Skype ruins my layout

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I recently noticed that the main menu of a site I work on had an approximately 5x5 px white box at the beginning of the main menu that shouldn't be there. Some pages had it while others didn't. I tried to right-click and "Inspect element", but my context menu was the kind you get when you right-click on a Flash object. Huh? I didn't have any Flash on that page.

Since the box was so small I zoomed in on it and at my browser's maximum magnification, I could discern "Skype AS" and some other text like "Detect". At first I thought it was Skype's (in)convenient browser add-on that senses phone numbers on web pages and makes them "callable" using Skype, but then I realised the two pages that showed the weird behaviour each had a badge of Skype code to show whether or not a given Skype user is on or offline at the moment. Sure enough, when I removed the code, the white box went away.

The pesky skype box

I wonder what changed?

The thing is, this code has been unchanged for almost a year and only now am I noticing the white box. Has Skype changed the code called by the badge? I expect it has, but I haven't investigated. Suffice it to say, it's pretty irritating when code from a third-party "all of a sudden" interferes with your site's layout. It was like a zit had just appeared on my site. Naturally, the display isn't consistent across browsers. Firefox doesn't show it while Chrome and IE8 do.

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