freejung - 3:16 pm on Jul 22, 2010 (gmt 0)
The actual page is shown greyed out in the background however the images are been served from their cache since the image is not always the up-to-date one
They have changed their code since yesterday (I was remiss and didn't take screenshots). Yesterday the code was a straight img with src="http://example.com/image.jpg" whereas now it's scripted, and looks like they're pulling the image from t3.gstatic.com (at least under some conditions), which is presumably their cache.
I'm not sure why they would change that, as the code is still loading the original page in an iframe (meaning you will still get hit for the bandwidth, including that needed to serve the image since the image is on the page anyway).
Perhaps the reason is to prevent the easy fix I outlined above. Now instead of redirecting requests from google.com/imgres to a separate version of the image, you would have to somehow make sure that the separate version is what ends up in their cache. If that's the case, it's doubly obnoxious (and maybe I should have kept my mouth shut, sorry).
I agree that from a user perspective this is better (except that in my case the user doesn't know that higher-res versions are available) but I think there ought to be a way to improve the user experience without having a detrimental effect on the webmasters who provide these images.