Contents on the New York Times website are protected by a paywall. What this means is that visitors get a certain contingent of free articles they can read in full before they receive a notification that they have reached the article limit for that month. To continue reading, visitors need to subscribe to the magazine to do so or find a way around the wall.
Just like any other form of protection on the Internet, the NYT's paywall has its holes that enable visitors to bypass the limitation. One of the easiest ones, removing a couple of characters in the address, has now been fixed by the company operating the website. It took the site operators two years to plug the hole. Why did it take so long? The most likely explanation is that there was no need to fix it. The operators likely know very well that there are ways to bypass the paywall, and that is probably fine with them as long as those options do not become mainstream.
Users who dedicated time and effort to read articles on the New York Times website for free are not likely to subscribe to the site if they are hit by the paywall. Regular readers on the other hand may not have the technical expertise to do the same thing, making it more likely that they will subscribe to the magazine to continue reading if there are not commonplace options available to circumvent the protection.
What the operators of the site need to make sure of is that methods that become too common can't be used to circumvent the protection.
Other options may include clearing cookies or reading NYT articles in a browser's incognito mode.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.