Ah, I feel purified.
Ever since Apple announced the release of its iPad tablet computer, which notably lacks support for the Adobe Flash Player, I've been wondering whether the ubiquitous Flash is as evil as Apple makes it out to be.
But Apple’s support for Flash has been flagging. While Flash is present on nearly every Apple desktop and laptop computer, the company decided that Flash would not be used on the iPhone. Apple has argued that the Flash technology is too slow and unduly taxes laptops and netbooks. The company also has concerns over Flash’s vulnerability to viruses and other malware, as well as the way Flash-based content can voraciously consume battery life.
So I was primed for an exorcism. I find Flash ads annoying, and they do seem to slow down my MacBook Pro's loading of Flash-heavy web pages.
Browsing the TUAW site for Apple news and gossip this morning, I came across "Browser security: "The main thing is not to install Flash!"
Yikes! I'm insecure! I have Flash!
Fortunately, the recommended solution was easy. Just took a minute or two. I headed over to ClickToFlash, downloaded the free software, restarted Safari, and praise shareware! -- I was free of Flash (unless I wanted it).
I did send $6 to the developer via PayPal, so ClickToFlash was voluntarily non-free for me. After seeing how it worked on a few web sites, I was grateful enough to fork over the cost of a few lattes.
The New York Times home page had three Flash applications; MSNBC, two; CNN, one. I didn't feel like I missed anything when I visited the sites Flashless. And all I had to do was click on the grayed-out box to have ClickToFlash release the exorcism.
Over on YouTube, I conducted some additional most pleasant research: watching Shakira's "She Wolf" video several times -- first in its native Flash format, then in the ClickToFlash H264 (MPEG-4) option.
I'm sort of vague about what H264 is. But if it isn't evil Flash, that must be good. The video played fine with it, absent a pop-up ad that appeared in the usual You Tube player.