External images are often used by spammers to determine if the recipient of the message actually opened it. The HTML often references an image with a unique ID embedded in the URL so that by checking the hits on their Web server, they can tell when you (the recipient) opened the message.
You can block these external images from loading by editing your current location document (bottom right of your screen, select Edit Current...) and specifying a proxy server of 0.0.0.0:80.
This tells Notes to use a non-existent proxy server to load the images. With this change, HTML messages will only display images that are embedded in the message and will not display those that are loaded from external servers.
There is one downside to this technique -- your Notes Welcome Page cannot use an external Web site such as cnn.com in one of the panes.
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