group and he and the cookie will disappear. 🙂

  6. My link to your site has vanished. Well done on organising your day of prayer.

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