Help! My browser is flipping out.

Rarely, I’ve seen the ad servers flip out and just paste everything with ads. The content gets messed up. I’ve even seen the audio go out of sync in Hulu broadcasts for a day. Very weird.

These aren’t problems we have any control over. But we can make sure it’s not a cookie that is the problem. Cookies are little snippets of data that web servers send a browser. They can be used to anonymously track your interests to provide you with ads that you’d want to see.

Another thing cookies can be used for it basic housekeeping. This is where a bad cookie can cause erratic behavior with flash players and the ad servers.   This can happen with all sorts of sites, not just video ones.  If a website isn’t behaving properly.  This can be the reason.

Another problem we can have is that a file gets interrupted.  The movie stops dead halfway through.  A file the browser has temporarily stored is incomplete.  Your browser will likely not know the file is corrupt and not request a good copy of the file.   Browsers save things that they get from the Internet.  Firefox and Chrome call this “cache”.  Internet Explorer calls them “temporary internet files”.

In Internet Explorer to clear “Temporary Internet Files” and cookies.  Go to Tools, Internet Options:

Click on Delete and you’ll get this screen:

You don’t want to clear passwords or history.  Just the Temporary Internet Files and cookies.

Here’s the procedure for Chrome.  BTW I recommend Chrome for this web site:

Click on the little wrench at the upper right corner of Chrome.  Click on options.  Click on Under the Hood.

That gets you again to this screen, which will allow you to delete the “cache” and cookies.  Remember.  We don’t want to kill our password file and history.

This is what it looks like in Firefox.  Click tools.  Click Options. Click on the privacy tab.

You may also use the above procedures to clear private data from computers where you didn’t want to reveal any private data.  For example, if you are at the university and using a public computer, you would probably want to clear any personal data.  You wouldn’t want to leave any passwords or probably even your browsing history behind.  by selecting all of the boxes, you can erase what you were doing on a machine.

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