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Comment: Re:Version number confusion (Score 1) 177

by BZ (#47520015) Attached to: Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

It's really not that complicated. Firefox releases work like this: 6 weeks of development, 12 weeks of testing and stabilization (split up into two 6-week phases called "aurora" and "beta"; the former corresponds more or less to feature freeze and the latter more or less to "code freeze unless we discover a stop-ship issue"), then release.

So right now 31 is released, 32 is beta, 33 is aurora, and development is happening on 34.

Comment: Re:NASA has become small indeed... (Score 1) 108

by BZ (#47498057) Attached to: A Look At NASA's Orion Project

It's a matter of funding.

Looking at the chart at and in particular the inflation-adjusted line there tells you pretty much what the story was: at the peak of the Apollo program NASA's budget was about $40 billion/year in today's dollars (the red line in that graph is in 1996 dollars). NASA's budget today is less than $18 billion/year.

Or to put it in relative-to-the-economy terms, in 1966 NASA was 4% of Federal budget expenditures. 4% of the 2013 US expenditures (actual, not requested) would be $138 billion, according to

I bet if you funded NASA at that level (even just the inflation-adjusted one; I understand that the overall budget structure is quite different now from what it was in 1966, so the $138 billion number is pretty much meaningless), I bet it could produce results a lot quicker than it can at current funding levels...

Comment: Re:I've got a great idea! (Score 1) 89

by BZ (#47291339) Attached to: Mozilla Is Working On a Firefox OS-powered Streaming Stick

Mac OS supports shipping both 32-bit and 64-bit binaries in a single executable. That's what Firefox on Mac does.

That _is_ a viable solution on Windows, albeit with multiple executables, but it about doubles the size of the download. Unfortunately, Windows users are very sensitive to the download size for their web browsers; past experiments have shown uptake dropping rapidly as the download size increases.

Comment: Re:Explanation of Mozilla (Score 4, Insightful) 403

You're mischaracterizing Brendan's position on DRM, as I'm sure he would tell you if you just asked him personally. I strongly recommend you do so.

He doesn't like DRM, and neither does anyone else at Mozilla, but you do realize that he was CTO and then CEO while most of the negotiations with Adobe were happening, right?

Comment: Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 3, Informative) 361

by BZ (#47003819) Attached to: How Firefox Will Handle DRM In HTML

1) A third party is writing the plugin.
2) We did wait until it was inevitable. Every single other browser is already shipping it, Netflix is using it, and other sites are starting to use it. The only alternative to shipping this was to make sure Netflix and other video sites continued to work with Flash or Silverlight _and_ that Flash and Silverlight continue to work indefinitely.

Comment: Re:Why Firefox OS? (Score 1) 68

Mozilla decided to create B2G for several reasons, but one of them is because most of the world's population in the near future will be accessing the internet from a phone or _maybe_ a tablet, not a full-on laptop or desktop. And people using phones or tablets don't install non-default web browsers, statistically speaking, not least because storage is pretty limited on phones, so if Mozilla wanted to be in the market at all it needed to be shipping the default browser on a phone people would use.

There was also the reason of wanting a phone/tablet marketplace without vendor lock-in, which requires apps to be portable between phones from different vendors. That's where web apps come in. And yes, apps that you can move to your new phone even if you get it from a different manufacturer are intrinsically more valuable than apps that you lose if you move from iOS to Android or vice versa.

As for why you'd go for Firefox OS over Android, one answer is it performs better on limited hardware (think a phone with 256 megs ram, and yes, it's pretty hilarious what counts as "limited hardware" nowadays). If you say you're not likely to be buying a phone with those sorts of hardware specs, then you're not the target market. Remember what I said about "most of the worlds population" above? Well, the total population of Europe and North America is about 25% of the population of the world. The other 75% is not out to buy $600 phones. Neither are parts of Europe and North America, of course...

Comment: Re:It has a combined address/search bar (Score 1) 688

by BZ (#46871381) Attached to: Firefox 29: Redesign

The search bar is there for a simple reason. It's to allow a place to do searches with search autosuggest without sending every single URL you type to the search provider.

Chrome adopts the "send all the URLs the user types to the search provider" approach by default, unsurprisingly.

Of course if you don't care about the search autosuggest feature, you can just customize away the search bar.

For God's sake, stop researching for a while and begin to think!