Some Talkback Changes and Fixes

Saturday December 4th, 1999

We've implemented some changes to our talkback forums that you may have noticed. First, you can now reply to specific messages from "flat mode". Before, you could only reply to the forum itself. Now, the messages will still appear in the same order in flat mode, but they'll be threaded properly in threaded mode if you reply to a specific message.

Next, we've fixed the titles of replies, adding a "Re:" in front of the default reply title.

Finally, we no longer allow anonymous posting. This change has been coming for a while, but we finally got around to implementing it. Old anonymous posts will show up, but no new ones will be allowed.

We've added one more change. Now, if you view in threaded mode, you have the option of showing which posts are new since your last visit. How does it work? Well, visit any forum, and click the "flag new posts" checkbox and click the "Change forum display" button. This change will affect all forums. After that, each time you visit a forum, we will store a cookie on your browser which will contain the current time and date of your visit to that particular forum, and use it to flag new posts. The cookie will expire a week after your last visit. If you don't like cookies, you can simply leave this feature off.

UPDATE: We added a small fix so that the "new" flags persist as you view posts in the forum.

These changes only apply to the talkback forums for articles. I will be propagating the changes to the poll and reader review forums when I have the time.

#50 Of Remembering Passwords, and cookies

by SomeSmartAss

Tuesday December 7th, 1999 7:22 AM

You are replying to this message

<> <--

Nice little program, that remembers username/password info automatically for you.

As for cookies, they may not be able to get personal info per se (although there was a recent security hole that managed to yank out your e-mail address by setting a cookie in an e-mail) but they can do some pretty invasive tracking. Some banner ad comapanies have attaced cookies to the gifs they send, and because the ads are being accessed from a central server, they can use this one cookie to track all the sites you visit that they have contracts with, thereby getting a broad visit pattern.

I personally don't have a problem with this myself, but a lot of more paranoid people seem to think this is privacy invasion.