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Category: Mozilla

SOPA blackout: Who’s gone dark to protest anti-piracy bills? [Updated]


Wednesday, Jan. 18: the day of the SOPA "blackout" protest. As you may have seen from our coverage, major names in the online world such as Google, Wikipedia, Mozilla and Reddit are censoring their own websites with black bars and blacked-out pages in protest of SOPA and PIPA, two online anti-piracy bills currently under consideration on Capitol Hill.

Lawmakers who support the bills say the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act will protect the intellectual property rights of music, movie and TV studios. But the websites and tech giants taking part in the Wednesday blackout argue that SOPA and PIPA would allow for a censoring of the Internet that would forever alter the Web and what we can do, say and publish online.

And it's not just Silicon Valley that's protesting SOPA and PIPA in the day-long blackout -- a few publications that cover the tech world are taking part as well, including Wired and ArsTechnica.

Here's a list of more than 30 websites (and screen shots of each) we've spotted that are protesting today in the form of full-on blackouts or even just making their anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA stances known publicly. If there are a few we've missed, feel free to let us know in the comments.

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Google-Firefox search deal reportedly worth $900 million

Mozilla's home page

Google is reportedly paying Mozilla about $900 million over the next three years to remain the default search engine in the Firefox Web browser.

The two parties this week renewed their longstanding partnership to keep Google as the default search engine, rather than moving to alternative such as Yahoo or Microsoft's Bing. When the agreement was announced, neither disclosed financial terms.

On Thursday, the website AllThingsD reported that the deal would call for Google to pay the nonprofit Mozilla about $300 million a year for the next three years.

"We're pleased to announce that we have negotiated a significant and mutually beneficial revenue agreement with Google," Mozilla said in a blog post Tuesday. "This new agreement extends our long-term search relationship with Google for at least three additional years."

Mozilla said the financial details weren't disclosed because the deal is "subject to traditional confidentiality requirements."

If the AllThingsD report is true, the new deal would be a huge revenue increase: Mozilla's total revenue last year was just $123 million, according to the website ZDNet.


Mozilla firing up mobile OS for smartphones, Web

Mozilla releases Firefox 8 with built-in Twitter search

Google's Chrome passes Internet Explorer as most popular browser

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Image: A screen shot of in the Firefox Web browser. Credit: Mozilla

Mozilla releases Firefox 8 with built-in Twitter search

Mozilla Firefox 8 download page

Mozilla released Firefox 8, the latest version of its Web browser, with one feature that is sure to get notice by social media fans -- built-in Twitter search.

"Twitter is now included as a search option in Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux," Mozilla said in a blog post Tuesday detailing updates found in Firefox 8, many of which are under the hood.

Firefox 8 users can search topics, hashtags and user names on Twitter from within the browser's search box (located just to the right of the URL box). The Twitter search feature is available in English, Japanese, Portuguese and Slovenian, and Mozilla is promising more languages to be added in the future.

With the update, Twitter joins Google, Yahoo, Bing,, eBay and Wikipedia as search options built-into Firefox.

Aside from Twitter search, Mozilla promises that Firefox 8 will be faster than previous versions with improved support for HTML5 and WebGL, "a new Web standard that allows websites and Web apps to display hardware-accelerated 3D graphics without third-party software."


Mozilla releases Firefox 4 app for Android

Mozilla fires up mobile OS for smartphones, Web

Mozilla and Microsoft launch 'Firefox with Bing' browser

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screen shot of Mozilla's Firefox 8 download page. Credit: Mozilla

Mozilla and Microsoft launch 'Firefox with Bing' browser

Firefox with Bing

Mozilla has teamed with Microsoft to bring more Bing to Firefox.

On Wednesday the Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit group that builds the Firefox Web browser, released Firefox with Bing, a customized version of the browser that makes the default homepage and sets Bing as the default search engine.

Of course, any user of Firefox can go into the browser's settings and make those changes themselves if they want, and there is even a "Bing Search for Firefox" add-on that will do the same. But many users don't mess with their settings too much, which is why Google (the usual default for Firefox) is the most widely used search engine among Firefox users.

Google competes with Bing on the search side and Google's Chrome browser competes with Firefox. Microsoft, of course, makes a Firefox rival in Internet Explorer.

Mozilla, in a blog post, said that "nearly 20 customized versions of Firefox" are available from its partners, including Bing, Yahoo (which now uses Bing to power its search as well), Twitter and Yandex.


Mozilla releases Firefox 4 app for Android

Mozilla fires up mobile OS for smartphones, Web

Mozilla to Apple, Microsoft and Google: 'Stop being evil'

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screen shot of Firefox with Bing's download website. Credit: Microsoft and Mozilla

Mozilla fires up mobile OS for smartphones, web

MozillaWiki Boot to Gecko, B2G, page

Mozilla, the nonprofit group that builds the hugely popular Firefox Web browser, has proposed a new operating system for smartphones called Boot to Gecko or B2G.

The mobile OS, which ideally would make its way to tablets as well, is still years away from completion, if it's ever completed at all. But the concept -- which falls in line with Mozilla's ethos of an open-source Web built by many -- was laid out by a group of four Mozilla developers in a webpage on the group's MozillaWiki site.

"We propose a project we're calling Boot to Gecko (B2G) to pursue the goal of building a complete, standalone operating system for the open web," said the wiki entry.

The goal with B2G is to "find the gaps that keep web developers from being able to build apps that are -- in every way -- the equals of native apps built for the iPhone, Android, and WP7."

In order to build an operating system, essentially from scratch and running on Web-based apps (in the cloud), it'll "require work in a number of areas," the entry said.

Contributors to the project will have to build entirely new APIs (developer tools) that will allow B2G users to be able to (of course) make a phone call, send a text message, snap a photo, transfer data, connect to bluetooth devices and yes, even possibly purchase goods using near-field communications technology.

B2G would be entirely open-sourced, but would start with a few bits from another open sourced OS -- Google's Android, the wiki entry said. Android is not only the most popular mobile OS in the world right now, but it's also proven as a working and efficient OS, so this is probably a good place to start -- though B2G (as it's proposed) won't simply be a new Mozilla skin over the top of Android.

"We will do this work in the open, we will release the source in real-time, we will take all successful additions to an appropriate standards group, and we will track changes that come out of that process," Mozilla said. "We aren't trying to have these native-grade apps just run on Firefox, we're trying to have them run on the web.

"This project is in its infancy; some pieces of it are only captured in our heads today, others aren't fully explored. We're talking about it now because we want expertise from all over Mozilla -- and from people who aren't yet part of Mozilla -- to inform and build the project we're outlining here."

Ambitious? Yes.

Feasible? If it's going to be done fully open-source and community built, there may be no group more capable of pulling something like this off than Mozilla.

Firefox is one of the world's most widely used Web browsers and it's not beyond the many sharp minds who take part in building the nonprofit's free products to be able to create such an OS and improved tools for developers looking to make high-quality Web apps.

And its that idea -- that Web apps can be as good, if not better, than native apps, that is at the core of what B2G is about.

"Mozilla believes that the web can displace proprietary, single-vendor stacks for application development," the wiki entry said. "To make open web technologies a better basis for future applications on mobile and desktop alike, we need to keep pushing the envelope of the web to include --- and in places exceed --- the capabilities of the competing stacks in question."


Mozilla releases Firefox 4 app for Android

Mozilla to Apple, Microsoft and Google: 'Stop being evil'

Mozilla adds new Aurora development stage to update Firefox faster

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screenshot of the MozillaWiki entry detailing the proposal for the Boot to Gecko mobile OS. Credit: Mozilla


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Andrea Chang
Armand Emamdjomeh
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Nathan Olivarez-Giles
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