Flash player is needed, except when it’s not

Earlier this week, I got the following pop-up message from Safari running on Mac OS X 10.11.0 El Capitan. I don’t now recall what site gave me the message.

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Using Flash as a Mac user has been annoying and sometimes even dangerous; there are exploits out that use Flash’s security holes to attack our computers, on top of the normal performance draining behavior of Flash. Apple and Adobe’s Flash have been in conflict for a good long while now.

“Most modern websites will work without Flash if you turn it off” you say? OK, sold. Gone. Goodbye, good riddance.

For the three days following that message and my response, I have noticed no significant difference in use. Honestly, I forgot about it. Until just now, I followed a link from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Twitter feed with a sneak preview of next week’s episode (linking to the picture of the page because spoilers if you’re not caught up on the third season).

When I got to the ABC website, the page was overtaken by a banner that took up fully a third of the window. The banner read:

You either have an old version of Adobe Flash Player or do not have Adobe Flash Player installed which is required to use this site. Please install/upgrade Adobe Flash Player.

Which brought me back to that earlier Apple dialogue box. Am I going to have to re-enable Flash? Do I care about what happened to Simmons enough to do that?

What happens if I just click that play button?

What happens is… the video plays just fine.

But that damned banner is still there, telling me it won’t work.

Which is hilarious to me.

I feel as if I’m watching a contest between titans, the corporate persons who shape our daily lives. Apple, Adobe, ABC/Disney, flailing around, each defending their turf, and all I can do is stand and watch and laugh, because nobody really knows anything.

Tech is weird, y’all.