I didn’t have anything to complain about this week.   Sounds unbelievable, especially since this rarely happens.  I decided to clean out my spam and maybe get some inspiration, and there it was – 2,845 emails in my span folder

This is actually the average amount of email junk I get every week. It would be very simple to just hit the “delete all” button and get rid of this crap (hope this is not an offensive word, but a good one to let you know how I really feel), but I can’t.  Enviably there will be one email that is important to save, so naturally I have to sift through all of them.  Usually that one email has a big warning flag about how I will be taking a risk if I open it.  Really?  Google knows everything about me, and has for years.  I would think they would definitely know who I know by now.

Which leads me to how much google knows about me, you and everyone else on this planet.  Some people are amazed when an ad for an item they were talking about or researching on the internet, pops up somewhere on their phone or laptop.

It’s not rocket science or mindreading, or listening in on your conversations.  It’s the old cookie game. The following is an explanation from Wikipedia about cookies:

An HTTP cookie (usually just called a cookie) is a simple computer file made of text. The information stored in cookies can be used to personalize the experience when using a website. A website can use cookies to find out if someone has visited a website before and record information (data) about what they did.

When someone is using a computer to browse a website, a personalized cookie file can be sent from the website’s server to the person’s computer. The cookie is stored in the web browser on the person’s computer. At some time in the future, the person may browse that website again. The website can send a message to the person’s browser, asking if a cookie from the website is already stored in the browser. If a cookie is found, then the data that was stored in the cookie before can be used by the website to tell the website about the person’s previous activity. Some examples where cookies are used include shopping carts, automatic login and remembering which advertisements have already been shown.

And, if you are wondering why it’s called a cookie, here you go: 

The term “cookie” was coined by web browser programmer Lou Montulli. It was derived from the term “magic cookie“, which is a packet of data a program receives and sends back unchanged, used by Unix programmers. 

If you are a Nancy’s Soapbox follower, you can agree that not only do I share my thoughts on everything, I also use the opportunity to educate on the simple things.