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NYT disables Firefox "right-click web search"

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 4 years ago

Enlightenment 3

An anonymous reader writes "It worked last week, but alas no more. The Old Gray Soul-Stealer has done it again. Presumably in search of more revenue to support an antiquated medium (newspapers), and somewhat ironically, appears to have disabled a feature that I use a lot in Firefox. Highlight some text on a web page, right click the highlighted text, and the context menu contains an entry labeled "Search Google for..." which will, as stated, search Google using the highlighted text. This is incredibly handy when, for example, I want to map an address or find the definition of a word.

What does this have to do with Well, has a similar feature that is specific to the website. Highlight some text and a small blurb containing a question mark will be displayed. Click on the "?" icon, and a popup window displays search results for the selected text. Unfortunately, the search results are focused on NYT (and partner) content. You have the option of performing a web-wide search, but defaults to a NYT "Reference Lookup" search.

The problem: Highlighting text on a article displays the "?" icon, but now deselects the highlighted text, thus preventing me from using my own search methods. When reading, I used to have a choice about which search I wanted to use; both the Firefox context menu and the NYT "?" icon were displayed. Today I noticed that this is no longer the case; has disabled the context menu in favor of its own revenue generating approach.

I find it both ironic and sad that NYT has decided to limit the newer and more relevant media format ( in order to raise money to support and older, less relevant format (tree-killing).

Keep in mind that I am not anti-NYT, and I know that Google is quickly becoming the new "evildoer that will end the world with its capitalist-track mind. I don't care if Google or NYT gets the revenue, I just want robust search results and don't want to be stuck in the middle of a revenue war.

While this isn't quite on the scale of the market wars between IE/Netscape, AMD/Intel, or Apple/Microsoft, will this form of "revenue redirection", as picked up by other web content generators, ultimately prevent Google from financing plans for world domination?"

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NoScript (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30089626)

Disable scripting and it works again. I can't see anything else that requires scripting.

Try chickenfoot (1)

systemeng (998953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30089714)

For bonus points, since you are a slashdotter, download a copy of chickenfoot [] from MIT and write a small program to dynamically remove their annoying search tool when viewing that page.

Newspapers fail internet class (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30093574)

I haven't seen many newspapers reacting well to the internet, this is just another example. They are steeped in print history and that's the only way they can see business problems. Instead of understanding the medium and developing an approach that works for the medium, they keep trying to force-fit print solutions.

This is not new. As far back as the early 90's I was warning broadcasters and newspapers that the strategies that worked in their medium at that time would not translate well to the internet. I might as have been speaking to the potted plants in the lobby. Every early plan I saw was a plan to translate their current business model to the net. And they're still approaching their problems from the same perspective.

I've finally resolved that newspapers are never going to catch on and we're going to need to move ahead without them. We'll have to create local web news replacements for the local paper. Television is next, but they'll take longer to die.

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