I have lost the ability to see pictures when using IM. I can't see the picture of the person I'm talking to (and they can't see mine - so it's not altogether a bad thing) and if they use smiley's I can't see them either (just get a blank space where it is supposed to be).
This appears to have happened after installing Zone Alarm but I'm not certain it is the actual cause. I tried changing IM security levels, even turning it off, but to no avail. I've uninstalled IM and updated with the latest version of Windows Live Messenger. I've also checked my IM settings and have ensured that I've allowed pictures etc...unfortunately, it hasn't made any difference.