Folks, as the webmaster of OSNews, I’m sorry to report that the OSNews server was hacked early this morning by a l33t haxx0r known only as “osV_rul3z.” Although our database server does not appear to have been comprimised, all of the advertising code was deleted and our code was slightly modified to make everyone a premium level subscriber. Rest assured, we are working on the problem and hope to have OSNews restored to its original state as quickly as possible. UPDATE: As everyone suspected, April Fools!
About The Author
Vice President, Information Technology at Massey Services, Inc • President, Board Member, The Mockingbird Foundation • All Things Web, Umphrey’s McGee • Web Developer • Father • Foodie • Music Snob • OS enthusiast
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2006-04-01 6:41 pmThom Holwerda
why not ask him to make the comments wider for people with higher screen resolutions
There’s a problem with that. The line length we have now is just about right; you can’t make it too long because of decreased readability, as our brain copes very badly with reading long lines.
2006-04-01 6:46 pmLazarus
“There’s a problem with that. The line length we have now is just about right; you can’t make it too long because of decreased readability, as our brain copes very badly with reading long lines.”
Hey, if my eyes can adjust to “pinkdot” I’m sure my brain can cope with longer lines. ;^)
EDIT: erm, so long as such does not entail requiring one of those irritating scrollbars on the bottom of the screen 😛
EDIT2: eternal misery and suffering to the one who came up with THAT idea…
Edited 2006-04-01 18:56
2006-04-01 6:48 pmLighthater
I agree. I do appreciate OSNews making those calls for me and all, but it would be nice to see a non-fixed view for those of us who actually like that. I guess we aren’t really worth the extra coding though.
2006-04-01 7:30 pmbinarycrusader
I have to agree with Thom. The current line length is just about right. Reading text stretched across the entire screen is difficult to read for most people.
2006-04-01 8:29 pmjayson.knight
It would be trivial to add a button to allow folks to change from fixed to elastic, similar to this guy’s site: http://micahdylan.com/ (upper right hand corner).
2006-04-02 11:25 amhappycamper
our brain copes very badly with reading long lines
for you it does.
Yay! Im a premium subscriber! Oh……
So, did you guys have a backup? I guess not?
*goes and backs up his code*
It’s meant as a joke – but came to me as a VERY nice surprise, since for about a month your site was impossible for me to open in Opera (tp2) and had to wait ~5min. to open it in firefox – now AGAIN it works perfectly. Dunno what caused this, but I wish myself that from now on every day was a fool’s day .
Like the new layout – usually browsing on 200% zoom in 1280 horizontal, so now I won’t have to move horizontal scrollbar to reach comments column.
Edited 2006-04-01 18:51
2006-04-01 6:56 pmAdam Scheinberg
had to wait ~5min. to open it in firefox
2006-04-01 7:11 pmTom Janowitz
I hope you are not trying to tell my that after midnight… oHNo! – do something than
Just my 2 cents – I think I liked the now top bar on the side better. If this is how it normally looks for subscribers, there could be an option maybe as to where it is? I like not having to scroll to the very top of the page to do stuff like check how many votes I have left and go into user prefs, etc.
2006-04-01 7:05 pmAdam Scheinberg
How often do you go into prefs? That would be something I’d be interested in knowing.
2006-04-01 7:45 pmValiantSoul
True I don’t very often however you have so much unused space on the sides. Moving it to the side means you can use up unsed space, the user can see more news before scrolling, and if they for some reason want to change prefs they don’t have to go to the very top.
Consider though my resolution is 1440×900 so I have a LOT of unused space – not quite sure how it is at lower resolutions (or not widescreen resolutions).
2006-04-01 9:23 pmthebluesgnr
Just resize your OSNews window and the “unused” space can be used by another window.
You don’t have all your windows maximized, do you? That would be a waste on a 1440×900 display.
2006-04-01 11:16 pmValiantSoul
No I don’t, but when I’m on just to do some browsing I have it using the full screen and I usually only go to OSNews when I’m just browsing around.
2006-04-01 10:10 pmkamper
How often do you go into prefs? That would be something I’d be interested in knowing.
Don’t you have some kind of stats package that can tell you this? Or, just put log statements in the code for that page?
I never touch prefs, but I go to my user page to review comment history all the time (to see if I’ve been responded to. It’d be super handy to have the number of responses listed with each post on usercomments.php).
And the new layout sucks for going to said pages. The links are way too small and are farther away from most of the content, which means more scrolling.
…my time, anyway
Sorry lads, one years bad luck for attempting an April Fools after midday. I’d stay away from mirrors, etc.
Well, 18:13 my time, actually. Drinking during the day is not good for reading of… stuff….
Edited 2006-04-01 19:20
All your databases belong to us!
2006-04-02 12:55 amdylansmrjones
All your databases are belong to us
Edited 2006-04-02 00:55
There is a Greasemonkey script that does it already so I didn’t notice any difference
I’ve been framed!
2006-04-01 7:52 pmTaterSalad
You Sir, have some good web coding skills. Now if only you could remove the ads on some other sites as well
2006-04-01 7:53 pmdylansmrjones
I’ve only been on the internet for like 3 minutes today, and I’ve already fallen for both this and the Duke Nukem Forever thing on ArsTechnica. I know the pranks are coming, but I guess I’m just that gullible.
2006-04-01 8:04 pmdylansmrjones
I’d say the Web 3.0-thing ought to say a few things
2006-04-01 8:34 pmjayson.knight
ThinkGeek got me earlier today, I didn’t pick up on it until I tried to order the 1-up mushroom (which I really wish they’d make…plastic/rubber/whatever)!
2006-04-01 9:45 pmlopisaur
Heh, thanks for reminding me it’s April 1st, I was believing Ars’ Duke Nukem review too.
2006-04-02 5:52 amMorgan
I fell for the World of Warcraft new race joke…for about five minutes I was ticked because the new race was going to be Wisps, when I was SO hoping for Furbolgs!
Then I remembered the date…
Wow man. Nice joke. First I was shocked but then I remembered that it is Aprils fool.
osnews is a great site and provides a lot of info and I think no one will even try to hack it. Its just a Aprils fool joke….
It’s better this way!
is one of the better pranks today, but the FireFox-port for Syllable was a nice attempt as well
that really did shock me
nice to see this ad free. have a great day, and thanks!
Nice to see how fast OS News is loading now :Þ
Hey, now the site looks..just like it always looks when I’m browsing through my add-zapping squid. Thanks for nothing. 🙂
Why people get shocked in April Fools i dont get it, its not mine?
And this layout gime me Headacke….
I like the navigation on top of the page. I anyway strip off the ads with Squid and AdZapper. So I don’t see them with the regular layout anyway.
It would be nice if this was the way it always looked.
The experience is so much better. I’d come here a lot more if it had this layout.
2006-04-02 3:40 amVenomousGecko
Then you have to be a member. That is the layout for those with memberships.
2006-04-02 12:58 pmporcel
So, you are telling me that they have a way to increase readesrhip and make everyone’s experience nicer and that they have explicitly and consciously chosen to degrade everyone’s enjoyment of the site to force people to “upgrade” to the layout that doesn’t suck?
Where did these people go to business school? You never introduce a feature and then take it back and you never make your user’s life miserable.
2006-04-02 2:38 pmAdam Scheinberg
That’s one way to look at it, I guess. Of course, we could always just NOT pay the hosting and bandwidth bill and shut down the site. That’s another option.
2006-04-02 3:13 pmporcel
If hosting is your problem, I would be happy to work with you to find you a host that would provide all the bandwidth you want.
The condition would be no ads and no memberships. In other words, move OSNEWS from a business to a community ruled and community oriented site.
But I suspect that you were not serious and that hosting and bandwidth are not the deal breakers that you make them out to be.
2006-04-02 3:44 pmAdam Scheinberg
We’re very happy with our host. Server space and bandwidth are never free. This is not up for further conversion. The site needs to support itself.
2006-04-02 11:27 pmSchlingBlade
Cry me a river. I’ve run plenty of web sites for various groups in the past, and I can say from experience that hosting and bandwidth are dirt cheap.
The problem with sites like this (Slashdot is another good example) is they don’t really provide anything new to the public. Just a rehash of stories and articles found elsewhere, or poorly written articles. There’s no frackin’ way I’d PAY to view this site.
So, get off the high horse, and suck it up. Get some good content on the site that might actually attract advertisers, or start having bake sales. Maybe go find a bandwidth provider/hosting company that doesn’t cost so much. I really hope none of the editors here get paid, that’d really depress me.
2006-04-03 2:02 amEugenia Loli
None of the editors are paid here, no. The money off advertising and subscriptions is used to pay for bandwidth, an admin, and the colocation, pretty much.
I would agree with you that it doesn’t make much sense to pay for a site that rehashes others’ stories. However, osnews does have 1-3 original stories every week, offers a good way to communicate your thoughts to a given story, and the subscription gives you a faster-loading site (much more important if you are on dial-up), plus it helps maintaining the hardware and software.
However, it begs the question: why are you here and you got in the trouble of registering to get an account if “sites like this” is of no interest to you?
2006-04-02 3:25 pmAdrianRyan
I must add that it would have been very nice if you had continued updating the site through the temporary membership, so that we could have actually seen what it is like to be a member, rather than having only this one new thread, which isn’t even a news story, to post in. I suppose it is a small leap of the imagination to imagine the faster updating site being easier to read many threads and stories with, but without having actually used the site a lot while in its members-only form, many people (such as me) won’t know if it’s really worth upgrading for. Not to say it wasn’t an appreciated gesture.
And re:porcel, the inclusion of ads is the biggest difference between this and the members’ site, and that is common practice on the internet. The OS News bar on the side is to make the site have a better overal layout, for if it were at the top but the ads were at the side, everyone would bitch and moan about the UI.
Really cute way to introduce everyone to the new OSnews and pass it as a april fools prank…I like it!
If anyone hacked the site I am sure it would be corrected in no time flat so I have to think this is just a prank.
I do like the look, seems a bit barren and could use some extra features…i think
But nice, guess I picked the right time to cruise over and sign up!
sooo like now I’m a OSNEWS geek.. sweet
I liked this one. But I liked the one in ACM Communications even better.
Has anyone else seen that one?
Just in case some of you haven’t noticed… They have some really funny stuff on Slashdot right now.
2006-04-02 12:04 amValhalla
‘Just in case some of you haven’t noticed… They have some really funny stuff on Slashdot right now.’
hehe, yes, Mattel’s BarbieOS is simply hilarious.
Come on Eugenia we know it was you, you l33t haxx0r known only as “osV_rul3z.”
Edited 2006-04-01 23:38
all are going crazy, thier
are soo many ways to find
them or punish them, but they still
don’t give up, I think they never
felt the same harssness and pain
web-makers and web-hosters feal.
This sure beats ponies.
Happy April Fools!
talk about a corny post.
its so corny you just have to laugh!
Evil I loved the new change to bad it got changed back.
/me wishes april fools day was everyday!
Seems to me this monkey had a lot of grease left.
The only reason i might try linux os is because everyone else does.
How stupid am I. It’s just a UNIX CLONE ! Who needs that ?
it seems more patch than hack to me
It’s back to normal. How am I supposed to know now how long my subscription will last!?
That was one of the most believable April Fools I have ever seen
So was the april fool’s joke the reason OSnews was unreachable for me in the previous hours?
I see now that you were being disingenous as to the reasons for OSNEWS being loade with a shit load of ads.
I wish you had just plainly stated that you have decided to make money on all the silly polemics that populate this site.
But remember the boy who cried wolf…
Is this some wierd April Fools joke, or did it actually get hacked?
Happy April Fool’s Day to Everyone in the OSNews Family.
Please, the guy seems to know what he’s doing 🙂
…was just writing an email saying “err, I appear to have been turned into a subscriber?!”.
Glad its not just me
“13239 days left of subscription”
OSNews for a lifetime
Definitely one of the better jokes for today, thanks!
Now where’s my spaghetti tree again?
I can see that subscriber have different layout that us mortals ^^
Doesn’t look like I am missing much other than the page layout is nicer with the section menu at the top. Not that I ever look at anything other than the main page anyway but it does feel a lot less “cluttered”.
Yeah, 1st April 😉
New “sidebar” isn’t bad 😉
Happy april fools day
“Although our database server does not appear to have been comprimised, all of the advertising code was deleted and our code was slightly modified to make everyone a premium level subscriber. Rest assured, we are working on the problem and hope to have OSNews restored to its original state as quickly as possible”
Restore it? Why? It’s perfect!
On a regular sized screen this layout reminds me of an A4 sheet of paper, on my laptop it looks even stranger. If that “osV_rul3z” guy comes around again why not ask him to make the comments wider for people with higher screen resolutions. If that’s too much work then how about putting something like a simple pattern on the left and right borders? If I remember my interior design class properly a good scale to use would be 3:5.
BTW. This is an interesting way to advertise the premium subscriptions. Giving peoeple a taste of something usually does help them choose whether they want it or not.