For once bad programmers are an advanatge for me



  •  So the local newspaper I readno added a paywall to their online site. You are no limited to 20 free articles per month. Then you have to pay to read on. Anyone here will probably instantly ask them self: How do they control how many articles you have read?

    I use no-script so first I realized when I deactivate one of the scripts, the paywall is gone.The paywall i nothing else than an obvious nicley styled JavaScript pop-up that informs you how you can pay. Once you close it you are redirected to the main page (on which you can read all the headlines always). The downside of disabling that one script being that some content including images and user comments are then not visible and you can't write any of them. All in all the expeirence was still very much usable.

     So with firebug I looked at the request

     http://mynewssite.com/external/payment.tmpl?1=0.18124102563176236

    which contained tons of cookies. I guess you can see were this is going. Simply deleting all the cookies makes the paywall go away. And the next step is to block them in the first place. Win. Free again







  • I'm not so sure this is a case of "bad programmers" here. This could very well be a case of "bad manager" too.

    Programmer: To securely limit people to 20 articles a month, they should have to sign up for a free account and be logged-in to view articles.
    Manager: That's too difficult. Can't you track this with cookies and java?
    Programmer: <Sigh> It's javascript and yes, that's possible but it's very easy to circumvent.
    Manager: Just do the java-thingie.



  • @martijntje said:

    I'm not so sure this is a case of "bad programmers" here. This could very well be a case of "bad manager" too.

    Programmer: To securely limit people to 20 articles a month, they should have to sign up for a free account and be logged-in to view articles.
    Manager: That's too difficult. Can't you track this with cookies and java?
    Programmer: It's javascript and yes, that's possible but it's very easy to circumvent.
    Manager: Just do the java-thingie.

    Or everyone involved knew it could be circumvented, but they realized that 99.999% of visitors to a local newspaper's website wouldn't know how to disable it. And that was sufficient for their needs.

    If I were tasked to implement something like this, and nobody wanted to force a login, this is probably how I'd do it.

    Oh, and just because you can circumvent the paywall and not pay them for their work, doesn't mean it's ethical. It's wrong and you shouldn't do it.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Oh, and just because you can circumvent the paywall and not pay them for their work, doesn't mean it's ethical. It's wrong and you shouldn't do it.
    As a side note, I've been playing with an idea for a way to help small content publishers make money without having to resort to paywalls or "plx turn off adblock plsu u horrible theif" messages.
    It works by making a reader read a "sponsored story" or two, which is basically long-copy advertising, and then asking the user 4 or 5 short survey questions to make sure they actually read the "sponsored story". For example:

    In 2004, John Doe and his girlfriend Jane Roe discovered the exciting world of Acme brand e-cigarettes. With their rich tobacco-like flavour, John and Jane and their co-worker Steve have finally kicked butts for good, while saving hundreds of pounds a year that would've gone to Big Tobacco. Check out Acme brand e-cigarettes in your local drugstore!

    To continue to your content, please answer the following quick questions.
    Q1: Type the female main character's coworker's name.
    Q2: type the name of the product being promoted.
    Q3: Type the manufacturer of the product.
    Q4: Where can you find this product?
    Q5: How likely are you to purchase this product or service?

    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.



  • @drurowin said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Oh, and just because you can circumvent the paywall and not pay them for their work, doesn't mean it's ethical. It's wrong and you shouldn't do it.
    As a side note, I've been playing with an idea for a way to help small content publishers make money without having to resort to paywalls or "plx turn off adblock plsu u horrible theif" messages.
    It works by making a reader read a "sponsored story" or two, which is basically long-copy advertising, and then asking the user 4 or 5 short survey questions to make sure they actually read the "sponsored story". For example:

    In 2004, John Doe and his girlfriend Jane Roe discovered the exciting world of Acme brand e-cigarettes. With their rich tobacco-like flavour, John and Jane and their co-worker Steve have finally kicked butts for good, while saving hundreds of pounds a year that would've gone to Big Tobacco. Check out Acme brand e-cigarettes in your local drugstore!

    To continue to your content, please answer the following quick questions.
    Q1: Type the female main character's coworker's name.
    Q2: type the name of the product being promoted.
    Q3: Type the manufacturer of the product.
    Q4: Where can you find this product?
    Q5: How likely are you to purchase this product or service?

    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.

    Something like that exists for video ads, it's called Solve Media.

    Personally I favor playing short video interstitials before letting a user read the article.



  • @martijntje said:

    This could very well be a case of "bad manager" too.
     

     I used to work at an online casino; an industry where copying content is rife. Why pay a lawyer for terms and conditions, when you can just steal from your competitiors?

    So my boss made an unusual request, and although incredibly bad in many ways, this is one of my proudest moments in coding.

     My boss asked that I disable right-click on the website, to prevent copy-paste. After explaining to him why this as A) useless in preventing copy theft, and 😎 not really a good idea, and being told to do it anyway, I duely did so.

     About a week later, he called me into the office and told me he needs the right-click menu, he uses it (in IE 6 of course) for Back/Forward navigation. But, he told me he wants the copy option disabled. After arguing that this was simply not possible, he insisted.

    I therefore made a screenshot of the IE 6 right-click menu, photoshopped it to look like all options were disabled and made it the background image of a <div> tag. I added links placed over the Back and Forward menu items, with CSS stylng to show the active and rollover, and hid the whole thing with CSS. Then I hooked up the right-click event in IE to show that div, next to the mouse. Voila! Right-click menu with all options disabled except the ones the boss wants.

    Of course this only worked for IE but he never checked any other browsers... 



  • @scudsucker said:

    @martijntje said:

    This could very well be a case of "bad manager" too.
     

     I used to work at an online casino; an industry where copying content is rife. Why pay a lawyer for terms and conditions, when you can just steal from your competitiors?

    So my boss made an unusual request, and although incredibly bad in many ways, this is one of my proudest moments in coding.

     My boss asked that I disable right-click on the website, to prevent copy-paste. After explaining to him why this as A) useless in preventing copy theft, and 😎 not really a good idea, and being told to do it anyway, I duely did so.

     About a week later, he called me into the office and told me he needs the right-click menu, he uses it (in IE 6 of course) for Back/Forward navigation. But, he told me he wants the copy option disabled. After arguing that this was simply not possible, he insisted.

    I therefore made a screenshot of the IE 6 right-click menu, photoshopped it to look like all options were disabled and made it the background image of a <div> tag. I added links placed over the Back and Forward menu items, with CSS stylng to show the active and rollover, and hid the whole thing with CSS. Then I hooked up the right-click event in IE to show that div, next to the mouse. Voila! Right-click menu with all options disabled except the ones the boss wants.

    Of course this only worked for IE but he never checked any other browsers... 

    I love it. A horrible hack that nonetheless does what the user wants. Bravo! (genuinely!)



  • @KillaCoda said:

    I love it. A horrible hack that nonetheless does what the user wants. Bravo! (genuinely!)

    Seconded!



  • @scudsucker said:

    @martijntje said:

    This could very well be a case of "bad manager" too.
     

     I used to work at an online casino; an industry where copying content is rife. Why pay a lawyer for terms and conditions, when you can just steal from your competitiors?

    So my boss made an unusual request, and although incredibly bad in many ways, this is one of my proudest moments in coding.

     My boss asked that I disable right-click on the website, to prevent copy-paste. After explaining to him why this as A) useless in preventing copy theft, and 😎 not really a good idea, and being told to do it anyway, I duely did so.

     About a week later, he called me into the office and told me he needs the right-click menu, he uses it (in IE 6 of course) for Back/Forward navigation. But, he told me he wants the copy option disabled. After arguing that this was simply not possible, he insisted.

    I therefore made a screenshot of the IE 6 right-click menu, photoshopped it to look like all options were disabled and made it the background image of a <div> tag. I added links placed over the Back and Forward menu items, with CSS stylng to show the active and rollover, and hid the whole thing with CSS. Then I hooked up the right-click event in IE to show that div, next to the mouse. Voila! Right-click menu with all options disabled except the ones the boss wants.

    Of course this only worked for IE but he never checked any other browsers... 

    You managed to make your boss happy while simultaneously giving him the middle finger. Respect.



  • @drurowin said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Oh, and just because you can circumvent the paywall and not pay them for their work, doesn't mean it's ethical. It's wrong and you shouldn't do it.
    As a side note, I've been playing with an idea for a way to help small content publishers make money without having to resort to paywalls or "plx turn off adblock plsu u horrible theif" messages.
    It works by making a reader read a "sponsored story" or two, which is basically long-copy advertising, and then asking the user 4 or 5 short survey questions to make sure they actually read the "sponsored story". For example:

    In 2004, John Doe and his girlfriend Jane Roe discovered the exciting world of Acme brand e-cigarettes. With their rich tobacco-like flavour, John and Jane and their co-worker Steve have finally kicked butts for good, while saving hundreds of pounds a year that would've gone to Big Tobacco. Check out Acme brand e-cigarettes in your local drugstore!

     

    To continue to your content, please answer the following quick questions.
    Q1: Type the female main character's coworker's name.
    Q2: type the name of the product being promoted.
    Q3: Type the manufacturer of the product.
    Q4: Where can you find this product?
    Q5: How likely are you to purchase this product or service?

     

    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.

     

    Ah, a patent on a mandatory advertizing survey. I can see it now:


    ABSTRACT: A method and system for quickly and irreversibly reducing the number of repeat vistors to an internet service...

     


  • mod

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Oh, and just because you can circumvent the paywall and not pay them for their work, doesn't mean it's ethical. It's wrong and you shouldn't do it.

    This, and the fact that it is probably illegal. If the newspaper found out you were doing this, they could certainly sue you for damages. Maybe even come after you for piracy of copyright protected material.

    Disclaimer: IANAL



  • Right. All my browsers are set to throw away all cookies when they are closed. Now I can be sued for damages when I read newspaper articles?



  • @martijntje said:

    Right. All my browsers are set to throw away all cookies when they are closed. Now I can be sued for damages when I read newspaper articles?
     

    He ANAL.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @aristurtle said:

    @martijntje said:

    Right. All my browsers are set to throw away all cookies when they are closed. Now I can be sued for damages when I read newspaper articles?
     

    He ANAL.


    Filed under: let's all argue about the finer details of a subject where we know pretty much nothing

    Yes, none of us are lawyers, so how can we be expected to know if we're committing a crime?



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @aristurtle said:

    @martijntje said:

    Right. All my browsers are set to throw away all cookies when they are closed. Now I can be sued for damages when I read newspaper articles?
     

    He ANAL.


    Filed under: let's all argue about the finer details of a subject where we know pretty much nothing


    Yes, none of us are lawyers, so how can we be expected to know if we're committing a crime?
     

    Crime? Wow, the previous guy was only saying that clearing your browser cookies was a civil matter!

     



  • @drurowin said:

    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.


    It's almost certainly already patented. Everything is patented.



  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @aristurtle said:

    @joe.edwards said:

    @aristurtle said:

    @martijntje said:

    Right. All my browsers are set to throw away all cookies when they are closed. Now I can be sued for damages when I read newspaper articles?
     

    He ANAL.


    Filed under: let's all argue about the finer details of a subject where we know pretty much nothing


    Yes, none of us are lawyers, so how can we be expected to know if we're committing a crime?
     

    Crime? Wow, the previous guy was only saying that clearing your browser cookies was a civil matter!

     

    My point stands: there's a problem with a system when determining whether or not simple actions are permissible requires the counsel of a licensed professional with a billable rate in the hundreds of dollars per hour.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    My point stands: there's a problem with a system when determining whether or not simple actions are permissible requires the counsel of a licensed professional with a billable rate in the hundreds of dollars per hour.

    Actually, it requires several professionals, a judge, court employees and twelve people who'd be watching Jerry Springer and collecting welfare checks if they could have thought of a good lie.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @aristurtle said:

    @joe.edwards said:

    @aristurtle said:

    @martijntje said:

    Right. All my browsers are set to throw away all cookies when they are closed. Now I can be sued for damages when I read newspaper articles?
     

    He ANAL.


    Filed under: let's all argue about the finer details of a subject where we know pretty much nothing


    Yes, none of us are lawyers, so how can we be expected to know if we're committing a crime?
     

    Crime? Wow, the previous guy was only saying that clearing your browser cookies was a civil matter!

     

    My point stands: there's a problem with a system when determining whether or not simple actions are permissible requires the counsel of a licensed professional with a billable rate in the hundreds of dollars per hour.


    And even then, if the lawyer gives you bad advice, you're still gonna go to jail.

     



  • @anonymous234 said:

    @drurowin said:
    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.


    It's almost certainly already patented. Everything is patented.


    Ah yes, a patent that combines murder and McDonald's. America FTW!



  • @drurowin said:

    @anonymous234 said:
    @drurowin said:
    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.


    It's almost certainly already patented. Everything is patented.


    Ah yes, a patent that combines murder and McDonald's. America FTW!

    That's not America; that guy was able to get off his couch unassisted.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @drurowin said:
    @anonymous234 said:
    @drurowin said:
    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.


    It's almost certainly already patented. Everything is patented.


    Ah yes, a patent that combines murder and McDonald's. America FTW!

    That's not America; that guy was able to get off his couch unassisted.

    I just assumed the artist didn't draw the harness and crane for clarity.



  • @drurowin said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @drurowin said:
    @anonymous234 said:
    @drurowin said:
    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.


    It's almost certainly already patented. Everything is patented.


    Ah yes, a patent that combines murder and McDonald's. America FTW!

    That's not America; that guy was able to get off his couch unassisted.

    I just assumed the artist didn't draw the harness and crane for clarity.

    No no, the diagram is to demonstrate that theoretically you can skip an ad by standing and saying something; the idea behind the invention is that as people can't stand they can't skip the ad but you can say you are making it permissible to do so.



  • @drurowin said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @drurowin said:
    @anonymous234 said:
    @drurowin said:
    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.

     


    It's almost certainly already patented. Everything is patented.


    Ah yes, a patent that combines murder and McDonald's. America FTW!

    That's not America; that guy was able to get off his couch unassisted.

    I just assumed the artist didn't draw the harness and crane for clarity.
    That's in a different patent. You can't have your patent applications infringe on other patents.

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @drurowin said:
    @anonymous234 said:
    @drurowin said:
    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.


    It's almost certainly already patented. Everything is patented.


    Ah yes, a patent that combines murder and McDonald's. America FTW!

    That's not America; that guy was able to get off his couch unassisted.

    The picture's URL suggests that it's a Sony patent, so no, its not America.

    However, this raises many questions.

    Is standing up a necessary part of ending the commercial? Do you have to buy a PlayStation Eye to skip commercials?

    The instructions don't tell the user to stand up. If it is not necessary to stand up, is the user being overly enthusiastic about McDonalds, or just very emphatic about skipping the commercial? Must the sponsor's name be spoken by itself, or can it occur within other speech, such as, "F you, McDonalds!"? Inquiring couch potatoes need to know these things.



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    The picture's URL suggests that it's a Sony patent, so no, its not America.

    Dude, if that's Japan then that's not a shot of the guy's living room; it's his whole house. And that huge TV has to double as a toilet/shower combo.



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @drurowin said:
    @anonymous234 said:
    @drurowin said:
    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.


    It's almost certainly already patented. Everything is patented.


    Ah yes, a patent that combines murder and McDonald's. America FTW!

    That's not America; that guy was able to get off his couch unassisted.

    The picture's URL suggests that it's a Sony patent, so no, its not America.

    However, this raises many questions.

    Is standing up a necessary part of ending the commercial? Do you have to buy a PlayStation Eye to skip commercials?

    The instructions don't tell the user to stand up. If it is not necessary to stand up, is the user being overly enthusiastic about McDonalds, or just very emphatic about skipping the commercial? Must the sponsor's name be spoken by itself, or can it occur within other speech, such as, "F you, McDonalds!"? Inquiring couch potatoes need to know these things.

    If I put a commercial for lojban on your TV, would you have to speak lojban to end it?



  • @Ben L. said:

    If I put a commercial for lojban on your TV, would you have to speak lojban to end it?
    My TV would end up looking like

    that.



  • @drurowin said:

    @Ben L. said:
    If I put a commercial for lojban on your TV, would you have to speak lojban to end it?
    My TV would end up looking like

    that.


    I think that would be hard to do without a gun.



  • @mikeTheLiar said:

    @drurowin said:
    @Ben L. said:
    If I put a commercial for lojban on your TV, would you have to speak lojban to end it?
    My TV would end up looking like

    that.


    I think that would be hard to do without a gun.
    If I got an unskippable commercial for Lojban on my TV, I'd get a gun.



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @drurowin said:
    @anonymous234 said:
    @drurowin said:
    I'm really thinking I should take out a patent on this.


    It's almost certainly already patented. Everything is patented.


    Ah yes, a patent that combines murder and McDonald's. America FTW!

    That's not America; that guy was able to get off his couch unassisted.

    The picture's URL suggests that it's a Sony patent, so no, its not America.

    However, this raises many questions.

    Is standing up a necessary part of ending the commercial? Do you have to buy a PlayStation Eye to skip commercials?

    The instructions don't tell the user to stand up. If it is not necessary to stand up, is the user being overly enthusiastic about McDonalds, or just very emphatic about skipping the commercial? Must the sponsor's name be spoken by itself, or can it occur within other speech, such as, "F you, McDonalds!"? Inquiring couch potatoes need to know these things.

    I have no problem with the thought that you need to be very enthusiastic about McDonalds, shooting up from your couch and waving your arms included, to skip the commercial. Actually, if I was to design such system, I'd make the commercial run on repeat until the TV deems you enthusiastic enough.



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    I have no problem with the thought that you need to be very enthusiastic about McDonalds, shooting up from your couch and waving your arms included, to skip the commercial. Actually, if I was to design such system, I'd make the commercial run on repeat until the TV deems you enthusiastic enough.
    Headline: Sharp rise in gun sales attributed to new commercial-skipping system



  • @drurowin said:

    If I got an unskippable commercial for Lojban on my TV, I'd get a gun.

    I'm pretty sure there's a 10 day waiting period for people exposed to Lojban..



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Actually, if I was to design such system, I'd make the commercial run on repeat until the TV deems you enthusiastic enough.

    Advertising won't reach its full potential until the advertisers can administer shocks to your testicles.



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    @Maciejasjmj said:
    I have no problem with the thought that you need to be very enthusiastic about McDonalds, shooting up from your couch and waving your arms included, to skip the commercial. Actually, if I was to design such system, I'd make the commercial run on repeat until the TV deems you enthusiastic enough.
    Headline: Sharp rise in gun sales attributed to new commercial-skipping system
    Followed closely by: Studies find tenfold increase in serial killers targeting the marketing industry.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Advertising won't reach its full potential until the advertisers can administer shocks to your testicles.
    I would consider advertising reaching its full potential to be a bad thing without the shocks. This would merely provide another reason, albeit a very strong one, to consider it bad.



  • @scudsucker said:

    I therefore made a screenshot of the IE 6 right-click menu, photoshopped it to look like all options were disabled and made it the background image of a <div> tag. I added links placed over the Back and Forward menu items, with CSS stylng to show the active and rollover, and hid the whole thing with CSS. Then I hooked up the right-click event in IE to show that div, next to the mouse. Voila! Right-click menu with all options disabled except the ones the boss wants.

    Of course this only worked for IE but he never checked any other browsers... 

    Bonus points for enabling the kludge only for your company IP.



  • @alegr said:

    @scudsucker said:

    I therefore made a screenshot of the IE 6 right-click menu, photoshopped it to look like all options were disabled and made it the background image of a <div> tag. I added links placed over the Back and Forward menu items, with CSS stylng to show the active and rollover, and hid the whole thing with CSS. Then I hooked up the right-click event in IE to show that div, next to the mouse. Voila! Right-click menu with all options disabled except the ones the boss wants.

    Of course this only worked for IE but he never checked any other browsers... 

    Bonus points for enabling the kludge only for your company IP.

    "Scudsucker, I was vacationing in Baltimore and the right-click menu didn't work! Is it something to do with the Mason-Dixon line??"



  • @beginner_ said:

    The downside of disabling that one script being that some content including images and user comments are then not visible and you can't write any of them.
    Which can also speed it up (especially if you disable images too), which can also be an advantage (to me, at least).

    P.S. I do not necessarily agree with whatever morbs (or whatever your name is now) just said.



  • @zzo38 said:

    @beginner_ said:

    The downside of disabling that one script being that some content including images and user comments are then not visible and you can't write any of them.
    Which can also speed it up (especially if you disable images too), which can also be an advantage (to me, at least).

    P.S. I do not necessarily agree with whatever morbs (or whatever your name is now) just said.

    HOLY FUCK HE'S BACK TOO



  • @mikeTheLiar said:

    @drurowin said:
    @Ben L. said:
    If I put a commercial for lojban on your TV, would you have to speak lojban to end it?
    My TV would end up looking like

    that.


    I think that would be hard to do without a gun.

    He had some help from Bubs.



  • @zzo38 said:

    Which can also speed it up (especially if you disable images too), which can also be an advantage (to me, at least).

    My very first time I got my 386 online was with a 2400 modem. I mostly used irc but occasionally web. Opera had a great shortcut: G to turn images on or off or "cached only". It wasn't long until I upgraded both the computer and modem (it was 1998 afterall) but at 28.8 (limit of the modem I was dialling into) this was still useful.



  • @Zemm said:

    My very first time I got my 386 online was with a 2400 modem. I mostly used irc but occasionally web. Opera had a great shortcut: G to turn images on or off or "cached only". It wasn't long until I upgraded both the computer and modem (it was 1998 afterall) but at 28.8 (limit of the modem I was dialling into) this was still useful.

    Jesus, and I thought my 286 with a 9660 modem in 1996 was sad.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @mikeTheLiar said:
    @drurowin said:
    @Ben L. said:
    If I put a commercial for lojban on your TV, would you have to speak lojban to end it?
    My TV would end up looking like

    that.


    I think that would be hard to do without a gun.

    He had some help from Bubs.
    Original Bubs, not that one.



  • @drurowin said:

    @Ben L. said:
    @mikeTheLiar said:
    @drurowin said:
    @Ben L. said:
    If I put a commercial for lojban on your TV, would you have to speak lojban to end it?
    My TV would end up looking like

    that.


    I think that would be hard to do without a gun.

    He had some help from Bubs.
    Original Bubs, not that one.

    Personally, I prefer Onion Bubs.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Personally, I prefer Onion Bubs.

    I'll respect you more at all if you go translate every SBEmail into Lojban, and add the translations to the H*R Wiki.

    I'll wait.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Zemm said:
    My very first time I got my 386 online was with a 2400 modem. I mostly used irc but occasionally web. Opera had a great shortcut: G to turn images on or off or "cached only". It wasn't long until I upgraded both the computer and modem (it was 1998 afterall) but at 28.8 (limit of the modem I was dialling into) this was still useful.

    Jesus, and I thought my 286 with a 9660 modem in 1996 was sad.

    What's sad is that I gave the modem to a mate who used it through 2000 in his 386. By then I had a K6ii and a 56k modem, then moved out of home to get ADSL, since my parents phone line was apparently made of fencing wire: faster than 33.6 wasn't stable.


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