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Firefox 31 Released

roca Re:no thanks (86 comments)

> In short, the designers are (willfully?) ignorant of the fact that
> not everyone uses their web browser exactly the same way
> they do.

Aren't you make that mistake yourself? I know our designers collect a lot of data on what many users actually use. More data than individual Slashdot commenters have collected, I expect.

> Any time they change the interface, add an easy-to-find
> checkbox under the options to restore the old functionality.

That leads to an explosion of difficult-to-understand checkboxes in the UI, and an unmaintainable mess under the hood.

1 hour ago
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Firefox 31 Released

roca Re:Misfeatures (86 comments)

> "Automatic handling of pdf and ogg files" - I have a pdf reader
> already. I dont need another one, and I dont need one
> 'integrated' in my browser, period.

From the release notes: "audio/video .ogg and .pdf files handled by Firefox *if no application specified*" (emphasis added).

> "loaded with new features for developers." Pretty sure that
> means for advertisers.

You just made that up.

2 hours ago
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Firefox 31 Released

roca Re:Spyware companies will love it (86 comments)

Preventing canvas tracking isn't simply a matter of fixing a bug. A solution would require something like "don't use the GPU" or "don't use platform font rasterization", either of which are completely unacceptable for most users due to degradation of performance or visual quality.

If you've got a simple fix to canvas tracking, let the world know what it is, OK?

2 hours ago
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Firefox 31 Released

roca Re:Spyware companies will love it (86 comments)

sendBeacon was already possible with JS using XHR, just in a slower and more user-unfriendly manner. And unlike XHR, you can disable sendBeacon without breaking the Web, so it's actually better for privacy.

However, if you want to completely prevent any sendBeacon-like activity, you need to just disable JS on that page.

2 hours ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

roca Re:Well, uh, yes actually (435 comments)

Considering fission weapons have been around for 70 years, we've done surprisingly well at limiting their proliferation. I think mass-market availability of fission weapons is pretty far down the list of things to worry about. However, terrorists and rogue states having them in small numbers is definitely high on my list.

Mass-market small-scale kill-bots based on rockets and drones are also high on my list.

Unfortunately the most effective method to prevent use of such weapons will be to put a chip in everyone's head. I honestly think that might be worse than mass murder, but you can imagine it looking attractive both to the Powers That Be and the public.

about a week ago
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Mozilla Doubles Down on JPEG Encoding with mozjpeg 2.0

roca Re:Tiny bumps in JPEG performance (129 comments)

We agree that alpha channel and animations are required features for any next-gen image format, but that doesn't change the analysis. It doesn't make sense to try to get WebP support everywhere for those features or for small compression gains, when in a couple of years or less we could introduce a new format with those features and big compression gains.

about a week ago
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Mozilla Doubles Down on JPEG Encoding with mozjpeg 2.0

roca Re:Tiny bumps in JPEG performance (129 comments)

The reason we're not merging WebP in a hurry is because it's not very good. The study results linked to in the article show that WebP isn't much better than mozjpeg. (This is especially clear in the second part of the study where mozjpeg is tuned for SSIM.) On the other hand the study shows HEVC *is* much better than WebP/mozjpeg, so we know a much better format than WebP is technically available *now*. We can't simply adopt HEVC as is due to patent licensing issues, but we should be able to create an unencumbered format with similar or better performance (e.g. using VP9 or Daala as a base). It doesn't seem like a good idea to try to move to WebP when we know a better format is coming fairly soon (probably within a couple of years).

about a week ago
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Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firefox?

roca Re:Not denying something is different from forcing (406 comments)

We at Mozilla do not regard popularity as an end in itself. Instead, we regard it as an essential part of our strategy for executing on our mission. The amount of influence we have to make the Internet better is, in many spheres, proportional to Firefox market share.

As to whether we'd lose users due to Netflix, Hulu etc eventually not working in Firefox ... nobody seriously doubts this.

Brad Kuhn misquotes Mitchell. She did not say "an approach", she said "MozillaÃ(TM)s fundamental approach".

about 2 months ago
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Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO

roca Re:Fantastic Google Chrome marketing (204 comments)

Funny, as a Mozilla employee I feel much more bullied --- by both sides of the culture war --- than bullying.

It feels like someone smacked us in the side of the head, we fell over, and then someone else came along shouting "weaklings!" and kicked us on the ground.

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO

roca Re:Fantastic Google Chrome marketing (204 comments)

Certainly, in hindsight, it was a mistake to promote Brendan to CEO. But without hindsight, very few people can honestly say they saw this coming. Before this blew up, no-one was openly saying "OK, no-one on the pro-Prop-8 donation list can be a CEO in California now unless they publicly repent or the company is willing to take major damage". In fact AFAICT a large majority of people, even in California, were surprised and somewhat horrified to find out that's the case.

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO

roca Re:Lets organize a boycott .. (204 comments)

As CTO, co-founder, and linchpin of Mozilla for all 16 years of its existence, not to mention creator of Javascript, Brendan was already as "public face" and "guiding force" as he was going to be as CEO. That's what bugs me about the whole "public face" argument.

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO

roca Re:Sadly, sounds like I was right (204 comments)

I said he was not coerced or pushed out *by Mozilla*. No way does that imply a free pass to the lobby groups that hounded him out of the job.

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO

roca Re:Lets organize a boycott .. (204 comments)

Jessica Klein and Jess Klein are the same person.

Christie Koehler doesn't belong on your list. She early and publicly supported Brendan as CEO --- a stand that made her quite unpopular with a segment of her LGBT community. She deserves great praise.

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO

roca Re:Fantastic Google Chrome marketing (204 comments)

We did not "stand by and watch". Many Mozilla staff made public statements supporting Brendan as CEO, including (courageously) many LGBT Mozilla staff. Many more publicly supported Brendan than publicly opposed him. The media of course focused on his opponents because "Mozilla employees call for CEO to step down" gets more clicks than "Mozilla employees support CEO".

Maybe we could have done more. At the time the firestorm was hot enough that it was unclear whether speaking out (and what sort of speaking out) would help. Brendan's resignation came as a great surprise to almost everyone at Mozilla, including me, and up to then I honestly thought simply saying nothing and letting the controversy blow itself out was going to work and was the best course of action.

To all the people who are shouting about "free speech" now: did you speak up to support Mozilla while we were defending Brendan as CEO? If not, why are you more enthusiastic about bashing us now than you were about supporting us back then?

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO

roca Re:Sadly, sounds like I was right (204 comments)

That is totally absurd. If the board didn't want Brendan to be CEO, they wouldn't have appointed him in the first place!

The evidence is clear that the board, and almost everyone else at Mozilla, wanted Brendan as CEO. Then came the protests, the social media firestorm, and the boycotts, and he stepped down (and was not "kicked out").

If you believe differently from what's indicated by the observable facts and official statements, produce some evidence. No-one has so far.

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

roca Re:I May Not Agree (1116 comments)

You should know very well that more justifications have been proposed than "it's gross". You may have good arguments against those justifications but what you have presented here is a pretty pathetic straw-man.

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

roca Re:The Re-Hate Campaign (1116 comments)

Those of us at Mozilla who haven't quit over this --- which is, as far as I know, all of us --- believe that pursuing our mission of the open Web is more important than quitting to express our disgust. And I think Brendan believes that too.

Sticking with Mozilla for the sake of our mission, in the face of all this turmoil, requires great strength of character, and I am proud to say that Mozillians have been demonstrating that in spades. Making angry comments on the Internet, on the other hand, requires no strength of character at all.

about 3 months ago
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Firefox 29 Beta Arrives With UI Overhaul And CSS3 Variables

roca Re:CSS variables? (256 comments)

CSS Variables are actually better described as CSS Custom Properties. They aren't just SASS-style global macros, they're far more powerful. Different elements can have different values for the same custom property, and custom property values set on an element are inherited by its descendants, respecting dynamic DOM changes etc. Custom property values can be set dynamically by scripts and those changes are of course automatically inherited.

about 4 months ago
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Is Analog the Fix For Cyber Terrorism?

roca "Isolate from the Internet" is hard (245 comments)

Air-gap alone is not enough. Stuxnet travelled via USB sticks. And if your hardware (or anything connected to it) has a wireless interface on it (Bluetooth, Wifi, etc), you have a problem ... an operator might bring a hacked phone within range, for example.

Simplifying the hardware down to fixed-function IC or analog reduces the attack surface much more than attempts to isolate the hardware from the Internet.

about 4 months ago

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