If you try, using an "unsupported" browser or operating system, to visit the Yahoo! Companion web site (maybe you want to learn about the new WebRank technology), you're greeted with a rude message:

Now, there's two things wrong with this:

  1. The blame is on the user. "Your current browser doesn't support..." should be turned around: "Yahoo! Companion doesn't currently support your browser." Why? Because it's the truth. It's not my browser's fault at all, it's Yahoo's.
  2. There's no way to bypass this to find the information you're after. All I want to do is read what the site has to say about WebRank, but I can't do that. The assumption (obviously incorrect) is that I'm solely interested in downloading something that I clearly cannot run anyway. Until I upgrade my browser, I'm seemingly not allowed.

As Jennifer (Ally Sheedy) said to David (Matthew Broderick) in War Games: How rude!

Posted by jzawodn at March 22, 2004 11:33 AM

Reader Comments
# jr said:

Hear! Hear!

on March 22, 2004 11:58 AM
# Neil Liefson said:

Even more rude is when your own local public library does the same thing if you want to search their catalog online!!! Sort of changes the meaning of "free access"!


(Although, contrary to the warnings posted, it still seems to work with non-IE 6 browsers ...)

on March 22, 2004 12:31 PM
# Manish Jethani said:

Agreed. This totally sucks.

on March 22, 2004 12:51 PM
# Anjan Bagchee said:

Yes, the Scott county library catalog works like a charm with Mozilla 1.6. I think in most cases, people started to forget Netscape/Mozilla when AOL took over Netscape Communications and Microsoft stopped making any innovations to its browser. Now that Mozilla is blazing a trail with nice functionalities, more and more sites will start supporting Mozilla browsers again.

As if using infected ActiveX based programs is not a deterrent enough!! They should actually apologize to us for using something that could potentially break our machines.

on March 22, 2004 01:59 PM
# wil said:

I'm suprised you stayed around to read the full message. Whenever I see one of these pages these days I just think to myself 'well fuck you too then' and move onto the next site who's willing to serve as I want to be served.

Bottom line: I also agree. This totally sucks. Thanks for using your blog to get the message through to your colleagues.

on March 22, 2004 02:20 PM
# david said:

Why any iditot of a web designer would do that is beyond me.. Somebody obviously does not have their head on straight as to the demographic of webbrowsers out there..or they just wanna make sure they have people with exploitable browsers that they can install malware on.

I'd say exploitable browsers.

on March 22, 2004 02:33 PM
# halla said:

Yahoo regularly gives any browser I use (firefox .8, netscape 4.7, ie6, links) connection refused messages trying to do simple stuff like sign in (connection to rd.yahoo.com refused) so I feel like it's bad coding on their part.

on March 22, 2004 04:51 PM
# Carina said:

Yes, it's asinine. But the good news is that, as usual, the clueless browser-blocking message bears little relationship to technological reality. The Yahoo! Companion info pages can in fact be accessed just fine by a "wrong" browser on a "wrong" OS. Just UA spoof (I used Safari spoofing IE6), and voila--you're in.

(Jeremy, there doesn't appear to be any WebRank info there. Zero hits in "help", and nary a mention in the "walk-through"

on March 22, 2004 05:05 PM
# padawan said:

Yahoo would do better than Google if they had a web page where I could get the WebRank for a URL with any browser (I use Mac OS X, so I'm out of luck with both Google and Yahoo bars).

on March 23, 2004 12:01 AM
# Seun Osewa said:

It seems its not possible to get the webrank toolbar anymore. Oh dear!

on March 23, 2004 12:06 AM
# JBMason said:

This is off-topic, but I think halla above ("connection to rd.yahoo.com refused") should check the HOSTS file to see if KazaaLite has repointed it to localhost. I removed rd.yahoo.com from my KazaaLite-modified HOSTS file after getting this same behavior.

on March 23, 2004 01:59 PM
# Philip Chalmers said:

Yahoo Companion is a toolbar, i.e. an extension to the browser. The Google Toolbar also only supports Internet Explorer 5+, but does not make the fact so visible (I just checked using Netscape 6.2).

It's no worse than the fact that most software these days is written for 32-bit version of Windows.

on March 25, 2004 01:38 PM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.