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Newsweek Easter Egg Reports Zombie Invasion 93

Posted by kdawson
from the it-takes-braaains dept.
danielkennedy74 writes "Newsweek.com becomes the latest in a long list of sites that will reveal an Easter egg if you enter the Konami code correctly (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, enter). This is a cheat code that appeared in many of Konami's video games, starting around 1986 — my favorite places to use it were Contra and Life Force, 30 lives FTW. The Easter egg was probably included by a developer unbeknownst to the Newsweek powers that be. It's reminiscent of an incident that happened at ESPN last year, involving unicorns."
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Newsweek Easter Egg Reports Zombie Invasion

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  • Unfortunately.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ....slashdot still does nothing.

  • Not the only one: (Score:3, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:01PM (#32574270)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Konami_code_websites [wikipedia.org] goes all the way back to July 2009

    • Re:Not the only one: (Score:4, Informative)

      by jDeepbeep (913892) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:03PM (#32574280)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Konami_code_websites [wikipedia.org] goes all the way back to July 2009

      Well, yeah. That's probably why TFS said:

      becomes the latest in a long list of sites that .... [snip]

    • Re:Not the only one: (Score:4, Informative)

      by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Monday June 14, 2010 @11:09PM (#32574660)
      Code is hosted here if interested: http://code.google.com/p/konami-js/ [google.com]
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        For those interested - file containing the script;

        http://www.newsweek.com/etc/designs/newsweek/lib.js

        Just search for "Konami", rest is there.

      • Re:Not the only one: (Score:4, Interesting)

        by georgeMandis (1128953) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @03:25AM (#32575566) Homepage
        Hey, I wrote that! Cool!

        The code works on iPhones/iPads too with gestures, but it doesn't seem they implemented it on iphone.newsweek.com. Or perhaps they disabled that - they seem to have disabled it on their main as well.
        • by Bigbutt (65939)

          Doesn't seem to work on Firefox on Ubuntu. Neither of my workstations, well work :) Works with Firefox on my Windows laptop and Safari on the same box. A coworker couldn't get it working on Firefox on Windows but it worked on IE.

          But that's Javascript :)

          Thanks for the snippit though. A game magazine a few months back had a Zombie flow chart that I turned into a php/javascript page. For the Status Management app I wrote, I added in the konami.js bits which call that page. Cool stuff :)

          [John]

      • Searching for "zombie on newsweek yields this:

        Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It
        Internal Server Error (500)

        The requested URL /content/newsweek/search.html resulted in an error in /apps/newsweek/components/content/search/search.jsp.
        Exception:

        java.lang.NullPointerException
        at com.newsweek.cq.search.SearchList.size(SearchList.java:186)
        at com.newsweek.cq.search.SearchList.isPaginating(SearchList.java:190)

    • by Cylix (55374) * on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @12:34AM (#32574946) Homepage Journal

      After trying the code on numerous random sites and getting nothing but failure I decided to let Fox.com be my last stop. I wasn't expecting anything with the string of failures on a slew of other high profile websites.

      After entering the code the text and articles immediately changed. No longer was there a right wing conservative pro-republican bias on any article. It was all neutral tone reading with viewpoints from all sides. In fact, nearly article was damn neared educational and it left me yearning for more. There was even a detailed plan plus Fox coupled subsidiaries for containing and resolving the issues with the BP oil spill.

      Unfortunately, the somewhat magical result with seemingly endless positives also had a nefarious side. I could no longer access any porn site. In fact, my friends who could no longer find reach their favorite "photography" web sites.

      I immediately made a quick call to the news room and eventually reached their noc. Once they understood the nature of the problem they quickly reverted the code push and set fire to the primary data center.

      In the end we agreed it was just too great a sacrifice.

    • by Kitkoan (1719118)
      Can't forget the odd/funny song Konami Code [youtube.com], a tribute to this old code.
  • WRONG (Score:2, Funny)

    by atomicthumbs (824207)

    30 lives FTW

    Thirty men! Thirty MEN! Putting in the code gave you an extra thirty men!

  • by ChipMonk (711367) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:14PM (#32574354) Journal
    After all, it isn't like their subscriber list is expanding a lot lately.

    Wait, maybe this is part of a business strategy to appeal to the burgeoning zombie market!
    • by sumdumass (711423)

      Or to get geeks and curios people (the rest of the interweb) to visit their site and explore around hoping that some will stay. It's pretty much like a slashvertisement except that they know everyone will be talking about it so it probably widespread then just geeks.

      At the cooler in the big office building on tuesday afternoon.
      Bill: What? You put a code in and get articles about zombies? No way..
      Joe: Sure, you just press these buttons in this order.
      Bill: Wow, that's neat. I never played those game but this

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:16PM (#32574376)

    Let me tell you how this happened.

    Newspapers and magazines are not development oriented. Here's what I face, and I suspect you will find similar stories at every newspaper and some magazines.

    Understaffed - I am the sole developer supporting a dozen sites written in four different languages. (I do have 3 graphic designers who know html, but couldn't even tell you what source control is)

    Project duration - Any project that takes more than a week is considered a blasphemy. You're expected to work on a "news cycle" schedule. If you can't roll it out quickly or chunk into into tiny pieces, you probably aren't going to do it.

    Project thrashing - Its not uncommon to work on a project for two or three days, get pulled off of it in favor of another project, and then get pulled off of that for yet another project. You can guess at the trail of unfinished projects that die from being ignored due to the whims of an editor or publisher.

    Hostile IT departments - setup around servicing journalists, IT departments are extremely hostile towards development needs. I'm not allowed to install browsers or virtual machines for testing, not allowed to have a development server, source control is a security risk, I don't have local admin on my desktop,
    and I need to summon an IT guy every time I need to test a deployment package. This leads to a lot of development on production systems because you literally have no other choice. Yes, this has been run up to executive level management.

    Not caring - No one really cares what you do until it breaks or until it wins them a press award.

    Not understanding - Graphic designers are frequently given root access to linux boxes and superuser access to sql server. They believe anyone can write a windows service, manage a database, or write quality html. This includes graphic designers because "They can do it for print, how is the web different"

    No resources - In conjunction with not caring and not having money, you aren't given resources. I use gimp for image manipulation, purchased my own copies of Visual Studio and Zend, and have the bare minimum to do my job.

    External politics - Being owned by a larger corporate entity, we often fall victim to running foul of sweetheart deals at the corporate level and random kingdom building. We're not even allowed to submit a proper sitemap to Google, the roll out version has been broken for three years, so I rolled our own which works wonderfully, but it was shutdown because it was "out of step with the larger company-wide sitemap rollout scheduled for Q3 2012."

    So, you've got this great combination of no resources, business-wide apathy, developing on production, no communication, politics, and no QA/testing process...it really is as simple as uploading the script. Chances are no one would care that it was there, and I promise you that no one one notice until a reader discovered it and it hit the internet at large.

    If you're wondering why I stay, I work with some very good people and I don't ever work overtime. Its pretty decent for anyone that can put up with the nonsense.

    • by NatasRevol (731260) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:33PM (#32574472) Journal

      I was the IT manager at a smaller group of newspapers. Everything you said was true of our place, except 2 things.

      1. Hostile IT depts. There was only two devs (only one technically competent) and two IT people. We knew each other. We worked well together. Us IT guys set up a test server on an old machine, and gave the dev full access to it. We all met & worked together to get things working & optimized.

      2. Graphic designers. Ours didn't know what html was. They knew InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator & Flash. They didn't know what GoLive was. Since our site was already ugly, we just dusted off a template, changed a few colors & called it good. It looked the same as the old, ugly site so no one upstairs complained.

      I worked with some petty, manipulative people and worked a lot of overtime (IT manager, newspaper, you do the math). I quit my job. And now sleep soundly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)

      Seeing stuff like this causes me to wonder exactly how US corporations manage to function at all. Dumb luck is the only good answer I have.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "Seeing stuff like this causes me to wonder exactly how US corporations manage to function at all. Dumb luck is the only good answer I have."

        Dumb Luck, and a tendency for evil to self-propogate.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by AhabTheArab (798575)
        Bailouts.
      • by peragrin (659227)

        The same thing that keeps the US government going,

        The bureaucracy is so thick things generally take a long time to fail, long enough that even the bureaucracy notices.

        • True this. Ironically, if we had a government that was actually responsive to us we would most likely have brought it down by now.
    • by dragonsomnolent (978815) on Monday June 14, 2010 @11:57PM (#32574822) Homepage
      Wait, am I having a flashback, or did you say that your IT guys won't give you (a developer who, I assume, are familiar enough with running and administering your box to not bork it) admin rights to your box, but they'll give graphic designers (who, I imagine are good at their jobs, but are essentially artists) ROOT access to the linux boxes and sql servers, which apparently are production? Dude WTF? You should seriously talk to someone about getting sane IT polocies in there.
    • Those are all the reasons I hated working for big companies. Some of the people I worked with at small companies could never understand how hard the bureaucracy was to deal with day in and day out. Although I did work for a small company once that started thinking it could benefit from the red tape of a large company. I gained a whole new definition for Hell while working there. Really sad, since for a while it was the best environment ever. That's probably even what made the changes hurt so much. So now I

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If it's any consolation, it's the same at my job and we're not a news shop. And it was the same at my last job, too. :( What hurts is the apathy, pass-the-buck syndrome, and overall poor work environment.

    • I was the web developer for a good sized metro daily back in 1999. Back then, we were owned by PRIVATELY_OWNED_MID-SIZE_NEWSPAPER_CONGLOMERATE, but we were pretty much allowed to do what we wanted (the web was young and our paper was pretty far ahead of our sister and parent organizations web-wise).

      Then along came MAJOR_PUBLICLY_TRADED_PUBLISHING_CONGLOMERATE - bought our parent company. I saw the beginnings of what you're talking about and I jumped ship; found another job and gave my notice.

      From what I hea

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      No. Let ME tell you how this happened. Newsweek hired a very expensive agency to help with their assets creation and design with their site. And that company had one jerk off developer who thought it would be funny to put this into every project he worked on.
  • crap summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@[ ]oo.com ['yah' in gap]> on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:31PM (#32574460) Journal

    The story is ostensibly about Newsweek.com putting an Easter egg on their website. Then why is there no link to said website in the fine summary?

    I used to hate kdawson only for his idiotic political posts during the final days of the Bush administration. Now I hate him for posting godawful story after godawful story. Leave this one to samzenpus to put on Idle, it at least belongs there.

    • by sackvillian (1476885) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @01:16AM (#32575088)

      I used to hate kdawson only for his idiotic political posts during the final days of the Bush administration.

      I know, right? There's nothing worse than people injecting politics into an otherwise technical discussion. Too bad it's all too common. . .

      -- The fear of libertarianism is the terror that the mediocre feel at the possibility of being judged on their merits.

      Huh.

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by bartwol (117819)

        I used to hate kdawson only for his idiotic political posts during the final days of the Bush administration.

        I know, right? There's nothing worse than people injecting politics into an otherwise technical discussion. Too bad it's all too common. . .

        Ummm...no...the GP did not suggest there's something wrong with people injecting politics into a technical discussion. That was your straw man construct...easy to rebut your own soft lobs, eh?

        He did say that kdawson writes idiotic political posts. If you are f

    • by daveime (1253762)

      Then why is there no link to said website in the fine summary?

      Probably for the same reason there is no link to it in your post either ?

      Just typing something ending in .com or .net doesn't magically make it a hyperlink ... the URL tag is your (and kdawson's) friend.

      As you are obviously having trouble finding your address bar and typing 12 characters in it, here it is for your convenience ... http://newsweek.com/ [newsweek.com] ... now you do know where your left mouse button is ???

  • by Xaroth (67516) on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:42PM (#32574528) Homepage

    I would have to say that my favorite part of this conversion is the unaltered ad that shows a recent cover of Newsweek featuring Michelle Obama and the caption "FEED YOUR CHILDREN WELL".

  • I don't remember any "Enter" button on the NES gamepad.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Phybersyk0 (513618)

      Jeez man. There's no "START" key on your keyboard. "Enter" is the best approximation you could have. Why do people have to be spoon-fed?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by AhabTheArab (798575)
        You leave him alone, he's old skool and everybody should know it. He is one of the few around here who have any idea how an original NES gamepad is laid out. Now get off his lawn!
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          He is one of the few around here who have any idea how an original NES gamepad is laid out.

          The NES gamepad isn't laid out, it's thrown. Now, if you swing it around by the cord and hit someone in the head, they will be laid out.

          Seriously, when I was pissed off at a game I used to swing the controller by about two feet of cord and bounce it off the floor as fast/hard as I could. I never managed to break one. Sure it was vinyl over plywood and not concrete or something, but that's damned impressive. Try that with your Wiimote :p

          • Try that with your Wiimote :p

            Works exactly the same
            Do you not remember the many stories when the Wii came out of people attempting to connect their wiimote to their plasma and LCD TVs with extreme prejudice?
            The wiimotes were unharmed. The TVs less-so.

      • by igaborf (69869)

        Jeez man. There's no "START" key on your keyboard. "Enter" is the best approximation you could have. Why do people have to be spoon-fed?

        I'm not going to spoon-feed you the answer to that question.

  • So I have to do it, even though I'd be surprised if anyone still reported the news when a zombie horde was coming, watch your grammar Steven Stone:

    While initially considered to be a bad sinus infection, the disease quickly spread after Patient Zero ate the brains of an attending neurosurgeon.

    Fixed it for ya.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wake me up when a printed newspaper or magazine does it.

  • on the newsweek site. has this been disabled? :(

  • I bought a Palm Pre off of my friend over the weekend and I've already started to hack at the thing a bit. The first step is to enable "Developer Mode" on the device, which is enabled by running a search for the following text:

    upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart

    Delightful!

  • place /# at the end of the URL. So, www.newsweek.com/#
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is what happens when you hire a shit company like Schematic to to write your front end. All they care about is giving you crap code that you later spend 8+ months trying to clean up and re-write and taking your money.
  • It appears that danielkennedy74 wasn't a true gamer back in the days of Contra. If in fact he truly was, he would've notated the correct command as: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, (another b, a) enter. Shame shame. Ok, we'll let it slide.

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