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Tuesday’s chaos arose after China Railway Shenyang failed to deactivate Flash in time, leading to a complete shutdown of its railroads in Dalian, Liaoning province. Staffers were reportedly unable to view train operation diagrams, formulate train sequencing schedules and arrange shunting plans. Authorities fixed the issue by installing a pirated version of Flash at 4:30 a.m. the following day.
Internet Archive Software Library: Flash (via) A fantastic new initiative from the Internet Archive: they’re now archiving Flash (.swf) files and serving them for modern browsers using Ruffle, a Flash Player emulator written in Rust and compiled to WebAssembly. They are fully interactive and audio works too. Considering the enormous quantity of creative material released in Flash over the decades this helps fill a big hole in the Internet’s cultural memory. # 19th November 2020, 9:19 pm
2020 Web Milestones (via) A lot of stuff is happening in 2020! Mike Sherov rounds it up—highlights include the release of Chromium Edge (Microsoft’s Chrome-powered browser for Windows 7+), Web Components supported in every major browser, Deno 1.x, SameSite Cookies turned on by default (which should dramatically reduce CSRF exposure) and Python 2 and Flash EOLs. # 24th January 2020, 4:43 am
CSRF: Flash + 307 redirect = Game Over. Here’s the exploit that Django and Rails both just released fixes for. It’s actually a flaw in the Flash player. Flash isn’t meant to be able to make cross-domain HTTP requests with custom HTTP headers unless the crossdomain.xml file on the other domain allows them to, but it turns out a 307 redirect (like a 302, but allows POST data to be forwarded) confuses the Flash player in to not checking the crossdomain.xml on the host it is being redirect to. # 10th February 2011, 10:07 pm
The crisis Flash now faces is that Apple has made it clear that Flash will no longer be ubiquitous, as it won’t exist on the iPhone platform, thus turning “runs everywhere” into “runs almost everywhere.” As Web developers know, “runs almost everywhere” is a recipe for doing everything at least twice.
Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.
Imagine if 10% of the apps on iPhone came from Flash. If that was the case, then ensuring Flash didn’t break release to release would be a big deal, much bigger than any other compatibility issues. [...] Letting any of these secondary runtimes develop a significant base of applications in the store risks putting Apple in a position where the company that controls that runtime can cause delays in Apple’s release schedule, or worse, demand specific engineering decisions from Apple, under the threat of withholding the information necessary to keep their runtime working.
“... the interchange format needed to be able to support future Flash Player features, which would not necessarily map to SVG features. As such, the decision was made to go with a new interchange format, FXG, instead of having a non-standard implementation of SVG. FXG does borrow from SVG whenever possible.”
ClearMaps: A Mapping Framework for Data Visualization. An open source library for map visualisations using ActionScript, with an Adobe AIR based encoding tool for translating data from shapefiles in to vector data suitable for use with the library. # 28th February 2010, 3:52 pm
HTML5 video markup, compatibility and playback. Everything you need to know about embedding HTML5 video on a page, complete with multiple codecs to cover the various supporting browsers and a fallback to Flash. # 11th February 2010, 5:49 pm
As has been pointed out by the community, there is an existing crash bug that was reported by Matthew Dempsky in the Flash Player bugbase (JIRA FP-677) in September of 2008 that still exists in the release players. It is fixed in Flash Player 10.1 beta, and has been since we launched the beta in early November 2009. [...] So what happened here? We picked up the bug as a crasher when it was filed on September 22, 2008, and were able to reproduce it. Remember that Flash Player 10 shipped in October 2008, so when this bug was reported we were pretty much locked and loaded for launch.
Regarding crashing, I can tell you that we don’t ship Flash with any known crash bugs, and if there was such a widespread problem historically Flash could not have achieved its wide use today.
SublimeVideo—HTML5 Video Player. Still a fair way to go (no Firefox support yet, and they plan to add a Flash fallback for IE) but in Safari this is pretty extraordinary. Smooth video, beautiful UI, full window mode and full screen mode in the latest WebKit nightlies. I’d go as far as saying that this is the nicest online video implementation I’ve seen (at least on the Mac). # 2nd February 2010, 9:50 am
32.38 percent of visitors to DF last week did not have Flash.
Who Can Do Something About Those Blue Boxes? John Gruber makes the case for the fading significance of Flash, brought about by Apple’s point-blank refusal to support it on the iPhone or iPad. “Flash is no longer ubiquitous. There’s a big difference between “everywhere” and “almost everywhere”.” # 31st January 2010, 12:05 pm
flXHR. I was looking for something like this recently, glad to see it exists. flXHR is a drop-in replacement for regular XMLHttpRequest which uses an invisible Flash shim to allow cross-domain calls to be made, taking advantage of the Flash crossdomain.xml security model. # 26th November 2009, 12:52 pm
Cross-domain policy file usage recommendations for Flash Player. One of the best explanations of the security implications of crossdomain.xml files I’ve seen. If you host a crossdomain.xml file with allow-access-from domain=“*” and don’t understand all of the points described here, you probably have a nasty security vulnerability. # 5th November 2009, 4:24 pm
Facebook and MySpace security: backdoor wide open, millions of accounts exploitable (via) Amazingly, both services had wide open holes in their crossdomain.xml files. Facebook were serving allow-access-from-domain=“*” in the crossdomain.xml file on one of their subdomains (a subdomain that still had access to the user’s profile information) while MySpace were opting in farm.sproutbuilder.com, a service which allowed anyone to upload arbitrary SWF files. # 5th November 2009, 9:47 am
Adobe is Bad for Open Government. The problem isn’t just that PDFs are a bad way of sharing data, it’s that Adobe have been actively lobbying the US government to use their PDF and Flash formats for open government initiatives. # 1st November 2009, 12:51 pm
This is very interesting technology. But that Adobe would go to this length suggests that they suspect that Apple will never allow the Flash runtime on the iPhone.
Developing for the Apple iPhone using Flash. A brilliant feat of engineering: Adobe worked around Apple’s “no runtime allowed” rules by writing a compiler front end for LLVM that compiles ActionScript 3 to ARM assembly code, and apparently ported the regular Flash drawing APIs as well. # 5th October 2009, 9:15 pm
svgweb. Awesome. I’ve been having a lot of fun with SVG for dynamic graphics recently (maps in particular), and hoping someone builds an SVG renderer in Flash so I could serve up SVG files for IE. Brad Neuberg and team have done exactly that. # 22nd August 2009, 10:42 pm
You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again (via) Flash cookies last longer than browser cookies and are harder to delete. Some services are sneakily “respawning” their cookies—if you clear the regular tracking cookie it will be reinstated from the Flash data next time you visit a page. # 17th August 2009, 3:23 pm
Towards a Standard for Django Session Messages. I completely agree that Django’s user.message_set (which I helped design) is unfit for purpose, but I don’t think sessions are the right solution for messages sent to users. A signed cookie containing either the full message or a key referencing the message body on the server is a much more generally useful solution as it avoids the need for a round trip to a persistent store entirely. # 19th June 2009, 9:57 pm