Princeton computer science researchers Steven Englehardt and Arvind Narayanan (previously) have just published a new paper, Online tracking: A 1-million-site measurement and analysis, which documents the state of online tracking beyond mere cookies -- sneaky and often illegal techniques used to "fingerprint" your browsers and devices as you move from site to site, tracking you even when you explicitly demand not to be track and take countermeasures to prevent this.
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Francesca4me has created arguably the best Poop Emoji Cookie Cutters on the market, and they come in four different sizes. They include depressions for the eyes and mouth that can be filled with white icing, and the thin lines they cut halfway into the cookie give them the most accurate-looking result. Read the rest
I lost about 40 pounds on a keto diet, that being the near-total abnegation of carbs. It worked, for me, but the strict mandate means my foodlife is mostly salads, nuts and meat. Tough going! The popularity of the diet, and others similar to it (paleo, Atkins, etc), has created a market for carbless snacks that nonetheless resemble carbtastic snacks. Such as "keto cookies," a new product from ketokookies.com that they're kickstarting. Read the rest
"I don't like Oreos very much."
Try a new Oreo Thin, with a lot less Oreo to dislike!
And since they're for adults, Oreo says they weren't designed to be twisted open or dunked. That's even though about half of customers pull apart regular Oreos before eating them, according to the company.
"If people want to do that, it's clearly up to them," said Janda Lukin, senior director of Oreo for North America at parent company Mondelez International.
I can't wait for the return of Hydrox, the original creme filled chocolate sandwich cookie.
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When we heard about the semi-secret cookies baked by secluded nuns in Madrid, Spain, naturally we had to seek out these mythical treats. Here's what we found.
Moogieland has a recipe, and photos, for this delightful Star Wars-themed sweet. Snip:
In a galaxy far, far away, I purchased the Han Solo in Carbonite ice cube tray from Think Geek. I knew that I wanted to use it to mold chocolate. But I wanted more than a chocolate bar. And by harnessing the power of the dark side, I added a sugar cookie layer.
Yes, Dark Sith Lord, I have cookies. Da da da, dun da-daaa, dun da-daaaa. Now step aside Darth Vader, no using the force to raid the cookie jar!
(via Boing Boing Flickr Pool; photo: Moogieland) Read the rest
TIL that Thin Mints are not the most popular Girl Scout cookie. Yesterday, in Cincinnati, President Obama was booed when he mentioned that he preferred Thin Mints to all other Girl Scout cookies.
This surprised me. For several reasons. First, I didn't realized they took cookies that seriously in Cincinnati. Maybe it's time to visit Ohio. Second, as someone who has long preferred Samoas (aka Caramel deLites), I always felt as though I was in a serious minority. Like my family grudgingly ordered one box, mostly for me, out of an order that was primarily made up of Thin Mints.
And, on the one hand, this is a realistic perception. Thin Mints are the Girl Scouts' best selling cookie—accounting for 25% of all cookie sales. And yet.
And yet ... that does not tell the whole story. After all, if we Samoa and Peanut Butter Patty (Tagalongs) fans were to join forces (and we should), we would account for 32% of cookie sales. And if you look at the Girl Scouts' online poll, you find that 33% of respondents preferred Samoas—compared to 28% who preferred Thin Mints.(Not a very scientific poll, but this doesn't seem to be the sort of thing Gallup covers, so the Girl Scouts were my best shot at providing nationally relevant results here.)
So, basically, people who are only kind of okay with Thin Mints—you can feel justified. People who absolutely hate them—that's cool, too. You aren't alone. There's more of us then there are of them, we just aren't a cohesive voting block. Read the rest
This year, as a Christmas gift to my family, I scanned the pages from my Grammy's recipe folio and turned them into a spiral-bound cookbook with the help of Lulu.com. The project took several months. But, through it, I feel like I was granted some extra time with the woman who was such an important part of my life. My Grammy is in that portfolio. The binder, held together with duct tape, has been around since my Dad and uncles were in high school. She typed the pages on her old typewriter and fixed the errors with correction fluid. She wrote notes into the margins—reminders about which recipes are best, what substitutions you could make, and what the measurements should be if you want to half or double the recipe. Looking at the recipes she chose to keep around, I see her. For instance, my Grammy was the kind of woman who collected no fewer than three recipes for spinach and bacon salads.
More seriously, the mix of recipes in this cookbook remind me that my Grammy was first, and foremost, a baker. Of the 315 pages, 106 of them are just bread recipes. If you look at all the baked goods, you've probably accounted for a good 2/3 of the cookbook. This is interesting to me, because while I love cooking, I am still at a level of baking that usually involves opening a box and adding an egg.
So I've set myself a challenge. Over the next year, I'm going to learn how to bake. Read the rest
A group of respected security researchers have published a paper documenting the tactics used by KISSmetrics -- a company that counts Hulu and many other Internet giants among its customers -- to install and read back cookies on your computer even if you don't want them. Using a kind of kitchen-sink approach, KISSmetrics is able to track your computer even if you've got cookies, Flash cookies and other common cookie-setting vectors turned off. It's one thing for companies to say that they only gather information about users who allow such tracking; it's another thing for a company to go to endless lengths to circumvent their users' best attempts to shield themselves from tracking.
“Both the Hulu and KISSmetrics code is pretty enlightening,” Soltani told Wired.com in an e-mail. “These services are using practically every known method to circumvent user attempts to protect their privacy (Cookies, Flash Cookies, HTML5, CSS, Cache Cookies/Etags…) creating a perpetual game of privacy ‘whack-a-mole’.”
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“This is yet another example of the continued arms-race that consumers are engaged in when trying to protect their privacy online since advertisers are incentivized to come up with more pervasive tracking mechanisms unless there’s policy restrictions to prevent it.”
They point to their research that found that when a user visited Hulu.com, they would get a “third-party” cookie set by KISSmetrics with a tracking ID number. KISSmetrics would pass that number to Hulu, allowing Hulu to use it for its own cookie. Then if a user visited another site that was using KISSmetrics, that site’s cookie would get the exact same number as well.