Wired Says Flash.Must.Die; Then Displays Ad with Flash

I’m researching an article that involves the future of Flash, so started searching for articles on the most recent Mozilla-related Flash flap. I noticed that Wired had an article dramatically entitled Flash. Must. Die. You can guess the rest of the story-when I clicked over to the article, a Flash-based advertisement popped up. This “do as I say, not as I do” dichotomy is appropriately and acerbically mentioned in many comments, are as many of the pros and cons of Flash. I guess that the author and his editors decided, consciously or unconsciously, not to let reality get in the way of a good story with the potential for lots of eyeballs. 

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Wired’s use of Flash is actually more than just the pop-up ads, the site’s video library displays via Flash as well. 

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The article’s author says:

There are, of course, still plenty of Flash Player holdouts; lots of casual games, Amazon Instant Video (on Chrome, at least; it uses Silverlight on Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer), lots and lots of pop-up video ads. They’re the sort of internet items, though, that you can go for days if not weeks without encountering, or caring that you’ve missed. The bottom line: While Flash used to be ubiquitous on the desktop, it’s not anymore. You likely won’t even notice that it’s gone.

And then he goes on to tell readers how to disable Flash in different browsers. I followed his advice, and noticed some inconsistent results. In all test cases, I couldn’t watch the videos in Wired’s video library, which I’m sure their producers appreciate. With one article, an HTML5-based video appeared, on another a video window popped up with a message that Flash was blocked for the advertisement. 

Basically, if you follow the author’s advice, you lose access to the video library and cut Wired’s advertising revenue by 50%. To be fair, it looks like Wired is undergoing a Flash to HTML5 transition that may eliminate Flash for current browsers in the near term (you would assume they would fallback to Flash for legacy browsers, but who knows). Still, you would hope they would spare us the lecture until they actually complete the transition and prove that taking their advice is commercially realistic.  

About Jan Ozer

I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks, and evaluate new encoders and codecs.

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