Chrome: There's no shortage of browser extensions that help you download Flash or HTML5 video, but few give you the myriad of options available from MediaPlus. More »
Chrome: Some sites automatically play Flash videos which can be annoying, troublesome at work, and suck up bandwidth. The Chrome extension FlashControl stops Adobe Flash from loading unless you have authorized a particular site to bypass the restriction. More »
Most users of the Google Chrome web browser know that Google has integrated Adobe’s Flash Player in cooperation with Adobe into the web browser. The core advantage here is that Google can update the Flash plugin in the browser for its users. That’s a stark contrast to other web browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Opera, where the user has to make sure that Flash updates are installed in a timely manner to protect the computer system from possible exploits and attacks.
If you look at the plugin listing in the Chrome web browser you may notice that the Flash listing says something like Flash (3 files) or Flash (2 files). You need to click on Details on the page to see what’s going on there.
You may notice that multiple Flash plugins are loaded in the Chrome web browser instead of just the native plugin. You can click on the Disable or Enable links to disable or enable specific Flash versions in the browser. This can be handy for Flash developers who need to test their applications in a different version of Flash, and for end users who do not want multiple running plugins in the owser.
Multiple enabled Flash plugin versions in the browser are not a problem according to Google.
It’s normal to see two Flash files in about:plugins. When both are listed as enabled, Google Chrome uses the built-in version by default, so you shouldn’t have to specify which one to use unless you specifically want Chrome to use the system version instead (has ‘NPSWF32.dll’ in the location field). Keep in mind that if you use the system version, you’re responsible for keeping Flash updated while the built-in version will update automatically via Chrome’s auto-update mechanism.
If multiple Flash plugins are enabled and the native plugin is one of them, then that plugin is used to display Flash contents in the Google Chrome web browser. This does not explain why a second Flash plugin is enabled in the browser, as it does not make sense if the native Flash plugin is always used if active.
My suggestion would be to disable the non-native Flash plugin in Chrome to be on the safe side.
It just takes a quick download, a few steps and one USB flash drive to run Google Chrome with your personal extensions and settings on any Windows computer. This article will demonstrate how to setup portable Google Chrome on a flash drive and take it to any PC to use.
The first step is to download the Portable Google Chrome installer from this link:
After the download is complete, which may take a few minutes, run the installer. The installer is a 7zip extractor. To get Portable Google Chrome set up on a flash drive, click the “…” button and choose the flash drive. Click Extract.
The “…” button is a browse button. You would click on Computer and then the appropriate drive.
The extraction does not take as long as the download. Portable Chrome is being extracted to your flash drive. When the extraction is complete, you may use the portable version of Chrome right away. Browse your flash drive and double-click its icon.
You will see the application immediately. Double-click the “Portable Google Chrome” icon to open the folder with the program files. Double-click the ChromeLoader icon, which is the application.
You will notice that the language is set to German by default. If you speak and read German, that is fantastic. On the other hand, you may not. Click the wrench button in the upper right corner of the screen and select Options. In this demonstration, only a few of the words are in German and everything else is in English. Usually, it is all in German. Select “Under the Hood” and under the Web Content section, click the “Languages and spell-checker settings” box.
You will see the language list and it may already have English (United States) as the default, but some content is still going to come up in German, so click Add at the bottom left of the screen and select the appropriate language.
Click OK. You may be prompted to restart for changes to take effect. Close all browsers, save all files and Restart. When you begin again, your portable Chrome will be in the language you selected. In this case, it is English.
Using Portable Google Chrome
This portable version works exactly the same way as the standard version. The same processes apply, except that you can now run it from any computer. Your favorite sites and web applications are progressively saved on the flash drive as you add them. Your browsing history is saved to the flash drive as well. The browser itself looks and functions normally.
The overall speed is generally slower than the PC non-portable version. This speed varies depending on the speed of the flash drive and its capacity. Use at least a 2GB flash drive. 4GB would be even better and anything higher would be overkill. This will run on Windows 7 and on Windows XP, so there is some versatility along with portability. Enjoy portable Chrome!
I am going back to school in the fall and I contacted the school to see which laptop or tablet I should be using. They replied I would need the Adobe Flash Player to run the lectures. While I love Apple, I understand the newest Apple laptops and the iPad do not support Flash. Is this correct? If so, what should I buy?
There’s a lot of confusion about this, so here’s the story. Apple’s Mac laptops and desktops do indeed run the Adobe Flash Player, and thus Flash videos and websites, just like Windows PCs. While they no longer ship with the Flash software pre-installed, you can quickly and easily download and install it free of charge. Once you do, Flash videos and websites will work on your Mac.
By contrast, the iPad won’t accept the Flash Player in its built-in browser and thus cannot run Flash videos or websites. There are some third-party browsers for Apple’s tablet, such as Skyfire and Puffin, that do run Flash on Web pages, albeit clumsily at times. The latter are available in the iPad app store. If you want a tablet that runs Flash natively, you could buy one of the newer Android models, or the HP TouchPad, but be aware that some Flash videos and websites don’t run properly on the current generation of Flash-enabled tablets.
A small army of multitouch tablet computers has been launched this year to take on Apple’s iPad, which has managed to sell 25 million units and attract 90,000 tablet-specific apps in just about 15 months, and is already in its second generation, the iPad 2. So far, none of these contenders has gained any significant traction with consumers or app developers.
Google Chrome's stable release has now reached version 12, bringing hardware acceleration for 3D CSS, better in-browser privacy for the built-in Adobe Flash Player, and safer downloads. Chrome 12 will automatically scan downloads to check for malicious files, warning users when they're found. With the new updates comes a loss, though, as Gears is now officially kaput—which means no more offline Gmail access for Chrome users. The update will automatically take place over the next couple of days. [Download Google Chrome via Google Chrome Blog]More »
The tablet-computer race is heating up. The latest entrant, Acer Inc.’s Iconia Tab A500, is the first to offer compelling competition to Apple’s dominant iPad in one crucial area: price.
The Iconia Tab has been keenly anticipated, if only because Acer, a Taiwanese company that made its mark by offering sharp but inexpensive laptops and netbooks, is the world’s second-largest PC maker after Hewlett-Packard Co. The Iconia Tab is Acer’s first to run Google’s Android operating system, and joins an increasingly crowded tablet field that features the PlayBook by Research in Motion Ltd., Motorola Inc.’s Xoom, LG Electronics Inc.’s G-Slate and Apple’s own iPad2, which went on sale in March.
A WiFi-only version of the Iconia Tab went on sale on April 24 for $449.99. A new model that works on AT&T Inc.’s 4G wireless network is slated for release this summer for an as-yet-undisclosed price.
The internet is wonderful, but it's also a landfill for many annoying things.
To update to the latest stable version of Chrome, simply close your browser and re-open it -- the update should be applied automatically. Alternatively, click the wrench icon and then About Google Chrome, which will check for the the latest update.
In the world of online video, there is a battle brewing over the next dominant standard for online video, especially on HTML5 Web pages. Today, Google took the gloves off and declared that it will soon stop supporting the H.264 video codec in its Chrome browser. Instead, it will only support open-source technologies such as its own WebM initiative (with its VP8 codec) and the open-source Theora video codec, which is used by Firefox.
You could see this a mile away. Google announced the WebM project last May, along with other partners Mozilla and Opera (Apple, which relies on H.264 in its mission to squash Flash, was conspicuously absent). The H.264 codec is owned by the MPEG-LA consortium, and may in the future require a license. Although the consortium was pressured into promising that H.264 streaming would be free forever that is only for non-commercial Internet video.
In a post today on the Chromium blog, product manager Mike Jazayeri gives teh following explanation for why Chrome will no longer support H.264:
We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
But how can Google justify dropping support for H.264, but not Flash (which also uses H.264 for video)? Simple, Adobe is also one of the WebM partners and will support WebM technologies inside Flash. Yup, Flash is siding with Google on this one. So the battle lines here are really between Google and Apple, which is still sticking with H.264 (the non-Flash variety). Just when it looked like H.264 was winning too.
One of the big issues with Flash is that it introduces all sorts of security vulnerabilities, especially if you don’t have the latest security patches and updates. Google has chosen to embrace Flash both in its Chrome browser and Android OS (as opposed to that other company which won’t let Flash anywhere near its iPhones and iPads). But it wants to minimize the security risks posed by Flash. Today, it is releasing a new version of the Chrome browser for Windows in its beta channel which sandboxes Flash and other extensions. (New versions of chrome are released simultaneously in three channels: developer, beta, and stable). Sandboxing will come to the Mac and Linux versions soon.
Sandboxing isolates websites and applications so that malware doesn’t spread beyond that tab to other parts of your computer. Plug-ins are a huge security hole, which Chrome is attempting to contain. Chrome will also now automatically update Flash for all security patches. With 120 million Chrome users worldwide, this will go far towards making Flash safer. Now if only they could keep Flash from crashing Chrome altogether, that would be something.
In addition to the sandboxing feature, the beta version for Windows will also start loading frequently visited websites when you start tying the URL into the address bar. The page will load before you even finish typing the URL or hit enter. It is like Google Instant for browsing.
Although we've already seen Flash in action on Chrome OS, Adobe has come out and officially announced Flash Player for Google's newest operating system and deemed it a "work in progress." If you're expecting the kind of desktop performance you get with the latest hardware accelerated builds of Flash Player, I'm afraid you're going to be a little disappointed -- video playback performance certainly seems a little lacking. However, Adobe is committed to improving it, as "video performance in particular is the primary area for improvement," with Adobe working directly with Google engineers in an effort to enable video acceleration.
Like the Chrome browser, Adobe's directly integrating Flash into Chrome OS, meaning that Flash will auto-update and should, combined with the robustness of the underlying Linux kernel, make Chrome OS a very secure computing platform indeed.
As a quick follow-up article to the Adobe Flash 10.2 beta announcement, we thought we'd show you how to disable Google Chrome's built-in Flash plug-in so that you can use a pre-release build like the 10.2 beta. It's a quick and simple process, but please remember that once you've disabled Chrome's built-in Flash you won't get the benefit of Chrome's internal Flash updates.
1. Download the Flash plug-in that you'd like to use with Chrome (10.2 can be found here).
2. Fire up Chrome and type about:plugins into the address bar; hit enter.
3. Click on Details in the top right of the window to expand the plug-in details.
4. Find the Flash plug-in that's listed as being in the Chrome directory and hit Disable (shown above).
5. Check which version of Flash you have by heading here.
That's it -- now you can jump on over to Adobe's Stage Video demo and watch as your CPU basically idles as you play HD video. If you want to reverse the procedure, just re-enable Chrome's built-in Flash plug-in and it'll take priority over the pre-release version.
Sandboxing in Chrome is currently only available for Windows, where it's particularly important for the relatively insecure Windows XP, and is rolling out to all Chrome Dev installations on Windows automatically. If you have a particular aversion to sandboxing your Flash experience, you can easily disable it with the flag --disable-flash-sandbox. For those of you who are running the beta or stable release of Chrome, but want to try out the developer version with Flash sandboxing for Windows, then head on over to Chromium.org and grab yourself the 'Dev channel' and install it over the top of your current Chrome version.
Adobe Flash Player is now sandboxed in the latest dev channel release of Google Chrome, bringing a huge security benefit to Chrome users.
Chrome's Dev channel recently brought in a feature that could selectively disable plug-ins like Flash and Java until you clicked to activate them on a page. Neat! But now if you go looking for the setting, it's not there. Until you enable it from the
about:flags page (by typing
about:flags into your address bar). You'll find it at the very bottom at moment, as the list of "Flags" grows with every release. [via #tips] More »
Adobe Flash remains a popular attack vector for malware authors. In addition to a seemingly never-ending supply of security flaws, bad guys know that people who use Flash often ignore the updater's prompts. That leaves users in an even more tenuous position, since they're still vulnerable to attacks Adobe has already patched.
That's one big advantage to Google Chrome's internal Flash plug-in. Since updates are delivered silently in the background to users, the internal plug-in is always up-to-date. This keeps everyone as safe as possible, but Chrome offers one more way to protect its users: sandboxing. By running unfamiliar Web code in its isolated sandbox, Chrome can execute that code in a safe environment -- where it can't harm your operating system.
Back when Google first announced internal Flash, one of their stated goals was "to further protect users by extending Chrome's 'sandbox' to web pages with Flash content." According to revision 66022, Google is making good on their promise. Sandboxed Flash is now supported in the Chromium source code, and should be available to Windows users of Canary and Chrome Dev very soon. A quick look through the source code seems to indicate that Chrome can sandbox not only its own internal Flash plug-in, but also the traditional Adobe version -- as long as it's version 10.1.103.19 or better.
This is great news for Chrome users. It was already an incredibly difficult browser to exploit, and sandboxing Flash will add another layer of armor to its defenses.