Your Internet is changing, for one browser at least

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Much like life on Earth, the Internet is in a constant state of evolution.
In the early 1990’s when the Internet as we know it was in its infancy, watching video on your computer was a slow and tedious process, often resembling what we see today as a .gif image. For the uninitiated, a .gif image is essentially a few frames of a video shown over and over again, typically in low resolution.
Today, there’s not much stopping us from streaming high-resolution YouTube, Netflix or Amazon Prime videos to our smartphones. My, how the landscape has changed.
Much of how we view videos today through the Internet is done through a program called Flash, which runs in the background on your web browser. Recently, that little piece of software has also been to blame for malicious software programmers finding a way to install malware on your computer, which typically leads to “adult” language being shouted at a computer screen when the system locks up.
Due to these well-known issues with Flash, several websites have begun to migrate to the newer format for displaying video content, HTML5.
What does this mean for you? For most Internet users, especially those who surf just for checking email and don’t watch many videos, not much. Even those who like to watch YouTube regularly will see no change. Only Google Chrome users will notice anything, and it will be at least a year before it will be very noticeable.
That’s because Chrome will begin phasing out the use of Flash to all but about ten websites. The ones that will remain active are the most used, including YouTube and some social media sites.
In the grand scheme of things, this will mean little to nothing, except to denote that developers have noticed Flash has outlived it’s time, and something more secure is coming. That is until the malicious code writers find a way to exploit HTML5 to suit their nefarious plans.

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