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Questions About .org

Mozilla Blog - ti, 03/12/2019 - 15:01

Last month, the Internet Society (ISOC) announced plans to sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR) — the organization that manages all the dot org domain names in the world — to a private equity firm named Ethos. This caught the attention of Mozilla and other public benefit orgs.

Many have called for the deal to be stopped. It’s not clear that this kind of sale is inherently bad. It is possible that with the right safeguards a private company could act as a good steward of the dot org ecosystem. However, it is clear that the stakes are high — and that anyone with the power to do so should urgently step in to slow things down and ask some hard questions.

For example: Is this deal a good thing for orgs that use these domains? Is it structured to ensure that dot org will retain its unique character as a home for non-commercial organizations online? What accountability measures will be put in place?

In a letter to ISOC, the EFF and others summarize why the stakes are high. Whoever runs the dot org registry has the power to: set (and raise) prices; define rights protection rules; and suspend or take down domains that are unlawful, a standard that varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is critical that whoever runs the dot org registry is a reliable steward who can be held accountable for exercising these powers fairly and effectively.

ISOC and Ethos put up a site last week called which argues that the newly privatized PIR will be just such a steward. Measures outlined on the site include the creation of a stewardship council, price caps, and the incorporation of the new PIR as a B Corp. These sound like good plans at first read, but they need much more scrutiny and detail given what is at stake.

ICANN and the ISOC board are both in a position to slow things down and offer greater scrutiny and public transparency. We urge them to step back and provide public answers to questions of interest to the public and the millions of orgs that have made dot org their home online for the last 15 years. Specific questions should include:

  1. Are the stewardship measures proposed for the new PIR sufficient to protect the interests of the dot org community? What is missing?
  2. What level of scope, authority and independence will the proposed Stewardship Council possess? Will dot org stakeholders have opportunities to weigh in on the selection of the Council and development of its bylaws and its relationship to PIR and Ethos?
  3. What assurances can the dot org community have that Ethos and PIR will keep their promises regarding price increases? Will there be any remedy if these promises are not kept?
  4. What mechanisms does PIR currently have in place to implement measures to protect free speech and other rights of domain holders under its revised contract, and will those mechanisms change in any way with the transfer of ownership and control? In particular, how will PIR handle requests from government actors?
  5. When is the planned incorporation of PIR as a B corp? Are there any repercussions for Ethos and/or PIR if this incorporation does not take place?
  6. What guarantees are in place to retain the unique character of the dot org as a home for non-commercial organizations, one of the important stewardship promises made by PIR when it was granted the registry?
  7. Did ISOC receive multiple bids for PIR? If yes, what criteria in addition to price were used to review the bids? Were the ICANN criteria originally applied to dot org bidders in 2002 considered? If no, would ISOC consider other bids should the current proposal be rejected?
  8. How long has Ethos committed to stay invested in PIR? Are there measures in place to ensure continued commitment to the answers above in the event of a resale?
  9. What changes to ICANN’s agreement with PIR should be made to ensure that dot org is maintained in a manner that serves the public interest, and that ICANN has recourse to act swiftly if it is not?

In terms of process, ICANN needs to approve or reject the transfer of control over the dot org contract. And, presumably, the ISOC board has the power to go back and ask further questions about the deal before it is finalized. We urge these groups to step up to ask questions like the ones above — and not finalize the deal until they and a broad cross section of the dot org community are satisfied with the answers. As they address these questions, we urge them to post their answers publicly.

Also, the state attorneys general of the relevant jurisdictions may be in a position to ask questions about the conversion of PIR into a for profit or about whether ISOCs sale of PIR represents fair market value. If they feel these questions are in their purview, we urge them to share the results of their findings publicly.

One of Mozilla’s principles is the idea that “a balance between commercial profit and public benefit is critical” to maintaining a healthy internet. Yes, much of the internet is and should be commercial — but it is important that significant parts of the internet also remain dedicated to the public interest. The current dot org ecosystem is clearly one of these parts.

The organization that maintains the underpinnings of this ecosystem needs to be a fair and responsible steward. One way to ensure this is to entrust this role to a publicly accountable non-profit, as ICANN did when it picked ISOC as a steward in 2002. While it’s also possible that a for-profit company could effectively play this stewardship role, extra steps would need to be taken to ensure that the company is accountable to dot org stakeholders and not just investors, now and for the long run. It is urgent that we take such steps if the sale of PIR is to go through.

A small postscript: We have sent a letter to ICANN encouraging them to ask the questions above.

The post Questions About .org appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Firefox Preview Beta reaches another milestone, with Enhanced Tracking Protection and several intuitive features for ease and convenience

Mozilla Futurereleases - ti, 03/12/2019 - 15:00

In June we made an announcement, that left us — just like many of our users — particularly excited: we introduced Firefox Preview, a publicly available test version of our upcoming best in class browser for Android that will be fueled by GeckoView. GeckoView is Mozilla’s own high-performance mobile browser engine, which enables us to deliver an even better, faster and more private Firefox to Android device owners. Hundreds of thousands of users have downloaded and tested Firefox Preview since it became available.

Over the past 5 months we’ve been working diligently on improvements to the app. We’ve been listening closely to user feedback and are basing app development on users’ requests and needs; one very recent example is our support for extensions through the WebExtensions API. We will still continue to test Firefox Preview Beta and we’re expecting to launch as a final product in the first half of 2020. Today, we want to provide an update on our progress, and share some of the amazing new features we’ve added to Firefox Preview since the beta release of 1.0.

Please note: The rollout of Firefox Preview Beta 3.0 is currently delayed. The newest features, such as Site Protections, will be made available within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience.

Browse the web conveniently on mobile with privacy by default

At Firefox, we foster user choice and individual decision making. However, we’ve noticed the massive change the internet economy has undergone over the last couple of years. This transformation has distorted the value exchange between online businesses, the ad industry in particular, and users. It is no longer transparent and consumers are being taken advantage of more and more. We want a better web for people. One that puts users first while still being fast, performant and, above all, private and secure. Still, we can’t expect every user to become an expert on these topics in order to protect themselves. That’s why we’re now making next-level privacy protections the default instead of an option for only the tech-savvy.

This is a guiding principle for the whole Firefox product family and it’s why we’re now taking Firefox Preview to the next level by equipping it with Enhanced Tracking Protection, an innovative technology we first introduced in Firefox for desktop earlier this year, and have been improving ever since. Enhanced Tracking Protection is our approach to put users back in control of their online life by stopping third-party tracking cookies from following them around on the web.

When mapping out how to implement this feature in the next Firefox for Android, we took the distinct use-cases for mobile and desktop into account. On the phone or tablet, most users care much more about performance and blocking of annoyances compared to desktop. Users are more forgiving when a site doesn’t load exactly like it’s meant to. So we decided that while Firefox for desktop’s default mode is “Standard”, Firefox Preview will use “Strict” mode. “Standard” prevents third-party trackers from (re)using cookies to identify a user while still allowing the trackers to run on the site, “strict” actually blocks the trackers, which makes the browser up to 20% percent faster. Users will no longer face ad banners that contain trackers and therefore have a rather uninterrupted browsing experience, though there is a chance that some website content may not work. If users prefer to avoid that they can always switch to “Standard” mode with just 3 taps or turn off Enhanced Tracking Protection with only 2 taps.

Enhanced Tracking Protection in Firefox Preview defaults to “Strict” mode, blocking tracking cookies and trackers for stronger protection and enhanced performance.

We’re looking forward to hearing what users think about Enhanced Tracking Protection on mobile as well as these additional new features in Firefox Preview:

      • Firefox Site Protections: Only recently, we introduced the Privacy Protection report to Firefox for desktop, which brings more visibility into how users are being tracked online so they can better combat it. On mobile, we decided to implement an abbreviated version. When tapping on the shield icon, users can now see the type of trackers, such as third-party trackers, social media trackers or cryptominers, that Firefox Preview blocks for them on each site. Another tap on the individual categories then opens a list of the trackers blocked for additional transparency.
      • Adding and customizing a Search Widget: Users who want to be prepared to do a web search really quickly can add the Firefox Preview Search Widget to their Android home screen, so they don’t have to open the app first anymore: just long-press on the Firefox Preview icon on the home screen, tap on the widget icon, then add it. User can also easily choose their preferred search engine and resize the widget to make it fit their needs and taste.
      • Getting organized with our Send Tab: No need to spam one’s own email folder again with links intended to use on another device! Firefox account holders can now send a tab or a collection of tabs from their Android phone or tablet to any other device they’ve logged into with their Firefox account.

Firefox Preview makes mobile browsing convenient: with intuitive search widgets and easy tab sharing between your devices.


Help us shape the mobile product that puts users in control of their digital life again

We’re excited to see Firefox Preview develop further and can’t wait to share out what the final product will look like! In the meantime, we continue to welcome more testers to Firefox Preview and look forward to hearing more of users’ feedback. All the features described above, plus everything else we recently added to our new mobile browser, has been picked, prioritized and added based on what our users requested. This has been our approach, especially in the mobile sphere, for many years and we’re planning to maintain it: not only is feedback immensely important for us in order to improve our products before their actual launch and during further development; we also want to make sure to deliver exactly what users need and demand. They can help surface what that is and shape our new mobile product. So, download Firefox Preview now and let us know what you think!

And in the spirit of the upcoming holiday season: thanks to the whole Firefox community for your support!



The post Firefox Preview Beta reaches another milestone, with Enhanced Tracking Protection and several intuitive features for ease and convenience appeared first on Future Releases.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

News from Firefox on Mobile, Private Network and Desktop

Mozilla Blog - ti, 03/12/2019 - 15:00

As the year comes to a close, we look back at what we’ve accomplished. As recently noted in the press, this year may be the mark of our privacy-renaissance. We’ve built additional privacy protections in the browser which included blocking third party tracking cookies and cryptomining by default and created an easy-to-view report which shows the trackers that follow you and collect your online browsing habits and interests. To date, we’ve blocked more than 1 Trillion tracking requests that attempt to follow you around the web! Privacy has always been part of our DNA. We’ve always believed our role is and has always been to help give people more control over their online lives.

1 Trillion tracking requests have been blocked with Enhanced Tracking Protection

Today, we’ve got something for everyone, for tech savvy folks who want to test-drive privacy-first features and products or those who love to multitask while on their desktop. We have a lot in store for the next year, and will continue to uphold our promise to create privacy-focused products and features. Before we roll anything out widely to consumers, we’ve still got some fine-tuning to do. So today we’re kicking off the next phase in our ongoing testing of our Firefox Private Network Beta, and the latest Firefox Preview app for Android powered by GeckoView. Although the year might be winding down, just like Santa’s elves, we’re working around the clock to deliver experiments and the latest versions of our Firefox browser for desktop and iOS.

Latest Firefox Private Network Beta test protects users just in time for the holidays

In September, we introduced the beta release of our Firefox Private Network (FPN), an extension which provides a secure, encrypted path to the web to protect your connection and personal information when you use the Firefox browser. Since then, we’ve received feedback from our beta testers on how they’re using FPN, its protections, and we learned about websites that weren’t compatible as well as connection issues. This allowed us to quickly identify and fix bugs, and ensure a stable product.

As we continue our beta testing, we are considering various ways to bring additional privacy protections to our users. Today we’re announcing an additional beta test for US-based Firefox account users who didn’t get a chance to get in the initial group, and are interested in testing FPN.

In the next phase of our beta, we are offering a limited-time free service that lets you encrypt your Firefox connections for up to 12 hours a month. With the holidays around the corner, the FPN couldn’t come at a more convenient time. We know people are traveling and might have to rely on an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, like the one at the airport, at your local coffee shop, or even at your doctor’s office. FPN provides encrypted internet traffic thus giving you peace of mind whenever you’re using our browser.

This limited-time free service is currently available in the US on the Firefox desktop browser and you’ll need a Firefox account to try the service. You can sign up directly from the extension which can be found here.

For those looking to extend their protection beyond the browser, you can now sign up to be one of the first to experience the newest member of the FPN family. This month, Firefox account holders can request invitations to experience device-level protection with our new full-device VPN (virtual private network). Join the waitlist and if you’re eligible, we’ll follow up with a link to access the VPN at an introductory price of $4.99 per month. Currently the VPN will be available for Windows 10 only, and like the rest of the FPN, it is only available to US-based Firefox account holders. Pricing and platform availability will continue to evolve and we look forward to hearing your feedback.

Attention mobile beta testers: Firefox Preview Beta release now available

This past summer we introduced Firefox Preview Beta, a publicly available test version of our Firefox browser for Android powered by GeckoView, Mozilla’s own high-performance mobile browser engine. It allows us to deliver a better, faster and more private online experience for Android users. Today, we have an update on our progress, including new features we’ve added since its initial beta release in June. To learn more visit the announcement here.

Picture-in-Picture available in today’s Firefox browser release

Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of multi-tasking whether it’s checking email in a meeting or online shopping and watching product videos before we press the buy button. We all have busy lives and want to get the most out of every minute. In today’s Firefox release we’re rolling out Picture-in-Picture available in all video sites.

Picture-in-Picture allows a video to be contained in a separate and small window, and still be viewable whether you switch from tab-to-tab or outside the Firefox browser. To see if Picture-in-Picture is available to you, hover your mouse over the video to see a small blue “Picture in Picture” option. Once you click the option, the video will pop into its own and will always stay as the top window, allowing you to continue to watch the video even if you switch tabs. Currently, Picture-in-Picture will only be available on Windows OS. It will be available to MacOS and Linux in our next browser release in January 2020.

Hover your mouse over the video to see a small blue “Picture in Picture” option

To see what else is new or what we’ve changed in today’s desktop and iOS release, you can check out our release notes.

Check out and download the latest version of Firefox available here.


The post News from Firefox on Mobile, Private Network and Desktop appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla and the Contract for the Web

Mozilla Blog - to, 28/11/2019 - 21:42

Mozilla supports the Contract for the Web and the vision of the world it seeks to create. We participated in helping develop the content of the principles in the Contract. The result is language very much aligned with Mozilla, and including words that in many cases echo our Manifesto. Mozilla works to build momentum behind these ideas, as well as building products and programs that help make them real.

At the same time, we would like to see a clear method for accountability as part of the signatory process, particularly since some of the big tech platforms are high profile signatories. This gives more power to the commitment made by signatories to uphold the Contract about privacy, trust and ensuring the web supports the best in humanity.

We decided not to sign the Contract but would consider doing so if stronger accountability measures are added. In the meantime, we continue Mozilla’s work, which remains strongly aligned with the substance of the Contract.

The post Mozilla and the Contract for the Web appeared first on The Mozilla Blog.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Mozilla and BMZ Announce Cooperation to Open Up Voice Technology for African Languages

Mozilla Blog - mo, 25/11/2019 - 09:11

Mozilla and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to jointly build new alliance to foster open voice data and technology in Africa and beyond

Berlin – 25 November 2019. Today, Mozilla and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have announced to join forces in the collection of open speech data in local languages, as well as the development of local innovation ecosystems for voice-enabled products and technologies. The initiative builds on the pilot project, which our Open Innovation team and the Machine Learning Group started together with the organization “Digital Umuganda” earlier this year. The Rwandan start-up collects language data in Kinyarwanda, an African language spoken by over 12 million people. Further languages in Africa and Asia are going to be added.

Kelly Davis, Head of Mozilla’s Machine Learning Group, explaining the design and technology behind Deep Speech and Common Voice at a Hackathon in Kigali

Kelly Davis, Head of Mozilla’s Machine Learning Group, explaining the design and technology behind Deep Speech and Common Voice at a Hackathon in Kigali, February 2019.

Mozilla’s projects Common Voice and Deep Speech will be the heart of the joint initiative, which aims at collecting diverse voice data and opening up a common, public database. Mozilla and the BMZ are planning to partner and collaborate with African start-ups, which need respective training data in order to develop locally suitable, voice-enabled products or technologies that are relevant to their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mozilla and the BMZ are also inviting like-minded companies and identifying further countries interested in joining their efforts to open up language data.

The German Ministry and Mozilla share a similar vision and work towards the responsible use of automated decision-making and artificial intelligence for sustainable development on scale. Supporting partner countries in reaching the SDGs, today, the BMZ is carrying out more than 470 digitally enhanced projects in over 90 countries around the world. As part of the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, the Federal German Government has agreed to support developing countries in building up capacities and knowledge on opportunities and challenges of AI – an area of expertise that the Mozilla Foundation has heavily invested in with their work on trustworthy AI.

“Artificial Intelligence is changing and shaping our societies globally. It is critical that these technologies are both trustworthy and truly serve everyone. And that means they need to be developed with local needs and expertise in mind, diverse, decentralized, and not driven by monopolies,” says Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation.

“Innovating in AI poses complex technological, regulatory and ethical challenges. This is why I am very pleased to see multiple teams within Mozilla working together in this promising cooperation with the BMZ, building on our shared visions and objectives for a positive digital future,” adds Katharina Borchert, Chief Open Innovation Officer of the Mozilla Corporation.

The cooperation was announced at Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin and will be part of the BMZ initiative “Artificial Intelligence for All: FAIR FORWARD”. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at Mozilla’s headquarters in Mountain View on November 14.

Representatives of the BMz and Mozilla signing the Memorandom of Understanding

From left to right: Björn Richter, Head of Digital Development Sector Program, GIZ, Dr. Andreas Foerster, Head of Division Digital Technologies in Development Cooperation, BMZ, Katharina Borchert, Chief Open Innovation Officer, Mozilla, Ashley Boyd, VP, Advocacy Mozilla Foundation, and Udbhav Tiwari, Public Policy Advisor, Mozilla

Mozilla believes that the internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible for all people, no matter where they are and which language they speak. With projects such as Common Voice and Deep Speech, Mozilla’s Machine Learning Group is working on advancing and democratizing voice recognition technology on the web.

Useful Links:

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Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Cameron Kaiser: And now for something completely different: An Outbound Notebook resurrected

Mozilla planet - mo, 25/11/2019 - 08:23
It surprises people to know that there were authorized non-Apple Macintoshes, and not just the infamous Power Mac clones during the Spindler-Amelio years (or the notoriously overhyped NuTek machines, which tried to get around Apple by reverse-engineering the Mac OS, and not with much success). The most interesting of these were probably the early portables prior to the PowerBook 100, which was a true revolution and ended up eating everybody's lunch (and put most of these companies out of business). Until then these machines had the market all to themselves, even (or especially) when Apple brought out the 16-pound Macintosh Portable, which was big and dumb and today a collector's item but sprawled across most of a desk and gave people hernias just by looking at them.

The 68K laptop manufacturers got around Apple's (later well-founded) clone phobia by importing various components from functioning Macs sold at retail or licensing the chips; some required lobotomizing an otherwise functional machine for its ROMs or even its entire logic board, though at these machines' cheaper price point it was probably still worth it. The big three companies in this particular market were Colby, Dynamac and Outbound. Colby made the WalkMac, which was smaller than the Portable but not much lighter, and required either an SE or SE/30 motherboard. Still, it sold well enough for Sony to threaten to sue them over the Walkman trademark and for Chuck Colby to even develop a tablet version based on the Mac Classic. Dynamac's two models used Mac Plus motherboards (which Apple would only sell to them as entire units, requiring Dynamac to pay for and dispose of the screens and cases they never used), but the EL variant was especially noteworthy for its distinctive 9" amber electroluminescent display.

However, my personal favourite was Outbound. The sprightly kangaroo logo on the case and on the boot screen made people think it was an Australian company (they were actually headquartered in Colorado), including my subsequently disappointed Aussie wife when I landed one for my collection. Outbound distinguished themselves in this market by developing their own logic boards and hardware and only requiring the ROMs from a donor Mac (usually an SE or Plus). Their first was the 1989 Outbound Laptop, which was a briefcase portable not unlike the Compaq Portables of the time, and running at a then-impressive 15MHz. The keyboard connected by infrared, which causes a little PTSD in me because I remember how hideous the IBM PCjr's infrared keyboard was. However, the pointing device was a "trackbar" (trademarked as "Isopoint"), a unique rolling rod that rolled forward and back and side to side. You just put your finger on it and rolled or slid the rod to move the pointer. Besides the obvious space savings, using it was effortless and simple; even at its side extents the pointer would still move if you pushed the bar in the right direction. The Outbound Laptop also let you plug it back into the donor Mac to use that Mac with its ROMs in the Outbound, something they called "hive mode." Best of all, it ran on ordinary VHS camcorder batteries, which you can still find today, and although it was a bit bulky it was about half the weight of the Mac Portable. At a time when the Portable sold for around $6500 it was just $3995.

In 1991 Outbound negotiated a deal with Apple to actually get ROMs from them without having to sacrifice another Mac in the process. They used these to construct the Outbound Notebook, which of the two (today rather rare) Outbound machines is easily the more commonly found. The first model 2000 used the same 68000 as the Laptop, boosting it to 20MHz, but the 2030 series moved to the 68030 and ran up to 40MHz. These could even take a 68882 FPU, though they were still limited to 4MB RAM like the Laptop (anything more was turned into a "Silicon" RAM disk supported by an included CDEV). They featured a very nice keyboard and the same innovative trackbar, also took VHS camcorder batteries, and folded to a very trim letter size dimension (about 2" thick) weighing just over six pounds. Thanks to its modular construction it could even be upgraded: the RAM was ordinary 30-pin SIMMs attached to a removable CPU daughtercard where the ROMs, FPU and main CPU connected, and the 2.5" IDE hard drive could also be easily removed, though Outbound put a warranty sticker on it to discourage third-party replacements. For desktop use it had ADB and the $949 Outbound Outrigger monitor plugged into the SCSI port to provide an external display (yes, there were SCSI video devices).

Unlike the other Mac clones, the Outbound Notebook was a serious threat to Apple's portable line at the time. Even though the contemporary PowerBook 100 was rather cheaper ($2300 vs the 40MHz 2030V at $3500) and could take up to 8MB of RAM, it was still the 16MHz 68000 of the Portable era because it was, in fact, simply a miniaturized Mac Portable. Only the simultaneously-introduced PowerBook 170 was anywhere near the same performance ballpark (25MHz '030) as the Notebook, and it was $4600. Apple decided to adopt a contractual solution: while the agreement compelled Apple to still offer SE ROMs to Outbound, they were not similarly obligated to sell ROMs from any later model, and thus they refused and in doing so put an end to the development of a successor. Deprived of subsequent products, Outbound went out of business by the end of 1992, leaving the machines eternally stuck at 7.1.

A couple years ago I picked up a complete 33MHz '030 Outbound Notebook system from a sale, even coming with a small dot matrix printer and the official Outbound car charger (!). Some of you at the Vintage Computer Festival 2017 saw this machine as a terminal for my Apple Network Server 500. It was a bit yellowed and had been clearly heavily used, but worked pretty well right up until it didn't (eventually it went to a garbage screen and wouldn't enter POST). I put it back in the closet for a few months in Odinsleep until an "untested" unit showed up on eBay a couple weeks ago. Now, keep in mind that "untested" is eBay-speak for "it's not working but I'm going to pretend I don't know," so I was pretty sure it was defective, but the case was in nice condition and I figured I could probably pull a few parts off it to try. Indeed, although the kangaroo screen came up, the hard drive started making warbling noises and the machine froze before even getting to the Happy Mac. I put in the hard disk from my dead unit and it didn't do any better, so I swapped the CPU cards as well and ... it booted!

At 33MHz System 7.1 flies, and it has Connectix Compact Virtual (the direct ancestor of RAM Doubler), which at the cost of disabling the Silicon Disk gives me a 16MB addressing space. At some point I'll get around to configuring it for SCSI Ethernet, another fun thing you can do over SCSI that people have forgotten about.

Besides the case, floppy drive and trackbar, the keyboard was also in excellent condition. Let's compare it with what I think is the best keyboard on any Apple laptop past or present, the PowerBook 1400:

This is my personal PowerBook 1400 workhorse which still sees occasional use for classic software. The 1400 was my first Mac laptop, so I'm rather fond of them, and I have a stack of them for spare parts including my original 117cs. This one is almost maximally upgraded, too: it has a Sonnet 466MHz G3, 64MB of RAM, a 4GB IDE drive, Ethernet and modem PCMCIA cards and the Apple 8-bit video card. All it needs is a 16-bit video card and the solar cover (it just has the interchangeable inserts), and it would be the envy of all who behold it.

The 1400 has the keyboard against which all Mac laptops are measured because of its firmness, key travel and pre-scissor construction. It isn't quite as long travel as the IBM ThinkPads of the era, but it easily exceeds any other Apple laptop keyboard then or now, and is highly reliable and easily replaced if necessary (mine has never been necessary). The Outbound's keyboard is a bit stiff by comparison but has decent travel and is less mushy than my other 68K PowerBooks (or for that matter even my iBook G4). While the Portable's keyboard is nice and clicky, it's practically a desktop keyboard, so it's cheating. Score another one for the clone.

For that matter, the 1400 and the Outbound have another thing in common: surprising modularity. Like the Outbound, the 1400's CPU is on a removable daughtercard behind just a couple screws, and the hard disk and RAM can be upgraded easily (though the 1400's wonky stacked RAM system can sometimes be mechanically fraught with peril). It's just a shame it has a custom battery instead of an off-the-shelf one, but that's Apple for you. Neither of them have an easily accessed logic board but that's hardly unusual for laptops. I'm just glad the logic board on this unit was working, because it's nice to have the Outbound revived again for more good times. It's a great historical reminder that sometimes the best Macintoshes didn't come from Cupertino.

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Chris H-C: This Week in Glean: Glean in Private

Mozilla planet - fr, 22/11/2019 - 18:18

(“This Week in Glean” is a series of blog posts that the Glean Team at Mozilla is using to try to communicate better about our work. They could be release notes, documentation, hopes, dreams, or whatever: so long as it is inspired by Glean.)

In the Kotlin implementation of the Glean SDK we have a glean.private package. (( Ideally anything that was actually private in the Glean SDK would actually _be_ private and inaccessible, but in order to support our SDK magic (okay, so that the SDK could work properly by generating the Specific Metrics API in subcomponents) we needed something public that we just didn’t want anyone to use. )) For a little while this week it looked like the use of the Java keyword private in the name was going to be problematic. Here are some of the alternatives we came up with:

Fortunately (or unfortunately) :mdboom (whom I might have to start calling Dr. Boom) came up with a way to make it work with the package private intact, so we’ll never know which one we would’ve gone with.


I guess I’ll just have to console myself with the knowledge that we’ve deployed this fix to Fenix, Python bindings are becoming a reality, and the first code supporting the FOGotype might be landing in mozilla-central. (More to come on all of that, later)


Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Marco Zehe: My extended advent calendar

Mozilla planet - fr, 22/11/2019 - 13:00

This year, I have a special treat for my readers. On Monday, November 25, at 12 PM UTC, I will start a 30 day series about everything and anything. Could be an accessibility tip, an how-to about using a feature in an app I use frequently, some personal opinion on something, a link to something great I came across on the web… I am totally not certain yet. I have ideas about some things I want to blog about, but by far not 30 of them yet.

Are you as excited about where this 30 day journey will take us as I am? Well then feel free to join me! You can like this blog in the section at the bottom, follow the RSS feed, follow my Twitter or Mastodon timelines, or like my shiny new Facebook page for the blog. The new posts will appear every day at 12 PM UTC. For those in Europe and Africa this is great, for the U.S. and other parts of the north, central, and south American content it’s earlier, and for those in Asia and Australia it’s late in the day.

I look forward to your comments about what I’ll be posting! Let’s all have some end of year fun together!

Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet

Karl Dubost: Week notes - 2019 w47 - worklog

Mozilla planet - fr, 22/11/2019 - 09:00
Week Notes?

Week Notes. I'm not sure I will be able to commit to this. But they have a bit of revival around my blogging reading echo chamber. Per revival, I mean I see them again.

The Open Data Institute just started one with a round about them. I subscribed again to the feed of Brian Suda and his own week notes. Alice Bartlett has also a very cool personal, down to earth and simple summary of her week. I love that she calls them weaknotes She's on week 63 by now.

So these will not be personal but more covering a bit of the things I (we?) do, learn, fail about webcompat. The only way to do that is to write down properly things. The possible issues: redundancy in writing things elsewhere, the fatigue associated with the regularity. I did a stretch of worklogs in the past.

Bugs Firefox Usage Counters

I need to better understand how counters are working inside Firefox so the numbers become more meaningful. And probably it would be good to understand how they operate at Chrome too. How the counter works when a property is used inside a condition. For example in JavaScript with a construct like:

var mypath = event.path || event.composedPath()

These are probably questions for Boris Bzarsky. Maybe a presentation at All Hands Berlin would be cool on the topic.

  • What is happening if the browser implements both, how are they counted?
  • What is happening if the browser implements one of these, how are they counted?
  • Is the order matters for the counter?
  • What are the induced differences if the counter is tracking only one of the property and not the two?
  • Can a counter track something which is in the source code but not implemented in the engine. For instance, tracking event.path which is undefined.
Python tests

We currently do AB testing for for a new form with the goal to improve the quality of the bugs reported. The development has not been an entirely smooth road, and there are still a lot of things to fix, and particulary the missing tests. Our objective is that if the AB testing experiment is successful. We will be rewriting properly the code, and more specifically the tests. So instead of fixing the code, I was thinking that we could just add the tests, so we have a solid base when it's time for rewriting. We'll see. Then Mike was worried that we would break continuous integration. We use nose for running our unittest tests. There is a plugin in nose for creating groups of tests by setting an attr.

from nose.plugins.attrib import attr @attr(form='wizard') class WizardFormTest: def test_exclusive_wizard(self): pass

So we could probably deactivate these specific tests. So this is something to explore.

Webcompat dev
  • Discussions with Kate about DB migrations.
  • Trying to understand what GitHub really does with linked images, because it might have consequences for our own images hosting.
  • Making a local prototype of image upload with the Bottle framework. So I can think differently about it. Bottle is super nice for quick prototyping/thinking. That looks doable. In the end it will be probably done with Flask. It helped identified some issues and some cool things we do.
Writings Reading
  • I have the feeling I could write a counterpart for this blog post about work commuting. There's probably something about work and the circumstances of your country.
  • This blog post was followed by a series of internal discussions on the nature of commuting, the reason to commute or not, etc. As usual, a lot of things need to be unpacked when we talk about commuting.
  • Impressive and interesting to look at the differences. Female developers in the world from hackerrank
System abuse? or goofing
  • A user reported two invalid bugs and deleted his accounts. It's always for me a surprise when people try to abuse a system which has no power.
Some notes about the week notes
  • Should adding pieces be about a linear timeline of events when they happen OR should it be about categories like I did above?
  • Was it too long? Oversharing? All of these are notes taken on the last 5 days. And I'm surprised by the amount.
  • My work is not linear on one task, which means updates to many tasks are happening in a couple of hours or days.


Categorieën: Mozilla-nl planet