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Once in a while on Wired: Software there's an entry which is listed in the feed and on the web site but the link just shows a "Page not found" error mere hours after going online. Because these articles seem to all have some sort of inflammatory title, I suspect they have been deleted shortly after publication.

Example:

The Legacy of Linus Torvalds: Linux, Git, and One Giant Flamethrower

Linus Torvalds created Linux, which now runs vast swathes of the internet, including Google and Facebook. And he invented Git, software that's now used by developers across the net to build new applications of all kinds. But that's not all Torvalds has given the internet. He's also started some serious flame wars.

Is there some service where I can retrieve the text of these articles before they are removed? It would be interesting to see what sort of self-censoring Wired does, but I don't want to hammer their servers to get at the text.

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That particular article is back. I just checked about 30 min ago. The truly interesting thing would be to do a DIFF between the version you read earlier and now. I don't suppose you printed it to a file? I have had the same thing happen with Forbes articles, and it is very annoying because they don't use Disqus, thus all the comments disappear too (including mine). The URL still for the article is there, but with "Private" inserted as a higher level directory. –  Feral Oink Nov 19 '12 at 23:14
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I didn't save it (that's why I asked initially). As you say, it would be interesting to do a diff. The blurb is identical except the apostrophes. –  l0b0 Nov 20 '12 at 9:00
    
I confess, I checked that too and can confirm that you are correct ;o) Maybe someone will answer this question. I really would find that useful. I never even thought of asking here. –  Feral Oink Nov 20 '12 at 16:31
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1 Answer

There's no easy way to do about this - you'll have to rely on a bit of a luck that:

  • Google has indexed the page & added to it's Web Cache. To find if this is done, search Google with the URL as the search keyword. If Google has indexed the page & stored to it's webcache, you'll find the link to it

    enter image description here

    • Alternatively, if you're using Google Chrome, prepend cache: to the URL & Chrome will try to find the cached veriosn, without you having to do the other steps
  • Another alternative is to add Wired's feed to a feed reader like Google Reader which tends to fetch the articles as soon as it's published. You can then refer to the feed view to check the article

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I'm using Google Reader. I think it only fetches the feed, not the whole article it links to (IIRC Mozilla Thunderbird could fetch the whole article). In the case of Wired, that means just the heading and blurb. Do you know some way to read the whole article in Google Reader? –  l0b0 Nov 21 '12 at 9:32
    
that depends on the publishing website, not all offer full RSS feeds. Some (such as Ars Technica) offer only summaries, while full RSS feeds are reserved for paying subscribers. In such a case, there's no way to grab the whole article. @l0b0 –  Sathya Nov 21 '12 at 9:44
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