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HTMLfixIT Archive for August, 2005

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005 by Gary

It has been going around for a couple of years now, and it seems to be popping up again and again. I’m talking about that e-mail we regularly receive from friends and contacts along the lines of:

“Those funny guys at Google are at it again! Go to Google, search on the phrase ‘miserable failure’ and hit the ‘I feel lucky’ button.”

If you don’t already know this one then I suggest you try it and see for yourself.

Having done that, do you think Google have weighed-in to political opinion? I’m afraid not.

This trick is the result of a Google Bomb, or multiple web page links to the White House page that are linked by the text “miserable failure”. Google’s search program (Googlebot) crawls through millions and millions of pages and indexes what it finds, and in this case it found many sites linked to George W’s page using this term. In fact the (deliberate) linking was so common that it drove the page to the #1 Google Page Rank for that search term.

Back in 2003 when this was “new news” BBC News reported on it, while urban legends site further explained how this came to be. A Google Bomb simply takes advantage of Google’s indexing and page rank algorithms, and could be manipulated by any of us in this way if we tried.

So the next time you receive this funny little e-mail from one of your friends or contacts, you’ll know what to tell them (while perhaps raining on their parade).

1 Comment »

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005 by Franki

WebmasterWorld has just done a nice explanatory piece on the box model hack, both explaining why we need them, and showing how to work with them. Well worth the read for anybody wanting to use modern coding practises and still have the maximum browser visibility. Take a look.

1 Comment »

Friday, August 26th, 2005 by Don

Too bad I lack creativity because the job would be fun. Maybe one of our readers is interested in the job. Let us know if you get it and remember us on the first payday. You heard it hear … second 🙂

1 Comment »

Friday, August 26th, 2005 by Don

Domain names are a thing of much confusion. Microsoft has spent years chasing down people using similiar names to theirs to confuse people (supposedly). In the latest big case on domain name similarity, the owner of (two letter “l’s” in both places) is permitted to keep his website up and running to the displeasure of (one “l” in the first instance). The reason was simple according to the United State Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit panel: is clearly adverse to and not easily confused with because of the clear disclaimer of non-affiliation and because the content is actually critical of the latter’s site.

1 Comment »

Friday, August 26th, 2005 by Don

I was looking over the A List Apart redesign tonight – and it is a nice looking site. While surfing around it I found this article interesting. Here at HTMLfixit we have a couple of items we sell. Our counter and and our ipn product are for sale. We also give away a lot of counters and the download counter, and lots and lots of advice. Are we underselling ourselves? Fortunately we don’t need to feed our families with the proceeds, on the other hand, we do have expenses and dreams of doing bigger things. What do you think? Please comment.

1 Comment »

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005 by Don

Microsoft has a very good article explaining phishing, a common scheme to defraud people of their personal and financial information. Unfortunately despite a clear explanation and some solid advice on what to look for and what to do if you think you have been a victim of such activity, they miss the most critical step for avoidance – use plain text for reviewing emails.

The phishing emails use a two very common techniques: first, they use graphics from a legitimate website such as a bank, ebay or paypal to appear to be the real website. Second, they use something called uniform resource locator (url) masking to make a link appear to go to the legitimate site, while actually redirecting elsewhere. Both of these techniques only work if you view your email in Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) format. If you disable HTML formatting and view the email as plain text, the mismatched url’s are immediately apparent and you will be much less likely to fall for the scam.

In Outlook Express for example, you can select to review your email in plain text mode by clicking on Tools, then Options and selecting the Read tab. Check the box next to “Read all messages in plain text.”

We highly recommend that you not use either Outlook or Outlook Express for email. You will do much better for many reasons with Thunderbird, a free email client available for download from Mozilla. Even in Thunderbird, you need to choose plain text by clicking on View, Message Body As and then selecting Plain Text. Note that Thunderbird also offers an intermediate option called simple html which will apply basic formatting, but avoid the display of images and other items such as counters embedded in the emails to detect if you are reading the emails.

Some commercial emailer’s insist on sending email in html format. We encourage the avoidance of these sources. Most however offer you the option of selecting plain text. Plain text is much more bandwidth intelligent and will help you avoid phishing and many other difficulties not discussed in this article.

Remember: plain text


Wednesday, August 24th, 2005 by Don

Ironically, you must use Microsoft Internet Explorer to obtain updates for other Microsoft products such as your operating system. If you visit, for example, using Mozilla Firefox, you are greeted with the following:

Thank you for your interest in obtaining updates from our site.
To use this site, you must be running Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later.
To upgrade to the latest version of the browser, go to the Internet Explorer Downloads website.

Problems with Internet Explorer are regular and pervasive. It is time to force Microsoft to permit you to update your operating system without requiring you to use it’s own faulty browser. For example, what if you have been the target of a browser hi-jacking? Should you not be able to install updates to your operating system without having to use the hi-jacked browser?


This site is totally free to use, you have absolutely no moral or legal obligations to help us continue.
There are however, some costs involved in running the site.

<random humor>
Plus Don needs a new ski handle for his favorite toy.
</random humor>

So if this site helped you find your way, perhaps you could consider contributing to our costs. Whatever amount you feel this site was worth to you would be just wonderful.
Use PayPal if you do decide to share and help us with the costs and in appreciation for our time and attention, or alternatively buy a book from our Bookstore..

  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   May 24, 2024, 10:30 am
  Time in Franki's part of the world is:   May 24, 2024, 11:30 pm
  Don't worry neither one sleeps very long!

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