June 12, 2012, 2:11 pm
I have always liked the iPad’s version of Safari, and so have never bothered to explore the various alternative browsers on the App Store. But Safari does have a couple of drawbacks: it usually tries to display a site’s mobile version first, and some sites will block functionality when Mobile Safari is detected. To take just three examples: my credit union doesn’t display the required security code for login on Mobile Safari; Google Docs serves a mobile version, unless you choose otherwise; and, most frustrating for my purposes, PBWorks says that Mobile Safari doesn’t support editing online, and won’t let you edit pages at all. Since we use PBWorks for some behind-the-scenes work at ProfHacker, and I use it in most classes for my wikified class notes assignment, this was a serious limitation!
Eventually, this became too irritating to tolerate, and so I started downloading some…
July 28, 2011, 8:00 am
Cookies are small text files that websites store in your browser. Most of this is to facilitate things like shopping carts, or personalized settings for a site–for example, to identify subscribers to a news site, or commenters on a blog.
They are also routinely used to track what pages people visit, and in what order. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation of how this works:
1. If the user requests a page of the site, but the request contains no cookie, the server presumes that this is the first page visited by the user; the server creates a random string and sends it as a cookie back to the browser together with the requested page;
2. From this point on, the cookie will be automatically sent by the browser to the server every time a new page from the site is requested; the server sends the page as usual, but also stores the URL of …