Security News

Security News

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This is a colophon for this site.


Definition: colophon: (a) an inscription at the end of a book or manuscript usually with facts about its production; (b) an identifying mark used by a printer or a publisherMerriam-Webster Dictionary This page is a colophon in both senses.

The Security News site was created in the mid-winter of 1999. It has always been updated weekly.

The Security News was created and is maintained by Charles A. Upsdell.

Page Design

The following gives an overview of design issues.

Because the page appearance depends somewhat on how well a browser honours the browser standards, better browsers render pages more faithfully. The following infor­ma­tion is there­fore prescriptive, not descriptive.

Page Size

The page width depends on the width of the browser window: the preferred width is 60 em units; but if this would be wider than the browser window, the width is reduced to fit within the window. The user should never have to scroll horizontally unless they browse with a device having a tiny screen, such as a web-enabled cellphone, and even then the need to scroll horizontally is reduced by much content that dynamically adapts to small screens.

Because an em unit is the height of a character in the user’s preferred font size, the preferred 60 em page width is wider if the user’s preferred font size is larger, and narrower if their font size is smaller. The result is that about the same number of characters appear on each line, no matter what the font size is, whenever the browser window is wide enough for the preferred page width.

Headers and Footers

Each page has a page header and a page footer.

Page Header

The page header has a banner, my logo, a top menu, and a date:

Security News

Security News

Clicking on the banner goes to the home page (the Introduction).

Clicking on my logo goes to the home page of my business site.

Page Footer

The page footer has a bottom menu, plus a pair of triangular icons:

Note that clicking on this triangular icon goes to the home page:

Home page

And clicking on this triangular icon goes to the top of the current page:

Top of page

News Report

Here is an example of the report about a fix:

NEW➤ Jan 25, Microsoft Edge 121.0.2277.83: fixes 17 se­cu­ri­ty threats.  [more…] [more…] [get fixes…]

The report says NEW➤ if the report is new this week.

The report gives the date of the fix.

The report names the software, and usually the version.

The report gives the number of fixes, if disclosed.

The report has links to where more information is published.

The report has a link to where you can get the fix(es).

Font Size

The font size is based on φ, the golden ratio, where φ = (1+√5)÷2 ≈ 1.618.

The font size of text is φ1/3 — 1.174 — times the browser’s font size.

The font size of <h6> headings is also φ1/3 sized. And each heading is φ1/3 times larger than the next smaller size. So the heading sizes are φ1/3 for <h6> headings, φ2/3 for <h5> headings, φ1 for <h4> headings, φ4/3 for <h3> headings, φ5/3 for <h2> headings, and φ2 for <h1> headings.


Normal Text

The primary colours are black, white, and orange.

This site honours the O/S dark mode: in light mode, text is black on light; and in dark mode, text is white on dark.

Normal headings are light orange with a dark orange shadow.

Normal menu text is light orange. Normal menu links are dark orange.


Links to pages within the domain are bright blue (if not visited), or bright purple (if visit­ed). Links to other domains are duller blue (if not visited), or duller purple (if visited).

Text links to other domains are followed by the icon external link. Exception: links to Adobe, Apple, Brave, GitHub, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Opera, PaleMoon, SeaMonkey, SourceForge, Symantec, TOR, Unicode​.org, Vivaldi,, Waterfox, Wiki­pedia, and ZDnet pages are instead followed by the icons , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and , re­spec­tively. These icons are tweaked to look good either in light mode or in dark mode.

With old or poor browsers, pointing to text links displays the text in green with green underlines; with better brow­sers, pointing to text links displays the text in green within green boxes.


The font size is larger if the user prefers larger fonts, and smaller if the user prefers smaller fonts. Headings are sized proportionately, hence are larger when the user prefers larger fonts, and smaller when the user prefers smaller fonts.

The font used depends on which fonts are installed. The site names a list of fonts (known as a font stack). For each character, the browser uses the first font in the stack which is installed and for which the character exists. Fonts are chosen for compatibility with Windows, MacOS, and Linux. There are three font stacks:

Spelling Issues

This site uses Canadian English.

This site uses accents when appropriate, e.g. in the words reüse and markèd.

Browser Issues 

Different browsers will inevitably display pages somewhat differently, with newer brow­sers displaying pages better than older, more primitive browsers. Modern standards-com­pliant browsers — Chrome, Edge, Firefox, SeaMonkey, Safari, Ope­ra, and Vivaldi — will display pages nearly identically. And even many ancient browsers will display pages quite well, because: 1 al­though this site uses modern features, it does not depend on these features to work well; and 2 this site was created many years ago when browser support was poor and very uneven, and this site still contains special code to cater to ancient browsers.

Pages comply with the W3C xHTML 4.01 standard. Exception: the Legal Notices page also uses dynamic xHTML 5 if your browser supports it, but is quite usable without xHTML 5 support.

Valid XHTML 4.01

Pages comply with the W3C CSS 3 standard, with a little CSS 4.

Valid CSS 3 Valid CSS 4

This site is enhanced by EcmaScript (JavaScript) 5.

EcmaScript 5