They’re at it again

Would you, dear reader, kindly do me a favour? Pull up a new browser window, type ‘quernstone’ in the address bar, and hit return. Then leave a comment here to tell me what happens.

For me, in Safari, on both my Macs, I reach this page. Which seems reasonable – browsers usually guess a ‘.com’ ending if none is specified, so here seems like as good a place to end up as any.

Internet Explorer on my Windows XP box, to be different, has a bit of a ponder before returning an MSN search page for ‘quernstone.’ Which is fair enough, I suppose.

Firefox, however, does something altogether weird. Typing ‘quernstone’ sends one to…, a knitwear company on Orkney. Hnnnngh? Firefox does this on both Windows and Mac OS X, for me, using the current release versions.

Can anyone verify this? Better, can anyone explain?

9 thoughts on “They’re at it again”

  1. Monkeys. That would explain it, right enough.
    I wouldn’t mind so much if they’d give me a nice jumper or something. Should we set Hugh on them? Or maybe suggest that Stormhoek move into the knitware market?
    Umm… I’ll get me coat.

  2. I think it’s becoming more typical for browsers to default assuming that the text is meant for a search engine if no suffix is specified.
    Both IE (7 beta 2) and Firefox exhibit this behaviour (ooh, knitwear!) although Opera 8.5 takes me straight through to this site.
    I do remember the days when IE would attempt to append a .com though.

  3. In IE, this is a preference you can set, with four options:

    – MSN ‘I’m feeling lucky’ (“just go to the most likely site”) – the default, I think

    – open MSN search page

    – ??? (append .com, perhaps?)

    – don’t search at all

    In Firefox, I can’t find a preference to change this behaviour. I’d rather have it open a Google search page than do an ‘I’m feeling lucky’.

  4. Everything goes to the poxy:
    The requested URL could not be retrieved
    While trying to retrieve the URL:
    The following error was encountered:
    Unable to determine IP address from host name for
    The dnsserver returned:
    Name Error: The domain name does not exist.
    This means that:
    The cache was not able to resolve the hostname presented in the URL.
    Check if the address is correct.
    Your cache administrator is
    Generated Tue, 16 May 2006 00:54:36 GMT by (squid/2.5.STABLE9)

  5. If you want some fun, go to Google, type alan bell is a prick, and then click Feeling Lucky. Ian found that one, humph 🙁
    As for your request, mine just goes to the MSN search, although it does list your site as one of the options, with a new style ‘preview’ graphic I’ve not seen before. Hmmm, me thinks the backroom boys have been updating the system again, didn’t do that last week…

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