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Privacy policy

Last updated: 2 April 2012.

We take your privacy very seriously.

Here (in plain English) are full details explaining what information our site collects from you and what happens to it after that.

What information do we collect?

Like every other website on the Net, our site is hosted on a web server (a powerful computer at our ISP) that keeps a log of all the pages and graphics it serves and where it sends them to. This information is essentially anonymous and statistical (it tells us how many people from Iceland looked at our site last Thursday), but it doesn't tell us anything personal about them. We don't know who those people were, whether they were fishermen or fighter pilots, or what colour socks they were wearing at the time.

The logs don't tell us who you are or where you live—but they do record your IP number (a number that uniquely identifies your computer). They also note how much information you downloaded, the operating system and browser you're using, the date and time of your visit, how you came to our site, and so on. None of this information is personally identifiable. We can figure out some things about what computer 12.34.56.78 was doing at 5am on Thursday, October 5 2007, if we really want to, but we don't know who that computer belongs to—and frankly we've got much better things to do with our time.

How do we use this information? We view the access logs in a very general way using a statistical package called AWStats. (If you're really interested, you can see a demo of the kind of statistics that we can see.) What do they tell us? If we know certain pages are unpopular, we can improve them or discontinue them. If we know our server is about to crash because too many people are looking at our global warming page again, we can get a bigger server. If we know our RSS feeds are growing in popularity, we will start to update them more often. This is the kind of thing we do with our logs.

We do not use cookies—but our advertisers and affiliate partners do

Our website does not use cookies (small files stored on a web browser). That means we don't offer a way for you to opt-out of having your information collected or a way to remove your personal information from our records—simply because we don't collect any information about you!

Please be aware, however, that our website runs advertisements on most pages and we participate in several affiliate programs (where we earn a small amount of money if you buy a product by following a link from our site to an online retailer). The advertisers and affiliate partners we work with use cookies to help them serve up their advertisements, to track your browsing behavior, to make it easier for you to buy things from them (for example, if you use a shopping cart on a website, that needs a cookie to make it work), and to record the fact that it's our website that sent the traffic to them.

We have no control over these "third-party cookies" (as they are known). We do not see or have access to any information they may store or collect. They pass directly between your computer and the servers run by our advertisers and affiliate partners. If you have concerns about how our advertisers and affiliate partners may be using cookies, please refer to the privacy policies on their websites for more information.

At the moment, Google is the only advertiser/affiliate partner we are working with. Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies (including the DoubleClick DART cookie) to serve advertisements on our website. Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to our users based on their visit to our site and other sites on the Internet. You may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy. You can learn more about how Google safeguards your privacy by visiting Google's Privacy Policy website.

How can you control your privacy?

If you're concerned about cookies, you can change the options in your Web browser to restrict how websites can use them. You can switch off certain cookies, instruct your browser to keep them only for certain periods, or delete cookies altogether. You can set the level of privacy controls you want by looking under Privacy in your browser's options, preferences, or settings. Please be aware that if you do this you may prevent some websites from working properly or as quickly and efficiently as they would do otherwise.

How can you find out more about privacy issues?

These sites may help you:

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