All IE8 security settings


There are occasions when you have problems with Internet Explorer (IE) having problems with Javascript or plugins that at least partially stem from the browser's security level, for example it can cause Drupal's Ubercart e-commerce module to not let IE users to checkout (a bad thing). For those occasions, here are all of the IE8 security settings listed out in a single table in all their gory detail.

To see them go to the Tools browser menu, click on the Internet Options menu item and then the Security tab, then click Custom Level to see how each setting is adjusted based on the specific security level.

IE Security Settings
Setting Medium (default) Medium-High High
.NET Framework
Loose XAML: enable enable disable
XAML browser applications: enable enable disable
XPS documents: enable enable disable
ActiveX controls and plugins
Allow previously unused ActiveX controls to run without prompt: enable disable disable
Allow scriptlets: disable disable disable
Automatic prompting for ActiveX controls: disable disable disable
Binary and script behaviors: enable enable disable
Display video and animation on a webpage that does not use external media player: disable disable disable
Download signed ActiveX controls: prompt (recommended) prompt (recommended) disable
Download unsigned ActiveX controls: disable (recommended) disable (recommended) disable (recommended)
Initialize and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe for scripting: disable (recommended) disable (recommended) disable (recommended)
Only allow approved domains to use ActiveX without prompt disable enable enable
Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins: enable enable disable
Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting: enable enable disable
Automatic prompting for file downloads: disable disable disable
File download: enable enable disable
Font download: enable enable disable
Enable .NET framework setup
: enable enable disable
Access data sources across domains: disable disable disable
Allow META REFRESH: enable enable disable
Allow scripting of Microsoft web browser control: enable disable disable
Allow script-initiated windows without size or position contraints: disable disable disable
Allow webpages to use restricted protocols for active content: prompt prompt disable
Allow websites to open windows without address or status bars: enable disable disable
Display mixed content: prompt prompt prompt
Don't prompt for client certificate selection with no certificates or only one certificate exists: disable disable disable
Drag and drop or copy and paste files: enable enable prompt
Include local directory path when uploading files to a server: enable disable disable
Installation of desktop items: prompt (recommended) prompt (recommended) disable
Launching applications and unsafe files: prompt (recommended) prompt (recommended) disable
Launching programs and files in an IFRAME: prompt (recommended) prompt (recommended) disable
Navigate windows and frames across different domains: disable disable disable
Open files based on content, not file extension: enable enable disable
Submit non-encrypted for data: enable enable prompt
Use Pop-up Blocker: enable enable enable
Use SmartScreen Filter: enable enable enable
Userdata persistence: enable enable disable
Websites in less privileged web content zones can navigate into this zone: enable enable disable
Active scripting: enable enable disable
Allow Programmatic clipboard access: prompt prompt disable
Allow status bar updates via script: enable disable disable
Allow websites to prompt for information using scripted windows: enable disable disable
Enable XSS filter: enable enable enable
Scripting of Java applets: enable enable disable
User Authentication
Login: Automatic logon only in Intranet zone Automatic logon only in Intranet zone Prompt for user name and password

FYI these were obtained from a Windows XP SP3 virtual machine and may behave differently on different versions of Windows.

Synology NAS updates work better in Firefox than Safari


A small thing I noticed this morning is that Safari wasn't able to complete the DSM 3.0 update - after selecting the file and hitting the upload button it didn't proceed any further. Firefox 3.6, on the other hand, had no problem with the task and was only too happy to process the update. Oh, and the DSM 3.0 OS is gorgeous!

Recovering the Safari address field


Apple's Safari is my browser of choice on OSX - it's fast, it has a great RSS reader, and it's generally very stable. Occasionally I run into glitches with it, though.

A perfect example is what happened to me tonight. The machine had been running a bit slow having been unused all day, and when I tried to start interact with apps it was taking them a few moments to get caught up. I should note that I also am having problems with my MacBook's armrest that has started clicking the mouse button if I press on the wrong area. Anyway, while the apps were warming up I accidentally dragged the address field / address bar out of the toolbar then watched in horror as it went poof and disappeared.


Not to much of a problem, I thought, and I went to change the toolbar settings to restore it, only the Customize Toolbar window wouldn't open. Further, the "Open Location" menu item was disabled.



I tried searching online on ways to recover it but all of the suggestions boiled down to "reset it through the Customize Toolbar window", which obviously wasn't going to work.

Thankfully I was aware that Apple uses XML-like property-list, or "plist", files to store settings for most of its applications. I also knew that there were preferences files in the "Preferences" directory of the "Library" in my home directory, one for most of the applications I had installed, including one named "".

Opening this file brings it up in OSX's Property List Editor tool which provides a tree-like interface into the various properties that have been assigned. Just what was needed.


Unfortunately the Property List Editor tool doesn't include a search so you have to just trawl through all of the settings until you find what you want, or something related, or something that might just look like fun. The problem I was having was related to the Toolbar and there was a large number of items that could be added to the toolbar, so I started looking for something with the word "Toolbar" in the name that contained sub-items, i.e. an array.

After a bit of searching I found the "dictionary" object "NSToolbar Configuration SafariToolbarIdentifier" which had the sub-property "TB Item Identifiers".


Guess what this contained - yep, you guessed it, an array of strings named "BackForwardToolbarIdentifier", "StopOrReloadToolbarIdentifier", "HomeToolbarIdentifier", "PrintToolbarIdentifier", "AddBookmarkToolbarIdentifier", "OPToolbar1Passwd", "WebSnapper" and, lastly, "InputFieldsToolbarIdentifier". My Safari toolbar only had five items, not the eight in this list, but at least it had relevant-sounding names.


A moment later I noticed that right beside this dictionary was another one named "NSToolbar Configuration BrowserWindowToolbarIdentifier", which also had an array named "TB Item Identifiers". This list was shorter.. only five items, and each of them seemed to be the items that were showing in my toolbar.. Was this what I was looking for?


Before I dug further I closed Safari so it wouldn't try to overwrite the file I was trying to manually modify. I then went to the "TB Item Identifiers" array and clicked the "Add Item" button, which added an "Item 6" entry to the array; making a guess I copied the "InputFieldsToolbarIdentifier" item from the other array and pasted it in as the value for the new "Item 6".


I then saved the file and opened Safari...


Yay! :-D Problem resolved, back to life as normal.

Wondershare iCollage bug - images thumbnail pane wrong size (updated)


When adding images to an iCollage project it is common to use its iPhoto integration and directly load images through the image selector sidebar.  This sidebar is opened by clicking the Image icon in the bottom toolbar and it pops out a bar with a list of albums at the top and the images at the bottom.  In theory this is would be a great system, but there's a problem - when you have a lot of photos in an album (which will happen a lot for the average user) the pane that lists the image thumbnails is sized incorrectly so you don't see the images at the bottom.

iCollage photo pane slider bug, with annotations

(click to view the full-size version with annotations)

Update: After submitting this bug report to Wondershare and explaining to them several times that the problem had nothing to do with resizing the images, they finally accepted there was a bug and said they would pass it to the developers to resolve.  Am not holding my breath.



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