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siljaline
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[Firefox] Mozilla launches browser ads for Firefox

quote:
Mozilla just rolled out the latest feature for its Firefox (nightly) build. The new-browser tab now sports sponsored tiles, which act as a quick way to access a combination of ads and popular content.

When the Directory Tiles program was first announced back in February, it was pitched as a way to provide value for first-time users. The ads apparently don’t include tracking technology, but stats such as views and click-throughs will be provided to companies that sign up for the program.
»venturebeat.com/2014/08/28/mozil···firefox/


Santa Fe
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darcilicious
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Because ya know, it's not like there won't be an add-on to disable that within three seconds of the final release...
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siljaline
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1 edit
reply to Santa Fe
We'll find a way to (de-Borg) the new Directory Tile Ad Tabs, surely.
»thenextweb.com/apps/2014/08/28/m···ab-page/


sivran
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reply to siljaline
Most popular extension is AdBlockPlus.

Throw ads directly into the browser.

Seems legit.

I switched to Cyberfox. Damn I wish Opera hadn't self-destructed.
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siljaline
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Despite Santa Fe See Profile's having discredited the post ...

This is a clear indicator that Mozilla are still clearly after monetizing the Browser - Directory Tiles are still fully on the table. Unwitting users will get ads in new tabs, while the rest of us will tweak it out via about:config



chachazz
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1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to siljaline
Directory Tiles (in new tab page) has been in Nightly for quite some time and is also in the Aurora channel; next move Beta builds.

Easy enough to turn off. Using the icon on the new tab page set to "Blank" turns it off; (about:config setting will then show "browser.newtabpage.enabled = false").




More accurate info: »www.cnet.com/news/mozilla-expand···x-users/

BitWeasel

join:2012-05-22
reply to siljaline
@chachazz: Does that eliminate all communication with Mozilla advertising tile servers? I don't know exactly what is in those or why it wouldn't. I'm just curious for now. I think the related prefs may be browser.newtabpage.directory.*.


plencnerb
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reply to chachazz
It appears that you are running a version that has the Browser ads already in place. Is that correct?

If it is, could you check a few things for me, to see if some assumptions that I made a while back on this are valid?

On a clean install, with zero modifications, what do you get if you type the following into the address bar: "about:newtab"? I ask this, as that is what the default action is when you click on the little plus (+) sign to open a new tab. That is the address that the browser goes to.

In current versions, when you put in "about:newtab" you get a screen that shows your default search engine's search bar, plus 9 places that could be images of cached web pages that you have visited. My understanding of how Mozilla was going to code this was that they were going to modify the functionally of "about:newtab" in that if you did not have 9 cached web pages, it would load ad's to fill them all in.

Example: If I do that now, I get a screen like this




So, I would guess that with "Browser ads for Firefox" in place, my screen would not be blank, but would contain 9 images of ad's that may or may not be of interest to me.

IF the above is true, then I am wondering what the default value is for this Preference Name: "browser.newtab.url".

Currently, that value is "about:newtab". If you change that to something else, like
https://www.google.com
 

and then click on the new tab icon (the little plus to open a new tab), does that work as expected? Meaning, does it open a new tab, and put the value that you entered for Preference Name, or does it do something else?

Again, IF what I am asking works the way I think it should (which, btw, is how it works now), then I see no big deal about this. I've used the above step to modify what my New Tab looks like for at least 6 months now. If that continues to work as it did before, then I'll never see the ads, and all is well.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope it is easy to follow. :)

Thanks,

--Brian

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--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
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therube

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reply to siljaline


carpetshark3
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reply to siljaline
Where is it getting the info from if you don't keep history? If it is using browser history, then that checkbox for both history and the damn awful bar are invalid if you have them set to NO history.


siljaline
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reply to therube
quote:
“Pinning helps protect users from man-in-the-middle-attacks and rogue certificate authorities,” Chew argues. Which is right. But the feature can also create problems. Site operators need to be aware of it, which can make for extra work. There's also the potential for Firefox to get things wrong. Chew warns that new WiFi connections, for example, might create transient pinning problems as certification chains break.

There's plenty of potential for these two new features to embroil Mozilla in controversy: let the click games begin!
»www.theregister.co.uk/2014/08/29···ghtlies/


siljaline
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reply to carpetshark3
This is the sort of news out of Mozilla I want to read:
Mozilla tackles the browser memory conundrum
»www.infoworld.com/t/web-developm···m-249448

We already know how to hide ads in Tabs.

Moving right along ...


chachazz
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reply to BitWeasel
said by BitWeasel:

@chachazz: Does that eliminate all communication with Mozilla advertising tile servers? I don't know exactly what is in those or why it wouldn't. I'm just curious for now. I think the related prefs may be browser.newtabpage.directory.*.

Actually there are two .directory items in about:config.
Find the technical documentation and give us a link.
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chachazz
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reply to plencnerb
Firefox Nightly Builds, for your own testing
»nightly.mozilla.org/


chachazz
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reply to siljaline
said by siljaline:

This is a clear indicator that Mozilla are still clearly after monetizing the Browser - Directory Tiles are still fully on the table.

Indeed ...you need income, they need income, we all need income.

Any suggestions on better ways to produce long-term, reliable income? Let's hear them.

btw, a worthwhile read - Mozilla's Content Services team - A Call for Trust, Transparency and User Control in Advertising

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plencnerb
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reply to chachazz
said by chachazz:

Firefox Nightly Builds, for your own testing
»nightly.mozilla.org/

Thanks! I'll download and give it a try and post some results. I promise to keep the reply short!


plencnerb
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Well, I just downloaded and installed the latest nightly build.

Default install, no extensions, 2 plug-ins (flash and silverlight), no modifications to options or about:config items.

Yes, when you click on the little + sign, you get the screen that chachazz See Profile posted that contains the ads. I then typed "about:newtab" into the address bar, and the same thing shows up. So, as I suspected, Mozilla changed the coding / logic behind that functionally in the browser.

I then went in and searched for the Preference Name "browser.newtab.url". It is still there, and has a default value of "about:newtab". Which, has been the default for a long time now. I changed the default value to be Google's homepage. Which, btw, is also what I have my home page set to.

Clicking on the new tab icon opens a new tab, and I'm presented with Google's home page instead of the page with the ad's and my browser history. Just like it has always worked.

The only other concern could be is this: If whatever logic is still "on" that allows "about:newtab" to function correctly (display the ad's plus my search history) is still doing its thing to collect that data, we may want to figure out if there is a way to turn that tracking off. I know for some people that is a concern, and for others it is not. Personally for me, as long as I don't see the ads when I click on the new tab icon, all is well and good.

--Brian
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EdmundGerber

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reply to chachazz
said by chachazz:

said by siljaline:

This is a clear indicator that Mozilla are still clearly after monetizing the Browser - Directory Tiles are still fully on the table.



Any suggestions on better ways to produce long-term, reliable income? Let's hear them.

Uhm - don't piss off your user-base?


Davesnothere
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said by EdmundGerber:

Uhm - don't piss off your user-base?

 
Right, and they learned how not to do THAT from the public's reaction to the Australis UI ?

Nahhhh !


DelmarPip
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join:2011-10-15
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reply to siljaline
mozilla is in bed with google come on ads will be the end ruslt ads that are impossible to block that track you that invade your privacy its money in mozillas pockets from google


siljaline
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And then some ...

Mozilla presses forward with new revenue plan, debuts ads in Firefox preview

quote:
The ads, which Mozilla's calls "sponsored tiles," were first discussed by Mozilla in February, but the initiative was criticized by Firefox users. The company, however, defended the in-browser ad project, saying it was important to find other revenue sources besides its long-standing deals with search providers like Google.
In May, Mozilla reiterated support for the ads but also promised users that Firefox would not become "a mess of logos."
»www.computerworld.com/article/26···iew.html

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BitWeasel

join:2012-05-22
reply to chachazz
said by chachazz:

Actually there are two .directory items in about:config.
Find the technical documentation and give us a link.

These would be the latest ones I think:

// directory tiles download URL
pref("browser.newtabpage.directory.source", "https://tiles.services.mozilla.com/v2/links/fetch");

// endpoint to send newtab click and view pings
pref("browser.newtabpage.directory.ping", "https://tiles.services.mozilla.com/v2/links/");

For accurate up-to-date information, best go straight to the source and build files for which ever build is in question. I've scanned the bug reports and diffs every few weeks, but that is about it.


plencnerb
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I know we are comparing apples to oranges, but I also know that some of the prefs from Watefox are also in Firefox.

So, I went looking to see if any form of "browser.newtabpage." was already in Waterfox 31.0.0. Here is what we got.




As you can see, there is a "browser.newtabpage.directorySource", which is close to, but not exactly "browser.newtabpage.directory.source". Default value in Waterfox is "data:application/json,{}". I would assume that is the location where Waterfox reads your cached webpage data to display that information on the screen.

With some more testing here, that could be another way to set things back so to speak, for those that want the functionally of about:newtab showing cached webpages, but not ad's. If you put the value I have for waterfox (assuming it is the same value that is in the current firefox builds) into the nightly build, will the ad's go away, but leave things as they were......

Time to re-install the latest nightly and find out! Results coming soon!

--Brian
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============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail


plencnerb
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So I went and installed Firefox 31.0.0, just to see what things look like.
The Preference name "browser.newtabpage.directory.source" is not there. However, it, like Waterfox 31.0.0 has "browser.newtabpage.directorySource". The difference is no dot (.) between directory and Source, and Source starts with a lowercase s.

The default value in FF and WF for that item is "data:application/json,{}".

Looking at the most recent nightly "34.0a1 (2014-08-30)", we have this




Clicking on the new tab button gets us this (which, we have seen before, but wanted to post just for clarity)




If I modify the preference "browser.newtabpage.directory.source" from its default value of "https://tiles.services.mozilla.com/v2/links/fetch" to be "data:application/json,{}",




and then click the new tab button, guess what? No more ad's are shown!




So that is another way to remove the ad's from the nightly builds, if you are a user that does utilize the functionally of NewTab and your Cached webpage data.

--Brian
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============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail

BitWeasel

join:2012-05-22

1 edit
reply to plencnerb
said by plencnerb:

As you can see, there is a "browser.newtabpage.directorySource", which is close to, but not exactly "browser.newtabpage.directory.source". Default value in Waterfox is "data:application/json,{}". I would assume that is the location where Waterfox reads your cached webpage data to display that information on the screen.

I hesitate to link to what I think is lagging info, but in case it is helpful:
»wiki.mozilla.org/Directory_Tiles#Preferences

Edit: Oops, you had already made progress and followed up by the time I posted this. I'll leave it anyway.


plencnerb
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Thanks for the link. It is interesting that, according to what I've read, it appears that the default for "browser.newtabpage.directorySource" is "chrome://global/content/directoryLinks.json".

Yet, on both Waterfox 31.0.0 and Firefox 31.0.0, the "default" that is shown is not that, but "data:application/json,{}".

After reading the link, it says this in regards to that value
quote:
Changing to this preference will revert you to displaying all blank tiles on the new tab page.

I just find it interesting that by default, Mozilla has it off to display the cached web pages. I would think that would be on? Or was that a discussion in an old thread that I might have missed, meaning that in an older version, it was on, and then in a later version, the default was changed to be off?

--Brian
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============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail

BitWeasel

join:2012-05-22
Directory source as in where to find the list of Directory Tiles. Directory Tiles as in the ones that Mozilla is pushing out. I believe the "cached web pages" you are referring to are called History Tiles.

If you change the source for Directory Tiles to point to an empty list, there would be no Directory Tiles to show.


Davesnothere
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reply to plencnerb
said by plencnerb:

So I went and installed Firefox 31.0.0, just to see what things look like....

 
The Tab Options of Pale Moon 24.7.1 look like this (above) screenshot :

This is one more reason to consider PM, because what you get in a new tab can be simply managed thru the options menues.


siljaline
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reply to DelmarPip