[conspire] Utility to rescue formatted EXT3 partition &, distribution choice?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Mar 9 19:00:47 PST 2007

Quoting Edmund J. Biow (biow at sbcglobal.net):

> A big barrier 64 bit adoption seems
> to be Flash, strangely, but Gnash and 64 bit Flash are slowly
> progressing, so I understand. 

Flash v. 7 support, yes.  Flash v. 8 and 9 extensions, not yet -- and
naturally not even a single particle of assistance from Adobe.  

Which is pretty much what you get when you insist on full compatibility
with the moving-target "standards" [sic] of non-cooperative proprietary
software firms.  Details:

 From rick Thu Mar  8 15:11:17 2007
 Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 15:11:17 -0800
 To: luv-main at luv.asn.au
 Subject: Re: Re: Firefox memory usage

Quoting Mathew (mathew at optusnet.com.au):

[snip mostly-tedious flamewar:]

> Flash on x86 is only a problem because Macromedia/Adobe hasn't
> released a native browser plugin for non-x86. You have the freedom to
> work on your own code thus rectifying the problem.  

Nope.  Not really.

Background:  "Flash" comprises the eponymous VM that implements vector
graphic, bitmap graphics, and stero sound; sometimes a development
environment (and an Adobe-proprietary toolset that implements that
environment); and a container file format, conventional filename
extensions ".swf" and "sfv", which is now in its eighth revision (with
v. 8 and v. 9 implementations being dominant in usage), with some
backwards compatibility to VMs implementing older specs.

For many years and still today, the Flash language (and file format)
specification for v. 6 and later is available only under non-disclosure
agreement.  This means that v. 6 and later can be implemented in open
source only through reverse-engineering, without Adobe's help in any

My Xubuntu-based G3 laptop has Firefox 2.x with the GPLv2 "Gnash" Flash
VM installed (including as a plug-in).  Through hard and inspired work,
the Gnash team has done an outstanding job implementing approximately
the Flash v. 7 specification -- a small miracle, considering that, as
usual, Adobe are being utter jackasses about the matter.

You can pretty much bank on Adobe consistently being asshats, over just
about anything.  Those of us who pretty much beseiged their headquarters
with a very large street protest, at the time of the Sklyarov scandal,
remember their attitude all too well.  (Pleasingly, we pretty much
frightened them severely, which was an excellent start.)

That having been said, in practice, on the Web, I find Flash to be
mostly an annoying curiosity, most of the time, and that there's a high
correlation between Flash content and "nothing worth seeing here".
Presumbly, Views Differ<tm> -- but I make a point of _always_ installing
Flashblock, so that I can see Flash content when/if *I* so choose,
rather than some advertiser.

Please note that I said Flashblock rather than Noscript, because being
able to see Flash or not (instead of just not), and being able to enable 
certain Javascript features at my option (instead of just none) can be
very handy.

In fact, here's a sneaky trick:  Even if you have zero interest in ever
seeing any Flash, and don't have any sort of Flash VM installed, install
Flashblock into your browser, anyway.  Why?

Javascript-equipped pages query your browser as to its capabilities, and 
then send it appropriate "content".  Advertisers use the information to
decide what sort of ads to send your browser.  If your browser replies
that it's not Flash-capble, the advertiser's pages will send you
animated GIF advertising, instead.  With Flashblock installed, your
browser will always respond that it's Flash-enabled -- even if there's 
no actual Flash interpreter behind it.

Therefore, the advertising pages will send Flash advertising -- which
your browser will then fail to display -- rather than GIF advertising,
which it would.  So, you win.

As an aside, I also am fond of making my local nameserver claim to be
authoritative for all domains that I've identified as being used solely
for advertising.  Doing that makes _all_ ads served from those domains
utterly disappear -- on all client machines that use my nameserver.

Example BIND9 setup here:

Cheers,     Founding member of the Hyphenation Society, a grassroots-based, 
Rick Moen   not-for-profit, locally-owned-and-operated, cooperatively-managed,
rick at linuxmafia.com     modern-American-English-usage-improvement association.
Poster's address, rot26-encoded for Web archives, is:  rick @ linuxmafia . com .

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