Google Chrome Dev Build Gets Integrated Flash Blocker

dev version has been updated to  6.0.490.1 and this version now has out-of-the-box Apps support and also adds a new feature called Click-to-play which is similar to a Flash blocker and can be used to block content served by browser plugins like Flash, Shockwave etc.

Google Chrome dev build users (and future stable users), here is some good news for you. The latest dev build of Google Chrome now includes an integrated Plugin blocker in the form of Click-to-play, which can block Flash content and content served by other plugins used by Google Chrome.

Click-to-play is a really welcome feature since it will allow you to control what content is shown in the browser and block content on a plugin to plugin basis. To enable the Click-to-play feature in Google Chrome, just add the "–enable-click-to-play" command line switch to the Chrome shortcut.

Once you do that, you will be able to block plugin content by visiting "Options -> Under the Hood" and clicking on the "Content Settings" button.

Disable Plugins in Chrome

Once you do that, click on the "Plug-ins" tab and select the radio button next to "Do not allow any site to use plug-ins" and save the settings. You can also disable individual plug-ins by clicking on the link. The plugin page is also accessible via chrome://plugins/.

Chrome Flash Blocked / Chrome Plugin Content Blocked

Once you save the settings all plugin related content will be blocked, however, you can view or run the plugin content by clicking on the Run plug-in this time placeholder link.

The latest dev build has also enabled Out-of-the-box Apps support for Google Chrome. Users who upgraded to this version will now see apps above the most visited website on opening a new tab. There were also other bug fixes which you can view here.

Google Chrome 6.0.490.1 has been released for Windows, Mac and Linux based PCs.

Are Flash Cookies and Zombie Cookies Violating Your Privacy?

It’s bad enough that we get hit with tons of third party browser cookies that can track our surfing habits. Now we have to worry about Flash cookies and even worse, Zombie cookies. So what are these new cookies?

Almost every computer that accesses the web, now has Adobe Flash installed on it. In case you didn’t know, the Flash program stores it’s own cookies that your web browser has absolutely no control over. Are these Flash cookies bad for us? Yes, they can store all kinds of private information that can be passed to almost any website that uses them. A typical browser cookie is only 4k in size, while a Flash cookie can be up to 100k. That’s more room for information that you may not want to share.

In addition to being more difficult to control, the Flash cookies are now also resurrecting browser cookies that you may have intentionally blocked or removed. These resurrected cookies are known as Zombie cookies. I found out about this from Woody at Windows Secrets newsletter. Once I found out, I decided to look around for ways to get some control over these rogue Flash cookies. Here’s what I’ve found so far.

Adobe Flash has privacy settings that you can adjust by going to their website.

http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/

I’ll be honest with you – I really don’t understand many of these settings, but I have used them a few times. I just don’t know how much good it’s done me. Here are some sample screen shots of my settings.

adobe-flash-settings-1 adobe-flash-settings-3

There are settings in each of the 8 tabs there. All I can recommend is that you review the settings and be sure that most of them ask your permission for unusual requests such as webcam access.

Another way to control and remove Flash cookies is to use this freeware program I’ve found called FlashCookiesView.

flashcookiesview

This program is available as a zip file and is completely portable. Just unpack it into a folder and execute the program when you need it. FlashCookiesView allows you to see all of the Flash cookies, view the contents of the cookies, and to delete any of them you wish.

Get Nirsoft’s FlashCookiesView

More Information:

• Firefox users can delete Flash cookies with – BetterPrivacy
•  Here is a Chrome extension which also allows Flash cookie removal:  Click & Clean
•  Here is more security information on Flash cookies
•  You can delete Flash cookies manually by going to the storage locations listed here

Now you know as much as I do. If you have your own tips on controlling Flash cookies or any other Windows security issues, be sure to comment below or email me.


Adobe Brings Video Calling to Android, Calls it FlashTime

Adobe has released a demo application called FlashTime which enables video chat on Android devices. The app was built using Adobe Air 2.5 for the Android platform and uses your smartphone’s camera to enable video chat with other users.

They seem to be making a point to iPhone developers (Apple doesn’t allow Flash on the iOS platform) that it’s very easy to build powerful applications using Flash and then port them over to any supported platform (like Android) using Adobe AIR. This particular FlashTime demo app took just 3 days to build.

Mark Doherty, Flash Platform Evangelist, Mobile and Devices, Adobe, said on his blog, “This is not an Adobe product, but simply a feature demo that took 3 days. Any one can build P2P applications with Flash and AIR.”

Adobe had unveiled Flash and AIR support for Android, back at MWC, Barcelona in February.

Adobe Video Calling App on Android

Image credit: Engadget

Lightspark, an Open Source Flash Alternative gets more Browser Friendly

Lightspark is an excellent Open Source Flash video player with support for the latest technologies in Flash. It supports ActionScript 3.0 and hardware accelerated graphics rendering based on OpenGL.

Lightspark has released the latest version 0.4.2. However, apart from regular flash playback, the reason to use this plugin can be numerous. To start with, the plugin is new and open source and will not gain wide acceptance and usage for a long time. This keeps it safe from the vulnerabilities Adobe flash runs into continuously. Moreover, the plugin has allowed real usage by releasing a Firefox plugin, which can make Lightspark the flash player on Mozilla. Apart from that, the Lightspark also supports the out-of-process feature Mozilla added for its plugins.

The official blog  reports this release saying,

More than a year has passed since the beginning of the Lightspark project. It was a long time indeed, but not wasted. I’m extremely pleased with the current level of support and the robust ness of the system.

With Lightspark, there is something for everyone. It has excellent debugging information on display and this can come in handy for developers who are targeting this platform.

Frash App Runs Flash on Jailbroken iPad

It is not a hidden secret that Steve Jobs hates Flash and won’t allow it to run on an , and . However, there have been several attempts at running Flash on the iPhone and iPad.

flash_logo

A new app called Frash which can run on jailbroken iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad does better than the earlier apps and allows users to access and view Flash content on their iDevices. The Frash app is available for downloads as a .deb file and can be installed on a Jailbroken iPad through Cydia.

According to Engadget, you cannot view video playback using the app currently, however, they were able to play games and view other simple Flash content. Though the missing video playback might be an issue, it is definitely promising that iPad users can at-least play games right now.

Hopefully the developer Comex will come up with an update for the app which will also allow users to view Flash videos. Excited to install the Frash app on the iPad and play games? Visit this Engadget post which has full instructions. You can also watch a video of the Frash app in action below on an iPad.

HTC EVO 4G Rooted….Again!

It was just a few days ago that HTC had released an Over-The-Air (OTA) update for the EVO 4G. The OTA software update enabled the Wi-Fi n feature on the device, and improved the performance of the device. Along withHTC EVO 4G this, the update also fixed the vulnerability via which the EVO 4G was hacked.

Soon after this update was released, the modders over at XDA forums got back to work and started finding ways to root the EVO 4G. Thankfully, an anonymous modder has been able to find a hack to root the EVO 4G again. This new rooting method uses vulnerability present in Adobe’s Flash Lite Config to do its job.

The method is a bit complex, so only experienced users should try this. Here is the link to the thread with full instructions.

Adobe Closes Flash Player 64-bit for Linux Labs Program

Close on the heels of releasing Flash Player 10.1, Adobe announced the closure of the Labs program of Flash Player 64-bit for Linux. Adobe also set the Flash 64-bit for Linux forums on read-only mode,   effectively quelling any and all means of discussion.

Adobe mentions in their announcement:

We have temporarily closed the Labs program of Flash Player 10 for 64-bit Linux, as we are making significant architectural changes to the 64-bit Linux Flash Player and additional security enhancements. […] We intend to provide more regular update information on our progress as we continue our work on 64-bit versions of Flash Player. Thank you for your continued help and support.

which effectively translates to something like, “hey, we screwed up, we don’t know what we’re doing, but yeah, we’re going to do something”. Not exactly a confidence booster, eh ?

Access Flash Websites on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Steve jobs is not relenting to entertain Flash on the or , he even went to the extent of saying that he had no issues with Adobe, but would not allow Flash on the iPad and iPhone.

Flash on iPhone and iPad

However, with software and hardware there will always be a workaround to things, and the same can be said about accessing Flash on an iPhone or iPad. Cloud Browse is an iPhone app which allows users to browse and access flash-enabled websites on the iPhone and iPod touch.

However, Cloud Browse does not display Flash on the iPhone or iPad directly, when you browse to a website which has flash content, Cloud Browse will process the flash content on its own servers and then display it on your device.

The flash content displayed by Cloud Browse is not as fast as the original flash objects, however, you can at-least access Flash on your device.

Watch a video of Cloud Browse in action on an iPad below.

You can download Cloud Browse for free using this iTunes link.

(Source)

Flash 10.1 Shows Up On Nexus One Running Android 2.2 "FroYo"

Apple has shunned away Flash, but Adobe has not yet let hopes of making it big on the mobile browsers. and Me have spotted a new version of Flash 10.1 running on a with Android 2.2.

A new video uploaded by Adobe evangelist Ryan Stewart shows a Nexus One with Android 2.2 running flash videos using Flash 10.1. Google has not yet released Android 2.2 to the public and the OS codenamed FroYo will be unveiled at this month’s Google IO conference.

Android based phones have recently surpassed the OS and are now the largest OS running on mobile phones for the first quarter of 2010, so running Flash on the OS would definitely mean that Flash will still be alive for sometime to come.

Watch the video of Flash 10.1 running on a Nexus One with Android 2.2 below.

Scribd Joins Microsoft and Apple in Ditching Flash for HTML5

We told you earlier that Flash and HTML5 are going to battle it out in 2010. Well, the heat is on and it seems like Flash isn’t gaining much ground right now except may be Android’s support. In a recent blow, the popular document sharing service Scribd has decided to ditch flash and adopt the new HTML5 standard.

Scribd CTO claims that HTML5 provides a dramatically better reading experience compared to Flash. But let’s face it, as a major we service, they would not want to miss out on the iPad frenzy by keeping up with flash. Previously, Apple and Microsoft have also openly denounced flash as an inferior technology than HTML5 and have decided to convert to HTML5 for all their applications.

Scribd hosts tens of millions of documents so it will take a little bit of time to convert all of them, but they have already started doing so. By implementing HTML5, the documents will no longer be enclosed in a box or a frame, but every document will be like a separate web page. Almost all major browsers will be able to read Scribd’s documents and documents will still be embeddable in other sites using an iFrame.

With Adobe still firm in defending Flash against HTML5, the war is anything but over.