Free clicking.

21.25.31 - Mark

Bring Back Free Clicking at the New York Times I ranted about the New York Times referance search popups a while back, and it still bugs me that there's no obvious way of disabling it via the site. Did they miss the memo about web2.0 being about user freedom? It doesn't take much to allow a user to disable a feature they don't like, but nope no way of disabling it. I'm not the only one, there's one comment on that rant, and when I checked his site he had a link to more disgruntled clickers, although they have a couple hacks to get it disabled. The easiest is this greasemonkey script, which works fine, buts it only works on one browser on one of my many regularly used computers. This really should be a user preference on their site, there's no good reason for it not to be.

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Unwanted Features

23.33.35 - Mark

The New York Times has gone off and done something annoying, they added pop-ups to their site. Not advertising pop-up, which are an active form of evil, or even their slightly tolerable cousin where you ask them to send a pop-up window with more information by clicking a clearly marked link. No what they've done is added an unwanted feature where if you double click on a word, any word, it brings up a popup window called "The New York Times: Reference Search for" what ever word you double clicked on. Frankly, its damned annoying.

I have a tendency to click around when reading a web page, I double click words, make random selections, ect. A side effect of being a tactile learner. Most pages, its not a problem, but every time I'm at the New York Times I have to concentrate on not clicking anything.

The only notice they give the user is in small print, well after the end of each article:


To find reference information about the words used in this article, double-click on any word, phrase or name. A new window will open with a dictionary definition or encyclopedia entry.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tel there are no "Tips" on how to disable this unwanted feature. Even browsing the help section of the site didn't produce anything helpful.

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