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Topic: Firefox to become adware? (Read 12450 times)

Firefox to become adware?
In a sense, yes. At an undisclosed time, Firefox will begin showing "new" users sponsored tiles on the tabpage. source One poster in the forum argues that Mozilla folks have to eat, too. But they already eat quite well from the money the receive from Google. But the problem for isn't that browser is monetized. This shows a decline in integrity on Mozilla's part.

Now why the quotes around "new?" In the developed world, there aren't too many people without internet. For example, as of Dec 2011, the internet penetration in the US was 78.3% of the population, which is actually less than most of the developed world. How many of the remaining 22.7% are young children or the elderly. The US does have more children as percentage of the population than say, the EU or Japan. I believe the internet penetration of emerging market economies such as Mexico ("officially" only only 29.4% as of Dec 10) is vastly under-reported, with the place being littered with crowded internet cafes and the continued growth of 3 and 4G wireless networks as well more deployment of cable and DSL internet. So again, what new users?

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #100
More specifically, you earlier said "initially" B. So in a little while it will be C or worse. Not much consolation either way.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #101
It's strange that, when discussing about Firefox, no one says a word about the deep web.
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #102
More specifically, you earlier said "initially" B. So in a little while it will be C or worse. Not much consolation either way.
I doubt it'd ever be C as you phrased it. "Let's annoy users with ads without us getting paid for it!" ;)

It's strange that, when discussing about Firefox, no one says a word about the deep web.
Does that have much to do with Firefox?

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #103
More specifically, you earlier said "initially" B. So in a little while it will be C or worse. Not much consolation either way.
I doubt it'd ever be C as you phrased it. "Let's annoy users with ads without us getting paid for it!" ;)
FF has been doing it for about a decade now, proactively chasing users away, so that would not be anything new.

The company behind FF could get paid a flat rate for having ad-sponsoring in the browser, it could (additionally) get paid a click-through bonus, and they could accept money from advertisers from several particular countries, but I don't think that any combination of all these factors in whatever proportions would change the ad algorithm in the browser at all. From the app developer's point of view, it is likeliest to implement something that requires no special effort. As far as I know, ad-sponsoring only involves some algorithms that automatically connect to some places to draw links and images from there. That's it.

If it takes extra effort to make the algorithm operative in gradually more and more countries, I don't see, from the developer's point of view, much point with the whole ad-sponsoring scheme - it requires contant man-work to tinker, instead of providing a lazy stream of income. Therefore I think the implementation would be the opposite way: Make the algorithm operate exactly the same in every country, no matter if ad-sponsoring in some particular country provides extra revenue or not.

When the developer already went over the threshold of accepting ad-sponsored revenue, from there on the only thing that matters is maintaining the algorithm with the least effort. The developer would not move a finger to make extra moves in the name of some obscure foreign countries. And for Americans, all foreign countries are obscure, except maybe Canada, China, and Europe (that Europe is a country in their mind speaks for itself).

Consider Opera's ad-sponsored versions, for example (up to 8.5, IIRC). When you install such a version right now, would the ads light up or not? I guess they would. Yet the contracts on this ad-sponsoring have expired, have they not? (That's why they stopped with the ad-sponsoring, duh) So there, the company is not getting paid, yet the algorithm in the browser has a life of its own.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #104
Consider Opera's ad-sponsored versions, for example (up to 8.5, IIRC). When you install such a version right now, would the ads light up or not? I guess they would.
I'm sure they could. Less sure they would. I'll try it later. :p

  • RomFil
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #105
you use pale moon browser?

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #106
you use pale moon browser?
I noticed there is an Android version. I have not tried the Android version, because FF for Android is quite unsuitable for handheld usage in most aspects and I do not think Pale Moon makers did it much better. Well, as said, I have not tried...

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #107
Firefox has implemented "scroll anchoring", apparently following Chromium. It's a feature I've anticipated for about two decades.

https://hacks.mozilla.org/2019/03/scroll-anchoring-in-firefox-66/


  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #108
Have you ever had this experience before?

You were reading headlines, but then an ad loads and moves what you were reading off the screen.

[...]

You rotate your phone, but now you can't find the paragraph that you were just reading.
Admittedly, both would be real problems insofar as true, but I think they should be solved differently. As to ads, they should not even exist. Or if you think they should, understand that they exist, let them load, and then find the stuff you wanted between the ads.

As to losing the reading-spot after rotating the phone, the browser should solve it by taking note of the HTML elements currently in the visible area and retain them when the phone is rotated. I thought browsers on handheld devices already do that, because I have not even noticed this particular problem. (Of course, I do not use FF or any of its spinoffs or forks on handhelds.)

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #109
They're the ones who quite incorrectly phrase it as being about ads, while in reality it's about anything that might cause position shifts: loading images in general, zooming in or out, resizing your window, and so forth.

It's been well-known for more than 15 years how to do ads without position shifts: just predefine the area they take up. (The same applies to any image of course, but those just aren't nearly that slow to load.)

I notice(d) position shifts plenty when rotating in Chromia, but they've implemented similar methods recently (i.e., the same spec so that browsers can behave in an expected manner). I don't use Firefox or derivatives on mobile because it's too slow.

Anyway, it has become significantly less relevant now that everyone seems to have at least a 6 Mbit connection, but I guess some Google/Mozilla people finally noticed this problem when they were in an area with bad cell reception or something. I'd say this would've been significantly more welcome as recently as 10 years ago than it is today. As we say in Dutch, now it's mustard after the meal.

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #110
On handhelds, I have been wondering about the distinction of zooming and magnifying for about a decade. When you zoom in, all handheld browsers enlarge the font/page, but particularly in "desktop mode" they don't reflow the enlarged text/page. I wish desktop browsers had the same capacity to distinguish zooming and magnifying, because sometimes I want to just enlarge the text, which is when reflow is welcome, but sometimes I want to examine a page design element closer, which is when reflow is undesirable.

For the best force-reflowing of webpages for legibility, my number one choice is w3m under Termux (or under Xterm on desktop). For the "desktop mode" on handhelds, the system default is usually good enough. Well, Samsung browser is, and it has a decent configurable reading mode too.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #111
Hm, surely there must be an extension for that kind of thing? You can actually also do it quite easily in any browser since about the time of Opera 10.5 with userstyles.

On the html or body element, use a style like this:

Code: [Select]
transform: scale(1.5);
transform-origin: 0 0;

(Except up to Opera 12 or 12.1, that's -o-transform, and similarly -moz-transform as well as -webkit-transform.)

The scale argument is self-evident, while the transform-origin is because otherwise it hides the top & left parts of the page when scaling.

  • ersi
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #112
If it's so simple to do, I wonder why there is no extension for it. Soon after smartphones took off, it became a standard feature in smartphone browsers, but it should have been there already on the desktop earlier, push a button or tick a box and zoom in a different way.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Firefox to become adware?
Reply #113
Internet Explorer 8 zooms like that. It's kind of annoying. :)

There seems to have been an extension for Firefox 3.