Google will no longer index Adobe Flash

Already removed from major browsers, Adobe Flash now suffers the second death of being forgotten. Google will soon deindex Flash from its search results.

Goodbye, Flash, writes Google engineering manager Dong-Hwi Lee.

I still remember my son playing endless number of Flash games until my wife yelled at him. It's time to go to bed, son. Hey Flash, it's your turn to go to bed.

Google Search will stop supporting Flash later this year. In Web pages that contain Flash content, Google Search will ignore the Flash content. Google Search will stop indexing standalone SWF files. Most users and websites won't see any impact from this change.

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Adobe to (finally) pull plug on Flash, for real this time

Farewell, Flash. Adobe's once-dominant multimedia format that powered so many restaurant websites and early interactive web games will be mothballed at the end of 2020, the software company said Tuesday. Read the rest

FedEx still begging suckers to install Flash for online print orders

Yesterday I went to to order some printed fliers from my desktop. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Along with other idiots committed to proprietary Flash UI, FedEx is one of the last holdouts who won't let customers give them money unless they install Flash. So VistaPrint got my business. Read the rest

For two years, criminals stole sensitive information using malware hidden in individual pixels of ad banners

Eset's report on Stegano, a newly discovered exploit kit, reveals an insanely clever, paranoid, and devastatingly effective technique used by criminals to infect their victims' computers by hiding malicious code in plain sight on websites that accepted their innocuous-seeming banner ads. Read the rest

Google to kill Flash by default in Chrome.

Commanding two thirds or so of the browser market, Google's decision to turn off Adobe Flash by default in Chrome before 2017 seems like the end of an era that's always said to be ending.

Later this year we plan to change how Chromium hints to websites about the presence of Flash Player, by changing the default response of Navigator.plugins and Navigator.mimeTypes. If a site offers an HTML5 experience, this change will make that the primary experience. We will continue to ship Flash Player with Chrome, and if a site truly requires Flash, a prompt will appear at the top of the page when the user first visits that site, giving them the option of allowing it to run for that site (see the proposal for the mock-ups).

As usual, there are exceptions, starting with an official list of exempted Flash-serving domains. Can you guess what they are?

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Google Chrome to avoid using Flash

Google Chrome will soon be preferring to use other video playback methods, and will be asking users if they want to enable Flash when no other options are available. They will turn it on by default for YouTube, cause you know.

Via the BBC:

In a message posted on a Chromium-dev discussion forum, Anthony Laforge, Google's technical lead on Chrome, said internal metrics revealed the 10 chosen sites were the most popular Flash-using sites that users visited.

Mr Laforge said the changes would mean that on other sites Chrome would seek to use alternative technologies, such as HTML5, to play video. Where only Flash is available, browser users will be asked if they want to allow the software to run.

Chrome will remember which sites have permission to run Flash so users are not endlessly bothered with pop-ups.

Google said it was also working on ways to ensure that Flash still ran unimpeded when companies used it on internal networks.

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Why won't major websites stop using Flash?

Flash: a bloated, unstable, battery-slurping fountain of security problems to wrap video in. So why do so many big sites still require it? Jared Newman reports on the agonizingly slow decline of obsolete technology.

Most of the proprietors of Flash-reliant websites I contacted didn’t want to talk at all. HBO, NBC, CBS, Zynga, King, Showtime, Pandora, and Spotify—all of which require Flash on their desktop sites—declined to comment. Major League Baseball, Slacker Radio, Hulu, and the BBC didn’t respond to inquiries.

The larger the site, the more locked down they are by the challenge of technology transitions. This is another way of saying that Flash delivers what sites care about—cross-platform video views, delivered and counted reliably—so they don't want to change. Read the rest

Even Strong Bad and Homestar Runner concede that Flash is dead

Fifteen years after the Flash animation web stars first graced our screens, even Strong Bad and Homestar Runner are ready to throw the shroud over Flash. Read the rest

Death of Adobe Flash eagerly anticipated

After more problems with the plugin, Firefox temporarily blocked it, a Facebook executive requested a sunset plan, and web advocates just want the proprietary, closed-source, notoriously unstable platform dead. But not everyone's happy… Read the rest

Sugar Cube: a platformer with a refreshingly novel mechanic

Another great game review from Greg Costikyan and his Play This Thing! blog: this time, it's the 2010 IGF China Best Game winner Sugar Cube, a platformer with a novel and ingenious (and addictive!) mechanic:

At various points on the level are hidden items -- often platforms -- that are revealed, and switch "on," only when you pass through or near them. As you move about, the four squares immediately around you are tinted, and show the hidden items. Frequently, there are small "lights" on the screen that show the hidden items, in ghosted form, until turned on; but often, items are revealed only when you activate them. Finally, by holding "shift" while jumping, you can prevent items from "flipping" from active to inactive state.

The result is that each level holds surprises, and you have to learn how to time and use activations to get to the level end (represented by a door); sometimes you want an item to flip to inactive state to get through its location, while often you want to turn it on, to provide a location or item you can use.

Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory Read the rest

Snowball: excellent and addictive Flash pinball

Snowball is Pixeljam's Flash take on a computer pinball game, and it's an incredibly fun table. I intended to play for a few minutes to try it out and got sucked in for an hour. Snowball is simultaneously very true to the spirit of physical pinball while managing to deliver a board and several mechanics that would be nearly impossible to create in a mechanical game. The vertical scrolling mechanism is also a nice way of transcending the constraint of the usual landscape aspect ratio in computer displays.


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Ancient Greek punishments: the 8-bit Flashgame edition

"Let's Play: Ancient Greek Punishment" is a series of 8-bit Flash games based on the punishments visited by the gods on various naughty ancient Greeks: Sisyphus, Tantalus, Prometheus, Danaids and Zeno. There's something particularly awfully wonderful about rapidly pressing the G and H keys to writhe in agony and dislodge the eagle that is devouring your liver.

Let's Play: Ancient Greek Punishment

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Web HTML5 version of Bastion hits Chrome web store

Bastion, the popular action RPG noted for its fantastic art and narration, is now available to play in-browser through the Chrome web store. It's built as a HTML5 app with the Native Client SDK, so Flash is not required—even if a browser that automatically installs it is. Read the rest

One-second film festival

Montblanc held a one-second film competition. The videos are really very good, even if they're embedded in a genuinely obnoxious Flash blob that superimposes a watch-face over them. Better to watch the Vimeo version.

Montblanc - The beauty of a second challenge

(via This is Colossal) Read the rest

Flash in the pan

Adobe is finally giving up on Flash in mobile browsers, according to Jason Perlow at ZDNet. Read the rest

Glitch: dreamlike whimsy and play in a MMO

Ars Technica has an in-depth review of Glitch, the whimsical, free-to-play game from Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield (we've written about Glitch here before) and his new company, Tiny Speck. Glitch uses whimsical, cooperative tasks to produce fun and delight, rather than combat:

Tuning the quests and interactions to provide the right level of difficulty and reward was complicated. In beta testing, the development team found that while singing to butterflies was repetitive and boring, people would still sing to butterflies obsessively—because it provided small but guaranteed amounts of experience. The devs tried to balance this by making singing to animals cost energy, but then players simply farmed huge numbers of girly drinks (which made animals interactions cost no energy) and continued to grind the same thing again and again. The girly drinks were then nerfed, and people immediately complained.

"We realized that if we incentivized things that were inherently boring," Butterfield told me, "people would do them again and again—it showed up in the logs—but that they would secretly hate us."

Player housing is implemented, with an apartment-style design that lets anyone have their own home without cluttering up the landscape. You can decorate your home and grow things in your own garden on the patio. Unlike many games, in Glitch it does not take long to save up enough cash for a place of your own, though making it look less than spartan will take considerable effort.

Funny little touches to the game litter the game. For example, getting the right papers to let you purchase an apartment requires multiple trips to the Department of Administrative Affairs (Ministry of Departments) where you spend much time in a waiting area while bureaucratic lizard men play Farmville on tiny computers.

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Megamash: retro Flash game requires you to mash up vintage genres to win

Play This Thing reviews Megamash, a weird chimeric Flash game that combines several kinds of play and requires players to figure out how to use the mechanics of each genre to solve puzzles:

At first, it seems like a simple platformer in which you play a bunny collecting carrots and avoiding enemies. But half-way through the level, you pass through a barrier into a sidescrolling shmup, and become a spaceship shooting aliens with the space bar.

In otherwords, the game is actually a sort of mashup of seven different games, and you pass from one to the other over the course of a level. And indeed -- this is the clever part -- you often need to do something in one "game" in order to advance in the level. Thus, in the rabbit platformer, a crate you need is surrounded by impenetrable blocks; but when you fire across the shmup/platformer boundary, the bullets turn into falling fireballs, which obliterate impenetrable blocks, freeing the crate you need.

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