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Friday, May 16, 2014

Why Brendan Eich had to go

It looks rather like the failure of the Mozilla executives to defend CEO Eich from the Gay Mafia campaign being waged against him may have been at least in part due to the desire to remove a major obstacle to DRM being added to Firefox. Consider these three blog posts from three Mozilla figures, including Eich:

"With most competing browsers and the content industry embracing the W3C EME specification, Mozilla has little choice but to implement EME as well so our users can continue to access all content they want to enjoy. Read on for some background on how we got here, and details of our implementation."
- Mozilla CTO Andreas Gal, 14 May 2014 


"Mozilla will be adding a way to integrate Adobe Access DRM technology for video and audio into Firefox, via a common specification called Encrypted Media Extensions (EME)."
- The Mozilla Blog, 14 May 2014


"the W3C willfully underspecifying DRM in HTML5 is quite a different matter from browsers having to support several legacy plugins. Here is a narrow bridge on which to stand and fight — and perhaps fall, but (like Gandalf) live again and prevail in the longer run. If we lose this battle, there will be others where the world needs Mozilla.

"By now it should be clear why we view DRM as bad for users, open source, and alternative browser vendors:

    Users: DRM is technically a contradiction, which leads directly to legal restraints against fair use and other user interests (e.g., accessibility).
    Open source: Projects such as mozilla.org cannot implement a robust and Hollywood-compliant CDM black box inside the EME API container using open source software.
    Alternative browser vendors: CDMs are analogous to ActiveX components from the bad old days: different for each OS and possibly even available only to the OS’s default browser.

"I continue to collaborate with others, including some in Hollywood, on watermarking, not DRM."

- Brendan Eich, 22 October 2013

Eich stood firmly in the way of Mozilla incorporating DRM into Firefox. Now that he's gone, and his technological authority with him, Mozilla immediately caved to Hollywood interests. It's also interesting to note that the justification for Mozilla making this change is given as fear that users will abandon them. That demonstrates that the campaign to #uninstallfirefox was based on a sound principle, even if it was not quite as successful as I would have liked it to be.

As of yesterday, Firefox still represents 21 percent of the traffic here at VP, although it is down from 34 percent historically. But at least 8 percent of the overall traffic, (and nearly a quarter of the former Mozilla traffic), now uses Pale Moon. If you haven't switched yet, I encourage you to try it out. Perhaps Mozilla's embrace of DRM will convince you to do so.

Labels:

75 Comments:

Anonymous Andy May 16, 2014 4:12 AM  

What's a good alternative for a mac user?

OpenID anarchopapist May 16, 2014 4:29 AM  

The ability of corporate boards to wage war via proxy of an easily manipulated mass isn't reassuring. It'd be nicer to think it *was* ideologically pure, rather than a mere assumption of the ideology's status quo and effectiveness. Either way, the point is illustrated that those who make themselves easy targets will be targeted; the ousting of Eich only eggs on the blood lust of the mob. Not being able to hold a job without proper political affiliation should make one afraid. That #uninstallfirefox had less effect than some rightists predict is only more worrying.

Anonymous Pellegri May 16, 2014 4:46 AM  

Seconding Andy's question. I'd switched to Chrome briefly in the past due to it supporting a wider range of functions (like Project Naptha's copying text from jpgs/gifs/pngs) but found it intolerably bloated. Safari doesn't appear to support the addons I prefer like Ghostery.

Anonymous Peter Garstig May 16, 2014 4:47 AM  

I view this decision from Firefox as a positive. The more browser have it, the earlier the downfall of DRM content. Similar thing happened to Flash back in the days. It took alot of time to get it running on all possible browsers, and once it was, it was clear to anybody how crippled it was. Exposure heals many things.

As for Eich: no matter what you think about him, he has principles he stands for.

Anonymous Wanderer May 16, 2014 5:09 AM  

As always, they cover up their real intent with misdirection.

OpenID mattse001 May 16, 2014 6:07 AM  

I agree with anarchopapist: if powerful interests stood to benefit from Eich's ouster, it begs the question of whether or not they instigated the purge.
I've been getting the feeling for a while now that Silicon Valley is chock full of petty fascists (Eich-manns?). Not only are they cozy with the NSA surveillance state, but they work hand-in-glove with Democrat GoTV efforts. I think that the tech giants supplied the know-how for Obama's datamining operations that resulted in his re-election. IIRC, Eleanor Norton Holmes let slip that "Obama has a database!"
This all in addition to their data and metadata mining for God knows what purpose internally.

Anonymous Bz May 16, 2014 6:18 AM  

I use (Mac) Chrome for this site, but switched from Firefox to Opera for alternate usage. So the abandonment effect is at least a tiny bit larger than can be seen from here.

Opera has Ghostery and other plugins, though also some quirks (like a disdain for importing bookmarks, but there's a basic plugin for it). It works quite well for straightforward browsing, video, etc. Haven't tried any cutting edge applications yet though.

Anonymous VryeDenker May 16, 2014 6:36 AM  

In a just world, Opera would be the browser of choice for web developers and power users alike simply because of the fact that it implements standards in the strictest manner out of all the big browsers. If something works in Opera, it should work on the others too. Unfortunately, that means that quir exploits on other browsers may not work on Opera.

Anonymous YIH May 16, 2014 7:16 AM  

Now that I've used it for a while I can say it's worth the switch to Pale Moon. Unlike firefox or Chrome, it has yet to crash.
Flash has locked it up, but that's likely due to Flash. Flash is quite useful, but stable? Surely you jest.

Anonymous Salt May 16, 2014 7:43 AM  

What's a good alternative for a mac user?

Not-Mac.

Anonymous Michael May 16, 2014 7:49 AM  

It takes a special kind of stupid to use a web browser that incorporates DRM.

Even if Mozilla's board of directors wanted to oust Eich over the DRM issue, that still doesn't change the fact that the witch hunt against him was instigated by the gaystapo. They were the enablers.

Anonymous farmer Tom May 16, 2014 7:49 AM  

I can't find a way to use Pale Moon on Ubuntu.

Blogger Markku May 16, 2014 7:59 AM  

farmer Tom: Unpack this tar.bz2 to whatever directory: http://sourceforge.net/projects/pm4linux/ and then make a desktop shortcut to the palemoon binary.

Blogger Nate May 16, 2014 8:00 AM  

We must do what the famous people in movies wants us to do!!!! Because if we do maybe they'll invite us to their parties!

Anonymous farmer Tom May 16, 2014 8:07 AM  

Markku,

I don't have a clue what you just said.

My wife's cousin set this thing up for me. And I do not have the vaguest idea how it works. It just works.

Anonymous ? May 16, 2014 8:16 AM  

Why should I care about the drm thing?

Anonymous Oblivious May 16, 2014 8:19 AM  

wha? There is no "gay conspiracy" in Hollywood!

Anonymous DT May 16, 2014 8:22 AM  

In light of this I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the attack on Eich was orchestrated.

Blogger Markku May 16, 2014 8:24 AM  

Actually, turns out that the package contains an installer script these days. See if you can manage to open the package, extract the installer and run it. When it asks what version you want, type:

24.5.0

Anonymous Wanderer May 16, 2014 8:25 AM  

Who knew that swimming pools were racist?

Anonymous Oblivious May 16, 2014 8:52 AM  

What about swimming pools -- and gays and Hollywood and young boys?

Blogger Nate May 16, 2014 8:53 AM  

"wha? There is no "gay conspiracy" in Hollywood!"

You're not very perceptive for one that self-applies the term "obvious". Obviously there is a gay conspiracy. What this shows is how some may have actually used it in a predictive manner to achieve an unrelated goal.

Blogger buzzardist May 16, 2014 9:03 AM  

Sometimes these purges are just PC nonsense. Often, when it's people in any position of power, the PC nonsense is an excuse for something else. No surprise at all that Mozilla was actually angling to sell out to the Hollywood lobby.

I wonder how gays feel now about being used. Mozilla hijacked their cause to wage a corporate battle. Is a win a win for the gay mafia? Or were they just played and left looking like pawns?

Anonymous lees May 16, 2014 9:06 AM  

If I got invited to a Hollywood party with Scarlett Johansson, I'd probably keep my Firefox:)

Blogger njartist May 16, 2014 9:06 AM  

I have been using both SRware Iron and Firefox: I did not like Iron and Firefox was stalling and crashing. I just switched to Pale Moon and it is much faster, the direction keys actually work, the scroll wheel works, and pages load more quickly.
Unfortunately, I have programs for web design that only use eithe IE or Firefox.

Blogger James Dixon May 16, 2014 9:09 AM  

> I can't find a way to use Pale Moon on Ubuntu.

Go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/pm4linux/ and click on the Download button to download the installer.

That's the easy part. Now, open a terminal Window (I can't tell you how to do that because it varies with the version and Desktop Environment you're using). In the terminal run the command tar -xvjf pminstaller-0.1.3.tar.bz2 (That's the name for the current file, if it's changed since these instructions, use the name for the file you downloaded). That command will extract two files: README and pminstaller.sh.

Now you should be able to simply type sudo ./pminstaller.sh, and enter your password at the prompt, and the installer should run and prompt you for the version as Markku notes above. I didn't have to type in the version, I simply hit the drop down arrow and selected Current Version (from memory).

If you have problems, let us know.

Blogger njartist May 16, 2014 9:09 AM  

Pale Moon has about the same memory usage as Firefox; but the CPU usage and PF usage are much lees. And My computer does not grind away.

Blogger Markku May 16, 2014 9:09 AM  

Unfortunately, I have programs for web design that only use eithe IE or Firefox.

Try them anyway. In the compatibility mode (on by default), Pale Moon announces itself as Firefox. The internal differences are so small that majority of Firefox programs work just fine.

Blogger Markku May 16, 2014 9:12 AM  

James Dixon: I did all that with the file manager (however, I'm using Kubuntu and not Ubuntu, so it's Dolphin). Simply "opening" the script as normal user caused a sudo password prompt to appear, and Pale Moon installed just fine after I gave my password.

Blogger James Dixon May 16, 2014 9:12 AM  

> Now that I've used it for a while I can say it's worth the switch to Pale Moon.

Yep. It seems to work quite a bit better, both under Windows and Linux. I still need Firefox for my bank though. :( It doesn't seem to like Pale Moon. Probably triggering on the user agent.

Blogger James Dixon May 16, 2014 9:14 AM  

> I did all that with the file manager (however, I'm using Kubuntu and not Ubuntu, so it's Dolphin). Simply "opening" the script as normal user caused a sudo password prompt to appear, and Pale Moon installed just fine after I gave my password.

Sure, do it the easy way. Youngsters these days. :)

If that works, great. Whatever he finds easiest.

Anonymous Wanderer May 16, 2014 9:17 AM  

You can run but you cannot hide behind due process you alleged rapists.

OpenID freeonus May 16, 2014 9:21 AM  

I've been meaning to switch so thanks for the nudge. I'm using Pale Moon now as my default, but keeping Firefox installed until I am confident that I can get to the sites that I need. The install and profile import were quick and easy on Windows 8.

Anonymous Oblivious May 16, 2014 9:28 AM  

Nate is oblivious. But it is Friday...

Blogger James Dixon May 16, 2014 9:28 AM  

> You can run but you cannot hide behind due process you alleged rapists.

I wonder what would happen if most of the faculty, administration, and prominent campus athletes were to appear on that list.

Anonymous bob k. mando May 16, 2014 10:27 AM  

Nate May 16, 2014 8:53 AM
You're not very perceptive for one that self-applies the term "obvious".



Nate, Nate, Nate.

you're speeling issues are expressing themselves in a new way.

Blogger Nate May 16, 2014 11:08 AM  

HA!

Anonymous Giraffe May 16, 2014 11:19 AM  

This is not Nate. It is an imposter. This one suddenly learns to spell. He stopped posting gay soccer locker room videos. He BOUGHT A REMINGTON. What more do I need to say?

If they can get to Nate, they can get to anybody.

Anonymous StonerCat May 16, 2014 11:23 AM  

This is not Nate. It is an imposter. This one suddenly learns to spell. He stopped posting gay soccer locker room videos. He BOUGHT A REMINGTON. What more do I need to say?

If he buys a Glock, I'm declaring that the beginning of the Apocalypse.

Anonymous Dr. Kenneth Noisewater May 16, 2014 11:44 AM  

What's a good alternative for a mac user?

Not-Mac.


I think a lobotomy is overkill...

Chrome is Good Enough, and has all the plugins I need. If it's too hoggy, just buy moar RAMs.

Blogger James Dixon May 16, 2014 11:48 AM  

> What's a good alternative for a mac user?

A quick Google search for "Mac browsers" might be informative.

A couple of the top hits were:

http://www.macworld.com/product/collection/13577/mac-web-browsers.html

http://www.macping.com/top-10-best-mac-web-browsers-you-are-not-stuck-with-safari-forever/

Blogger RobertW May 16, 2014 12:06 PM  

I switched to Pale Moon as well. I also think it is a faster browser than FireFox. One question: if Mozilla goes to DRM does that mean that Pale Moon will have to adopt it as well?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 16, 2014 12:07 PM  

We must do what the famous people in movies wants us to do!!!! Because if we do maybe they'll invite us to their parties!

You mean the ones where teenage boys are told they are gay and cannot wear clothing around the pool?

Blogger James Dixon May 16, 2014 12:36 PM  

> ...if Mozilla goes to DRM does that mean that Pale Moon will have to adopt it as well?

No. That will be up to the developer.

Anonymous Steveo May 16, 2014 3:42 PM  

I found another machine with Mozilla still on it... boo-yah, another one bites the dust with Pale Moon reporting for duty! Yowsah!

When the idiocy of foisting the vagaries of 2% of the population on the masses results in massive blowback for companies... (because 98%) the fix is on the way.

Blogger tz May 16, 2014 5:03 PM  

Hollywood goes for the PC.
If you are going to go Mac, use Safari like any other Cooked drone would.

Anonymous The CronoLink May 16, 2014 7:18 PM  

Glad I got out of ff

Anonymous farmer Tom May 16, 2014 9:48 PM  

Thanks Markku and James Dixon,

With my daughters help, we have Pale Moon running on this computer.

Now for all the others in the house.

My twins are home from college for a few weeks and they need to switch as well.

Anonymous JRL May 16, 2014 10:00 PM  

On my laptop I use a Linux boot disk, firefox is the only browser. I have Pale Moon 64 bit on my WIndows machine and it's great.

Anonymous JRL May 16, 2014 10:16 PM  

We must do what the famous people in movies wants us to do!!!!

Quite right. I shall fashion a cardboard sign upon which my righteous cause shall be dramatically selfied at the world.

...thereafter did the grim and pensive thespian look upon his acolyte in the arts of self-aggrandization somberly, with a calculated hint of fraternal affection.

Blogger rycamor May 16, 2014 10:58 PM  

Mac users: http://www.qupzilla.com/download.

It's nice and fast, and pretty much the most cross-platform browser out there. I know it's a no-name, but it is based on Webkit, so it handles all the HTML standards quite well.

Blogger Doom May 16, 2014 11:10 PM  

I knew it wasn't just gaywads. Oh, they were seen as the public excuse. It's not my area for research, and wouldn't have known where to look or what to look for.

I guess the next question is, does Pale Moon use drm. If so, is there a browser that doesn't?

Anonymous Luke May 17, 2014 3:28 AM  

Sort of on-topic -- what homosexuals don't realize increased commonality of their perversion does to the normal structure of society that they count upon:

http://www.explosm.net/db/files/Comics/Rob/imgay.png (just a cartoon strip, probably SFW)

Anonymous Luke May 17, 2014 3:40 AM  

Andy May 16, 2014 4:12 AM

"What's a good alternative for a mac user?

A personal computer (PC) for which more than 5% of software is designed, perhaps?

http://tinyurl.com/ykoj3w4

http://tinyurl.com/l2kc4mh

http://i.imgur.com/kecaC.png

(All 3 are SFW.)

Anonymous Luke May 17, 2014 6:19 AM  

The typical gay strategy when confronted with a nonworshipper:

http://www.explosm.net/db/files/Comics/Kris/win.gif

(Think it'll work on the Russians or Muslims?)

Anonymous My Thoughts May 17, 2014 9:16 AM  

I hardly know anything about technology, but after I switched to Pale Moon the problem I had signing on to my work related site disappeared. Also, I download library books to my mp3 player. I replaced the player with the newer model which used DRM and it was impossible to get the chapters to line up in the right order. Luckily they still had some of the older model so I returned the new one bought a spare older model.

Blogger Hucbald May 17, 2014 9:24 AM  

Mac users don't have to allow Firefox to update, so I'm not seeing the problem. Besides, who uses only one browser anymore? I have Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, and only use Chrome when I need to play Flash video. Safari is the best experience on a Mac because all of the Magic Trackpad gestures are supported. Firefox stinks with the trackpad, so I hardly ever use it anyway. Seems like a tempest in a teapot to me.

Blogger James Dixon May 17, 2014 9:29 AM  

> On my laptop I use a Linux boot disk

Which one? And CD/DVD or USB?

Blogger James Dixon May 17, 2014 9:30 AM  

> Thanks Markku and James Dixon,

De nada. I'm always glad to try to help with Linux problems.

Anonymous Anonymous May 17, 2014 10:15 AM  

I would love to get rid of Firefox bc of the Purge but Chrome and IE always lead to viruses on my Vista PC. If I do get Pale Moon, do I need a virus killer other than Malwarebites? I don't do games.

Anonymous JRL May 17, 2014 10:55 AM  

Which one? And CD/DVD or USB?

Lightweight Portable Security on a CD.

Blogger James Dixon May 17, 2014 1:08 PM  

> Lightweight Portable Security on a CD.

Not one I've used before. For those interested, from Wikipedia: Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) is a Linux LiveCD, (or LiveUSB), developed and publicly distributed by the United States Department of Defense’s Software Protection Initiative...

Since it uses Firefox, you could probably rip the ISO and manually install Pale Moon, then reburn the ISO. However, I suspect that would defeat the purpose of the distribution, especially for those required to use it. Also, if it checks for program integrity, which it may well do, that wouldn't work. If you used the USB version, you could probably simply save the Pale Moon directory in a folder on the usb drive and run it from there, but again, if it checks for modifications, that wouldn't work.

Thanks for the information. It's always nice to make the acquaintance of a new distro, even if it's one I personally don't use.

Blogger James Dixon May 17, 2014 1:12 PM  

> If I do get Pale Moon, do I need a virus killer other than Malwarebites? I

No more than you do with Firefox. It's largely just a simple recompilation of Firefox with certain changes to the code and compile time options. However, it's not associated with the Mozilla Foundation in any way. It simply uses their code.

Anonymous Alan May 17, 2014 5:12 PM  

Opera? Great. Just as soon as somebody shows me how to make it have bookmarks like Firefox and Chrome do.

But seriously, folks, we really need to start standing up against those social activist bullies.

Anonymous pseudotsuga May 17, 2014 5:32 PM  

My wife just switched from FireEichFox to Pale Moon, after Firefox suddenly switched tab formats and started running VERY SLOWLY in the past two weeks. She hasn't looked back since.
I'm still using Chrome for most of my web browsing, but I am thinking that maybe I should switch.

Anonymous Anti-hipster May 17, 2014 8:30 PM  

What's a good alternative for a mac user?

Windows

Anonymous Franky May 17, 2014 8:37 PM  

What is the best linux kernel for beginners with no interest in becomibg computer experts but just want to avoid being spied on and viruaed?

Blogger James Dixon May 17, 2014 9:05 PM  

> What is the best linux kernel for beginners with no interest in becomibg computer experts but just want to avoid being spied on and viruaed?

The Linux distribution I'd recommend for most new users is Linux Mint.

There is no perfect distribution. They all have their own quirks. But Mint probably comes as close for most people as you'll find. It has all the default audio/video codecs., java, and flash pre-istalled, and has a fairly good selection of installed programs.

If you don't know whether you want the 32bit or 64bit versions, get the 32bit one. You'll probably want the Cinnamon version to start with. It's the top entry on the download page. It comes as a live DVD, so one you've burned the iso image to a DVD, you can boot from it and try it out without messing with you installed version of Windows (if you have Windows 8, this may not be a simple as it used to be be, thanks to secure boot, but that's a long involved subject).

Anonymous ProudCatlady May 18, 2014 11:33 AM  

Where are the trigger warnings on this blog?Even if this post is factually correct, it's still insensitive and homophobic. Vox Day, you need to check your privilege.

Anonymous ProudCatlady May 18, 2014 11:34 AM  

I feel you have selective outrage, rightly dismantling DRM but not racist, sexist, and homophobic microaggressions.

Anonymous Anonymous May 18, 2014 6:44 PM  

Hey thanks for the Pale Moon link...I was completely unaware of it and looking for an alternative to Firefox after their attack on free speech, the firing of a brilliant and accomplished guy and abandoning US USERS to the greed and cluelessness of Hollywood.

FWIW I'm PRO gay marriage and anti-political correctness and PRO liberty.

Blogger Richard Forty May 18, 2014 7:38 PM  

I had never considered that. So the gay mafia was only the pretext for getting rid of him. The real reason was he lost an intra company war to the Hollywood crony capitalists. So much for any idealism on their side.

Anonymous Anonymous May 19, 2014 10:14 AM  

Linux

Blogger James Dixon May 19, 2014 10:38 AM  

A review of Linux Mint 16 (17 just came out): http://www.everydaylinuxuser.com/2014/05/linux-mint-16-most-complete-and-easy-to.html

Anonymous Jonathan May 19, 2014 7:09 PM  

ProudCatLady, are you saying that good causes can never ever be cynically used in service of class privilege, the only privilege identity politicians will never, ever call out? (White, cis, poor... I have all the privileges except the money to exercise them)

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