For the last 2 days, I have been having difficulty connecting to MSN or viewing feed contents in my RSS reader. I had initially blamed our flakey network at work (we’ve outgrown our firewall), but when it happened at home too I did some digging. It turns out that when I was developing some Selenium tests, I had some crashes (type-o’s, etc) which left IE with a proxy set to a custom profile configuration script. Of course, this setting is used by anything else that uses the IE connection settings to interact with remote servers.
One manifestation of this is MSN Live Messenger not connecting with an error 80048820 (extended error 80048439)