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Issue #70: November 23, 2008

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Q: I have the Cox McAfee Security Center on my computer running Windows XP and when I have the control panel open, a screen pops up saying I having a new version of Microsoft Script Editor and do I want to use it.  If I say no, it constantly pops up until I close the security center.  If I say yes, it brings up the Microsoft Script Editor and it runs.  It never finishes, whether I hit break or continue when an error arises.  I can’t get help from Microsoft, Cox or McAfee.  Can you help?

– Scott C.
Fort Walton Beach, FL

A: I think you’re misinterpreting the message that’s being displayed to you, Scott.  Microsoft Windows sometimes has an annoying tendency to treat every user like they are an engineer, and it demands answers to jargon-laced technical questions.  What I think is happening in your case, is that your Security Center software is crashing, and instead of just terminating it, Windows is offering you a chance to debug the problem (good luck with that, by the way!).  The only debugger available on your system is a “New instance of Microsoft Script Editor”.  It “never finishes” because when you say yes, it runs, and patiently waits for you to do your debugging work.

The root of your problem is the error with Security Center, and I get lots of e-mail complaining about Cox’s offering.  One common thing that seems to cause problems with it is a system’s Java installation being out of date.  So, before you do anything else, update your Java by going here: http://tinyurl.com/blwg4.  If the problem persists, try re-installing Security Suite.  Make sure you have Administrator rights, and close all other programs before performing the install.

Q: On my Yahoo e-mail account, on the left side of the screen below the “Folders” and “Search Shortcuts” block, there is an advertisement that displays different ads.  Recently, whenever I open up Yahoo in Firefox Mozilla (this doesn’t happen when I open my account in IE), the ad size is rectangular in shape (wider the high) and overlaps the “select or deselect all messages” boxes and the “flagged” symbols.  How do I reduce the size of this ad?  I have to open a message to delete it and I can’t read parts of my e-mail messages since the ad covers the left side of them.

– John H.
Crestview, FL

A: John, other than text size and color, there really is very little you can do to control the size of content that comes across your browser, particularly ads, which are the revenue source that allows most free content online to remain free.  Since the add appears correctly in one brand of browser and not another, it doesn’t seem like it’s being done maliciously, to make the ad stand out – it sounds like there simply isn’t enough room in the ad’s assigned space for it to display correctly.  One thing that can cause such content problems is having your font size set too large for the width of the window.  Reduce the font size as much as you can while retaining readability, and/or increase the width of the window to make more room for the content.

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