Tag Archives: mozilla

Eich steps down from Mozilla

MozFest

Most of us asked for Brendan Eich to step down and today he finally did

Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.

We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

This has been a long running battle with people from different sides weighing in… But frankly if the Director General of the BBC, not only felt this way but actively tried to stop Gay people getting married. I would end up leaving. Some views are so too out of step with modern reality. He may be great at everything else he does but this for me is a breaker.

Equality isn’t something we should be wishing for, we should be actively be seeking.

I know Mozilla will bounce back from this and find a better CEO who is modern in thinking and values. Looking forward to going to Mozfest again now.

OkCupid protest for equal marrage rights…

Okcupid protest for equal gay rights

Good on OkCupid! Text reads…

Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.

Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.

Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.

If you want to keep using Firefox, the link at the bottom will take you through to the site.

However, we urge you to consider different software for accessing OkCupid:

Shining a light on your data

COFFEE

Theres a few projects which come along and get me excited… One which got me recently was Mozilla lightbeam.

Lightbeam is a Firefox add-on that uses interactive visualizations to show you the first and third party sites you interact with on the Web. As you browse, Lightbeam reveals the full depth of the Web today, including parts that are not transparent to the average user.

Fascinating stuff… Sounds very familiar to something were doing in BBC R&D (soon to be blogged and I talked about at Oggcamp13). Wonder if Mozilla would be interested in working together? Maybe I missed the chance, when I didn’t go to Mozilla Fest 2013?

Or if not maybe the Ford Foundation would be a good partner?

Ford Foundation focuses on building outreach campaigns to help people understand online data tracking — both the benefits and the issues

Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for you, but you can imagine what were thinking…

Goo or google Engine?

Goo – Instant Play from Goo Technologies on Vimeo.

Short video clip exemplifying the power of browser based games for virality and instant play. Oh, and yes the game is on HTML5 with no plug-ins or download. Powered by the Goo Engine.

To be honest first time I saw the Goo technologies experiment, I thought it was Google trying to one up Mozilla. Right as the Mozilla Fest is on in London (which I couldn’t attend due to a family funeral).

Goo Engine® is the HTML5 and WebGL based 3D engine capable of powering the next generation of interactive web content. Using Goo Engine enables you to incorporate rich 3D content into your existing website without the need for special browser plugins or software downloads.

It looks impressive and if the editor is as simple to make this stuff, well who knows? Could be great in the right hands, specially hands with lots of time like young people

Is the mobile phone industry ready for the pure web?

Mark Surman @ Campus Party BR 2013

The biggest mobile phone trade faire kicks off in the ever so lovely Barcelona, and the analysis seems to suggest this year it will be about all the mobile platforms tearing down Android and iOS.

My favourites have to be Mobile Ubuntu which I have written about in the past and Firefox OS, which Gigaom has written about.

Love the concept of Firefox OS but interestingly there seems to be a lot of support for Firefox OS from the mobile phone industry. Last time I saw this level of support it was for Android.

From an open standards perspective, the Firefox OS is as pure as it gets right now. The whole thing is based on HTML5 – it’s all about escaping Google and Apple’s walled gardens and frolicking freely in the wilds of the open web. Half the code was written by volunteers.

There will be an official Firefox Marketplace but everyone is free to roll their own, from carriers to games specialists. Any payment method can be implemented – that factor is not in the hands of any one platform sponsor. Apps that run on the platform will also be able to run on rivals that implement HTML5, such as Google’s and Apple’s.

Although I do still ask the question of the mobile phone industry, are you ready to give people the pure web?

So back we come to this idea of the open mobile web. This is an area where luminaries such as Tim Berners-Lee have been on the warpath, pointing out very real problems with the iOS/Android model. These include the inability to share app-based content in a standardized way, and the inability to search across apps. In short: the loss of the level playing field that web technologies represent.

Firefox OS is designed to solve those problems. Weirdly, we can now witness the former walled garden proprietors genuinely extol the virtues of openness. By promoting Firefox OS, they cannot regain control – however, they hope to prise some control from the hands of Google and Apple.

Well I guess we shall see how far Firefox OS gets. Like Ubuntu, my contract is up this year so I could be tempted to switch to one of these phones. Although I’ll be honest and say Google’s extra features are pretty compelling, specially Google Now.

Decent cocktails or nothing please

Which cosmo came out of a packet?

The one on the left is out of a packet (just look at the nasty cloudy bog colour). The one on the right is fresh (see the pink and consistent transparency) plus note the froth on top and finally the lack of straws because cosmos are meant to be drunk from the glass not through the straw. Ideally if the orange peel is burned, there is a thin oily skin which is lovely to drink, just in-case you were in any doubt

This was going back a while ago… last year while I was down in South East London.

The Novotel Hotel Bar in Greenwich served me a Cosmopolitan while I was at the bar one night with mark boas, thornet, cyberdees and others… I was so shocked at how bad it was, I complained and got the manager to make me a fresh one. They said it comes out of a packet and that most customers don’t have a problem with it!

Me on the other hand, well I was bloody horrified and couldn’t believe they would serve up that much as a cosmopolitan. Worst still they were charging £6 for it! I was truly outraged…!

Once the manager made me a new one fresh, we talked about lighting the orange peel but he refused, so I did it myself. Anyway to prove the point about the packet cocktails, we lined them up on the side of the bar and took sips of each one.

They did give me the packet one for free but I still refused to drink it instead giving it to other Mozilla fest friends to taste and get there feelings about.

As you imagine the fresh one peed all over the one out of the packet, not a single person said the packet version was nicer or better, even the manager and the bar staff agreed.

The amount of times I’ve referred to this true story is the last few months is untrue. Its also the reason why I won’t put up with crappy drinks I don’t actually want to drink. I’d rather go thirsty or drink water…

Banging the drum for Media Freedom and the Web

I was very excited to invited to the Mozilla Festival which this year was in London. Not only that, it was in South East London.

The Mozilla Festival use to be the Drumbeat Festival but got a rename. The event is something between a un-conference and a hackday. A whole series of challenges which people can duck in and out of. Challenges ranged from Data Journalism to Disc Jockey hacking (ironically both DJ).

Dj Challenge

I headed up the DJ (disc jockey) challenge which was first formulated quite some time ago on behalf of BBC R&D and FutureEverything.

The challenge was to reinvent or at least evolve dj’ing. We started the challenge on Saturday afternoon and it kicked off with a little stimulus from myself and others in the form of a modified presentation. On top of that, we pointed to the Google Doc, which was an aggregation of thoughts from not just myself but many others including BBC staff.

That list is still available if your interested in getting involved in the challenges.

Andy

But what came out of the challenge were 2 very strong ideas…

  1. Can we create a format which supports tracks or layers in songs, then build Dj software which takes advantage of them.
  2. Can we build a club environment which makes use of sensors to feedback to the Dj and Vj in real-time through meaningful visualisations
More were talked about but these were the strongest ones, and these are the ones which will be taken forward hopefully into the Future Everything festival next year.
The theme for the conference/hackday was around media & web freedom and there was a question how does the Dj challenge fit into this? Well I gave the example of my pacemaker…

Dj Challenege

A few of us were looking at the problem of what you do with mixes once there finished? Actually one of them was from Mixcloud.com and we were exploring the idea of licensing, etc but we started to think what other ways can you experience mixes? One idea was to map locations to places in a mix.
On my pacemaker, I’ve done mixes walking through locations such as the wrong end of irlam mix. Imagine if it had GPS, so you could map sections to a location. When the mix is uploaded, it could lead people through an artificial version of my journey. So you could experience that moment when the bus streamed past and almost knocked someone over :) How exactly this works, we don’t know, but that’s the challenge…

Hugh

This for me is the effect of the web on Djing, perfecting fitting into the media and web freedom ethos.
The challenge asked a lot of the people who did attend and frankly if I was to do it again I would size down the challenge down to a few core areas and work on things which can be done in the 90mins we had. Mozilla did allow us to run over 2 days and we have some ideas did run through-out them.
Moving away from the Dj challenge for now, I didn’t get much of a chance to attend the other challenges, but they sounded great. There was a real feel of excitement in the air and the location of Ravensbourne added another layer to it all.

Mozilla Festival

Here’s some of the other stuff which looked very interesting to me…

This Javascript library is looking very impressive and the documentary combining Popcorn with WebGL was impressive. I can only imagine what Adam Curtis could do with this… I’ve made a note to check it out in detail soon. I also think it could be useful in the area of Perceptive Media.
Its another one of those Javascript library’s (seems to be a trend). This one is a nice gaming framework, its still in alpha but it slightly crosses over with the BBC R&D universal control spec from what I saw in the demo.
Hyperaudio links written text with the spoken word. This means you can edit a audio file like how you edit text. Its quite magical when you see it, and would make a great tool for remixing
Teaching young people through standard web technologies how to change the web and make it there own. I think of it like One Laptop Per Child’s Sugar but less programmatic…
Although this wasn’t in the event, I found them from one persons suggestion and then when I went to look up the Eatery I found it again. Its like Creative Commons for privacy, interesting…

Mozilla Festival

Unlike Hackdays where everyone gets a chance to demo there hacks to everyone else, the Mozilla festival had the challenge leaders stand up on stage and give a brief overview of the best ideas and prototypes. On the Saturday night there was keynotes from a whole bunch of people including Tim Hunkin. Everything was good till a guy from the Tech City commission or something started going on and on… Wrong place and wrong time to do a pitch for how great silicon roundabout and techcity are… Frankly I would have liked to have thrown a popcorn.js rubber toy at him because it was so out of tune with the rest of the event. Of course I didn’t do that… but it was bad. Honestly if I caught his name, I would be naming and shaming…

Luckily all the rest of the keynotes and presentations were actually good to excellent.

The event finished with the Dj challenge taking control, because we didn’t have anything built I Dj’ed on my pacemaker along with the Alphasphere guys putting on a performance on stage. If we had thought about it a bit more, we could have Jammed together but alas maybe another time? Maybe at the Future Everything festival…

Congrats to the Mozilla crew, it was great and certainly a highlight. Mozilla’s mission is a good one and something we can all get behind. I was surprised how many people I know from Yahoo, Ebay, etc who are now working at Mozilla. Although it was very adhoc it kind of worked…

I look forward to next year…. Excellent work Michelle, Dees, Alex and a whole host of other cool Mozilla people. It was a honour…

Welcome back to South East London

I was very excited to invited to the Mozilla Festival which this year was in London. Not only that, it was in South East London.

I decided to split the entry, so if your just interested in the Mozilla Festival, skip to the newer post…

For me it was a bit epic because not only was it exciting because I was leading the DJ Challenge on behalf of the BBC, it was in south east London and frankly nothing geeky happens there. The nearest place is maybe the Excel centre which is more east London or Docklands than anything. Not only that, it was North Greenwich which was 5mins ride from Woolwich where I lived with my ex-wife (Sarah) for years. I hadn’t been back for (I believe) 5 years! When I left they were building the DLR to Woolwich Arsenal and of course the housing prices had gone up. So I was amazed to see how it looked now things were actually open.

Woolwich to be honest has changed quite a bit in some parts and not so much in others. Most of the structures and shops are still where they were when I was living there (this is very true of Greenwich too) but things like the square have been totally revamped with a massive screen showing local information and BBC News. There’s even a Starbucks now but didn’t spot a Pizza Express? Its maintained its down-market feel but also embraced the new upper market shops. For example the market selling copied perfume, clothes, etc is still in place.

Lastly the college I studied & taught Interaction design at, was the host for the Mozilla Festival.

For years people in Ravensbourne banged on about the move to North Greenwich. right next to the Dome. It was going to be a landmark building, etc… Well its certainly different, not quite sure it fits in with the rest of the north greenwich developments but its actual quite nice inside. Reminds me of Salford University in MediaCityUK actually with all the space and multiple levels. Right now it feels very bland because they only moved in a while ago?

Good to see a whole bunch of people popping up who I use to work with including Richard, Roman, Arthur, Hamid, etc, etc… each time I saw one of them, I would take a picture and post it on twitter mainly for the purpose of showing Miles and Dave.

So generally it was great to tie all these things together because generally when I come down to London for work or a un-conference and there never anywhere near south London let-alone South East. My only wish is that I could have visited a few of the people I had left behind. Would have been great to know what my neighbours were up to now, see how big their kid, etc.

Why you should go to the Mozilla Festival

mozilla festival poster

Just in-case you had any reasons why you shouldn’t be at the Mozilla Festival? Here’s a whole bunch of reasons why you should be there. As most of you already know, we’re running the Dj and Vj Challenges during the Mozilla Festival event in association with Future Everything, Mozilla and BBC R&D.

We’re going to explore possible futures in the fields of Dj and Vj cultures with a aim to go live with something next year at the Future Everything Festival.

The whole event is at my previous college (Ravensbourne) which moved to its new location next to the Dome in North Greenwich. I’ve never checked out the new look college but if its anything like the new Salford University in Media City UK it looks to be something special and a great place to do a challenge like this.

Of course you want to be part of this… So why not sign up now and I’ll see you there in just under a months time…

 

 

What happened to Dj Hackday?

On the cusp of BarCampMediaCity (next weekend) I’m trying to think about all the things which follow on afterwards.

One of the events coming along in the next 2 months is the Mozilla Media Festival which use to be the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival.

Things are still being sorted out but they got a great team of people including Michelle ThorneAlexandra Deschamps-Sonsino and Arran Ross-Paterson. Its happening in my old college Ravensbourne which moved to North Greenwich a few years ago.

I’m hoping to pull together a great team group of people from different companies to be involved in our dj hack challenge.

As mentioned before the best hacks, ideas, etc will go forward into use during the Future Everything 2012 festival.

I’ve emailed quite a few people with this rough description of the challenge and a link to my related presentation

Audio and Music making has gone a revolution, things like Ableton Live and Live Looping has brought new ways to create music. But Dj culture is still focused on 2 decks and a mixer. Next-generation DJ kit has not taken advantage of innovations in music making and has become stagnant. Dj culture has always been forward thinking, but has stalled in the internet era.

So far I’ve convinced, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, RjDj, etc to be involved… But what I’d really like is some more software and hardware makers.

I got talking to Dave a while ago and thought wouldn’t it be cool if we could get the guys behind Free and Open Mixxx software to come along. Of course Ableton would be a natural fit too. Both I’ve contacted… I’ve yet to contact Native Instruments, Virtual Dj, Serato, etc. Hardware wise it would be great to have Vestax, Pioneer, Technics, Numark, etc involved.

There’s also a thought about setting a VJ challenge to go along with the Dj challenge, but thats just thinking out loud via the guys at Future Everything.

Of course if you can help with any of these companies, please drop me a comment or email… Once BarCampMediaCity is over, I’ll be all over this challenge.

Mozilla Media Festival meet Dj Hackday?

Mozilla Festival — Media, Freedom and the Web
London, November 4 – 6, 2011

A gathering of passionate, creative people using the web to bend, hack and reinvent media. We’re solving real problems and building prototypes with talented designers, world-class journalists, resourceful media-makers, and cutting-edge developers.

The prolific Desigan Chinniah who now works for Mozilla and the always ever so sweet Michelle Thorn came to Manchester recently to kick start one of Mozilla’s Drumbeat projects. This one was centred a collaboration with the Knight foundation and trying to change the Newsrooms of the best companies with a good harsh look at Comments, People powered news and Better Video. The badly named Mojo project, is now in its closing stages and all the efforts are being judged. I am a little ashamed that more of the Manchester digital lot didn’t turn out but I’ve already made my feelings be known on Twitter. I did also say to the guys that I would write a blog post but never got around to it, so hopefully this will be a good sub for that.

The Mojo project was and is a very interesting open innovation project but more about this in a later to be written blog post…

When Desigan and Michelle were up in Manchester, I showed them around a little. We ended up after dinner having a late drink or a night cap if you prefer. So on a late night Tuesday we headed into the Northern Quarter for drinks ending up at Noho in Stephens Square.

We talked for ages  about many things including the idea of me Djing on my pacemaker at the Mozilla Media Festival in London in November. Of course I agreed… So if you want to see me djing live and you don’t live in and around Manchester, you can see The Cubicgarden working the dance floor with his pacemaker in London.

I’ve been thinking also as part of the media festivals innovation challenges it could be possible to run Dj Hackday as one of the challenge?

I’ve contacted many people regarding the concept of Dj Hackday including SoundCloud and MixCloud. And although there behind the idea and even see the point of having a hackday just for djs oppose to a music hackday. They seem less eustatic about coming up to Manchester for it, even with the great venue we may have for it. So this could work out quite well for everyone interested… I also like the idea of “a gathering of passionate, creative people using the web to bend, hack and reinvent djing

The internet operating system for real

Chrome Extensions

I switched to Ubuntu over 4 years ago, and its been pretty smooth.

But its recently got even smoother thanks to Google’s Chrome browser.

Why? A lot of people don’t even know Chrome supports extensions like Firefox…

Evernote winds me up no end… I started using Nevernote. Its a java client which mainly works with evernote but to be fair its quite bulky and a little slow. However Google launched there web store and a whole bunch of html5 apps have made it into the web store. A few of the apps include Evernote clients which not only connect to Evernote but also keep a local store of the notes. Making Evernote finally fully usable and reliable on a Ubuntu laptop.

As you can also see, its not only Evernote, its also Tweetdeck without installing Adobe Air (because when I last checked the 64bit version was bad, and who wants it on there machine?). I actually stopped using Gwibber because of Tweetdeck in Chrome (sorry to say…) Readitlater, Dropbox, etc are more like Firefox extensions than full applications. I guess Mozilla’s Prism is more like the chrome applications. I did try a while ago to run Evernote in Prism but it really wasn’t built for it, maybe things have changed now but I’m using Chrome more and more, although I also use Firefox 3.6 still for most of my general stuff.

There’s a lot of low level chatter about the internet operating system but google are doing a great job actually making it happen… you can see why the concept of chrome os is fascinating

Firefox 2.0 out now, go get it now

Firefox 2.0 start page

Just updated my Firefox from RC2 to the full 2.0 version. I'm very impressed so far… Everything seems to work as expected and most of my extensions have updated without a problem. Now's a good time to point to the fact that the Mozilla team are asking for ideas on what they should do with version 3.0 and beyond of Firefox. I personally would like to see more Microformat support and real offline reading. Identity, web feed handling, security and privicy occupy the next few slots for me. How about you?

Oh did I forget to mention IE 7 also came out a few days ago? Well don't forget you can download that from ie7.com.

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Firefox 1.5 now out but with limited SVG support

Firefox 1.5 released

Firefox 1.5 is released, hooray! And its the same as Firefox 1.5 RC3 which I've been using for a while now, hooray again… But not with full support for SVG 1.1 Full, Tiny or Basic profiles. This is a crying shame but still marks another step forward for SVG on the desktop. The full version which supports SVG is still in development and should be available in Firefox 3 according to SVG news. At least SVG is doing much better in the mobile space, almost 100 phones and counting.

If you want to see whats possible with Firefox 1.5 and SVG, do check out the Canvas painter demos which are poping up everywhere. Vladimir has a link to the best ones.

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