1). 'Adobe Shockwave Player' == 'Shockwave for Director' and 'Adobe Flash Player' == 'Shockwave Flash'
2). Shockwave Helper is installed with 'Adobe Shockwave Player' and it "helps" Shockwave, perhaps by checking for updates or launching the OCX when required. Try blocking it and see if SW content still runs, but I don't think it's anything to be nervous of.
GetPlusPlus is a 'crapware' component stealth-installed by the Flash plugin. Its purpose appears to be turning your browser into a client for the Adobe store without your express knowledge or permission (that's probably buried in a 10 page EULA). Adobe have obviously given up on writing good software and prefer instead to exploit their plugin monopoly to push unrelated software on to your computer. Sounds familiar? Possibly because Microsoft and Apple have been doing this for years.
This doesn't appear to be a very good way of competing with Silverlight, or staying relevant in an era where alternatives are just a few clicks away.
CORRECTION: 'Permission' to install is given by a checkbox entitled “Adobe may use the Adobe Download Manager to seamlessly install your software.” Make sure this is not checked when installing, it is completely unnesesary for using Flash or installing software and it has been reported to cause other issues including slowness and instability in FF.
The second blog points out that getPlusPlus is installed as BOTH an extension and a plugin. You will need to remove both.
3) GetPlus+ is the Transfer Manager (by NOS Microsystems) used by Adobe for various downloads such as Adobe Reader, Flash Player, etc. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOSSO for some more information.