MIME Type vs. Actual Type


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Internet, Logic, Solutions to Problems, Windows | Posted on 21-03-2011

A while back I posted Internet Explorer Download Problem: “Unable to open this Internet Site” about how Internet Explorer doesn’t behave properly if the MIME type is set properly. Shortly after I upgraded Firefox and discovered that they had changed the behaviour for Firefox and things broke.

I was serving up an EXE with a ZIP MIME type, “application/zip”, however, Firefox began renaming the file with a “.zip” file extension.

I reported it as a bug in the Mozilla bug tracker, which it technically is, but they will not change the behaviour and cite it as a security feature.

Matthias Versen (Matti) 2011-03-20 09:14:48 PDT

I think this report is invalid. Changing the extension is a security feature.
You can either use the user agent sniffing or use a unused content type like

[reply] [-] Comment 5 Boris Zbarsky (:bz) 2011-03-20 19:13:49 PDT

Yep.  On Windows, if the filename has a “dangerous” extension, we make sure the
extension matches the type it was served with.  Anything else would be really
bad security-wise.

It’s not really worth debating whether or not it should be fixed. It’s their software and they get to decide what gets fixed and what the “proper” behaviour is.

But it is interesting to look at.

File contents are not determined by their file extension. File extensions are by convention, with no necessary connection to the file content. The new Microsoft Office formats, e.g. XSLX, DOCX, PPTX, etc., are all ZIP files with a different file extension. Inside the zip container are the actual files that contain the MS Office documents.

MIME types should be correct though. The IE problem is just kind of wonky, though I can see their security issue, just as the Mozilla have their security issue. They just solve it differently.

Getting Feedback from Experts


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Business, Internet, Online Marketing, Super Simple | Posted on 20-03-2011

Tags: ,

The new site is near ready, so it was time to seek advice from some friends that are experts.

I asked Nick Bradbury to help out and he got back to me with some excellent feedback. While I can’t immediately do everything on his list of things to improve, I’ve done some and the difference is stark to say the least.

There are still more things to improve, and I’ll be getting to them in order. But even if I can’t get them done “now”, at least I know what to target and how to target them.

Using Robosoft from Ground Zero


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Business, Google, Internet, Online Marketing, Robosoft, Software, Super Simple | Posted on 19-03-2011

Robosoft is UNLIMITED POWER~!I’m about to launch a new site. It’s almost ready and I’m just basically waiting for some feedback from a few trusted friends that are knowledgeable in the field. (Heck, they’re flat out top guns.)

The site has zero traffic right now. None. Nadda. And as such, it has zero downloads and zero position in the search engines. Google is completely unaware of it. (URL coming soon once it’s launched and public.)

I’ve gone on for years about how absolutely wicked amazing and mind-blowing Robosoft it and how it can catapult you in the search engines. I’ve threatened to write a book on it as well, and while I managed to start it, I never finished. Well, this is where that all stops. I’m going to blog it out here and show just how Robosoft and PAD work.

I’m going to once and for all shut up the many nay-sayers that are constantly poo-pooing on PAD, Robosoft, and download sites.

The nay-sayers out there invariably rely on the same few comments:

  • Download sites don’t work
  • Download sites don’t help your SEO
  • PAD doesn’t work
  • PAD is all just spam
  • Robosoft doesn’t work
  • Submitting your software to the top 5 sites is all that matters
  • Automated submissions are futile
  • Submitting to more than 30 sites is useless and a waste of time

I’m not going to bother addressing any of those because they’re ridiculous. Typically someone uses the trial version of Robosoft to quickly whip off a few submissions to a few sites. When their 30 minutes of effort doesn’t rain down massive web traffic on them and turn them into an over-night trillionaire, they complain about how it doesn’t work and how useless everything is.

Guess what? Garbage in. Garbage out.

It’s like buying a copy of Adobe Photoshop then expecting it to do all your web design for you.

Guess what? You need to have a few skills to use Photoshop in order to get results.

Flat out – Robosoft is UNLIMITED POWER~!

Well, unlimited power without all the sithy dark side stuff. Y’know, eh?

Over the next few months I’m going to detail what I do and the results I’m getting. Everything will be out in the open. I’ve done it before, and I’m going to do it again.

I know services out there that do things very similar to what I’m going to show you, and they’re not cheap. They fire clients. They keep the ones they want. They have a waiting list. Because it WORKS!

I’m going to show you how to do it all for basically free. You will need to purchase a Robosoft license, which costs $99. I guarantee 110% that if you follow along with my articles here over the next few months, that will be the single best $99 you ever spend for marketing and promoting your software. $99 is nothing. The value you get from this will pay for that inside of a week, if it takes that long.

If you are ready to put in some effort, put aside some prejudice, and willing to try something new, I promise that you will not be disappointed.

The things I’m going to discuss over the next few months are going to look at a new software business in detail. From top to bottom, I’m going to write about everything. Not all of it will be purely about Robosoft, PAD and software marketing, but a lot or most of it will be.

I encourage you to check back often or “friend” me on Facebook (make sure to tell me who you are and that you are looking to find out more about Robosoft). I post my blog entries on Facebook, so that’s an easy way to find out. You can also follow “renegademinds” on Twitter. Though I don’t always tweet things, I’ll try to remember to tweet these upcoming posts.

Well, now it’s time to get to work on some of this stuff.



Internet Explorer Download Problem: “Unable to open this Internet Site”


Posted by Cynic | Posted in .NET, Internet, Solutions to Problems, Web Sites | Posted on 07-03-2011

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Internet Explorer 7/8 throws an error when you pop a download through a meta refresh or iframe. The error message looks like this (I’ve blurred the domain as it’s not public yet):

Internet Explorer - Unable to open this Internet site

Searching around didn’t reveal anything of any particular use. Most “solutions” were for clients, which when you’re running a server, doesn’t help much.

Anyways, I decided to go back to basics, and try something really simple… Change the MIME type.

While the MIME type should be “application/octet-stream” for a binary setup file (program installer). However, simply changing it to “application/zip” fixes the problem in Internet Explorer, and popping meta refresh downloads then works.

In code (ASP.NET/C#):

// This does not work:
Response.ContentType = "application/octet-stream";
// This works:
Response.ContentType = "application/zip";

Now, I’m quite certain you could put in some other MIME type to get a popped download working, but it really doesn’t matter much whether it’s “zip” or “x-gzip” or “x-lick-me-internet-explorer”, just so long as it works.

In any event, the point is that Internet Explorer does not like “octet-stream” MIME types for popping downloads. This makes sense though as you kind of need to know a bit about what you’re doing to mess around with MIME types, and it limits the ability of spammers to distribute malware, or at least the low-level spammers that don’t really understand much more than what they read in spam forums.

I hope that helps someone avoid a bit of pain.

Opening Up Software Business for Complete Transparency


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Business, Internet, Money, Software | Posted on 01-03-2011


Question markTransparency is usually a good thing. At the moment I’m debating opening up a new site that I’m working on with complete transparency. Transparency as in site statistics, revenue, business strategies, and even the underlying motivations and philosophy behind the software, site, and monetization.

The site isn’t quite ready, and the software isn’t quite ready, but it’s all just about done. The only things left are monetization and a tiny bit of polish.

The first software title I’ll release will be my new Photo Resizer. I’ve been using it, and it really is just super simple. It’s nice to use. No mess and no fuss. I think it will do well.

Anyways… the internal debate is still going on. We’ll see.

Some Praise for Internet Explorer


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Internet, Solutions to Problems | Posted on 09-02-2011

Tags: , , ,

No. Really. I’ve found something very good in IE.

Well, I didn’t find it, but while reading on computed CSS values, I came across this thread. One of the participants recommended Internet Explorer and its built-in development tools for tracing computed CSS values.

IE Tracing CSS ComputationsI’d been trying to find out just WTF was going on with some CSS and why I had a 12px problem gaping hole that I simply couldn’t locate quickly. I was using Firebug to no avail as it can tell you computed values, which is where I confirmed the error, but it can’t trace where the CSS is that contributes to that computed value.

You can see how neatly it details the CSS and source of it in the screenshot on the right. You can even toggle it on or off and the UI (IE) updates automatically.

The tool is simple to use, and gets the job done very quickly. The only thing you really need to know is to click the cursor icon in the toolbar so that you can click an element in the web page. Otherwise you’ll need to browse the DOM and find what you’re looking for, which in longer web pages can be a serious nightmare.

Anyways, hope that helps someone.

New Google Button


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Google, Internet, Web Sites | Posted on 01-02-2011


There’s a new Google button that I want really badly. I know that it would be super useful for billions of people, and that everyone would finally breath a sigh of relief to see it. Here’s my $0.02 quick, sloppy mockup of what it could look like with a real search.

New Google ButtonIt’s a bit sloppy, but I’m sure you get the idea. 🙂

Egypt – 404 Not Found


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Internet, Politics, States | Posted on 28-01-2011

Tags: , ,

Egypt 404 Not FoundWell, in a rather stunning development in the Middle East turmoils, Egypt has shut down the Internet. Completely. As in none. Zero. Nadda. Zilch. Zippo. 404 Not Found.

The BBC has reported that amidst the protests there, the Egyptian government has shut the Internet off completely for the whole country.

Internet connections across Egypt appear to have been cut, as authorities gear up for a day of mass protest.

Net analysis firms and web watchers have reported that the vast majority of the country’s internet has become unreachable.

The unprecedented crack down will leave millions of Egyptians without internet access.

God only knows where they’ll get their porn now!