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Next Flash Version Will Support Private Browsing 192

Posted by kdawson
from the en-oh-wye-bee dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The world rolled its eyes when the problem of Flash cookies came to light several months ago. Even if you're careful about cookies or even if you use your browser's private surfing feature, sites can still track you through cookies stored by Flash. However, soon enough the next version of Flash, 10.1, will support private browsing and will integrate with browsers to turn it on when the browser itself is in private browsing mode. Browsers still store data during a private browser session, but they will delete it all at the end of the session. The same will be true of Flash private browsing."
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Next Flash Version Will Support Private Browsing

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  • Firefox extensions (Score:5, Informative)

    by pydev (1683904) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @06:59PM (#31162354)

    Get FlashBlock [mozilla.org] or NoScript [mozilla.org] to turn off flash altogether.

    Get BetterPrivacy [mozilla.org] to automatically delete Flash cookies on exit; it seems to work well.

  • by harmonise (1484057) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:01PM (#31162378)

    This feature is here now for Firefox users with the Better Privacy [mozilla.org] extension.

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:4, Informative)

    by broken_chaos (1188549) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:02PM (#31162400)

    Online games are a major user (as opposed to abuser) of storing data with Flash. There are some that actually are complex and long enough (and fun, too!) to warrant a save function. It can also be mildly-to-moderately helpful for some other Flash 'applications', like a video/audio player storing settings like volume levels.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:03PM (#31162408)

    sudo chown 0:0 .macromedia
    sudo chmod 0000 .macromedia

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:2, Informative)

    by Wingman 5 (551897) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:03PM (#31162412)
    I can give one good legitimate example, flash games. It allows you to save your game and allow a more complex game that that could need more than one sitting to beat.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:09PM (#31162484)

    I tried that and found some sites no longer worked. The "Zero Punctuation" videos were one I remember

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:31PM (#31162702)

    from the article:
    "Likewise, if the browser is in normal browsing mode when the Flash Player instance is created, then that particular instance will forever be in normal browsing mode (private browsing is turned off). Accordingly, toggling private browsing on or off without refreshing the page or closing the private browsing window will not impact Flash Player."
    so be sure you close all your ff windows and fully close, then start a fresh session, and enter private browsing mode before hitting any sites, then fully close and start a fresh session before resuming normal browsing.

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:3, Informative)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:33PM (#31162726) Journal

    That really adds unnecessary complexity. There are tons of those flash games sites and they would all need to generate same kind of database scheme or make a standard on how you pass the data between the site and flash applet.

    Instead more controls about it is the way to go. Personally I would also like an option to globally disallow all cookies, but let it ask me if I want to save data.

    I noticed earlier today that theres beta of 10.1 out [adobe.com] and interestingly it also supports hardware accelerated video with NVidia cards. Lowered dramatically CPU usage when playing video in full-screen. Seems that this private browsing thing isn't included yet tho.

  • On OS X... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:36PM (#31162748)

    On OS X just delete all the downloaded content & local shared objects, then lock the folders:

    ~/Library/Caches/Adobe/Flash\ Player/AssetCache
    ~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash\ Player

    Flash thinks it can save local shared objects, so things like Pandora work (if you're in to that -- I'm not), but nothing is actually saved.

    Using the "locked" flag on the folders is better than using restrictive permissions since apps and installers often require you temporarily grant them admin privileges to reinstall or fix their folders if they don't like the permissions. They usually don't, however, look for the locked flag, nor know how to change it / work around it.

    Please don't tell Adobe you can do this.

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:3, Informative)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:37PM (#31162758)

    However, with the advent of Flex (now Flashbuilder to confuse and confound more), there are many applications out there that legitimately store information on the client.
    There has been a large mention of games already, but to that mix, I would add business software. There are many RIA's out there that manage data and distribution using Flex, and hence, pull a large amount of information from servers. Yes, sure, you could reload the data every time that you navigate away from a particular flash harness page, or you could store data within the shared object and not need to spend the vendor's bandwidth, nor stuff the client's pipe with information that was just sent a few minutes ago.

    Doesn't HTTP define a whole slew of metadata headers and specified caching behavior to specifically address this kind of thing? Why build "rich" web apps that don't leverage HTTP features that specifically address the need you are dealing with?

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rejemy (78237) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:40PM (#31162798) Homepage

    Flash cookies are shared by all browsers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:07PM (#31163072)

    Does HTML5 provides for the same level of rich client platform development as Flash/Flex? With numerous widgets just like in Motif/MFC, just easier to use? (MXML just shines in GUI development, far beyond of what Motif/MFC/AWT/Swing offer).

    Sure. HTML combined with CSS and Javascript / AJAX will do 80-90% of what Flash is used for.

    Does HTML5 allows you to play video with some advertisement in a running text over it?

    Sure. Just use a CSS layer.

    Does HTML5 protects your video site from hotlinking? I.E. can you make sure that nobody can embed your videos into their pages and make sales while you pay for the bandwidth?

    This is a HTTP issue and server side security issue. It is trivial to grep a Flash file for the raw SWF download location most times.

    Sorry, HTML5 'video', 'audio' tags and other dings and wistles... you have your place (probably on YouTube), but you ain't gonna replace Flash anytime soon. Especially not on commercial sites (like pr0n tubes), not for RCP development either. World needs a full-blown rich client platform for the browsers and so far Adobe has been the only one who were able to provide a cross-platform, browser-independent solution. And they did it quite well, despite of some quirks. Sun with JavaFX has failed... would you like MS to take over with their Windows-only Silverlight technology?

    Hardcore Flash games I can see and some super heavy duty flash "applications", but so often this can be done in HTML with CSS / AJAX. The designers are normally just clueless and have no wish to learn code or how stuff works after taking their 1-week Adobe course and getting accreditation as a "web developer".

  • Re:Remind me why (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:08PM (#31163082)

    Sorry for comment hijacking.

    Adobe provides Flash Settings Manager [macromedia.com] to allay your privacy concerns. Of course, it is not very user-friendly for average Joe but average Joe probably can't be bothered about privacy anyway. And there is "Delete All" button as well, for paranoids.

  • FlashBlock (Score:4, Informative)

    by shovas (1605685) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:08PM (#31163084) Homepage

    Someone mentioned it in passing but I'll say it directly: FlackBlock [mozilla.org]

    I'm not one to turn off the web with NoScript or not contribute to sites I'm visiting by using AdBlock. FlashBlock is a great compromise. Normal ads, no stupid flash instability. Click on the flash when actually want it to run for where it's actually needed. You'll be surprised how well it works.

  • by antdude (79039) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:14PM (#31163136) Homepage Journal
  • Re:Remind me why (Score:3, Informative)

    by abulafia (7826) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @08:15PM (#31163144)

    Doesn't HTTP define a whole slew of metadata headers and specified caching behavior to specifically address this kind of thing? Why build "rich" web apps that don't leverage HTTP features that specifically address the need you are dealing with?

    HTTP page caching doesn't have semantics for things not of 'document' granularity. Think database records. People want to use these things as front ends to corporate directories and whatnot, be able to futz around with them on a plane, and have them sync when they're back in touch with the mothership. HTTP doesn't try to provide anything at all close to record level caching.

  • Re:Overreacting? (Score:3, Informative)

    by base3 (539820) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @09:30PM (#31163702)
    Yeah, but the advertising networks that advertise on the midget pr0n site, the beer bong site, the church site, etc. are all pushing Flash ads from the same domain and know what sites their ads were served from, so his hypothesis isn't all that flawed.

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