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Old 10-02-01, 09:29 PM
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HTML question

OK, I was playing around with the souce of a CNN webpage on this thread http://dvdtalk.com/forum/showthread....34#post1552443 . I notice that there were multiple instances of 1x1 gif files. Is this a watermark? Proof that the page came from CNN? Some kind of counter? It's pretty ingenious, whatever it is..
Old 10-02-01, 09:55 PM
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Re: HTML question

Originally posted by RoQuEr
OK, I was playing around with the souce of a CNN webpage on this thread http://dvdtalk.com/forum/showthread....34#post1552443 . I notice that there were multiple instances of 1x1 gif files. Is this a watermark? Proof that the page came from CNN? Some kind of counter? It's pretty ingenious, whatever it is..
usually, that's just a spacer ... to create a 1 pixel space
Old 10-02-01, 10:09 PM
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Re: HTML question

Originally posted by RoQuEr
I notice that there were multiple instances of 1x1 gif files. Is this a watermark? Proof that the page came from CNN? Some kind of counter? It's pretty ingenious, whatever it is..

Sounds like they are using web bugs. You can read all about them here...

http://www.bugnosis.org/faq.html
Old 10-02-01, 10:37 PM
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Re: Re: HTML question

Originally posted by Dead
Sounds like they are using web bugs. You can read all about them here...

http://www.bugnosis.org/faq.html
Some 1x1 gif files could be web bugs. But not this one. This one is most likely an alignment gif file. From the above web site:
Are all invisible GIF images Web bugs?

No. Invisible GIF files are also used for alignment purposes on Web pages. A Web bug will typically be loaded from a different Web server than the rest of the page, so they are easy to distinguish from alignment GIF files.
(1) Most web bugs only appear once per web page. In the CNN web site, the 1x1 gif file is on every row of the table which suggests that it's an alignment gif file.
(2) Most web bugs are located in a third party server. This gif file is in the CNN web server (it's in cnn.net and not cnn.com but that makes little difference).
(3) Web bugs are always associated with a cookie. This gif is not.
Old 10-02-01, 10:57 PM
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Re: Re: Re: HTML question

Originally posted by namja

Some 1x1 gif files could be web bugs. But not this one.

Well, since he didn't give a link to the page, I couldn't check to see. And, I know that CNN does use web bugs, so it seemed like a reasonable guess. Just pardon my paranoia!
Old 10-03-01, 01:21 PM
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Where is Startide?

Old 10-03-01, 09:45 PM
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As stated above, invisible GIFs can be used as spacers or web bugs. As for the statement that web bugs are usually served from another site, that's usually true, but it's usually because the website with the bugs doesn't host their own tracking software. I'm sure CNN has enough money to run their own ad/tracking software, therefore they could be bugs even though they originate at cnn.com (or .net).

But for most purposes, invisible GIFs are used for spacing. On my page, www.movielocity.com , you'll probably find quite a few invisible gif's (search for transspacer.gif <-- transparent spacer)... I use it all the time since due to the limitations of HTML, you need to space paragraphs, images, and tables using invisible gifs.

edited to add: I just counted 84 instances of the spacers on my main page...they are quite useful.
Old 10-04-01, 09:57 PM
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IMO they are probably using it as a spacer. I did the same thing with my site, used a 1-pixel transparent GIF so that the pattern on the left margin rendered properly under Netscape 4.X (the things I had to change to get my site to work properly with that browser!).

Took me several hours of hair-tearing before I realized that the problem was a bug in Netscape 4.X...aargh!

RD

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