You did have a problem that the reg fix addressed, but the latter symptom is intentional
Ever get a spam message (I know you have). Spammers embed codes in the email so that when you open it, it reveals who you are (meaning, you're email address is real and in use).
OE 6 blocks external links unless you click the message that you just described.
The difference is subtle. Earlier, your pictures were generic icons...I'm betting now the pcitures are replaced by red xs.