Worldproofing link submissions August 27, 2002 4:39 AM   Subscribe

Tech point. When previewing and checking a link, could the check be through a 'vanilla' proxy machine with no cookies etc.? That way logon/password and regional barriers would be evident. I'm thinking of links to sites like The London Times which has regional restrictions and subscription sites for which I have a members cookie (even though I may have forgotten this). Just because my machine can link doesn't mean that yours can.
posted by grahamwell to Feature Requests at 4:39 AM (10 comments total)

Just because my machine can link doesn't mean that yours can.

OT: anyone else struck by how this (unfortunately true) statement flies in the face of the original idea of the web?
posted by quonsar at 7:10 AM on August 27, 2002


It's technically possible, but it's not easy (at least, I can't think of a trivial way of implementing it). The best I can come up with off the top of my head is to piggyback off one of the anonymizer proxies that already exists on the web. It would be nice if, for example, you could find one that provided some kind of service interface. But I haven't thought out the details.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:02 AM on August 27, 2002


There was majcher's NYT login generator, but it only lasted a few weeks before the solons running their servers started blocking it. (Individuals can still easily run it locally for personal use.)

In general, as I've said recently and before, it's better to seek out a free version of what you're linking to. A lot of NYT content is on Yahoo; a subset of WSJ is on MSNBC; and almost any story that is reported at a major daily makes it to the wire services one way or another. It's usually not hard to find an alternate source with a modicum of effort. The unique qualities of the password-protected source aren't often that necessary to the MeFi discussion. Are we talking about the reporter's beautiful words, or the events they describe?
posted by dhartung at 11:41 AM on August 27, 2002


[I do have to say, though, that a "vanilla proxy machine with no cookies" sounds delicious. Except with the cookies. And hot fudge.]
posted by arco at 12:15 PM on August 27, 2002


London Times?
posted by Foaf at 1:12 PM on August 27, 2002


I would shell out a `wget $url` and display the returned HTML in a frame with a box on top: "Is this the site you meant to link?" Successive wget sessions have no state, so each time it's used it's as if you're using a fresh new browser.
posted by neustile at 2:23 PM on August 27, 2002


I agree dhartung, its just that sometimes you can post in forgetful innocence a site that is password protected. It would be nice to have some check or warning.

It gets more complex with the London Times - yes foaf there is such a thing. They have introduced some kind of restriction on non UK access. I do not understand and, from my UK machine, cannot see how this works. It does however make me wary of posting a link - like this - a cracking piece but one which may be inaccessible to IP addresses outside the UK. Is it? I can't tell.
posted by grahamwell at 10:29 AM on August 28, 2002


...one which may be inaccessible to IP addresses outside the UK. Is it? I can't tell.

I can see it without trouble, but maybe that's because I'm in the colonies.
posted by timeistight at 11:14 AM on August 28, 2002


I read it pretty easily. I'm in Philadelphia, PA.
posted by precocious at 11:45 AM on August 28, 2002


neustile makes sense, imho (assuming it can be done from cf - i'm guessing that $ implies php)
posted by andrew cooke at 2:49 PM on August 28, 2002


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