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I've been having this problem for some time now - first I thought it was some temporary thing with CNET servers, but it doesn't seem so.

I can see the index pages of CNET sites (download.cnet.com, news.cnet.com), but when I delve deeper by clicking some application link on download.cnet.com or get direct link to some news from Twitter, I get error 'page not found' as seen on the image:

enter image description here

It seems that all links that point to CNET URLs having .html in them yield errors constantly. Other pages (e.g Mac software etc) are mostly OK (at least for the first click, but repeatedly refreshing gets me few random errors too)

This happens with all my browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera), whereas it does not happen with IE 8 running on Win 7 inside a VirtualBox on the same Mac, so it is not related to my network, but with my Mac borwsers somehow or Mac OS X.

BTW, all other websites are totally OK and this is only related to *.cnet.com sites. I have extensions and add-ons in Safari, Chrome and Firefox, but Opera is vanilla as I only use it for testing purposes, so could not be caused by some extension.


  • Mac OS X 10.6.7
  • MacBook Pro 6,2
  • Safari 5.0.5
  • Chrome 11.0
  • Firefox 4.0.1
  • Opera 11.10
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Possible solution: changing first preferred language in browser.

It might fix the problem if you choose English as you first preferred language in browser settings. When requesting a page, browsers sends list of preferred languages for content. (For example, based on these settings Google redirects you to your local Google site.)

Changing preferred language:

  • Firefox 5: Tools->Options->Content->Languages.
  • Chrome: wrench-icon->Options->Under the Hood->Web Content->Languages and spell-checker settings (instructions)

It might be working on your virtual machine if default Windows (in VM) language was set to English. Then browsers would also choose English as your default content language.

When my default language was set to English or German I had no problems navigating cnet sites. After setting my first preferred language to Lithuanian I was getting same errors as you.

It appears that this is internal cnet bug.

Tested on Windows XP Firefox 5, Chrome.

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Testing with Crome it worked. Thank you. I don't visit CNET that often, but now at least I know how to access it when I really need some article. Thanks. –  Laas Jul 4 '11 at 15:19
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I would've posted this as a comment, but I don't have the rep.

I just tried out LittleSnapper (same link as in your picture) along with a couple other random programs and I could load the page fine on Safari 5.0.5/OS X 10.6.7. I refreshed the page several times and even downloaded the program with no problems. Even denying CNET from creating their 1MB HTML5 test database on my computer had no effect, nor did private browsing.

So there's probably something on your computer that's causing this (are you missing some kind of component/extension?).

For reference, the URL I used was: http://download.cnet.com/LittleSnapper/3000-18540_4-10911207.html?tag=rb_content;main (it worked both with and without the ;main at the end, CNET also auto-changed littlesnapper to have capital letters)

I guess you could try clearing your cache and any CNET-related cookies. You might have some stored setting from a previous version of the CNET webpage that's conflicting with their website now (though it's odd that it would affect all browsers).

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I doubt that all browsers can have bad cache/cookies, especially Opera which I do not use for everyday browsing. Even adBlock, etc extensions are not loaded into Opera (it reports that it has no extensions). I can only surmise that it is to do with some OS level component mixed together with AJAX requests which fail. –  Laas May 26 '11 at 11:36
A failed AJAX request generally does not result in a "404-like" screen as pictured in your screenshot. AJAX that fails to load simply doesn't update the page. –  Jason Salaz May 26 '11 at 16:33
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