Adobe Flash, the Undead of the Tech World

adobe flash undead 2015 tech images

adobe flash undead 2015 tech imagesA few years ago, I was cursing Adobe Flash and using it at the same time on my aging Compaq laptop which I have long since replaced. Whenever I visit a website with a running Flash ad or a website that uses Flash video, the laptop fans would go crazy and the laptop would heat my lap and lead me to question my ability to procreate in the future. Flash would crash Mozilla Firefox again and again and I even blamed Firefox for the problem but ultimately can’t dismiss the browser. Firefox for me is better than Chrome and IE. Flash is billed an unsecure resource hog, guilty of crashing un-updated browsers and its vulnerabilities can put computers at risk. It was helpful for a time but its time is near. Steve Jobs shunned it and this September, Amazon will be hammering a nail to its coffin.

Legend has it that Steve Jobs didn’t want Flash support in his iPhones and iPads because he didn’t want his devices to be used to watch porn, many hosts of which used Flash video at the time. Many complained that Flash was also riddled with vulnerabilities, hence the need for it to be patched every once in a while. Also that it was a resource hog which made system fans compete with system speakers in terms of loudness whenever it was on and that it was a bandwidth and data cap eater for sites with many Flash ads. Steve probably just didn’t want his devices to sear the hands of users for the heat Flash causes and that the devices themselves can only take so much of it. Due to Flash’s issues, as useful as it was in modernizing the web by enabling the creation of interactive and dynamic content, the technology is on its way out as security experts call for Adobe to kill the Flash plugin. Yahoo also called for its execution when vulnerabilities were discovered recently and used against the site’s visitors.

As of this September, Amazon will be one of the major users of Flash to follow Queen Elsa’s advice and let it go. Amazon made the decision not just because Flash is on its way out but also because most browsers will be blocking Flash by default and the company’s Flash ads will be rendered moot. Removing Flash support will also to ensure its web pages work smoothly.

“…This is driven by recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash content displayed on web pages… This change ensures customers continue to have a positive, consistent experience on Amazon, and that ads displayed across the site function properly for optimal performance.”

–Amazon Advertising Policy

Instead of using Flash, Amazon has been getting its sites ready to make the most of HTML5 as HTML5 is versatile enough for interactive and dynamic content. Most modern browsers support HTML5 and the Interactive Advertising Bureau agrees that HTML5 can be used to develop ads as captivating as those made with Flash.

But Flash won’t be going away anytime just yet. The technology has had years to entrench itself and that millions of websites still depend on it for content such as games and video. Flash ads will continue to live on in those sites as long as the sites remain popular. Many users also contend that HTML5 has a long way to go before reaching the versatility of Flash. Google’s Chrome browser comes with Flash built in but will intelligently pause ads in order for computers to save power. Flash is also built into IE11 as well as Microsoft Edge for legacy web support.

Flash has been slated for departure for some time now and I’ve been hoping that the websites I go to would soon find viable replacements that won’t heat up my tablets or make my desktop fans go crazy. Unfortunately, I still find myself having to download the Flash plugin in case some site has content that I really want to see. The world wants this technology to die or considers it dead already but like some undead revenant, it claws its way up the grave trying to stay relevant in the modern-day web. Other technologies the world wants to die but are still being used include fax machines, dial-up internet, Windows X and Java.