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Flash glitch throttles bandwidth

Media Player 6 bug irks developers

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A problem in Flash Player 6 means users are unable to stop the download of large files once they have been started, resulting in a bandwidth drain to surfers.

In previous versions of the Macromedia Flash Player, loading another file, leaving the web site, or closing the browser window will stop this transfer but this doesn't happen with Flash Media Player 6, according to tests using Internet Explorer 6 in Windows XP.

Concerns have been expressed that this bandwidth hogging behaviour could result, either accidentally or maliciously, in a denial of service for surfers visiting sites with large inline Flash animations.

The effect would force a user to exit all open Web browser windows, or reboot, to free up bandwidth.

A thread on a developers' messaging board shows the extent of concern regarding the issue, not least because each day the 'faulty' Flash 6 player is downloaded the problem grows.

Macromedia is aware of the bug and is reported to be working on a fix. ®

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