They're onto us, and our random logins! November 3, 2002 11:55 PM   Subscribe

I don't know about you but it looks like the New York Times got wise to the NYT Random Login Generator which mr_crash_davis hipped us all to back in April. All of a sudden I got a log in prompt when I clicked on an article and all I'm getting now is an error message when I try to log on with it. And you?.
posted by y2karl to MetaFilter-Related at 11:55 PM (20 comments total)

Like, you didn't see this coming? Sheesh!

posted by mischief at 4:59 AM on November 4, 2002

They had something screwy going on last night - my (real) account wouldn't work, and I had to re-login this morning. It may not have been related to the Randomizer.
posted by gleuschk at 5:45 AM on November 4, 2002

I understand how registering might been seen as a big deal (it's usually not, but I understand the hesitation). But is it really so difficult to type mefi/mefi?
posted by UnReality at 8:16 AM on November 4, 2002

It doesn't work for me, nor does MetaFilter/MetaFilter or various variations thereof. It is a mystery to me--it may a tin foil hat thing, for all I know.
posted by y2karl at 10:12 AM on November 4, 2002

Well, upon checking, the Times is open to my re-enabled cookies.

[Emily Litella] Never mind. [/Emily Litella]
posted by y2karl at 10:18 AM on November 4, 2002

Can you blame them? It's not very nice to sabotage a site's registration system, you know. The only reason the site is there is because they make some paltry profit on registered users. If you don't like it, don't read the NYT.
posted by oissubke at 10:28 AM on November 4, 2002

Most News sites to me are becoming a Cookie Monster. Wow, how my adult life mirrors my favorite muppet of youth.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:59 AM on November 4, 2002

If metafilter/metafilter or mefi/mefi worked for me, I'd use them instead. I get spammed enough as it is, oissubke, thank you for your communication.
posted by y2karl at 12:05 PM on November 4, 2002

*ahem* ever noticed how NYT partners have "&PARTNER=WHATEVER" appended to the URL?

You can fake that out, if registering really bothers you. Just put "&PARTNER=THINGIE" on the end of the URL, and it should work.

Possibly, it would be best to use the partner string of a real partner, eg USERLAND, so as to prolong the life of the mechanism. Or maybe we could find out if you have to pay for membership - PARTNER=MEFI would certainly make life easier.

posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:10 PM on November 4, 2002

Ok, I'm thoroughly weirded out. I went to the NYT site, and it didn't ask any registration information. Then, I saw this [self-link, including obnoxious yahoo pop-in] -- in the ad a woman has 'unaware' emblazoned across her head. Now it's back to asking registration. Anybody else see this?
posted by eddydamascene at 2:10 PM on November 4, 2002

bah, don't click on the above link -- the site was instantly overloaded. Let me see if I can find somebody else to host the screen capture.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:17 PM on November 4, 2002

Ok, secret strong mirror site. Is this a hack, or have I just been taken in by Sprint's insidious new mark-of-the-beast ad campaign?
(remember to resize if explorer gets pushy)
posted by eddydamascene at 3:17 PM on November 4, 2002

Eddy: That's f*cking cree-py.
posted by blueshammer at 3:34 PM on November 4, 2002

It doesn't work for me, nor does MetaFilter/MetaFilter or various variations thereof.

These log-ins have NEVER worked for me ANYWHERE. /shrug
posted by rushmc at 5:15 PM on November 4, 2002

rushmc, I notice that some NYT cookies do not expire until up to a year after your login. I theorise that they turned off the Metafilter login some months or more ago, but left users' cookies alone. Now they're starting to expire, which explains y2karl's problem. You probably tried some time after NYT whacked the Mefi login mole - and the cypherpunks one, and the various /. ones, etc.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:46 PM on November 4, 2002

I understand the principle of not wanting to register on the NYT site, but c'mon, if it's becoming that much of a hassle, just do it. DO IT! NOW!
posted by Hildago at 6:30 PM on November 4, 2002

Oh, I don't know, Hidalgo--it's got that thrill you got when cutting across the crabby old lady's lawn after she'd yelled at you not to do it anymore. Anyway, I figured out what was happening with the log in--it's balking at randomized e-mails. I just type in one of my expired Hotmail accounts now and voila!
posted by y2karl at 6:53 PM on November 4, 2002

Is this a hack, or have I just been taken in by Sprint's insidious new mark-of-the-beast ad campaign?

It is indeed a Sprint ad campaign. Here's a description of one of the ads:

In "Answer", Brian is standing with an executive in an upstairs office overlooking an empty office floor. Suddenly, the darkened room springs into life as computers flicker on and off, all to the rhythm of an energetic classical score. The executive is watching the scene with skepticism, which is clearly marked on his forehead with a graphic overlay of the word "skeptic". With the new phones, Brian explains, one can connect from Sprint PCS onto a server from home. The word "skeptic" disappears from the executive's forehead as he imagines the possibilities.

I can only assume that "unaware" will disappear from that nice lady's forehead in the same fashion as she realizes the advantages of Sprint PCS. Doesn't quite work out of context in a web banner ad, though...
posted by staggernation at 7:18 PM on November 4, 2002

good work, staggernation.
posted by eddydamascene at 9:40 AM on November 5, 2002

Best theory I've seen yet, i_am_joe's_spleen...thanks.
posted by rushmc at 9:05 PM on November 5, 2002

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