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Firefox Creator No Longer Trusts Google 528

watashi writes "Blake Ross the man whose scratched itch became the Firefox browser explains on his blog why he has a problem with Google's policy of promoting their own products over competitors' in search results. His main gripe is that the tips (e.g. "Want to share pictures? Try Google Picasa") result in an inability for other products (perhaps even Parakey?) to compete for the top slot on Google."
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Firefox Creator No Longer Trusts Google

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  • Re:Parakey? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shazow ( 263582 ) <> on Thursday December 28, 2006 @10:51PM (#17394694) Homepage
    Wikipedia tends to be better for this type of thing. Here's an excerpt from Parakey @ Wikipedia []:
    Parakey is a Web-based computer user interface proposed by Firefox creator Blake Ross. Ross describes it as a "a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do." [...]

    That explains the reference to Firefox and Blake Ross. I guess it is kind of on topic... in a strange sort of way.

    - shazow
  • by blakeross ( 611172 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @11:10PM (#17394826) Homepage
    > Simple, Firefox didn't exist when the decision was made to bundle IE with windows.

    "Shipping Internet Explorer with Windows" is not a moment in time. It is ongoing, and I still support it.
  • Re:Business (Score:4, Informative)

    by blakeross ( 611172 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @11:19PM (#17394908) Homepage
    > I agree. And we've seen no proof that Google refuses to put others first.

    Actually, that's the crux of the post: by taking itself out of its ad network, Google has guaranteed its own ad positioning--three weeks after reassuring advertisers that it played by the same rules they do. Did you read the post?
  • by blakeross ( 611172 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @11:33PM (#17394978) Homepage
    Okay, I'll take the bait: no, none of this is based on any atom of truth.
  • by a.d.trick ( 894813 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @11:44PM (#17395052) Homepage

    Wait, so are you a Google acountant or a security professional []. Don't tell me you changed jobs yesterday.

  • by blakeross ( 611172 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @11:53PM (#17395124) Homepage
    > Firefox is controlled by a for-profit company

    And that for-profit company is wholly owned and controlled by a non-profit company.
  • Parakey is... (Score:2, Informative)

    by TravisW ( 594642 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @12:09AM (#17395210)
    I'd never heard of Parakey before reading this, and clicking on the link didn't leave me much better off. From the Wikipedia article about Parakey []:

    "Parakey is a Web-based computer user interface proposed by Firefox creator Blake Ross. Ross describes it as a 'a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do.' The idea behind it is to make image, video, and text transfer to the web easier."

    Even the Wikipedia article is awfully short for a computer tech topic. Is this just a proposal? Vaporvare? If not, does anyone have a link to something more substantial about it?

    You might guess it from the summary, but the implication is that Ross has a potential motive other than promoting blind ranking for its own ostensibly good sake.

  • by Khuffie ( 818093 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @12:20AM (#17395266) Homepage
    Please, for the love of whatever it is you believe in, if you want to be taken's MS, not M$.
  • Re:Priorities (Score:3, Informative)

    by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @12:56AM (#17395480)
    And yet, despite all that, it's still the only viable choice for a web browser.

    I don't know about that. I'm using a browser that (at least here) is twice as fast as firefox, includes mail, news, IRC, and a crappy HTML editor. Accepts lots of extensions, though only a subset of Firefox's. Runs on every system that Firefox runs on. And builds out of the same codebase as Firefox just needing different configure options.
    Yes I'm talking about Seamonkey. Stupid name, nice fast browser.
  • by zCyl ( 14362 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @12:59AM (#17395494)
    Other Search Engines don't exist. Face it, Google is by and far the only option.

    I agree, but google doesn't necessarilly agree. If you search google for "search" [], you will find that MSN Search is the top hit. If you instead choose "search engine", google is at the top.

    As long as the google hints are clearly marked as distinct from the search results, and are not intrusive, I see no problem with this. In the actual results google seems to be fairly honest to the algorithm for now.
  • by ben there... ( 946946 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @01:48AM (#17395746) Journal
    He wears a lot of hats. He's also been working for Barclay's (banking) in the UK for the past 30 years [].
  • by AchiIIe ( 974900 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @02:14AM (#17395892)
    Whoa, and he explains it himself here []:
    Hey, idiot. I only posted this to up my karma. Every post that I make is fake.

    And yet, 7/20 of his latest comments are 3 or more, with some still being +5
    Mods: I feel cheated :-/
  • by llefler ( 184847 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @02:48AM (#17395998)
    And even though Google doesn't yet have a complete monopoly even by that definition, it's headed there because search engines, like electric utilities, are natural monopolies.

    Please, go back and do some more reading on natural monopolies, and 'barriers to entry' in general. Operating Systems and search engines are NOT like utilities.

    Consider a utility. To enter the market you need licenses from federal, state, and local governments. Property easements. And capital costs for plants and infrastructure. Monopolies are allowed because the local governments don't want utility companies cherry picking customers. They want one company providing universal service.

    With Operating Systems it takes millions of man hours to put together something competitive. That alone could be considered a huge barrier to entry. Ironically, the better Linux becomes, the lower this barrier becomes. But the real issue was the exclusive OEM contracts anyway. Not a natural monopoly, but one created by predatory business practices.

    With search engines, what does it really take to compete? A web crawler, a huge database, and an efficient search algorithm.

    I think you should be looking someplace else for a windmill...

  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @02:56AM (#17396038) Journal
    So far Microsoft hasn't tried to stop me using Linux.

    Don't confuse covert action with inaction. Microsoft has definitely tried to stop you from using Linux. They've done everything that they could possibly get away with to prevent you from using ANYTHING but Microsoft products on your PC.

    But it was covert - you didn't witness the exclusive deals, threats and haggles yourself, your vendor(s) did.

    You might remember a certain antitrust trial, in which Microsoft played one of the sides? Perhaps you were sleeping under a rock or something...?
  • Re:MOD PARENT UP (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anpheus ( 908711 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @03:26AM (#17396178)
    First, to make it clear, I'm replying to this to put my post nearer to the top, but that's because I'm egotistical and have a bias towards exaggerating the value of my own posts. So please, feel free to ignore the nice tidbit below:

    It appears what TFA is about is incorrect. Why? Google for "share pictures." Picasa is the second ad in the blue box.

    Google for "blog." Blogger shows up below the paid ads, as mostly plaintext with a blogger logo.

    Google for "videos." Google Video shows up in the blue box, second ad.

    Is it just me, or does it seem like they aren't favoring their own ads at all? There might be some algorithm sorting them, as when I search for some other terms Google comes up first (gmail comes up before AOL mail,) but in other cases Google's service shows up last in the paid ads.
  • Re:I Disagree (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29, 2006 @03:54AM (#17396276)
    If you don't like it, don't use it. It's called c-a-p-i-t-a-l-i-s-m.

    Please Save XMMS in Gentoo! []
  • by blakeross ( 611172 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:49AM (#17396512) Homepage
    There are bandwidth hungry Firefox adverts everywhere (obviously) but I find it ironic that someone who recommends his products on his own blogging website blasts another website for recommending their products on their website.

    Putting aside the fact that my blog is not the kettle to Google's pot, this isn't even true. There is one Firefox advertisement on my website—a button in the right-hand sidebar—and it is below links to Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari that have been there for a very long time. (The blog header has the Firefox logo in it, but it's not a link to Firefox.)

  • by mantito ( 1041926 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @11:28AM (#17398502)
    There was no attempt to apologize any executioners. There are lot of innocent people killed in the name of [communism, Christ, Alach, civilization, democracy, freedom, ...]. Most of these killings have nothing to do with alleged purpose. So please educate yourself too and judge people by their actions, not according labels, which some propaganda sticks to them. China is not "communist", and if it were "communist", it still wouldn't make them evil, all those bad things which they do make them evil.
  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @12:26PM (#17399120)
    Have you tried disabling Google's "Safe Search"?

    You know, the one that blocks money shots from being shown by default?
  • Re:I Disagree (Score:3, Informative)

    by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. ( 142215 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @01:24PM (#17399884) Homepage
    But if you call Free 411 (1-800-373-3411) they do give you an ad first, but they are FREE.

    Regular 411 you pay (thru the nose) for, so that is a much different situation.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.