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The Sciences

Firefox cooties

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitOctober 5, 2008 12:55 AM

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So I'm doing my thing, surfing and reading and writing, and I go to click on my Gmail tab in Firefox. When I look at the tab, I notice something weird: little, single-pixel-high black rectangles beneath the tab. What the...? Sometimes if you display an image and then close it, little leftover pixels will hang out on the screen. Usually manipulating the pixels^* will fix that. Hmmmm. I iconify FF and then reopen it... boxes still there. I open a window on top of FF, then move it off. Nope. Still cootified. Here's what they look like:

ff_screenshot.jpg

See them there? Underneath the tabs? Here's a closeup:

ff_screenshot_zoom.jpg

I marked them with red lines. Look! Some of the cooties are blue! What. The. Heck? I have never seen anything like this, and the obvious conclusion is that the government has decided to bug my browser. Or aliens have control of my Mac. Anyone seen anything like this before? I'm running FF 2.0.0.17 on a MacBook Pro with OSX 10.4.11. I know, I'll upgrade to 10.5. Eventually. I'm in no hurry. Edited to add: And now, of course, as I'm about to post this, they're gone. Back to the mothership? NSA bored with my blog? Maybe the Doctor Who music I was playing scared them off.... and now I miss my cooties. Sigh.

^*Note: not a euphemism.

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