GOOGLE HAS decided that enough is enough and that it will block Adobe Flash from its Chrome browser towards the end of 2016.
The former darling of internet animation has now become a vulnerability palace and is constantly being patched up to avoid spreading the lurgy to web users.
Google has confirmed that it will block Flash by default, with the exception of 10 sites. YouTube and Facebook are on the safe list, although YouTube has moved primarily to HTML5.
Others include Live.com, Yahoo.com, Amazon.com, Twitch.tv and some Russian sites. These were identified as the most used sites that still rely on Flash and will have a stay of execution for one year.
A notable omission from the list is BBC iPlayer, which currently depends on Flash for desktop. The site has moved away from Flash on mobiles and is "working towards" a transition to HTML5, although there's no indication of whether that shift will happen before Google's deadline.
Google, along with other browser makers, has been working for some time to replace ageing plug-ins with the all-singing-all-dancing HTML5 protocol, which offers a much higher degree of security.
The search firm has already removed access to plug-ins that use the NPAPI protocols dating back to the days of Netscape. This had the side effect of killing off Microsoft's own renderer, Silverlight, which in turn meant that a number of UK broadcasters were unable to stream content.
Google has confirmed that users will be able to override the Flash block, and the company is working to ensure that corporate networks that use specialist Flash-based software aren't left in the lurch.
The company has already banned Flash on its ad platforms, and killed Flash from its mobile browsers in 2013. More recently it began "intelligently pausing" Flash content, primarily as a way to save battery life.
The fact is that no-one really cares if Flash dies, not even Adobe, so its removal is not a shock or a huge burden to most, especially as anyone compelled to watch Flash content for any reason still can. It just takes an extra mouse click. µ
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