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Firefox OS Smartphones Arriving For Developers

timothy posted about a year ago | from the here-be-dragons dept.

Firefox 124

Nerval's Lobster writes "For quite some time Mozilla has been working on Firefox OS, a lightweight mobile OS built in HTML5. Now it's whipped the curtain back from the first developer preview phones. The developer preview phones are unlocked, requiring the user insert their own SIM card. If those specs seem a little underpowered compared to other smartphones on the market, it's because Firefox OS is intended for lower-end smartphones; target markets include developing countries such as Brazil and China. (The first developer preview phones will be available in February.) The Firefox OS (once known as 'Boot to Gecko') is based on a handful of open APIs. The actual interface is highly reminiscent of Google Android and Apple iOS, with grids of icons linked to applications." The specs really aren't that bad; reader sfcrazy points out that they include the usual features baked into medium- and high-end phones these days: Wifi N, light and proximity sensors, and an accelerometer (though no mention of NFC).

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124 comments

Competition (2)

Machtyn (759119) | about a year ago | (#42658469)

This is to compete with the Winphone and Nokia markets. Microsoft has the idea to make WinMo flexible enough to work on high and low end phones and break into the Nokia dominated, but largely untapped, low-end market. Having several options is a good thing.

Re:Competition (3, Funny)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42658495)

This is to compete with the Winphone and Nokia markets.

Talk about aiming for a low market share. Can firefox break even if they only sell a thousand?

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42661207)

Can firefox break even if they only sell a thousand?

Okay, let's get some truths here:
typeof(Firefox) == "product"
typeof(Mozilla) == "entity"
Mozilla instanceof Foundation
Mozilla instanceof Cooperation

Now look at your question again and tell me what's wrong with it?

Can firefox break even if they only sell a thousand?

This is Slashdot we don't say "windows" when talking about Microsoft, as Windows(R) is a product not a company.

Re:Competition (1)

snadrus (930168) | about a year ago | (#42661309)

It's an open stack that's withstood years of security hardening already with a well-tested sandbox (Gecko Javascript). Also the lack of app updates every evening (like the other 3) will help keep data usage down to what's used. There is enough new & different in this phone that I could see it going (low-price) places where even Android can't reach.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42661989)

It's an open stack that's withstood years of security hardening already with a well-tested sandbox (Gecko Javascript).

I do agree the sandbox should stand up in terms of security so that's definitely a good thing but it's hardly more inherently secure than any rival platform.

Also the lack of app updates every evening (like the other 3) will help keep data usage down to what's used.

Why wouldn't the apps get updated? You're going to use data to get app updates regardless.

There is enough new & different in this phone that I could see it going (low-price) places where even Android can't reach.

Like what? webOS, BB10, Tizen, MeeGo, Maemo, Windows Phone, etc all have the same problem and FirefoxOS is no different, there is no real reason why a normal person would choose this over well-established Android or iOS devices. If this is indeed the open standard HTML5 phone it claims to be then anything developed for it will work equally well on any other standards-compliant smartphone, so it has no benefit.

You know if you wrote a post like this about Windows Phone, one that gushes praise based on no actual evidence, you would get modded down and called a "shill". Try to put in some explanations and specifics to make your post more believable.

uh, what? (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#42658633)

There is no winphone market, and the nokia market is steadily going away - as it has ever since they successfully put the MS plant into Nokia's executive staff in the first place.

The only sentence here of relevance is the last sentence: having several options is a good thing. The rest doesn't even exist.

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42658703)

you people are idiots... millions of phones sold each quarter and growing but FUCK YOU IM BITTER I REFUSE TO BELEIVE IT

Re:uh, what? (2)

Jeng (926980) | about a year ago | (#42658769)

you people are idiots... millions of phones sold each quarter and growing but FUCK YOU IM BITTER I REFUSE TO BELEIVE IT

Windows ME sold millions

Windows Vista sold millions

Windows 8 will sell millions

Millions of Zunes were sold

Would you consider any of them successes?

Re:uh, what? (4, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#42658941)

The zune wasn't a failure. Its "failure" was the result of MS-hate from cocky web 2.0 apple bloggers. There is nothing technically wrong with it. It's just that no product, no matter how good it is, can stand the scoffing of turtleneck-wearing "journalists" who laugh at the choice of color. "DURRR WHO WOULD BUY A BROWN ZUNE?".

But it's perfectly ok to get a one-size-fits-all ipod.

*cue in "missing the point" zealots pointing out that ipod comes in several versions*

Re:uh, what? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year ago | (#42659129)

I did rather like the Zune, but not enough to pay smartphone prices for one.

The 30 gig model was $249.95

Re:uh, what? (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42659289)

and right there was the failure of the Zune. Only apple customers are stupid enough to pay that kind of money for an MP3 player. Keep in mind that, at the time, you could pick up a dozen different off-brand MP3 players at walmart for under $100 and all of them operated in the same way: You plug them into your computer, a folder opens up, you drop in music. How we got to the point that the only way to upload to an apple device is with buggy proprietary software boggles my mind.

Re:uh, what? (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#42659215)

Linux on the desktop wasn't a failure, its just the result of free/open hating from a bunch of cock big corporate types. There is nothing technically wrong with it. It's just not product, no matter how goot it is, can stand the scoffing of microsoft trained technicitians, corporate sponsored "journalists", who laugh at the choice of using something that hasn't been used exclusively for the last 20 years. "DURR NO ONE GOT FIRED FOR BUYING MICROSOFT TM"

But its perfectly OK to get a one-size-fits-all desktop.

*cue "missing the point" zealots pointing out that windows comes in several versions(home, corporate, pro, etc...)

Re:uh, what? (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#42659383)

The only flaw in your argument is that Linux is, in fact, a massively successful product on the desktop. I have used it for more than a decade, and would never intentionally use the massive desktop, server, and phone market failure known as Windows.

Re:uh, what? (1, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#42660087)

Sorry. Linux on the desktop is a failure both from a technical and political point of view. The fact that developers can't settle down on a single choice is what makes it fail every time.

Recently I got my hands on debian wheezy's default gnome desktop. What good is a desktop manager that tries too hard NOT to look like windows? Especially when in previous versions they did all in their power to be a Mac.
Why is it that every window manager feels that the mac-style top bar IS the way to go? Why do gnome 3.4 devs think that no one should need a minimize or maximize button? WHY OH WHY is the clock in the center of the top bar? Why can't i change the position of that bar without a plugin? Why can't I even hide useless icons from the bar (I don't need the accessibility icon, thank you very much) without a plugin?
Why is it that we STILL have two clipboards, the one that fucks everything in your copy buffer when you accidentally select something, and the other that needs ctrl-C/Ctrl-V, and doesn't quite work in every application (since some pure X11 apps don't honor gnome's clipboard). Why does it capture the screen to a file instead to the copy buffer, so i can paste straight to GIMP instead of having to open a file?

Sorry pal, the linux "desktop" is full of issues. When developers get their shit together, and start working in one direction together, it may work. But since everyone likes to do whatever the fuck they want, then we'll never get a real desktop.

Re:uh, what? (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year ago | (#42661053)

Why is it that every window manager feels that the mac-style top bar IS the way to go?

I haven't used any of the Linux desktops you refer to (at least to any serious extent), so can't answer the other issues.. But for this issue, it's simply an example of Fitt's law.

It's much easier to zoom the cursor to the top of the screen in a rough movement than to carefully aim at a specific place on the screen. (Yes, you DO end up aiming at specific places on the screen a lot, but the menubar is a very often used interface element, so getting to it quickly THEN interacting with it carefully is useful.)

BTW, I very often do keyboard navigation of the menubar (yes, on a Mac). There is a good reason to have it at the top of the screen. (There are additional historical reasons, where taking up a decent amount of the vertical space of a window for the menubar would mean even less space for your content. Though conversely, yes, the Apple IIGS toolbox, "effectively" a superset of the original Mac toolbox, does allow menubars to be put in windows, though not the 'main' menubar.)

Re:uh, what? (1)

Luckster7 (234417) | about a year ago | (#42661643)

I've been running Linux as my Desktop OS for over a decade. Often when using a client's Windows machine I get quite frustrated that MS can't implement the 2nd easier to use copy/paste buffer that Linux uses. Personally I have a hard time grasping why people settle for such a low grade incomplete OS other than just using what comes with the machine. Compared to Linux, the driver support on Windows is horrible; There are more supported devices for Linux than any individual version of Windows. When I plug in a USB device or card, I don't have to track down a driver; it just works. If you don't like Gnome, run Enlightenment. Linux (or a BSD) gives me a choice of better options than the Explorer desktop.

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42662297)

Linux on the desktop wasn't a failure, its just the result of free/open hating from a bunch of cock big corporate types.

Oh fuck off, nobody wants it, it's a failure, same as Windows Phone, there is no barrier to people installing it yet virtually nobody does.

There is nothing technically wrong with it. It's just not product, no matter how goot it is, can stand the scoffing of microsoft trained technicitians, corporate sponsored "journalists", who laugh at the choice of using something that hasn't been used exclusively for the last 20 years. "DURR NO ONE GOT FIRED FOR BUYING MICROSOFT TM"

the classic position of an apologist, just because there is nothing technically wrong with it doesnt make it any good, windows phone is the same. the problem is there's no compelling reason for anybody to switch to desktop Linux which is why nobody does, the free software community needs to stop using microsoft as an excuse and actually make good software that people want to use. Microsoft had a good section of the smartphone market then Google brought Linux in a form that users actually wanted that provided something better than what you got from microsoft, that's why it succeeded, desktop linux fails because it is still struggling to be mediocre, its not bad, there's nothing wrong with it, its problem is it isnt particularly great.

Re:uh, what? (1)

butalearner (1235200) | about a year ago | (#42662825)

desktop linux fails because it is still struggling to be mediocre, its not bad, there's nothing wrong with it, its problem is it isnt particularly great.

Success is a relative term, especially when you're talking about something developed by volunteers.

For some Linux distributions, as long as the developers find it worth their time (whether that's in terms of donations, users, etc.) then it's a success. Companies like Red Hat would and should drop their desktop Linux offering if it's not profitable, but last I checked RHEL is doing well -- at least well enough that they haven't killed it yet and apparently have no plans to do so. For me personally, desktop Linux is a huge success, especially these days with more and more indie games supporting it. On top of that it's easy for me, I'm more comfortable with the development environment, the combination of security and the lack of users means I don't have to bog down my machine with anti-malware, and as an Arch user with a custom desktop environment, I know an awful lot about what my computer is doing at all times. Much of that is not so with, for example, my Windows 7 work machine.

I realize that I'm in a tiny minority, and the FOSS programs that I know and love would often be better supported with more users and thus more donations, but pretty much all of them run on other platforms as well, so often they're not just limited to Linux users anyway.

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663425)

Success is a relative term

relative to what? i just don't see how some people can think desktop linux is a success and windows phone is a failure, relative to the rest of the market nobody wants either of them.

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42659223)

Well, there was that whole deal with the Zune not being able to play any music previously purchased through MS. [wikipedia.org]
 
It's pretty bad to start off a music store by telling your existing customers that they wasted their money buying from you in the past.

Re:uh, what? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#42659301)

I'm sorry, but I think you over-estimate the power of Apple-cool. If that were the case, Apple-cool would have killed off the once clunky implementations of early versions of Android devices. Zune zucked because it zucked all by itself. Also, I don't think Microsoft quite understood what made iPod a success and what really makes money for Apple.

I never bought an iThing either though. I don't buy into cool things. I buy into useful things which work in my life.

So right now, I'm looking for a car stereo which is Android based. I find many on the internet but few where I can see them and most are still running Android 2.x with no plans for updated versions. (These vendors still think they are selling hardware.) Anyone know of a good one? I want bluetooth phone calling, GPS, WiFi (so I can tether it to my phone or access my wifi when I am at home), reverse camera... hell, for that matter, multuple cameras with DVR functionality and stuff like that with a good quality display. The stuff I see out there is very, very lacking and ALSO very very expensive. Where's the good stuff?

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42659419)

I never bought an iThing either though. I don't buy into cool things. I buy into useful things which work in my life.

No, you're just being the "I'm different, so I don't use Apple" hipster-cool, which is just as bad as someone who buys Apple products to look cool. Case in point, you are looking for an Android-based car stereo. If you were true to your word, you would just buy whatever car stereo provided you the features you want regardless of the underlying OS. You specifically want an Android-based one so you can brag about the cool factor of it running Android.

Re:uh, what? (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#42661121)

The reason why I want an Android car stereo is because:

1. I know they exist
2. I know I will be able to run my apps on it including the one I use with my OBD2 reader
3. I know I will be able to have TomTom or other GPS mapping software installed
4. I know I will be able to play all my music and video
5. I know it will be hackable so I can do things it can't do out of the box

Any proprietary type system will not offer those advantages.

DIN Android help subthread (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | about a year ago | (#42660829)

So right now, I'm looking for a car stereo which is Android based. I find many on the internet but few where I can see them and most are still running Android 2.x with no plans for updated versions.

I don't own a car don't want this to go lost either...we might hook others into commenting here

I recall seeing car-android systems some time ago regarding older cars, but all I could google was this slashdot link from 4/2012 [slashdot.org]. Search for "DIN" there.

No idea how you're googling, but rather than looking for numbers, you should put "ice cream sandwich" or "jelly bean"... Also Honeycomb (3.x) got skipped except for tablets, so I'm pretty sure the 2.x gap is going to be a stubborn one, hardware-wise.
Given that the official $200 Galaxy 7" 2.0 tablet *just* updated itself over the air to Jelly Bean, I doubt car makers are shipping the latter version yet, so that and the Honeycomb lowerbound make things easier on you --it's 4.0 only. Thus...

Copy-paste Search strings that may prove useful for starters:
"ice cream sandwich" car entertinment system
2 din "ice cream sandwich"
double din "ice cream sandwich"

Re:uh, what? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#42659347)

"The zune wasn't a failure. .... . There is nothing technically wrong with it."

The only one missing the point is you. In fact, I'm not sure you understand what the word "technically" means. I had an acquaintance complain the other day that he was trying to use his Zune after a period of non-use, and he couldn't use it. When he called Microsoft , their response was that his hardware was to old to be supported. It was a perfectly working Zune from a hardware perspective, but was as good as an expensive brick. If there isn't something technically wrong with that, then I don't know how Microsoft could ever do something "technically" wrong in your eyes.

Re:uh, what? (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#42659545)

It's cheap mp3 players that dominated that market. iPods sold so much because they were the latest fasion, but their sales are nowhere close to cheap mp3s. Zune attempted to be a second iPod, and there's no place for two iPods.

Re:uh, what? (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#42661501)

You're confusing quality with success/failure. Good products can and do fail. Bad products can and do succeed. The Zune failed to sell, which means it was a failure.

And brown really was a shitty color choice for the introduction of a new product. Brown isn't a color that's been popular in electronics since faux wood grain stereo cabinets went out of style in the 70s.

Re:uh, what? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year ago | (#42661713)

It was a failure because it didn't sell very well. Whether it was deserving of failure is a different matter entirely

Re:uh, what? (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#42658905)

It's funny, millions sold but I've never seen one in person, ever.

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42660735)

I knew a guy who had one and loved it. However he was kind of an idiot so I usually take his liking something as a strike against it.

Re:uh, what? (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year ago | (#42662761)

A guy in a CS class I took had one. Everyone made fun of him, though he tried to defend it.

Re:uh, what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663167)

A guy in a CS class I took had one. Everyone made fun of him, though he tried to defend it.

wow you must really be cool to be part of the group that makes fun of the kid because of the type of smartphone he has

Re:uh, what? (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#42659171)

source please.

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42660263)

Smart devices net sales of approximately EUR 1.2 billion, with total volumes of 6.6 million units of which 4.4 million units were Nokia Lumia smartphones.

http://press-releases.techwhack.com/nokia-exceeds-previous-q4-2012-outlook-devices-services-nokia-siemens-networks-1328/

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42662231)

When you're comparing it to millions sold EACH DAY and growing, yeah, that's a pretty big failure.

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42659621)

Nokia sold 87 million phones last quarter. You need to wake the fuck up

Re:uh, what? (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#42659807)

Nokia sold 87 million phones last quarter. You need to wake the fuck up

How many did samsung sell in the same period? How many did apple sell? How many of those nokia phones were dumb phones not running MS software? how many were given away for free with a contract and data plan (those aren't the phones people want those are given and they replace latter)

Re:uh, what? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#42661585)

How many did samsung sell in the same period? How many did apple sell?

Who cares? The Mac isn't a failure just because millions more Windows PCs were sold in the same timeframe.

how many were given away for free with a contract and data plan (those aren't the phones people want those are given and they replace latter)

You don't actually believe carriers that say they're giving you something for free do you? I mean if that's the case you should see all the free iphones i've gotten.

Re:uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664071)

Yeah, and how many of them were smartphones?

It's not really something to brag about when they were barely in the black.

Re:Competition (5, Interesting)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#42658807)

Low-end? More low end than the sub-$200 Galaxy Ace? More low end than even the sub-$100 (!) android phones all over Latin America?

sheesh. I like it when people from the "first world" opinates on "developing markets" and "low end". (don't take it personal, previous poster, but i mean the devs and stuff).

I live in latin america. you know why people get smartphones? cause they can't afford, or don't even want computers. and they want chat and facebook and a smartphone gives them what they need (it even works when either power is out, or where there is no fixed internet service like cable or dsl). yes, "most"people live within reach of fixed internet service. and almost everyone has wifi if they got that (from my house to the city center, in 10 blocks, i mapped over 400 wifi networks in range!)

but internet service is slow to get to the "fastest growing" areas: the "outskirts" of the cities. over there it's 3G all the way

you know which smartphones they get? Galaxy S2 and S3. Milestone/2/3. Razr. Razr I. (most of them assembled in Argentina). Myself? I got an HTC sensation. back in 2010 they projected sales of 25.000 units of Milestone in argentina. it sold over 100.000. you had to be in a waiting list. now almost every phone they offer is a smartphone. basic phones are difficult to find.

i can only speak from experience. I don't know how good or bad other countries are. some countries are supposedly better (Chile), others worse (Bolivia). but smartphones are by no means unseen things here.

the big exception is the iphone, since Apple is simply not interested in this market (no idea why. the iphone 3G was available and it was a huge success). You can buy an imported, no-warranty iphone, but you can't get a subsidized one from a telco.

Re:Competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42659917)

Low-end? More low end than the sub-$200 Galaxy Ace? More low end than even the sub-$100 (!) android phones all over Latin America?

The last phone I bought (for temporary on a business trip in December) cost 20 Euros, with 10 Euros of air time included. My personal phone cost $25. As far as I'm concerned, $200 is pretty damn expensive for a phone.

Re:Competition (1)

hjf (703092) | about a year ago | (#42661389)

Ah, good ol' AC with nothing to say. You forgot to specify which phone you bought.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42660361)

sheesh. I like it when people from the "first world" opinates on "developing markets" and "low end".

Sheesh. I like it when a random guy decides he belongs to the developing world and takes offense to posts that use the word low end.

They aren't talking about Latin America when they talk of low end.

Latin America has very expensive phone rates, so anyone who can pay for the plan can pay for the phone. Instead the true low end (in terms of cost) is India and China http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/iphone-news/canadas-cell-phone-rates-the-highest-in-the-world/.

In India Nokia is still extremely popular. My friend just bought a touchscreen, WinMo Nokia for about Rs 9000 ($180) unlocked. That is considered mid-range. Low end smartphones (Nokia Asha) sell for about $100. With monthly plans costing about tenth of what it costs in USA, 2 year cost of owning and using such a phone is probably less than $200 including a $100 cost of a smartphone. In the USA it is about $1500 while in Mexico it is about $1000.

Re:Competition (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42660719)

"...i live in latin america..."

Where apperently, keyboards don't come with working shift keys.

Re:Competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42661771)

Do your computers come with spell check ?

Re:Competition (1)

Niterios (2700835) | about a year ago | (#42661417)

I live in Mexico and things don't always work that way. High end phones do seem to have a very large portion of the market, such as iPhones and flagship phones by other companies. Nevertheless low-end smartphones are also very popular. Blackberry (particularly Blackberry Curve, their cheapest model) seems to have a huge portion of the market, at least in my city (Monterrey, one of the three major cities in Mexico). Similarly, the Galaxy Ace has become extremely popular. TV is swarmed by ads of many smartphones, ranging from low-end to high-end. And even dumb-phones are still somewhat common. Our culture is obsessed with cellphones.

Latin america and the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42661601)

The parent poster is basing his ideas in his locality to compare X World country conditions, yet he seems to live in Argentina... Argentina is NOT a Third World country! [google.com] Latin Americans generally consider it First World Countrydue to the definition [wikipedia.org], or Second depending on who you ask [yahoo.com]. The Caribbean is a different story. Even its most advanced country in terms of Telephony, the Dominican Republic, things are shamefully backward.
I had a conversation with someone non-technical (early 2010) still being asked to pay extra to attach more than one device (using my suggestion of getting a router) to his cable modem.

People from there also think they're advanced, but from my US armchair, it sounds like iPhones and Androids are invisible. I recall hearing of Macs over there only in this Paul Harvey-like weekly program via verbal ad (expensive pre-iMac era back in 1995 when even normal PCs would set a US family back a full USD$1000) . Internet access was a thing only rich people had (at work, mind you). This is the kind of country where at present, people with a Facebook account over 50 normally don't control their account --their PC-literate middle-aged children manage their posts.

But I digress, my points:
1) home connection speeds that my friend from 2010 cited were 200Kbps (over CABLE, mind you... you were hard pressed to find cable under 3MBps in New York then).
2) I've looked at newspapers a frequent traveler friend brings from Dominican Republic. Between 2011 and spring 2012, Blackberries were the highest form of "smartphone" sold, with dumbphones still about half of the offers. No Android sales at all, which is Bizarre. That friend and his mother didn't know about Android just last year, so TV ads aren't trying to get their eyeballs yet. I also suspect that other than youtube they don't want people sucking up bandwidth from handheld devices, like the original iPhone issues with AT&T. They confirmed that touchscreen phones are not seen over there.

All in all, LatAm is not as advanced as the parent poster shows. Most university pages I've seen are built in notepad or something, most stores with a website DO NOT have shopping cart systems or even product lists. Most newspapers do not have forum systems, and are showered by ads, compared to well-known American companies. Some TV channels have programming listings, but almost none stream TV. Radio sounds like a more accessible option, yet it also doesn't do streams (can't fault them because TV and radio programs in the US rarely stream, but that's more because of a complex legal system and royalties.) Music shopping, Online Auctions and resume sites aren't big either. Most information I have been finding in Spanish since 1995 comes from Spain, Chile, Argentina and maybe Mexico, in that order. For non-English speakers lacking google skills and a geek edge, that means that having local information is big problem.

Maybe making things accessible won't be necessary until those infrastructure issues^W standards are improved to create a need for internet access. That probably means that Facebook, email and other low-bandwidth systems are all they can hope for.

Posting AC because I like keeping my private life separate from any accounts.

Re:Competition (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#42659145)

there is no winphone market.

They will take symbian's marketshare in the developing world, which is huge, and largely unsupported now.

eventually they might go after android and iOS. You need to start somewhere, and they found a good place to start.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42660259)

Nokia is no longer in the low-end market. They were once dominant in that market, but they essentially gave it away when Eflop took over. Nokia is now focusing on selling Wintendo 8 mobile phones in the hi-end market. Look up how much the Lumia bricks cost. The low-end market used to be dominated by cheap Nokia phones, but that's in the past. sub $100 Android phones are available and that's todays low-end market. Why buy a phone which isn't a smartphone when smartphones are so cheap? older android smartphones are the new low-end phones.

Re:Competition (0)

gouahufa (2821779) | about a year ago | (#42660793)

http://www.cloud65.com/ [cloud65.com] Grace. although Wendy`s posting is super, on wednesday I bought a new Chrysler since I been making $4470 this - 5 weeks past and-just over, ten-grand this past-month. with-out a doubt this is the easiest work I've ever done. I started this three months/ago and almost straight away startad earning more than $77, per-hour. I use the details here,

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42660863)

If they plan on pushing as many phone updates as they do Firefox browser updates, no thanks.

Re:Competition (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year ago | (#42661977)

Too bad Firefox OS doesn't have a chance in hell at competing in the low-end market. It requires higher specs than Android does to run (surprise, surprise HTML5 is slower than native - a *lot* slower), and Android is also free and open source. So cost, features, *and* performance all go to Android as a result.

A bad experience/feature set compared to high end phones, and is too slow for low-end phones. So what market, exactly, is Firefox OS hoping to compete in?

Re:Competition (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year ago | (#42662839)

It requires higher specs than Android does to run

The specs quoted for these devices are 2010 era Android specs - single core 1GHz, 512GB. Any (decent) Android phone released in 2013 and beyond will come with a quad core Cortex A15 with 2GB RAM.

JIT-compiled dalvik bytecodes should run no better or worse than JIT-compiled JS running on IonMonkey. They both use a FFI to C/C++ dynamic libraries.

Re:Competition (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year ago | (#42664085)

The specs quoted for these devices are 2010 era Android specs - single core 1GHz, 512GB. Any (decent) Android phone released in 2013 and beyond will come with a quad core Cortex A15 with 2GB RAM.

2010 era Android phones ran Android just fine as well. Modern high end Android phones are pushing 14x more pixels, so that comparison is rather stupid and pointless. Or if we do take into account the number of pixels, it's glaringly obvious that modern Android phones do not have 14x faster hardware, yet run smoother & faster than Firefox OS. Why? Because web technologies are goddamn slow. Mozilla is 5 years too early with Firefox OS - the hardware just doesn't have the spare cycles needed to pull off slow, inefficient software stacks.

That phone will run faster with Android than it will with Firefox OS, and it'll do so by a landslide.

JIT-compiled dalvik bytecodes should run no better or worse than JIT-compiled JS running on IonMonkey. They both use a FFI to C/C++ dynamic libraries.

That doesn't matter in the least, not even remotely. Android is not bottlenecked by Java no more than web apps are bottlenecked by JavaScript. Which is to say, not at all. The entire web stack parsing/rendering pipeline is damn slow, and that's not changing. If anything it's getting worse as more and more devs are using more and more CSS features that are slow to render. Not to mention the complete lack of ability to optimize on the web. You can't control invalidates, draws, etc...

An OS built in HTML5? (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#42658609)

For some reason, I think that's not quite right. Perhaps the intent was to write "an OS with built in HTML5"?

Re:An OS built in HTML5? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42658653)

For some reason, I think that's not quite right. Perhaps the intent was to write "an OS with built in HTML5"?

I was thinking the same thing - unless HTLM5 is way more powerful than I realized.

Re:An OS built in HTML5? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#42658869)

Maybe "an OS whose primary application space is based on HTML5" is a better description.

I agree the summary seems inaccurate.

Re:An OS built in HTML5? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about a year ago | (#42659067)

You're right, it's not an OS built in HTML5. It's actually built more or less on top of Android without Dalvik... very similar, actually, to ChromeOS it seems, except Firefox replaces Chrome. Apps are built in HTML5.

Re:An OS built in HTML5? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42659077)

As hard as it may seem to believe, it is built with HTML5!
The OS is just the Firefox engine running on a phone, which then loads the entire UI made with HTML5. Dialer, contacts, messages, everything is HTML5.

Re:An OS built in HTML5? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#42659405)

"For some reason, I think that's not quite right. Perhaps the intent was to write "an OS with built in HTML5"?"

In order to understand what was written, it is important for you to have absolutely no idea what an OS actually is.

Re:An OS built in HTML5? (4, Informative)

jlebar (1904578) | about a year ago | (#42659599)

For some reason, I think [it's] not quite right [to say that FFOS is "an OS built in HTML5"]. Perhaps the intent was to write "an OS with built in HTML5"?

FFOS developer here.

The entire FFOS front-end is written in HTML5. That includes the homescreen and the task switcher. So "The Web" is the API that applications use to communicate with the system.

But there's of course plenty of C/C++ below that. To a first approximation, it's probably accurate to guess that parts of Android written in Java were re-written in JS for FFOS.

Re:An OS built in HTML5? (2)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about a year ago | (#42660609)

Being a developer (albeit not a FFOS developer) does anyone know how one can obtain one of these phones?
I'm under the assumption though that these preview "developer" phones are only available to a inner-circle FFOS developer clubhouse.

The simulator is nice and all but nothing beats hacking with the real hardware.

Re:An OS built in HTML5? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year ago | (#42662935)

They're being built by Geeksphone, a Spanish company.

They used to operate a web store for their Android phones so, in theory, direct from their website?

Failing that, the development was largely done against the Samsung Galaxy S II, which has better specs than the 'Keon' they're peddling as a developer phone. The S2 should drop in price once the S4 is released real soon now...

High-end? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42658627)

> the usual features baked into medium- and high-end phones these days: Wifi N, light and proximity sensors, and an accelerometer

I am sorry, but my low end smart phone has all of these, and it even has NFC (although it is currently not supported in software). And my previous (2 year old) low end smartphone also had all of these, except for NFC. It also had a better display (800x480).

So the hardware seems to be somewhat comparable to a middle of the road low end smartphone. If that is where they want to play, that is fine. But it is no competition for even a Nexus 4.

Innovation? (0)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#42658767)

I look at that, and I see nothing but copying things others have done better before. What is the point of this? Just being a cheaper version of the same thing we already have? Why would anybody care?

Say what you want about Microsoft and Windows 8, but at least they actually tried building something on their own, instead of directly copying what was popular.

Re:Innovation? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year ago | (#42658831)

Yes, the entire point is to have a cheap mobile computing device for under developed countries.

Re:Innovation? (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#42659139)

You make the device cheaper by making the hardware cheaper. You make the hardware cheaper by giving it a slower CPU and less memory. However, taking the cheaper device and then running all the apps in HTML5+Javascript seems counter productive. The nice thing about the low end Nokia phones was that you could still get some pretty good performance out of the apps because the apps were all written in C. I guess that they could take HTML5+Javascript and compile that to something that could execute faster, but I doubt they are doing that.

Re:Innovation? (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#42659291)

"Say what you want about Microsoft and Windows 8, but at least they actually tried building something on their own, instead of directly copying what was popular."

they copied from Gnome-Shell on Gnome 3. Ironicly, copying what was un-popular

Re:Innovation? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#42661639)

they copied from Gnome-Shell on Gnome 3. Ironicly, copying what was un-popular

What did they copy from gnome shell? They look nothing like eachother - unless you're suggesting they've copied a 'grid of icons'.

Re:Innovation? (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | about a year ago | (#42659537)

Phone OS innovations: 1) it's truly open source 2) it's built by a not-for-profit organisation 3) it exists so that apps can be built in HTML5 and run off the internet, which is where the world was headed before Apple introduced the notion of apps and erected the walls of their garden

Re:Innovation? (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year ago | (#42659891)

Apple didn't introduce it. Their plan was web apps only. Developers begged them for a SDK to match the native apps capabilities.

Then it snowballed. For better or worse.

Re:Innovation? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#42660567)

Phone OS innovations: 1) it's truly open source 2) it's built by a not-for-profit organisation 3) it exists so that apps can be built in HTML5 and run off the internet,

None of those are anywhere near the meaning of the word "innovation". "Innovation" doesn't mean "things I like".

which is where the world was headed before Apple introduced the notion of apps and erected the walls of their garden

Apple started out with HTML apps. Everybody hated it.

DIY cell phone (from an arduino guy) (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#42659093)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mellis/ [flickr.com]

I believe he's one of the arduino founders or principles.

don't know much about this - just saw it on the flickr stream - but it could be interesting. not android at all, but in a way, that could also be a good thing. sometimes you want a simple cell phone and just that.

(no connection; just saw the photo link from DAM)

Firefox phone like browser (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42659107)

So the phone will be dog-slow and require you to update the firmware every time you use it?

Re:Firefox phone like browser (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year ago | (#42659757)

Yes, but at least its not from MS

Re:Firefox phone like browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42661775)

Yes, but at least its not from MS

You know you could just save the troll, be honest and write "I don't have anything of value to add, I just want to tell everyone I'm religiously biased against Microsoft."
Nobody cares about your lame karma-whoring attempt.

"No mention of NFC" (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42659465)

That's OK, I haven't ever heard that acronym before! I guess, after googling, that it is a on-Bluetooth Bluetooth? Wat the fuck is the point of yet another short-range communications standard? Is that nickel royalty payment going to hurt the device manufacturer that much?

The down side of lacking NFC is that you can't say that you can bump your phone into random strangers' phones until they "squirt" files at each other.

Re:"No mention of NFC" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42660105)

That's actually a HUGE downside. I like to bump and squirt.

Re:"No mention of NFC" (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#42660783)

That's OK, I haven't ever heard that acronym before!

Turn in your geek card.

I guess, after googling, that it is a on-Bluetooth Bluetooth? Wat the fuck is the point of yet another short-range communications standard? Is that nickel royalty payment going to hurt the device manufacturer that much?

No, whatever royalty payment that might be applicable isn't going to hurt that much. But the lack of pairing requirements, much lower power requirements under most circumstances, ability to work with some existing RFID tags, faster connection establishment, and ability to work with passive devices all are things that NFC give you that Bluetooth doesn't.

The down side of lacking NFC is that you can't say that you can bump your phone into random strangers' phones until they "squirt" files at each other.

NFC range isn't nearly as far as Bluetooth so it takes more of an effort to establish a connection. That reduces interception in a large area where many NFC devices might exist. It also requires that devices are noticeably close so if an exploit is found, someone trying to exploit it hopefully would be a little more apparent.

Re:"No mention of NFC" (0)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42662131)

"Turn in your geek card."

I am an amateur radio operator and have been programming computers and building electronics since the mid 1980s. Fuck you. There's more geek in one of my fingernail clippings than there is in your entire family. I do not keep up on all the marketing terms used by handheld gaming system / gossip machine makers' marketdroids, but this just enhances my geek cred. Leave the task of marketing to sorority girls and frat boys, I have important shit to do.

Bluetooth will not be supplanted in the marketplace by some half-baked solution that has a more limited range anyway.

Re:"No mention of NFC" (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | about a year ago | (#42662733)

The down side of lacking NFC is that you can't say that you can bump your phone into random strangers' phones until they "squirt" files at each other.

I don't like NFC either. The downside of innovation is that one day the industry says "pony up for new hardware because we no longer support yours." Bluetooth is cumbersome to use, especially if you have to remember which devices you disabled it on due to battery life problems on your older gadgets.

My point here wasn't so much for NFC, but against the trend to ignore PCs and even the web browser with "download our APP" excuse. After all, it's not that they want to give US the news, but to track us better. And potentially monetize their app with somewhat mandatory updates --they can't quite dig up your Name, phone number, GPS location and friend list with the antiquated OS's that we currently have (meaning more conservatively private.) For instance, I have a good camera but am angry about the lack of enjoying barcode-reading programs on my fully fledged PC. The App scene right now is like a 2.0 rebirth of the nineties' shareware era, except it's mainstream AND lucrative.

I can see Apple now getting the lawyers ready! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42659619)

I can see Apple now getting the lawyers ready!

No Mention of NFC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42660075)

No NFC? No problem. I live in Baltimore.

"Requiring"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42661889)

requiring the user insert their own SIM card

This makes an advantage sound like a shortcoming. So now you have to apologize if you give people freedom and interoperability? Because that requires them to get their own SIM card? It's unbelievable how much locked-down gadgets and appified, remote controlled programs have become the default.

Cute (1)

GRAYS4ND (2814317) | about a year ago | (#42663703)

I think that the economy of scale will make higher performance phones a frugal possibility in near future. The trend has always been moving that way. So why bother developing an OS that will probably be obsolescent in a matter of couple years? Even if it is presented as a reasonable alternative, the fashion factor of other operating systems and the combined marketing efforts of parent companies will make Firefox OS a joke. I know that geeks might get excited at open-source anything, but most people really, truly, and honestly Do Not Care.

Please tell me why... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663707)

do I care?

This is coming from a company that can't even produce a browser that they've been working on for 20 years and are up to release 18 and it still has memory leaks and is slow...

move on, nothing to look at here...

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