Adobe sounds the death knell for Flash (ADBE)

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It’s been a long time coming, but Adobe is finally encouraging its customers to move away from Flash.

As of today, Flash Professional CC, which enjoyed almost two decades as the de facto king of making animations for the web, will be known as Animate Professional CC, according to an Adobe blog entry.

Adobe is keeping support for making Flash content in Animate Professional, so as not to leave its existing customers high and dry.

But now, Adobe is encouraging users to make their animations in HTML 5 — a standard for web video that’s really come into its own in the past several years, and that works on basically any device with a web browser. Of course, it’s up to developers what they want to do, but Adobe is starting the push.

And since Flash has been a huge part of the web to date, Adobe has announced that it’s going to work with Microsoft and Google to make sure that browsers continue to support Flash videos going forward.

Plus, as Adobe notes, while HTML 5 is great for web video, there’s still not yet a standard quite as good as Flash for web gaming and “premium video,” so it’ll need to stick around for at least a little longer.

With today’s announcement, Adobe also announced a partnership with Facebook to share security information from Flash-based games, to make sure that Flash stays patched and users’ keep out of harm’s way.

So this isn’t exactly the end for Adobe Flash. But the fact that Adobe is pushing alternative options and retiring the “Flash” name for some of its most popular software shows that Adobe understands that the web is changing, and probably for the better.

Why Flash needed to go

Flash had been the standard for interactive web content since it was introduced in the early 2000s. But there has been a huge industry pushback in the last few years, mainly from Apple — which never supported Flash on the iPhone or iPad — and more recently Google, which stopped auto-playing Adobe Flash ads.

In large part because of Apple and Google’s resistance, Flash never really caught on with mobile devices, but it’s still alive and well on the desktop and is particularly used by advertisers.

Why the hatred? Because Flash has been found to hurt battery life and computing performance, and security researchers often find vulnerabilities and flaws in Flash that can compromise a user’s computer.

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Even Facebook acknowledged its dependence on Flash as a risk in an earnings filing earlier this year, writing that “In July 2015, certain vulnerabilities discovered in Flash led to temporary interruption of support for Flash by popular web browsers. If similar interruptions occur in the future and disrupt our ability to provide social games to some or all of our users, our ability to generate Payments revenue would be harmed.”

And so, there are many, from web developers to security researchers to computer users, who have been hoping for a while now that Flash would simply go away. While we’re still a ways away from that becoming a reality, the writing is finally on the wall. 

SEE ALSO: Google sounds the death knell for Adobe Flash

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HP, SAP, and other big tech companies have a new way into the red hot Israeli startup scene

Israeli startup accelerator The Junction

In the last six months, an exclusive startup accelerator called The Junction, created by Israeli VC Genesis Partners, has come up with a way for huge multinational corporations to use Israel’s bustling tech startup community to their own sweet advantage.

These companies partner with The Junction, helping it fund its operations and mentor its startups, and in exchange they get to help it decide which startup technologies to pursue and which startups to accept. Then they work with the startups to test and shape the tech they build.

Business Insider has learned that HP (the PC/printer company) has joined The Junction in this way. In addition, The Junction just announced that huge multinational insurance company Munich Re has signed on as such a partner, following SAP who signed on six months ago, as did Australian wireless company Telstra.

HP is looking for entrepreneurs working on 3D printing, Internet of Things, and 3D visualization graphics.

Multinational corporations have always shopped Israel’s startup up community looking for cool tech to acquire. But in the past six months, they’ve been flooding into the country, trying to get even more involved at earlier stages, mostly through investing, says Barak Rabinowitz, a partner with Genesis who runs The Junction. 

“Their main interest is to have a first look at cutting-edge of innovations, then generate commercial pilots with companies,” Rabinowitz tells us. While a partnership with The Junction doesn’t give them special first-rights to fund or acquire the startup, it gives them such close relationships that this is often a practical outcome.

Israeli Startups, startups, office workers, The JunctionThe Junction is a particularly exclusive accelerator, too. It accepts only five companies per class, and they enter a six-month program that includes the option to accept either $50,000 or $100,000 seed money for 5% or 10% of the company. Startups don’t have to take the investment, and can raise a seed round elsewhere, although Genesis Partners retains the right to participate in the first round of funding should the startup make it that far.

The program also includes sending the founders to Silicon Valley for 2 to 3 weeks where they can show the tech off for feedback and to find more investors.

200 hopefuls applied to The Junction last year. With help from these corporate sponsors, they were whittled down to 25 finalists who then spent two days and nights, holed up in a kibbutz, trying to convince The Junction and the corporations to accept them into the program.

As we previously reported, 2015 was a particular break out year for the Israeli startup scene. The country grew its first bunch of $1 billion valuation unicorns, broke records for VC funding, saw private equity investors swoop in and cut big checks, and caught the eye of Asian investors, especially from China, who are have swarmed in, too.

US multinationals like HP, Apple, Intel, Microsoft have also stepped up their presence there. HP, for instance, has a full-time person in the country looking for startups to fund. 

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EU, Turkey seek better relations at emergency refugee summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during an EU-Turkey summit at the EU Council building in Brussels on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. At a high-profile summit in Brussels on Sunday, European Union leaders will look to offer Turkey 3 billion euros (.2 billion), an easing of visa restrictions and the fast-tracking of its EU membership process in return for tightening border security and take back some migrants who don't qualify for asylum.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders eager for Turkey’s help in the migrant crisis cautioned against promising too much to their often reluctant partner at a summit in Brussels Sunday, even as Turkey’s prime minister declared the beginning of a new era for relations between the two sides.

French President Francois Hollande said Sunday that the EU will need to monitor Turkey’s commitments “step-by-step” to help end Syria’s political crisis, fight terrorism and deal with the migrants crisis. He said any funds of a 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) package to help Turkey deal with the migrants on its territory will be released progressively as the commitments are checked.

“For the moment, there is this 3 billion that has been freed up and it will be released bit by bit along with the commitments of Turkey,” Hollande said upon his departure from the summit. Also part of the new approach toward Turkey are EU promises to make haste with easing visa restrictions and fast-tracking Turkey’s EU membership. In return, Ankara must tighten border security and take back some migrants who don’t qualify for asylum in Europe.

“I want there to be an agreement so that Turkey takes on commitments, Europe supports it, and the refugees can be welcomed,” Hollande said.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he was “thankful to all European leaders for this new beginning, which is not just a beginning of a meeting but the beginning of a new process, which is very important for the future of our common bond in Europe.”

According to the International Organization for Migration, almost 900,000 people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia have entered Europe this year seeking sanctuary or jobs. More than 600,000 have entered through Greece, many after making the short sea crossing from Turkey.

More than 2 million refugees from Syria also live in Turkey, but according to Amnesty International, only around one in 10 are being helped by the government. The rest fend largely for themselves.

Even if support for closer relations with Turkey has often been lukewarm at best in many of the EU member states, the refugee crisis has forced a drastic revision of relations with Ankara.

“Turkey is right to expect that the EU provides relief,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Others though pointed out that any aid had to be offset by Turkish commitments on reform and respect for human rights.

EU President Donald Tusk put it straight to Davutoglu during the opening session of the summit. In return for EU aid, he said, “we expect to see an immediate and substantial reduction of irregular migrants arriving to Europe.” Furthermore, he added, the EU nations want Turkey “to realize the common objective of coming closer together through reforms, the upholding of the highest standards of human rights and media freedom and the implementation of agreed roadmaps and benchmarks” that are part of the EU membership talks.

Belgium’s prime minister Charles Michel said Turkey could not be given a “blank check” from the EU to help it handle the roughly 2 million Syrian refugees in the country and added his nation is not ready yet to free up money. And even if Turkey has long sought to join the bloc, Michel said Turkey is “far away from membership” and “there is much progress that needs to be made.”

The migrant crisis has shaken the EU to its core over the past few months when several member states proved unwilling or unable to deal with the arrival of thousands of needy people on their borders.

Tusk said the future of Europe’s 26-nation passport-free Schengen travel area, a cornerstone of European unity, was in jeopardy.

“The most important one is our responsibility and duty to protect our external borders. We cannot outsource this obligation to any third country. I will repeat this again: without control on our external borders, Schengen will become history,” Tusk said.

Yet in a recent membership progress report on Turkey, the EU criticized Ankara’s interference with its justice system and Turkish government pressure on the media. Last week, two more opposition journalists were jailed in Turkey.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that there was enough to bind both sides together.

“Turkey and Europe need each other. We are facing the same problems — from the war in Syria to terrorism to the stability or instability for the region . we can be partners. We have to put all the issues we have on the table.”


Maria Cheng and Jamey Keaten contributed to this article

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How designers around the world photoshopped this model when they were told to make her beautiful

UK based Superdrug Online Doctor hired female graphic designers in 18 countries to retouch the same portrait of a woman to become more attractive to their culture. The shocking responses show the dramatic differences in how different countries perceive beauty.

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Bizarre but true: Sydney police discovered a man in a ‘domestic dispute’ with a large spider

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Corbyn says he ‘cannot support’ airstrikes in Syria and is gambling that Cameron doesn’t have the votes for bombing

Jeremy Corbyn has sent a letter to all Labour MPs saying he “cannot support” bombing in Syria. Here is the text of that letter:

However, a majority of his shadow cabinet are in favour of PM David Cameron’s plan to take military action against Islamic State, according to George Eaton of the New Statesman.

Corbyn has said he would not approve a free vote on the issue, and he wants Labour MPs to obey a whip and vote against their consciences — against bombing.

Jeremy CorbynIf Corbyn can persuade them to do that, he may inflict a major defeat on Cameron. Here is Eaton:

With the SNP and the Liberal Democrats set to vote against air strikes, Labour’s position is crucial. Having said that he will only act if he can achieve a “clear majority”, Cameron may pull the vote if Corbyn whips his party against.

The problem is that if Corbyn loses this vote — and Cameron gets his majority in favour, due to a significant number of Labour MPs — then it will fuel the anti-Corbyn rebellion on the Labour benches that believes not having a coherent line in favour of action makes Labour unfit for government.

Here is the BBC’s account.

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