Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 8 a.m.
Well, the Sun-Sentinel paywall went up
on Monday, and it appears to be operating at full steam -- which means that once you read 15 artlcies, you're SOL until next month, trapped behind the paper's new Press+ "digital memberships" system. And, unlike the New York Times
paywall, links from Facebook and Google count toward your total. You're really locked out.
Except that the paywall is more of a payspeedbump, and there are all kinds of ways around it. Not to say that sneaking around is the right thing to do -- plenty of newspaper paywalls have holes in them, with the logic being if people are given the opportunity to subsidize the news they're enjoying, they will even if they aren't forced to.
The L.A. Times
national audience probably won't notice the paywall over there because they won't hit the 15-article limit like its local readers will (and have
). The Sun-Sentinel
, though, has only local readers, and it'll take a long time before we find out if enough readers are loyal enough to pony up.
In any case, here are four of the ways you unscrupulous thefters of news can get around the 15-article limit, in approximate order of difficulty:
1. Install a free Firefox extension
Giorgio Maone's "NoScript"
add-on takes a little tinkering to get it to work the way you want it to, but if you tell it to block scripts on the Sun-Sentinel
website only, you'll never get a "pay us now" pop-up again. It's not as scary as it sounds -- it installs itself and runs all on its own.
2. Clear your cookies
Different browsers have different routes to clearing your browsing data, but it's probably listed under "preferences" or "settings." Once you're in there, simply delete your cookies and you'll get a fresh set of 15 articles for the month. Be warned, though -- those cookies are also how other websites know you're logged into them, so if you logged into your email three years ago and don't remember your password, you'll be locked out until you can remember it again.
3. Switch browsers
Works on the same principle as #2 -- if your Firefox cookies say you've read 15 articles, your Internet Explorer cookies have no idea. If you just want to check something quickly and don't want to do anything fancy, just open up a different browser and you'll have a new 15-article limit.
4. Turn on private browsing
Porn connoisseurs already know about this one -- most browsers now have a "private browsing" feature (check under the "file" menu) that allows you to open a window that doesn't save any of your history, temporary files, or cookies once you close it. So if you pop into one of these windows, do some Sun-Sentinel reading, and close it again, the paywall will never know you've been there.
Of course, you could also pay. Daily journalism is good for you, and who knows -- paying might make you feel good.