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Dodgy domains and Microsoft's many minions

I recently ran a warning about 'urgent' (but bogus) invoices that junior staff might be panicked into paying while you are on holiday. Now, reports The Register's daily newsfeed (subscribe at www. theregister. com), Nominet is warning of a company called Domain Registry Services, which sends out 'Domain Expiration Notice' letters. It encloses an envelope and warns you will lose your domain name unless you fork out £60 - and offers a five-year renewal for £140, or 10 years for £270. Nominet, the official UK internet registrar, allows only two-year renewals, costing £20 or so, and you were not registered by Domain Registry Services anyway! At the end of last month, Nominet had an injunction out against the company.

'Sorry, you will need to upgrade your browser to view this site.' I got this message at www. whitbybird. com, the homepage for the UK's 'leading' engineer. Excuse me? Upgrade? I'm using two-weeks-out-of-the-box opensource Mozilla Firefox version 0.9. I think what the Microsoft-toady webmaster means is: 'Use Internet Explorer (IE) despite its incurably gorgonzola-like virus defences because we're too lazy to make the site accessible to browsers used in the real world.' So a message to the geniuses at Whitbybird: 'Sorry, you'll need to upgrade your thinking, manners and webmaster before we'll bother to view your site.' They should look at 'How to Check Your Website with Multiple Browsers on a Single Machine (Cross-Browser Compatibility Checking)' at www. thesitewizard.com/webdesign/multiplebrowsers.shtml, which begins: 'We all know the importance of checking our web pages with multiple browsers?', or they could try AnyBrowser at www. anybrowser. com for a less laborious checking facility.

I don't want to sound too vehemently pro-Firefox because it works much the same as IE and there are still Neanderthal sites like the above out there. So I keep a working copy of IE 6 just in case. Happily I have not had to use it much.

sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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