HTML Weirdness Question No. 843

Off topic posts are welcome in this forum!
No smear campaign, or you will be banned!

Moderator: Mike Everman

Post Reply
larry cottrill
Posts: 4140
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:17 am
Antipspambot question: 0
Location: Mingo, Iowa USA
Contact:

HTML Weirdness Question No. 843

Post by larry cottrill » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:46 pm

I have been an amazon.com associate (as in affiliate) for about three years, but have never done anything with it until now (better late than never ;-). So, I put a few holiday-related banners on some of my main jetZILLA pages. They work great, here at work. At home, they work great (you can click on them and go shopping on amazon.com), however, you have no reason to do so other than curiosity, since they are just showing up as grey bars the exact size of the intended banner!

These banners (meaning, some of them) are animated in the sense that they cutely (albeit crudely) get worked over for a few seconds right after the screen is refreshed. They (meaning, all of them) are served up by amazon.com's servers (what else?) and are downloaded to an "iframe", an HTML construct I have never used before. The only clue I have that might mean something is that, at home, I can't view streaming video or hear streaming audio, basically because of working through a dial-up conection. As I have triedto say, it's that the banner doesn't work; the link behind it works fine, apparently.

Does anybody know of any reason this construct shouldn't work on some browsers or setups? Is it probably just the low-speed connection? Could it be some incorrect browser config setting? Obviously, these banners are tiny compared to even a short streaming video, but that is probably a meaningless observation. It would be nice if a few people had a look at this (just hit http://www.jetzilla.com and scroll down near the bottom) -- I'd REALLY like to know if the banner refuses to shine for anyone else!

Thanks for any wisdom you can pass along!

L Cottrill

metiz
Posts: 1522
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:34 pm
Antipspambot question: 125
Location: Netherlands

Re: HTML Weirdness Question No. 843

Post by metiz » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:42 pm

banner works fine here. After some research: "It turns out that it's because of Zone Alarm, a program that is turning into a high maintenance pain in the ass. Anyway, to get the animations back, go to ZA's Privacy pane's Main tab and turn Ad Blocking to off."

D. Weinberger, hyperorg.com

Do you have problems with any other animated pics (gifs)?
Quantify the world.

tufty
Posts: 845
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:12 pm
Antipspambot question: 0
Location: France
Contact:

Re: HTML Weirdness Question No. 843

Post by tufty » Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:40 am

There's a very good reason that zone alarm (or other software, firefox will do it, for example) would be blocking iframes. iframes have been responsible for the majority of "drive by" spyware / malware infections on Windows machines over the last few years, and are basically a massive, persistent, pain-in-the-ass in terms of security. And it's not just Windows (The cross-platform Mozilla / Firefox has had its share of iframe based security holes, for example, as has Apple's Safari), but due to Uncle Bill's policy of using the same flawed code throughout, most of the IE-based holes also affect Outlook, and quite a few have affected apps like Word and even Excel. Which is, when you think about it, pretty impressive.

By the way, "the last few years" should be taken as meaning "a number greater than ten". Here, for example, is a report on iframes enabling data theft under IE, from 1997.

Want something more recent? "Clickjacking", a way of hijacking attempts to access a legitimate (for example, banking) site, and redirecting them to a malicious site intead : http://www.securityfocus.com/news/11535

iframes are evil. Lose them.

larry cottrill
Posts: 4140
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:17 am
Antipspambot question: 0
Location: Mingo, Iowa USA
Contact:

Re: HTML Weirdness Question No. 843

Post by larry cottrill » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:40 pm

Well ... thank you, thank you, gentlemen! Now the unfortunate part is that amazon only gives me iframe examples on how to accept their served-up ads. What better (basically meaning, more secure) mechanism could be used? Would translation to another method be straightforward, or fraught with hazard and hard to implement?

If you don't want to get fully tutorial here, it's quite possible my son Jonathan can simply show me a better way. Nowadays, there's almost always A Better Way ;-) I'm sure there are lots of online forums on this stuff, too, though that doesn't always mean there are clear answers. Ha.

Thanks for your replies!

L Cottrill

tufty
Posts: 845
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:12 pm
Antipspambot question: 0
Location: France
Contact:

Re: HTML Weirdness Question No. 843

Post by tufty » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:02 pm

Hey Larry.

Amazon's documentation is execrable, but this page seems to cover it:

https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp ... oc_help_t5
If you do not want iframes on your site, use Product (Basic) or Text Links.
What that means for you, I don't know.

larry cottrill
Posts: 4140
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:17 am
Antipspambot question: 0
Location: Mingo, Iowa USA
Contact:

Re: HTML Weirdness Question No. 843

Post by larry cottrill » Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:54 pm

tufty wrote:
If you do not want iframes on your site, use Product (Basic) or Text Links.
What that means for you, I don't know.
Thanks. Basically, it means I can just use ordinary links (with static images, for example) to the appropriate amazon.com pages, rather than the server-supplied animations. Probably not a big deal in terms of audience appeal of the ad image -- the animations make the ads more eye-catching, but they only go through 3 or 4 iterations and then become static anyway, and since I'm keeping them at the bottom, most casual users won't get there until they've come to a standstill. So, the animated feature is of dubious importance.

I would guess that some browsers have a setting configured to block receiving things in iframes, for the reasons mentioned above. I'd guess that's probably what I'm running into at home, without realizing it. My son basically set up the system for me, after re-building from a disk crash on our old one, and he may have put some protections in place that I know nothing about.

L Cottrill

Post Reply