Monthly Archives: April 2007

Joost rising

The NY Times has an interesting article looking at a few next-generation “Internet TV” services including Joost, which us Mozillians know is based on XUL, XULRunner and Mozilla.

Joost has attracted considerable attention since Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, the entrepreneurs behind Skype, an Internet telephony service now owned by eBay, and Kazaa, a peer-to-peer network that became the bane of the music industry, disclosed last year that they were working on an Internet video project. While Joost has announced programming deals with Viacom, National Geographic and other content providers, it had provided few details about its advertising, including the potential clients.

The list of big brands to be announced today may go a long way toward answering questions about the commercial viability of Joost, which Mr. Friis and Mr. Zennstrom initially called the Venice Project. The first advertisers also include the Purina division of Nestlé, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Motorola, the Opel and Vauxhall units of General Motors, Taco Bell, Lions Gate Entertainment and the United States Army, according to advertising agencies working with Joost.

What’s literally exciting for everyone involved is that no one knows how this will go. No one knows how tv-style advertising might work on the PC, (Joost is a full-screen application) but the ads that are currently shown in the beta seem ‘familiar’ to me- i.e. I know that I have to watch some ads to get the free ‘content.’

What’s also exciting to think about is how a XULRunner-based application might be the leading next-generation Internet-TV platform. It’s hard to imagine that but if that came to be it would be a tremendous event for Mozilla and XUL.

In addition to Joost, it’s important to remember that there are some other XULRunner-based applications which are worth trying: Songbird, Democracy Player, and others.

This Internet TV Program Is Brought to You by … – New York Times

open source in Japan?

Those who are hoping for open source software to take hold in the Japanese government or public sector, I suggest you don’t hold your breath (jp.)

Sadly, the Japanese government talks about OSS but there is little action. The best example that we know of is the town of Ninomiya in Tochigi prefecture, who has switched all of their public servants over to a Linux desktop (this was a project funded by the Japanese govt. IPA.)

Japanese public sector merely paying lip service to Linux » 世論 What Japan Thinks

Alex Faaborg on Microformats

Mozilla’s Alex Faaborg did a great presentation on Microformats at last week’s Web 2.0 Expo. You can download Alex’s presentation here: faaborg-Web20Expo.pdf.

JDS talks in ISCAS

Alfred Peng of Sun China gave a presentation to the Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences last Friday which included a number of topics on open source including Mozilla Firefox, Sun’s valuable work in China on behalf of Firefox and Thunderbird, application testing and other topics. Photos from the event are on Joey Guo’s blog. Thank you to Alfred, Emily, Dave, Simon, Joey and all of the Sun China folks who have supported Mozilla in China.

Mozillagumi Party 8.0


The Mozillagumi community (もじら組)in Japan is one of the oldest Mozilla communities world-wide, celebrating it’s 8th annual event this past weekend. Seth Bindernagel and Seth Spitzer of Mozilla were gracious enough to travel to Japan for this and a few other events in Japan and Taiwan. Yesterday’s “Mozillagumi Party 8.0” was a success with about 100 attendees, lots of great presentations. Piro-san (JP) and Emumozilla-san (part 1(JP), part 2(JP)) have great writeups (in Japanese) of the event and the presentations and Jim Grisanzio took some photos up on Flickr. My photos are also available.

Takita-san did a quick introduction of the Mozilla 24 (JP) event that is being planned for this fall.

Seth Bindernagel did an overview of the Community Giving Program.

Seth Spitzer presented on the status of Firefox 3.

Taken did an update on Canvas and SVG.

nanto_vi gave us an update on E4X (JP).

Iio-san presented on which is a joint project including Mozilla Japan.

Akatsuka-san gave what may have been the most entertaining presentation of the day, showcasing 3 different and interesting extensions including:

Finally, Hidenosuke-san gave us an update on the truck vs. branch (JP) and the status there.

50 of us then went to sukiyaki dinner, and then a smaller group went to karaoke.

Thank you to Seth & Seth, all of the Mozillagumi members, and all the presenters for a great event!

eMusic download manager in XUL

Rafe Colburn points us to eMusic’s new download manager 4.0 which is developed in XUL. Other promising new applications built on XUL include Songbird, Joost, and Democracy Player/Miro.

open source in China (Bill Gates in Beijing)

Michael Iannini of ZDnet Asia’s Open Source blog is very realistic about the hurdles that open source software faces in China. He believes that there are still many misconceptions and misunderstandings around open source in China.
That said, it is pretty interesting to see a supporter of open source software protest at a speech by Bill Gates at Peking University in Beijing. Ya, I Yee has photos of the protester in action.

Takahashi Method in action

Seth Spitzer and Seth Bindernagel and spent last weekend in Taiwan for the 2007 Taiwan Blog BoF as well as the Open Source Developers Conference Taiwan. I’ll write a more detailed post on both of these but first please enjoy a video of the famous Takahashi-san, developer of the Takahashi-method presentation style, in action taken by Miyagawa-san of Six Apart. Presentation spoken in English, slides in a mix of Chinese and Japanese, location Taipei.

Google invests in Maxthon


What would a Google investment in Maxthon mean to Microsoft?

Google Eyeing Maxthon – Will Stoke Flames of Jealousy in Firefox

Google Takes Partial Ownership Of Maxthon Browser

Google Pinyin IME

Google Pinyin IME. Impressive.

This is interesting for a number of reasons (obvious stuff like using the IME to take mindshare away from the IME built into Windows, and promote their toolbar, plus the fact that Google has a large number of experts on language on staff), but mainly it’s interesting because in 2007, I don’t think anyone is innovating in the IME space (aside from Google.) Redmond has been consumed by the Vista launch and has no time to update their IMEs.

The IME market is critical to so many double-byte markets and it’s a perfect vector for Google: their database of the Internet allows them to update their IME automatically all the time (vs. traditional software IMEs which get updated not often enough)

Shanghaist loves the new IME:

How’s that different from old school Windows pinyin you ask? Well, for starters, GP is hell of a lot smarter. Take this sentence for example, “上海到处都是盗版碟片.” Before GP came along, we would have had to break it down to several phrases and complete the line that way. Not with GP, we didn’t have to pause one bit. And the goodness doesn’t stop there. If an user simultaneously logs into his Google account while typing, GP will analyze and learn his word entry habit, and overtime optimize character output to save user time. How cool is that?

Shanghaiist: Google Pinyin: Typing in Chinese has never been this much fun

I’d love to see a Japanese IME from Google.