For some time now, any web page that uses Flash has resolutely refused to work correctly in the Chrome browser for me. I use Windows 8 – 64 bit. Amazingly it all works fine in Firefox, 64-bit Firefox Nightly, Opera, IE10 in 32 & 64 bit incarnations….?
The solution from the chrome help page, is to enable Flash from the plugins menu. You type this the address bar to get show all the plugins.
Chrome Plugins Normal
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work!
Checking the plugin, I see it is apparently working alright! See the screenshot.
I decided to try a “flip” – turning off Flash still didn’t make it work – and neither did it work when I turned it back on. There’s an Enable/Disable toggle link for this which you can see in the screenshot.
But then, in the top right of the plugins screen, I spied a “detail” link! So I clicked it to expand it – and all is revealed!
Chrome Plugins Expanded
Adobe Flash Now Working
The issue is that there are two Flash plugins; one is the default “pepper” that comes with Chrome; the other is installed manually and works in all other browsers.
The solution, after a little trial and error, is to disable the native, cross-platform Flash player, “Pepper”, and to enable the manually installed, most-recent, version. It still won’t work if Pepper is enabled and the installed version disabled. The Adobe Flash test page now works in Chrome, as you can see.
Below is a screenshot of how it should look (well for me at least!) to get it all working properly.
That it was. I first threatened and then did leave the Labour Party over it. Right at the time they were trying to bring in Identity Cards and lock uncharged people away for 90 days, reduced to 42 days (yes really, they were – It’s like a bad dream) they also added some “rules” for state benefit claimants. These are well explained at the top of Ron’s blog entry:
It’s been brought to my attention that page 16 of the ESA Notes Sheet ESA40 04/09 contains this gem:- You must also tell us if you or your partner (among much else):- My parentheses and italics. go away from home, even if it is for a day
Ron (for it is he!)
And indeed it is so! The document can be downloaded in full here on the DirectGov website. A screenshot I’ve taken, highlighted the important bits and shown it here. n.b. Ron is disabled, in several ways, not least by having the fat burned from the soles of his feet with a lightning strike!
Why Is This Important?
A. Well actually, it contravenes everything that Britain and other freedom-loving peoples have fought for regarding the right not just to life, but to a decent life, free of oppression, free to move and enjoy living just for its own sake, the UK having signed up for all of this in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It’s part of the United Nations Charter, adopted in 1948 and part of International Law since 1976.
Image via Wikipedia
Here are the bits in which the highlighted line in the screenshot above breaks the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status – BROKEN. Ron’s status is different from others in that he is disabled. And, by limiting his freedom of movement as described, this breaks
Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. BROKEN. Ron’s freedom of movement is not the same as those not on benefit.
Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. BROKEN. It is degrading to have to inform faceless bureaucrats of one’s location on a daily basis.
Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. BROKEN AGAIN. It is degrading to have to inform faceless bureaucrats of one’s location on a daily basis.
Article 27: Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. BROKEN: Ron cannot participate freely. Neither can his partner (if he has one). He must inform the government of his movements which then prevents his free enjoyment that life in a free society provides.
Article 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. BROKEN. The UK state has removed Ron’s rights as defined and make law in the articles above.
What Else is Bonkers About This?
You may have noticed I highlighted another line. For the lazy, this is how it reads, and when you’ve read it, then realise how bad these draconian rules really are:
You must also tell us if you or your partner, DIE!!!
Laughable bureaucracy, eh?
Of course, I can see why the state may want to do all of this – the powers-that-be have been making a big play in rustling up public opinion against “scroungers”. But what Labour started, the Tories, as I predicted, have taken all of this up with a vengeance. True, it’s fine to have paid work and/or a vocation that enervates oneself. It’s part of the human condition to feel wanted and valued among one’s fellows. But it’s all wrong to penalise the weakest in society and those that need the most support, by infringing and removing their basic human right of free movement to enjoy the society we’ve created.
Q. How to solve the conundrum?
A. I don’t know and I don’t care actually, because I’m not in government and don’t have the power to change.
Those that are, you know, the elected or non-elected ones who decide that they’re better than us, they’re the ones who must, should and can change the rules, because they’re the ones that set them up in the first place!
I’ve been busy. I posted the details of a wacky con on the Crawling Chaos website (shown above). In a nutshell, it appears to operate thus:
User searches for music or other media
User is presented with search results, some of which point to Black Box Access
User clicks on link and is told that the required file was uploaded last week and has been downloaded ~19,000 times
User immediately thinks “this is popular, I’ll have it!”
User hands over email & financial details
After this I don’t know as obviously handing over that data to a bunch of crooks is just asking for trouble.
However, as if to highlight their very own scamminess, Black Box Access serve ads which go to websites from which it’s almost impossible to leave with continuous pop-ups and all the usual crap.
So beware. Tread softly young Luke. It’s a major privacy issue.
I’ve finally decided to test the next Windows edition, probably to be called Windows 8, although things like that are never certain in Microsoft-land.
Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation
I did a Virtual Box install, which is fairly straightforward. There are many tutorials on-line now which show how to do this, so I won’t do a walk-through. I installed the 64-bit version which I downloaded from MSDN using my licence. You can get the installs from the Microsoft Website here, which come in ISO format. You can also find out more from the horse’s mouth here.
You can also set aside a partition on your hard-drive and install to that. However, Virtual Box is the safe way to go should the partition install fail and corrupt your current installation somehow.
What I will say, is to use more memory allocation to the virtual installation than recommended elsewhere or as the default, and to use as many virtual processors as your host machine has.….. My machine is an AMD 955BE, which is quad-core running at around 3GHz. In other words, if you don’t want it to run like treacle, give it plenty processor and memory room; at least the recommended values for Windows 7. You can see all of this in the VirtualBox settings screenshot above.
Fast Install (added 24/11/11))
Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade
Microsoft, on their MSDN blog, have made a big thing about the rapid installation for Windows 8, particularly for the upgrade route. See Improving the setup experience. I can say now that the clean install into the VirtualBox environment was very fast….
You make a virtual machine in Virtual Box
You set it’s parameters – processors, memory size, footprint size, IDE/SATA storage etc
You set the downloaded ISO image to boot from in the settings.
You boot by “Starting” the virtual machine.
You install Windows into the filespace that you’ve previously set aside for it – I gave it a dynamic sized 50Gb.
After that, let windows do it’s thing. It took 10 minutes or so.
Let it reboot.
Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen
Following this, you get a green screen from which country specifics are added, a username and finally, you enter your Live.com identity, if you have one, and if you want to!
It’s a big green screen. I don’t have a touchscreen, but it’s obviously designed for one. It has massive buttons to a host of online services like weather & stocks, plus a few to your computer’s functions.
Win8 Dev Logon Screen
If you log off, you get presented with an American Rockies vista of a lonely winding road. Essentially, the entry into Windows 8 is like a smartphone. But what’s it like beneath the surface?
Windows 7 Legacy, and Vista Too!
Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen
Obviously, this is a development preview release, and we can expect more of the same to come.
Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen
But most work has gone onto the main intro screen because beneath the surface, all the various apps and settings controls are the old (current) Windows 7 interface.
Bizarrely, some screens even have vestiges of the green Vista, notably the main screen itself.
Personally, I think it’s very, very dour. I can’t believe that two years of effort has gone into doing something that Android does on a more than twice-annual cycle….
Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen
Accessing the menus is the most unintuitive thing I’ve seen for ages! Following on from the impressive Windows 7, it’s truly not just a user let-down, but somewhat infuriating as well……. Whereas previously I just typed into the run bar to do almost anything, now I can’t even find programs or files! No doubt there’s a way – but after Win7, it’s not intuitive and not helpful either.
I hope that’s not the end of the run box, because that feature in Windows 7 is awesome.
Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen
I haven’t checked through many apps (except a few desktop ones like the weird child-like paint thing and the weather which won’t do anywhere except California) but this is the control panel.
Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen
You then drill-down to get the old Win7 control panel on “More Settings”.
Initial Investigation Ends
Well that’s it for now. To say I’m un-impressed by the big green monstrous front doesn’t give my opinion justice. There doesn’t appear to be an easy way out of the front-screen apps and to have an app made for a 3-inch screen sat on a 23 inch desktop monitor really demonstrates the infantile apps for what they are.
Way back in the nineties Microsoft tried their in-house Microsoft Network (MSN) which was a disc install that gave you a black desktop that gave dial-up access to features giving almost the same as this big green toy-town monster.
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