back to article Sen. Ron Wyden: Adobe Flash is doomed, why is Uncle Sam still using it?

It's bug-ridden, eternally insecure, and on death row – yet Adobe Flash persists on too many US government webpages. Now Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) wants to hear the sound of this deity-forsaken plugin torn from .gov websites, dragged behind a shed, and a single final gunshot. Regular Reg readers will remember that even Adobe …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash is still used on a bunch of

    Educational websites worldwide including many my SO has to use for work / study. There's no way to get these fuckers off it either. Come to think of it, they're also forcing insecure versions of Java on students too.

    1. david 12

      Re: Flash is still used on a bunch of

      And when you compare the Flash versions with the HTML5 versions, you can see why: you can get 95% of the content moved across, but the last 5% is a real bugger to implement in HTML5

      1. John Lilburne

        Re: Flash is still used on a bunch of

        There are some excellent educational websites that use flash, the content may have been written a decade or more ago, but they are still both relevant, and better than content written in other systems. And those that wrote the originals may no longer be about, having retired, or moved onto other things, schools, etc.

        This just goes to show that much of the data on the internet is ephemeral.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Flash is still used on a bunch of

        And when you compare the Flash versions with the HTML5 versions, you can see why: you can get 95% of the content moved across, but the last 5% is a real bugger to implement in HTML5

        So you mean some web designer will have to get off their lazy arse and do some work for once.

    2. 0laf Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Flash is still used on a bunch of

      I've been warning schools and IT for years that their love of flash websites coupled with their love of Chrome was not a match made in heaven.

      Despite those warnings it's a weekly occurrence to have schools screaming that a website "is blocked" when it's really Chrome trying to save them from Flash.

      It'll only get worse.

      the amount of Flash based crap used by schools in unreal.

    3. dajames Silver badge

      Insecure versions of Java

      Methinks there's a good case for encouraging anti-malware product vendors to get their software to report these things along with the other dangerous crap that they highlight.

      It's a service that people might be happy to pay for, after all.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Points for Wyden. Minus points for any site/government/company/new org/ still using it. However, given the nature of those still using it, it may take more than a single gunshot behind the shed.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just as long as they leave me my Santa-tracker

    It looks like NORAD's elves are on their summer vacation, so maybe HTML5 once we get to the holidays?

    https://www.noradsanta.org/

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Just as long as they leave me my Santa-tracker

      It would appear that The Grinch has at least 2 accounts.

  4. Joe Werner Silver badge

    Accessibility

    Are official homepages not supposed to be "accessible" to people with disabilities? As soon as they use flash it cannot bev that - unless you can force it to a "text only" version. In that case ditching flash would be really easy.

    To be honest: all this animated shite makes me sick. A homepage should (in those cases) deliver information. That's all. Too many self-acclaimed "web designers" forget that. Usually I am against capital punishment, but here... dunno.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Accessibility

      :O when you had the likes of HomeStarRunner, RatherGood (The Adventures of the Blode), Weebl and Bob, Foamy the Squirrel you can see what Flash allowed people back then to do.

      When video was impossible Flash was an excellent tool for producers bringing media entertainment to us with 33/56k modems (Although ascii art was pretty cool from this time period as well). Like anything created back then, it could do a lot (Probably to much) and it has paid by being grouped with Java.

      I'll continue ranting how less interactive Strongbad emails are now on Youtube since back in my day you had to find all the hidden clips.

  5. Updraft102

    Add the US National Weather Service to that list.

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      And the BBC. They are still heavy users of Flash.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The BBC? It used to be true, but they seem to have fixed their act, it's been a long while since I've seen the grey box with "Flash required" on their sire.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "The BBC? It used to be true, but they seem to have fixed their act, it's been a long while since I've seen the grey box with "Flash required" on their sire."

          The news site, yes, except when they link back to older video to illustrate a story. But have a look at the TV show pages and especially the children's and schools/education sections

  6. elvisimprsntr

    US Gov't and schools continuing to use Flash is a form of government subsidy. Since most Flash programmers couldn't get job anywhere else, the Gov't gives them a job to keep them off unemployment. Also applies to most politicians and their staff.

  7. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Mushroom

    It will get better, finally. When Microsoft finally wakes up and drops Flash from Windows 10. Until then, you can't* even uninstall it!

    * Well, you can, if you're willing to drop into an administrator console, delete files from two places, wave a chicken in the air, say a backwards prayer to Bill Gates and then put up with Windows Update bitching about how it can't update Flash forever.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      wave a chicken in the air

      Kids....

      Back in my day, there was no waving. We respectively held our chickens in the air, whilst sticking a deck-chair up our nose.

      Of course, this was followed by the buying of a Jumbo Jet, and the burying of all our clothes - as was expected at the time.

      1. Snivelling Wretch

        Quite right. Kids today have never had to eat a Renault 4, and wouldn't be seen dead wearing salami in their ears.

        1. 0laf Silver badge

          Nor disembowelling themselves with spears

          1. David 132 Silver badge

            or casseroling their gran.

            Mind you, there’s a few nice South Africans these days.

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Mind you, there’s a few nice South Africans these days.

              And that's not bloody surprising, man!

        2. Alistair
          Windows

          Eating a Renault? Hell I can't even get mine to grease a bike chain......

    2. jonathan keith

      And how many people forming string quartets are pretending their name is Keith these days? Precisely bloody none, that's how many.

      It's as if we lived through the 80s for nothing.

  8. Compression Artifact

    For the last year or more, the only Flash I ever see on the internet is the animated weather radar at radar.weather.gov. An animated gif would do the job just fine.

  9. usbac

    At some point soon, I intend to block Flash at our corporate firewall. I know I will hear a lot of wailing, but I'm very tempted to see how broken the web will be for our users.

    If the C-suite folks don't scream too loud, I might get away with it!

    I demanded that our in-house web developers remove flash from our sites years ago. There was a lot of whining about it but I simply told the developers that I'm going to block Flash access to our sites on a specific date. I told them that when some executive asks why our sites are broken, I would send them to the web developers.

    I've been putting a lot of pressure on any vendors still using Flash. We'll take our business elsewhere, kind of pressure. Some are complying, some aren't.

  10. elvisimprsntr

    I couldn't help but think of Brave Sir Robin after reading this thread.

    https://youtu.be/jYFefppqEtE?t=19

  11. razorfishsl

    VMware is using it for all the front end in their enterprise products, no sign of them even starting to scrap it off.

    You have to see the irony of a company using Flash in their flagship product, that requires the user to login as admin and them manage corporate infrastructure as admin from within a flash front end

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not true. Html5

      I do 99% of my vmware tasks on ubuntu unsing a web browser only - html5, no Flash.

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