I recently came across this form for the umpteenth time, when following some link to some news story:
To serve me better how?
How can you serve me better when you're across the friggin' country from me? There is only one conceivable way in which you can serve me better: stop asking me for my zip code and year of birth every time I click a link, you jerks! That would be GREAT service! I think they're lying about serving us better. Why not be honest? "We want your demographic information so we can better target ads to you. This pays for the news stories that you're reading for free from across the country." I could respect it if they said that.
Usually, I fill it out with 90210, my actual zip code, and 1900, my genuine date of birth. I'm an honest kind of guy. But this once, I noticed the little link that says "Outside the US? Click here." Before my conscience could get the better of me, I clicked it, and to my astonishment and horror, it took me to the story I wanted to read with no further fuss. I knew I had done something really terrible and un-American, but I couldn't stop myself. I tried it again a few more times, like a compulsive gambler betting his family's life savings, when I encountered the same form elsewhere...and it worked every single time.
The common thread is that the publications that use this irritating form are all owned by Advance Publications.
I don't know if they developed this annoying "technology" in-house or not, but damn, is it stupid!
Essentially, if you're American (and therefore likely to be among their customers), they will hassle you and probe your anus before letting you read their precious, precious AP feed. But if you're a foreigner who they're unlikely to ever make a dime off of, they give you the red carpet treatment. How does this make sense? Way to go, Advance Publications.