What are all these cookies on Instructables, etc?

I don't know if most people can read their own cookies.
Today when I signed on instructables with a clear cache , I got these cookies:

consumerist.com SESSID_GANJA

Apparently ganja means smoking pot. Why give me those cookies?

Here are some other cookies I think stink.

ROLL (< who's being "wicked ... in High places"? Everybody must get stoned?)
doubleclick.* (tracking cookie)
hitbox.* (tracking cookie)
2o7.* (tracking cookie)
paypal.com (when I haven't been there)
RU4 (are you for... as in RU4 86? what are you for?)
test-loyalty (do you like Bush?)
geoinfo (where are you now?)

FLASH9 (hidden)

I will post more sneaky looking cookies as I get them. I can't remember more now.
If anyone is a truthful expert on cookies, share more clues.

dttd://CMD MSG 41387 04551.70280 ETX (user defined protocol)

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VIRON (author) 9 years ago
I wrote that question at least a year ago, seems like longer. I see no evil looking cookies here today. :) I still would like to know EVERYTHING about web cookies though.
Plasmana9 years ago
(This is what is going on in my mind) *Cookies... Mmmm...
LOL!!! Same with me!!!
lebowski9 years ago
A little late to your response, but late is better than never, right? If there are cookies that have a match.com domain name, than yes, someone has gone to match.com on your computer. Websites can only set cookies for their own domain, so an advertiser could not create a match.com cookie. The utma, etc. cookies are tracking cookies, probably from Google Analytics. Advertisers do set cookies across domains to try and track users and potentially target ads to that way. Lots of sites store cookie data to tell if someone is a new or returning user. Cookies are nothing to worry about, but it is a sly way of seeing where someone has been browsing. It's easy to erase one's browsing history, but most wouldn't think of deleting their cookies as well.
lebowski10 years ago
If you look at cookies for the instructable.com domain, you will only see these cookies being set:


So if you are seeing the mentioned cookies being set, they are getting set from the advertising on the site.

For example, SESSID_GANJA is coming from our ads that we run for consumerist.com and lifehacker.com. Ganja is the name of their publishing platform, this is from one of their blog posts:

We’ve spent the first half of this year developing the Ganja publishing platform that Lifehacker and Consumerist are now operating on. The goal of the Ganja project is simple: to further empower you to create the best sites you can.

If you want to understand more about sessions, just google 'server sessions'.

As for this comment:

"The cookies I mentioned have 1 month expiration dates and are self set to upload to all cookie sites."

The expiration would be normal, so if you go back to that one site, it would be able to read your cookie. Most sites have these types of expiration dates so that they can track new vs. returning users.

The part about "self set to upload to all cookie sites" doesn't make any sense to me. If you're using a homebrew browser that doesn't conform to the cookie spec, than maybe this could happen, but with any of the major browsers, you can only access/set cookies within your domain. We can only access cookies that have instructables.com as the domain.

I hope this helps clarify the cookies coming from our site.

VIRON (author)  lebowski10 years ago
I agree that the instructables cookies listed above are "ok". I didn't list any of them, and noticed that eng-tips.com had both utm cookies and tracking cookies. I'll go back to cookie defense mode. Questions remain, like what are dopey cookies actually for? : (GANJA,ACID,BASE,ROLL)? GANJAUSERID seemed at first like an accusation that I might be smoking pot. (***) Haha: is GANJA a platform like JAVA ... but much dopeyer? Seriously, what does it add to the web that's otherwise missing? The way things are going, there'll be one called SCREWUID and everybody will just laugh at the suggested function without consideration it may be well named or wondering what it does. I may grab a "to be sent to all cookie sites" attribute and post it next time I get one of those cookies.
LasVegas10 years ago
I don't know why you (or anyone else) are worried about cookies. They aren't malware and cannot be used by anyone other than the site that placed them there. My browser has a setting that allows me to block cookies from offsite (those placed by ads), so the only cookies I accrue are those that let me to re-visit sites without having to login every time.
VIRON (author)  LasVegas10 years ago
Read what's going on at eff.org. I can build a nonPC computer from scratch, and it just pisses me off that companies out there think they own it, or that they are entitled, if it were possible, to break and enter even the memory of my mind!
LasVegas VIRON10 years ago
What makes you think that they think they own it? All they're doing is storing information that you supplied so that you don't have to re-enter it when you return. No other site can read those cookies.

If you don't like it, just turn off the cookies in your browser. Note that many sites will not work without them.
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