Google is probably the most approachable for the vast majority of users. It is a sensible move in that regard.
Also, normal users expect Google. So, having it in the default provides a more familiar experience for them to possibly switch to Firefox.
While I understand exactly what you mean, surely there's a point at which accepting money from privacy-violating organisations (and bundling a privacy-violating extension, and who knows what else is coming?) means that Mozilla is no longer good for privacy?
It'd be nice if DuckDuckGo could afford it, but keep in mind, the privacy aspect of their service is a marketing bent. They still run mostly on AWS. If a government agency wants your DuckDuckGo data, they can just serve a warrant to Amazon instead.
Also, it's possible to really believe in something but still be honest about its faults. I mean, I formed my harshest criticisms of Mozilla when I was still involved. I point this out, because there's another trend I've noticed, which is the one where you show up in tons of threads that are critical of Mozilla, usually with some flippant non-retort to the topic being discussed (just like you've done here).
> If you look at the lifetime of Firefox, in the second half there's a negative correlation between (product popularity + contributor experience) and (revenue + company size).
Contains nothing relevant to the comment it's replying to, while simultaneously fabricating data in order to support an argument that yet still reduces to fallaciously conflating correlation and causation. You accuse me of flippant non-retorts, to which I say: garbage in, garbage out, my good friend. :)
www.google.de/ncr results in an error.
I'd agree with you on that bet. I stumbled onto that revelation when I was running PPC campaigns for B2B software. Bing is a hidden goldmine when it comes to that demographic, thanks to the captive market and the fact that essentially all marketing agencies blatantly ignore Bing's existence so there's no keyword competition.
They are clearly trying hard with this release to get back users now.
Maybe I'm looking up practices on how to write efficient SQL queries. All of the results I find are just slideshare presentations and basic blog posts on how to add an index to your select statement.
It feels impossible to find depth nowadays, when everything that search engines deem relevant are the big, heavy-SEO websites with the lowest tier of query-relevant information. Sure, the results may be good for people who want just-the-basics about what they're searching, but anything more than that feels hidden away.
I'm sure it's confusing to your algorithms on many levels. Is it a map of the highway that I want? Oh, there's this game, let's add that too. What about some news about the highway?
I just want some new roads to frag on... I get one result with what I'm looking for.
It's very easy now for good content to be hidden amongst clickbait.
Dollars put into the branding of being the best search aimed at the current userbase are been more effective than actually innovating on search anyway. People don't objectively rank search results between engines. They do defend their current habits, though, and solid branding material gives them something to tell themselves to counteract any (rare) arguments to switch.
Everyone will search for something with a different set of words based on their experience. If most of those sets of words, all used to search for the same topic in the end, return the same results, isn't it an improvement?
Unfortunately, as you said, it doesn't help when trying to tweak the results you see to find your answer, but most people probably don't search in depth to find THE answer, but are looking for AN answer.
Does anyone know why that functionality was removed? If I'm searching for anything other than my default chances are I'm going to be searching at least 3 different things before getting it right, but then I can't just change the text and press enter.
While I'm ranting, when did google stop paying attention to the actual words you type and starting showing what they think you meant? I mean I know it's been gradual, but at some point over the last few years I've noticed having to use quotes for almost everything, and it still doesn't return exact results. I assume that has something to do with how they normalize the ngrams and how I'm not the target audience anymore, but it's still annoying.
Showing results for something you definitely did not mean
Search instead for something you meant
This is an increasing trend across the industry. I've been calling it "technological paternalism".
Did that actually change in Quantum?
“This is part of our ongoing search strategy, announced in 2014 to evaluate and select the best search experience in each region as opposed to having a single global default.” is revisionist. I worked on a competing browser, Flock, in 2005 and Mozilla already had a strong and wonderful commitment to use the (local) best search engine for Firefox in a region. When they switched to “Yahoo!” without additional transparency about the economic factor it made it easier for me to use Chrome without feeling moral regret. With the exception of this blog post / announcement I’m really excited overall to see Mozilla back in the game.
I don't work there so I don't know if they could've gotten the same amount that Yahoo agreed to without continuing to make Google default in all localities.
I also think I remember Firefox’s default search engine in Japan regularly being used as an example of doing right by users.
I am 100% sure it has. But the point is that all search engines are willing to create these funding deals, so that leaves the freedom to pick the ones that you think are best for users.
But the whole point is that Mozilla is trying to have revenue, obviously, but maximizing it is not a goal, as long as it covers expenses.
Sorta like Intel and AMD.
Considering how heavily Mozilla’s been recently touting Firefox as the privacy-oriented alternative to Chrome (in Facebook ads, and probably elsewhere), to me it makes Mozilla appear flippant.
I now use it on iOS too, even if it's just a shell for iOS's Safari view — the UI is nicer and you can enable tracking protection to be always on.
Firefox Features Google as Default Search Provider... "in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan"
EDIT title updated (within HN title length constraints, I guess), thanks admins :)
I can't remove the "&t=ffab" query tag from the DuckDuckGo search. Presumably ffab is Firefox Address Bar.
Could be an interesting tension if so. Mozilla were involved in a recent event promoting awareness of data/privacy concerns. They weren't shy about mentioning Google by name as a big bad.
Another interesting thing to note is Apple dropped Bing for Siri and Firefox stayed with Google. Sounds like Microsoft is not even trying.
EDIT: As an interesting note: Yahoo's deal was for five years, not three. I am guessing Verizon decided it didn't want to pay for Mozilla anymore, and cut it off early?
Changing default search is trivial enough for anyone who cares to, and if they did go with Duck Duck Go or similar as the default, I think you'd likely find many/most users changing the default search to Google anyway.
This is unacceptable. Why can't I turn it off completely?
Personally I'd just uncheck all the options exposed in the UI and trust that Mozilla is not collecting stuff behind my back, at least not data that can be de-anonymised.
 - https://static.mozilla.com/moco/en-US/pdf/2014_Mozilla_Found...
I'd argue the opposite. Mozilla seem too scared to try anything substantial because they're scared of losing the money they do get (because they aren't actively going after other sources and not trying to grow into new revenue sources). Think of e.g. tracking protection - Apple are the ones actually making moves there, not Mozilla. I wonder why...
(Perhaps they could have made money by selling devices with the OS, but that didn't seem to be the aim there, as far as devices being only sold by partners.)
This is very much the stereotypical engineer approach: trying to engineer your way into revenue. Yes you need strong technology to keep users, but there's a lot more to business than the tech stack and quality.
I agree that what is considered high paying salary is completely insane these days with wealth inequality and the idea that such sum of money if more than an individual will ever have use for. But that is a different topic.
A non-profit status doesn't always mean charity. In Mozilla case they are a Foundation, another entity eligible for non-profit status. They have different goals than a charity.
One of the things they do to earn this status is grants. And they have lots of grants.
Now what is funny is you exclude the $0 the five Directors made. Also Mitchell Baker doesn't get their entire pay from salary. That why it is in the second column. Last salary report on her was $400k. Which is weird cause that was in 2014 the same as this public disclosure form. Not sure why you purposely left out the fact their salary isn't actually 1 millions. But total compensation.
So their 'disingenuous' nature isn't so black and white as a headline 'non-profit chair has a 1 million dollar salary'.
> A non-profit status doesn't always mean charity.
Many unambiguous charities have salaries just as high, and the same rationalizations.
Nonprofits need experienced and skilled people to be successful, and experienced and skilled people demand high salaries. To take the stance (which I disagree with) that nonprofit administrators should be willing to sacrifice their salary to work in the nonprofit sector (consider that this means, basically, asking them to donate the difference in salary) just doesn't seem to work out well for technical employees in particular, with just about every nonprofit I've worked with seriously struggling with high turnover and low skill level amongst technical staff.
> It seems wiser to judge the ethos of a company based on their actions and decisions instead of their corporate tax status.
I do. I judge them based off the tools they build and the fine line they walk between making boatloads of money and actually providing services for people who care about privacy. Sometimes they get this wrong, but they try really hard.
And, really, the alternative is Google. That's not to say Mozilla shouldn't strive to be the best that they can, but if they were to disappear, we'd be using a closed-source browser built by the biggest ad company in the world who has demonstrated over and over that your privacy is antithetical to their business.