Experts exchange, a website where some people go to resolve IT-related problems, used to show web visitors the solution to the problem being viewed. That is, they let you see the first one, and then set a cookie that wouldn't let you see the next ones you visited without registering first. Naturally, there was a simple work-around to this: Just block all cookies from their site, and you could view anything.

It seems, though, that they've recently changed this: Now the solution can't be seen at all - instead, a block saying "View this solution in just 30 seconds!" shows up - and the other comments to the problem are obfuscated in a few ways:

  1. All text is encoded with ROT13, meaning that even if you viewed the source, you'd have to, uh... use Leet-key or something like.
  2. A grid-like image is placed on top of the text, making it hard to read even if it weren't encoded.
  3. When you hover over the comment, the text is replaced with a block that says "You must sign-up to view this comment".

This, however, is just what you see at first glance. Paying attention, you'd notice the solution is actually still there, oddly enough. The site used to be laid out in such a way that you'd see the question/problem, with a button at the end of it offering to show you the solution (which would then bring you to a registration/log-in page), followed by a list of categories for questions and answers (or problems and solutions, whichever you prefer), and then the comments given by others (including the solution itself).

The new layout, however, has the question, a short ad, the "encrypted" comments and hidden solution, then the categories, and finally the comments and solution in plain view. Very bizarre.

Well, at least they're not doing stupid things like trying to restrict the right mouse button (easy to circumvent, is amateurish, and often also blocks the middle button and other buttons too). I don't understand why sites continue to think they can hide their HTML (no, obfuscation by Javascript doesn't work - What, don't you realise all someone has to do is RUN it?).

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