Saturday, September 29, 2012

ROCCUPY - Occupy DC Welcomes the New Year!

ROCCUPY - Occupy DC Welcomes the New Year!

Posted 2 days ago on Sept. 26, 2012, 8:45 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: dc
Occupy DC One Year Anniversary


Join Occupy DC to celebrate our one-year anniversary! Occupy DC had one of the longest-running occupations of a major US city, and it's time for a week of fun and activism to celebrate our successes, usher in a new year for the 99%, and call for system change.
ROCCUPY FESTIVAL - Sat 9/29, Sun 9/30
Two days of plays, music, art, political discussions, and general assemblies in Freedom Plaza, because Occupy loves you. Family-friendly, affirmative, and an example of what the 99% wants more of in the world. Panel discussions to discuss the Occupy movement and the election, kid-friendly games, comedy, meet-and-greet with other organizations, music performances, the Occuplay and other special performances.
Meet at 7 AM at McPherson Square to shut down the street where corporate lobbyists, bankers, and the 1% do their shady dealings with the government. Bring tents, sleeping bags, other items as needed. Individual, autonomous affinity groups welcome to plan whatever inspires them.
These are themed days of action in resistance to the system and in solidarity with the 99%. Individual, autonomous affinity groups welcome to plan whatever inspires them.
10/1 – SHUT DOWN K STREET day of action. (Please see above.)
10/2 – Bank/economic day of action. Meet 7 AM at Bank of America, Pennsylvania & 15th St NW, to “foreclose” a bank. Meet 1 PM at same location for march to deliver “bailout money” to social services, schools, and the people.
10/3 – Lobbyists day of action. A day to stick it to the notorious lobbyists, one-percenters, and Citizens-United Super PAC campaign donors who are undermining democracy and imperiling our system.
10/4 – 99% solidarity day of action. Visiting our 99% friends in shows of solidarity, and uniting together against the oppression of the 1%.
10/5 – Earth, sustainability, and energy day of action. A day of opposing industrial agriculture, GMOs, hydro-fracking, pollution, oil, coal, and other dirty energy, and working toward a healthy, sustainable planet.
10/6 – OCCUPY DC FREEDOM PLAZA ANNIVERSARY, a day for calling for an end to wars and militarism. The Occupy DC Freedom Plaza location began on the anniversary of our invasion of Afghanistan on October 6, 2001. This October 6, join Occupy DC to oppose war and militarism, and call for US troops out of Afghanistan now!
10/7 – Occupy Democracy day of action. A day for calling for a true democracy, one month prior to Election Day. Meet 5 PM in McPherson Square for a general assembly to display what a real, egalitarian, horizontal democracy might look like!
A year ago, on October 1, 2011, ecstatic that the 99% had begun occupying Wall Street, brave activists here in Washington DC began occupying McPherson Square on K Street, the corridor where corporate lobbyists, bankers, and the 1% come to wield their power. On October 6, more fearless members of the 99% began occupying Freedom Plaza in downtown DC, about ten blocks to the south. Two active camps were established with several hundred occupiers between the two of them. They survived the snow and rain of winter and persecution from the police, until the police violently raided the camps in the second week of February 2012.
There are more reasons than ever to occupy -- to dwell in the places where the 1% do their corrupt dealings, and refuse to leave. Join the 99% as we reclaim our democracy, our future, our world.

How to manually install Adobe Flash Player on your Android device
Android Central

​New devices will soon be unable to get Adobe Flash from Google Play. Here's how to install it manually.

From today, for some new devices, Adobe Flash Player will no longer be available from Google Play, marking the end of Flash’s brief flirtation with Android. That means if you want to get hold of Flash on an Android device that doesn't ship with it, you’ll need to resort to a little bit of trickery. Fortunately, though, it’s pretty easy to get Flash up and running manually, assuming you understand the risks.
Join us after the break to find out how to manually install a legacy version of Adobe Flash Player on your Android phone or tablet.

Big scary warning

Before we begin, make sure you understand the risks associated with running the now-unsupported Adobe Flash on your device --
  • There’s no official support for Flash on Android now. That means no more security or stability updates, no official support channels if something goes wrong. In particular, if you’re using this on an Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) device, you can probably expect a few stability issues
  • The fact that security updates are no longer being developed for Flash for Android means that running this could potentially open you up to security risks and malicious Flash content. There’s no record of Flash exploits specifically targeting Android users, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.
  • You’re installing an app from a third-party source, so you’ll need to disable one of Android’s built-in security options. Remember to re-enable it afterwards for your device’s security.
  • On newer hardware, particularly devices running Android 4.1, you may experience stability issues with Flash content. That’s just the way Flash rolls on mobile devices.


You’ll need a phone or tablet running Android 2.2 (Froyo) to 4.1 (Jelly Bean). Check Settings > About phone / About tablet to see what you’re running. If you’re on Jelly Bean, check that you have a stock browser installed besides Google Chrome, as Chrome for Android doesn’t support Flash. Check your app drawer for “Browser” or “Internet.”

The method

Now, down to business. The process of getting Flash for Android on a device that doesn’t already have it is pretty simple.
  1. First, you’ll need to tell your device it’s OK to install apps from sources other than Google Play. You’ll need to check the box marked “Unknown sources.” On Android 2.2, 2.3 or 3.x, this is found under Settings > Applications. On Android 4.x, you’ll find it under Settings > Security.
  2. On your phone or tablet, download the Flash for Android application downloader. (It'll then download the file directly from Adobe.)
  3. Once that’s done, pull down the notification area and tap on the file to install it. Tap “Install” on the next screen to confirm.
  4. When Flash is installed, head into your phone’s stock browser (again, Google Chrome won’t support your newly-installed Flash apk).
  5. On Android 3.0 or later, go to Menu (three dots next to the address bar on some phones) > Settings > Advanced > Enable plug-ins. To enable Flash content all the time, select “Always on,” or to enable it selectively on each page, choose “On demand.” Or on Android 2.2 or 2.3, go to Menu > Settings (sometimes Menu > More > Settings), where you’ll find the “Enable plug-ins” option.
  6. You should now be ready to go. Check this link on your phone to confirm that Flash is up and running.
Android Central Android Central Android Central
Finally, once it’s working, you may want to uncheck the “Unknown sources” option once again to keep your phone or tablet secure.
So there you have it -- Flash support on your Android device. Flash on mobile devices has never been perfect, but on the right hardware Flash 11.1 for Android will give you a decent experience. Remember, though, that Flash has been withdrawn from the Google Play Store for a reason -- it’s no longer officially supported, so bear that in mind as you’re browsing through Flash content on your phone.




would you buy a used car from this man?Back in 2004 and 2008, GOP operative Nathan Sproul was constantly being accused of voter registration fraud — including having his workers misrepresent themselves as nonpartisan, and then having them throw away or destroy registration forms turned in by Democrats. (One Utah Republican noted, “the difference between ACORN and Sproul is that ACORN doesn’t throw away or change registration documents after they have been filled out.”) But back in 2004 and 2008, Republicans hadn’t spent a year trying to disenfranchise olds, poors, youngs and minorities with voter ID laws, so so what, who cayuhs? Now the RNC is shocked — shocked! — that the man they’ve paid $2.9 million to so far this year to conduct voter registration in five battleground states has apparently been caught turning in voter registration forms for dead people in Florida. No really, they’re shocked. They have totally fired him, and he’s super-blacklisted until Karl Rove’s Crossroads or the Koch Brothers’ AFP puts him on the payroll. (Or until, like Blackwater, he changes his firm’s name.) So we figure he’ll still be blacklisted until at least next Tuesday.
So what was Sproul’s Strategic Allied Consulting doing this time? Oh, just turning in voter registration forms for dead people, giving their addresses as gas stations and a Land Rover dealership. Fully a third of the forms they turned in to the Palm Beach registrar look to have been fake.
This is excellent news for John McCain.

Intel, Partners Showcase Windows 8 Tablets and More

Intel, Partners Showcase Windows 8 Tablets and More

Intel Clover Trail
Would you pay $650 for a Wintel tablet? That's the price Samsung will charge for its upcoming Windows 8-based Series 5 Slate powered by Intel's newly unveiled Atom Z2760 chip.

Samsung and several other Intel and Microsoft partners were on hand at an Intel-hosted event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on Thursday to showcase upcoming Windows 8 tablets and hybrid laptops that use Intel's dual-core, 1.8GHz System-on-a-Chip (SoC) formerly code named Clover Trail. The Atom Z2760 (pictured) will be released on Oct. 26 alongside Microsoft's next-generation, touch-optimized operating system, with hardware manufacturers like Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and others coming out with tablets and hybrid tablet-laptops built around the x86 SoC and running Windows 8.

Before getting started, Intel Mobile and Communications Group executive Erik Reid tried to clear up a bit of a PR mess over reported comments made by CEO Paul Otellini in Asia earlier in the week.
"We could not be more excited about Windows 8 and what it brings to the market ... and that's the message Paul delivered to the employees this week," Reid said, referring to and dismissing reports that Otellini described Windows 8 as not being ready for release.
Samsung was the only Wintel partner at the SFMOMA showcase to name a price for its upcoming product. The Series 5 Slate will sell for $649 as a tablet and for $749 with its dockable keyboard attached, the South Korean tech giant said.
Other products on display included hybrid laptops with detachable tablets like the Acer Iconia W510, Asus Vivo Tab, Dell Latitude 10, and HP Envy x2, all due out in the Windows 8 release timeframe, as well as a standalone tablet Lenovo called the ThinkPad 2 that could also be ready by Oct. 26 and another standalone from ZTE called the V98 that won't be made available until January.
One notable party missing from the event was Microsoft itself, which has its own Intel-based version of its self-produced, Windows 8-based Surface tablet on tap as well. Fujitsu and LG Electronics are also readying Windows 8 tablets and hybrids running on Atom chips, according to Intel.
Other than Samsung's, Lenovo's, and ZTE's offerings, these Clover Trail laptop-tablet hybrids are all being sold as a package deal, so the $749 Samsung will charge for both its tablet and keyboard set-up might be the benchmark for prices we can expect for the other manufacturer's devices.
For consumers, the new Wintel hybrids from Acer, Asus, HP, and Samsung are probably the best bets for a holiday purchase. Dell's Latitude 10 and Lenovo's ThinkPad 2 are being targeted at the enterprise, according to those companies.
All of the tablets and detachable tablets showcased at SFMOMA were in the 10-inch to 11-inch range, weighed in at as little as 1.5 pounds, and were in the 9-millimeter range for thinness. Some thicker Windows 8 tablets sporting more powerful and more power hungry Intel Core chips were on display at the event but ultimately this was a day for Clover Trail.
The Atom Z2760 is a 32-nanometer chip with hyperthreading that affords four-way processing on its two CPU cores, plus a built-in graphics engine that Intel pitched as delivering better graphics and video performance than ever before. You'll get more than 10 hours of battery life on a system packing the Clover Trail SoC, according to Intel, plus better than three weeks of connected standby.
Because it's built on the x86 architecture, the Atom Z2760 is basically tailor-made for Windows, Reid said. He and a colleague demonstrated a Clover Trail slate running such core Microsoft productivity apps as Word and Excel without a hitch, as well as showing a brief snippet of a shoot-em-up video game and a deejay application.
"Intel has made a lot of progress on their tablet SoC. If you look back just a year ago, Windows-based Intel tablets were high performance, but also were thick, heavy, had a fan, and got around four hours of battery life," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst for Moor Insights & Strategies.
"With the Atom Z2760, Intel now has tablets as thin as 9mm, light, fanless, and with all day battery life. That's a huge change and was driven as much by hardware design as it was software integration."
Intel spent a lot of time talking up voice recognition and gesture-based interfaces for future-generation ultrabooks, tablets, and hybrids at the recent Intel Developer Forum. None of that technology will be in the first wave of Wintel tablets and hybrids, it appears, but what you will be getting in systems like the HP Envy x2 and the Samsung Series 5 is a device that functions like both a standard Windows laptop PC and a pretty nifty tablet to boot.
Will that make a dent in the holiday market with popular products already out there like the Android-based Nexus 7 from Google and Asus, the new Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, and the rumored iPad Mini from Apple—not to mention Microsoft's own Surface and tablets running the ARM-optimized Windows RT version of Windows 8?
Moorhead said it looks like Intel's play in the consumer tablet space may take a bit longer to gain steam than the traction it stands to get in the enterprise with the release of Windows 8.
"Tablets from HP and Dell will initially play very well in the enterprise space, a market which Apple is trying hard to penetrate. Intel-based tablets provide a much stronger value proposition than an iPad to enterprise IT, in that to the enterprise, they 'look' like a Windows PC. They're deployed, managed, and have the security that IT is already familiar with," the analyst said.

To Fight Crime, a Poor City Will Trade In Its Police

September 28, 2012

To Fight Crime, a Poor City Will Trade In Its Police

CAMDEN, N.J. — Two gruesome murders of children last month — a toddler decapitated, a 6-year-old stabbed in his sleep — served as reminders of this city’s reputation as the most dangerous in America. Others can be found along the blocks of row houses spray-painted “R.I.P.,” empty liquor bottles clustered on their porches in memorial to murder victims.
The police acknowledge that they have all but ceded these streets to crime, with murders on track to break records this year. And now, in a desperate move to regain control, city officials are planning to disband the Police Department.
The reason, officials say, is that generous union contracts have made it financially impossible to keep enough officers on the street. So in November, Camden, which has already had substantial police layoffs, will begin terminating the remaining 273 officers and give control to a new county force. The move, officials say, will free up millions to hire a larger, nonunionized force of 400 officers to safeguard the city, which is also the nation’s poorest.
Hardly a political battle of the last several years has been fiercer than the one over the fate of public sector unions. But Camden’s decision to remake perhaps the most essential public service for a city riven by crime underscores how communities are taking previously unimaginable steps to get out from under union obligations that built up over generations.
Though the city is solidly Democratic, the plan to put the Police Department out of business has not prompted the wide public outcry seen in the union battles in Chicago, Ohio or Wisconsin, in part because many residents have come to resent a police force they see as incompetent, corrupt and doing little to make their streets safe.
A police union has sued to stop the move, saying it is risking public safety on an “unproven” idea. But many residents, community groups and elected officials say that the city is simply out of money, out of options, out of patience.
“There’s no alternative, there’s no Plan B,” the City Council president, Frank Moran, said. “It’s the only option we have.”
Faced with tight budgets, many communities across the country are considering regionalizing their police departments, along with other services like firefighting, libraries and schools. Though some governments have rejected the idea for fear of increasing police response time, the police in Camden — population 77,000 — are already so overloaded they no longer respond to property crimes or car accidents that do not involve injuries.
The new effort follows a push by New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie, a Republican, and Democratic leaders in the Legislature to encourage cities and towns to regionalize government services. They maintain that in a new era of government austerity, it is no longer possible for each community to offer a full buffet of government services, especially with a new law prohibiting communities from raising property taxes more than 2 percent a year.
Most municipalities have so far remained committed to local traditions, fearing a loss of community identity, but officials in Camden County say they expect others will soon feel compelled to follow the city’s example.
Camden’s budget was $167 million last year, and of that, the budget for the police was $55 million. Yet the city collected only $21 million in property taxes. It has relied on state aid to make up the difference, but the state is turning off the spigot. The city has imposed furloughs, reduced salaries and trash collection, and increased fees. But the businesses the city desperately needs to attract to generate more revenue are scared off by the crime.
“We cannot move the city forward unless we address public safety,” the mayor, Dana L. Redd, said. “This is about putting boots on the ground.”
Even union officials acknowledge that the contract is rich with expensive provisions. For example, officers earn an additional 4 percent for working a day shift, and an additional 10 percent for the shift starting at 9:30 p.m. They earn an additional 11 percent for working on a special tactical force or an anticrime patrol.
Salaries range from about $47,000 to $81,000 now, not including the shift differentials or additional longevity payments of 3 percent to 11 percent for any officer who has worked five years or more. Officials say they anticipate salaries for the new force will range from $47,000 to $87,000.
In 2009, as the economy was putting a freeze on municipal budgets even in well-off communities, the police here secured a pay increase of 3.75 percent.
And liberal sick time and family-leave policies have created an unusually high absentee rate: every day, nearly 30 percent of the force does not show up. (A typical rate elsewhere is in the single digits.)
“How do I go to the community and say ‘I’m doing everything I can to help you fight crime’ when some of my officers are working better hours than bankers?” the police chief, J. Scott Thomson, asked.
Chief Thomson, who is well regarded nationally, is expected to lead the new force. Though Camden County covers 220 square miles and includes 37 municipalities, the proposal calls for a division focused exclusively on the nine-square-mile city of Camden.
Camden, in the shadow of Philadelphia’s glimmering towers, once had a thriving industrial base — a shipyard, Campbell Soup and RCA plants along the waterfront. About 60,000 jobs were lost when those companies moved or shifted them elsewhere.
Nearly one in five of its residents is unemployed, and Broadway, once the main shopping strip, is now a canyon of abandoned buildings.
The burned-out shell of one house, a landmark built by one of the city’s founding families, has become a drug den.
This month, a heroin user there demanded that a passer-by give her some privacy to use it. “Can you show me a little respect?” she said. “I’m in a park.”
Camden reorganized its Police Department in 2008 and had a lower homicide rate for two years. Then the recession forced layoffs, reducing the force by about 100 officers.
The city has employed other crime-fighting tactics — surveillance cameras, better lighting, curfews for children — but the number of murders has risen again: at 48 so far this year, it is on pace to break the record, 58.
The murder rate so far this year is above 6 people per 10,000. By contrast, New York City’s rate is just over one-third of a person per 10,000 residents.
Many of the drug users come to Camden from elsewhere in the county, getting off the light-rail system to buy from the drug markets along what police call Heroin Highway in the neighborhood of North Camden.
“That is cocaine, that is heroin, that is crack,” Bryan Morton, a community activist, said recently as he used his car key to flick away empty bags while his 3-year-old daughter played nearby. This summer, Mr. Morton tried to set up the city’s first Little League in 15 years in nearby Pyne Poynt Park. Drug users colonized even the portable toilets set up for the players, littering them with empty glassine drug packets and needle caps.
Like other residents, he is resentful of the police union for making it so prohibitive to hire more officers. “The contract is creating a public safety crisis,” Mr. Morton said. “More officers could change the complexion of this neighborhood.”
John Williamson, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, blamed the city for creating the problems by shifting officers onto patrols, where they receive extra pay, from administrative positions. He said he was open to negotiation but believed that the city simply wanted to get rid of the contract.
“They want to go back to a 1930s atmosphere where employees and officers have absolutely no rights to redress bad management and poor working conditions,” he said.
Under labor law, the current contract will remain in effect if the new county force hires more than 49 percent of the current officers. So county officials say they will hire fewer than that. Nevertheless, they expect that the new force will eventually become unionized.
Officials say that simply adding officers will not make all the difference, given the deep suspicion many residents harbor toward the police. As the chief and his deputy drove through the Whitman Park neighborhood this month, people sitting on their stoops stood up to shake their fists and shout obscenities at them. When police officers arrested a person suspected of dealing drugs in a house on a narrow street in North Camden last year, residents set upon their cars and freed the prisoner.
The new county officers will be brought in 25 at a time, while the existing force is still in place, and trained on neighborhood streets, in the hopes that they can become part of their fabric and regain trust.
Ian K. Leonard, a member of the Camden County Board of Freeholders and the state political director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said he did not blame the union officials who won the provisions. But he said he believed that the contracts were helping to perpetuate the “most dangerous city in America” title that he and others hate.
“If you add police, it will give us a fighting chance,” Mr. Leonard said. “People need a fighting chance.”

Friday, September 28, 2012

GOP again denies Dem calls for House to return to work

GOP again denies Dem calls for House to return to work

By Pete Kasperowicz 09/28/12 12:00 PM ET
House Democrats on Friday morning renewed their call for the House to return to work and pass legislation to fix the pending tax crisis, reduce the debt and make federal health programs more sustainable, but were again shut down by House Republicans.

The House reconvened for a short pro forma session on Friday morning, and in a surprise move quickly passed three bills, including one that would delay the implementation of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK) Act for federal workers, and another extending protections for federal "whistleblowers."
As Republicans were moving to pass these bills by unanimous consent, they were met by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who said work should also be taken up on contentious tax issues.
"The bills that we just passed by unanimous consent were important measures and I strongly support the whistleblower protection bill, which will protect federal employees against retaliation if they're shining a little sunlight on violations and abuses in the federal government," Van Hollen said. "I also believe the House should reconvene to conduct the other business before the House."

"I do want to point out that we here in Washington ought to be doing our job," Waxman added. "We have our nation's urgent priorities. We need to increase jobs, strengthen our economy, prevent the fiscal cliff, protect Medicare from cuts, address our long-term debt.

"We should be fighting for the middle class, not preserving tax breaks for oil companies and millionaires."

Minutes later, when work on the three bills was completed, Waxman asked to address the House for one minute on the larger issues that he said the House should be addressing. But Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), who was managing the work of passing the bills, objected.

After that, Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), who was the presiding officer, ruled that the House was not going to take up any additional business.

"Recognition of members for such requests is done at the discretion of the chair. The House is limiting its debate today to the matters before the House, and such a request is not in order at this time."

That prompted Waxman to make a parliamentary inquiry:

"During pro forma session, can the chair entertain legislative business?" he asked. "Since we're taking up other items, I would like to know whether we can do business in the House of Representatives to address the priorities in this nation."

But Culberson dismissed Waxman's question and quickly gaveled the session of the House closed.

"The gentleman is asking a question regarding a matter of scheduling and not a question regarding the rules of the House," Culberson said. "The House is in session today to consider the business brought before it by the gentleman from California, and pursuant to section 3B of House Resolution 788, the House stands adjourned until 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012."

On Tuesday, Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) called for the House to return to work. The House plans to hold pro forma sessions twice a week until after the November elections.

Schumer pushes FEMA to release Tioga County aid

Schumer pushes FEMA to release Tioga County aid

$4 million needed for document preservation

12:03 PM, Sep. 28, 2012  |  
Downtown Owego. The Tioga County Courthouse is at the top center. / Staff
OWEGO — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is pushing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to release $4 million in disaster aid for Tioga County.
The funding would be used to restore county courthouse documents damaged by the flood more than a year ago. In June, the federal agency had promised more than $4 million for the restoration effort, according to Schumer’s office.
“The $4 million expenditure, which will have to be deducted from the county’s budget in mid-October, will be crippling if the county has to bear the brunt of it,” Schumer said in a letter to FEMA Administrator William Fugate. “Before the cost of document replacement, the county already has to cut costs and lay off 20 employees.”
County officials sent the documents to preservationists and have paid $380,000 upfront to have them sorted, freeze-dried and preserved. Two employees are working full-time sorting documents and determining which don’t need to be replaced.
Tropical Storm Lee hit Tioga County — and particularly Owego, the county seat — hard last fall, creating more than 300 public assistance projects costing more than $30 million. Owego’s municipal building was inundated and had to replace hundreds of documents, including deeds and contracts for local businesses.

What the Death of Mobile Flash Means for the Web

What the Death of Mobile Flash Means for the Web

Adobe Software has let slip that it plans to abandon its Flash Player for mobile web browsers. Instead, the company willrefocus its mobile efforts on web standards like HTML5, along with tools like Adobe AIR, which allows developers to convert Flash content into native mobile applications.
The move comes as something of a surprise given how vigorously Adobe has defended mobile Flash in the past. Lately, however, Adobe has been proposing new web standards and even bought the non-Flash mobile development tool PhoneGap, both of which indicate that Adobe is looking toward a future without Flash.
Indeed, while Adobe’s plans affect only mobile Flash at the moment, the sudden about-face does not bode well for Flash on the desktop. Mobile devices are the fastest growing means of connecting to the web; what doesn’t work on mobile devices will soon not be a relevant part of the web at all.
In abandoning mobile, Adobe is effectively admitting that Flash has no future on the web.
That doesn’t mean Flash will disappear overnight. Nor does it mean that Flash will ever disappear for developers interested in using it. It just means that when it comes to deploying Flash applications, the web won’t be a realistic option. Instead, Flash developers of the future will convert their Flash code into Android, Windows Mobile or iOS apps using Adobe AIR’s conversion tools.
Web developers, on the other hand, will likely abandon Flash if they haven’t already. Without a reliable way to serve Flash content to mobile devices, its web presence will likely continue to decline. Of course the demise of Flash has been inevitable for some time — after all, much of HTML5 was specifically designed to give developers a means of replacing Flash dependencies with native tools — but Adobe’s decision to abandon mobile devices should send a clear message to any developers who haven’t yet read the writing on the wall: Mobile is the future of the web and Flash isn’t part of it.
In the short term, Adobe is merely admitting what most developers already know; there are only two ways to develop for mobile devices: using the web and HTML5 or building platform native apps.
To choose web-based Flash apps over either of these options would mean consciously limiting your app’s audience. Given that neither Apple’s iOS nor Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 supports Flash (nor for that matter will Microsoft’s Windows 8 Metro), developing web apps that relied on Mobile Flash meant targeting only Android and Blackberry users. Adobe’s decision to abandon Flash for Mobile browsers is simply a pragmatic acceptance of the existing development landscape.
Similarly, while we don’t expect it to happen overnight, eventually Adobe will probably abandon Flash Player for the desktop as well — why continue developing a product when very few are using it? The AIR platform and its Flash-based tools for building native mobile apps will still be around to sell the Flash development tools (which is, after all, how Adobe makes money). Adobe simply won’t have any great need to continue pushing Flash on the web.
While some web standards advocates might see the eventual demise of Flash Player as a good thing for the web, we’re not so sure. Web standards were created to ensure that sites and apps work no matter what browser or device you’re using. Web standards were not created for — and have not historically been very good at — driving innovation on the web.
Innovation on the web has more often come from individual vendors — browsers, device makers and, yes, Flash. Flash laid many of the so-called cowpaths that HTML5 is paving in open standards. The audio and video tags for embedding media, the canvas element for animation, and the websockets protocol for communications are just a few of the things Flash helped to popularize on the web. That’s not to suggest that a web without Flash will want for innovation, but it certainly won’t be richer for Flash’s absence when that day arrives.
Photo: Laurence Olivier as Hamlet