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Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

AdvertisingAge is reporting that Mozilla will be selling ads in Firefox. In particular, the "New Tab" page that normally has nine of the most frequently visited sites shown will, for new users, show ads and "pre-packaged content" in the new feature called "Directory Tiles". The Mozilla blog gives a bit more detail: "Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla’s pursuit of our mission. The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy. We are excited about Directory Tiles because it has inherent value to our users, it aligns with our vision of a better Internet through trust and transparency, and it helps Mozilla become more diversified and sustainable as a project."
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Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 4:06 UTC (Wed) by josh (subscriber, #17465) [Link]

I would suggest waiting to panic until we find out who the "hand-picked partners" are. Remember that Mozilla gets paid a huge amount of money to keep Google as the default search engine, and odds are if you asked most users, most of them who cared would say that's what they want anyway. If the content filled in includes things like an appropriate regional Wikipedia, a few Mozilla sites similar to the default bookmarks, and a few popular sites that users want anyway who turn out to be willing to pay (e.g. Twitter, YouTube, Wordpress, or Amazon), that doesn't seem problematic.

I think the key question is "does this show users content that they find unwanted, or does this actually give users something better than a blank page?".

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 4:22 UTC (Wed) by jzbiciak (subscriber, #5246) [Link]

I set my 'new tab' page to be blank a long, long time ago. I pretty much never open a new tab without some idea already of where I want to go. Having something "interesting" there actually gets in the way.

So, as long as 'new tabs are blank' setting still works, I'm happy. :-)

(Also, that setting is much less likely to embarrass or distract you when you have to bring something up in the web browser on your work laptop while connected to the projector in a meeting.)

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 6:18 UTC (Wed) by josh (subscriber, #17465) [Link]

I do the same thing: I turned off the new tab page a long time ago.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 13:33 UTC (Wed) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Meanwhile, I find the Chrome new tab page useful, even now it's shifted to displaying something very like the Google homepage: the recent pages tiles are useful nonetheless.

(But if it started to display ads, and stopped adblockers working, I'd go ballistic and would if necessary switch browsers to stop it -- if hacking the source didn't work because the dark magic was done server-side. Some people just cannot tolerate ads to such a degree that we actively avoid anyone we see adverts for: it is in the *advertisers'* interests to allow people who react like that to avoid advertising if they want to.)

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 23:12 UTC (Wed) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

" Some people just cannot tolerate ads to such a degree that we actively avoid anyone we see adverts for: it is in the *advertisers'* interests to allow people who react like that to avoid advertising if they want to.)"

Absolutely!
I really fail to see what is the goal in trying to force ads on people that actively try to avoid them.. are they thinking they will change our minds ?

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 13:02 UTC (Thu) by gerv (subscriber, #3376) [Link]

Where have Mozilla suggested that we are going to force ads on people that actively try to avoid them? You should avoid jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

Gerv

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 14:49 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

You haven't. Thank goodness. (If anyone did that, it would more likely be Chrome, since Google is explicitly an advertising company, and mostly doesn't care about people who don't want to see any advertising except inasmuch as it can snarf personal information from them to sell.)

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 14, 2014 0:16 UTC (Fri) by jrn (subscriber, #64214) [Link]

I guess I've seen this meme one too many times. Does Google sell personal information? Their privacy policy <http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/> has a section starting "We do not share personal information with companies, organizations and individuals outside of Google unless" that suggests 'no', but it's easily possible I've missed something.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 14, 2014 12:08 UTC (Fri) by shmget (subscriber, #58347) [Link]

"that suggests 'no', but it's easily possible I've missed something."

you've miss what follow the 'unless'

including "We may share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information publicly and with our partners – like publishers, advertisers or connected sites."

Mind you, one can 'sell 'personal information' in the form of so-called non-personally identifiable information... it is still selling personal information.. just like selling mash potato is still selling potatoes, even if you can't distinguish the individual potatoes.
(ps: no I have nothing against google or their business model, so far... I just don't see the point in ignoring it and pretending that google core business is not information broker)

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 20:50 UTC (Thu) by ballombe (subscriber, #9523) [Link]

So is this going to be opt-in only?
What about the majority of people that do not even imagine it is possible to disable it ?

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 21, 2014 15:57 UTC (Fri) by wookey (subscriber, #5501) [Link]

How do I turn off the New Tab page? (In Iceweasel). It's an annoying page. Looking in preferences->general, Startup, Home Page I get a choice of 'Use current pages', 'Use Bookmark', 'Restore to Default'. None of those seems to give me an easy option of 'blank'. I tried about:blank but that still loads the 'new tab' set of most-often-typed-in sites.

I may be being dim but this seems less than obvious.

I wish firefox every success, and firefox OS, but I go to a lot trouble never to see any ads, or javascript I didn;t ask for. It's only laziness and lack of actual obvious harm that has let this tiresome new tab page exist for so long.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 21, 2014 16:10 UTC (Fri) by jzbiciak (subscriber, #5246) [Link]

There's an icon that looks like a 3x3 array of boxes in the upper right corner of the new tab page. Clicking that toggles the new tab page between blank and non-blank.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 23, 2014 20:29 UTC (Sun) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

if you go to edit -> prefrences -> general there is a box that shows the URL of the page that you will show. the buttons below it auto-populates the box, but you can just type about:blank in that box (which is what I do)

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 23, 2014 21:09 UTC (Sun) by jzbiciak (subscriber, #5246) [Link]

I was under the impression that that controls the "home" page—ie. the page you get for a new window or when you click the "Home" icon, but not for a new tab. A quick test seems to confirm this.

As a result of this little experiment, I now have Firefox set to:

  1. When Firefox Starts: "Show a blank page." This makes new windows blank.
  2. Home Page: "about:memory". That makes the "home" button quasi-useful for the bored. (Previously I had it set to "about:blank" but it did nothing more than make the Home button nearly useless.)
  3. New tab page disabled by clicking the icon that looks like an 3x3 array of boxes in the upper right corner of a new tab page.

The settings for "When Firefox Starts" and "Home Page" don't seem to affect new tabs, only new windows. At least, in the version of Firefox I'm using (27.0). The settings have worked this way for awhile, so I presume IceWeasel isn't significantly different.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 23, 2014 21:20 UTC (Sun) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

I'm running 28.0a2, but I've been using about:blank for years

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 7:30 UTC (Wed) by Henning (subscriber, #37195) [Link]

I do the same but have found that Firefox mobile does not seem to let you do it.
No matter what I have tried the "Top sites"-tab will be shown instead of a blank page when starting a new session.

I feel this to be a part of a worrying trend at Mozilla having their applications being more "online" instead of stand-alone (ex. Firefox accounts, blocking bad-sites, Firefox health report and crash report).
Note that I do not mean that it is necessary bad as long as one can easily disable it, but it has become more and more tedious to strip down to the application I trust and cherish, and I worry about Mozilla getting too used with the big money from Google and others to not let their morals drift based on that.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 14:17 UTC (Wed) by ibukanov (subscriber, #3942) [Link]

I do not even use the new tab feature - Alt-Enter in both the location and search fields show the result in a new tab.

However, I see no problem that Mozilla wants to get paid for the user attention as the alternative is no Mozilla with web clients that are used by an average user and fully controlled by Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 4:50 UTC (Wed) by horen (guest, #2514) [Link]


"It's free and always will be."

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 4:58 UTC (Wed) by donbarry (guest, #10485) [Link]

The problem is that Mozilla has never moved decisively to free itself from an undue reliance on Google. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation has revenues of only about $1.5 million per year. It wholly owns the for-profit Mozilla corporation, which in its current three-year arrangement with Google is receiving $300 million per year (!!!) from Google. That is supporting some 600 odd employees! Even when Mozilla was receiving "only" $57 million from Google in 2006, it was 85% of the total revenue of the corporation.

But there is no evidence that Mozilla has built an endowment out of access to that vast level of support -- I'd love to be proven wrong on this account. The current deal runs through November, 2014.

With Google increasingly relying on Chrome, built on a different underlying architecture, their hedging the bets with Mozilla seems increasingly like an unnecessary move, unless both IE and Mozilla were to entirely collapse leading to charges of monopoly against Chrome.

I understand, therefore, the pressures to do this. But it reflects a fundamental lack of strategic planning and an inability to grow a true multi-corporate and multi-contributor community around this codebase.

And I hate, hate, hate that they are doing this. Fortunately, I'm confident that Debian, my favored distribution, will continue to excise tumors like this from the code as they do to most of the vile stuff added to free software codebases from projects tempted.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 5:06 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

Either that or people on Linux will start using Epiphany.

The unfortunate thing is that Firefox has actually improved significantly as of late and I have gone back to using it.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 14:11 UTC (Wed) by rsidd (subscriber, #2582) [Link]

I too prefer Firefox these days (on Android it's much, much better than Chrome!) and I can't say I'm bothered by this news.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 21:59 UTC (Wed) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

Last I tried, it was slow to respond when using the tab drawer thing and the interface took up too much room (this was around Firefox 24 or so). Has that changed?

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 14, 2014 3:40 UTC (Fri) by VelvetElvis (guest, #69142) [Link]

I fully expect some distros to fork this out.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 14, 2014 16:22 UTC (Fri) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

The trademark policy says you can't call it "Firefox" if you ship patches upstream hasn't at least accepted. If distros want to kill it and there's not a build flag for it, they're going to have to use Iceweasel.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 5:12 UTC (Wed) by roc (subscriber, #30627) [Link]

It's all too easy to say that Mozilla should have found an alternative source of revenue. It's rather more difficult to say exactly what that alternative source should be.

Again, it's easy to say that Mozilla should have "grown a true multi-corporate and multi-contributor community" (which I presume is supposed to help because Mozilla then doesn't need money?). But why would anyone, Mozilla or not, make big investments in Firefox with no revenue stream? See previous paragraph.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 5:38 UTC (Wed) by donbarry (guest, #10485) [Link]

Or, if you will quote the full proposal, build an endowment out of a goodly chunk of that money to ensure survivability in the times to come.

Do remember that they are nominally a for profit chartered for certain benefits within the confines of a non-profit, with a mission for that non-profit.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 8:31 UTC (Wed) by roc (subscriber, #30627) [Link]

If Mozilla had built an endowment out of "a goodly chunk of that money" then we'd have had to cut back spending massively on a lot of other things, which would have basically crippled Firefox development. Then we'd be lambasted for socking away tons of money while our project flounders.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 8:37 UTC (Wed) by geofft (subscriber, #59789) [Link]

I would be surprised if Google had no conditions regarding their sponsorship and also no conditions regarding what would make them renew or not renew their sponsorship.

In particular, I would expect that the amount of money that Mozilla receives from Google is somewhat proportional to how many employees they have to pay, and at best uncorrelated and at worst negatively correlated with how much money is being saved to end their reliance on Google. The current agreement is pretty rational for Google, and even if Mozilla were legally allowed to use this year's money to try to become independent of Google, if they tried that, I don't see why they should expect to get the same amount of money next year.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 20:30 UTC (Wed) by samth (subscriber, #1290) [Link]

Google does not "sponsor" Mozilla. Google pays Mozilla a lot of money to be the default search engine, because that makes Google even more money based on search advertising. It has nothing to do with how many employees Mozilla has, and given that there's a competitive market in search engines, it's unlikely to change unless Bing and other search engines disappear.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 13:07 UTC (Thu) by gerv (subscriber, #3376) [Link]

Mozilla is currently spending multiple hundreds of millions of dollars per year in an effort to maintain a free/open presence in the web browser and mobile OS markets. To fund that from endowment income, we'd need an endowment of $5-$20B USD, depending on what return on investment one could get. If you have the money lying around, I'll send you the bank details, and we can switch to an endowment model, sure!

Gerv

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 10:19 UTC (Wed) by ewan (subscriber, #5533) [Link]

"But why would anyone, Mozilla or not, make big investments in Firefox with no revenue stream?"

There are relatively few browsers of note: Firefox on desktop, Chrome on desktop, Chrome on mobile, IE on desktop and Safari on mobile. Three out of five of those are essentially completely funded by Google. When new innovations happen (like WebRTC) they now happen because Google wants them to. When WebRTC's interoperability as a standard was first demonstrated it was between Chrome and Firefox.

The development of the web is now rather like the development of Android; the end result is open, but the direction it moves is up to Google. For anyone else hoping to do business on the web, that's not an entirely comforting situation. The likes of Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and all the traditional media companies ought to be beating Mozilla's door down to diversify the funding, because right now, their route to their customers is through one of their competitors.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 22:54 UTC (Wed) by roc (subscriber, #30627) [Link]

Google funds two out of five, post-Blink-fork.

> When new innovations happen (like WebRTC) they now happen because Google
> wants them to

Not at all --- e.g. asm.js, most of ES6, CSS Variables, CSS Regions and many other features are driven by others with Google lagging.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 1:09 UTC (Thu) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

Google funds Mozilla quite a bit; I think that was the third. Before Blink, Google did have support in 4 of the 5 (either money or development; even indirectly) though.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 9:01 UTC (Thu) by njwhite (guest, #51848) [Link]

> The likes of Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and all the traditional media companies ought to be beating Mozilla's door down to diversify the funding, because right now, their route to their customers is through one of their competitors.

I entirely agree. Google have massive power over the direction web technologies now go, and it would be much healthier for other large web companies to invest in browsers to ensure them enough independence to challenge things, and innovate in areas that may not be in Google's interest. IIRC W3C require 2 major independent implementations of a technology before they'll call it a standard, but if Google has significant power over several browsers the process is rather uneven.

Then again, other large web companies probably all want the technology to move in roughly the same direction, and one which isn't really in the best interests of user freedom and control. A really large and diverse donator base to Mozilla would change that completely, but instead they're reducing good-will with people with initiatives like ads in the browser

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 20:06 UTC (Thu) by rillian (subscriber, #11344) [Link]

Then again, other large web companies probably all want the technology to move in roughly the same direction, and one which isn't really in the best interests of user freedom and control. A really large and diverse donator base to Mozilla would change that completely...

You can donate directly to the foundation to help things go in that direction. Mozilla also operates a number of grant-funded projects is you have larger resources available.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 6:22 UTC (Wed) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

Wow, I knew Mozilla had a lot of employees...but 600? That's ridiculous. Oh well, it is open source...there's always some hope that a smaller dedicated group can fork firefox and return it to its roots...pretty much everything else Mozilla is doing is a wash.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 22:06 UTC (Wed) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

I think he was trying to say that it's enough for 600 employees ($500k/year, which with overhead of 1.5x (on the high side) is $200k/year. Which still seems like a lot.

Are you aware of Mozilla's other projects like shumway, Rust, Lightbeam (formerly collusion), etc.? Rust is something I'm looking forward to and Lightbeam is an interesting view into how the web is woven together (though it is awfully sparse for me since I use strict RequestPolicy rules).

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 14:07 UTC (Thu) by donbarry (guest, #10485) [Link]

No, it's actually documented that Mozilla has more than 600 employees: this employee blog even hints at 700.
https://blog.mozilla.org/dmandelin/2012/05/02/the-moco-ha...
or http://rawkes.com/articles/one-year-at-mozilla

It's about 10% the number of employees that RedHat has (6,100 in November 2013)

As to the funding model: why not, given the sudden increase in revenue, divert some substantial fraction, e.g. 40%, into the nonprofit for investment in a trust to be used to support development in leaner times? Yes, it means a company of 350 employees not 600. But software teams aren't built of 600 coders: what a mess that would be at the current state of the art. It is reflected rather in the numerous quasi-independent initiatives coming out of Mozilla. Yes, in a utopian world we'd go full steam ahead: I'd rather see a priority that the foundation first look out for the ability to keep a nexus of core programmers working on Iceweasel [avoiding the <tm>] even in lean times. And the last Google renewal was not a done deal: it was unclear for a while whether it would be renewed *at all*.

The hiring explosion at Mozilla seems to be following the line of startups which are too-well funded with nebulous ideas: go hell for leather and carve out multiple niches, and hope one sticks. But Mozilla isn't a startup, and the business about being well funded is the product of historical circumstances which are in the process of changing. I don't see the non-profit above Mozilla Corp. as truly recognizing that and operating with the long-term conservatorship interests that such a core bit of free community technology that a browser requires.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 22:56 UTC (Wed) by roc (subscriber, #30627) [Link]

You seem to underestimate the work required to build and maintain a competitive Web browser.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 14:25 UTC (Wed) by jwarnica (guest, #27492) [Link]

Google can do multiple things which might seem contradictory. If they are to be believed, Chrome is - was - mostly about pushing the technology state of the art. Ultimately this triggered Mozilla, and especially Microsoft, to get off their asses and produce better browsers, everywhere. Which is to say, better ad-delivery tools. Gmail works everwhere; GWT compiles down for all browsers; they are working to degrade Youtube equally across all devices and players. The 98% of Google that isn't Chrome is entirely happy to deal with not-Chrome browsers, and the 2% that is, is entirely accepting of healthy competition (and collaborative standards).

Browsers are ad-delivery tools, and Chrome may be the "best" ad-delivery tool today, and it is so partially because it isn't obviously at its real job. It delivered in-line ads like no ones business, but it doesn't make an obnoxious prick of itself, delivering ads into the "user experience" (WTF ever that means).

Call it chasing the long tail, or running the long con, or a soft sale. Chrome has a good balance of features, and *getting out of my way* (so that I might later see Google managed ads on some random site).

The Google/Mozilla deal is not benevolence on Googles part; it is commission on search/ad revenue. The Google business model is built around selling ads to advertisers, and buying eyeballs from content providers (and the occasional web browser). Mozilla is earning the money (as much as some blogger is) from the eyeballs and clicks.

Of course, stuff happens, and theory of mind means nothing when the contract expires. That Mozilla might want to diversify to... be safer, business wise? Not be seen as selling their soles? Whatever, good ideas. Diversity in revenue is valuable, full stop.

The issue is that Mozilla seems to be doing this by going after the quick buck, the snap con, the obnoxious in your face "paid placements" that has never worked in the long run. I changed from netscape.com as my homepage in 1995; I don't need it built into the browser in 2014.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 21:35 UTC (Wed) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

Google can do multiple things which might seem contradictory.

If you think Google does contradictory things or, indeed, does something really strange then it's often because you are not looking on the big enough picture.

What are competitors for Chrome? Well, for maybe 2% of Google (people who are developing Chrome) it's probably Firefox and/or IE. But for the 98% of Google these are too small fishes to really care. Real competitors for the “big” Google are TVs, newspapers (old-fashioned paper ones), “white pages” and “yellow pages”, etc. Most of the ads spending still happens outside of the web! If someone uses web browser to look for news then Google may eventually receive few cents from advertisers here and there, but if said someone uses TV or newspaper for that then s/he's well and truly lost as far as ads are concerned.

Think about Chrome from that POV and suddenly things that Google does to it make a lot of sense.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 21:47 UTC (Wed) by jwarnica (guest, #27492) [Link]

We aren't disagreeing.

Making the web better compared to traditional media is a goal of Google, for sure. At least indirectly... they want to sell more ad space, if its net new ad money or reallocation from dead trees and TV doesn't much matter.

Chrome only *has* to exist and be good enough to keep the other browsers honest. It happens to be much better than just good enough.

And today, it happens to very much be far less annoying then Firefox.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 13:05 UTC (Thu) by gerv (subscriber, #3376) [Link]

The problem is that Mozilla has never moved decisively to free itself from an undue reliance on Google.

As you note, this initiative is part of solving that problem.

But it reflects a fundamental lack of strategic planning and an inability to grow a true multi-corporate and multi-contributor community around this codebase.

Mozilla has a pretty large community. But how exactly would greater success at doing what you say solve the revenue problem?

And I hate, hate, hate that they are doing this.

Do you object to all and any efforts by the authors of free software to make money to pay for the writing of said software, or just this one in particular?

Gerv

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 6:19 UTC (Wed) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

Mozilla doesn't need the money. There is plenty of money available if they only applied it to what people care about (a better browser), and not to things no one cares about (firefoxOS, various other shiny objects).

I would have thought that as a nominal non-profit (or at least, not profit-focused) organization, Mozilla would be able to resist the urge to try to expand into every other distraction it sees...but it looks like they are indeed on their way to becoming another Ubuntu...losing their focus and chasing distractions until they have to submit to crass, compromising sponsorship...or just go away.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 8:26 UTC (Wed) by jordi (subscriber, #14325) [Link]

If Mozilla was the organisation that had to step up, that's another debate, but I'm sure many people here think we badly need a free mobile operating system like the one Mozilla is developing.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 12, 2014 9:55 UTC (Wed) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

Do we? We have several mostly-free mobile operating systems, and one completely free from the FSF (Replicant). Do we need another one? I'm just asking, I honestly don't know how or if it will change our lives. I haven't even bothered to install CyanogenMod on my company-supplied Nexus.

I know for sure that we do not need another mostly-free variant, such as Jolla.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 12, 2014 11:42 UTC (Wed) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129) [Link]

> I know for sure that we do not need another mostly-free variant, such as Jolla.
Who are you to judge that? I for one think that having Sailfish OS demonstrate the viability of the “standard” Linux technology stack (i. e. GNU, Wayland, systemd etc.) on mobile platforms is a good thing.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 12, 2014 14:55 UTC (Wed) by m45t3r (subscriber, #92849) [Link]

The idea of Firefox OS is a pretty unique one: no native Apps, all aplications are written using HTML5 technologies, including things like access to camera, GPS, Bluetooth, etc (if there is no HTML5 API to use something, Mozilla creates a new one and do the standartization process).

What it means is that a software written to Firefox OS technically can run on Android and iOS (and Windows Phone, and Jolla, and almost anything with a modern browser) too without (much) modifications. Yeah, you probably will need a browser that supports the new APIs (but if they prove to be popular all browsers will support btw), but after that you would have platform independence for you App.

I do think that the Mozilla idea is interesting enough to make them push for it.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 12, 2014 15:14 UTC (Wed) by epa (subscriber, #39769) [Link]

Do you mean "write once, run anywhere"?

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 12, 2014 15:44 UTC (Wed) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

The idea of Firefox OS is a pretty unique one
Hmmm, unique, really? JavaScript apps are at the root of Windows 8, PhoneGap, Titanium, Tizen, and of course on the desktop. Having only HTML5 apps is bold, but I am not sure it is even a good idea...

Emphasizing the free size is more enticing, to me at least.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 12, 2014 23:12 UTC (Wed) by roc (subscriber, #30627) [Link]

Having only HTML5 apps gives some significant technical advantages. The big one is that you only have one application software stack (VM, layout, rendering, UI) instead of two, which simplifies everything --- reduces memory footprint, reduces the amount of layering, and reduces the number of frozen APIs to maintain.

E.g., everyone knows about the Mir debacle, but does anyone care what FirefoxOS does for a display server? No, because it doesn't matter. There's a component that looks a bit like a display server but it's totally internal and we can evolve it however we want.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 7:04 UTC (Thu) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

All of that stuff matters only to a tiny number of developers, and not at all to users.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 10:41 UTC (Thu) by roc (subscriber, #30627) [Link]

Small footprint matters to users. It makes it possible to run FirefoxOS on super-low-end, super-cheap phones.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 14:01 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

No. Not today… I wrote about it two years ago and situation have become only worse since then…

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 17:40 UTC (Thu) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

android already runs on hundreds of millions of low end phones, and every day, prices on all phones are becoming more favorable. I can get a galaxy s4 free on contract. Emerging markets won't be any more favorable to firefoxOS (or ubuntu, or tizen) devices, since manufacturers will just use these markets as a dumping ground for last year's north american models.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 12, 2014 21:56 UTC (Wed) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

I do think that the Mozilla idea is interesting enough to make them push for it.

Have they found a way to actually “push for it”? Last time I've looked (two years ago, heh) it was interesting idea with many downsides and zero upsides. Have anything changed since then?

What's the point of it? What's on line #2 in the Underpant Gnomes plan?

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 13:14 UTC (Thu) by gerv (subscriber, #3376) [Link]

1. Make Free mobile OS which runs well on low-end hardware and which uses popular brand.
2. Get carriers to commission phones, offer them to customers; have customers like it. Sell lots of phones.
3. Income.

Gerv

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 13:59 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

1. Make Free mobile OS which runs well on low-end hardware and which uses popular brand.

Are we still beating this dead horse? It was dead two years ago. There are no way to make low-end cheap hardware which is suitable for Firefox OS and not suitable for Android. For very simple reason: all the cheapest SOCs are made with Android in mind today.

Remember that we live in a world where articles named Top 25 Android below Rs 5,000 are published regularly. Rs 5,000 is about $80 and many are significantly cheaper (in the $50 or so range) - and that's unsidsidized price! Not much wiggle room for a newcomers like FirefoxOS.

2. Get carriers to commission phones, offer them to customers; have customers like it.

And now we are back to square one: I only deal with strategy. Don’t trouble me with details. How exactly will you make “customers like it”? What's the selling point? If it's more expensive (Android is less than free), if it does not have apps people want, if it's laggy as hell then how will you do that? Sell phone bundled with cheap euphoria drugs? I'm afraid regulators will not be happy.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 14:16 UTC (Thu) by gerv (subscriber, #3376) [Link]

Begging your pardon, but I will accept the Mozilla business development team's market assessment over yours. Numbers are confidential, but we sold a lot of phones last year, so someone must like it :-)

The only phone in the $50 range in that roundup you link to runs Android 2.3 - which is Firefox OS's biggest competitor, but which is showing its age. Firefox OS runs well on devices that later Androids crawl on. We are aiming at working well with 128MB RAM and will hit that soon. We already run great with 256MB RAM.

The Firefox OS phone which launched in Poland was effectively given away free (1 zloty) by the carrier. And there are market pressures in our favour; carriers have no leverage whatsoever on iOS and don't like being told what to do by Google either.

Gerv

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 14:39 UTC (Thu) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

Actually, if I have to decide between Google and carriers, I choose Google every time. And some of my best friends work for carriers...

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 15:41 UTC (Thu) by zdzichu (subscriber, #17118) [Link]

> The Firefox OS phone which launched in Poland was effectively given away free (1 zloty) by the carrier

It was launched at equivalent of about $130. It quickly dropped in price, because it is *impossible* to find a *positive* review of this phone. Most reviews are in tone of http://www.androidpit.com/alcatel-one-touch-fire-review
For example, you can use google translate to read this: http://metroblog.pl/2013/07/alcatel-one-touch-fire-recenz...

Basically, this phone is nothing to be proud of, it's better to forget it immediately.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 20:13 UTC (Thu) by intgr (subscriber, #39733) [Link]

> this phone is nothing to be proud of, it's better to forget it immediately.

I wouldn't be so negative about Firefox OS. Pretty much every complex product will suck in its first iteration. Remember all the jokes about copy-paste in the first iPhones?

What matters is that they managed to put out a phone that works (for some value of "works"), so people will recognize their name, learn from the mistakes and iterate. Sure, the will be difficult to shake a bad reputation in the future, but at least they're not repeating the mistakes of MeeGo and Maemo, whose developers wasted years on changing the software stack every time they got close to having a usable product.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 22:18 UTC (Thu) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

> Pretty much every complex product will suck in its first iteration.

thats fine when you are releasing into a vacuum. but the market is no longer a vacuum, its hyper-competitive, filled with quality products, established ecosystems, and experienced developers (for most mobile developers, it is html5 that is the foreign platform at this point). the low-end is already saturated with android devices that work and can access the full directory of hundreds of thousands of apps.

what IS needed on android is a better browser. I believe firefox is that better browser. I have used it as my main android browser since it was in beta release. I would rather see mozilla pour their resources into making free software on android, where they can actually have an impact.

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 23:03 UTC (Thu) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

Also, the attitude to users that was narrated above ("phone crashes when rotating in this screen", "easy: do not rotate the phone on that screen") is not a good sign for iterating a first-generation product. You need insane attention to detail, not obtuse responses. I assume it was coming from carrier-developed software, not from Mozilla: when was the last time that you found carrier add-ons useful and not a nuisance?

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 12, 2014 22:41 UTC (Wed) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

none of what you described means jack to the consumer on the street

all they will know is that firefoxOS is slow and the apps (what few there are), are limited

why would you even *want* to gate deployment of mobile features on the html5 vetting process? seems like a way to guarantee that you will be three years late on everything. all of the neato features you describe (camera,gps,bluetooth) were boring in mobile phones years ago.

I'm not singling out firefoxOS here...tizen,jolla and ubuntu mobile are likewise doomed, but for different reasons. at least the tizen people realized you need to use a development tool at least as capable of delivering high performance programs as java and objective-c

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 12, 2014 23:00 UTC (Wed) by roc (subscriber, #30627) [Link]

We need a free platform that has mass-market reach. Free platforms with insignificant market share have insignificant influence and will eventually become useless (e.g. no apps or content will be usable on them).

Mobile operating systems

Posted Feb 13, 2014 13:12 UTC (Thu) by gerv (subscriber, #3376) [Link]

Replicant doesn't work fully on any device: http://redmine.replicant.us/projects/replicant/wiki/Repli... . If you are happy with a phone without GPS, NFC, Bluetooth, Wifi, and 3D graphics, it may be the OS for you.

Firefox OS is not yet fully free down to the hardware, but we hope it one day will be. But to get there, we need market share, because with market share comes clout.

Gerv

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 10:41 UTC (Wed) by fatrat (subscriber, #1518) [Link]

<i>There is plenty of money available</i>

Is there? From where? Let's assume that Mozilla do what you suggest and make the best browser in the world and nothing else.

If they don't do ads, where do they get money? Charging for a browser is a non-starter: even Opera had to give that one up

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 21:28 UTC (Wed) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

> Is there? From where?

well, they just passed around the hat asking for donations a couple of weeks ago on social media...stupid of me to actually pony over some $$$ now that I know my start screen will be full of viagra ads.

financial health for mozilla is easy: just copy practically any other open source project. where is the nice hip San Franciso HQ for postgres? xorg? freebsd? they don't have them, because an edifice is what corporations build, not open source projects. chop stuff like firefoxOS, no one will ever seek out a firefoxOS phone. make rust a community project. where is python's HQ and full-paid staff? where is ruby's HQ? the people behind these projects work wherever they work. if rust is viable, it will survive as a community project. ubuntu has the same problem, firefox isn't alone. redhat is the only one that figured it out...hint hint, they don't care about consumer tech.

mozilla needs money because they want to pretend to be a hip valley company, when all they really need are some servers and mailing lists, like every other successful open source project.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 22:23 UTC (Wed) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

> make rust a community project

OK, so you are aware of their other endeavors. Have you *seen* the activity around Rust? Just in the last *week*, 56 committers with 69 branches merged[1]. They dealt with the second most number of issues on Github last year (they're already over 12000 issues on there). Only homebrew beat them and that's because every port update gets a bug.

[1]https://github.com/mozilla/rust/pulse

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 22:32 UTC (Wed) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

I like rust, its a shaping up to be a nice tool. If they put up a donate link, I would click it (yes, I put my money where my mouth is and contribute to wikipedia, mozilla, freebsd etc funding drives). But I don't want to see firefox compromised to support it, and I don't think rust needs any more infrastructure or compensation than any other tool.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 23:06 UTC (Wed) by roc (subscriber, #30627) [Link]

People are paid to work on Python, and there's a big community. Mozilla pays people to work on Rust, and there's a big community. It's not all that different.

There's no evidence an all-volunteer browser engine can be successful. Even with hundreds of full-time developers we have to work extremely hard to keep up.

It's very important that we have mainstream free software consumer tech. Consumer tech is incredibly important in its own right, and corporate control of consumer tech can be leveraged to control the entire stack. That's why Microsoft refuses to retreat from the iOS/Android onslaught.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 13:16 UTC (Thu) by gerv (subscriber, #3376) [Link]

The campaign of which you speak raised US$1.2 million. <https://fundraising.mozilla.org/>. Which is awesome, but it's less than 1% of what we need.

Gerv

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 17:46 UTC (Thu) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

Please don't use the word "need". Your CTO makes like half a million a year. How much is Linus Torvalds paid to maintain the kernel? How much is a debian committee member paid? I get the fact that some compensation should exist...I did contribute after all, but Mozilla is sadly proving out that many ostensible non-profits tend to mask waste, inefficiency, and expenditures that have nothing to do with the mission (fancy SF office space: http://www.businessinsider.com/inside-mozillas-amazing-of... )

Other open source projects are able to attract top-tier talent without trying to pretend to be AirBnB or Facebook.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 18:01 UTC (Thu) by gerv (subscriber, #3376) [Link]

Our CTO is worth every penny. If we didn't pay competitive salaries, we wouldn't have most of the excellent staff we have.

Now I know that if we cut everyone's salary to $30,000 and started working all day out of coffee shops on 'free' wifi, you would come and work for us in a heartbeat, but I'm not sure that would offset the number of people who would leave.

Gerv

I *do* care about their other projects

Posted Feb 12, 2014 11:26 UTC (Wed) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129) [Link]

Rust is the single most promising language for low-level work and asm.js has the potential to bring all the existing native Code to the browser. Those are things that I very much do care about.

I *do* care about their other projects

Posted Feb 12, 2014 20:29 UTC (Wed) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

"asm.js has the potential to bring all the existing native Code to the browser"

asm.js "optimizes" a tiny subset of numerically-intense code. 99% of js code (string and DOM manipulation) is completely outside of it. emscripten is a fun experiment but moving large native codebases through it is a pipedream. people continually rip on google for NaCL despite the fact that NaCL works and has numerous real applications that could not have been built otherwise (see chromeos ssh, etc)....meanwhile, asm.js has a couple of demos.

I *do* care about their other projects

Posted Feb 12, 2014 23:17 UTC (Wed) by roc (subscriber, #30627) [Link]

asm.js optimizes exactly the subset of JS that Emscripten and other C/C++ translators target. It's great for working with strings --- if you're cross-compiling a C program that uses strings.

Here's a real, shipping application using Unreal Engine 3 with asm.js:
https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/12/12/first-3d-commerc...

I *do* care about their other projects

Posted Feb 12, 2014 21:44 UTC (Wed) by apoelstra (subscriber, #75205) [Link]

I don't know anything about asm.js, but I'm also very excited about Rust.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 7:10 UTC (Wed) by palmer_eldritch (guest, #95160) [Link]

Oh well, these ads certainly won't show up in iceweasel.
And for other users, firefox being free software, I'm sure someone will step up to repackage it without this shit.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 9:24 UTC (Wed) by scientes (guest, #83068) [Link]

Chrome has been doing this for years. There was a patch in the Debian bug tracker to take it out of Chromium, but that patch has bit-rotted. We, the pkg-chromium would be glad to see someone get that patch up to snuff.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 12:59 UTC (Wed) by flammon (guest, #807) [Link]

I'd pay for Firefox updates for an Ad free experience.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 14:16 UTC (Wed) by R00KIE (guest, #95515) [Link]

Advertising shown directly inside the browser requiring little user intervention .... right, because ads have never been compromised and used to deliver nasty stuff.

They better make the browser really safe and monitor the ads they serve very closely or alternatively they should make this opt-in.

On the other hand, as is starting to be the norm, I suspect one might need _another_ extension to disable this, just like extensions are necessary to get some functionality that should be built-in.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 14:48 UTC (Wed) by cabrilo (guest, #72372) [Link]

They plan to add some links to directory tiles. Why would you expect that to compromise security? Most browsers already do this in one way or another: Safari does, and I still have e.g. CNN and ESPN in my bookmarks in Safari. I suspect both have payed some sum to Apple for this.

This is clearly something that CAN be done right. As a long-term user of Firefox I trust Mozilla to do this properly without compromising security. If they do it - good for them. Some people see some links, Mozilla gets cash, and all of us get a free as in speech/beer browser - clearly a win-win situation.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 14:57 UTC (Wed) by Kit (guest, #55925) [Link]

And remember, it's just adjusting the default set of tiles. Existing users won't notice this, and you won't notice it if you edit it at all.

Honestly, I actually thought Firefox already did this. It's not intrusive, and it (shouldn't) cause any privacy issues, so it helps Mozilla without really being a risk for the user. And if it helps divest them of their dependency on Google, that'll certainly be a good thing in the long term.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 16:27 UTC (Wed) by R00KIE (guest, #95515) [Link]

It's not that I distrust Mozilla, and I'm not against them finding funding somewhere else besides mostly google, I'm surprised they haven't done so sooner, my problem with it is this:

"some will be popular websites in a given geographic location"

How can it know beforehand where I will run the browser the first time? How will it keep the tiles up-to-date?

The current tile system requires explicit user intervention, that is, the user chooses to visit the pages that are shown in the tiles, not so with the sponsored content.

Given that, how will it generate the tiles? Will it fetch the page, render it locally and generate the tile, or will it fetch only a pre-rendered image file from somewhere?

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 17:44 UTC (Wed) by dakas (guest, #88146) [Link]

"some will be popular websites in a given geographic location"

How can it know beforehand where I will run the browser the first time?

Oh, they don't. The website displays will be loaded dynamically from dynamic web servers that are IP-address/geolocation aware.

Since Google is putting their money where their money is (and that's data collection and advertising), the combination of IP address (even if dynamic) and preferences/rendering choices/browser id/cookies/etc will be used for creating individual profiles. With several sponsored pages, this will be mostly reliable.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 13:18 UTC (Thu) by gerv (subscriber, #3376) [Link]

"How can it know beforehand?"

The feature is not yet coded, but one possibility is that what this means is that simply the tiles will be different depending on the locale of the browser. It does not necessarily mean geolocation - although if it did, IP-based geolocation does not require additional information to be sent to the server, and would probably be more than adequate.

Gerv

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 15:03 UTC (Wed) by travispaul (guest, #92271) [Link]

I support Mozilla on this, and the code is out there you could always remove this manually if not with an extension.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 18:05 UTC (Wed) by joyuh (guest, #95216) [Link]

The "New Tab" page is also known as the "look at that cool porn site I watch" page.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 20:46 UTC (Wed) by NAR (subscriber, #1313) [Link]

I think that's why private mode was invented :-)

If the ads don't track me, I won't mind

Posted Feb 12, 2014 18:08 UTC (Wed) by coriordan (guest, #7544) [Link]

I don't have a problem with ads, I just object to third-party servers tracking my Internet usage. If this system avoids that issue, then I probably won't disable it.

*If* the ads do send info (even "just" http GET's), then I'll be disabling it and I hope all GNU/Linux distros will too.

If the ads don't track me, I won't mind

Posted Feb 13, 2014 9:23 UTC (Thu) by njwhite (guest, #51848) [Link]

Ads and tracking are pretty inextricably linked on the modern web. Presuming you object to Mozilla tracking your browsing, I think it's very doubtful they will avoid it. Mentioning that they'll be geolocating, I presume they'll be getting the browser to make at least one request to a server. It's possible they'll ship a geoip database and look it up locally, and then serve ads from a static list, but that would be somewhat less valuable to advertisers than a more dynamic thing (I imagine they want the ability to add "5 amazing things you won't believe dogs can do" type hooks that change regularly, or the image equivalent).

It will be interesting to see how they pull this off. Mozilla have been impressively good about these sorts of issues in the past, but this certainly worries me.

If the ads don't track me, I won't mind

Posted Feb 13, 2014 10:31 UTC (Thu) by coriordan (guest, #7544) [Link]

Yeh, that's what I'm thinking too.

If the ads don't track me, I won't mind

Posted Feb 14, 2014 6:12 UTC (Fri) by cpeterso (guest, #305) [Link]

Current Firefox users won't need to disable this feature because they will probably never seen these "sponsored tiles". The tiles are basically default bookmarks that will appear on Firefox's about:newtab page if you don't have any browsing history. Only new Firefox users (or people creating a new user profile) will see these tiles because they have no browsing history yet. As they browse to websites, the about:newtab's "frecency" algorithm will naturally replace the tiles with the users' recently visited websites.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 19:42 UTC (Wed) by pranith (subscriber, #53092) [Link]

I was really bothered by the way wikipedia collected donations by showing
banners until they are fully funded.

Not any more. I wish Firefox does something similar and gets rid of this advertising idea.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 12, 2014 21:35 UTC (Wed) by b7j0c (guest, #27559) [Link]

they did. on social media they held a funding drive a couple of weeks ago and pulled in more money than my employer makes in a year. the money is there.

so we know mozilla is not broke...they bragged on social media about the windfall their funding drive delivered...so if the money is there to pursue the only mission people care about...firefox...why are they trying to rake in more cash?

if mozilla was a stock, i would say it was overdue for a correction

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 13, 2014 20:52 UTC (Thu) by intgr (subscriber, #39733) [Link]

> The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy. We are excited about Directory Tiles because it has inherent value to our users, it aligns with our vision of a better Internet through trust and transparency

Wait, where have I heard that before? Sponsored results... Do no evil... We're different from other advertisers, we only serve targeted, unobtrusive ads that are useful to users... Is that how the worst online advertisement network in the world got started?

It's scary how Mozilla has been chasing Google's tail recently with their new projects.
"Google has Android, we need a mobile phone OS too!"
"Google has Go, We need a new hip statically typed language too!"
"Google is forking an HTML rendering engine, we need to one-up them and write a new one from scratch!"

Thankfully Mozilla sucks at business models, they probably won't become the next Google.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 14, 2014 5:09 UTC (Fri) by glandium (subscriber, #46059) [Link]

"Google has Go, We need a new hip statically typed language too!"

Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson started working on what became Go in 2007. Graydon Hoare started working on what became Rust in 2006.

"Google is forking an HTML rendering engine, we need to one-up them and write a new one from scratch!"

Google forked WebKit as Blink last year. Work on Servo started some time between 2010 and 2011.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 14, 2014 10:34 UTC (Fri) by intgr (subscriber, #39733) [Link]

> Graydon Hoare started working on what became Rust in 2006.
But it became a Mozilla project only in 2009, after Google was already supporting Go.

> Google forked WebKit as Blink last year. Work on Servo started some time between 2010 and 2011.
Right, I knew I was factually wrong about that, but I still found it scary how Blink and Servo were announced in the same month.

Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser (AdvertisingAge)

Posted Feb 14, 2014 16:24 UTC (Fri) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

I think there are enough differences between Rust and Go that there is room for both. Rust is getting interest from C and C++ developers while Go is getting it from Python and Ruby developers.


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