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Jack Woehr

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Web Affliction Delivery : Adobe Flash

January 22, 2009 Flash is a piece of programming brilliance, but lately it's not so much an Internet Application as it is an Internet Affliction.

Homestaw Wunner Homestar Runner is what Flash is for: kiddie cartoons and web interactive single-player video games. Or YouTube. Enterprise and home information delivery? Not Flash, at least, not as the universal hyperlink for portals and advertising.

ONE: Flash is not open.

It's not open source and it's unopen in other ways. Get it out of the browser, please. The image above was intended to be an obtrusive ad on CNN.COM but was inadvertently transformed by gnash into the sort of artwork that bree-swilling liberal critics praise at MOMA openings. I don't want an Adobe implementation for OpenBSD, that's not my gripe. I don't want closed compiled code, but Adobe is succesfully making it a pre-req for browsing the web.

TWO: Into which thermodynamic system does the heat escape?

Flash uses a lot of cpu. If you want to watch a septuagenarian accordionist play "I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore" or watch the inauguration of the First American President Younger than Jack Woehr, that's fine. What's not fine is when everytime you read Le Monde or Le Devoir you have to disable Flash so you can do real work while the browser is open.

THREE: Kill Your TV

We threw out the TV in 1979 when the kids were young, and guess what? They are better read than you are. TV distracts the eye. It's hard to read, that's R-E-A-D, a web page where there's a bunch of horsepuckey dancing around the margin. Didn't we already have this discussion about animated GIF's fifteen years ago?

FOUR: Flash on a web page resembles subliminal advertising

Worse than just being annoyed and distracted, you're being brainwashed. The reason TV advertising works is that you don't notice it is influencing you. Especially if it's dancing on the margins of your consciousness like Flash animations in the sidebars of a web page.





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