At TED, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs demonstrated their newest web tool called “Collusion”, a firefox extension that watches and finds all those little web bugs and cookies that track you across the internet. But even more interesting is their interactive demo on their site (linked below) that visually shows the many networks working together to identify and track you in a nice animated graph layout.
The Mozilla Metrics Team has just announced the “Mozilla Open Data Visualization Competition”. If you’ve used FireFox4 then you’ve no doubt seen the popups about the “Test Pilot” program. On November 17th they’ll be releasing this data to the public, allowing you to visualize it as you please.
This competition is based on Mozilla’s own open data program, Test Pilot. Test Pliot is a user research platform that collecting structured user data through Firefox. All data is gathered through pre-defined Test Pilot studies which aim to explore how people use their web browser and the Internet.
The winners, selected by David Smith from Revolution Analytics and others, get a $300 Amazon Gift Card or a set of Edward Tufte’s Books.
Both YouTube and Vimeo announced last week that they would begin to support (on a limited basis) the new HTML5 ‘Video’ tag that allows video playback without relying on Flash. The technology is impressive, but users quickly noticed that it didn’t work with FireFox. Odd, since FireFox is 3.5 compliant, but it seemed to only work with Safari and Chrome? Mozilla has finally come out with a response, and the big problem is that while YouTube and Vimeo are supporting a public standard (the HTML5 Video tag), they’re using it with a non-public proprietary codec, the classic H264. Mozilla believes that using this proprietary codec is a bad idea for both providers and consumers, and is instead pushing something more open like the OggTheora codecs.
Apart from the issues with H.264 support in clients, there are also huge issues around H.264 for Web authors and content providers. Currently providing H.264 content on the Internet is zero-cost, but after 2010 that will almost certainly change. (…) We won/t know much about the terms until the end of this month. The key issue is not exactly how much it will cost, but that if you want to publish H.264 you will probably have to hire lawyers and negotiate a license with the MPEG-LA. If you just want to put a few videos on your Web site, or add a help video to your Web application, or put a video cut-scene in your Web game, that is probably not something you want to do.
I particularly love this comment from Robert O’Callahan:
But the MPEG-LA won’t bother suing me or my project, we’re not worth bothering with. Perhaps true, but I hope “remain irrelevant” is not the favoured strategy for most free software projects.
Today is launch day for FireFox 3.5, and Mozilla servers are already feeling the strain. You can see just how popular it is with their newly deployed Real-Time Download watcher. They combine a simple spreadsheet view with linegraphs showing downloads over time, with a geographical map that shows the various downloads geolocated across the globe. Currently I see alot of traffic in the US & Europe, with the occasional blip in South America and Asia.
Check it out, see what you find!