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					                              Adobe Flash Player
                              The Adobe Flash Player is a widely distributed
                              multimedia and application player created and
                              distributed by Macromedia (a division of Adobe
                              Systems). Flash Player runs SWF files that can be
                              created by the Adobe Flash authoring tool, by Adobe
                              Flex or by a number of other Macromedia and third
                              party tools.

Adobe Flash, or simply Flash, refers to both a multimedia authoring program and
the Adobe Flash Player, written and distributed by Adobe, that uses vector and
raster graphics, a native scripting language called ActionScript and bidirectional
streaming of video and audio. Strictly speaking, Adobe Flash is the authoring
environment and Flash Player is the virtual machine used to run the Flash files,
but in colloquial language these have become mixed: "Flash" can mean either
the authoring environment, the player, or the application files.

Flash Player has support for an embedded scripting language called ActionScript
(AS), which is based on ECMAScript. Since its inception ActionScript has matured
from a script syntax without variables to one that supports object-oriented code,
and may now be compared in capability to JavaScript (another ECMAScript-based
scripting language).

The Flash Player was originally designed to display 2-dimensional vector
animation, but has since become suitable for creating rich Internet applications
and streaming video and audio. It uses vector graphics to minimize file size and
create files that save bandwidth and loading time. Flash is a common format for
games, animations, and GUIs embedded into web pages.

The Flash Player built into some browsers and is available as a plugin for recent
versions of other browsers (such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft
Internet Explorer) on selected platforms. Each version of the plugin is completely
backwards-compatible.




 Any views in this factsheet are not the views of the companies in question. Information seen in
     here has come from numerous sources. Any logos or product names displayed here are
registered trademarks of their respective organisations, and are in no way affiliated with NB Web
                                             Solutions.
Supported platforms
The latest version of Flash Player, Version 9, is available for Windows (98 and
newer), Linux (x86 only) and Mac OS X. Version 7 is the most recent official
version currently available for the Linux/ARM-based Nokia 770/N800 Internet
Tablets, classic Mac OS, Pocket PC, Solaris and Windows 95/NT. HP offers
Version 6 of the player for HP-UX. Other versions of the player have been
available at some point for OS/2, Symbian OS, Palm OS, BeOS and IRIX. The
Kodak Easyshare One includes Flash Player. The Flash Player SDK was used to
develop its on-screen menus, which are rendered and displayed using the
included Flash Player. Among other devices, LeapFrog Enterprises provides Flash
Player with their Leapster Multimedia Learning System and extended the Flash
Player with touch-screen support. Sony has integrated Flash Player 6 into the
Playstation Portable's web browser via firmware version 2.70. Nintendo has
integrated Flash Player 7 in the Internet Channel on the Wii.

Internet Privacy ("Persistent Identification
Elements")
Flash Player is an application that, while running on a computer that is connected
to the internet, is designed to contemporaneously interact with websites
containing Flash content that are being visited online. As such, under certain
configurations the application has the potential to silently compromise its users'
internet privacy, and do so without their knowledge. By default, Flash Player is
configured to permit small, otherwise invisible "tracking" files, known as
"Persistent Identification Elements" (PIE) or "Local Shared Object" (".sol") files,
to be stored on the hard drive of a user's computer. Sent in the background over
the internet from websites to which a user is connected, these files work much
the way "cookies" do with internet browsers. When stored on a user's computer,
PIE (.sol) files are capable of sending personally sensitive data back out over the
internet without the user's knowledge to one or more third parties. In addition,
Flash Player is also capable of accessing and retrieving audio and video data
from any microphone and/or webcams that might be either built in or connected
to a user's computer and transmitting it in realtime over the internet (also
potentially without the user's knowledge) to one or more third parties.

While these capabilities can all be affirmatively blocked and/or disabled by the
user, the Flash Player application does not provide an internally accessible
"preferences" panel to accomplish this. Instead access to the various settings
panels necessary to manage the application's "Privacy," "Storage," "Security,"
and "Notifications" functions can only be achieved through a web-based

 Any views in this factsheet are not the views of the companies in question. Information seen in
     here has come from numerous sources. Any logos or product names displayed here are
registered trademarks of their respective organisations, and are in no way affiliated with NB Web
                                             Solutions.
"Settings Manager" page located on the "support" section of the Adobe.com
website. Each of the functions can be enabled/disabled either "globally" to cover
all websites, or set differently for individual websites depending on how the user
desires Flash Player to be able to interact with each one.

Whilst the Flash Control Panel Settings in theory allow users to protect their
Privacy it should be remembered that suitably crafted Visual Basic Script or
similar code can overwrite any user defined settings before the Flash Player Plug-
in is called by a Webpage.

In addition to cookies, many banks and other financial institutions also routinely
install Persistent Identification Elements using Flash Player on users' hard drives
when they establish and access their accounts, as do other interactive sites such
as "YouTube" and the like.

Player versions
      Macromedia Flash Player 2
         o First version under Macromedia brand
         o Mostly vectors and motion, some bitmaps, limited audio
      Macromedia Flash Player 3
         o Added alpha transparency, licensed MP3 compression
      Macromedia Flash Player 4 (May 1999)
      Macromedia Flash Player 5 (August 2000)
      Macromedia Flash Player 6 (March 2002)
         o Support for the consuming Flash Remoting and Web Service
            (SOAP)
         o Support for screenreaders via Microsoft Active Accessibility
         o Added Sorenson Sparc video codec
      Macromedia Flash Player 7 (September 2003)
         o supports streaming audio and video
         o supports ActionScript 2.0, an Object-Oriented Programming
            Language for developers
      Macromedia Flash Player 8 (August 2005)
         o support of GIF and PNG bitmapped images
         o new video codec (On2 VP6)
         o improved runtime performance
         o live filters such as blur and drop shadow
         o file upload and download capabilities
         o crisp pixel-perfect text rendering
         o new security features to prevent unsafe code from running
      Macromedia Flash Lite 1.0 and 1.1

 Any views in this factsheet are not the views of the companies in question. Information seen in
     here has come from numerous sources. Any logos or product names displayed here are
registered trademarks of their respective organisations, and are in no way affiliated with NB Web
                                             Solutions.
          o Based on Flash Player 4
      Macromedia Flash Lite 2.0 (December 2005)
          o Based on Flash Player 7
      Adobe Flash Player 9 (June 2006) previously named Flash Player 8.5
          o New ECMAScript scripting engine, ActionScript Virtual Machine
             AVM2. AVM retained for compatibility.
          o Actionscript 3 via AVM2.
          o E4X, which is a new approach to parsing XML.
          o Support for binary sockets.
          o Support for Regular Expressions and namespaces.
          o Support for Fullscreen Mode.
          o ECMAScript 4 virtual machine donated to Mozilla Foundation and
             named Tamarin.
      Adobe Flash Lite 2.1 (December 2006)
          o Running on the BREW platform
      Adobe Flash Lite 3 (Announced on February 2007)
          o Support for FLV transcoding
      Adobe Flash Player 9 Update 3 (Beta 2) (August 2007)
          o H.264
          o AAC (HE-AAC, AAC Main Profile, and AAC-LC)
          o ISO Base Media File Format (MPEG-4 Part 12)




 Any views in this factsheet are not the views of the companies in question. Information seen in
     here has come from numerous sources. Any logos or product names displayed here are
registered trademarks of their respective organisations, and are in no way affiliated with NB Web
                                             Solutions.

				
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