Bypassing “registration required” news sites.

Ever been passed a url link to a news media site only to find it requires you to register or login to read it?   Usually I just switch off and deign it to not be worth the hassle and move on with life. 

Now I know there are sites such as BugMeNot.com and they create generic logins to share for the community and on the whole works very well.  I’ve used it in the past, and I’m not intending to promote this idea as a replacement or better than it.

However, tonight it occurred to me – if I pretend to be google, perhaps it’ll not ask. Now some 6 or so months ago, I switched to using the Firefox web browser from Internet Explorer (tired of popup and security hell) and I was undergoing some training that required the use of IE to login to the training site, and separately to interact with the product I was training on. Using IE for both at the same time was awkward, so I downloaded the User Agent Switcher Extension and used it to fool the training site into believing Firefox was really IE. It worked flawlessly.

Now back to the present day, so I add an entry in User Agent Switcher by clicking:
Tools -> User Agent Switcher -> Options -> Options, click User Agents and click Add.
Then for Description enter "GoogleBot" and under User Agent enter "Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.google.com/bot.html)" all without the double-quotes.

Clicking back to the link I was given: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/11084410.htm and yeehaw! no login.

Also interestingly, Google doesnt serve up any AdWords if you tell it you are Googlebot.

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