My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How to get around The @JamaicaGleaner Content Paywall using @GoogleChrome or @pdfforge

Saturday, January 25, 2014

How to get around The @JamaicaGleaner Content Paywall using @GoogleChrome or @pdfforge

So with the Free Online Newspaper in threat just when Jamaicans are getting hip to Tablets and Smartphones as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaicans fall in love with Digicel's DL600 and DL700 during Christmas 2013 - Sub-US$100 smartphones driving rapid smartphone adoption in Jamaica as Manufacturing is Possible”, PC and Laptop users like myself who are refusing to pony up US$9.99 (JA$1000) every 30 days for the Newspaper have begun looking for ways to climb over the Paywall!

In the following series of explanation I’ll show you how to bypass the Jamaica Gleaner content paywall using the article “UWI science team makes bread from cassava flour”, published Saturday January 25 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner as my test article.

Google Chrome or PDFCreator - The Jamaica Gleaner is a Cookie Monster

Thus using CCleaner software as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Tips and Tricks on how to make your computer run faster” not only can you boost your computer’s speed but also clear the tracking Cookies used to authenticate when you log on to Social Networks and thus validate your identity. 

It’s clearly not IP Address; that changes from machine to machine, be it Tablet, smartphone, Laptop or PC an I’ve read the same newspaper article on different Machines at R. Carby’s Internet CafĂ© yet found myself blocked on another machine.

What remains constant is the tracking Cookies as no matter what device, the Cookies track your Social Media Login as Facebook was caught doing back in 2011 as noted in “Facebook denies Cookie tracking allegations”, published September 25, 2011 -- 23:25 GMT (16:25 PDT) By Emil Protalinski, ZDNet.

You can always disable Cookies in your Browsers by following the steps in the article “Disable third-party Cookies in IE, Firefox, and Google Chrome”, published March 14, 2011 9:50 AM PDT by Dennis O'Reilly, CNET News but I don’t advise this. Many websites use Cookies and you DON’T wanna mess up your ability to visit some websites just because the Jamaica Gleaner puts up a paywall. Just run CCleaner and restart the Browser and you’re good.

Note: you can STILL read older article on the Jamaica Gleaner Website. Simply wait until midnight of that day and then you can access the articles now older by a day, effectively a zero-day or Time “hack”, of sorts. Older archived articles are also readable as well; the paywall apparently is effective for articles after Thursday January 2nd 2014!

The Jamaica Gleaner Paywall is slow – A PDF Pictures that you can read again and again

After studying the Paywall, I’ve noticed a curious flaw. The Jamaica Gleaner allows you to just see the article for a few seconds before throwing up the paywall as shown below. Then that gave me an idea; why not just screen-print the News article using the built in PDF Printer or even via installing PDFCreator!

I love Mozilla Firefox as is evidenced from my Geezam article entitled “How to reset the default Search Engine in Mozilla Firefox”. But this is the one time I have something good to say about the Google Chrome Browser. Using the built in PDF Printer I can basically capture Newspaper article during that few seconds pause as The Jamaica Gleaner articles load. That depends on your computer’s memory, which may allow the webpage to load much faster than my 2 GB RAM Dell Latitude D520.

Thus for this method of climbing over the paywall, you have to have fast mouse clicking fingers. As soon as you click on a newspaper article link, position you mouse over the Customize and Control Google Chrome button and click it before the page fully loads. Then select the Print just as quickly and print using the Save as PDF Option.

You can choose to save the PDF file copy of the Newspaper article for viewing later on your PC of Laptop or transfer it to your Tablet or smartphone for reading offline. Interestingly to, I’ve also tried this with Mozilla Firefox with PDFCreator installed as the default Printer as explained in my blog article entitled “How to Create PDF Documents using PDFCreator”  and it works just as well, albeit you have to move a bit faster!

Google Chrome Web Inspector – Method for the Skilled only to Edit HTML in your Browser

I’ll leave you with this last method that I’ve dug up from YouTube

I’ve tried and it works, with limited results as it’s really based on the fact that Browser is just a container for the Website. Hence, using Google’s Built in Web Inspector, you can actually edit the web page displayed in your Browser.

Basically you just wait till the paywall loads up. Then you right click and select Inspect Element. This brings up the Web Inspector, a built in HTML Editor in Google Chrome that allows you to edit the Website’s HTML right there in the Browser. In the case of my test run on the Jamaica Gleaner website following the YouTube video, this is what I yielded thus far.

As you can see, the paywall is removed, but it also means I have more work to do, as I still can’t get at the article. Still, you can try this method and see if you have better luck at figuring out what he did, as he’s a bit upset with the paywall as can be heard from his tone of voice. Explains his viewership on that video!

So there you have it. Google Web Inspector is That Awkward Moment (2014) when The Monuments Men (2014) Break down the Paywall. Three methods for the tech-challenged to remove the Jamaica Gleaner’s Content Paywall and read their Online Newspaper for free.

Here’s the link to the software:

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