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Proprietary browsers built on proprietary browsers: the blind leading the blind?

Sep 15, 2009, 12:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Cartwright)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"This all came to my attention because of a specific issue my friend was having. Prior to that they had soldiered on in a world of fudge and making-do because they figured that's how it was with "the Internet". The issue that finally got to them was that every time they went to a particular section of the BT/Yahoo home pages, they were presented with an error message. It turned out it was a javascript debug message — we have all seen them and most of us know what to do with them (ignore them generally) but to a non-techie end-user it might as well have been written in martian. After it kept happening they called me in.

"After some careful monitoring I realised that the error was caused by a particular advert in a banner above their BT/Yahoo webmail client. I couldn't fix the bug in the script but I could find where it was. Now on my system this would be easily resolved with AdBlock. A single right-click and the problem is gone. On this one it's not so easy. Firstly Microsoft's browser has never really been suited to blocking advertising — even with a plugin. Recently an I.E. ad blocker plugin has appeared but of course this isn't IE, this is the BT/Yahoo browser so the plugin doesn't work. Disabling javascript debug messages has no effect either. In fact because the settings dialog is identical to IE's one you can never be sure which browser the changes will have effect on."

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