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Bug Security Software Technology

Six Months Without Adobe Flash, and I Feel Fine 393

Reader hessian six months ago de-installed the Adobe Flash player on all of his browsers, probably a prudent move in light of various recent vulnerabilities. "This provoked some shock and incredulity from others. After all, Flash has been an essential content interpreter for over a decade. It filled the gap between an underdeveloped JavaScript and the need for media content like animation, video and so on." But it turns out that life sans Flash can still be worth living. Are there things you rely on that make Flash hard to give up?
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Six Months Without Adobe Flash, and I Feel Fine

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  • What? And, what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:38PM (#42850519) Homepage

    This provoked some shock and incredulity from others.

    Er, did it? I think some of you have your surprise bar set a little low, if one guy uninstalling Flash is enough to make you apoplectic.

    probably a prudent movie

    What about the imprudent movies? How are we supposed to watch those now?

  • by macs4all ( 973270 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:57PM (#42850677)
    I have been using ClickToFlash on Safari for about 3 years now. Eliminating Flash from my browser's normal processing made Safari much more stable (it only crashes about four times a year, instead of four times per week), and sped up page-loads by an incredible amount.

    I consider ClickToFlash to be the best of both worlds. Flash that doesn't get to execute is essentially "not there", and unless I don't understand all the attack-vectors (which is likely), I think that, for now, this strikes a good balance. Because, before I click that little "Flash Placeholder", it makes me stop and think about whether I really need to see what's "behind the curtain".

    However, on my iPad, which is Flash-Free, I think I run into a Flash-only site only about once or twice a month. Even porn seems to be being delivered in HTML 5 from almost everywhere.

    Bottom line: The only thing keeping Flash alive is lazy developers and/or cheapskate PHBs.
  • by green1 ( 322787 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @12:59PM (#42850689)

    I can't believe how many sites use silverlight. Even Microsoft backed away from Silverlight ages ago, but some sites are even just now starting to implement Silverlight. As a Linux user this is EXTREMELY frustrating, and as a user of mobile devices it isn't any better. Silverlight has never worked properly on linux, and nobody has ever made a plugin for it for Android, there was a Linux Firefox plugin ages ago called "moonlight" that seemed to work on about 10% of Silverlight sites, but that stopped development ages ago too, and isnt' compatible with any of the latest browsers.

  • I installed Flash, and it took me a few days to get used to the surprise of animated (and noisy) ads again.

    Luckily, those are easy to circumvent if you just use a suitable browser. On Firefox the Adblock Plus - plugin generally manages to hide all ads and the likes, something that also includes most Flash - content, or you can use the Flashblock - plugin to disable Flash altogether on some sites or make it so that you must click on the item in question first before Flash gets loaded.

    I have to add, though, that from the security perspective you should not run around without using Flashblock, there are still too many Flash - based attacks roaming the Internet and you never know when they land on your machine. An antivirus may help, but why let the virus/malware package on your machine in the first place?

  • Re:Kids (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @01:50PM (#42851075)

    Immortality for your genes isn't worth very much. It gives you a legacy, but you don't get to see it.

    I'm young enough that I've a chance, if only a very slim one, that immortality-tech will become available within my lifetime. Body transplant, cryonics that actually works, maybe even the holy grail of mind uploading. It's a long shot, but it's the only chance I see. If not, well... not much I can do about it.

  • Re:Kids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rastos1 ( 601318 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @02:02PM (#42851143)

    Khan academy videos are on youtube and work fine if you join HTML5 trial [] on Youtube.

    Gnash sometimes works, sometimes not.

    Google Streetview, yeah it would be nice if that worked without Flash. There is no reason why it could not. It's just a matter of Google investing money/time/effort to get that working.

    I personally don't use Flash. For years. It certainly is possible to live without it. The smaller amount of ads alone makes that worth.

  • Re:HTML5 on YouTube? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by remi2402 ( 816874 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @02:28PM (#42851351)

    Quite a mess.

    Not quite.

    You can support almost all browsers out there with only two codecs: H.264 + your choice of ogg/theora or webm/vp8. And the H.264 will of course still work with Flash. This URL [] is very handy if you want to see for yourself.

    At least that's the situation for static streaming / VOD. Live broadcast is where the mess is with Apple's HLS, Microsoft's HSS, Adobe's RTMP, MPEG's DASH along with IETF-standard RTSP (15 years old but still somewhat alive) and various less-known protocols. AFAICT, none of the recent protocols (that support adaptive bandwidth and work over HTTP) support open audio/video codecs. If Google/Mozilla/etc want patent-free codecs to get traction, they should work on a version of DASH that works with theora/VP8.

    My 0.02€ as a former employee of a large video-streaming-oriented CDN.

  • Re:Kids (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @03:47PM (#42852003)

    I work in geriatric care. Your kids only care for a while, then once a week, then every month, then once a year.

    Once you start calling them the names of favorite fruits, or wondering who they are - your kids stop caring about you entirely.

    Your children will never change your diaper for as long as you changed theirs. You grow old and get forgotten, like Chinese food at the back of the fridge. Whether you have children or not.

    Pick a good home, make friends there - with staff and tenants alike. You'll be much happier if you forget your kids, as they will forget you.

    We pick compassionate people and we run excellent accommodations. Usually much better arrangements than if your kids were taking care of things while trying to maximize their inheritance.

    Me, I'm never having kids. Put that money into an awesome retirement home where my wife and I can go senile surrounded with awesome young people who give enough of a shit to seek it as a career.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault