Firefox’s birthday present to us: Teaching tech titans about DIY upstarts

As Lilly notes:

[The Firefox vs. IE history] puts the current mobile wars in real relief. Apple versus Google is an amazing battle of Goliaths – but it’s clear that we need a purely-public-benefit player to step in to keep both players more honest and focused on doing what’s right for humans. Firefox OS is a first step towards that.

Lest we forget

Keystone Cops too busy bowing to FBI demands

A few isolated incidents or part of an alarming pattern? It’s time we found out. In the Dotcom case, not only have our law enforcement agencies cut corners – or worse – in their excitement at being part of Uncle Sam’s world police team, in so doing they have broken New Zealand laws designed to protect the rights of the people they’ve sworn to uphold.

They’ve also broken our trust. That’s earned them medals from the FBI. We can’t leave it at that.

FBI, also bowing to demands, from US film studios.

New Zealand Parliament – 1. Dotcom Case – Actions of Government Communications Security Bureau

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No. It is important to understand what the ministerial certificate is. The ministerial certificate is essentially a suppression order that was on the basis of an application by Kim Dotcom’s legal team to release the name of the Government Communications Security Bureau’s activity. It is not normal practice for us to do that. So, because the bureau believed it had acted lawfully, it asked the Acting Prime Minister to sign the ministerial certificate, which avoided it having to make that public statement.

Browsers should have been cars. Instead they’re shopping carts.

I want to drive on the Web, but instead I’m being driven. All of us are. And that’s a problem.

It’s not for lack of trying on the part of websites and services such as search engines. But they don’t make cars. They make stores and utilities that try to be personal, but aren’t, and never can be.

Take, for example, the matter of location. The Internet has no location, and that’s one of its graces. But sites and services want to serve, so many notice what IP address you appear to be arriving from. Then they customize their page for you, based on that location. While that might sound innocent enough, and well-intended, it also fails to know one’s true intentions, which matter far more to each of us than whatever a website guesses about us, especially if the guessing is wrong.

Shopping carts on rails according to a later analogy from Doc. And that’s really sad. I used to compare railways to telcos, their services, their time-table, their price. And the Internet to the personal vehicle. From Doc’s perspective it appears the mass consumer Internet is trending that way.