Linux Mint signs a partnership with Mozilla (Firefox)

KGIII

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gvisoc

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I think it's good. Mozilla defaults and general consistency are often what we --those using multiple machines on different platforms-- seek. Having the distribution packager fiddling in a user noticeable manner is adding friction.

Everytime my firefox gets updated and the home page goes to the Fedora Project website, I get super angry.
 
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KGIII

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I get super angry.

I can relate. Updates should not alter user customizations/configurations/settings - without prompting the user!

Unless absolutely required, developers who do that should be punched in the groin.
 

Brickwizard

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I like Firefox but do not like Yahoo, Google and the like, memo to self, check Firefox settings on updates/upgrades
 

kc1di

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I think in general it will be a good thing and adds consistency to the mix. Though I don't use FF that much here.
 
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Condobloke

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I think the main setting to check may well be Telemetry....or whatever setting involves that particular technology.

I guess my instinct to move from F'fox to either brave or chromium was well timed, given this revelation.

Google is involved?...count me out.

Money talks.

@KGIII ....your "hmm" says it all.

Which search engines generate an income for Linux Mint?

In Firefox the only engine which generates an income for Linux Mint is Google.

In other browsers the only engines which generate an income for Linux Mint are Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and Startpage.
 
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KGIII

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I like Firefox in theory. I'm grateful for what they've done. A long time ago, back when they were new, I donated enough to be listed in their full page ad in the NYT though I think I used a moniker for it rather than my real name. (So didn't a bunch of other people donate that much, it wasn't that exclusive.)

But, they've made choices that impact the browser's performance and function. They've made enough choices like that, to where I just don't reach for Firefox all that often. More often than not, I uninstall it. I use Firefox long enough to download a different browser.

Now, me? Oh, I don't mind Google. I get a good return on my 'investment' - meaning I get great services in exchange for my personal information. I'm okay with the exchange. But, others make reasonable complaints and others have many (often valid) reasons to avoid Google.

Money talks.

That brings to mind an important point. How much have *you* donated to Linux Mint?

That's a rhetorical question. I don't think I've ever donated to that project, though I have to many other projects. My point is, maybe if we donated more, they'd have less incentive to 'partner' with someone who's also bringing Google into the fold?

Or not... They might just be happier for the cash and spend it poorly or hoard it while still partnering with Mozilla.
 

Condobloke

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Hmmm

So Linux Mint is going to lose a bunch of search revenue? Was this your decision, or Mozilla’s?
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  1. 47c0ccacae660ba3f6872f5543dd9131
    Clem
    January 10, 2022 at 6:46 pm
    Hi Paul,
    Not necessarily. Predictions are good but it’s too early to say. We just don’t know how many people already run Google (which is currently monetized by neither Mozilla nor Mint). We’ll lose revenue from Yahoo and DuckDuckGo but we’ll get revenue from Google.
    The partnership is in place because we’re both happy with the outcome. Without the partnership we would have had to stop using the Mozilla brand if we wanted to continue to monetize the traffic with our search partners. I think people weren’t already keen with our customization, and I think losing the name “Firefox” would have been detrimental to our project long-term. Forking the browser or even continuing to adapt to changes when it comes to search is also very costly in terms of development. So no matter what, we couldn’t continue the way we did. Not having to spend resources on the Web browser is a huge plus for us. The Mozilla and Google brands are also extremely popular. Even if we lose money on search performance we think the change will make people happy, bring Google users in the Mint community back to monetization and attract more people long term to our distribution.
 

gvisoc

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@Condobloke Google is the vast major contributor to Chromium, Brave and all Blink-based browsers in terms of code, and the factual majority when it comes to steering on the standards' implementation those browsers represent. Saying that as Google is paying Firefox to include the search engine, "count you out", but then using Chromium of Brave is like changing a picture of an elephant for a stampede of actual elephants in order to avoid pachiderms.

The fact that Google pays for someone to include the engine as an option within the search engines is a pure income-based move, and it doesn't mean that Google will take further part in the project, either at an implementation, commercial or steering level. If you don't use Google within Firefox, Google won't affect you, whereas if you use Chromium or Brave, you're surfing the web under Google's technical ruling.
 

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I must agree (partly)...googles tech standards are incredibly high, as is their security & etc......but omg the advertising arm !!
 

Condobloke

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I see the current browser offerings as being somewhere between the devil and deep blue sea.
 

gvisoc

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That brings to mind an important point. How much have *you* donated to Linux Mint?

That's a rhetorical question. I don't think I've ever donated to that project, though I have to many other projects. My point is, maybe if we donated more, they'd have less incentive to 'partner' with someone who's also bringing Google into the fold?

Or not... They might just be happier for the cash and spend it poorly or hoard it while still partnering with Mozilla.
I'm going to play a fair / just role in this thread, but first a disclaimer:
  • I am de-googled except for YouTube, where I follow some awesome channels.
  • I am a privacy advocate and I am very verbal against the malvertisement industry, and against Google's and Facebook's Advertisement tracking. In my podcasts, in my social media, etc. This includes Microsft's Edge and "Web Experience Pack" in the latests versions of Windows 10 and 11 --something to avoid.
  • Still, I believe that while Facebook is a plain, pure evil company, Google's contrubitions have made Internet a better place. The number of lawsuits and trials against them talk for this opinion.
  • Sometimes, if DDG doesn't offer me the information I seek, I need to go to Google (or StartPage, which is the same effectively).
But:

For many people, Google makes their life so easier in order to do their internet activities. Their products are great. The resilience of their online services is awesome. What I see as a privacy invasion to me, is something personally agreed between Google and their users. Indeed, if someone asks me about what to use, and after a conversation they make an educated decision of dealing with the Google T&C, it's up to them. I won't stand between them and their goals.

I think that the vast majority of any number of newcomers to any Linux distributions, casually or leaning more towards a daily-driver type of use, will be using Google. That a project chooses to use that fact as an additional source of income, to me, is not bad. Indeed, it seems reasonable.

The question would be: what is the model of engagement? How likely is the project to be eager to listen to pressure from Google to put it deeper in the offering? This is where a project needs to be transparent.

I don't see any problem on Mozilla's or Mint's stances for now.
 
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Condobloke

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Condobloke

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This is where a project needs to be transparent.
Do either of the contributors to said engagement know how to spell that word?....let alone know its day to day meaning?....while practising obfuscation in the middle of being 'transparent'
 
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KGIII

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For many people, Google makes their life so easier in order to do their internet activities.

Absolutely. I think the key here is that I, personally, *knowingly* exchange my personal information for goods and services. I'm well aware of what's going on and I make that clear choice. Love 'em or hate 'em, Google has done a lot of good. (One might argue that they've done a lot of bad, but that's really not the topic.)

For the most part, as near as I can tell, they've been pretty open about what they are for a long time. They're an advertisement business with a variety of products that use Google's services to mine behavioral data and personal information. They're not just mining my data, they're looking at my behavior so that they can optimize their ads for other people in my socio-economical class with similar interests.

Is that evil? I'd say no - 'cause I knowingly do so.

Those that do not know are willfully ignorant and completely failed to read even the slightest bit of the terms of service or any one of a half-billion blog posts about it.
 

gvisoc

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Do either of the contributors to said engagement know how to spell that word?....let alone know its day to day meaning?....while practising obfuscation in the middle of being 'transparent'
Talking about Mozilla, they are quite transparent on the way they constitute the Foundation and their activities. They publish lots of material on their conduct, public records and their constitution here: https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/who-we-are/public-records/. There are also plenty of material on how they approach monetisation and how they are trying to improve it for the wider community.

About Mint, I don't now (never been interested on the project --too much to cover I guess)
 

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"Firefox is still a champion of Open Source, it still proudly promotes Free Software outside of our community and it still produces one of the best and the most open browsers available not only to us but to millions of people who enjoy it on proprietary operating systems before migrating to Linux."

It appears Clem decided to switch careers and become a fertilizer salesman. Because Mozilla has repeatedly engaged in shady development practices that angered many users, and learned nothing in the process (even after being heavily criticized by the FOSS community), I can't imagine what was going through the heads of the Mint team at the time (maybe Mozilla invited them to their corporate office and slipped something in their drinks). While I don't hate the Mint distro, and I don't have any plans of switching to another distro for the time being, this kind of (what I would describe as) blatant ignorance makes me disappointed in the Mint team now. I'd like to imagine this doesn't lead to them engaging in virtue signaling again in the future, but this article makes me think they will.
 
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