I've had this post simmering on the back back burner for several weeks but it's time to remind the whole real estate community to stay away from JAVA! First of all a short history of Java as it relates to real estate tours:
- During the mid-2000s Java was used extensively as a technology that made 360s and other real estate tour animation work. It was great technology before Flash became widely used. I sill have a bunch 360s of our old listings that require Java to view. Many tour offerings have never been updated.
- Over the last year and several months a series of security flaws have been discovered in Java.
- Oracle, who acquired Java from Sun Microsystems currently maintains Java has been working at fixing security problems. But they are behind the curve and hackers finding flaws faster than Oracle fix the flaws. Every week for the last 3 weeks Oracle has released security fixes to Java but there are still known unfixed security problems.
- Earlier this year Apple removed Java from the OS X distribution. Now you have to manually install it yourself to run it.
- A couple of weeks ago some internal Apple developers were infected by a Java exploit at a development site.
- Back in January the Department Of Homeland Security advised that all computer users disconnect Java from their browsers. Java is a very popular language and is harmless if it's not connected to your browser. Many large companies (including banks) have specialized applications written in Java.
- Cisco Systems, the company that makes most of the worlds internet routers, has a 2013 security report that says that Java exploits (security flaws) comprised 87 percent of total web exploits.
Given this history and the number of good alternatives for 360 display and tour animation it is clearly no longer prudent or responsible to be using Java as a 360 display or tour technology. I think real estate photographers should be doing everything they can to discourage the use of Java in tours 360 image display.
Within the last week I've:
- Encountered several real estate photographers that still provide 360s the require Java.
- The top Realtor in my city has a $1M+ listing on realtor.com that has a tour that requires Java.
Please join me in encouraging real estate photographers and agents to update their tour and 360 display technology.