That is, the site is not shutting down.
But what's changed in the last year or two is that people are now much more familiar with URL shortener links. Every major media site is using them, and just about everybody understands what their purpose is.
I can totally see how someone who would spot a phishing page from a mile away because of the strange URL might overlook the fact that a URL shortener doesn't actually redirect you to the legit page, but rather presents a spoofed version.
Be careful out there, kids.
I see that SHRTURL deleted the page title, which users might also notice – but it’s better than keeping the original title, which would now be wrong. SHRTURL also can’t handle GitHub’s custom font with which they render their icons, so the site logo is missing. And you are logged out in the linked page, which is pretty visible, but there’s no way SHRTURL could get around that.
I can only wonder how often they're going to get pranked by something that really does look like a news site but for a subtle change.
Sometimes I point that out, and usually get a response "how do you know it's not real? do you know all the news of the world?". People like that make me believe in the trolling power of this tool.
[E.g. Journalist creates an unsubstantiated article about something on Wikipedia. Eventually Wikipedia cites said article as a reference. ]
Of course we all know how much attention most people pay to what their browser is telling them.
Case and point: IE Toolbars. People hate them but never remove them. Ever. Even as those toolbars are making their browser take minutes to load any page.
TechCrunch reached out earlier this morning. They are not happy with me.
You really shouldn't have used a real persons by-line there, that made it much more believable. Still, kudos for the prank, it was funny, especially the insane valuation.
And thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I've resolved it with the reporter in question, we're all good.
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1. The editing UI is a bit shaky, for example - not handling links that great.
2. It doesn't replicate a site perfectly (This shows even on simple sites like HN)
3. If you click on a link you go back to the original site.
A modest proposal for improvement - check out TOMODO API.(http://tomodo.com/api/).
Their site allows for exactly this kind of modification but, being a commercial startup, is much more polished. They already solved problems 2 and 3 for you and you can use that tech through the API.
Step 1 - Find a product you want to buy
Step 2 - Shorten it and change the price manually to a "believable" number
Step 3 - Go into Target and show the price to a customer service agent (usually not tech saavy) and they will see that it looks like Amazon.
Step 4 - Profit???
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A real piece of art.
Almost good, but no images (tried with google.com)