Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Mozilla Businesses Google The Internet

Mozilla and Google's "Don't-Be-Evil" Bulldozer 95

Posted by timothy
from the not-a-transcript-but-better-than-one dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla execs John Lilly and Mitchell Baker were interviewed at the WSJ's All Things Digital conference last week. In a wide-ranging conversation, they discussed the history of Firefox, proprietary versus Open Source development and the debut of Chrome and Mozilla's changing relationship with Google. A great interview. Well worth reading. There's video as well."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mozilla and Google's "Don't-Be-Evil" Bulldozer

Comments Filter:
  • Bulldozer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 31, 2009 @04:57PM (#28161121)

    The bulldozer quote comes from the interviewer, not the Mozilla guys.

    Sometimes it's best to make your own news.

    • Oh woh, browser war.
      The good ol OS wars turned into browser wars.
      I dont give a fuck about it. Do i have to open a link in my bookmarks or click a desktop icon?
      Just DO something usefull and people will like it (or nor, ok), HTML is just a simple way of tranferring info.
      If its really worth it, or you need some special effects, might as well learn to code instead of learning flash.
      I mean, whats the difference, imbedded in browser or click run, come on guys, dont know how to code anymore?
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What part of Google Update (bg service, auto startup, copies self to various tmp dirs so you can't add a rule to your firewall for it) is 'do no evil'?

  • Love that statement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jfbilodeau (931293) on Sunday May 31, 2009 @04:57PM (#28161123) Homepage

    "Walt: Why wouldn't it just be better for the consumer to go with the company that's hired experts to do its translations? Baker: How much software do you really think is great? Walt: Not very much. Lilly: But it's all written by experts. Walt nods, point taken."

    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday May 31, 2009 @05:21PM (#28161265)
      Perhaps a question along the lines of "And how much great software was written by non-experts?" would have been more fitting.
    • It is a good quote :) About the translation thing though, I've noticed these 'expert translators' are not often very good. They know their languages well, of course, but often not the technology. Finding a pro translator that does know both is hard and very expensive. The volunteers are often enthousiasts who do know both the language and the software/technobabble needed. While it may not always be apparent for simple products (in terms of technobabble involved), niche tech apps can quickly run into this pr
      • "The volunteers are often enthousiasts who do know both the language and the software/technobabble needed."

        That's just wishful thinking, at least as far as my language is concerned. This is exactly why I have made the comment above. I have yet to see a volunteer translator (1) who knows his or her language so well that he or she is able to write text that "feels natural" (as if written anew, that is, that does not have a "smell" of a translation); (2) who knows the established terminology in the field inst

  • oh (Score:1, Funny)

    by ushdfgakj (1218112)
    Censorship is not evil!!!! Worship GOOGLE!!!! Give us more money!!!!!
  • Fear of the computer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by goldaryn (834427) on Sunday May 31, 2009 @05:08PM (#28161175) Homepage
    Walt asks about the Firefox growth curve. Baker says the curve has been relatively linear after an initial spike. "Why don't people use Firefox?" Walt asks. Lilly says people just aren't aware. "Most people think of the browser as a pane of glass; they don't realize that it really effects the way they see the Web. Baker adds that many people fear their computers, and that might make them reticent to experiment with a new browser.

    This last part really is a salient point. I think it's true that average end user really does come to fear the PC, and, in my experience, their local IT geek by association. "Leave the damn thing alone!" they cry, "I don't care about OpenOffice, or Foxit Reader, or Notepad++".

    Bad experiences tend to be a motivator in this aspect, but sometimes it sends people the other way. After a spyware attack, say, people tend to go one of two ways: even more afraid of their PC or they become open minded to new things like Firefox. That's just my experience..
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 31, 2009 @05:25PM (#28161281)

      Furthermore, this makes the point that it is in Microsoft's interest to not make the computer too safe. If people become comfortable experimenting with their machines, they might learn they don't need Microsoft software.

      • by goldaryn (834427) on Sunday May 31, 2009 @06:27PM (#28161717) Homepage
        Furthermore, this makes the point that it is in Microsoft's interest to not make the computer too safe. If people become comfortable experimenting with their machines, they might learn they don't need Microsoft software. - currently (-1, Troll)

        I don't think the parent is trolling. It seems like a valid point in general that there is effectively two ways to sell things to people, be it new or existing customers.

        Way 1: desire / feel good.......Example: The iPod. I want one of those and/or I will feel good

        Way 2: fear / feel bad..........Example: beauty products. I fear I am ugly (and I will not be loved)

        Obviously there are shades of grey, i.e. most products are both to varying degrees. But the culture of fear at the moment is something that nearly every company uses. So, the parent is right. It IS in Microsoft's interest to not make the computer too safe. They might not necessarily go round explicitly scaremongering (FUD and so on), perhaps they do, I don't know. But parent is right, effectively.
        • by ozbird (127571)
          Way 3: makes you a chick magnet. (Hey, it worked for "three wolf moon" t-shirts...)
      • Indeed, but don't forget that Microsoft can make money with comfortable computing on a subscription-based model.

      • by EatHam (597465)

        If people become comfortable experimenting with their machines, they might learn they don't need Microsoft software.

        People in general do not want to experiment with their machines. They want to turn them on and have them perform the functions they are used to performing in a way they are used to performing them.

    • by skywolf3 (1149597)
      Most users who are not that savvy with computers tend to fear them and shy away from new things like Firefox and OpenOffice. Another thing that hurts these is sites that purport to sell Firefox and OpenOffice support packages. You find them often as sponsored links in search engines. This can cause problems as the software is free to download from the official site, downloads from those sites might open them up to spyware or viruses and last, but not least, it's a damn rip off. For a second I thought google
    • > I think it's true that average end user really does come to fear the PC, and, in my experience, their local IT geek by association.

      Yes, and for good reason.

      > [Average end users] don't care about OpenOffice, or Foxit Reader, or Notepad++

      They start to care when the latter are presented as solutions to the former. When users vocalize the reasons they fear the PC, and are presented with Free (or just free) software that reduces or eliminates those reasons, they become a lot more receptive to the altern

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Not only has Firefox worked better in every single case, the users are stunned when I tell them that if Firefox does manage to crash, it won't take the rest of their work with it, unlike Internet Explorer.

        I daresay that you're spreading a bit of FUD here. I don't think crashing IE has caused general system crashes (and loss of work in other programs) since Windows ME or so. I love firefox myself, but I'm going to convince others to use it on its merits, not on the basis of incorrect facts about the competition.

        As to the rest: the problem is that most PC users don't have anyone willing to show them other options; or to demonstrate why they should use them. Most don't even know anybody in a position to

        • I haven't had IE crash the entire PC in a long time, but I've seen it take down Windows Explorer and therefore cause a desktop/taskbar restart. I think I've had to restart the desktop via Task Manager at a time like that too, something I'm not sure the typical user is going to know how to do.
    • All too true.

      I just sent a myspace link to a friend, because I wanted her to check out this band's music. The page told her to update her flash player. So I asked her: "Why don't you?". Her reply? "I don't want to install anything new anymore."

      Before you chime in and claim she'd be helped by something like Ubuntu's update-manager, here's a story about another friend.
      She had received an old computer from an uncle and wanted to use it to use it for e-mail, surfing the net and watching tv via DVB. I set
      • by Threni (635302)

        > Despite me explaining to her they're security updates and that she's safer if she does, something about the updates really scared
        > her.

        Your explanations to her miss the point. She doesn't see them as 'security updates'. She sees them as 'programs which change the way my computer works', and it sounds like she's perfectly happy with the way it works. Updates should be rolled out automatically. "Do you want to make your computer safer by applying this update" is a stupid question. The question sho

        • This might be feasible for some applications, but how many projects really separate security and feature updates? Do you want to pay someone to back-port all security fixes from the development branch to some arbitrary release branch? For every release? If not, then security updates will always have the potential to change other things.
      • by retchdog (1319261) on Sunday May 31, 2009 @07:18PM (#28162049) Journal

        Hell, I've been using linux for years and I'm skittish about an update which involves the kernel. If I have a presentation later that day or the next, I'll put it off until afterward. I don't want to be googling and dmesg'ing the bug in console for upward of an hour, when I have something else to do. It has happened...

        • by goldaryn (834427)
          Hell, I've been using linux for years and I'm skittish about an update which involves the kernel. If I have a presentation later that day or the next, I'll put it off until afterward. I don't want to be googling and dmesg'ing the bug in console for upward of an hour, when I have something else to do. It has happened...

          Parent is +++ insightful. I totally agree. I am by no means a Linux noob (I help noobs on the Ubuntu forums on occasion) but I too have been in that position, and done the exact same thing.
      • by mad.frog (525085)

        The page told her to update her flash player. So I asked her: "Why don't you?". Her reply? "I don't want to install anything new anymore."

        Wow, I guess HTML5 is not gonna be rockin' her world anytime soon then...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheLink (130905)
        Maybe your myspace link was fine.

        But I doubt your friend should make it a habit of updating her "flash player" based on what some myspace page tells her.

        See the thing is, it isn't that safe. The malware writers are really out to get people like your friend. And even "legit" software makers have done pretty dubious and stupid stuff (in addition to making pretty bad mistakes).

        So some of them have been burnt so badly they've decided it's better to not install anything new anymore.

        Even if as a result they are m
    • by nametaken (610866)

      I blame the bulk of this on our regular pissings on how "stupid people" have installed malware on their own systems.

      If they don't trust that they'll know a good program from a bad one, they'd rather just leave the computer as it is.

      • by AnyoneEB (574727)

        Agreed: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/*BSD are all broken in that they allow the user to install malware -- software that does stuff no user would ever want. (Some other operating systems like gaming consoles or the iPhone's OS "fix" this by only allowing vendor approved apps.) A better solution would be default limited rights for apps. For example, if a user actually wants to make 100 connections per minute on port 25, they probably know what they are doing. Similarly for a key logger. None of Windows, OS X

    • by svunt (916464)
      A friend of mine rang me a fortnight ago because he was setting up a new internet connection at home and was having problems..."It says I'm connected but I can't get to any websites". I suggested he try IE just to confirm that it was a connection issue, and not a browser setting. No luck, we had to try a few other things, eventually it got fixed.

      Cut to yesterday and he's having trouble accessing a particular page. After about ten minutes of troubleshooting on the phone, I asked "You aren't still using IE

  • not very interesting (Score:4, Informative)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday May 31, 2009 @05:12PM (#28161211) Homepage

    I disagree with the slashdot summary. The article is really not that interesting at all. It's very shallow, and it's aimed at a general audience, not a geek audience. I didn't learn anything from it at all. Seriously.

    • you knew Firefox was available in 72 languages?

      Lilly says Thunderbird is not a niche app.

      How is Thunderbird not a niche app?

      • by FooAtWFU (699187)
        Email is not a niche app. Aside from webmail and Outlook (which is $$), there's Thunderbird, and... okay, Eudora is probably still around, Pegasus Mail probably isn't dead yet.... and, ah.... idunno, Thunderbird's kinda the big one in any geek's repertoire. unless they're using mutt or something. :P
        • wow, that sounds exactly like saying IE is not a niche app...
        • by kv9 (697238)

          Aside from webmail and Outlook (which is $$), there's Thunderbird, and... okay, Eudora is probably still around, Pegasus Mail probably isn't dead yet.... and, ah.... idunno, Thunderbird's kinda the big one in any geek's repertoire.

          Opera Mail, best mail. Mail.app is pretty spiffy too.

        • by dzfoo (772245)

          There's The Bat [ritlabs.com], from RitLabs, which is a very versatile e-mail client. It used to be mostly for power users, having extremely complicated features, until version 3, when the developers tried to appeal to the mainstream. It is now a polished and refined e-mail program, with more features than most. It is reminiscent of a modern version of Pegasus or Eudora. In fact, I switched from Eudora to The Bat when Eudora started feeling a bit stale.

          There's other e-mail clients out there, it's just that e-mail is

  • by randomchicagomac (809764) on Sunday May 31, 2009 @05:34PM (#28161331)
    Seriously? A link to "http://bit.ly/4S53f"? There is no *good* reason why slashdot shouldn't use direct links, rather than this URL shortening nonsense, in story summaries. I'd like to know where I'm going in deciding whether to RTFA. Here, the link actually does go to the WSJ's "All Things Digital" site, at http://d7.allthingsd.com/20090528/d7-interview-mitchell-baker-and-john-lilly/ [allthingsd.com] .

    Also, as for Timothy's "not-a-transcript-but-better-than-one" heading: no. This summary in the text is not as good as a transcript, and the video is not as good as a transcript, because reading a transcript is faster, and is something I can do at work. (Yes, I know that it's Sunday).

  • Hair... (Score:5, Funny)

    by RobDollar (1137885) on Sunday May 31, 2009 @06:33PM (#28161749)

    Did google cut funding half way through Mitchell Bakers' haircut?

    Or is the haircut open source, so anyone can come along and change it as they please?

    • by Pinktits (1566453)
      I'd say it's time for a fork.
    • by MLS100 (1073958)

      I have no mod points so you'll have to settle for kudos. That made me laugh pretty hard.

      What perplexes me though is why anyone would bother to click on the pictures (or even include more than one picture in an article like this) to begin with. It's not a Miss Teen USA pageant where I need hi-res closeups of the participants to make my judgment on their 'moral character'.

    • by inu_maru (843192)

      You mean, like Yoko Ono's "Cut Piece", but on hair? Scary...

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre

Working...