Apple is blocking flash on the iPad and iPhone according to Kevin Lynch, CTO of Adobe.

No big deal...we can live without flash right? Its just annoying. Well, the real issue is WHY Apple is blocking flash. Its clearly because allowing developers to build apps in flash would mean they could build outside the tightly controlled "App store" and have some independence.

This is only the beginning. Once millions of people are using the iPad, Apple effectively would control all music, movie, book, and game distribution, creation and delivery of all media.

This means, potentially, that Apple could block movies that didnt pay a special "apple tax", or block news programs critical of apple, or force mandatory "upgrades" for continued use of the apps.

The scary part about the iPad is it puts their locked iPhone OS 1 step closer to the mac OS, and could conceivably replace the mac OS eventually, meaning all mac users would be totally under the control of Steve Jobs and Apple. Talk about a reversal from the old apple "think different" ad in 1984.

The more you use your iPhone/iPad, the more you support a world where choice and freedom are eliminated, and replaced with governership of Apple, controlling all media, information, news, government messages, social networks, etc. because they control the hardware, the distribution, the storage, the access, the network...

so I'm calling for a boycott until Apple straightens up and flys right...respects our freedom and supports open standards and open development on their latest devices.

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Comment by Sonny Mobley on February 3, 2010 at 1:47pm
iPad is stupid! Flash is cool. Not an Apple fan.
Comment by JayBarti on February 3, 2010 at 1:42pm
Sorry here is a link from adobe around a past issue from November.

http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb08-22.html

Adobe does respond well and patch these issues, however a lot of people never update their software to fix these things, thus use the older exploitable versions.

As I said these issues surround not just Flash but the whole browser/OS space. Acrobat and Adobe Reader also can have similar issues.
Comment by JayBarti on February 3, 2010 at 1:29pm
The issues surrounding Flash do also surround a lot of other web technologies (ActiveX/JavaScript) which run inside or on top of browser space. It is all about how the applications communicate with the OS.

It is really a 3 fold problem, between the OS of the computer, browsers and applications which can run in browser permission space.

Any programing language can be used for malicious intent, Flash is no exception, it can be injected with malicious code like almost any other platform on the web.

Flash is currently poised to be a major attack vector, precisely because it is very cross platform, and runs in almost every browser space. The specific issues could be solved by changing how flash interacts with browsers (which Adobe has been doing) or changing how browsers interact with the operating system (this is also happening).

As things move more and more to the Web 2.0 based side of things, it is something to keep in mind that all things malicious do not always arrive just through email. There are many ways to mess with and steal information. Being aware of it shouldn't stop you from using the products, but you cannot just assume that flash is safe.

Part of my problem with the MacOS crowd is the it cannot happen to me because I own a Mac fallacy. It can happen to you, you just might not be aware of it.
Comment by Howard S. Dunn on February 3, 2010 at 1:05pm
What I find fascinating is that Apple and Adobe owe a lot to each other. If it weren't for the 'digital artists' who were afraid/uncomfortable with left brain computing - Apple would have floundered. The Adobe/Mac synergy for 'intuitive' users helped both companies gain their current statures as tier 1 tech companies.
Comment by ryan cameron on February 3, 2010 at 12:45pm
@Tom, sorry I should not have assumed you were ignorant. There could be an infinite number of reasons why you might dislike the flash platform.

My frustration here is the rampant perpetuation of myth and misinformation on the flash platform that has led to a general dislike of the technology as a result of popular opinion, rather than hard, cold facts.

@JayBarti - "serious security issues"? Care to cite one, or reference something on that? Any issues that do not apply to practically every other web technology that exists?

Obviously, full disclosure I have a vested interest in defending flash, I use it to make a living building various applications for corporations. It is difficult to stand silently by while the product is maligned by casual tossed off statements that, I believe, are unverifiable and seem to be increasing as a direct result of Apple's anti flash stance, which is clearly financially motivated as flash would represent a means for putting control into the hands of consumers/developers and not the corporation.
Comment by JayBarti on February 3, 2010 at 12:18pm
I have been personally boycotting Apple products for years, which is tough considering I work in publishing. Every machine I work on at work is an Apple product, and I am surrounded by people who simply do not care or do not understand how Apple is operating these days and my stance around their product line.

I always get asked what do I think of product. I am honest and say well its fine if you like being told what you can and cannot do with something you own.

iTunes could have been great, instead it is just another piece of DRM'd software iJunk.

On the Flash support issue I am a bit ambivalent about it, there are some serious security issues around the Adobes' Flash structure, some of which still need to be properly dealt with.
Comment by Tom Thompson on February 3, 2010 at 11:55am
Apple has as much right, in the capitalistic market which it serves, to support any technologies it wishes, provided there are no anti-trust concerns, as you have to call for a boycott of their products. I deny neither. I was merely expressing my opinion about their support of flash.

I am not ignorant about the role that flash fills but there is ever increasing support for web standards which fill the same needs that flash fills without the negative aspects of flash. You are welcome to your own opinion but don't assume that I am ignorant just because I disagree.
Comment by ryan cameron on February 3, 2010 at 11:29am
Plus, I totally disagree with your anti flash stance, no doubt it is based on an ignorant assumption of what flash is, not on an understanding of it.

Common myths:
1. flash is closed source. Wrong..the swf format has been open source for years and swf files can be created/edited by all kinds of non adobe software.

2. flash has annoying ads. Wrong. People write annoying ads and bad software in flash. You can write bad software in any technology. Blaming flash is like blaming water for flooding or blaming fire for burning down houses.

3. flash doesnt work well on the Mac. OLD info. Adobe has been working very hard to rewrite the flash platform and it is taking developers a while to come into the new technology so much of the flash you see out there is running on the older player technology because developers are slow to change. Adobe / flash again are not the issue.

4. flash blocks search engines. Wrong again. Google and Adobe are working together to make the SWF format more searchable, and good flash developers know how to build their files using external text files (much like how CSS works) to enable search engines to spider a site and take users to the proper resulting page.
Comment by ryan cameron on February 3, 2010 at 11:20am
Tom, thats not the point though. What if the iPhone decided to not support "A/N" because of a few anti apple blogs, or block certain books because they upset religious people who represent a significant portion of their customer base? You may not like flash, like I do not like Christianity, but I would prefer a world where it was legal to believe/use/read/play whatever I want, and not have to be forced to use/not use something because a corporation tells me to.
Comment by Tom Thompson on February 3, 2010 at 11:03am
I'm actually quite pleased that iPhone OS does not support flash. In my opinion flash is detrimental to the future of the internet and the sooner it dies the better.

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