Ads Coming to Firefox 33.1

In-browser ads are coming to Firefox 33.1, and I don’t like this for a number of reasons. One being, that there may be tracking going on even though Mozilla denies this (per user), however I can’t trust that. The second, is that Mozilla ran analytics on people before releasing this “feature”, and this was to essentially see what users were willing to put up with. What concerns me is that now more analytics will be done to see how to further foist ads on users. This whole thing defies open source and free software concepts, and I haven’t heard whether or not the version of Firefox for openSUSE will have this. What a bunch of sellouts.

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2381431/mozilla-starts-displaying-adverts-in-firefox-331

I recall a similar discussion a while back (perhaps at a different site).

But these sponsored ads are in tiles for the new tab page. I never see tiles, so I guess I won’t see ads.

If you can turn it off, why is this a problem?

How would you see Mozilla being funded?

Fundraisers which is essentially begging for money from people?

The problem, to me, is that it sets the wrong precedent. It’s more data coming to users with the potentiality for an attack surface, and it’s data going the other way over the line back to a central server. How can we guarantee that the data received by Mozilla is going to be stripped of identifying individual users? It’s just like how Canonical started putting spy features in Ubuntu; it sent negative reverberations throughout the Linux community and many people shunned Ubuntu because of this. It’s going to be Mozilla running more analytics on users in order to get more money for their “foundation”, and figuring out new ways to target ads on users who already have all the tile place holders full with pages they’ve already been to. If people accept this, then the browser will start going downhill. It’s just like Microsoft; give an inch, and they take a mile. So, I don’t accept this.

Did they not make enough already with their search engine deal with Google? How about all the other open source software titles that don’t have ads in them?

The deal is expiring this year. After that they’re left with no reliable revenue stream.

How many of them are the size of Mozilla foundation and encompass as many projects and people?

Yes, I hear not getting funded is a “weak argument” and if it’s open source it should be completely free because money just keeps raining from the skies.

Maybe I am not sufficiently paranoid to appreciate the alleged problem.

On the other hand, I’m reading/replying with “rekonq” rather than “firefox”, though not because of concerns over “firefox”.

I’ve seen reports that they have signed with Yahoo, and that Yahoo will become the default search engine.

I guess they will still have a revenue stream.

Try check out Mozillas public accounts. They were rich long before latest Google deal.

Is really not fair to 1000s of other devs. and projects to play on the “free open source” with no income. Should their kids go hungry to bed??? Is nonsense regarding Mozilla. They have LOADS and can use what ever because hmm “mobile”.

They sold out years ago, long before they cut arms and legs off Thunderbird.

The real depressing thing is it is another company 100% bending over to this ad-economy Google have shown works. Not convinced it does not corrupt and mess up though some at the top collect.

Many powers in Linux world love it too. They also love Firefox because they can add affiliate links in search. Lots do that.

http://static.mozilla.com/foundation/documents/mf-irs-501c3-application-attachment.pdf might be interesting reading - from a company with people like Darren Herman. When they want to avoid paying tax they say all the right things :slight_smile:

Yahoo love advertising, they already sell advertising space in search results. I wonder how that will tie in with there funding?

It is my understanding that these are going to be delivered via “Sponsored Tiles”.

For the moment setting the following preferences will completely disable this “Nice New Feature”.

user_pref("browser.newtab.preload", false);
user_pref("browser.newtab.url", "about:blank");
user_pref("browser.newtabpage.columns", 0);
user_pref("browser.newtabpage.directory.ping", "");
user_pref("browser.newtabpage.directory.source", "");
user_pref("browser.newtabpage.enabled", false);
user_pref("browser.newtabpage.enhanced", false);
user_pref("browser.newtabpage.introShown", true);
user_pref("browser.newtabpage.rows", 0);
user_pref("browser.newtabpage.storageVersion", 1);

There has been quite a lot of discussion about this over on the MozillaZine Forums http://forums.mozillazine.org/index.php

I have mixed feeling on this, google has been forcing ads on us for ages, I’ve noticed some ads are served as search results (not on the side but with the rest of the search), the people at mozilla have several different sources for revenue the current problem is google will stop paying them, , does yahoo have the money to give to mozilla even if it does will mozilla users start yahoo-ing, I really don’t think so.

what about 3rd party mozilla builds aka Linux versions that are not compiled by mozilla but by 3rd parties, according to the mpl they can change the source and remove ad displaying code, will mozlilla do a chrome and start developing 2 browsers to prevent this or change the license on the current builds?

at the end I have no problems with some ads appearing in the new-tab page, if you use-up the tiles no ads should appear, you can disable them by selecting classic or off in the new tab page etc, adobe tried this a few years ago with reader (premium ads would appear in selected pdf files) it was a flop, if it’s handled properly mozilla might get away with it but they should try and not alienate users.

Yes, they will.

But many of them won’t continue. They will quickly switch the search engine to something else.

FWIW I use duckduckgo find it here:

What’s the size got to do with it? Hypothetically extrapolate a small project; you have a bigger office, more desks, and more people. Does this automatically mean that ads are necessary for projects where more people are involved? I don’t understand that logic. For instance, you have 2 developers working on a small open source application that does something fairly basic. Is there not a need to put a small ad in that application, yet it is when we’re speaking of a larger project like Firefox? A larger project with more employees involved means more opportunities for those employees to find funding for the project, not that the millions of dollars Mozilla got from the Google search engine deal wasn’t enough already. What I’m saying is that if everything in terms of my aforementioned extrapolation example is uniform, then the logic that there’s some special threshold where ads are warranted when your project reaches a certain size is not logic that’ll win me over. Also, consider how long Firefox has been around. It never had ads in it up until now. Are you saying that the browser is going to get substantially better now that this new “feature” is being foisted on users?

Also, some developers are working at home and aren’t taking any of the Mozilla “foundation’s” resources, such as electricity, workers compensation insurance, etc. Can you please tell us at which threshold a project size reaches when, in your opinion, ads are perfectly warranted? Should openSUSE also have ads on the desktop, like a pseudo-reincarnation of Microsoft’s Active Desktop? Shouldn’t Thunderbird also have ads in it, along with YaST, FileZilla, Mumble, and KTorrent? The bottom line is that Mozilla are a bunch of weak sellouts, and Firefox is a browser that’s losing market share. Even though the “foundation” is operated as a “nonprofit”, those people are still going home with a pay check and are reinvesting money into their “foundation”. So, a nonprofit foundation only sounds pretty on paper. The main reason that Mozilla is trying to get away with this is because of greed. They realized that because they can, they will. This doesn’t make it right. You don’t take an open source project and mess it up, and make it look like a cross between Bing and the Windows 8.x tiled desktop. Nor do you add code to an open source project like Mozilla to support EME (DRM built right into the browser).