Associated Press reviews Google’s Chrome: Needs more polish; no way to disable Adobe’s hoggish Flash

“Google Inc.’s new Web browser, called Chrome, does much of what a browser needs to do these days: It presents a sleek appearance, groups pages into easy-to-manage “tabs” and offers several ways for people to control their Internet privacy settings,” Peter Svensson reports for The Associated Press.

“Yet my initial tests reveal that this ‘beta,’ or preliminary release, falls short of Google’s goals,” Svensson reports.

“At work, I often have 40 or 50 tabs open in Firefox, grouped in different windows depending on which topic they pertain to. Frequently, Firefox would slow down all the other applications on my computer, then seize up completely,” Svensson reports.

“At first I thought JavaScript was to blame, and blocked it from running. But that made many sites unusable, and it didn’t help: The browser still froze,” Svensson reports. “It turns out the culprit is not JavaScript but another technology used to make Web pages more interactive: Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash plug-in.”

“Flash is a tremendous resource hog in Firefox, eating up processor time to the point where there is nothing left for other programs. It does this even if you’re not actively doing anything. Merely having a YouTube page open on your screen will suck power from your computer’s central processing unit, or CPU. This is outrageous behavior for a browser. It’s my CPU and I want it back,” Svensson reports.

“Luckily, there’s a small add-on program for Firefox that lets the user prevent Flash files from running automatically when a page loads, and it turns Firefox into a stable, efficient browser,” Svensson reports. “What does this mean on Chrome? Well, it has the same problem. It lets sites running Flash take over your computer’s resources. It doesn’t hog the CPU quite as bad as with Firefox, but in a way, it’s more serious, because unlike with Firefox, there’s no way to stop Flash from running.”

Full article, in which Svensson inexplicably fails to compare Chrome to the Internet’s #3 and growing dual-platform Web browser, Apple’s Safari (which goes completely unmentioned) here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “The DataDude” for the heads up.]


  1. Why would you want to turn flash off? Why would you be on that website then? Using his example, going to YouTube and then complaining there is Flash? How the f*ck are you going to watch videos and or use that site without it if it’s built with Flash?

    Svensson, just upgrade that old computer and stop bitching…

  2. @ED – Go to the Safari>Preferences… menu and then select the Security tab and then unselect “Enable plug-ins” under Web Content. This turns off Flash, though it also turns off other plug-ins if you have them (I don’t).

    @Flash is Flash – because Flash sucks. it slows up the computer is you have dozens of web pages open (I usually do). Easily 99% of all Flash I encounter is in pointless ads. Turning off flash stops them… I get YouTube via my iPhone and TiVo (at least). If I decide I want to watch a YouTube video, I can unable plug-ins, open YouTube, watch the video and ONLY that one page has Flash running unless I refresh one of the others. When I am done, I turn off plug-ins again and go on with other web stuff. 99% of my web pages are open for research and news. I rarely contribute posts to any website. In fact, MDN probably gets 80% of all the posts I make.


    I hate this “make web pages more interactive” crap. I want <i>information<i>, not a web version of a glossy mailed catalog. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

    The Web’s biggest core mistake was to adopt HTML, a <b>markup<b> language, versus a true page-description standard. Hence the reason for crutches like Flash…

  4. Notice how MDN completely ignores the fact that IE8 came out best in these tests. Not that I think IE is any good, far from it, but you can’t be moaning about the article ignoring Safari when you yourselves ignore the truth about IE.

  5. mindpower,

    You obviously forgot your first and middle names: “lack” and “of.”

    MDN “ignored” that “IE came out best” because it was an incomplete matchup featuring only a rough beta from Google and Firefox, which Safari already beats for usability and speed.

  6. @down the drain – A “page description language” is a markup language. “Markup” is nothing more than the instructions included along with text to describe how the text is to be displayed. Markup is not specific to computers, the internet, etc. In fact, markup has been around for hundreds of years.

    Back in the days of a typsetter manually placing letters in a press to print a page, the document that they went by had markup from the editors on it instructing the typesetter how to format the letters, what font faces to use, etc., etc.

    Ironically, those interactive features you “hate” about HTML are precisely what make it possible for you to write your post complaining in about them on this website.

    If anything, it’s the H in HTML (the HYPERTEXT), not the M (the MARKUP), that you hate.

    Personally, I find little real value in 90% of the interactive features encountered on the web, and would not at all mind 90% of the documents I read being PDFs, though I do not like viewing them in Safari or any other web browser. I significantly prefer Preview for that purpose, and like being able to save them for later when needed, as well as quote pieces of them occasionally.

    That said, accessing my bank and credit card accounts and shopping on Amazon, etc., would be very pointless without the H in HTML. Just no flash please.

  7. Flash may have been an excellent idea twelve years ago, when everyone was on dial-up, CSS didn’t exist, much like many other technologies. Unfortunately, once Adobe got its paws on it, Flash rapidly grew fat and bloated. Too bad.

    As much as we would love it to be otherwise, Flash is there to stay. It is by far the most popular, as well as most ubiquitous browser add-on (more popular, in fact, than that other hog, Adobe Reader plug-in). Not one single kids’ site would exist in its present form without it, and it is difficult to imagine how much more work it would be to (re-)create the functionality made possible with Flash using non-Flash tools (java or similar).

    The world loves the web version of a glossy mailed catalogue. Flash makes building those glossy catalogues fast and easy. We have to accept this reality and learn to somehow live with it.

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