Why is the Straight Dope trying to send me a file?

I have SD as my homepage, and when I try to Open IE, a dialog box ops up asking if I want to save a file called “straightdope”

it’s a 14.3K file (type unknown)

from www.straightdope.com

I got on line through the “search the Internet” backdoor.

Any idea what this is?


I’m at work, and am inherently scared of strange files, as I do not wish to destroy our server…

I’m gonna bet your computer is ALREADY infected.

Try this, goto IE change your homepage to yahoo and see if it tries to send you a file called yahoo.

Nope - changing the home page doesn’t get a new prompt

I just tried going back to the SD homepage, and no more prompt.

Great - mystery fix - just what I need

Now I gotta scan the hell outta this 'puter

Never a bad course of action.

Did you set the homepage some time in the past, and it worked fine but only started going wrong today ? Or did the straightdope never work as your home page before ? I’m just wondering if IE screwed up when you first set the homepage and set it to one of the files that make up the page (rather than the whole page).

I’ve also seen a similar thing happen with misbehaving banner ads, they show up as something that can’t be displayed so IE tries to download them for you. It’s possible that you caught a particular advert when it was broken.

But I’d still scan the computer for peace of mind.


I have gotten this before, as have other folks here. It’s benign, may have something to do with the advertising banner or something. I haven’t seen a good explanation of what causes it but clearing cache seems to fix it for most people. I had it intermittently and it went away without my doing anything.

It has been discussed on the About This Message Board forum.