Like most Web sites Morning Banana’s Web server saves log files. We use Apache, and the log files are saved in the so-called combined log format, which you can read about here. Among the information that we save is your IP address, the date and time of your visit, the pages you looked at, and your “referer” [sic] information (the page whose link you clicked to come here, assuming it wasn’t from a bookmark or by directly entering the URL of Morning Banana).
So is any really personal information revealed? Not really. In theory your IP address could reveal something about you, such as the company you work for, and if your incoming referer data shows that you got here by searching for “how to stab my wife, who needs to diet, in the morning while she sleeps, with a frozen banana,” we might get in contact with the authorities.
Cookies are small files that are saved by your browser on behalf of Web sites. Morning Banana is probably saving these on your computer. We’re not really sure, because we’re using off-the-shelf software (WordPress and vBulletin), and to be honest, we don’t know exactly how they work. If you are logging into the forum and you can navigate from page to page, that probably means that your login session is being tracked by a vBulletin cookie. Otherwise you’d have to enter a password for every page you access.
We’ve recently added Google AdSense contextual ads to the non-forum pages. Why would we do that? First off, we’d like to pay our ISP, The Planet, for hosting. As you might have noticed, this site’s availability has been spotty since the Time Magazine article (through no fault of The Planet). As this is being written, The Planet is a new server to host this site, and we hope to have it moved over within a few days. Peak usage times coincide with what should be our sleeping time in Japan, and we want this site stablized as fast as possible. The server and the guy who is going to dump the MySQL data, install and configure WordPress and vBulletin on the new server and get the DNS working and all that, both cost money, and we want to at least break even on this “project” as soon as possible.
We’ve been online since July 6, 2008, bringing you information about this (until late September) obscure diet. We never really expected it to amount to anything, but we feel a responsibility to our forum members to not just close up shop because the server is crashing, so we’re doing our best to get things working smoothly again, just like it was back in the old one-page-site-with-a-forum days that you oldtimers remember.
Google AdSense, like many other advertising networks, may track your movements from site to site, in order to deliver more relevant ads to you. Some of these outfits let you opt out, but apparently not Google. But you’re going to have a hard time using the internet if you try to avoid pages with AdSense, because they are everywhere.
Blog Comments and Forum Registrations
If you leave a comment on a Morning Banana blog post, we require a name and an e-mail address, and optionally a URL. The URL will be linked to your name, but the e-mail address will not be publicly displayed. If you operate a blog, you know that most names and e-mails left are fake anyway. So be it.
When you register for our forums you also create a name and e-mail address. The names are how you are publicly identified in the forum. You may optionally enter other profile information when you register or at a later day, and that is publicly displayed to anyone who cares to look. When you register you are asked if you would like to receive e-mail from the administrators of the forum. That’s your choice. That is an automated feature of vBulletin, and if you decline to receive e-mail, vBulletin just won’t do it, and we don’t even know how to override that.
There’s also a private messaging system in our forums, which at the moment is turned on. This does not reveal your private information to your messaging partner.
Given the publicity that is developing about this diet, we could anticipate interest on the part of the media in your stories. In that case we may from time to time attempt to contact blog commenters and forum participants who have opted in to receive e-mail for the purpose of passing along media requests or asking them if they would be interested in telling their stories publicly or anonymously.
We don’t have a mailing list. In the future we might start one, but we would solicit opt-in subscribers for the list at that time via publicity on Morning Banana. We will not send e-mail to addresses left in blog comments or when signing up for the forums. Nor will we even send one-time opt-in requests to e-mail addresses obtained from those sources. So what that means is that if in fact you’d like to get a newsletter from us when and if we create one, you’re going to have to drop by from time to time and keep your eyes peeled for an announcement.
Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.