The One That Got Away

You can call the author of this blog many things, but please don’t call her “unaware”. Call her, rather, “Incapable of seizing the moment”. Why? Because TechCrunch broke a story that even wound up in the Washington Post about Chinese AOL coming up in Firefox as a possible attack site/forgery (that’s right, a phishing website) on Feb. 13th, but they were not the first to learn the perfectly jaw-dropping news. In fact, I was.

I was fixing dead links on this blog on Feb. 10th when I got to my AOL Hit List and clicked through to Chinese AOL out of sheer curiosity. At that point, I was met with the same warning page that you didn’t find screen shots of on TechCrunch until 3 days later.

Chinese AOL under suspicion as far back as Feb. 10th

My screen shot shows that I could’ve broken this story (without the help of Mike’s tipsters) 3 days before TC did. It would’ve done wondrous things for this blog’s stats. It’s no one’s fault but my own, but I admit I’m extremely sore now about passing on the story, and shocked at just how large it became.

TechCrunch, despite being massively late with the story (and giving me so much time to throw away on other things), did a thorough write-up, and a commenter even explained that Firefox pulls its list of attack websites and forgeries from Google, thus Chinese AOL also came up in Google Search results with a link that says, “This site may harm your computer.” Double the fun!

It turns out this fiasco was likely due to some unsafe third-party websites linking to Chinese AOL. At any rate, the issue is cleared up, with anyone being able to reach the Chinese portal now without incident.

As for the author of this blog? Not asleep at the wheel, but busy. She spent the entire three days that she could have broken the Chinese AOL story fixing dead links, answering her reader’s email, and completely forgetting to update. This, to my deep regret, is the one (story) that got away.