Firefox will disable Flash on its browsers by default in 2019


Mozilla will throw another handful of dirt onto the Adobe Flash plugin coffin in September when it disables the long-standing web tool by default. This will be introduced earlier in the Nightly builds for Firefox 69, but won’t reach stable release until the end of summer 2019. This comes ahead of Adobe’s own ending of support for the plugin next year.

Flash has been around in one guise or another since the mid-90s and has been used to create all sorts of interactive content over the years. Coming to prominence during the early 2000s as a tool for creating animations and games, Flash’s influence has since waned due to security concerns. Google’s Chrome browser requires administrative approval to view flash content in the browser and will disable it by default in the upcoming Chrome 76, which is due for release in July, according to ZDnet. Mozilla is simply following suit.

This latest news came to light as part of a bug report on the Bugzilla repository. “Per our Flash (plugin) deprecation roadmap, we’ll disable Flash by default in Nightly 69 and let that roll out,” the note reads.

We don’t have a release date for Firefox 69 Nightly — it’s currently on version 66.01 — but Mozilla’s roadmap suggests that Firefox 69 will be released to the wider public as a stable build in September. This falls in line with Firefox’s previous roadmap plans to provide a warning to Firefox users about flash usage in early 2019, followed by an ending of support entirely in 2020, per GHacks.

Mozilla previously disabled other NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) plugins like Microsoft’s Silverlight and Java in earlier versions of the Firefox browser. Google did much the same with Chrome in 2015.

When Flash is disabled, users will need to explicitly activate it in order to view or interact with Flash content. That will require jumping through more hoops than it does now, with Firefox no longer providing any sort of prompt for its activation. This will be the penultimate step in the Flash funeral march on Firefox. When support is officially ended in 2020, the latest versions of the browser will no longer display Flash content at all, no matter what actions the user takes.

Although branches or smaller browsers may continue to support Flash in some guise or another, with no further support from Adobe from 2020 onward either, there will be no further security updates. That would leave Flash viewers and users vulnerable to any newly discovered exploits.


Windows 10 Mobile is dead: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.

Google is giving its G Suite web apps new touches of visual improvements

Your G Suite applications will soon have a different look. Several of the web apps are getting updated with subtle visual improvements inspired by Google's Material Design guidelines. 

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?

AMD Radeon VII will support DLSS-like upscaling developed by Microsoft

AMD's Radeon VII has shown promise with early tests of an open DLSS-like technology developed by Microsoft called DirectML. It would provide similar upscale features, but none of the locks on hardware choice.

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!