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Google Display Ads Going All-HTML, Will Ban Flash In 2017 (arstechnica.com) 84

Google has announced its plan for display ads to go 100% HTML 5, in hopes of reaching the widest possible audience across screens. Starting on June 30, 2016, Google will no longer accept new Flash display ads from advertisers. And on January 2, 2017, even old Flash display ads will be blocked. This move comes as no surprise, as Google has been nudging its advertisers to stop using Flash. In fact, Google is not the only one moving away from Flash in favor of HTML. Steve Jobs hated Flash, and even Adobe itself has dropped Flash for Adobe Animate.
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Google Display Ads Going All-HTML, Will Ban Flash In 2017

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    have added doubleclick and google analytics to hosts file long ago, so long google.

  • Flash by default (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @03:39PM (#51472891)

    If you use the AdWords platform to create display ads with their tool, it will give you a Flash and an HTML5 ad. This has been the default for several years now, and you can't change it, it's just what you get.

  • by freefal67 ( 949117 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @03:45PM (#51472937)
    But will we be able to click the monkey in HTML?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      <a href="punched.html"><img src="monkey-punch.gif"></a>

  • The downside (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @03:47PM (#51472957) Homepage Journal

    The downside here is that means you can't just get rid of CPU intensive ads by disabling Flash.

    Like the HTML5 video tag, that was supposed to free us from evil Flash, but just brought forth the unblockable autoplaying autoloading multimegabyte video ad, this isn't as great a piece of news as it might seem...

    • Exactly. This is going to bring forth a whole new level of annoying advertisements. Personally, I would be much happier if they limited advertisements to jpg or png images. No animations, relatively low impact on the loading of the web page.

      • In the future advertisements will start having their own advertisements creating an endless chain of connected advertisements eventually linking back to the original one. This will create an infinite loop and it will be impossible to get to the page. Then someone will create a adchain breaker app, and ad agencies will complain that it is affecting their revenue stream. They will then offer a subscription to viewing their ads.
      • Animations, aka HTML tags, are easily block-able by anyone, we don't need flash for that...
    • Like the HTML5 video tag, that was supposed to free us from evil Flash, but just brought forth the unblockable autoplaying autoloading multimegabyte video ad

      Just like there are built-in options and extensions for browsers that give you the possibility to selectively allow Flash, there are similar tools for HTML5. With open source browsers the only limit is your imagination [zombo.com].

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ublock origon fixes this :)
      Or we will have to create a html5 video block extension

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      It is not so much CPU intensive, as much as animated ads are very distracting, often has an undesired audio component, etc. Pretty much Flash is going away because most web browsers have the ability to block flash. We don't have the ability to block HTM5 animation.
      • We don't have the ability to block HTM5 animation.


      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        Firefox add ons can be given a list of components to be blocked.
        Unless html5 has some type of deep drm that can protect the delivery from all browser and computer interaction the users will just have to click to remove.
      • Re:The downside (Score:5, Informative)

        by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @07:06PM (#51474839)

        >" We don't have the ability to block HTM5 animation."

        Exactly. And I have been warning about this for years, since the concept came up. I knew EXACTLY how it would be used- Ads, banners, stupid crap all over sites. Besides being extremely annoying, it destroys thin clients. It makes slower machines CRAWL. It sucks the battery out of mobile devices.

        We used to be able to have relief by just blocking Flash and using adblock. Those days are over. It has spread beyond just ads and now client-side animations are everywhere. Browsers like Firefox need to somehow have some type of way to block (or SLOW) ALL types of animations. It won't be easy to do this without breaking sites. Could possibly be done with something that loads such objects on demand (hiding them/overlaying them) or by detecting tight loops to trigger blocks or slowdowns.

        If you don't might blocking just all video/audio/media, that can be done in Firefox with about:config, stuff. But that is an all-or-nothing affair. Here are some examples for those desperate enough (pulled from my thin client configs):

        user_pref("webgl.disabled", true);
        user_pref("webgl.disable-extensions", true);
        user_pref("image.animation_mode", "once");
        user_pref("browser.blink_allowed", false);
        user_pref("browser.preferences.animateFadeIn", false);
        user_pref("browser.tabs.animate", false);
        user_pref("toolkit.scrollbox.smoothScroll", false);
        user_pref("browser.panorama.animate_zoom", false);
        user_pref("browser.fullscreen.animateUp", 0);
        user_pref("browser.tabs.maxOpenBeforeWarn", 8);
        user_pref("dom.max_script_run_time", 10);
        user_pref("layout.css.prefixes.animations", false);
        user_pref("browser.download.animateNotifications", true);
        user_pref("media.navigator.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.webm.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.encoder.webm.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.autoplay.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.ogg.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.wav.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.wave.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.opus.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.audio_data.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.raw.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.webaudio.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.webspeech.recognition.enable", false);
        user_pref("media.webvtt.enable", false);
        user_pref("media.peerconnection.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.fragmented-mp4.ffmpeg.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.getusermedia.aec_enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.getusermedia.noise_enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.gstreamer.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.mediasource.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.video_stats.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.navigator.video.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.fragmented-mp4.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.gmp-gmpopenh264.autoupdate", false);
        user_pref("media.gmp-gmpopenh264.enabled", false);
        user_pref("media.webvtt.enabled", false);

        • easy man, easy! did you take your meds?
          • >easy man, easy! did you take your meds?

            I am a bit passionate about these issues, because they greatly negatively affect our platform/infrastructure in ways that are extremely difficult to address.

      • by gmack ( 197796 )

        Not true. I have been blocking html5 animations [github.com] in Chrome for about 2 months now.

        • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

          Does it just block autoplaying? Or does it completely block the content from loading and downloading in the first place?

          • by gmack ( 197796 )

            It just blocks the autoplay and you click on it to get it moving which even helps on video sites when I open a few videos in tabs. For me personally, I don't usually mind seeing ads, it's mainly the animated, blinking or noisy ones I hate.

    • Almost every browser allows you to control auto-play. The benefit of plain HTML is that it's just a regexp to filter out auto play from videos rather than flash which puts you at the behest of Adobe to whatever they think is best for you OR you completely disable the plugin.

      • Who says it's going to be a video? What about if it's a canvas element where they are using javascript to create an animate. Throw in some WebGL or other fancy stuff and you can have some pretty slick animations without using the video tag.

      • I had Flash uninstalled from my computer for several years for safety purposes. I actually only re-installed Flash once I got the ability to control auto-play Flash content - there are still a few annoying holdouts that only have Flash solutions, like video streaming services. So, yes, you can control Flash's auto-play behavior as well, except you're essentially controlling whether you want to turn Flash on for a particular website or not.

    • The downside here is that means you can't just get rid of CPU intensive ads by disabling Flash.

      Like the HTML5 video tag, that was supposed to free us from evil Flash, but just brought forth the unblockable autoplaying autoloading multimegabyte video ad, this isn't as great a piece of news as it might seem...

      Guess I got to stick with obsolete IE. With corporate IE I do not have to worry about HTML 5 support :-)

      But seriously why can't an adblocker block it? They can do domain checks on hte video links for cross site or not execute them if they are run from a javascript. Yes this will block fine content working today but it can be done.

    • Re:The downside (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @04:18PM (#51473275)

      . . .

      Why do you think Google is doing it?

      Do you think the lack of ad blocking software that works for shit with the HTML 5 tricks might have something to do with Google suddenly wanting to not allow Flash ... just a few years after they made a selling point of their browser doing flash and other browsers/mobile platforms not doing it?

      Nothing Google does is 'for the people' unless you mean advertisers when you say people.

    • Re:The downside (Score:5, Informative)

      by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <<ten.frow> <ta> <todhsals>> on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @06:18PM (#51474471)

      Like the HTML5 video tag, that was supposed to free us from evil Flash, but just brought forth the unblockable autoplaying autoloading multimegabyte video ad, this isn't as great a piece of news as it might seem...

      Upgrade your browser or your adblock plugin - autoplay disabling has been a staple since they started. (It is after all, just rewriting the DOM). Doing the same in Flash required blocking the entire thing.

      And really, any DOM editing plugin should be able to see an ad and completely nuke it from orbit.

      And if there's any sites that block visitors with adblockers (Forbes, Wired), a little DOM rewrite can have it so just enough runs to get you through but not load the ads. NoScript has replacement scripts for blocked domains, so similar technology can be created.

      And most ad blockers work by blocking ad javascript (used to load flash objects). They probably already work for blocking ad javascript in HTML5.

  • The New York Times website is dropping flash also [nytimes.com].

    I've not installed Flash in years now, and have not missed it one bit... it's great to see the world moving on past such a resource consuming hog.

  • Does it really matter

    a) How we get annoyed?
    b) What we refuse to watch?

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Tuesday February 09, 2016 @04:06PM (#51473157)

    now they just need to ban javascript and images so that the internet advertising can be restored to it's former glory: text links!

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      That's right. This is HyperTEXT Markup Language we are talking about here. No images or scripts!

      This is the sort of crap that is allowed to happen to perfectly good academic projects when those commercial folks get their hooks into it.

      I drew the line at NCSA Mosaic's perversion of my beloved HTML and I haven't looked back.

    • ASCII art adverts.

  • I missed a lot of ads by turning flash off. Now I'll have to try one of those other solutions.

  • Marketers will abandon Flash and adopt HTML5 ASAP. So does this mean that ad blockers that block Flash ads are suddenly incapable of blocking HTML5 ads?
  • Too little, too late. The online advertising industry has already lost all credibility.

    • Too little, too late? The main reason Flash is horrible are Flash ads.

      I mean, the stupid intros were bad, but those died because they weren't useful.

  • Any GUI browser that is feature comparable to the FF/Chrome that does not support _video_ tag? Or at least be able to disable that all together?

    Given the state of advertisement these days NOT SUPPORTING _video_ might actually be a selling point.

What ever you want is going to cost a little more than it is worth. -- The Second Law Of Thermodynamics