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Little red shield with a capital "A" on it in Firefox. What is this?

Posted on 2015-01-05
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Last Modified: 2015-01-07
A strange question I know.

I'm running SuSE linux 13.1 with the latest Firefox. Recently, a little red shield with a capital A on it will appear in my browser, and seems to be screwing things up...especially videos and images and especially in Facebook.

1. It appears to be related to Firefox attempting to run/load a video .
2. A mouse-over only shows the word "play".
3. Clicking it makes it go away...but doesn't always "unscrew" the ability to play a video.
4. Once when playing a Vimeo video, the same symbol with a "V" in it appeared.

I have attempted to turn off every flash block, pop-up block, ad-block in Firefox that I can find. This does nothing.  

I have turned off my AVG antivirus. This did nothing.

What the H*** is this thing?

Thanks!
TheA.png
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Question by:Mike R.
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Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 40532601
Could you please list your add-ons ( extensions) that you have installed in Firefox? Check under Tools->Add-ons.
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Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 40532603
Have you tried disabling the firefox add-ons?
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Author Comment

by:Mike R.
ID: 40533163
Hi. I have actually tried disabling all my extensions (are extensions and add-ons the same thing in this instance?)

I've attached an image of all my addons. The list is quite slim actually ...
FirefoxExtensions.png
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Marc Z earned 2000 total points
ID: 40533309
Yes, Add-ons and Extensions are the same thing.

From the Flash Control 1.2.0 FAQ,s I found this
Q6: What do those "play button" icons in the placeholders mean?
A6: "f" represents Flash video; "V" represents HTML5 video; "A" represents HTML5 audio.

I haven't been able to view (replicate) the "A" icon, so I'll keep looking.  Unless you can provide a website that gives the "A".  Keep an eye out for the "f" to turn into an "A", that would give you a good indicator that it is this add-on causing it.

You could try Closing Firefox, opening a terminal and typing
firefox -p

to start the Profile Manager and create a New Testing profile. (Make sure you Uncheck the "Don't ask at startup" so that you can get back and forth to your correct profile quickly once testing is over.)  You may want to install and test a couple extensions to pinpoint the issue and restarting firefox is the way to install extensions.
By creating a new profile, you won't break your existing profile, and once you've successfully troubleshooted your issue, you will still have your list of extensions that you want, and your bookmarks and history intact.

There is a Reset Firefox option, (under the about:support page) however that will wipe out your extensions.   I'll keep looking.

Although - I just went to the Vimeo website and I see this icon on the "Join" page.  
From Vimeo siteIt looks pretty close to your A, which might indicate it's an Audio file and not a Video file?
I guess I'll need a link from you that the "A" shows up on.
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Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 40533339
OK, I haven't gotten an "A" shield yet on Vimeo, but I did get the "V" which I had to Click to Play, then I had to Click the "F" (Flash Control) Flash Control icon to get it to Play, and Then I had to Allow Firefox to play the "Outdated Flash Player" so it could be that Just pressing your "A" might not Appear to work since there was additional items that needed to be clicked.
Just throwing things out there at the moment, cause I can't replicate the issue yet.

OK, that "V" that I got (in the previous post) was because of the Flash Control.  I clicked the Flash Control icon in the toolbar and it went away.  it's not a Vimeo thing, (which is where I was headed)

OK, I went to html5 audio sample and got the A, (see screenshot attached), Clicked on it and it gave me the Audio controls, hit the Play button and it worked.

Now, I'm not using SuseLinux, but on linuxMint, i was able to get the music to play.

So, ultimately, the A is indeed a Flash Control extension icon.
If it truly seems to be breaking things, i would either Remove it OR deal with it, knowing there might be additional steps to allow items to play.

I'm leaving all the above in, so that you (and others) can see the possible additional steps you might need.
Selection-009.jpg
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Author Closing Comment

by:Mike R.
ID: 40535404
Wow! Amazingly complete answer. Thank you. I replaced the flashcontrol with a different flash blocker, and everything is good.

For clarity when others read this, after clicking the "A". I was able to play the video about 50% of the time. But the other half, the second "little F" (Flash symbol) wouldn't come up...unless I opened the video in a separate window. I think it's just a bug in flashcontrol which, hopefully, they'll fix soon.

Thanks again!
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