A while back I dissected Google Print – a hack which I was chuffed to have chosen to be reprinted in “Greasemonkey Hacks“. Now, Amazon have come out with their own Ajax book reader. It uses all the same tricks the Google one does (disabling the right-click menu, putting a transparent GIF over the content, using CSS backgrounds to thwart printing and Save Image As…, and so on) but has a few new ones of its own.
Firstly, it’s serving up the JPEGs as at least one unusual MIME type. When the page image is downloaded as part of the reader, LiveHTTPHeaders tells me it’s text/plain, but when I access an image URL directly, I get an offer to download it to disk. Perhaps that’s Firefox noticing that it’s binary data, or perhaps it’s sending a different type when there’s no Referer. Anyway, you can’t view the images directly in a web browser, whatever you do. Cunning.
Secondly, the page image URLs are of the form:
So they have no extension, and you can’t associate a non-existent extension with your browser or image viewer.
There’s also a download of a mysterious thing called “ffcopy.swf”. I can’t work out what that’s for; installing FlashBlock doesn’t have any effect on copy and paste behaviour…