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todflog1

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Post Posted July 12th, 2008, 10:07 am

WHAT IS THIS?
���
I get these symbols occasionally in my incoming email, The are in mail from various senders so it must be on my end. At times there are so many the email is hard to read.
What's up?
Tod
Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 12th, 2008, 12:16 pm

I suspect they're 8 bit characters that you normally don't see, due to trying to display messages using a character set that you aren't configured to support. Take a look at the Content-Type: header using view -> message source to see what character set the message says it uses. Usually you get messages using iso-8859-1, windows-1252, ASCII, or UTF-8.

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

You can fiddle with "view -> character encoding" to try to properly display the message. However, I normally don't bother since I usually only run into that problem when I get spam from asia.

todflog1

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Post Posted July 12th, 2008, 2:39 pm

They only come in groups like this: � they don't seem to be individual markers.
Tod
Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 12th, 2008, 8:54 pm

Please post the contents of the Content-Type: header and the source for a sentence that has both gibberish and something legible.

todflog1

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Post Posted July 13th, 2008, 9:42 am

tanstaafl wrote:Please post the contents of the Content-Type: header and the source for a sentence that has both gibberish and something legible.


I have deleted the emails containing the symbols. I'll have to wait until I receive another to follow your instructions.
I will continue this thread then.
Thanks,
Tod
Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

todflog1

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Post Posted July 14th, 2008, 8:54 am

Tanstaafl,
Here is what you asked for. Incidentally my Character Encoding seems to default to Unicode (UFT-8)
Content Type: multipart/related; type="multipart/alternative"; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_00AC_01C8E586.821D5D40"

Copy of part of message
:

----- Original Message -----
Subject: Fwd: Best Sign Ever
> oh oh.....
> �
> Best sign ever
Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

todflog1

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Post Posted July 14th, 2008, 1:03 pm

tanstaafl wrote:Please post the contents of the Content-Type: header and the source for a sentence that has both gibberish and something legible.

Here is more:
Content Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="part1_c25.3da42a29.35acefdb_boundary"

Sample Text:
��������������� Since voting in a Democratic Congress in 2006 we have seen:

� � � � � � � � 1) Consumer confidence plummet;
� � � � � � � � 2) The cost of regular gasoline soar to over $3.50 a gallon;
� � � � � � � � 3) Unemployment is up to 5% (a 10% increase);
� � � � � � � � 4) American households have seen $2.3 trillion in equity�value ��������������������� evaporate (stock�& �mutual fund losses);
� � � � � � � � 5) Americans have seen their home equity drop by $1.2 trillion dollars
Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 14th, 2008, 1:58 pm

Wierd, it doesn't look like a simple case of the wrong character set, I can't think of any reason for the repetitive sequences of characters such as � .

Does this occur in messages from individuals you know, newsletters, or spam? If its mainly from one web sites newsletter please post the URL for where you signup for it.

rsx11m
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Post Posted July 14th, 2008, 3:20 pm

tanstaafl: Could this be some weird representation of a non-breaking space or something?
Look at the places where it occurs within the text, the others are in white-space areas.

todflog1

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Post Posted July 14th, 2008, 3:47 pm

It is only occurring in email from my friends. All instances are from AOL users but, as I said, only occasionly.
Tod
Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 14th, 2008, 4:06 pm

rsx11m :

Interesting idea.

� in ISO/IEC 8859-1 (Latin-1) would seem to be 00EF , 00BF, 00BD. That seems too long for any of the encodings I can find on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-breaking_space other than SGML/HTML, which it doesn't appear to match.

todflog1 :

I'm not familiar with AOL webmail quirks/features. I've occasionally used a AIM IMAP account (same mail server as AOL IMAP but less restrictions and less AOL speciifc functionality) to send messages to some of my other accounts and have never noticed anything like that.

todflog1

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Post Posted July 16th, 2008, 7:58 pm

More but different characters from an AOL sender:
Text: Credit Card Fraud Alert
Heads up if you “Pay at the Pump!”
The price of gas is high enough without the

Content Type:multipart/mixed; boundary="part1_d09.3c5e1fdc.35b00bfd_boundary"

Tod
Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

rsx11m
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Post Posted July 16th, 2008, 8:13 pm

There should be another Content-Type entry further down in View > Message Source, looking like
tanstaafl wrote:Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
which would be of interest to identify the encoding. Those may be non-ASCII quotes seen in your last example, possibly mangled by UTF-8/ISO-8859 conversions...

Also, look into your settings in Tools > Options > Display > Formatting tab > Fonts dialog. What is your default encoding (lower half of that window) and are any of the "default character encoding" boxes checked underneath that? If yes, uncheck them, as they would prevent a proper detection of the encoding other than your default one.

todflog1

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Post Posted July 16th, 2008, 9:18 pm

I must not be looking in the wrong place. There is no "Display" after tools>options. The only choices I have are: Main, Tabs, Content, Feeds, Privacy, Security, and Advanced; no "Display".
Tod
Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.

Daifne
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Post Posted July 16th, 2008, 9:44 pm

;-) You're looking at Firefox's Tools menu. I WILL NOT admit to how many times I've done that...

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