10 weeks old, and beautifully formed by God :-) The due date is 26th January 2015.
10 weeks old, and beautifully formed by God :-) The due date is 26th January 2015.
This is a list (URL acquired from spam) of prices for fraudulent (but perhaps “genuine” in terms of the materials used, I don’t know) passports, driving licenses and ID cards. It is a fascinating insight into the relative security of the identification systems of a number of countries. Of course, the prices may also factor in the economic value of the passport, but it’s interesting that a Canadian passport is more expensive than a US one. That probably reflects difficulty of obtaining the passport rather than the greater desirability of Canada over the US. (Sorry, Canadians, I know you’d disagree! Still, you can be happy at the competence and lack of corruption in your passport service.)
One interesting thing to note is that one of the joint lowest-price countries, Latvia (€900), is a member of the EU. A Latvian passport allows you to live and work in any EU country, even Germany, which has the most expensive passports (€5200). The right to live anywhere in the EU – yours for only €900…
Also interesting is to sort by passport price and look if the other prices follow the same curve. A discrepancy may indicate particularly weak or strong security. So Russian ID cards are cheaper than one might expect, whereas Belgian ones are more expensive. Austrian and Belgian driver’s licenses also seem to be particularly hard to forge, but the prize there goes to the UK, which has the top-priced spot (€2000). I wonder if that’s related to the fact that the UK doesn’t have ID cards, so the driver’s license often functions as one?
Here is the data in spreadsheet form (ODS), so you can sort and analyse, and just in case the original page disappears…
Why do volunteers work on free software projects?
When asked, many claim they do it because they want to produce good software, or want to be personally involved in fixing the bugs that matter to them. But these reasons are usually not the whole story. After all, could you imagine a volunteer staying with a project even if no one ever said a word in appreciation of his work, or listened to him in discussions? Of course not. Clearly, people spend time on free software for reasons beyond just an abstract desire to produce good code. Understanding volunteers’ true motivations will help you arrange things so as to attract and keep them. The desire to produce good software may be among those motivations, along with the challenge and educational value of working on hard problems. But humans also have a built-in desire to work with other humans, and to give and earn respect through cooperative activities. Groups engaged in cooperative activities must evolve norms of behavior such that status is acquired and kept through actions that help the group’s goals.
— Karl Fogel, Producing Open Source Software
All passengers flying into or out of the UK are being advised to ensure electronic and electrical devices in hand luggage are sufficiently charged to be switched on.
All electronic devices? Including phones, right? So you must be concerned that something dangerous could be concealed inside a package the size of a phone. And including laptops, right? Which are more than big enough to contain said dangerous phone-sized electronics package in the CD drive bay, or the PCMCIA slot, and still work perfectly. Or, the evilness could even be occupying 90% of the body of the laptop, while the other 10% is taken up by an actual phone wired to the display and the power button which shows a pretty picture when the laptop is “switched on”.
Or are the security people going to make us all run 3 applications of their choice and take a selfie using the onboard camera to demonstrate that the device is actually fully working, and not just showing a static image?
I can’t see this as being difficult to engineer around. And meanwhile, it will cause even more problems trying to find charging points in airports. Particularly for people who are transferring from one long flight to another.
Mozilla Corporation is considering moving its email and calendaring infrastructure from an in-house solution to an outsourced one, seemingly primarily for cost but also for other reasons such as some long-standing bugs and issues. The in-house solution is corporate-backed open source, the outsourced solution under consideration is closed source. (The identities of the two vendors concerned are well-known, but are not relevant to appreciate the point I am about to make.) MoCo IT estimates the outsourced solution as one third of the price of doing it in-house, for equivalent capabilities and reliability.
I was pondering this, and the concept of value for money. Clearly, it makes sense that we avoid spending multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars that we don’t need to. That prospect makes the switch very attractive. Money we don’t spend on this can be used to further our mission. However, we also need to consider how the money we do spend on this furthers our mission.
Here’s what I mean: I understand that we don’t want to self-host. IT has enough to do. I also understand that it may be that no-one is offering to host an open source solution that meets our feature requirements. And the “Mozilla using proprietary software or web services” ship hasn’t just sailed, it’s made it to New York and is half way back and holding an evening cocktail party on the poop deck. However, when we do buy in proprietary software or services, I assert we should nevertheless aim to give our business to companies which are otherwise aligned with our values. That means whole-hearted support for open protocols and data formats, and for the open web. For example, it would be odd to be buying in services from a company who had refused to, or dragged their feet about, making their web sites work on Firefox for Android or Firefox OS.
If we deploy our money in this way, then we get to “spend it twice” – it gets us the service we are paying for, and it supports companies who will spend it again to bring about (part of) the vision of the world we want to see. So I think that a values alignment between our vendors and us (even if their product is not open source) is something we should consider strongly when outsourcing any service. It may give us better value for money even if it’s a little more expensive.
https://www.hotmail.co.uk/ is throwing cert errors this morning. Looks like they renewed their cert recently and, among the many SANs included, forgot “www.hotmail.co.uk”. https://hotmail.co.uk/ works fine…
This issue was reported to me by my mother (who rang me when she had a cert problem rather than just clicking through it! :-), so it’s not just me…
Last week, the Policy, Legal and Business Development teams had a 2-day get-together, and one thing I came to understand much more clearly is something I think that many Mozillians need to take to heart: success is not inevitable.
For the first few years of Mozilla’s life, we didn’t have much success. Then, a combination of good code, good grassroots marketing, sleeping or absent competitors and favourable market conditions saw Firefox take off and reach a desktop market share north of 25%. That was five years ago, and we’ve been trying to hold on to it since. We haven’t entirely succeeded, but it might be easy to imagine that Firefox on the desktop will be around and relevant forever.
But working really hard, and knowing that what you are doing is the right thing for the world, are not enough by themselves to guarantee that you succeed. There’s no law of the universe which says that Google have to keep giving us a search deal on better (or even the same) terms, particularly if our market share falls. That may happen, or it may not. And there’s no law which says that Firefox OS has to be a success. If what we build isn’t the right thing, carriers will stop stocking and promoting Firefox OS phones, and the world will be left with a choice of Apple, Google or Microsoft.
Mozilla’s way of working has always been to get market share by making great products, and use that to make our voice heard. We aren’t an advocacy-only organization.
Back when we did Firefox, our future, and our ability to get that market share, was in our own hands. If we wrote great software, users could download and install it themselves, and that was it. No-one was stopping consumers from installing any software they wanted. No-one was stopping OEMs from shipping copies of Firefox with their machines. We didn’t have to worry about proprietary hardware. There were no web features which couldn’t be implemented in open source code.
In the new world, our future and our ability to gain market share are not entirely in our own hands. We need partnerships to reach consumers. Business partnerships involve giving someone something they want in return for something you want, and they mean that usually you don’t get everything you want, but have to compromise. The need to partner and the need to compromise are relatively new and difficult things for Mozilla. Such agreements often come with obligations – which, in its most general form, is the loss of the ability to choose exactly what we are going to do because we are constrained by our promises. As an organization, particularly as an engineering organization, we don’t like that.
But operators are only going to carry and promote Firefox OS phones if they think it’s in their best interests to do so. And consumers are only going to buy them if they think they are better for what they want to do than the alternatives. “Why this rather than Android?” is a question to which we need a good answer.
If we want Firefox OS to be a success, we need partners, and we need to provide what those partners want, while holding on to our principles. What they want may well not be “software for us”, or even “software for people we know”. And that means we need to listen to the people within Mozilla who talk to them and report back to us. That’s the Business Development team – who currently have a pretty low community profile. Perhaps that needs to change.
Success is not inevitable – but it is still possible, if we carry on producing software that succeeds in the market. But how we find out what that means has changed, and we as Mozilla need to make sure we adapt to that, and listen in the right places.
I got the following (presumably misdirected) email at firstname.lastname@example.org:
If i go on several sites that shows adult videos for free on streaming it’s because i need to see that kind of things ! just don’t ask me why ! I don’t intend to hurt anybody I just want to get fed up to it ! As you know,i never download and i’ve been said it was free to see as long as you don’t share !
Please, let me see what i want ? I’m completely out of money
How sad :-(
Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
My honourable friend Bradley Kuhn thinks Mozilla should serve its users by refusing to give them what they want.
[Clarificatory update: I wrote this post before I'd seen the official FSF position; the below was a musing on the actions of the area of our community to which Bradley ideologically belongs, not an attempt to imply he speaks for the FSF or wrote their opinion. Apologies if that was not clear. And I'm a big fan of (and member of) the FSF; the below criticisms were voiced by private mail at the time.]
One weakness I have seen in the FSF, in things like the PlayOgg and PDFReaders campaigns, is that they think that lecturing someone about what they should want rather than (or before) giving them what they do want is a winning strategy. Both of the websites for those campaigns started with large blocks of text so that the user couldn’t possibly avoid finding out exactly what the FSF position was in detail before actually getting their PDF reader or playback software. (Notably missing from the campaigns, incidentally, were any sense that the usability of the recommended software was at all a relevant factor.)
Bradley’s suggestion is that, instead of letting users watch the movies they want to watch, we should lecture them about how they shouldn’t want it – or should refuse to watch them until Hollywood changes its tune on DRM. I think this would have about as much success as PlayOgg and PDFReaders (link:pdfreaders.org: 821 results).
It’s certainly true that Mozilla has a different stance here. We have influence because we have market share, and so preserving and increasing that market share is an important goal – and one that’s difficult to attain. And we think our stance has worked rather well; over the years, the Mozilla project has been a force for good on the web that other organizations, for whatever reason, have not managed to be. But we aren’t invincible – we don’t win every time. We didn’t win on H.264, although the deal with Cisco to drive the cost of support to $0 everywhere at least allowed us to live to fight another day. And we haven’t, yet, managed to find a way to win on DRM. The question is: is software DRM on the desktop the issue we should die on a hill over? We don’t think so.
Bradley accuses us of selling out on our principles regarding preserving the open web. But making a DRM-free web is not within our power at the moment. Our choice is not between “DRM on the web” and “no DRM on the web”, it’s between “allow users to watch DRMed videos” and “prevent users from watching DRMed videos”. And we think the latter is a long-term losing strategy, not just for the fight on DRM (if Firefox didn’t exist, would our chances of a DRM-free web be greater?), but for all the other things Mozilla is working for. (BTW, Mitchell’s post does not call open source “merely an approach”, it calls it “Mozilla’s fundamental approach”. That’s a pretty big misrepresentation.)
Accusing someone of having no principles because they don’t always get their way when competing in markets where they are massively outweighed is unfair. Bradley would have us slide into irrelevance rather than allow users to continue to watch DRMed movies in Firefox. He’s welcome to recommend that course of action, but we aren’t going to take it.
Four weeks ago, I posted about Who We Are and How We Should Be. I wrote:
As I see it, the principle behind the [Community Participation Guidelines] was, in regard to non-mission things: leave it outside. We agreed to agree on the mission, and agreed to disagree on everything else. And, the hope was, that created a safe space for everyone to collaborate on what we agreed on, and put our combined efforts into keeping the Internet open and free.
Is that CPG principle still the right one? Are the CPGs the best expression of it?
Following on from Who We Are, here is my answer to How We Should Be.
I think the principle is still the right one, but the CPGs could express it better.
The CPGs have many good things about them, and I think that they did a good job of defusing the difficulties in our community at the time they were written in 2012. But they still very much bear the marks of the worldview of the person who wrote them. (This is not surprising or in itself worthy of criticism; it’s very difficult to write in a way which does not show one’s own worldview.)
The world the CPGs conjure up is one where there are two groups of people. There are those who are wholeheartedly for “inclusion and diversity” in every way – let’s call them group A. And those who “identify with activities or organizations that do not support the same inclusion and diversity standards as Mozilla” – let’s call them group B.
The CPGs seem to have the following assumptions:
Therefore people in group B need constraining, such that “support for exclusionary practices in non-Mozilla activities [is] not … expressed in Mozilla spaces”. And so that is what the CPGs say.
However, in the recent series of unfortunate events, the attacks on Mozilla’s inclusivity and diversity came from people who would self-identify with group A (not matching assumption 1) and were directed at someone who, by long example, clearly did not match assumption 2. Support for exclusion (or, at least, for restriction) was expressed by some Mozillians in a very public way, but it was not in a specifically Mozilla space – yet it clearly resulted in exclusion, and in damage to the project and its mission. So assumption 3 didn’t really hold either.
It is true that the CPGs also restrict people in group A, in that they are conditionally asked to “treat [support for exclusionary practices outside Mozilla] as a private matter, not a Mozilla issue”, and that was not done in this case. That is a matter of deep regret. But I don’t think the consequential and conditional statement here gives full and clear force to the strong need for both sides to understand that disagreements of this kind within Mozilla are deeply damaging to our unity and capability as a project.
So, I think we would do well to redefine our alliance as a community. This would involve rewriting the CPGs in a way which expresses the principle of “agree to disagree on non-mission things” more evenhandedly and broadly, and making it clear that it applies to everyone, in all the Mozilla-related communications they make, wherever they are made. I think we must abandon the distinction between Mozilla and non-Mozilla spaces. It clearly wasn’t useful in staving off the damage in this case, and as a definition it always had boundary problems anyway. On today’s internet, it doesn’t matter where you express something – it can be around the world in an instant. And if we move to that model, in order to avoid unfairly restricting people’s speech wherever they may be talking, we would also need to change our attitude to the content of what people say. Instead of “don’t talk about that here”, we should instead affirm the principle of “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.
That is not to argue for carte blanche for people to fill up Mozilla communications channels with political advocacy of one sort or another. Most of our channels have a concept of “off-topic”, and that would not change. But only a project dominated by a small group of people from a single consistent political ideology could ever hope to have and maintain a policy of “do not ever even expose me to ideas with which I disagree”. And, as an international project with big growth ambitions, Mozilla is and should not be such.
Respectfully expressing opinions – in any space – should be fine; calling for exclusion from or demotion in Mozilla due to those opinions – in any space – should not be.
Some filmmakers want to make an independent film about the USA’s most prolific serial killer, Kermit Gosnell, and the relative media silence about him. Over a 30-year career, he is suspected of killing 1000s of live, born, viable babies – which should horrify anyone who doesn’t believe in infanticide, whatever their stance on abortion. The filmmakers are trying to raise $2.1M, they need another $125k, and have only 5 days to find it. If you’d like to see this film made, please support them on Indiegogo, and spread the word.
Speaking of politics, this is as good a time as any to drag that much-maligned word out for a closer look. Many engineers like to think of politics as something other people engage in. “I’m just advocating the best course for the project, but she’s raising objections for political reasons.” I believe this distaste for politics (or for what is imagined to be politics) is especially strong in engineers because engineers are bought into the idea that some solutions are objectively superior to others. Thus, when someone acts in a way that seems motivated by outside considerations—say, the maintenance of his own position of influence, the lessening of someone else’s influence, outright horse-trading, or avoiding hurting someone’s feelings—other participants in the project may get annoyed. Of course, this rarely prevents them from behaving in the same way when their own vital interests are at stake.
If you consider “politics” a dirty word, and hope to keep your project free of it, give up right now. Politics are inevitable whenever people have to cooperatively manage a shared resource. It is absolutely rational that one of the considerations going into each person’s decision-making process is the question of how a given action might affect his own future influence in the project. After all, if you trust your own judgement and skills, as most programmers do, then the potential loss of future influence has to be considered a technical result, in a sense. Similar reasoning applies to other behaviors that might seem, on their face, like “pure” politics. In fact, there is no such thing as pure politics: it is precisely because actions have multiple real-world consequences that people become politically conscious in the first place. Politics is, in the end, simply an acknowledgment that all consequences of decisions must be taken into account. If a particular decision leads to a result that most participants find technically satisfying, but involves a change in power relationships that leaves key people feeling isolated, the latter is just as important a result as the former. To ignore it would not be high-minded, but shortsighted.
— Karl Fogel, Producing Open Source Software
Milestone bugzilla.mozilla.org bug 1,000,000 was filed on 2014-04-23 at 01:10 ZST by Archaeopteryx (although rumour has it he used a script, as he also filed the 12 previous bugs in quick succession). The title of the bug was initially “Long word suggestions can move/shift keyboard partially off screen so it overflows” (a Firefox OS Gaia::Keyboard bug, now bug 1000025), but has since been changed to “Celebrate 1000000 bugs, bring your own drinks.”
The winner of the sweepstake to guess the date and time is Gijs Kruitbosch, who guessed 2014-04-25 05:43:21 – which is 2 days, 4 hours, 33 minutes and 5 seconds out. This is a rather wider error, measured in seconds, than the previous sweepstake, but this one had a much longer time horizon – it was instituted 9 months ago. So that’s an error of about 0.95%. The 800,000 bug winner had an error of about 1.55% using the same calculation, so in those terms Gijs’ effort is actually better.
I’m Dutch, recently moved to Britain, and I’ll be celebrating my 10th “mozversary” sometime later this year (for those who are counting, bugs had 6 digits and started with “2” when I got going). Back in 2004, I got started by working on ChatZilla, later the Venkman JS debugger and a bit of Firefox, and last year I started working on Firefox as my day job. Outside of Mozilla, I play the piano every now and then, and try to adjust to living in a nation that puts phone booths in its cycle paths.
My name is Håvard Mork. I’m a Java software developer, working with Firefox and web localization to Norwegian. I’ve been involved with localization since 2003. I think localization is rewarding, because it is a process of understanding the mindset of the users, and their perception of IT.
I’m surprised that my estimate came that close. I spent almost an hour trying to figure out how much bug numbers grow, and estimate the exponential components. Unfortunately I lost the equation, so need to start over for the 2,000,000 sweepstakes…
I’m Mark Banner, also known as Standard8 on irc, I work from home in the UK. I came to Mozilla through volunteering on Thunderbird, and then working at Mozilla Messaging. I still manage Thunderbird releases. Alongside those, I am working on the Loop project (formally Talkilla), which is aiming to provide a real time communications service for Mozilla products, built on top of WebRTC.
Gijs will get a Most Splendid Package, and also a knitted thing from Sheeri as a special bonus prize! The other winners will receive something a little less splendid, but I’m sure it’ll be worth having nevertheless.
Two weeks ago, I posted about Who We Are and How We Should Be. I wrote:
But before we figure out how to be, we need to figure out who we are. What is the mission around which we are uniting? What’s included, and what’s excluded? Does Mozilla have a strict or expansive interpretation of the Mozilla Manifesto?
Here is my answer.
I think Mozilla needs to have a strict/close/tight/limited (whichever word you prefer) interpretation of the Mozilla Manifesto. To quote that document: we need to focus on “the health of the Internet”. We need to work on “making the Internet experience better”. We need to make sure “the Internet … continue[s] to benefit the public good”. As well as the 10 principles, the Manifesto also has a Mozilla Foundation Pledge:
The Mozilla Foundation pledges to support the Mozilla Manifesto in its activities. Specifically, we will:
- build and enable open-source technologies and communities that support the Manifesto’s principles;
- build and deliver great consumer products that support the Manifesto’s principles;
- use the Mozilla assets (intellectual property such as copyrights and trademarks, infrastructure, funds, and reputation) to keep the Internet an open platform;
- promote models for creating economic value for the public benefit; and
- promote the Mozilla Manifesto principles in public discourse and within the Internet industry.
Some Foundation activities—currently the creation, delivery and promotion of consumer products—are conducted primarily through the Mozilla Foundation’s wholly owned subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation.
I think that’s an awesome summary of what we should be doing, and I think we should view activities outside that scope with healthy suspicion.
It seems to me that this logical fallacy is common:
It can also appear as:
Given the diversity of Mozillians, these cannot be good logic if applied equally and fairly. Mozilla would end up supporting many mutually-contradictory positions.
Some people believe so strongly in their non-open-web cause that they want to use the power of Mozilla to attain victory in that other cause. I can see the temptation – Mozilla is a powerful weapon. But doing that damages Mozilla – both by blurring our focus and message, and by distancing and discouraging Mozillians and potential Mozillians who take a different view. Those who care about Mozilla’s cause and about other causes deeply may find it hard to resist advocating that we give in to the temptation, but I assert that we as an organization should actively avoid promoting, or letting anyone use the Mozilla name to promote, non-open-web causes, because it will be at the expense of Mozilla’s inclusiveness and focus.
We are Mozillians. We need to agree on the Mozilla Manifesto, and agree to disagree on everything else.
Thanks to glob, we’ve got some interesting stats from BMO as it crosses the 1M bug mark.
UNCONFIRMED 23745 NEW 103655 ASSIGNED 8826 REOPENED 3598 RESOLVED 640326 VERIFIED 220235 CLOSED 1628
DUPLICATE 119242 EXPIRED 10677 FIXED 303099 INCOMPLETE 30569 INVALID 58096 MOVED 27 WONTFIX 36179 WORKSFORME 82437
DUPLICATE 64702 EXPIRED 27 FIXED 108935 INCOMPLETE 1746 INVALID 17099 MOVED 150 WONTFIX 6105 WORKSFORME 21471
2014-04-01 519 2014-04-02 531 2014-04-03 620 2014-04-04 373 2014-04-05 133 2014-04-06 132 2014-04-07 544 2014-04-08 622 2014-04-09 597 2014-04-10 571 2014-04-11 467 2014-04-12 156 2014-04-13 170 2014-04-14 573 2014-04-15 580 2014-04-16 574 2014-04-17 619 2014-04-18 356 2014-04-19 168 2014-04-20 118 2014-04-21 445 2014-04-22 635 2014-04-23 787 2014-04-24 562 2014-04-25 498 2014-04-26 173
2013-12-30 1360 (bulk import from another tracker) 2013-12-29 1081 (bulk import from another tracker) 2008-07-22 1037 (automated security scanner filing bugs) 2012-10-01 1013 (Gaia bugs import) 2014-02-11 805 2014-04-23 787 2014-02-04 678 2013-01-09 675 2013-11-19 647 2014-04-22 635
Bugs filed 4351 Comments made 148493 Assigned to 4029 Commented on 56138 QA-Contact 8 Patches submitted 8080 Patches reviewed 14872 Bugs poked 66215
(You can find these stats about yourself by going to your own user profile. If you are logged in, you can search for other users and see their stats.)
email@example.com 349671 firstname.lastname@example.org 16385 email@example.com 15056 firstname.lastname@example.org 13350 email@example.com 11974 firstname.lastname@example.org 10995 email@example.com 4768 firstname.lastname@example.org 4697 email@example.com 4672 firstname.lastname@example.org 4273
email@example.com 8037 firstname.lastname@example.org 6129 email@example.com 5032 firstname.lastname@example.org 4789 email@example.com 4351 firstname.lastname@example.org 4348 email@example.com 4038 firstname.lastname@example.org 3680 email@example.com 3651 firstname.lastname@example.org 3528
email@example.com 347695 firstname.lastname@example.org 148481 email@example.com 65552 firstname.lastname@example.org 58588 email@example.com 50560 firstname.lastname@example.org 48840 email@example.com 48704 firstname.lastname@example.org 47453 email@example.com 43596 firstname.lastname@example.org 42885
email@example.com 8080 firstname.lastname@example.org 4879 email@example.com 4502 firstname.lastname@example.org 4397 email@example.com 4079 firstname.lastname@example.org 3930 email@example.com 3890 firstname.lastname@example.org 3739 email@example.com 3659 firstname.lastname@example.org 3530 email@example.com 3411
firstname.lastname@example.org 15581 email@example.com 14869 firstname.lastname@example.org 9424 email@example.com 8352 firstname.lastname@example.org 8103 email@example.com 7272 firstname.lastname@example.org 6198 email@example.com 5983 firstname.lastname@example.org 5499 email@example.com 5346 firstname.lastname@example.org 5126