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Privacy Policy

Your privacy, and ours, are very important.  We're not in the business of selling, trading, renting, or giving away your information. And we don't. Ever.


The Forum allows browsers to view posts without needing a sign-in. To comment, a sign-up is required, which can be obtained through a user's Facebook or Google+ account, if the user desires. However, a direct sign-up  (on this website itself)  requires only a)  a self-selected username and password b) an email address,  which is never displayed  and cannot be accessed publicly.


In fact, this email address can be entirely fictitious. In other words, feel free to use a fake email address if you wish. We do not need your real email address to "activate" your sign-up or some other bogus  "justification" used these days to collect lots'a email addresses... which are gold in today's  Big Data economy. 


Want some examples of bogus email addresses?

Please keep in mind that the adequacy of fake login credentials applies only to registering with this website in order to post on the discussion boards here;  the  rules governing newsletter sign-ups are separate and different, entailing a double opt-in procedure that is described below, and in the Privacy Notice for

All privacy policies described here are subject to change, most likely to comply with what we view as the end user's reasonable expectations of privacy,  or to comply with any new laws -- such as the new GDPR of 2018, sweeping and strict privacy legislation designed to protect all EU users (but which allow for superior protections for everyone). Any such changes that require action on your part will of course be detailed here. For example, an argument could be made that we -- all mailers--should ask newsletter subscribers to "resubscribe". But since our original double opt-in method already complied with the stricter standard, and the content or purpose of the Newsletter hasn't changed, nor has our Privacy Policy (except to add more detail), we argue that - hey, why bother people asking them to say they want something they've already said they want by saying that they want it -- twice (which the double opt-in subscription requires)? So for now, at least, no recommitment ceremony is planned.  [a good general overview on the workings of a double opt-in is on this FAQ. It is from another website, but its description of the double opt-in procedure is applicable here, especially the sections Joining, Leaving, Changing Subscriptions, and Delivery and Subscription Problems]  

More specifically:

Summary: is run by individuals who are fiercely devoted to the privacy of our visitors and subscribers.




   • the information we collect 


The information revealed about you when you visit depends on what actions you take while you are here. However, no personally identifying information—such as your name, address or phone number—will ever be captured unless you voluntarily provide it (see (C) (D) and (E), below).

(A) Information gathered from each visitor ["traffic"]: When you browse, our server automatically collects and stores the following information about your visit: 


• The name of the domain from which you access the Internet—for example, "" if you are connecting from an America Online account. This information does not include your actual AOL account name 

• The date and time of your visit

• What links you visit on our site

• The Internet address of the website from which you linked directly into our website

• Your current Internet IP address (this is a numerical network address—not your email address).

Our site does not use cookies (a cookie is a small data file that contains information about your web connection).

(B) If you visit our site just to browse: We collect only the information itemized in (A) above

(C) If you send us email: We will obviously obtain any additional information within the email that you send us. This almost always includes your full email address. It may also include additional identifying information—such as your Company Name, your address, your phone number—if you have set your email preferences to include them via a signature file, a vcard, or Header Line information, or if you have manually typed this information in the body of your email message. It's always a good idea to consider deleting this information from your out-going email if it does not pertain to your business.

(D) If you visit our site and request that we send you our newsletter: In addition to the information itemized in (A) above, we will collect your email address if you sign up for our email newsletter. We employ a strict "double opt-in" confirmation procedure for our Newsletter, which requires that any requested subscription is confirmed via a return email. We never send mailings to an address that has not confirmed a subscription request via this double opt-in procedure.

A note on encloures, documents, media files, attachments, and catch-all addresses: This website automatically rejects delivery of unusually large email messages and of any email containing attachments or enclosures of any kind (e.g., text files or documents; media files such as graphics, photos, sound files, signature or inline graphics, etc.). These are automatically deleted while still in our server mail queue. In other words, they are deleted before a human being even receives them. Also, any email sent to nonexistent addresses at this domain are purged without server record (otherwise known as "blackholed"). 


   • how we use the information 


• Information itemized in (A) above [browsing visit only]: These data are used to produce summary descriptive statistics on the number of visitors to different sections of our site and certain basic characteristics of those visitors (e.g., country or domain of origin, times of peak visits, etc.). These summaries are commonly known as "traffic reports", and they help webmasters monitor the use of their site and the flow of visits. These data are analyzed and viewed in aggregate summary form only, and do not include information about individual or single website visits or visitors. Once aggregate reports are generated, the individual data associated with individual visits are deleted. 

 Information itemized in (C) above [email you choose to send us]: We collect and retain any information needed to act on your request or comment. In addition, unless you explicitly request otherwise, email sent to or will be considered fair game for posting online in its entirety (except for email addresses: see "Policies," below). You must tell us in the message itself what other information, if any, you wish withheld from possible online publication. Your email request is retained at the admin level of accessibility (that is, only our highest server administration worker)  long enough to act on the information containend therein.


After the issue(s) raised have been addressed, the original email is added to a folder of messages which should remain attached  to the senders' email address .One example of the justification for this retention would be if it is discovered that a frequent visitor is stalking an employee -  we may need to find all the emails sent from this email address over the last 5 years to document timing, content, etc. (note that even this use of "identifying information" can do nothing more than collect information on an email address, which still does not include any  further information on the identity of the sender). We have arbitrarily decided that 5 years is the period this information should be retained, after which time the entire message is deleted. Before deletion, these messages are kept in a folder with 2 additional layers of security in addition to your baseline protection: an ..htaccess password and a java based obfuscation script applied to email addresses themselves. 

Recall this only pertains to email you have decided to send to us, and only information you yourself have included in the email to us. Retention procedures differ for newsletter subscribers.

• Information itemized in (D) above [registration for the newsletter]: Your email address is used to send you your requested newsletters. We employ a strict "double opt-in" confirmation procedure for our Newsletter, and we never send mailings to an address that has not confirmed a subscription request. The subscribed email address is retained as a subscriber address until an Unsubscribe request from that address is received. 



   • links to other websites may contain links to other websites. The privacy statement you are reading now applies only to and  its Newsletter, and we are not responsible for the privacy or newsletter policies and practices of other websites. As a general practice, we encourage you to be aware when you are leaving, and read that new site's  privacy statement before deciding if you wish to provide them with your email address or personally identifiable information. 



   • policies: security and privacy 


The information we obtain will be used only for activities of Walter Becker Websites; we do not and will not rent, lease, sell, or otherwise disclose any information to any person or entity outside of , and their mailing service unless explicitly stated otherwise or as compelled by law.


We take the protection of visitor information extremely seriously.When personal information is stored by the website, it is in a secure location, accessible only to two senior staff members. This site has appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures in place to safeguard its data and to help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, correctly use the information we collect online, and protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control.



   • spam not accepted or tolerated here


No email address —ours or others'—will appear on unless it is obfuscated either with a script program or by modifications in the text string. We employ other methods to thwart email harvesting programs and activities used by spammers. We would appreciate it if you would return the courtesy, and refrain from posting any email address from unobscured anywhere online.


Frankly, even storing any email address in your address book--which most mail programs automatically do once an address sends you email -- makes that address more likely to be harvested by spammers. These days, even rudimentary malware routinely steals all the data in your email program's address book, something that not too many years ago only the most sophisticated data theft programs would do.  

Any user, visitor, browser, or subscriber who attempts to misappropriate our newsletter subscription list or other information on this site for the purpose of sending unsolicited email should be advised that we do record and track such attempts. Safeguards are in place that will cause any such attempt to fail. The newsletter subscription of any list member identified as party to such an attempt will be immediately and silently terminated, at minimum; we may also take additional measures by which we will register and express our zero tolerance for such behavior

Indeed, it is the policy of to fight spam in any way available, including but not limited to: Posting, forwarding and publicly displaying the spam: sending copies to any and all originating or relay postmasters involved: sending copies to any and all persons listed as administrative, technical, and billing contact according to the WHOIS database for the offending sender(s): forwarding copies to upstream providers: blocking individual known spammers and/or entire offending domains. Fraudulent or deceptive email will be forwarded to the Federal Trade Commission and/or other legitimate spam-fighting organizations and services for investigation and possible legal action.

-Last revised Dec 2, 2019

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