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Chrome 45 Launches, Automatically Pauses Less Important Flash Content, Like Ads 92

An anonymous reader writes: Google today launched Chrome 45 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android with some expected changes and new developer tools. First and foremost, Chrome now automatically pauses less important Flash content (rolling out gradually, so be patient). This has been a longtime coming from both Google and Adobe, with the goal to make Flash content more power-efficient in Chrome: In March, a setting was introduced to play less Flash content on the page, but it wasn't turned on by default, and in June, the option was enabled in the browser's beta channel. Now it's being turned on for everyone.
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Chrome 45 Launches, Automatically Pauses Less Important Flash Content, Like Ads

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  • How does it know (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @05:45PM (#50440149) Journal
    How does it know what is "important" Flash content, and what isn't?
    Fortunately, there's an option to not play any Flash content (unless started by user). That is a more useful feature, if you ask me.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How does it know what is "important" Flash content, and what isn't?

      That's easy: Those that have paid Google and those that have not...

      • How does it know what is "important" Flash content, and what isn't?

        That's easy: Those that have paid Google and those that have not...

        While your right, the site in question is Flurry.com. All those free games you play sale your info to them (Google) who in turn combines it with info they have, selling it to advertisers for personal ads.

      • How does it know what is "important" Flash content, and what isn't?

        That's easy: Those that have paid Google and those that have not...

        And are we only talking about flash advertising? What about the charts in Google Finance, for example? When will those be "updated" to HTML5?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How does it know what is "important" Flash content, and what isn't?

      Our algorithms are able to determine that with very high accuracy. We have a large data set to work with.

    • Re:How does it know (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @05:58PM (#50440235)

      After first largest SWF (so SECOND largest flash element) if you're under 298x(forgot dimension) and a swf, you're paused.

      It's not a complicated algorithm, it's just not been released through public channels yet.

      • by taustin ( 171655 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @06:16PM (#50440331) Homepage Journal

        So this is an incentive to make the most annoying ad the largest Flash crap on the screen, then.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Block all ads anyway like any end user should. Ads are a blight on the Internet and, despite them paying for some content, the largest vector for malware. I've been blocking ads since 1999. I will never not block ads, even if doing so is illegal.

          • Block all ads anyway like any end user should. Ads are a blight on the Internet and, despite them paying for some content, the largest vector for malware. I've been blocking ads since 1999. I will never not block ads, even if doing so is illegal.

            Did you catch the article yesterday on /. "Microsoft intensifies data collection on Windows 7 and 8" they are hard coding sites, bypassing the HOSTS file.

            • by plover ( 150551 )

              Did you catch the article yesterday on /. "Microsoft intensifies data collection on Windows 7 and 8" they are hard coding sites, bypassing the HOSTS file.

              The application firewall still works, though. You can shut off much of that traffic; it just takes a ridiculous amount of time and effort.

          • Nobody loves ads, but they keep content free. If you want to pay for Netflix, Hulu+, HBO Go, Showtime whatever, Slashdot Premium, Facebook PRO, LinkedIn LOL j/k, nobody wants that, or whatever else, then fine. But if you're not paying for it, you're being a bad internet citizen by blocking ads. Block Flash, sure. But the rest? Just let it do its thing and remember that it's keeping your beloved content alive and free. As a caveat, I do long for the days when a website (let's go with CNN here) doesn't need
      • by popo ( 107611 )

        Not true. It's much more sophisticated than that. I've tested the "smart" blocking vs the "block all plugins" settings and it definitely allows more than just the biggest element through, but it does block the ads.

        On sites where there are Flash navigation elements, or smaller Flash applications -- they are still apparently unblocked but auto play videos are blocked.

        There's more to this than meets the eye. And it's not just as simple as allowing the biggest Flash element to load.

    • How does it know what is "important" Flash content, and what isn't?

      Based on the width and height that you set.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In my opinion, Firefox is the best browser for protecting your privacy.

      Chrome and IE/Edge are both made by Big Data companies, so you can't trust either of them.

      I don't have an opinion about Safari, Opera, or others.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      See plugin_power_saver_helper.cc.

      Same-origin content is important, as is whitelisted content and content that is either smaller than 5x5 pixels or ‘big’. The whitelist at the moment only seems to be used for whitelisting the content origin.

  • Got two Jessie boxes that suddenly freezes whenever theres Flash. This worked two days ago, and had worked for months.

    DAE?

  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @06:08PM (#50440293)

    Flash is so bad that I run with it turned off by default. Anyone trying to Flash me must get my attention with the little FLASHED BLOCKED grey area which I then decide if it is worth it to trust them. Almost never.

    What Google is doing is a good thing.

    First they're demoting Flash and by inference saying it like GMOs is just plain bad.

    Second they can use known bad sources, patterns and crowd voting to find the offenders and just kill their content.

    Flash ads are awful. Perhaps this sort of vote against Flash will help kill Flash advertising while still allowing it for some useful content.

    • Yep. I don't have Flash installed at all for my main browser. I haven't for a long time. Once or twice per year I find some Flash I want to see, so I open Opera, which does have Flash.

      Some sites will use Flash IF it's installed, but if not they'll generally "fall back" to HTML or some other method. People used to ask me "don't you watch YouTube"? Sure, and for a long time it has worked fine if Flash isn't detected at all. Apparently if Flash was detected but disabled, YouTube wouldn't work.

      • by popo ( 107611 )

        Agreed. Flash for video is absolutely non-essential.

        For games though, there are still far more (and better) web games for Flash than there are for noFlash.

        That will of course eventually change.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      I suspect they're doing this to get more adoption of HTML5 which will make ad blocking much more difficult assuming web developers are even a little sneaky. I don't have the faith to assume they're doing this for good reason.

    • Flash ads are awful.

      Until un-blockable HTML5 animated ads with audio become the norm - and I suspect the Google advertising agency will have no problem with this.

  • The worlds largest advertising company is going to protect me from the psychological assault that is advertising.

    Except their own ads, of course.

    Fuck you, Doubleclick. You're like a slaver, who doesn't allow anyone but himself to beat his animals.

    • They aren't going to protect you from anything. They are encouraging their customers to switch from Flash to HTML5 (and you are not their customer unless you pay them money).
    • The worlds largest advertising company is going to protect me from the psychological assault that is advertising.

      Except their own ads, of course.

      Fuck you, Doubleclick. You're like a slaver, who doesn't allow anyone but himself to beat his animals.

      Master! If you gonna beat me then beat me, if you gonna preach me then preach me! But please master don't beat me AND preach me!

    • I got the latest Chrome update (45.0.2454.85). The default new tab page shows a Google search box at the top and my frequently viewed sites at the bottom. The Google search box at the top is partially opaque and you have to click a "play" button to show the cute little Google search animation. I can only conclude that Google Chrome has blocked Google's own content.

  • by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @06:40PM (#50440461)

    I actually liked Flash being used for advertising on the Web, because I never installed Flash in the first place. It used to be my poor-man's ad-blocker long before that was a thing. But now that Flash is dying off, and with ubiquitous ad blockers, I now get confronted with the kind of flashy, power draining ads that I have always hated because everyone uses HTML5 video or canvas animations instead. I can tell when one loads because I can hear my poor little notebook's fan start chugging away as soon as the CPU-heavy ads start playing.

    I want to support my free web services by allowing reasonable advertising on websites, but not when they take over the resources on my computer.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I want to support my free web services by allowing reasonable advertising on websites, but not when they take over the resources on my computer.

      Adblock Plus [adblockplus.org] has a setting which allows unobtrusive through. It's their business model [sophos.com].

    • You know 2012 was an exciting year for web developers.

      We just started learning 1998 CSS 2.1 and HTML 4.01. Why??? IE 6 prevented us from not being behind 10 years. It killed standards and we had to wait until it hit 1% and corporations who pay for the web developers who ran IE 6 saw a scrambled mess and said HEY WHO THEY HELL DID WE HIRE etc not realizing it was their poor 10 year old browser.

      My point?

      Grandma on XP uses IE 8 her internets won't work unless you do flash. THat client who pays you has IE 8 fro

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The company I work for produces industrial software, and we specify Chrome, mobile Chrome, mobile Safari and Firefox compatibility. Nothing else, no IE. Doesn't seem to be a problem for our clients, at worst they simply view installing Chrome or Firefox like installing any other bit of software they need to do their jobs. Their IT departments must support it because they need all kinds of other apps.

        I really don't think compatibility with old browsers is a huge problem for most web developers. For some it i

        • So you have no problem telling 1 out of 3 users to fword to your customers?? That is what it is as Grandma will go to a competitor.

            Remember the customer is hiring you for maximum reach of customer base. Web developmemt is different as we can't tell a cuatomer which browser to run like yours. If it aint working right on their desktop then your product is unaccwptable. Now yes you sell expensive equipment then that is different. HTML 5 is next decade technology

    • by spauldo ( 118058 )

      There's a lot of content out there that's flash only.

      If flash goes away, all that will be gone - unless someone ports it to HTML5. Things like gnash will still be around, but in my experience flash alternatives rarely work very well.

      Anecdote time: there used to be a comic, a long, long time ago, about the computer industry. I can't even remember the name of it. The premise was the Y2K hit and all microprocessors stopped working. The main characters were all computer industry people (except one or two ge

      • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )

        There's a lot of content out there that's flash only.

        If flash goes away, all that will be gone - unless someone ports it to HTML5. Things like gnash will still be around, but in my experience flash alternatives rarely work very well.

        Anecdote time: there used to be a comic, a long, long time ago, about the computer industry. I can't even remember the name of it. The premise was the Y2K hit and all microprocessors stopped working. The main characters were all computer industry people (except one or two generic characters) who rebuilt the computing world on abacuses.

        The author of the comic used Shockwave (not Shockwave Flash) for many of her animations, which hasn't been updated in over a decade and never ran on Linux. It disappeared into obscurity, and few people today remember it at all, but at one time it was important to the free software movement.

        If flash dies, we'll lose a lot of history. A lot of websites will cease to work, and their older content will just disappear. I'd rather not see that happen.

        If the author was so into the free software movement, why did she make her comic rely on a proprietary plugin?

        • by spauldo ( 118058 )

          She did a lot of animations and whatnot, and there wasn't any real alternative at the time.

          Flash and Shockwave were both pretty revolutionary for their time. That's why Flash became so popular in the first place - nothing else had the same functionality. When it comes to animated vector graphics, I'm not sure anything today has the same functionality; SVG+HTML5 does some of it, but I doubt there's editing software that has the complete package that Flash does.

          Video streaming came much later. It's funny,

    • I always just installed flash control or flash block. Then if I wanted to see the element I could just click on it. Since 98% of the stuff was auto load ads, auto play videos or other garbage it made way more sense to allow the tiny amount as it requires almost no user effort. Conversely, allowing all flash often required a large amount of effort to work around and typically loaded the page slower.

      FlashControl works for HTML5 video as well.

  • by TheDarkener ( 198348 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @06:51PM (#50440511) Homepage

    is pretty nice as well.

  • The title is quite clear: chrome likes ads and disables less important content
  • Is it, by any chance, something like "someone who just hasn't bribed us to not pause their content"?
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      As I mentioned above. I suspect their push is because ads in HTML5 will be more difficult to block. It's almost time to go back to the hosts file - don't say it APK... ;-)

      I just really hate the idea of having to manage a hosts file well. A hosts file should be an individually curated thing and tailored to your own needs. I don't have the gumption for all that. I don't even know of an "easy" way to do that on Linux and I haven't booted to a Windows OS in a while now. (I'm kind of sort of forgetting how Windo

  • No more NPAPI (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SpamSlapper ( 162584 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @08:57PM (#50441099)

    This release also permanently removes support for NPAPI plugins.
    This was disabled by default in the last few releases, but could be turned back on. Now it is gone for good, along with support for a large number of plugins, including Microsoft Silverlight, some SharePoint features and some games like Battlefield 4 Battleblog
    Ouch.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I'm glad they are getting rid of NPAPI. At some point you have to say "this is broken, can't be fixed, kill it." The only stuff it was ever used for was crapware.

      • The only stuff it was ever used for was crapware.

        Actually, several enterprise web applications use it. Parent mentioned SharePoint, there are more than a few applications on J2EE servers which utilize it as well. One of the areas of the product I work on just released a new application to replace an older application which was dependent on NPAPI.

        Customers have 1 of 3 choices at this point:
        1) Downgrade Chrome - IT Security won't allow that, too risky
        2) Upgrade the server code / install new application - IT Management won't allow that, too risky

        • Unfortunately, as one of those people who still depends on sites using Java, I had to switch to Firefox as of Chrome 45. Shame they wouldn't allow us to enable NPAPI, but I guess this is probably the only way to force those sites' hands. In the meantime, I have no choice but to switch. Makes me a sad panda.
  • In other news (Score:4, Informative)

    by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @09:32PM (#50441269)
    Amazon banned Flash on their ad networks.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian

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