Friday, October 23, 2009

Improved Web Browsing By Controlling Flash

I have a few pet annoyances when surfing the web.

* I find it disruptive to have audio play when I hit a web page (though I usually keep my sound off)
* I don't like when video plays automatically when I hit a web page.
* I don't like when my computer heats up and the battery drains when I'm not doing anything just because
I left a web page/tab open.
* Some pages that look rather slim take a disproportionately long time to load (there are lots of reasons for this but flash seems to be one of them)

Turns out that I was able to mostly solve those problems by using one of the many flash control
plugins. I surf on Safari for the most part so I went with ClickToFlash. FireFox has FlashBlock which I haven't tried.

The way it works is it shows you frames where flash usually should be. If you want to see what is there then just click on the box and it loads the real flash. It has many other nice features around content but the important one is the one I described.

I have to say, when I installed this thing I was absolutely amazed by how many things that looked like regular adds and images were actually flash. You will be astounded. Gotta wonder what these companies are doing with flash when they are showing a static image? I didn't take any official benchmarks but after installing I noticed an increase in battery life and decrease in heat on my computer. This experience makes me actually believe (didn't really at first) Apple's battery/cpu excuse for not supporting flash on the iPhone.

If your like me and only want flash when you want flash. Try it out.

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