Site Policies and Disclaimers

Sumida Crossing is a personal site, describing my model railroad and associated topics. It’s managed by me, and hosted (at present) by Little Oak’s hosting service. It’s not sponsored by anyone, nor do I receive any form of compensation from anyone related to what is posted here. If you have any questions, you can contact me at the address on the About the Site page.

This policy page incorporates material that had been stated in various places about the site, as well as new material, much of which I’d consider obvious to anyone with a clue, but sometimes it’s good to (re)state the obvious.

Site Policies


  • It’s my site, I make the rules and can do what I want with it. I can change them without notice, or ignore them. That said, I’ll try to keep this page current and in line with my intent, and mention any substantial changes in an addendum to a Musings (that’s the blog) posting. And, of course, I will abide by all applicable laws to the best of my understanding.
  • I am not compensated in any way for what I post here. In general, if I review something it’s because I bought it for my own use. I have been a beta-tester for things of interest to me, and wrote about them, and got to keep the ones that worked afterwards, but if I do that, I will clearly state that I am a beta-tester (or similar) in such postings or pages related to the testing. Any comments I make about best-testing are my own, and are not approved or reviewed by others.
  • Material posted is my own work unless otherwise noted. That work often includes summaries or information derived from one or more other sources.
  • Sources of substantial elements of such material will typically be cited, usually via an inline link to the original or via a mention in a “References” section at the end of a page. This is not, however, guaranteed; this site is not an academic paper with strict identification of every source for every detail.
  • The content I post is, unless otherwise noted or attributed to someone else, covered by a Creative Commons, By Attribution, Non-commercial license (see link at the bottom of each page for the full license text). That means I retain Copyright for my original content, but allow anyone to use it as long as they attribute the source (a URL to this site is acceptable) and aren’t making money from that use. Use on an otherwise non-commercial website that has ads to recover costs isn’t “making money” as far as I’m concerned. Using something to advertise a product, unless you’re quoting a review or similar, is commercial use.
  • Material posted or linked to from here but belonging to others may have other restrictions as to its use, and nothing I say here should be construed as altering those. You should contact the originator if you have questions. However, everything I’ve incorporated was either public domain or licensed in a manner that I believed compatible with my use here at the time I incorporated it.
  • Any material on this site is transient, and may be removed or altered at any time at my whim.
  • No warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy of material here, or the safety of any procedures described here. Use your own judgement before using anything, as your circumstances may vary, and in any case use at your own risk.
  • Deep-linking, meaning the use of images or other files on one site within someone else's site but being served from the original, is just plain rude. I don't do it, and I don't expect other people to do it with my content. If you want to make a copy and use it under the terms of the creative commons license, go right ahead, but why would you expect me to foot the bandwidth bill? Deep-linking sites will be blocked to the best of my ability.

Contributed Content Policy

This section defines additional policies that apply specifically to contributions made to the site by others. Such contributions may include comments made within the site, files uploaded to it (if supported), or material provided through other channels, such as email, with an expressed or implied intent that it is for publication. At present this mainly applies to comments made in the blog, but may apply to other things. Also see the Posting FAQ for expansion on some of these topics.

  • Any contributions to this site become a part of the site, and any successor sites I might create, and are subject to the Site Policies. In particular, this means that someone else can use them under the Creative Commons license of the site. Contributors retain their Copyright to any such materials and can use them elsewhere as they see fit. In short, by posting here or otherwise submitting content you are agreeing to provide a lifetime non-exclusive license to the posted material matching the creative commons license used on my site. In addition, you are agreeing to give up control over the copy posted here as described below. If that isn’t acceptable to you, don’t contribute.
  • Following from the above, there are RSS feeds for the site and content added may appear in such feeds (and if not today it may in the future with new or updated software) which itself is licensed under the same creative commons license as the rest of the site. You're agreeing to that and to similar behavior by successor syndication systems or similar services that I may adopt, too, when you provide content.
  • Comments posted to the site are a form of contribution and I have strong opinions about what that means: you don't get to edit history by rewriting your comments later or removing them (a short edit period will be allowed, depending on software capabilities). You also give up some control over them beyond that, since the dialog itself falls under the site's creative commons license. Depending on the software I use it may be hard for me to fully enforce that, but I'm not giving up my right to do so.
  • That said, if someone really feels a need to remove something they contributed, they should contact me via email at the admin address on the About the Site page. I’m not making any commitment, but I may be amenable to such removal. Note, however, that I can’t control re-use elsewhere: the license you provided by contributing is not revokable and is not under my authority. Once you post something on the Internet, it’s likely there forever, in archives and re-posts.
  • Comments that are in my opinion offensive, deliberately inflammatory (trolling) or that I feel to be advertising or other spam will be removed. Repeat offenders will be prevented from leaving future comments. There's a line between inflammatory and honest disagreement that can be hard to define; in the end, I'm the one making the call, and thus it's my definition that matters. But I'll be much more forgiving if it seems the comment was made with good intent.
  • On the subject of spam, third-party tools may be used to screen comments or other content for such. I have no control over what third parties do with the content in such circumstances.
  • This isn't a general-purpose discussion forum, and off-topic comments may be deleted at my discretion, likely depending on just how far off topic they are and the amount of meaningful content they contain. Repeat offenders could also be prevented from leaving future comments, but you'd have to be seriously annoying to earn that.
  • I reserve the right to edit posted comments or otherwise moderate them rather than removing them. However, I commit that any edits will be made only when necessary to avoid removing a comment (e.g., removing an offensive section from an otherwise legitimate post) and that such edits will be indicated. I won't change any post in such a way as to "put my words in another's mouth" by altering what I believe to be the intent of the post beyond removing disallowed content.
  • Posting under someone else's name or nickname isn't acceptable and will get your IP blacklisted permanently.
  • Anonymous comments, provided they don't violate any policies, are fine. I'd prefer you to use the same nickname each time so we all know who's commenting, but I'm not going to require that. Technically I think such a policy would be impossible to enforce anyway. Note that nameless anonymous comments will always require approval before they are visible to others, so there will be a delay (potentially of several days) before they appear.
  • Email sent to me via the administrative address (on the About the Site page) is not a blog comment. You are however sending me a letter, or equivalent, and that means I get to keep it and use it as I would any other email sent to me. If the email contains what I deem to be contributed content (i.e., a “reader submission”), I may use it as described here. If so, I’ll generally acknowledge the submitter unless requested not to, but may not if the content is a trivial quantity (e.g., a correction to a link). Otherwise, unless there's a good reason to the contrary my intent is to keep such material private. But I make no guarantee of any kind.
  • When acknowledging reader submissions I typically use first name or online nickname and optionally a last initial, but not a surname, email address, or link to an external site. This is different from citations of material posted under license, which generally required either or both a full name (or nickname) or link.
  • Information associated with any contributed content, such as the IP address from which a comment was posted, is a part of the public record of the site and may be disclosed. This does not extend to email addresses that may be used with commenting systems to identify the contributor; if I have control over those, they'll be treated as private information and handled as described in the Privacy Policy. However, blogging, blog-commenting and similar services dependent on third parties are not fully under my control and I make no guarantees as to the actions of those parties (if I can constrain them to adhere to my policies through software controls or otherwise, I'll make an effort to do so).

Privacy Policy

Privacy is important. It is not my intention to collect information about users of this website, Sumida Crossing, except as is necessary to provide the functionality described on the What is this Site? page or described on this page, nor is it my intention to use any such information that might be collected in ways other than those related to providing that functionality.

  • Sumida Crossing (i.e., me) does not presently collect any personally-identifiable information other than whatever names and other information people provide when posting comments, including email. Note that anonymous comments are allowed as described above, so providing email and/or names is not a requirement.
  • As noted in the Contributed Content section, IP Addresses and related information identifying the origin of submitted content will be retained, and potentially also disclosed. I don’t regard this as personally-identifiable information (an IP address is at best a designation for a computer, not a human, and rarely even that).
  • Sumida Crossing (i.e., me) does not presently use cookies or other tracking devices. It is possible that such are used as a side-effect of the hosting service, but I have no control over that.
  • Sumida Crossing (i.e., me) does not presently collect or keep access logs except as used by the commenting system. The hosting provider does maintain some kind of access information that allows it to count "unique visitors" and provides summaries including IP addressing, referring sites and search query terms leading to hits on the site, but the information provided to me does not include anything identifying individual human users or even associating IPs with queries. My hosting provider does offer to make logs available, but I did not take them up on that.
  • Future changes to the website may add such collection (personal info, cookies, or logs) to support new features. If such additions were the result of a change I made, and I was aware of the resultant addition, I’ll amend this policy to describe them and note the change (typically via an entry on the main RSS feed). However, such changes could be implicit in software changes and happen without my awareness.
  • Any logs kept under my control will be retained only as long as necessary for their function (see below for additional retention interval information).
  • The commenting system does maintain some private information related to people posting here, such as their authentication credentials (if needed) and provided email addresses. This is retained as long as the associated object (e.g., user entry or comment) exists, even if it is no longer active or visible.
  • The commenting system may internally log information related to the actions on the commenting system of users making or editing posts, logging in, and similar. It does not track simple reading of comments. The information logged may include IP addresses, dates and times, actions, and relevant provided information. This information will be kept for management purposes.
  • It is my intent that any such logs will not be retained longer than one year, unless I am required to do so (e.g., due to a court order or similar), however this site is a hobby and cleanup like that may not be immediate.
  • Information directly associated with a specific user or post (i.e., not logs) is retained as long as that object (user entry or post) is retained even if the object is no longer active or visible.
  • Anything I do collect that identifies an individual will be kept private unless there are legal requirements to the contrary (meaning if I receive a subpoena or equivalent) or need to use it for an important reason such as preventing abuse of the site. However, see the Contributed Content Policy section for possible exceptions.
  • Hosting providers or downstream ISPs may have their own policies and may collect such information, outside of any control or visibility by me.
  • Third party services used by me (e.g., spam-screening services for comments) may have their own policies and may collect such information, outside of any control or visibility by me.
  • Big Brother is probably watching you. Right now. Don't turn around. I don't have any control over or knowledge of that either.

California Do Not Track Disclosures

Sumida Crossing is hosted on a server in California. California law requires a notice be provided for California users or visitors to any online site. This section is intended to provide that notice.

  • Sumida Crossing (i.e., me) does not collect personally identifiable information except email addresses and names (if given) in the commenting system.
  • Sumida Crossing (i.e., me) does not presently track users, and thus does not make use of the Do Not Track mechanism.
  • Sumida Crossing (i.e., me) does not presently use cookies or any cookie-like method for linking separate browser queries.
  • Sumida Crossing (i.e., me) does not share anything collected (if there was anything) with any other site or party, with the possible exception of information provided when using the commenting system as described below.
  • At present no third-party services are used aside from my hosting ISP. Information provided via the commenting system is stored there, but not shared with them (unless they’re peeking).
  • As described in the Privacy Policy section, it’s possible that intermediaries or third parties providing services may impose tracking beyond my knowledge (e.g., ISPs).
  • As described in the Privacy Policy section, a third-party service (e.g., spam screening of comments) could perform tracking with or without my knowledge. However at present I do not use any services beyond those of my website provider, which are limited to LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) and which should not be performing any kind of tracking beyond access logs.

Cookies and the Cookie Law

European law requires that site operators that use cookies or similar mechanisms make those “opt in”, and not use them until a user has provided consent. Just to be clear, Sumida Crossing does not use cookies or other mechanisms that would be subject to this law. There’s no “opt in” dialog for this site because there’s nothing to opt into.