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Poof of concept
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All web browsers I've seen (not a huge selection, admittedly), will show a red-X or "broken picture" placeholder any time a request to fetch an image yields anything other than a picture suitable for display. The red-X gives no information about whether the fetch failed because a local file was not
found (i.e. someone probably forgot a base href= tag), the DNS server could not be reached to look up the picture's web site, the DNS server could be reached but said the site did not exist, the DNS lookup was valid but no HTML server responded at the DNS' supplied address, the site exists but it responded with a 404, etc. Such information would be useful in deciding whether and when to refresh and/or visit the site later, or whether to contact the site admin about the (maybe) broken picture-links.
Red X in action
Damn, I hate it when that happens!! It's so distracting to the surroundings.. [Mr Burns, Oct 14 2002]
||Whoa! IE just got 5MB bigger...
||[supercat] curious - do you teach? croissant.