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OPLIN 4cast #424: Trashing Flash

Posted in 4cast

Adobe Flash logoOnce upon a time, Adobe Flash was a feature of many websites and Internet ads that used animated graphics to catch the attention of site users. And quite a few Ohio public library websites still require Flash Player to view or listen to some of their site content. Now, however, a lot of websites are shying away from Flash, for a variety of reasons that have been summarized on the Occupy Flash website. In the past few weeks, there have been some serious security issues with Flash, and YouTube announced a move away from Flash technology to HTML5 for delivering Internet video, adding impetus to the calls for the demise of Flash. Here’s a sampling of some recent stories.

  • As Flash 0day exploits reach new level of meanness, what are users to do? (Ars Technica | Dan Goodin)  “The breakneck pace of the exploits is creating fatigue among end users, and one presumes, among engineers inside Adobe. No sooner is one patch rolled out than an exploit targeting a new vulnerability becomes available. What’s more, research from Cisco Systems found the recent Flash exploits were being served on more than 1,800 domains.”
  • Steve Jobs gets vindicated one last time (BGR | Brad Reed)  “Why is this a vindication for Steve Jobs, you ask? Because five years ago Jobs penned a long missive about Flash in which he explained why Adobe’s online video rendering technology had no place on iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. It wasn’t just one thing about Flash that Jobs didn’t like — it was everything. He found that Flash was far too power hungry for mobile devices, it didn’t deliver reliable performance and was prone to crashes, and it also had ‘one of the worst security records’ around back in 2010.”
  • Will YouTube HTML5 transition mean the end of Flash security issues? (TechTarget | Sharon Shea)  “Adobe released a further statement on the issue, touching on Flash’s significance and the company’s stance behind HTML5. ‘Flash is an important technology for media and content companies worldwide, with over 1.5 billion downloads and updates for the Flash Player every month,’ Adobe said. ‘At the same time, Adobe is a pioneer in the delivery of HTML5 development tools and a positive contributor to the HTML standard. Flash and HTML will continue to coexist and Adobe is committed to support and advancing both technologies.’”
  • Time to die: Let’s resolve to get rid of Flash already (ReadWrite | Yael Grauer)  “If you need Flash for work, or are addicted to DailyMotion, or can’t deal with Facebook and Amazon refreshing pages too slowly, another option is to use an extension like FlashBlock. This allows you to limit your Flash usage to the sites you select. While you’ll still be somewhat vulnerable if a popular site is infected with malicious advertising, it’ll lower your risk.”

Articles from Ohio Web Library: