Fat Steve's Blatherings

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Well, well, isn't THAT interesting.

      The New York Times changes the contents of its online stories without warning or notice that they've been updated.

      How do I know this?  An interminable story follows.

      I decided to do some Strib bashing this morning, so I came down here to the computer and started her up.  Looked up a story I'd read in the dead-tree Strib, which was originally from the New York Times.  I copied the URLs from both, and then noticed that at the end of the Strib's version of the story, there was a notation that "The Washington Post and Associated Press contributed to this report."

      So, I decided to copy the Strib's version and the Times's version, and examine them line by line to see what the differences were.  This is easier said then done, because it involves mind-numbing repetition of copying paragraphs, switching Notepad(tm) windows, pasting, hitting enter, switching windows, plus various cursor movements.  Just the thing for a macro, I decided.  But before I decided that, I'd already copied a bunch of one-paragraph lines, and noticed no differences.

      There followed a long quest to attempt to find a way to define keyboard macros in Windows XP, with the usual lack of success with the "Help" page.  Google found me some programs, but the free one I downloaded turned out to be useless, at least at first attempt (when I hit the down arrow key, it didn't record in the macro, it moved me out of the space for recording the macros; similarly, alt-tab didn't record as a keystroke, it switched me to a different window).

      Still, to download the not-useful program I had to use the installation wizard, which meant I had to close the open windows.  Thinking nothing of it, I closed the Notepad that had the Times story.  I could always get it later.

      But lo!, and behold!, when I opened IE again, and pulled up the Times and Strib pages, the Times story was radically different.  Very extensive re-writing had occurred.  AND ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION WAS MADE OF THE FACT THAT THE STORY WAS NOW QUITE DIFFERENT FROM THE EARLIER VERSION.  I've appended these two versions in a post called "Copy write violation" just below this one.  You can see for yourself.



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