June 01, 2003
Firewalls and News sites

No links, just a little ranting on my part.

Ever since I got my new computer, which came with McAfee Security Center pre-installed, I have not had problems accessing most news sites, even with my security settings bumped way up. The two exceptions to this are the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times websites. With these two, I cannot access them. It's not a cookie problem; both IE and Netscape are set to accept cookies from the sites, yet I keep getting the login prompt. The help screens for both sites recommend I disable my firewall while viewing their sites. Shall I send my credit card numbers to them by way of unencrypted e-mail too? I understand their desire to track my reading habits for their demographics, but other sites (such as the New York Times) have managed to set up registration sites that don't expect me to wave a sign saying "Kick Me!" to all the script kiddies who like wreaking havoc on the rest of the world.

I will not be linking to either paper, because I can't read their articles. I also won't be visiting the sites, again because I can't read the articles. My demographic information is useless to them if I don't visit their site because I can't read their articles and see their advertisements. It's particularly galling in the case of the LAT, which demanded a boatload of personal info (everything short of "boxers or briefs?") to register; at least the WaPo only asks for year of birth and ZIP code. I cannot believe that they actually expect people to disable their firewall simply because they cannot code a tracking system that isn't broken by a firewall.

I've only encountered one other website that cannot deal with my firewall; EZBoard, the BBS system used by many websites to create a forum. I can read any of the open boards, but any fora that require a password are off-limits to me, as I cannot register. At least they don't tell me to disable my firewall for access.

Is the system the NYT uses proprietary or prohibitively expensive? If not, why aren't the other papers using it?

posted on June 01, 2003 01:41 PM


Try using Mozilla if you really want to see the WaPo. Everytime I try from IE, I get that stupid survey about my age and sex. Mozilla skips it.

posted by ceci on June 2, 2003 01:22 PM

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