Blame it on the geek in me, but it’s cliche time for boomers– where there’s a will, there’s a way. Necessity is the mother of invention. What goes around, comes around. And, advertising pays the freight.
If you use Safari to browse the web and keep a handful of open tabs to various web sites, you know the problem. Flash ads. They’re ubiquitous. But they’re a part of the web’s advertising scene, and without them, you’d have fewer web sites from which to choose.
What Is It About Flash?
Adobe’s Flash plugin brings animation to advertising. You’ll find a few here and there on our Boomer site.
The problem is two-fold. First, Flash animation is visually annoying (one reason we limit the number of ads on each page).
Second, Flash seems to hog the Mac’s CPU and is especially prone to crashing Apple’s Safari web browser. Open up three or four sites, each in its own tab window, and you’ll know what I mean.
ClickToFlash is a simple Safari extension that stops Flash content from loading. All Flash content. Ads and videos and graphics.
The companion app, ClickToPlugin actually prevents Safari from loading plugins (unless you choose). Adobe’s Flash player is a browser plugin which runs on Safari and Firefox. Google’s Chrome has its own built-in Flash player.
With ClickToFlash and ClickToPlugin you get nothing. No Flash ads. No Flash movies. No Flash animation. It all gets replaced by a simple, visual placeholder. For ads and movies, you’ll know immediately that they’ve been blocked.
Unblocking is merely a click away. Click on the placeholder and the Flash ad or movie will load and play.
The benefits are beyond annoyance reduction. No Flash also means a cooler Mac that uses less battery power. And you get fewer Safari crashes.
And all this power is transferred from the advertiser to you. But it comes at a price. No, the extension is free. But the freight is not. Advertising does help pay the bills for most web sites.
My routine is to use Google’s Chrome browser for any site that requires Flash, and to leave the Flash plugin completely out of my Mac for Safari and Firefox. If an advertiser detects your browser doesn’t have Flash, they’ll send an innocuous HTML ad instead. Win. Win.