Sometime yesterday the embedded code for traffic-measuring service SiteMeter began hanging up Internet Explorer for anyone trying to access one of the millions of sites using the service.
The problem appears to be affecting IE 5.5, 6.0 and 7.0. Internet surfers using IE to access a site that has SiteMeter tracking it receive a message saying the site cannot be loaded and "operation aborted." The issue seems to have begun late afternoon Friday.
SiteMeter has not responded to a request for comment and so far has posted no announcement to its web site addressing the issue. But SiteMeter's blog has a few posts published earlier this week referencing its move to a new platform and changes to its tracking code.
I've temporarily disabled the code in question from this page, so IE users (about half the traffic I get) should be able to view this site without trouble.
Firefox users won't notice any difference--it worked fine before, and it'll working fine now. (Finally ready to dump IE for the faster, safer, and almost infinitely-customizable open-source Firefox? Go here.)
(Update #1 (4:45pm PST): Sitemeter hasn't fixed the problem yet, but according to the Washington Post:
Turns out that this was the result of a bug in Internet Explorer, which the Sitemeter developers didn't account or test for.
Seriously. You're still using IE?)
(Update #2 (7pm PST): SiteMeter says they've got the problem resolved. I bet somebody there didn't get the kind of weekend they were planning. So everything's back to normal. But you should really think about the Firefox thing.)