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Flash Makes Splash in Gadgets

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the mini-movies-and-more dept.

Handhelds 316

An anonymous reader writes "Flash is winding its way into a growing number of gadgets and devices, according to an article at DeviceForge. Although Macromedia normally requires licensees to sign up for massive quantities of licenses before they can build its 'Embedded Macromedia Flash Player' into devices, the company as authorized NEC subsidiary Vibren to supply embedded Flash licenses in lower volumes to makers of POS (point-of-sales/service) terminals, personal organizers, PC replacements, small-screen airline entertainment devices, real-time securities trading terminals, digital signs, and more. Brace yourself for some juiced-up electronic billboards!"

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316 comments

Flash (2, Funny)

trabisnikof (694721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048135)

Talk about a news Flash.

Re:Flash (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048339)

*NEWSFLASH*

trabisnikof is a retarded butt nugget

Adblock/Flashblock (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048137)

I hope someone comes up with a way to block these flash animations on these devices. The last thing I need is a cash register showing cartoons at me.

Re:Adblock/Flashblock (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048184)

Already happening at the local stores around me. They all have 14" (or bigger) flat panels and they show all kinds of useless animations.

Re:Adblock/Flashblock (1)

Talez (468021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048446)

All the Coles outlets here have them.

It's nice having the LCD screens clearly showing everything. It's like watching your receipt coming up.

POS designers need to start hiring graphic designers though. Some of the interfaces are god damn ugly and unprofessional. You'd think with the bucks Coles makes they could afford 5 grand for a decent looking interface.

Re:Adblock/Flashblock (5, Funny)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048190)

All cash registers will now have a 'skip intro' button.

Re:Adblock/Flashblock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048352)

I'm just waiting for a 'skip Atrax' button here on slashdot so I don't have to see your annoying whining rants. Loser.

Re:Adblock/Flashblock (1)

cgsamurai (786876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048222)

Yep, we do that too, as well as at the gas pump:)
http://www.wirelessronin.com/ [wirelessronin.com]

Re:Adblock/Flashblock (1)

Joel from Sydney (828208) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048235)

I agree. Real life needs Adblock!

Adblock for real life (was Re:Adblock/Flashblock) (3, Funny)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048420)

You asked for it: Adblock for real life [3m.com] .

Sex Toys (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048139)

Fuck a flash gadget.

can't wait (5, Insightful)

anotherone (132088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048145)

I can't wait until embedded device designers take a cue from web designers and start using Flash for navigation and suddenly a simple thing like "adjusting the contrast on my monitor" takes 10 minutes.

Dup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048147)

This was already mentioned in the iPod [slashdot.org] story last week.

Re:Dup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048159)

not sure if you're joking or not but the ipod is based on flash memory- not Macromedia Flash

Wirelessronin.com (1, Informative)

cgsamurai (786876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048148)

Our company, http://www.wirelessronin.com/ [wirelessronin.com] does exacly this, and we are a Macromedia partner.

We are still waiting for the Flash 7 SDK, but at the moment, we use the v5 and 6 SDK's running on Embedded Linux in all of our devices.

HUGE biz, LOTS of cash to be made.

Re:Wirelessronin.com (0)

cgsamurai (786876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048210)

By the way, we do everything from huge wide-screen format touchscreens, bathroom digital signage, digital signage for retail end-caps, instore ads, and tons more.

Our devices are no bigger than a small cd wallet, weighs about the same as a box of bank-checks, yet we can play 15-30 fps video, etc. and go where most devices like this cant go, and operate in temp ranges that would scare ya. ...all wireless (80211b), and you can schedule your whole worldwide media operation from anywhere in the world, reboot units remotely if needed, and lots more.

flash is evil!! (1, Interesting)

euxneks (516538) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048149)

Flash, as a website based format, is EVIL! I can't even count the number of times I've dismissed a site because it was flash based. Some are just really poorly done, and it shows, while some are just too computer intensive, and some just look silly.

Just my $0.02...

Re:flash is evil!! (3, Insightful)

gandell (827178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048179)

Then there's the good ones that actually load rather quickly, have easy to use interactive graphics, and multimedia features. You can't lump all flash as evil...flash is a great way for users on dial up to get interactive websites with loads of graphics for a small cost of bandwidth. Using flash, one can create a web gallery that any user will sit through...

Try doing that with standard html or php...do you want to site while it loads 20 gifs that are more than 100k apiece?

Flash is the future, my friend...and as long as they keep the processor cost relatively low, I welcome it to my pda.

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

hyperstation (185147) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048236)

Try doing that with standard html or php...do you want to site while it loads 20 gifs that are more than 100k apiece?

100K? jesus, you're doing something wrong...

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

gandell (827178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048240)

Not the point...the point is simply that all flash is not alike. And that some flash is a good thing.

Re:flash is evil!! (2, Funny)

Greventls (624360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048423)

I assume he is talking about porn. But why would you want flash based porn sites?

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

Sebastian Jansson (823395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048475)

Are you trying to say that flash is better at compressing the images?
Otherwise I can't see why flash would be better on dial up?

With html/php I can easily make a slideshow preloading and showing images, so there's no aqdvantage with flash. For what I know their compresssion aren't very much better than jpeg-compression.

But flash is kind of unique today, it's one of the last commonly used formats where one company have monopoly on the players/viewers. That, to me, is enough reason to avoid it as much as possible.

There's only two uses for flash imo, animations & games (like Weebl and Bob [jolt.co.uk] ) and audio.

Well, they DID say POS terminals. (0)

skids (119237) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048216)


Oh wait, THAT's what POS stands for?

Re:flash is evil!! (3, Insightful)

ironfrost (674081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048221)

Flash IS evil, but that's not the reason. The reason is that it doesn't use the browser commands. You can't go back. You can't bookmark. You can't open a list of interesting links in new tabs while you finish reading the original page.

Flash has it's uses, but making complete websites isn't one of them.

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

cgsamurai (786876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048238)

Um, yes you can.
For the last 3 years.
Bookmark pages, go back, you name it.

http://www.macromedia.com/ [macromedia.com]

----
http://www.wirelessronin.com

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048315)

I think he's referring to the fact that you can't bookmark "pages" inside a flash file.

And you *still* can't middle-click on a link in a flash file to have it open in a new tab.

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

cgsamurai (786876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048417)

>>>"I think he's referring to the fact that you can't bookmark "pages" inside a flash file."

Like I said, since v6, yes you can:)

>>>"And you *still* can't middle-click on a link in a flash file to have it open in a new tab."

In v7, yes you can.... but not on the web.
On a local machine, or embedded device, you can:)

Re:flash is evil!! (5, Insightful)

Sabaki (531686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048248)

Don't you mean "poor UI design is evil"? Both the issues you describe seem to boil down to bad design and authoring.

The only inherently bad thing I think think of that that's inherent in Flash for computers browsing the web is the fact that it won't work on all browsers, either because the browser doesn't support it, or a firewall blocks it. (Also they make handicapped access harder, but hardly anyone talks about that.)

And none of those issues are likely to be a problem in a device designed up front to use Flash (although processor use could become an issue.)

The technology should not be blamed just because some people use it poorly.

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

cgsamurai (786876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048267)

Just curious, what do you mean by proc use?
Just wondering is all:)

We run our devices with P3 800's, and our stuff flys. We are always building new prototypes akin to the case-mod community in terms of the form-factor issue.

At the moment, we cannot use P4's because our form factor is too short so the heat-sink wont fit..... but we are working on that:)

Izzy
http://www.wirelessronin.com/ [wirelessronin.com]

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048332)

It may fly, but it almost always uses up a *very* large amount of processor time. Try opening up task manager or something that can monitor processor usage while looking at your files.

This is specifically why I *always* disable flash on my own personal computers, as having 2-3 different flash files open can easily slow down everything else. This is also important on a laptop, where proper management of processor usage can extend battery life and reduce heat buildup.

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

cgsamurai (786876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048384)

We run it on our embedded devices that run Embedded linux, so no Task Manager, but with our "RoninCast(r)" scheduling software we can see that data live as it's running. (anywhere in the world too:)

We teach a course to the animators on specific animation tecniques so this is not an issue with our devices at all.

Those who stress the procs too much are trying to use the animation toolset of Flash incorrectly. ...as if they were animating for DV, Film, or Web.... not streaming device-ready media.

It litterally has to do with best animation practices, and when you want to stress the procs.

If you animate correctly, you won't, and shouldn't stress the proc at all.

We do it everyday:)

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

jeif1k (809151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048435)

Don't you mean "poor UI design is evil"? Both the issues you describe seem to boil down to bad design and authoring.

Unfortunately, Flash makes it really easy to design bad UIs and really hard to design good ones.

The technology should not be blamed just because some people use it poorly.

But the technology should be blamed if it is hard to use properly. And that's what Flash is.

flash is evil!!-Illegal Flash sharing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048436)

"The technology should not be blamed just because some people use it poorly."

Yeah! Like P2P.

help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048344)

I never liked flash, the cartoons were funny - but I've seen cartoons before.... anyways, what do you do to mozilla to make it stop asking you to get the plugin; it's something I've ignored about a thousand times and never found casually setting preferences.
It's starting to get on my nerves.

Re:flash is evil!! (4, Insightful)

DoraLives (622001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048365)

Humph! As far as I'm concerned, things went directly to hell just as soon as I was no longer able to simply tell the story and had to start scratching them damn marks in those doubly damnable clay tablets. Once that shit started, we lost all control of the medium. And ever since then, it's been one disaster after another. Scrolls, books, photographs, phonograph records......pfaugh! I'm going back inside my cave and I'm not coming out again until all this stuff blows over.

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

yulek (202118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048425)

make sure you don't doodle on the walls of your cave now...

Re:flash is evil!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048374)

Without Flash, there would be no StrongBad.

The system is down. The system is down. The system is down down down down

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

LazloTheDog (39236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048438)

evil, Evil, EVIL. There are many times when I see my CPU pegged when I not doing much of anything. Typically it turns out to be a minimized browser window on a Yahoo page with some crap flash banner.

JM

Re:flash is evil!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048452)

And some of it is homestar runner. Baleted!

Re:flash is evil!! (1)

RespekMyAthorati (798091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048464)

Horseshit. Just check out machine gun [howstuffworks.com] or gearbox [howstuffworks.com] to see how powerful flash can be in the right hands.

Flash doesn't kill websites, bozos do .

No, SVG is the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048154)

I don't believe that Flash will have a good future in phones/PDAs. Macromedia does not care much -- their mobile tools suck -- and it is BIG and BLOATED, even if they only ship a very old version of Flash for mobile devicse.


Instead, SVG seems to have a better future. And the right tools are HERE:

http://www.beatware.com/products/md_golive.html [beatware.com]

On the billboards... (4, Funny)

kjones692 (805101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048157)

"PUNCH ME and WIN AN iPOD!"

*smash*

Leapster etc., this is Java's missed opportunity (4, Interesting)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048158)

As much as I like Java, the more and more I see Flash-based applications for vertical markets, the more I see that as Java's missed opportunity. This was Java's golden path, and it floundered with poor download times, incompatible security policies, and prejudice as "nothing more than animated icons."

Meanwhile, Flash became more than just scaled vector text, taking on greater amounts of application capability. Even my daughter's Leapster, the so-called "learning game pad" that displays Dora and SpongeBob in a variety of educational situations, is based on Flash, not Java.

So much for a language originally intended for embedded applications. Java is strongest now in the server room, tier 2 (Oracle & Sybase hold tier 1). Flash is strongest in tier 3: the user interface.

Re:Leapster etc., this is Java's missed opportunit (2, Informative)

Burstgoof (644178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048318)

Agreed, expecially because Macromedia is creating Flex. Flex is a Flash front end with Java servlets running it. Check out the demo of the online store in Flex at the Macromedia site. It really is the future of web applications.

forget Flex (1)

jeif1k (809151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048457)

Great! Now, a poorly designed server-side technology (Java) meets a poorly designed client GUI technology (Flash).

Thanks, but no thanks. For "rich internet applications", PHP and DHTML-based toolkits are a better choice right now: easier to train developers, faster development times, better user interfaces. With SVG, XUL, PHP-XUL, and similar technologies, that's only getting better.

Re:Leapster etc., this is Java's missed opportunit (3, Insightful)

m00nun1t (588082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048429)

I think the problem is much broader than that. It's about the authoring experience. It's relatively easy to create some funky animations in flash, and relatively difficult to do so in java. I remember there were a few programs kicking around years ago which allowed non-programmers to produce animated java applets, but none of the ones I used even remotely touched flash for easy of use and power, much less performance.

Re:Leapster etc., this is Java's missed opportunit (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048437)

prejudice as "nothing more than animated icons."

Anyone using Java (or Flash!) for "nothing more than animated icons" on a website ought to be shot.

Re:Leapster etc., this is Java's missed opportunit (2, Insightful)

Eric Giguere (42863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048476)

It's true, in some ways client-side Java was ahead of its time in terms of technology. I think the biggest problem was the botched job that the browsers did in implementing Java support. Like how Netscape supported Java 1.1 except for the new AWT classes. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Sun would have been better off developing the Java Plug-in right from the start instead of relying on Netscape and Microsoft.

Eric
Deploying Java applets [ericgiguere.com] (old set of tips)

"the company as authorized" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048160)

You mean "the company has authorized", right? Does anybody proofread these things?

Re:"the company as authorized" (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048199)

No, the question is who authorized Macromedia to foist Flash on the Web in the first place.

Re:"the company as authorized" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048202)

>Does anybody proofread these things?

You're new here, right?

Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048171)


Flash is for animations and for simple user but graphic-rich interafaces. It's hardly a good choice for serious UIs, especially in small devices where the priorities aren't the same as in rich content websites, where Flash is most often used.

hope... (1)

sailforsingapore (833339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048173)

I hope this is the final little step that is neeeded to make tablet PC's a viable option. Given...I don't want to see a 5 minute spalsh animation on my cell phone any more than I want a hole in my head...but flash is a powerful tool, when used sparingly, and could really boost the efficency/awesomeness of many devices.

Re:hope... (1)

lightyellowishgreen (827192) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048197)

.I don't want to see a 5 minute spalsh animation on my cell phone any more than I want a hole in my head..
Remember , Jus becuz flash is going to show up on your cell phone , doesnt mean it wuld not allow you to skip flash animation.The only thing that needs to be worried is its response time. Hopefully there is a compromise.Luckily , this would reduce the price of existing cell phones without flash ,if flash based cell phones hit the market at compettitive prices.In that case i guess you will be happy.

FlashBlockers (1)

haxhia (783279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048175)

...on other news the FlashBlocker sales reach new heights!

right, Macromedia Flash. ok... (4, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048178)

Now can we get back to work on SVG, so we at least have the possibility of an open format.

Re:right, Macromedia Flash. ok... (3, Interesting)

Izzard (547242) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048250)

I think I'm right in saying that .SWF *is* an open file format. Lots of developers have created .SWF files that play in Flash Player and authoring packages for creating SWF files. I've even seen a web app that takes plaintext descriptive files as input and spits out valid SWF

I think it's only .FLA which Macromedia keeps under lock and key. But then that is their 'source document' format for their own Flash authoring application. Other developers have their own formats for 'project' files.

Flash memory (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048182)

Oh is this not the Flash memory to be used in next generation iPods !! No Moore's law or samsung/intel flame !!!

damn !!!

Flash == memory - the name's taken (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048453)

Damn stupid name for some software. It was fine when Flash (the software) was PC only since PCs only have flash memory BIOSs. Terms like "flash file system" and "upgrade flash" are going to cause a lot of headscratching. I can't wait for someone to call some software "128MB RAM".

Well... (2, Insightful)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048188)

At least these POS machines will be able to start using something besides Windows CE, in all its glory.
Flash-based POS's seem like they could be much more focused, as they wouldn't need much fancy stuff to run simple, colorful apps on. It should probably lead to smaller, more focused POS things. Think mini-billboards, interactive and all that good stuff.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048196)

Now I can open up that naughty x-rated greeting card my gf sent me, on a giant BillBoard!

At last I can shutup all those cretins who secretly think of me as a nerd luser!

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048345)

Let me guess this straight... You want to prove that you're not a nerd by hacking into a billboard to display an electronic greeting card that is basically porn? Riiiiiiiight!

Flash in Point of Sale Devices? (1)

Doomie (696580) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048201)

What's the point (pun intended) of having flash-animated menus that ask for your PIN?! Or should we now expect LCD touchscreens at places where needs to press the sequence "OK-CHQ-PIN"?

What a dumb idea.

Re:Flash in Point of Sale Devices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048368)

Almost as dumb as the idea that your parents had several years ago to procreate. Loser.

ho hum (1)

cuteseal (794590) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048224)

Talk about old news... pocket pcs have had flash players for years -- lots of flash based games and apps already out there...

flashblock is my favorite plugin. (1, Informative)

guidryp (702488) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048226)

http://flashblock.mozdev.org/

A must have for firefox. I can't stand flash. I don't know why poeple put this crap on their pages.

Now it is a a good thing that they are cramming this into other devices?

Re:flashblock is my favorite plugin. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048261)

I can't stand flash. I don't know why poeple put this crap on their pages.

Because some of it is incredibly good, talented, and absolutely amazing as an artform.

Just because some people are bad at using Flash is no reason to chuck the baby out with the bathwater.
There are bad examples of all types of art, or webpages, or /. posts :) Remember Sturgeon's Law.

Re:flashblock is my favorite plugin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048296)

"...[flash is] absolutely amazing as an artform." lol. yeah, all those stupid cartoons done by angst filled teens and low definition, poorly animated, and crappy sound-filled "movies" are "absolutely amazing".

Dduatta (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048362)

Dduatta [albinoblacksheep.com] If the fact that an ordinary set of people can produce something like this without a full animation studio doesn't impress you with the possibilities of the form, you clearly just don't like animation.

Smash the screens (1)

GorFad (604501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048231)

I'm going to need a hammer instead of a remote control soon if this goes anywhere.

SVG vs. flash... format vs API? (2, Insightful)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048242)

Here's a Q.. In the last few years Flash has added stuff like networking, DB access, dynamic generation of content, etc.. How much of this is actually in SVG?

AFAICR SVG was just a vector content format. Do SVG viewers implement stuff along the lines of Flash or do they just display SVG content?

Can you program a network-capable video game in SVG according to a single standard?

The way I see it lately, Flash is eating applet Java lunch and is quickly approaching full-blown Swing app territory... And what is inherently wrong with Flash being the view layer ala HTML, Qt, MFC, etc... I mean, of course, besides its proprietary nature...

Re:SVG vs. flash... format vs API? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048317)

Flash is designed by a single entity whose goal is to make a quality product that is desirable to its clients (note Flash is a quality product, what Flash programmers generate is irrelevent).

SVG is designed by a group of people representing several entities, some who are direct competitors of each other, each with their own agenda, and whose goals are mainly political (note in any such group it takes just a few politically-minded members to drive away the technically-minded who get replaced by more political peers).

Figure out the rest yourself...

I worked in the SVG group at Adobe in its early years. I saw first-hand how the process fucked-up a potential Good Thing... Forget SVG, invent your own language and just put it out despite the consortiums.

Re:SVG vs. flash... format vs API? (2, Informative)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048391)

SVG is wonderful, but seems to have lost its steam. Adobe has appearently forgotten about it. Batik development has been stalled. SVG has some nice advantages over Flash, but it's hard to beat Flash's 98% penetration. Most people already have it installed, and it works well on small devices. I'd love to see SVG get its shit together, but it's going to be a long time the way the companies that were once sponsoring it like Adobe, Canon and Kodak, have appearently given up and gone on to other things. I'd love for somebody to prove that I'm wrong, but Flash has kicked SVG's ass in the market.

But now that I've found Open Source Laszlo [laszlosystems.com] , programming Flash is quite fun and easy! I can live with that.

-Don

Flash...do that all the time. (2, Informative)

djeddiej (825677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048243)

Macromedia also has Flash Communication Server, which offers streaming video within Flash-based apps. I know. I am doing it. So expect things like live-support streaming, perhaps from a tiny device like your mobile phone, and Flash animations to make it pretty, all driven from a database or some XML data source. As someone pointed out earlier, there is $$$ in this market. Also, I do not necessarily agree that SVG is going to "win" out over Flash, but there will definitely be some form of fusion of the technologies (Flash SVG hybrid) at some point -already Macromedia has Flex, its XML data transport, and Central as well (asynchronous data streaming). Lots of things going on here.

Flex is an imitation of Open Source Laszlo (2, Informative)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048356)

If you're interested in Flex, but don't want to shell out huge wads of cash to Macromedia, check out Laszlo, the system that inspired Flex. Laszlo is now Open Source, and it's a wonderful way to program Flash, without using the horrible proprietary Flash authoring tool! www.laszlosystems.com [laszlosystems.com]

Re:Flex is an imitation of Open Source Laszlo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048370)

>If you're interested in Flex

# apt-get install flex

Been there, done that.

Re:Flex is an imitation of Open Source Laszlo (1)

djeddiej (825677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048434)

Yes there is Laszlo. That's how wonderful our world is. So many options. I like Laszlo just as well as Flex. There seems to be a duality of products for a lot of commercial software - MS Office, Open Office, Laszlo, Flex, also would like to point out ampPHP and Flash Remoting.

here's an app that uses flash... (1)

xo0m (570041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048273)

...some of you may like this program for windows. the themes are all flash based and it is basically an alternative to the windows login screen. it works for win2k too!

http://frontmotion.com/ [frontmotion.com]

Flash in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048277)

I've noticed two prominent companies in Australia already using Flash in these types of devices: Coles Supermarkets [coles.com.au] - in their POS units, and Commonwealth Bank [commbank.com.au] - in some new (very recently installed) ATMs. They both use Flash to display advertisements on the screen, and not to run the actual POS / ATM application itself (who in their right mind would??). Personally, for advertising, I think its a good step forward (you can do so much more with Flash than you can with the ol' ATM 40x24 character screens!). However, I know that in Coles' case (who have had Flash ads showing for several years now), they in fact use Windows NT 4 workstation on their POS units (soon to be upgraded to Windows XP), so whether or not Flash is available in Embedded devices is a non-issue for them.

POS (1)

ananegg (772033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048280)

Point of sale software (or Piece of S*** as we who use them prefer to call it) Is hard enough to deal with and now that Flash is getting in to it, it will just get worse.......

AMD64 (1)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048292)

And still no flash for AMD64 Linux...

Ugh. I hate Flash. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048293)

Oh dear God I hate flash.

Flash intros.
Flash ads.
Flash slideshows.
Flash buttons.
Flash menus.
Flash Flash Flash...

I've disabled Flash in my browsers, and in those rare ocassions when I can't successfully view a site because it's not there, I'm relieved. Not having Flash just saved me from having to suffer through another splash page or interstitial.

Life if better without Flash.

Although to be fair, it's not Flash that I hate, pe se: it's the way Flash is almost always used -- combined with the fact that there's usually a better way to accomplish the same thing without using Flash. Anyone remember when the web was infested with Flash buttons and menus? I just about had to gnaw through my own ethernet cable to escape.

Here's to the hope that Flash will incinerate itself by becoming synonymous with obnoxious crap, just as javascript popups have done.

Oh, finally: why would you want Flash on most embedded devices anyways? Am I missing something? Why would Flash benefit a cell phone or cash register? I guess cell phones could have excruciatingly intrusive ads beamed to them...but cash registers, etc? WHY!?

If I were a billionaire, rather than curing cancer, or ending poverty, or some other cliché like that, I'd do the world a favor by buying Macromedia and revoking every Flash license, and then I'd buy influence in Washington to create a law -- to be exported to the rest of the world through trade agreements and copyright alignment -- whereby crappy Flash animation artists and self-affected Flash-crazy "webmasters" could legally be dragged away by angry mobs with torches and pitchforks. That would be my contribution to the world. So far I'm only $999,999,942 from becoming a billionaire.

You're welcome.

Re:Ugh. I hate Flash - I don't....but I understand (1)

djeddiej (825677) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048353)

Hi - The initial attraction to Flash by designers and developers is its relative ease in creating interactive animations. Now I cannot be an absolute judge on creativity or content, I am sure that there are a lot of abusive uses of Flash (I've seen lots, and unforunately, some have come from my former students of my Flash classes), but it can be used effectively to express content and ideas when placed in the right hands. Its way easier to generate Flash content then perform a similar feat say, in a Java based presentation layer (which incidentally, Flash has a lot of origins in) or utilizing some other technology. Flash just had mass development appeal. Again, I am not necessarily disagreeing with you - its unfortunate you have had such terrible experiences with Flash. But best of luck in getting that billion.

Re:Ugh. I hate Flash. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048431)

Although to be fair, it's not Flash that I hate, pe se: it's the way Flash is almost always used...

Sort of like:
"It's not that I hate Soviet dictators, per se, it's just the way their regimes kept killing millions of people. I mean, we can't condemn them for that. Afterall, they made lots of good things: tractor factories met their quotas and hydroelectric dams got built. If we got rid of Soviet dictators then, sure, millions of people might not get killed, and I guess that would be OK, but then tractor factories might not meet their quotas!"

This isn't why I shop at a store (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048304)

When I decide where to shop, I consider things such as products, prices, location, convenience, and customer service. I don't care about their checkout counters.

So why should a store care about spending money on fancy POS points? I worked in a store during high school that used a DOS POS/inventory program and it worked fine. This is a case where the simplest way to get the job done is usually the best.

Re:This isn't why I shop at a store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048341)

When you're standing in line at the POS point, what do you do? You'll find most people look around for something to occupy their minds.

This is why a POS point can be quite a useful tool for the shop. Perhaps it can tell you more about the products, prices, locations, convenience and customer service offered at the store, help convince you to come back again - tell you about the stuff that may not already be noticeable.

Re:This isn't why I shop at a store (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048408)

Waiting on line is a problem that shouldn't be solved with glitzy ads. My goal of the checkout line is to get through as soon as possible because I'm done shopping. In store displays should be on the sales floor so I can see them while I'm looking for products to buy.

And slashdot's HTML is increasingly awful... (0, Offtopic)

mfearby (1653) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048322)

I'm using Firefox 1.0 and the left column (with the Login, Why Login, fields, etc) is rendering over the top of the main column.

I notice that IE doesn't suffer from this today... Some days are good, others not so good.

What gives?

Great... (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048329)

Now I'll have to install FlashBlock on my personal organizer.

open-source Flash? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048335)


Are there currently any open-source attempts at implementing a Flash engine?

Rich noise (3, Insightful)

liangzai (837960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048371)

"The simplicity and richness of a Flash interface makes devices more user-friendly and enhances the customer's experience with rich content."

Theoretically, it could, although in actuality it will only add to the already prevalent information noise, since most "rich content" will be ads (or just meaningless graphics) disturbing the user process. When withdrawing money, you will have a number of presentations and offers from the bank, and perhaps from third parties (porn ads, contact ads, whore-o-scopes, dick/boob enlargement ads, ...).

Also, current installations of very simple text- and/or video based devices intermittently display the typical Screen o' Death, since these devices typically rely on Windoze systems. This kind of failure will only increase with the more complex Flash, unless implementers start deploying Linux, OS X or other more robust systems (and this will probably not happen, since most implementers are clueless). Flash itself, being rather complicated, also has a large array of bugs.

Rich noise-Flash Dance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11048418)

Re:Rich noise (1)

cgsamurai (786876) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048454)

Also, current installations of very simple text- and/or video based devices intermittently display the typical Screen o' Death, since these devices typically rely on Windoze systems. This kind of failure will only increase with the more complex Flash, unless implementers start deploying Linux, OS X or other more robust systems (and this will probably not happen, since most implementers are clueless). Flash itself, being rather complicated, also has a large array of bugs.

What???

We run, and have run for 4 years, all of our devices on Embedded Linux.

Regarding Flash being buggy, for the embedded device biz, not near what you think.

http://www.wirelessronin.com/ [wirelessronin.com]

Flash confusion (1)

SiliconEntity (448450) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048377)

It's too bad that the same word is used for a graphics display system and a type of data storage. I read the other day about rumors about an Apple MP3 player that was "flash based" but didn't have a display and I thought, how the heck could that work? Then I realized which "flash" they meant.

anyone else misread this (0, Offtopic)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048387)

and think it said...

"Flesh is winding its way into a growing number of gadgets and devices..."

wha wha what?! now how did THAT get in there?

e.

I can see it now... (2, Funny)

cerberus4696 (765520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048411)

You're driving down the highway one day, and all of a sudden you see, "Ram the monkey with your car and win $20!"

Yah... (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048421)

But does it run NetBSD?

hehe... POS (1)

themuffinking (826948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048433)

"Flash licenses in lower volumes to makers of POS (point-of-sales/service) terminals,"

Now, we all know what POS stands for, so why did you put in those parentheses? I mean, there's no need to deny what those terminals really are. I swear, one time my dad drove up to an ATM (same thing as a POS terminal in my opinion), entered his pin, and got BSOD'd. Yes, he crashed the ATM machine.

Will Macromedia be the next Microsoft? (1)

mr_majestyk (671595) | more than 9 years ago | (#11048451)

Flash seems to be gaining momentum [macromedia.com] [macromedia.com] as the application development platform of choice for the web and new devices like this rumored iPod. Yet it is a closed platform that Macromedia can control at will. Is history going to repeat itself with the critical apps and content of the web era locked into one platform?
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