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Blocked Flash AdBlocking Flash in Camino has been an On/Off affair until recently. Camino browser had implemented the FlashBlock software directly into its browser, but unfortunately, it didn’t have a whitelist where you can specify sites to allow Flash to run. So you either blocked Flash from all sites or no sites.

Although this is still the case, there is a hack that allows you to create a whitelist of sites where Flash should still be enabled. The hack is reproduced here:

Create a userContent.css file within the Camino Application Support “chrome” directory. Open up a Terminal window (found under Applications/Utilities) and enter:

cd ~/Library/Application Support/Camino/chrome
touch userContent.css

If you’ve got Textmate

mate userContent.css

If not, go into Finder, find the above “chrome” directory underneath your “Home” directory (usually your login name) and open the userContent.css file by Cmd-Clicking or two finger tap “right clicking”, Open With > Other > TextEdit.

Paste in the following code:

@-moz-document domain(youtube.com), domain(google.com)
{
object[classid*=":D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"],
object[codebase*="swflash.cab"],
object[data*=".swf"],
embed[type="application/x-shockwave-flash"],
embed[src*=".swf"],
object[type="application/x-shockwave-flash"],
object[src*=".swf"]
{ -moz-binding: none !important; }
}

Notice the YouTube.com and Google.com domains within “domain()”. Add more of those with the domain of sites you want to allow Flash to run. This is your whitelist of sites where Flash is permitted to run.

After this, save the userContent.css file and shut down Camino completely (Cmd-Q) and restart it. Then go into Camino Preferences > Web Features > Block Flash animations, check this tick box.

Now try opening up YouTube.com and you should see the page working as normal. All Flash based videos should still work. Now try out a site with an obscene amount of Flash Advertisements like http://bloomberg.com. Where the Flash ads would be normally you should see the Adobe “f” instead.

If this doesn’t work for you, make sure you named the file correctly “userContent.css”, put it in the right directory “~/Library/Application Support/Camino/chrome”, and have completely shut down Camino (not just its windows, but truly Quit the program), and restarted, and that you’ve turned on the Block Flash animations option under Web Features in Preferences.

The above hack was kindly provided by Camino at http://caminobrowser.org/documentation/annoyances/

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I’ve mentioned the block flash ads feature with Camino in another post, but I think this feature is important enough that it warrants its own post. There’s nothing more annoying than loud, animated, dancing ads that loop continuously as you try to read (or stare at) content. I realize that a good portion of the web operates on advertising revenues and I’m not opposed to online advertisements, but Macromedia is overbearing. Their Flash software for browsers prevents you from stopping animated ads and you can’t even prevent an ad from looping forever, with poorly designed ads cranking the CPU up to 70C to blare the same annoying message over and over.

The ability to block ads is not unique to Camino. With Firefox Add-Ons such as Adblock Plus you can get roughly the same results as Camino’s Block Flash Ads feature, but when I say “rough”, I really mean “rough”. I discovered that the way Adblock Plus works with respect to Flash ads is that it changes the permissions that Flash has for writing cache files before displaying an animation. Basically Flash no longer has the ability to write cache files, thus it cannot display the animation properly. I found this out when moving from Mac OS X Tiger to Leopard.

Before the install I was attempting to repartition my hard disk, starting off with a “Verify Permissions” check before diving in. Strangely there were errors in permissions related to Flash/ShockWave. The permissions verification was telling me that these directories should have had Read Write access, but they had only Read access. This turned on a light bulb in my head as I had recently tried out Adblock Plus in Firefox. That’s a pretty dirty hack to use in order to block Flash animated ads.

In my experience the ads were still visible for a split second, then removed and replaced with a blank spot where the ad previously was located. Hovering over the area or moving the page through scrolling at times would reveal the ad again, which was probably due to the CSS hijinks going on as well. Overall, Camino’s way to block ads is very slick and doesn’t have the feel of something hacked together to work most of the time, like other ad blocking solutions.

With Camino, the power to stop intrusive, obnoxious web ads is returned to the user. This is a killer feature that was created due to popular demand and will make Camino a true contender in the browser lineup.

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