back to article Mozilla's creepy Mr Robot stunt in Firefox flops in touching tribute to TV show's 2nd season

Mozilla automatically installed a weird add-on to Firefox on people's computers – an add-on that turned out to be a marketing promotion for the hit telly show Mr Robot. The open-source non-profit dev house secretly slipped the oddity, dubbed Through the Looking Glass, into browser installations as a shield study. These special …

  1. Updraft102 Silver badge

    They really are trying to follow Microsoft off of the cliff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Our goal with the custom experience we created with Mr Robot was to engage our users in a fun and unique way,"

      This quote sounds like it came straight from the Microsoft PR department. Like people want their browser to "engage" with them. It's supposed to be the other way around jagoffs.

      1. Notas Badoff Silver badge

        Attitude

        Their attitude is what keeps them doing it to themselves. Simply this: Mozilla is always proud of themselves. Now what other well-loved companies fell into that trap?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Attitude

          they can be 'proud of themselves' all they WANT to if they can get the product right...

          But with things like Australis, breakage of legacy plugins (many of which "FIX" the Australis b0rk-up), 2D FLATSO HTML 'settings' pages, etc. - this "users are by default our beta testers" nonsense is JUST the icing on the arrogance cake of FAIL.

          /me points out that PRIDE isn't necessarily bad, but when you're proud of something, and it's NOT deserved, it becomes ARROGANCE.

      2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Meh

        Groupthink

        "Shield Studies must be approved by

        - a Firefox Product Manager

        - Data Steward

        - Legal

        - QA

        - Release Management

        - AMO review

        - a member of the core Shield Team."*

        Did none of these people see a problem with this?

        *https://wiki.mozilla.org/Firefox/Shield/Shield_Studies

        1. Alan W. Rateliff, II

          Re: Groupthink

          Well, that list neither implies a hierarchy nor a point at which dissenting opinions may be over-ruled.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Groupthink

          It seems it most of Mozilla didn't know this was happening, the bug was marked as private so not even other Mozilla employees could see it. The asylum is being run by Marketing yet again.

          Bugzilla 1424977

        3. Mage Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Groupthink

          Why would you expect them to see a problem considering all the other stupid things Mozilla have done to Firefox?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Groupthink

          If it's anything like my work even if they voiced concerns because the "big boss" is in favour of it, it happens anyway.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Our goal with the custom experience we created with Mr Robot was to engage our users in a fun and unique way,"

        That is just such a fuckwitted, socially inept geek way of looking at the world. It's akin to "Why would anyone see any downside to this, it's all just harmless fun". You can engage me by writing a stable, performant, well supported browser and not filling my machine with shit.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Demographic

          "pushed to a big bunch of people – seemingly everyone who kept the default settings – and was intended as a game to promote the hacker-centric TV suspense-drama."

          Isnt that exactly the wrong cross section of users for a "hacker-centric TV suspense-drama"? They need to "invert selection".

        2. LDS Silver badge

          "socially inept geek way of looking at the world."

          Exactly - and their little world only - as if everybody knew what Mr. Robot is.

          But too many people at Mozilla look to be thinking more and more a browser is used just for fun, and not to produce actual work - it has to be managed professionally, and not by marketing.

          So they're busy to optimize maybe your "streaming experience" - while killing support for managing your network devices...

      4. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

        It's like letters and packages from somebody you don't know, though in a language you do know. It made me angry. Turned out it was a gift--that was supposed to be an adventure--from the missuz. It must have hurt her worse than it hurt me. That's where the parallel breaks down. Mozilla never hurts, it blithely continues.

      5. BillG Silver badge
        WTF?

        WTF?

        What a complete and total lack of common sense.

    2. Unicornpiss Silver badge

      "They really are trying to follow Microsoft off of the cliff."

      You may be right.. Look at how similar the last release of FF looks to the hated Edge browser.

      I've been a loyal FF user for 10+ years on several platforms and this makes me sad. Mozilla's last Android FF release is also completely unusable.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      They really are trying to follow Microsoft off of the cliff.

      I need to be able to give you more than one up-vote for that...

  2. tfewster Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Extended Support Release track

    Firefox ESR 52.5.2 doesn't seem to support "about:studies"

    What a shame, I won't get to see it. I knew there was a reason I stuck to the ESR.

    1. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: Extended Support Release track

      "I knew there was a reason I stuck to the ESR".

      I seriously can't believe they pulled a stunt like this while simultaneously pushing out the ctashfest that is Quantum.

      Imagine the scene - you get the plugin, Quantum craps itself (yet again), and suddenly you've got this extra plugin saying hello.

      Yeah, that's why we deployed ESR rather than latest-and-greatest.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Extended Support Release track

        ESR here, too.

        Latest version on the boxen with slackware-current, though ... but I didn't get hit with it. After all these years, I automagically go through and turn off anything labeled "automatic" in any code I install. Handy reflex to have. Strangely enough, I don't even remember turning it off!

        However, bad move Mozilla. ARG indeed.

        1. Michael Strorm

          Re: Extended Support Release track

          @jake; "ESR here, too."

          That's great Eric, but why are you calling yourself "Jake"?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Extended Support Release track

            If you ever read me arguing with Raymond on Usenet ::mumble:: years ago, you'd know we aren't the same person.

            And it's "jake", not "Jake". There is an entity here on ElReg called "Jake" (there have been a couple of them, actually, over the years), and s/he ain't me either.

      2. joed Silver badge

        Re: Extended Support Release track

        I don't know what crashfest you're referring to. The other OP mentioned Palemoon - well, this one would be more prone to crashes and memory leaks (at least in my somewhat extensive experience).

        Back to the study - I did not get whacked with Mr Robot crap but I once suffered "serious trauma" when Mozilla tested merging urlbar and the search box. I wasted whole evening (I like the idea of googling only when I mean to) trying to customize my FF, all in vain before figuring out it I was a test rat. Forgiven but not forgotten. Still the best browser out there, especially now that NoScript is back in Quantum (I did ESR my other boxes during that painful transition as life was unbearable without NS and some sites just refused to render in Palemoon).

    2. fobobob

      Re: Extended Support Release track

      I've chosen to suffer the clunkiness of ESR 45 + ublock + noscript where i must use it at all (generally a PaleMoon user). Nothing against the new shiny, personally (i haven't used it enough to have an opinion), but I'll stick with the devil that is known for now. If they could've managed to get Developer Tools to parity with FireBug, I might not have seen it this way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Extended Support Release track

        "If they could've managed to get Developer Tools to parity with FireBug"

        You do realise that Developer Tools *is* FireBug?

    3. Oh Homer Silver badge
      Windows

      about:studies

      (!) The address isn't valid
      Yay.

      You can have my ESR when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

    4. just_me
      Mushroom

      Re: Extended Support Release track

      Don't bet on ESR not supporting "studies" or "experiments". Look at 'about:config' search on the category 'experiments.'.... what do you see??

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        @just_me Re: Extended Support Release track

        Interesting - Thank you for that. The Firefox Wiki indicates that "experiments" are just about Firefox telemetry, but it's a sobering reminder that a browser is a two-way window.

    5. Nattrash
      Boffin

      Re: Extended Support Release track

      Also got a blank on about:studies on an (eval) box with Quantum here...

      But could it be this is connected to the setting in prefs.js of

      "app.shield.optoutstudies.enabled"

      As for us: didn't get this on the Quantum box. Or the Waterfox ones...

  3. sjsmoto

    "Our goal with the custom experience we created with Mr Robot was to engage enrage our users..."

    FTFY and you met that goal.

  4. alan buxey

    all foretold

    "And while we’re here, they are having their way with us.

    They’ve packaged our fight into product, turned our dissent into intellectual property, televising our revolution with commercial breaks.

    They’ve backdoored into our minds and robbed our truth, refurbished the facts, then marked up the price.

    This is what they do. This is what they’re good at. This is their greatest trick.

    Lobotomizing us into their virtual reality horror show."

    :)

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: all foretold

      Or, more succinctly...

      "We live in a kingdom of bullshit."

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: all foretold

      interesting quote, it forced me to google. Seems to be from 3rd season of the 'Mr. Robot' series.

      After reading about it here I'm not sure I'd want to even SEE that show.

      It's been my experience that hackers aren't anarchists, most aren't socialists (like Stallman), nor even anti-capitalists. The EFF is more like the ACLU than not, it seems, and doesn't really represent what [from what I've seen] MOST hackers think or do.

      Most hackers seem to be (in general ) are libertarians, and somewhat conservative at that. In other words, it's less about legalizing everything (like drugs), and more about just being a "more free" society. After all, OTHER methods of governance take freedom (and/or money) AWAY. And most of them (us) are employed in fields where rapid thinking, problem solving, and creative solutions are key to making your customer/employer happy with you. You know, like I.T., engineering, software, ...

      And I don't think you'll find too many hackers that are SJW's, either. Maybe, among the easily brainwashed n00b/s'kiddie types you'll find a few, but generally NO. Hackers tend to want their freedom, and freedom for everyone else, too [even if they don't agree with it]. You'll also find that hackers generally accept social change a bit faster than others, too, mostly on the 'live and let live' side, and not the "we have to change everybody who disagrees with us" side - as an example I had some interesting online discussions with a transgender hacker some time ago (about transgender-ness, lots of interesting resources referenced), and that particular hacker had no problem being accepted in the newsgroup, without the usual "suck-up" behavior that SJW's and the left typically give to people who are in 'SJW protected classes'.. yeah it's sad when "the new XXX employee" gets sucked-up to that way. EMBARASSINGLY sad, like they become instant 'celebreties'. I just treat people the same, regardless. I think that's what they want, too.

      But, regardless of all of that, the 'alternative' perception of hackers makes for popular TV shows, I'd guess... so it's perpetuated. Thing is, hackers probably don't care nor don't watch the show. Hackers on shows like 'Bull' and 'Criminal Minds' and 'NCIS' are, however, pretty close to "the real thing" from my perspective. I mean, who doesn't like Garcia? Abbey? or McGee? Or that hacker girl on 'Bull' ?

      Anyway, 'nuff from me now. I should get "work" done.

  5. TechnicalBen Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I'm sure it's opt in...

    " by default, Firefox accepts and enables these studies."

    Oh well.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: I'm sure it's opt in...

      That's why the first thing I do after an install/update is to review settings and deselect anything that look like that... the real issue is when the options are hidden...

      1. AdamWill

        Re: I'm sure it's opt in...

        On that note, this "shield study" preference appears to have been snuck in as a sub-setting of an *older* setting. There has been a "Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla" setting for a while; it may have been opt-in at some point but for quite a whole it's been opt-out. I've usually left this checked as I generally figured I trust Mozilla *enough* to let them do some telemetry stuff. But among other things, this debacle caused me to notice that they've snuck in "Allow Firefox to install and run studies" as a *sub-preference* of "Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla", which was set to "yes" (checked) by default without ever once explicitly notifying me about it.

        This is bad. These "shield studies" are clearly a pretty different thing from telemetry even when they're actual studies and not TV marketing tie-ins, and I don't think it's cricket at all to just go ahead and assume anyone who's okay with telemetry is okay with being used as a feature test guinea pig.

  6. Adam 1 Silver badge

    Et tu 2 Moz?

    Whilst the lyrical stylings of certain Irish tax dodgers may not be to everyone's taste, the payload was not executable code. I just don't get why they would do this. It isn't as if the browser experience couldn't otherwise be improved by fixing performance bottlenecks and fixing long-standing bugs. Seriously, sort out your priorities.

  7. tempemeaty

    Death by a thousand cuts?

    It's been a little theory of mine, that Mozilla leadership is actively sabotaging the browser and trying to make it look accidental.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Death by a thousand cuts?

      Google must set Mozilla policy?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'Google must set Mozilla policy?'

        They do! Mozilla dropped Yahoo and returned to the loving arms of Mountain View recently iirc. So Pale Moon is it then, thoughts?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: 'Google must set Mozilla policy?'

          "So Pale Moon is it then, thoughts?"

          resurrect 'Iceweasel' as part of 'devuan' maybe. make sure it easily builds from source on all platforms, and VOILA!

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Death by a thousand cuts?

      "actively sabotaging the browser"

      conspiracy or incompetence, either reason yields the same results

  8. asdfasdfasdf2015

    Github complacent

    I reported that repo as malware, github asked me to prove it, yet they refuse to shut down the repo. I guess they don't use firefox, or read the news... either that or they're getting paid to look the other way.

    1. AdamWill

      Re: Github complacent

      Well, that seems a bit off. Mozilla put the extension code up on github after the fact as an attempt to demonstrate that it doesn't do anything nefarious. Getting github to take it down isn't going to help anyone, really.

  9. OrneryRedGuy

    Disable feedback

    Up until this moment I always felt a bit paranoid when I disabled items such as "Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla" in my programs. But it turns out if you disable that, then the 'studies' are also disabled. Who can I say "told you so" to?

    (Probably only a matter of time before that switch becomes "advisory" only...)

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Disable feedback

      "(Probably only a matter of time before that switch becomes "advisory" only"

      if that happens I'll submit a patch for FreeBSD to disable it entirely. If they don't accept it, I'll just publish it independently. Or hell, fork the @#$%'ing repo and call it "F-U-fox"

  10. JohnFen Silver badge

    Firefox's fall from grace

    First came Pocket, then opt-out telemetry, now this.

    It has become clear that Firefox is no longer a browser that can be trusted like it used to be. Now, it has to be treated the same as every other major browser: as an inherent security risk that must be carefully watched at all times.

    It's so very sad to see.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Firefox's fall from grace

      First came AUSTRALIS, then Pocket, then opt-out telemetry, then 57, now this.

      fixed. you're welcome.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Firefox's fall from grace

        Well, as terrible as Australis was, it was not a security issue -- and that was back when Firefox was powerful enough that you could use a plugin to fix it.

        But I did leave out at least one other example of the rot that Firefox is experiencing: Cliqz.

  11. Carl D

    " I knew there was a reason I stuck to the ESR."

    I knew there was a reason why I dumped Firefox for Pale Moon a couple of months back (after using Firefox for about 12 years).

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Waterfox removes all that kind of thing too.

  12. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Mozilla's problem is they don't understand there are people who don't know what Mr. Robot is and there are people who do and they couldn't care less and this kind of stunt puts them off their browser. Then there are peoole who know what Mr. Robot is and like it and this would put them off Firefox too. Luckily I've got the ESR version.

    A browser is a browser, not an all-singing all-dancing user experience dancing and waving a top hat reminding you that it's there all the time.

    If Mozilla want to get money, they should do something like making a browser for TVs and set-top boxes (like they did and stopped doing for some reason), not randomly screw up web pages to advertise TV shows.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Mozilla's problem is they don't understand there are people who don't know what Mr. Robot is"

      If anyone is in this position, please check out this video of Mr Robot and all will be clear.

  13. Carl D

    Never heard of it

    And... I've never even heard of Mr. Robot until now. Doesn't appear to be on Australian free to air television at the moment.

    Looks like the sort of program that will probably end up on Foxtel (pay TV) which I don't have.

    Speaking of free to air TV... all I can say is it is fortunate we don't have to pay TV licence fees here in Australia any more (abolished in 1974) otherwise there would probably be a nationwide riot when you see the amount of absolute rubbish (plus the almost non stop ads) we get on free commercial TV these days.

    1. Fred Dibnah

      Re: Never heard of it

      At least you can watch The Ashes for free. That’s good (I think) :-(

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Never heard of it

      You don't think perhaps removing the licence fee led the current state of affairs?

    3. LDS Silver badge

      "there would probably be a nationwide riot when you see the amount of absolute rubbish"

      In Italy last year the fee was moved inside the electricity bill last year, to ensure more people pay it, and despite the absolute rubbish, still no riot.

      It looks especially those who didn't pay for it like that rubbish...

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: "there would probably be a nationwide riot when you see the amount of absolute rubbish"

        So people without tv's are paying tax for other people? How is that legal?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "So people without tv's are paying tax for other people?"

          You can ask to be exempt from paying - but you have to request it explicitly to the taxation authority - in Italy, even if it still called a "subscription" to the state broadcaster, it's actually a tax on the possession of any equipment able to receive broadcasted channels - including any TV tuner.

          Otherwise as long as you have a residential contract for electricity you're going to pay automatically (if you have more than one contract, you pay only once).

          Before you should have registered (or shown you was already registered) when you bought a TV, and pay the tax each year - many didn't. The state broadcaster often sent letters requesting the payment to anybody who wasn't registered, but wasn't really able to check and enforce it. No black or white vans here.

          It had an evasion rate of about 30%, with peaks (over 50%, in some places 90%) exactly in those areas and demographics that, looking at view ratings, are those who are the main watchers of the broadcasted rubbish.

          It looks the evasion rate is now at 4%. It's an ugly method and an ugly tax - but at least the rubbish watchers now pay for it...

          But I would like to see some riots because unfair taxes, just not by those who never paid them until caught....

        2. Just Enough

          Re: "there would probably be a nationwide riot when you see the amount of absolute rubbish"

          "So people without tv's are paying tax for other people?"

          Same way that people without children are paying for other people's children's education. Or people who have never wanted to go to war with anyone are paying for other people's army.

          Taxes generally don't allow you to pick and chose how the money is spent.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: "there would probably be a nationwide riot when you see the amount of absolute rubbish"

            "Same way that people without children are paying for other people's children's education."

            The justification for that is that an educated populace benefits everyone, so it's not really just a benefit to the parents. It's hard to apply that same justification to TV.

  14. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Linux

    Firefox Adware

    My Firefox updated itself despite this being disabled in system settings,disabled the old plugins and upgraded to some new ones, all without asking. Apparently there's an auto-update mechanism in FF that I forgot to disable. The new plugins require registration and reporting back your clicks to to some website. This is not what I expect from an Open Source browser. I think I'll give Palemoon a try, at least all my old plugins will still work.

  15. inmypjs Silver badge

    "hit telly show Mr Robot"

    Hit?

    The 1st season was ridiculous confused garbage. I wanted to play the last few episodes at double speed just to get it over with. Not the slightest interest in watching the 2nd season.

    The tosspots at Mozilla think it is cool? what a surprise - like i said when I installed Waterfox instead of the Quantum update "as Mozzila continues to fuck itself".

    1. Salestard

      Re: "hit telly show Mr Robot"

      Yeah, you're not alone there - I found it in various parts confused, obsequious, preachy, and trying far too hard to be clever and intellectual. Managed the first four before abandoning it.

      The other thing was the irony, and possible cognitive dissonance, of watching a show about fighting the big data, all pervasive, evil megacorps... on Amazon Prime... on an Apple iPad...

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: "hit telly show Mr Robot"

      "when I installed Waterfox instead of the Quantum update"

      I switched to Waterfox as well, after testing 57 out. It's not a righteous or political position, just a practical one. 57 brings no benefit that matters to me, and loses several that do, so I'm pretty much off the Firefox train.

      But this Looking Glass thing is simply the latest instance in a whole string of terrible decisions on the part of Firefox that continues to weaken security or demonstrate a casual disregard for it. It really drives home that I've made the right choice.

  16. GlazedDonut

    The show has become Trump derangement tv, because apparently the left can't help themselves anymore and are profoundly ignorant of their hypocrisy, because the dystopian world they fear and attempt to portray in shows like mr robot is actually being built by the left. Silicon valley left now harvests personal data, creating dossiers on every citizen, they know everything about your life at this point, and they have demonstrated that they will use that power to censor people, they will delete your accounts, they will even simply confiscate your domain. From payment processors to social media, they are creating an orwellian world the stasi could only dream of, but these clowns can only fixate on the orange man when they should just look in the mirror.

    1. Walter Bishop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      The profound hypocrisy of the left?

      @GlazedDonut: "The show has become Trump derangement tv, because apparently the left can't help themselves anymore and are profoundly ignorant of their hypocrisy, because the dystopian world they fear and attempt to portray in shows like mr robot is actually being built by the left."

      No, as is depicted in the show, it's being built by a few mega-corporations and Elliot and fsociety are trying to oppose them. Elsewhere I keep seeing similar posts such as the above, where regardless of the subject, some commantard invariably respond by fapping off over 'progressives' or 'the left'. It's also a typical example of the strawman argument.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: The profound hypocrisy of the left?

        I think "Trump derangement syndrome" is mischaracterized. It is clearly a disease of the alt-right, as it is always ninnies who post something claiming "Trump derangement syndrome" on articles/topics that aren't even remotely political. Of course this is GlazedDonut's first post on the Reg (he joined today) so he created an account here for the express purpose of trying to turn a discussion about browsers into something political.

        I saw the same thing a couple days ago when a Facebook friend posted something lamenting that she's become addicted to $7 Starbucks coffees. Some dickwad pipes up with a screed about how doing business with Starbucks is promoting liberalism and mentioned Trump derangement syndrome in there somewhere. Not sure which was the bigger non sequitur...

        1. fung0

          Re: The profound hypocrisy of the left?

          Facebook??? Say no more...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Done for free?

    > The exec also said Mozilla did not sell out its loyalists to a TV network – this was done for free.

    This is not strictly true. There are reports from people who watch Mr Robot that recent episodes include pre-roll wording along the lines of "Brought to you by Firefox".

    That clearly demonstrates there was an exchange of benefits. Just not directly of the financial kind, which is what the "apology" seems to be portraying.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Done for free?

      " include pre-roll wording along the lines of "Brought to you by Firefox"

      Which implies that the money flowed from Firefox to Mr. Robot rather than the other way around.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Done for free?

        > Which implies that the money flowed from Firefox to Mr. Robot rather than the other way around.

        Possibly. It seems to be a fairly cut-n-dry case of Firefox receiving tv advertising in exchange for Firefox users receiving Mr Robot advertising. They've made no comment on paying for the tv advertising, so that's an unknown.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the problem?

    The girls* down in PR were so excited!

    * Let's face it, PR/Marketing is a woman's world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the problem?

      * Let's face it, PR/Marketing is a woman's world.

      If that were true there would be less of the C*ap Advertising and Clever(???!!!) ideas we see now.

      Most of the current ideas are nicked from Internet memes or obtained by 'fishing' in the archives and re-imagining 'Old' Ad ideas. This works because most people seem to have difficulty thinking back beyond 2000 or so.

      Example of this resticted sense of history is 'Trivial Pursuit 2000' that re-hashes an old idea yet simultaneously restricts the coverage to 'only' 2000 as nothing of import happened before then !!! :)

      You will also notice this in fashion where delving back into the 60's-70's and re-inventing things is seen as valid as 'no one else would possibly think about this as an idea' !!!

      Cue the 'Polka Dot' combination Raclette/Fondue set :) :)

  19. Christian Berger Silver badge

    We'd need a truely free browser

    unfortunately instead of making the web better, Mozilla actively works on new ways to extend the complexity of browsers, making sure the oligopoly of browser engines still holds.

  20. DougS Silver badge

    Just when they were getting positive press from Quantum

    Way to step on your dicks, idiots. What would it take to fire Mozilla's entire board and leadership, and replace them with people who have a brain?

    After that, everyone at any level who signed off on this decision should be fired.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Just when they were getting positive press from Quantum

      Way to step on your dicks, idiots

      Firefox and their unfeasably large testicles?

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Just when they were getting positive press from Quantum

      Quantum positive?

      I think not.

      I am not on quantum as lots of my must have addons will not work with it.

      I mainly use FF offshoots such as PaleMoon - where I still get a bit of add on control over my browser look and feel and a decent choice of non crippled add ons

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Just when they were getting positive press from Quantum

        People who read the Reg are not the target market for Firefox, Chrome, IE or Safari. The average person has either no add ons, or only an ad blocker and maybe one other a friend recommended they installed and promptly forgot about. They have no concerns over "lots of must have addons" so requiring they still be currently maintained is not a problem.

        I upgraded even though I lost a couple add ons which I didn't really care about. The only "must have" as far as I'm concerned is uBlock origin. The rest is fluff.

    3. fung0

      Re: Just when they were getting positive press from Quantum

      After that, everyone at any level who signed off on this decision should be fired.

      Absolutely. There should be consequences for gross incompetence, beyond just the need to issue a vague apology.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It burned a Kali Linux Live DVD from my browser and now I HACK THE PLANET!!

    MUUAAAHAAHAA!!!

    fsociety :)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We’re sorry for the confusion

    You're not sorry, and it wasn't confusion, you (...)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Season Two Cliché

    Season 2 messed with viewers' minds and plot expectations. I think you're only calling it weak because second seasons of big hits often, but not always, are and if anything it slightly edged Season 3 which probably tried a little too hard to be relevant. You're just perpetuating the 'difficult second album' cliché.

    1. fung0

      Re: Season Two Cliché

      Perhaps the criticism simply wasn't worded correctly. Let me have a stab at it:

      Mr. Robot was garbage right from the get-go. It's a show that makes almost no sense, follows a protagonist who is both unlikable and incompetent, along a story line that moves at a snail's pace towards a destination that isn't remotely interesting. It's s a mess of half-realized ideas, most of which don't belong together in a single show. Such meager popularity as it has enjoyed is based entirely on its artificial aura of being about deep an meaningful things, created entirely by the random inclusion of 'hacker' cliches, and not by actually saying anything meaningful on any subject whatsoever.

      I think that about covers it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hrm. Remember when Firefox used to be the go-to alternative to IE because it was fast, independent, reliable and trustworthy?

    ....it was a while ago, wasn't it?

  25. Tony Paulazzo

    [i]Mozilla chief marketing officer Jascha Kaykas-Wolff has posted a mea-culpa on the Mozilla blog. "We’re sorry for the confusion and for letting down members of our community," Kaykas-Wolff wrote.[/i]

    Worst apology ever!

    No promises of a review or how it happened nor promises to avoid doing it in the future. Mozilla (and I guess Google Reddit etc), have lived long enough / grown big enough, to forget about their users.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      "No promises of a review or how it happened nor promises to avoid doing it in the future."

      You should read Mozilla's post. It contains specific promises of reviewing the situation, held publicly, and a plan for preventing something like this happening again. I don't know whether or not such a thing will be effective, but they did in fact make the sorts of promises you're asking for here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > It contains specific promises of reviewing the situation, held publicly, ...

        "held publicly"? The version I read said it would be an internal review. Unless they've since changed it.

  26. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Where to now?

    IE? Oh come on!

    Chrome? Jesus, Google get enough about me from 3rd party analytic web page scrapes.

    Firefox? I was going back but now FF and Mozilla can bugger right off after this!

    Opera? They have the biggest store of user browser activity data outside Google, they can get stuffed!

    Shall I just go back to LYNX and do without any graphics?!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Opera? They have the biggest store of user browser activity data outside Google'

      Vivaldi maybe??? This on El Reg today:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/18/google_d_vivaldi_adwords/

  27. iron Silver badge

    Have to laugh at the outrage

    > "I absolutely did not opt-in to that add-on," raged one Redditor.

    Except you did when you opted in to the studies. Studies was not enabled by default and clearly said it would install extensions and could collect data (which this extension didn't do) so you only have yourselves to blame.

    I opted out of studies when it appeared last week and so haven't seen this extension. :)

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Have to laugh at the outrage

      "Except you did when you opted in to the studies."

      That's a weak defense. People who opted in to studies agree to take part in studies. This was not that. This was part of an advertising campaign. I think the argument that nobody opted into that is a very strong one.

    2. Justicesays

      Re: Have to laugh at the outrage

      "Studies was not enabled by default "

      "I opted out of studies when it appeared last week"

      So which was it, not enabled by default, or it was enabled by default and you opted out when it appeared?

      https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/dev-shield/2017-May/000216.html

      Looks like this might have been in planning for some time, had to get it ready in time for Season 2...

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