Study spanks Adobe Flash for abuses of power
Think green, block ads
We've known for years that graphics based on Adobe Flash and other third-party programming software can be clunky, time-consuming affairs that put our security at risk. Now comes new research suggesting they needlessly consume more power too.
Hansen stressed that the experiment can't be considered scientific because some of its methodology - which multiplied amperage by voltage - didn't adequately accommodate variances in the amperage over time. Still, by combining the Windows Task Manager with a tool called Kill A Watt, he said the study could be a launching pad for future scientific research by providing strong anecdotal evidence about the types of web browsing that tend to draw the most amperage.
The most useful conclusion: Use of the Firefox extensions NoScript and Adblock Plus is one of the most effective ways to decrease power consumption. When used to visit the 10 most power-hungry websites in Hansen's study, he saved .1 amp and more than 11 watts, the same needed to run a 40 watt compact fluorescent light.
While preliminary, the research suggests a direct relationship between websites that are power hogs and those that are potential security risks. So remember: Disabling Flash, Java, and Silverlight may not only be good for your security. It could also make your browsing greener. ®
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