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back to article Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles

The Mozilla Corporation has announced that it will soon offer the chance to run advertising in its browser. Ads will appear in what the foundation is calling “Directory Tiles” that appear when users summon a new Tab into existence. Explained as something “designed to improve the first-time-with-Firefox experience”, nine …

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<scratches head>

"Explained as something “designed to improve the first-time-with-Firefox experience”, nine Directory Tiles will appear in a grid on each new Tab. Today, all but one of the Tiles is blank."

<looks at a new FF tab>I have nine tiles, all of them contain links to my most-frequented sites. So: all nine tiles are already there, and none of them are blank.

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Re: <scratches head>

Hmm so by the looks of it they will replace 8 of those with ads

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Re: <scratches head>

So I guess your not a first time user then?

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Re: <scratches head>

Yes, but you haven't just installed Firefox and never visited a site...

This is on a fresh installation. Before you start visiting sites, the 9 tiles will have "ads" in them i.e. link to sites that sponsors of Mozilla think you should be interested in.

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Re: <scratches head>

But if it's a fresh installation, how would they know what you should be interested in?

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Re: <scratches head>

how would they know what you should be interested in?

Mumsnet will advise them? They know all about what you should and should not be allowed to see.

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Re: <scratches head>

Some people really need to learn to read.

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Re: <scratches head>

"But if it's a fresh installation, how would they know what you should be interested in?"

Well, obviously, you'll be interested in the companies with the biggest wallet, giving Mozilla the biggest bribes...

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Re: <scratches head>

I'm showing 9 blank tiles, but then I've got AdBlock Plus and NoScript enabled.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: <scratches head>

'So I guess your not a first time user then?'

So I guess you're language is not English, hinnit?

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Re: <scratches head>

Do you think they'll be allowed to block these ads?

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Re: <scratches head>

So I guess you're language is not English, hinnit?

Protip: If you replace "you're" with "you are" and it makes no sense, you're probably doing it wrong.

The irony is delicious though.

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Stop

shirley

they'll not appear if adblock is installed...?

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Re: shirley

These aren't ad ads from ad providers, they are pre-filled in "most visited" sites tiles on the new tab view. AdBlock won't be installed by that stage.

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Re: shirley

AdBlock should be one of those tiles.

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Tracking?

"while still leading to content we think users will enjoy"

So does this mean that Firefox will be collecting what websites you visit and sending them to Mozilla to pick ads?

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Re: Tracking?

Only if those sites are sponsoring Mozilla.

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Re: Tracking?

Sites "we think users will enjoy" is a very different thing from sites a specific user will enjoy based on their browsing history. Way to read too much into things duckie.

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Joke

Australis and now this?

They really are being paid by google to drive users to abandon firefox for chrome, right?

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Re: Australis and now this?

They must be with ideas like this..I will be gone to chromium pretty sharpish if they start putting ads into my browser.

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WTF is "tiles"?

I have no idea what this thing called "tiles" is. Is it something I disabled - and forgot - years ago? Or is it something they are going to introduce (and bypass AdBlock+ etc.)? Is this about the "Tile Tabs" add-on that Google has just found for me and that I have no intention to install anyway? That would be a relief...

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Re: WTF is "tiles"?

This is the 9 "tiles" that appear when you open a new tab.

When you install a fresh copy of Firefox on a new machine, it has no history of the sites you've visited, so they fill those tiles with sponsored links instead. Once you start visiting real sites, those sponsored sites will start disappearing.

At that point AdBlock + isn't installed and it wouldn't help anyway, because these aren't "ads" in that sense of the word.

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Re: WTF is "tiles"?

Oh, that c**p. I thought they were just some sort of background decoration.

They're tiles?

They're there for a reason?

WTF?

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Thumb Up

Re: WTF is "tiles"?

They're what disappear if you open a new tab and click on the faint grey 3 x 3 block in the top right hand corner so you never see them again...

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Re: WTF is "tiles"?

I'm with you, I found this "feature" to be utterly useless.

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Re: WTF is "tiles"?

You may find the most visited tiles useless but I find them very useful. You can also pin them in place on the new tab. When I open a new tab they provide links to six important sites I have pinned (El Reg and a bunch of sys admin stuff mostly) and three frequently visited sites. Very handy indeed.

Fortunately they will continue to do so since I am not a new user and any new install of Firefox is quickly synced with my others.

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Re: WTF is "tiles"?

I use those tiles every day, they're quicker than delving into my labyrinthine bookmarks menu for my most visited sites.

I'm not overly keen on ads built into the browser. However, since they'll only appear briefly to first time users I'm not going to complain. I use FireFox every day and Mozilla have never asked me for a penny.

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Boffin

@Fibbles - Re: WTF is "tiles"?

Perhaps you should re-organise your bookmarks a bit more coherently, then?

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Re: WTF is "tiles"?

> This is the 9 "tiles" that appear when you open a new tab.

I just get an empty window... I'll assume that I have not installed FF for a while then, just upgraded it while keeping personal configurations. The only important thing (to me) is that this is not some AdBlock-circumventing conspiracy.

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Pint

@ Graham Marsden Re: WTF is "tiles"?

Thank you, Graham...I was wondering how to disable that annoyance. A pint for ya.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WTF is "tiles"?

> When I open a new tab they provide links to six important sites I have pinned (El Reg and

"Important"?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WTF is "tiles"?

> I'm with you, I found this "feature" to be utterly useless.

When was in your opinion the last time that Mozilla came up with a useful (for the users, not for themselves) feature?

Private browsing? I do not recall anything newer that's not crud.

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Re: @Fibbles - WTF is "tiles"?

"Perhaps you should re-organise your bookmarks a bit more coherently, then?"

They're organised coherently into categories so that I can always find something no matter how obscure. However, this means that some of my most visited sites are buried 3 levels deep in the bookmarks menu. It's easier to have them as tiles on the new tab page so that they're one click away. Much the same as my programs menu is well organised but my most used applications get a shortcut on the desktop.

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Re: @Fibbles - WTF is "tiles"?

"this means that some of my most visited sites are buried 3 levels deep in the bookmarks menu"

Erm, are you aware that the Firefox Bookmarks tab has a "Most Visited" section...?

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Re: @Fibbles - WTF is "tiles"?

That folder displays most visited pages by view count which is not the same thing as a most visited website. For example, an internet forum might be one of my most visited websites but the one page that shows up in the 'most visited' bookmarks folder is the 'post successful' page. That's not particularly helpful.

Then there's the actual ease of use:

Bookmarks > Most visited > Website

New Tab > Website

I'm not expecting you to have some sort of epiphany about the tiles on the new tab page. Everyone has a preferred workflow and there's nothing wrong with that. A little less condescension would be nice though.

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Re: @Fibbles - WTF is "tiles"?

"They're organised coherently into categories so that I can always find something no matter how obscure. However, this means that some of my most visited sites are buried 3 levels deep in the bookmarks menu."

Do you utilize the Bookmarks Toolbar on your browser page? I have folders created there by subject matter, then bookmarks within. For the sites I visit every day there is a separate folder, and with just two clicks I can open a tab for every site within. Otherwise it's an incredibly easy way to find individual bookmarks.

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Copying Opera Discover?

Opera 15 (the Chrome based version) added something similar called "Discover". First thing I did was find out how to disable this "feature" which includes prefetching content which someone thinks I may be interested in.

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Anonymous Coward

My new tab does not have those annoying tiles anyway.

Last thing I want i my boss seeing my most visitted sites are not work related.

If I can't block this shit appearing I wont use the browser and may actually be forced to use chrome, yuk

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Palemoon is a good substitute for the corrupted versions of firefox they're releasing nowadays

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Chrome is where this "feature" first appeared. FF quickly copied it.

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You can delete sites from the new tab and pin them to it too. So delete your most visited non-work sites and pin some work sites to it. You might find its quite useful after all.

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Palemoon Portable is also an option

For those with no admin rights.

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Anonymous Coward

@Martin-73

Dude you rock. Thanks for the link. Works brilliantly and much more stable than FF.

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@ Martin-73

Thanks for the link, I'm trying out the atom optimised version on my netbook now.

Looks a lot faster though its early days.

I liked the useful little tool for importing your Firefox profile, completely painless migration.

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I have the browser.newtabpage.enabled config value set to false, so that I don't get that annoying tiles screen. I hope that adding ads to this doesn't mean that they will remove that option.

Yes another reason not to "upgrade" Firefox :(

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Because upgrading will surely let them know you are a new user? Do you often find all your preferences, history and bookmarks are deleted when upgrading Firefox?

Not upgrading a browser must be one of the most idiotic things to do, given each new release - from any of the big three browsers - is awash with security updates.

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Do you often find all your preferences, history and bookmarks are deleted when upgrading Firefox?

No, but I do find a bunch of stuff labelled "no longer supported" or plain ignored. Just because there's a value in the prefs.js file doesn't require the browser to pay any heed to it.

Not upgrading a browser must be one of the most idiotic things to do, given each new release - from any of the big three browsers - is awash with security updates.

Blindly upgrading any piece of software just because there's a new one is idiotic. New releases may have security fixes that I care about, but they may also have performance issues, bugs, and functional regressions that I care about more. I've lost track of the number of times I've upgraded FF or Thunderbird, only to have a "why the fsck did they do that" moment, followed by a downgrade & restore of all configuration. I'm generally several versions of FF behind the bleeding edge.

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It's also awash with mozilla developer stupidity

I am still on FF 22.0 since the new version forces you to have a tab bar, even for one single useless tab. Yes, I know you can get an addon for that, but I can also just skip upgrading.

I think that the real Firefox developers have left the house. The only "developers" left are the resume-padding "look ma! imma firefox developer!!" losers. They remove features because it's beyond their ability to add new ones. How do you explain things like removing working useful features like the tabs preferences for absolutely no reason?

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browser.newtabpage.enabled

Sweet. Thanks for the heads-up.

Now, a new tab comes up completely blank, not even with empty tiles. Excellent.

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Re: It's also awash with mozilla developer stupidity

"I am still on FF 22.0 since the new version forces you to have a tab bar, even for one single useless tab. Yes, I know you can get an addon for that, but I can also just skip upgrading..."

I'm on v25, and I'd love to get rid of that useless-assed single tab. What add-on is that, and where can I find it?

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