Feeds

Study spanks Adobe Flash for abuses of power

Think green, block ads

High performance access to file storage

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.

According to a paper published Monday, content that uses asynchronous javascript and XML (AJAX) and animations based on Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight is the single most important attribute in predicting how much power will be consumed when visiting a webpage. That's because these types of graphics continue to draw large amounts of power long after the page has been rendered, according Robert Hansen, the paper's author.

"The number one most abusive technology appeared to be Flash banner ads," Hansen writes. "While other technologies can and did cause power spikes, they caused issues far less often than Flash, making it the least 'green' technology we came across. However, javascript, Java, VBScript, and Silverlight all easily could have caused problems, and they should not be discounted as possible culprits for power consumption."

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.