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posted by janrinok on Saturday November 22 2014, @08:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the follow-the-money dept.

Chris Beard, CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, announced in his blog Wednesday, 11 November 2014, that they were ending their 10-year relationship with Google. As of December, they begin a five-year "strategic partnership" with Yahoo.

For those wondering why the switch, The Verge has an interesting take on it:

In tech, little things can have big consequences — in this case, a tiny search bar. Last night, Firefox made a surprising announcement: after 10 years with Google as its default search engine, it would be handing the tiny search bar over to Yahoo. On the face of it, it's a strange move. If you're looking for almost anything on the internet, Google is a much better way to find it than Yahoo is. But that small search bar isn't just a feature, it's a business. And it’s a business that reveals how Mozilla and Google could increasingly be at odds with each other.

[We touched on this in a recent story about Firefox's expanding search options, but this aspect seems significant enough to merit specific attention. -LaminatorX]

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @08:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @08:38PM (#118898)

    Given that Firefox bills itself as such a privacy advocate having Google as a sugar daddy was a major contradiction.

    • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:21PM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:21PM (#118917) Journal

      That Duck [duckduckgo.com] Done Gone.
      Startpage? [startpage.com] That'll be the day.

      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
      • (Score: 2) by cykros on Monday November 24 2014, @03:04PM

        by cykros (989) on Monday November 24 2014, @03:04PM (#119421)

        Startpage is what I have as my Firefox default search, and would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking around for a decent privacy oriented search tool. I imagine it still isn't near enough to critical mass for Firefox to go with it yet, but it would be nice to see some day. The proxy links for search results are pretty handy when you don't care to flip around global proxy settings, but don't quite want a particular search result being overly scrutinized either (anyone that's done research on less than politically correct movements knows exactly what I'm talking about here).

    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:45PM

      by davester666 (155) on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:45PM (#118925)

      Yeah, now that they are using Yahoo, both Yahoo and Bing get to track you. Twice as good as before!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:50PM (#118928)

        LOL! Leave it to Mozilla to make bad things even worse. It's what the excel at, apparently!

  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday November 22 2014, @08:52PM

    by frojack (1554) on Saturday November 22 2014, @08:52PM (#118904) Journal

    Pretty much a dup of a story that still sits on the main page [soylentnews.org].

    Have we not said all there is to say about this?

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:16PM (#118913)

      I don't think it's a "dupe".

      In all seriousness, we can't discuss Firefox and Mozilla enough. What has happened to it lately is atrocious. It isn't as bad as what has happened to Debian with this whole systemd debacle, but it's still very bad.

      Mozilla has ruined Firefox's UI, even when so many users screamed, "NO! STOP!"

      Mozilla hasn't really addresses the performance or memory usage problems (it's still slow on my system, and uses a lot of RAM), even though they say they have, or worse, when their supporters just claim that these very real problems don't even exist!

      Then we shouldn't forget how Mozilla treated Brendan Eich. What a sorry display of intolerance, forcing a man from his job just because he dared to support the sanctity of marriage.

      We need to talk about these problems until they're resolved.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:25PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:25PM (#118919)

        In all seriousness, we can't discuss Firefox and Mozilla enough.

        Both sides of the systemd debate feel the same way. You're all wrong.

        • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:27PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:27PM (#118921)

          There's no debate about systemd. There are no sides. Systemd is technologically flawed. It does not belong in Debian. That's it. There's nothing to debate.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @03:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @03:18AM (#119017)

        Can somebody with mod points please do the right thing and mod up the parent? It's obviously not a "troll".

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @02:59PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @02:59PM (#119114)

          LOLLLLLLLL

  • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Saturday November 22 2014, @08:58PM

    by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday November 22 2014, @08:58PM (#118907) Journal

    Two has-beens circling the drain decide to link arms. Will it make any difference? I don't care.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:25PM (#118920)

      This is the same drain that GNOME went down thanks to GNOME 3, and it's the drain that Debian is now swirling toward.

      I think it does matter, even if you don't use Firefox, because whatever major open source projects you hold dear could be following them next.

      Awareness must be raised about the danger that hipsters and their ilk pose to software development projects.

      • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:42PM

        by Justin Case (4239) on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:42PM (#118924) Journal

        Believe me I am very aware of the danger. The question is, how do we banish them to another planet?

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by useless on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:57AM

          by useless (426) on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:57AM (#118984)
          NYC tried a PSA campaign [gothamist.com], but it didn't work well enough.
          Then there was a "Catch and Release" [gothamist.com] type program. The problem was they forgot to do the "Release" part outside the city, and just got overrun with them.
          Maybe we can work with the Mars One [mars-one.com] project to fill the rockets with PBR, MacBooks, and Rails manuals.
      • (Score: 2) by cykros on Monday November 24 2014, @03:11PM

        by cykros (989) on Monday November 24 2014, @03:11PM (#119423)

        It also matters because at this time, while Firefox may be taking a bit of a nosedive, there's not really a serious browser left on the market worth picking. You can have Google's marketpla....err, browser (nevermind the terribly limited extension support by comparison), Apple's security nightmare, or...dear god, IE is actually being taken seriously again these days. Or Opera, I guess, with the other dozen or so users.

        At least Debian didn't hold the kind of monopoly on sanity for power users Firefox has held for over a decade now, problems and all. This is not a good state of affairs for the web.

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:17PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:17PM (#119078) Homepage Journal

      Google circling the drain?? Huh?

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
    • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:23PM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:23PM (#119079) Journal

      Sure it will as it'll boost search results for Bing (since Yahoo's backend is run by MSFT) and IMHO having competition is good, even if its only a duopoly instead of a monopoly. The new CEO has been hinting that they will take over the search backend when the MSFT contract is up so it might become a 3 horse race again which is fine by me.

      That said I have moved my customers and myself away from FF after being a VERY loyal FF user since before it was even called FF due to the fact the devs stopped listening to users and made FF into a Chrome wannabe. I went with Comodo Chromium Secure with PaleMoon 64bit for those sites that don't like Chromium and this is the same as what I give my customers who seem to be happy with this setup. I got a LOT of complaints when FF went Chrome ripoff and with PaleMoon having a....well a pre ripoff FF UI it makes the switch that much easier. If the Moz devs would spend less time trying to rip off Google and more time listening to their users they might have a shot at regaining share but as it is now? I predict a falling arrow graph as it slides into obscurity.

      From the buzz I'd say PaleMoon is in the best position to take over the top gecko spot,especially now that they have their own UI string, followed by Waterfox a distant second.

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
  • (Score: 1) by lentilla on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:17PM

    by lentilla (1770) on Saturday November 22 2014, @09:17PM (#118914)

    Isn't the whole point of being a Foundation is to be free to rise above the often grubby requirements of "running a business" and "making a profit"? It's like the Mozilla Foundation has chosen the worst of both worlds: they can't make an honest profit as a business, but they allow themselves to be swayed against the best interests of their users. It's a dirty decision.

    Gone are the days when the choice of search engine was an innocent selection according to the preference of the original programmer. Any choice is now tainted by politics, money and ethics. The only appropriate choice in this climate is none whatsoever. Having the default selection as a "thank you" for sponsorship was at least defensible. It's down to money now - that much is clear - and taking cash for preference is simply wrong.

    The only appropriate way to decide the issue is to ask the user. If a .mozilla/firefox profile already exists, the selection is simple: the one the user chose previously. For new installations: when the user first uses the search bar, throw up a selection page asking "which search engine shall be used as the default?" with a list in randomised order and a message in equally large writing explaining how the "default" can be changed on-the-fly according to the user's immediate whim. The fact that 95% of users will choose Google is not - must not - be a concern of the Mozilla Foundation.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @10:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @10:13PM (#118935)

      > Isn't the whole point of being a Foundation is to be free to rise above the often grubby requirements of "running a business" and "making a profit"?

      On what basis have you decided that switching to Yahoo was about "running a business" and "making a profit"?

      Surely not the announcement [mozilla.org] by Mozilla where they explicitly said, "In evaluating our search partnerships, our primary consideration was to ensure our strategy aligned with our values of choice and independence" and that all of the options available to them would bring in more money than before.

      Right? You did not read that and think "making a profit" did you?

      So what did you read that made you think that?

      • (Score: 1) by lentilla on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:28PM

        by lentilla (1770) on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:28PM (#118956)

        Well, they can't "make a profit" in the business sense because they are a foundation. I'm sorry if my post appeared to suggest they were doing so. It seems to me that instead of concentrating on making the world's best browser they are playing power games. I was trying to convey that they appear to have saddled themselves with all the downsides to running a business without any of the upsides.

        Reiterating that I'm not suggesting Mozilla is making a profit but also recasting your challenge "what did you read that made you think that?", there are a number of red-flag phrases that are peppered throughout the statement you linked. Gems such as "generate revenue", "agreement came up for renewal", "competitive strategy", "search partnerships" and "improved economic terms" amongst others.

        It seems to me like the business of running the Foundation has become an end to itself for Mozilla. I wonder if they might be so busy making strategies that them might have become distracted from producing the world's best browser.

        At the end of the day, that Mozilla has pre-chosen a default speaks strongest of all. If they were really about "promoting choice" (a direct quote from the linked statement) then they would simply let the user choose. Again, I'm not suggesting nefarious intent - only a case of "strategic distraction".

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:23AM (#118972)

          Reiterating that I'm not suggesting Mozilla is making a profit but also recasting your challenge "what did you read that made you think that?", there are a number of red-flag phrases that are peppered throughout the statement you linked. Gems such as "generate revenue", "agreement came up for renewal", "competitive strategy", "search partnerships" and "improved economic terms" amongst others.

          Clearly these "gems" mean something to you, but like all conspiracy theorists you think that your conspiracy is so obvious as to be self-evident.

          Loon.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:37PM

      by frojack (1554) on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:37PM (#118960) Journal

      Isn't the whole point of being a Foundation is to be free to rise above the often grubby requirements of "running a business" and "making a profit"?

      Mozilla can't make a profit, they are forbidden to do so by their tax status. But you can't ignore "running a business".

      The problem here is that they can't even break even. They have no business plan. None at all.
      Other than holding a hand out waiting for someone to deposit money, they have no hope of survival.

      Which is a sorry state, because while I don't particularly like Firefox, its good to have it around. I do like Thunderbird.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:29AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:29AM (#118976)

        LOL Two loons see exactly the same thing and come away with diametrically opposed beliefs.

        First loon thinks Mozilla has completely given up the its reason for existence to become beholden to the almighty dollar. Second loon thinks Mozilla has done absolutely nothing to generate revenue.

        Both of you are idiots - this story is a mirror held up to your own faces. Everything you see in it is a reflection of your own biases and prejudices. Neither of you has the slightest grip on reality.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @10:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @10:01PM (#118933)

    I just want to thank everyone who runs SoylentNews. You've so graciously provided us a venue where we can talk about real problems affecting the open source world today, like Mozilla's idiocy and the systemd infestation of Debian.

    We can't talk about important stuff like this at Slashdot or HN or reddit without getting downmodded into oblivion. HN and reddit are especially bad. If you don't toe the hipster line, they gang up on you and downvote without mercy. Thank you again, SoylentNews, for being a bastion of free speech in a world where freedom is quickly being crushed.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @10:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @10:23PM (#118940)

      I hate to break this to you, but we've got the same Sacred Cows here that are at Slashdot, and you'll be modded down if you don't toe the line (Snowden == God; systemd == horrible; NSA == evil; etc.).

      I'm not sure why you think anything like nuance has any better place here than at the other places you mentioned.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:21PM (#118954)

        A couple weeks ago Slashdot featured a story asserting that university students in India claim they have the right to cheat on exams. That led to the predictable flood of comments about how university degrees from India were worthless, the graduates were bozos, often end up as H1Bs, etc.

        +5 Insightful.

        Then the next day there was a story about the cheating scandal in a CS course at Duke University (USA). Well then! There were lots of modded up posts defending the kids, pointing out that successful engineers in the real world need to use the resources of the entire Internet to get their work done, they collaborate openly with their peers, etc. Maybe it's the Duke administrators who are out of touch with the times here?

        +5 Insightful.

        OK, guys. That's the Slashdot crowd.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @04:13AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @04:13AM (#119030)

        Unironic 'it's about ethics in game journalism', support for the anti-gay former Firefox CEO, and other far-right ravings seem to be part of the groupthink here.

  • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:52PM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Saturday November 22 2014, @11:52PM (#118969) Journal

    Could Google's oodles of cash have been why Firefox slavishly cloned Chrome's interface? This would have made it easier for users to switch to Chrome with very little disruption. Or am I just being cynical?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Gertlex on Sunday November 23 2014, @04:15PM

      by Gertlex (3966) Subscriber Badge on Sunday November 23 2014, @04:15PM (#119137)

      I still tend to believe it's stupidity rather than malice that drives UI wrecking. Evidently, "it can't be improved unless its different!" is the modus operandi way too much of the time (25% of major version releases doing this sounds about right; and not just Mozilla products).

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by novak on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:53AM

    by novak (4683) on Sunday November 23 2014, @12:53AM (#118983) Homepage

    On one hand, google is probably the most evil surveillance company in existence, due mostly to the shear depth of different places they track people. So I'm ok with Mozilla not signing up with them as the default search engine any more. However, Yahoo tracks people too, and it's much worse as a search engine. On top of that, 90% of Mozilla's funding comes from google, so this has the potential to cost them both marketshare (due to worse searches) and money (from google).

    As bad as firefox has become, it's still my default browser so I hope Mozilla stops killing it sometime soon.

    --
    novak
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @04:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @04:05AM (#119028)

      Google have stopped funding them. Now Yahoo are funding them.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @01:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @01:18AM (#118991)

    (I'm on Windows XP, I'm speaking in Windows terms here)

    The perfect web browser design would be completely customizable, user-programmable and modular in the exact same way as the audio player foobar2000.

    If you have spent serious time getting to know all of foobar2000' possibilities you will know exactly what I am talking about. I am one of those people. I am not a programmer either. But this software has given me so much insight that I now look at most applications, including Firefox, and laugh......seriously, if a web browser came into existence which had the design philosophy of foobar2000, the Firefox GUI arguments would die away forever.

    Let's assume Firefox was designed and behaved exactly like foobar2000........

    You want to update, so you download the latest SetupEXE and run it. The program files are overwritten without fuss. The user preferences all stay the same to the very last detail!---display and layout choices, plugin settings, menu items, presets, relative and absolute paths, and so on and so on.

    If you hang around at the foobar2000 user forums and at the Deviantart customizing community you will see a software project which transcends arguments about GUI design and petty issues such as 'which search engine provider will load first in the search bar after an update'!

    FYI, foobar2000 IS DEVELOPED BY ONE PERSON !! ....its API is so good, it allows userland to pick up ALL the slack and do whatever the fuck they want with it and it obeys your commands and preferences and modifications at all times--even if you step outside its boundaries!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @03:19AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @03:19AM (#119018)

      Foobar is nice but only a non-programmer would think that the API for a music player is even remotely comparable to the API for a web browser. Its like you are comparing a really nice matchbox car to a real car.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @04:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @04:23AM (#119032)

        Your analogy is vague and and without substance. You don't have a true handle on his insights; you are not in the same ballpark.
        To cut this short, he --the guy you replied to-- is 100% on the money.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @11:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @11:23AM (#119073)

          Let me guess... you're a non-programmer.

          -Another AC

    • (Score: 2) by umafuckitt on Sunday November 23 2014, @11:12AM

      by umafuckitt (20) on Sunday November 23 2014, @11:12AM (#119070)

      You want to update, so you download the latest SetupEXE and run it. The program files are overwritten without fuss. The user preferences all stay the same to the very last detail!---display and layout choices, plugin settings, menu items, presets, relative and absolute paths, and so on and so on.

      That's fucking revolutionary. Where do I sign up?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @03:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 23 2014, @03:03PM (#119117)

      (I'm on Windows XP, I'm speaking in Windows terms here)

      This is where I stopped reading...