August 10, 2005

THE ONLINE ARMS RACE CONTINUES The Wall Street Journal, to which I subscribe online, has apparently decided to prevent concurrent logons. Since I generally leave my login on at home when I go to work, I had to call them to clear that session so I could login here.

The object, obviously, is to prevent people from sharing their subscriptions, which quite a few people I know have been doing (and I bet they’re kicking desks and throwing things this morning). However, I’m not quite sure the folks at the Wall Street Journal have thought through what this means, at least if they have many subscribers like me. Absent-minded subscribers. Subscribers who never turn their computers off. Subscribers who use several computers each working day. Subscribers who will now be calling their technical support people two or three times a day to clear their other login so they can read the paper.

On the other hand, I suppose the typical WSJ subscriber is your type-A perfectionist who will have no trouble remembering to make sure that he logs off his WSJ account before moving to another computer. In which case, I demand to know why the folks at the WSJ haven’t quite thought through what this means for me.

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