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Mozilla Is Working On a Firefox OS-powered Streaming Stick 89

SmartAboutThings writes: Mozilla took the world by surprise when it announced that it was developing a Firefox operating system that would be used for mobile phones, particularly in developing markets. Such devices have already arrived, but they aren't the only targets for the new operating. According to a report from GigaOM, Mozilla is currently working on a secretive project to develop a Chromecast-like media streaming stick powered by Firefox-OS. Mozilla's Christian Heilmann shared a picture of a prototype.
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Mozilla Is Working On a Firefox OS-powered Streaming Stick

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  • by asa ( 33102 ) <> on Saturday June 21, 2014 @12:47PM (#47288955) Homepage

    Mozilla doesn't build hardware. We make software, including Firefox OS. Firefox OS is a completely open platform freely available for any company to build on top of without restriction. There are dozens of companies building Firefox OS-based products today and there will be more tomorrow, covering mobile phones, tablets, TVs, set top boxes, game consoles, streaming dongles, wearables, and more. Some of those companies are working directly with Mozilla and others are taking the code and running with it on their own.

    • and google doesn't make google glass or chromebooks

      • by asa ( 33102 ) <> on Saturday June 21, 2014 @01:08PM (#47289059) Homepage

        Your attempt to confuse here isn't really helpful.

        Google does *sell* Google Glass and Nexus phones and tablets and Chromecast and Nest and soon Dropcams and probably more. They are "Google products" branded and sold by Google as theirs.

        Mozilla only has one device that it works on directly, the Firefox OS Flame reference phone. The rest of the hardware you see out there is being made and sold by someone else.

        And that's not just true of the hardware. Much of the work going on to extend Firefox OS software into areas outside of phones is being done by third parties for their products.

    • You've done the same as google did with Android - take Linux, write a few hardware specific drivers and shove a roll-your-own graphics interface on top. Its a pity you and Google don't give credit where its due frankly but oddly enough the word linux never seems to mentioned in any of your or their presentations. As if the effort of the thousands of people who helped develop linux counts for sweet FA in your marketing.

      • They did the same think linux did with GNU, take the GNU's code, shove a little kernel underneath. Its a pity it's not called GNU Linux.. removes-tounge-from-cheek.

        Seriously though, relax. There's decades of code and efforts that this leverages. Just enjoy the free code available even if you don't use it. Don't get all stressed out if they don't thank every one. This isn't the Oscars.

        • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

          Its not a case of thanking them , its merely a case of acknowledging the fact that its not entirely of their own making. But instead they pretend they wrote the entire thing. Point taken about GNU.

        • The linux proyect does not distribute any GNU code. Third parties create "GNU/Linux" distrinutions, and some of them mention GNU intheir name (eg: Debian GNU/Linux).

    • by Elbart ( 1233584 )
      The only things missing now are buyers and users.
    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      Mozilla doesn't build hardware. We make software

      Really? I thought YOU fucked up user interfaces.

  • Please add an auxiliary audio output that doesn't require HDMI to get audio. TOSLINK or analog left/right, as long as we can route the audio somewhere else than the display itself.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why has Mozilla been doing so much stupid shit lately? They pretty much killed Thunderbird, which was my favorite email client. They've been dumbing down Firefox, too. Now it has a really stupid user interface that I find really difficult to use. Firefox is still really slow and uses a lot of memory compared to Chrome. I don't even know why I still use Firefox. It's probably just because of Firebug. I've only heard very bad reviews of Firefox OS. Everyone who uses it says that the phones suck dink, the OS i

    • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @01:03PM (#47289039)

      thunderbird still around and just going to community development model. or you're going to pay mozilla for the expense of keeping it purely in house? no? you've never contributed to anything? then shut the fuck up.

    • by grim4593 ( 947789 ) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @01:26PM (#47289115)
      How has Thunderbird been killed? It is a stable mature piece of software. There are very few features that they could add to it without making a bloated piece of software.
      • by colfer ( 619105 )

        TB has some architectural problems and the withdrawal of paid developers by Mozilla makes it unlikely they will be fixed. The problem I ran into is that attachments cannot easily be stored separately from messages. That column showing the attachment count is actually just a guess. The db does not have real info on the MIME situation in messages. All that work is done on the fly whenever you open the message. You can detach the attachments from messages and store them separately, but only by clicking on mess

      • There are very few features that they could add to it without making a bloated piece of software.

        Yeah, 'cause if the UI stopped refusing keyboard input while it was indexing a large folder the users would revolt!

      • Contact syncing? (eg: CardDav). That's been on their plate for years, and it's a pretty important feature nowadays that we have stuff like smartphone which we want to keep in sync.

        There's a few other critical features/issues still open which never got the attention they deserved.

  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @01:01PM (#47289033)
    Sorry - my hearing's shot. A couple years in the field artillery will do that to ya!

    Mozilla should go back to doing what they have always done best - annoying the shit out of Microsoft in the browser wars.

  • This is a fantastic idea. One that fits with what Mozilla does already. The perfect expansion of their work: 64 bit Firefox.

    Yeah, I know it's radical. And maybe they will struggle at first. But who knows, maybe they will succeed where so many other browser vendors have failed.

    • by _xeno_ ( 155264 ) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @01:15PM (#47289089) Homepage Journal

      Firefox already is 64-bit and has been for quite a while.

      Just, not on Windows. I think their excuse was something to do with third party plugins not being 64-bit. (Although I'm pretty sure they have a 32-bit plugin shim that works on Linux and Mac OS X, so whatever.)

      I don't really care, though, since Firefox 30 entirely broke Firefox with the proxy where I work. Now I can't access outside sites at all due to OCSP errors and I can't access internal sites since they removed NTLMv1 support as a "security hole."

      • You hear that whooshing sound? Coming from somewhere over your head? Don't bother looking up. I'm well aware of waterfox and 64 bit nightlies.

        • by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

          Why are you using "Waterfox" and 64 bit nightlies? The official Firefox builds themselves have been 64 bit for several years now.

          Assuming you're using Mac OS X or 64-bit Linux. It's just Windows that doesn't have a 64-bit Firefox for some dumb, poorly explained reason. (Keep in mind that 64-bit Firefox on Mac OS X managed to support 32-bit plugins, so it's not that. Clearly they can manage.)

          • Assuming you're using Mac OS X or 64-bit Linux. It's just Windows that doesn't have a 64-bit Firefox for some dumb, poorly explained reason.

            Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

            My job requires specialized software that only runs on windows. And truthfully, the 32 bit version of Firefox works fine. But as you put it, it's dumb and poorly explained.

          • by BZ ( 40346 )

            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.

            • This sounds like an actual use for that stub installer that you serve by default to Windows users. Just have it pick which version to download.

              • by BZ ( 40346 )

                You mean have it download both versions, on 64-bit, right? It's not a matter of choosing: you need a 32-bit process to run the plug-ins in, and a 64-bit one for the actual browsing.

                This is doable, and being worked on; it's just not been a top priority for various reasons.

                • I was assuming that the 32-bit plugin process could be a lightweight shim. I doubt it'd need 64-bit versions of all 54 MB of the dlls that Firefox ships with.

                  • by BZ ( 40346 )

                    That would take a lot more development effort, since plug-ins depend on a lot of functionality being present in-process with them that's based on libraries that make up a good bit of that 54MB.

                    On Mac, the plugin process is the same binary as the 32-bit Firefox process...

    • A 64-bit Firefox would require more progress on Shumway, a free JavaScript-powered replacement for Adobe's proprietary 32-bit Flash Player.
    • by Tridus ( 79566 )

      It'll be coming real soon now. Chrome just came out with a 64 bit version, and the Mozilla policy is pretty much "copy anything Chrome does."

      So, no worries!

    • Uhm... 64bit firefox has been around for over half a decade. Wake up, dude!

  • Do they have the content to support 'yet another smart tv platform'?

    • It's based on a browser. I'm guessing their content source will be what we call "The Internet". Millons of videos ready to watch.

  • Chromcast: no porn!
    Firefoxcast: porn!
  • Please let me know when they start making a web browser that whan updating does not disable half of the user extensions without warning.
  • I suspect I can safely assume that it'll be easy for anyone (e.g. MediaGoblin [] or other projects) to write an interface to it. Can we also safely assume it'll support all media formats that Firefox supports natively (i.e. .ogg [vorbis], .ogv [theora/vorbis], .webm [vp8/vorbis], .opus [opus audio in ogg], and .webm version 2 [vp9/opus])?

    (and, seriously, why doesn't Mozilla throw in with MediaGoblin, or perhaps start a similar project to help end-users host their own "content"? It seems like an obvious directi

The absent ones are always at fault.