Flash animations, etc.

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Flash animations, etc.

Postby delle » Sat May 12, 2012 5:42 am

For the last year or so I've been going way over my allotted gigatude and paying way too much for internet service. I can't get a heftier plan -- it just doesn't exist with the companies available to me, and so I pay overage fees.

We've made all the suggested security changes... tried to be careful about down- and up-loading. Still, we go over. Almost every month.

Now. I have a gamer in the house and one who does like to download movies and television series. A third streams her shows. These were the first to get addressed.

Still, we go over.



Lately I've been wondering about just what the impact of all these little animations in here might be -- animated siglines and avatars that you have no control over playing.

So I disallowed Flash Animations in my options here, to see if it would make a difference. It has not. In fact, all those little avatars and siglines still seem to dance and sparkle and laugh hysterically and beat each other up, and generally just do whatever they did before I chose to disarm that option. (and I'm talking last week... I've signed out and back in numerous times since)

Fully aware that I am NOT the sharpest stick in the shed when it comes to these things, I appeal to you to perhaps help me understand just what this choice entails -- and if there is something else I could be doing in here to lessen the impact on my wallet, come month's end, should this be an issue. (yes, I tend to forget to sign out of eplaya, and often re-open to a bunch of jiggling images in the morning, or after work. Do they really continue to gyrate in my absence????)

And more importantly, could they be a part of my woes? And if so, is there anything I can be doing about it besides being more vigilant about closing it down?

Thanks for any insight you can give me on this!! Not knowing the lingo (like, are they REALLY flash animations???) makes it hard to google.
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby Drawingablank » Sat May 12, 2012 8:18 am

I'm not 100% on this but I believe your browser will cache those rather than keep streaming them repeatedly.
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby jkisha » Sat May 12, 2012 8:40 am

You should be able to set your browser to not show any images.
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby Eric » Sat May 12, 2012 12:14 pm

delle wrote:Lately I've been wondering about just what the impact of all these little animations in here might be -- animated siglines and avatars that you have no control over playing.

So I disallowed Flash Animations in my options here, to see if it would make a difference. It has not. In fact, all those little avatars and siglines still seem to dance and sparkle and laugh hysterically and beat each other up, and generally just do whatever they did before I chose to disarm that option. (and I'm talking last week... I've signed out and back in numerous times since)


Delle- those are "animated GIF's", they use almost no memory & comparatively are a pea to Mt. Everest when you've got people downloading movies & games, etc. I was able to see them fine way back in the 90's on a 56k modem, if they're affecting your internet usage enough to put you over you have some major problems.
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby delle » Sat May 12, 2012 4:30 pm

Thanks you three, for taking the time.

I guess I overkilled it in mentionning avatars. My biggest concern were those little movies that run in people's siglines. Some have been pretty heavy, if I'm to judge by how slowly they load and play, which of course they do automatically everytime that person's post hits the screen.

I thought THAT would get shut off by disallowing the "Flash Animation" option. Just what DOES get shut off when you disallow that.


And JK. For SHAME!!! What kind of eplaya would it be without pictures???? :shock:


Anyhow, all in all you've all allayed my fears. I shall get back to pointing fingers at everyone else, knowing that I'm still pretty much still doing what I can by not clicking on Every UTube movie presented in here.

I just wanted to be sure I wasn't delusional. (on this particular point) :roll:
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby Eric » Sat May 12, 2012 8:28 pm

delle wrote:I thought THAT would get shut off by disallowing the "Flash Animation" option. Just what DOES get shut off when you disallow that.


Flash gets shut off, but there isn't flash animation on the ePlaya, other than possibly you-tube (not sure if that uses flash or not, but I don't think so).


(oh- the moving bits in peoples sig-lines are animated GIFs as well- same as the smilies with rolling eyes)
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby knowmad » Sat May 12, 2012 9:18 pm

Yeah I am weighing in on what Eric said.
I use my pre paid broad band limit of 5gig a month and I'm on here all the time. every once and a while I'll watch a streamed show and still under budget. the filesharing and movie downloads are whats killin ya.
look into bandshare alotment softwear for home networks. but morelikly your filesharing/videogamer will figure out how to bypass it.
good luck.
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby junglesmacks » Sun May 13, 2012 5:37 am

Eric wrote:Flash gets shut off, but there isn't flash animation on the ePlaya, other than possibly you-tube (not sure if that uses flash or not, but I don't think so).


YouTube is most certainly 100% Flash at this point. They are just starting to experiment with a new format called "HTML 5" but it's still in the development phase.

ALL of the animation that you see on eplaya is indeed .gif format.. which is basically a flip book style of animation that just shows a loop of very low resolution images. The sizes of these files are typically around 80 - 150kb.. which is literally peanuts compared to even downloading a single song or something. Also, these images become cached in your browsers data file, so once you've viewed it you will never actually download it again.

Eplaya takes up a miniscule amount of bandwidth. You're completely fine.. :D
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby trilobyte » Mon May 14, 2012 2:19 am

Actually, junglesmacks, most of youtube is already html5-tastic. They still have a few hiccups where things don't play right without Flash, but that has more to do with site encoding (some sites are still using older embed codes that specify the use of flash) than it does anything on Google's end. For what it's worth, youtube embeds on ePlaya play just fine via html5. Vimeo's another story. They've been working on the transition to html5 for a while too, but they're not quite there yet.

Getting back to Delle's original question, as others have already said ePlaya isn't your data usage problem. The Flash option in preferences probably wouldn't do much for you, since we have no flash content on the boards (as a security override, that particular bbcode tag has been disabled even though you see it in the edit window). The animations you're seeing are animated gif's, tiny little loops of animation that use 256 or fewer colors. Whether they're repetitive or annoying to you, they are absolutely tiny in size compared with, well… almost anything besides text. And text is the bulk of ePlaya's content. You could spend a full month reading as many posts and threads and looking at as many avatars and embedded pics as your machine will let you, and you'd never hit even a modest data cap.

Streaming video (whether it's html5 or flash or any other format) is a ton of data. Online games are often also HUGE data hogs. Sure, you installed several gigs of game from the installation disc or initial download, but as you explore the massive multiplayer online space, it constantly streams data to you. Letting you know what's going on in the world as well as sending you information about all the objects and characters (and every single texture on every single part of each), plus of course relaying all your info back up to their servers. In under an hour of playing an online game, you'd likely eat up more data than you would in a month on the boards (assuming you don't click play on the youtube/vimeo clips).

You may want to take a look into a utility that will show you your network activity. Activity Monitor (in the utilties folder) can do the job on a Mac, though there are plenty of other solutions. Start the monitor with nothing running, look at what 'idle' looks like for a few seconds, then fire up the browser and visit your favorite sites, and then go through your apps. Good luck finding the datahog!

(gave this a nudge over to site function, btw)
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby junglesmacks » Mon May 14, 2012 2:52 am

Regarding the HTML5 vs Flash.. I had to specifically opt in to the HTML5 testing on YouTube in order for it to play in that format. I'm pretty sure that unless you do that, it's defaulting to Flash. No?
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby BBadger » Mon May 14, 2012 6:12 am

Unless you're downloading new games all the time, it's probably those streaming videos that are the cause of your bandwidth usage. Youtube, despite having some Flash plugins should be considered streaming videos.

Also see if people in your house are using P2P apps like bittorrent. That uses a lot of bandwidth. All those porn videos, games, movie and all that stuff that uses tons of bandwidth, including upload bandwidth.

Games... they're more about latency than bytes. Games like WoW will use about 20kB/s which isn't very much.
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby jkisha » Mon May 14, 2012 6:25 am

junglesmacks wrote:Regarding the HTML5 vs Flash.. I had to specifically opt in to the HTML5 testing on YouTube in order for it to play in that format. I'm pretty sure that unless you do that, it's defaulting to Flash. No?

My iPad doesn't play flash and I have no problem viewing YouTube videos and I never opted into anything.
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby junglesmacks » Mon May 14, 2012 7:19 am

jkisha wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:Regarding the HTML5 vs Flash.. I had to specifically opt in to the HTML5 testing on YouTube in order for it to play in that format. I'm pretty sure that unless you do that, it's defaulting to Flash. No?

My iPad doesn't play flash and I have no problem viewing YouTube videos and I never opted into anything.



That's because iDevices request the video in an alternate format and YouTube streams in a different codec called H.264 They've been doing this since 2009. Remember how when iPhones first came out that there was that big Adobe vs Apple war and YouTube didn't work until they figured out a workaround and offered a little stock YouTube app when iOS 3.0 came out I believe..
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby trilobyte » Mon May 14, 2012 11:54 am

@junglesmacks - I think his point was that it required no special opting in, as you suggested. I have a few different desktop environments I test things in, only a couple of which have Flash installed or enabled by default (one uses a cool utility called ClickToFlash, which lets me choose which Flash files I want to load). No special configuration has been necessary for youtube vids to play. And it's worth pointing out that Google began encoding certain videos in h.264 tests in 2006, were largely public with the h.264 format (not an alternative, btw) in 2007. If I'm not mistaken, the youtube app has shipped with the phone since its launch in June 2007.

@BBadger - gaming usage can vary by the title. The more diverse and varied the 'world' of the game, the more data it can use. WoW gets away using extremely little because it largely reuses the same textures in many places (everything needed is already installed). On the flip side, something like Second Life (where almost all the worlds' content is user-created) uses up massive amounts of data. Even if I carefully design and build something to be extremely efficient in how it uses textures, it all goes out the window as other players enter the picture - since each unique individual will have dozens of individual support files that need to be sent to every other user in the vicinity.
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Re: Flash animations, etc.

Postby oscillator » Mon May 14, 2012 12:46 pm

YouTube *used* to serve Flash-only video, now it is largely HTML-range requests (even if rendered in Flash Player).

HTML5 video tag is on the horizon, wide-range adoption is not there yet.

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