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Firefox Updates Itself With Pocket Integration, Reader View & Firefox

     
8:13 pm on Jun 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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These are Major Minor updates... meaning not a lot changed, just turned on some stuff.

Every Mozilla Firefox user who has updated his/her installation from 38.0.4 to 38.0.5 today would have noticed some welcome additions to the third most popular internet browser in the world. Apart from the usual performance enhancements and bug fixes, the Mozilla Firefox (version 38.0.5) has got three new important features.


[crazyengineers.com...]

Those new features are Pocket (a read it later catchall), Reader View (an ad/side nav killer... though if running NoScript you will have to allow it to work) and tabbed Screen shots for Hello sharing.

None of these are new features to the web... others have hand them for some time, but they are new to the base build of Firefox.
7:00 am on June 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Lovely, a copyright infringement tool. Steal now, publish later.

I'm not sure but I think this is far worse than pre-fetch as now everyone is a potential scraper.

The problem is that people don't have a concept of what's not theirs on the web already, they see it, they use it, and many things encourage them to do so to the point that what we all know as copyright is so blurred that I think the damage is so far and vast that we'll never get the genie back into the bottle.

I could go on a tirade about all the sites and services that are tearing down copyright, but I think if Firefox is to offer such a feature, it had better package the data in such a way that the owners of the site are getting credit and the content being collected can't easily be repurposed.

If that's not the case, I think many webmasters will have issue with this feature depending on what type of site you run. Some will love it, others will loathe it.

Stay tuned to this bat channel as I check it out.
10:58 am on June 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I don't find this "Reader View" feature particularly "welcome." It strips menus, my copyright notice, my layout, ads, javascript. i would like to be able to tell Firefox from my webpages that it shouldn't do that, with a meta tag or something.

Anyone found such a tag, to turn "Reader View" off, and for "Pocket" too, of course?
1:11 pm on June 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hopefully it adds something to the UA so we can limit the ripping..
8:04 pm on June 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm on the "don't love it" bandwagon particularly where incrediBILL's copyright concerns come into play. Just scraped one of my own articles just to see the pickle we're all in. This thing strips menus, sidebars, and all your branding (as Solution1 mentions) to make it look like something you almost can't resist copying.

This feature is really looking to boil your page down to an article. Haven't studied the specs yet but I'm guessing that using <article> tags only helps it do its job more efficiently.
6:00 am on June 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I tried replacing <article> tags with <div> on a few pages, but Firefox still displayed the book icon.

I noticed that the book icon is not displayed on all pages. Firefox apparently has some kind of way to determine whether a page contains an article or not. So, there might be a way to add HTML on a page that stops the book icon from being displayed. I tried adding a simple form with submit button, but that didn't work.

I added an invisible copyright message beneath the <h1>. I checked that the Reader View does display it, as all CSS is stripped.
8:51 am on June 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed that no index (home) page seems to invoke the book icon, but clicking a link from that page to another page will show the icon. YMMV

What this means, or how to use that, I have no idea (nor a concern).

I have seen that pages with minimal CSS, iframe inserts, and divs (which are already pretty simple and easy to read) do not invoke the book icon.
1:36 am on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It appears that RV does not perpetuate from page to page in a browsing session. Meaning that RV has to be turned on for each page where it is available. This seems like it will deter constant use as you have to turn the setting on for each new page and it's flat out not available on certain pages.

Along with tangor's obversations, I'm seeing that it doesn't offer RV for my blog roll page which, of course just contains leads to a variety of articles. Get to the article pages though and RV is available.
4:16 am on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I find this offensive, to my pocket book. Removing sections of my site (ads, sidebar etc) and storing my content for later when I have no control over ad targeting is pure theft of my content in ways that go against my terms of use.

Do I go after each individual user that I verify has "pocketed" my content or do I go after Mozilla for making it possible? I would think a class action suit is likely with this set of updates.
10:58 am on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Maybe this is one of those features that only work on secure sites. If so, just get rid of the ssl and it won't work.

[webmasterworld.com...]
1:07 pm on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Copyright on the internet no longer exists.

First it was Google with hotlinking our images in Image Search, then Pinterest that lets users place our images on Pinterest servers so that Pinterest can create a business around it and make money out of our hard work , then Google giving Pinterest copies better rankings than the original work ... and now Firefox.

The internet is one big copyright mess. I have been working hard to create original images and spent a lot of money on buying image rights. I'm about to give up. I can create a better business and make much more money by stealing other people's work. That would be a much better business plan.
1:09 pm on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I would think a class action suit is likely with this set of updates.


I agree, but then we also need a class action against Google Image Search (hotlinking, stealing bandwidth) and Pinterest.
1:36 pm on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Reader View and Pocket are two different critters. With Reader View the User has to GET THE ORIGINAL PAGE before making the decision to invoke it. If the page is laid out correctly, they never will. If they do, then the webmaster has created a counter-intuitive page and should take note that the user invoked RV.

RV means they want to read it NOW ON SITE. Pocket means read it later, off site in a private account.
1:49 pm on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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For what the FF community is saying: [addons.mozilla.org...]

In general, Pocket integration is hated.... because it is not as good as the original add-on, among other things.
10:07 pm on June 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm on FF 38.01, another reason for me to not update. Why do they include these things? Because millions of users demand it? I don't think so.
9:06 am on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@tangor, is there a reliable way to measure RV use?
9:18 am on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Lovely, a copyright infringement tool. Steal now, publish later.

@incrediBILL - Absolutely

There was already an ongoing discussion about Pocket before this one. I posted in User Agent forum because I knew most of us would want to block it: [webmasterworld.com...]
3:56 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What are the practical effects of including Pocket in Firefox likely to be? I'd guess "minimal," since (a) Pocket has been available since 2007 and remains a niche product eight years later, and (b) Firefox has only a small--and declining--share of the browser market.

We've heard cries of doom before: when cheap photocopying was introduced (Xerography), when sound and video recording became easy (audiocassettes, VHS), and when television viewers were given the ability to skip through or even bypass commercials (TIVO).

My advice: Hate Pocket on principle if you like, but don't regard it as a real-life threat until you see investors in big advertising and media companies start to panic.
4:46 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My advice: Hate Pocket on principle if you like, but don't regard it as a real-life threat until you see investors in big advertising and media companies start to panic.

Poor advice since those in big advertising/media are far more flexible to adapt then small businesses. Though I own a small business, I choose to lead and not follow. Therefore waiting for the ball to drop on big media is not appropriate. In real business we plan and try to prevent that falling ball from ever hitting the ground and our bottom line. This is not something infomercial website owners can comprehend on any real world level.

Like some other companies we know, FireFox chose to ignore the work of copyright holders and how that copyrighted work is supported (ie. ads, product sales, etc.). It would seem our content is fair game to any entity that proclaims to add ease of use features for their users. My advice, first uninstall Firefox in support of the rights of copyright holders. More extreme measures would be redirecting FireFox users to a specific page that explains how FireFox is assisting in the theft of content.
8:39 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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More extreme measures would be redirecting FireFox users to a specific page that explains how FireFox is assisting in the theft of content.

Ah! Memories!

A great many moons ago, almost on another planet, we went through these travails with free Opera users in the early days of AdSense. While I forget the precise details, many of us redirected Opera users to a buy a registered copy of Opera - Opera I think were benefiting from the AdSense impressions on free Opera users.

Some kind soul then privately wrote to me back then telling me there was a hate campaign against me and my sites on an Opera Forum. I actually contributed unsuccessfully to their debate explaining not just copyright, but to me what was my "intellectual property" which I not only guarded jealously, but reserved the right as to whom I serve my pages to, and under what circumstances.

Of course all I got back in response was "the internet is free - we can do what ever we like with what is on the free internet".

This was the code we used:

<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
if(navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Opera') != -1 || navigator.appName.indexOf('Opera') != -1)
{
if(navigator.userAgent.indexOf('7.2') != -1 || navigator.userAgent.indexOf('7.3') != -1)
{
if( screen.availHeight - window.outerHeight > 95)
{
top.location.replace("http://www.opera.com/buy/?do_not_use_Google_AdSense_at_my_site")
alert ("Please Register Your Opera Browser")
}
}
}
// -->
</script>
8:48 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Ah! Memories!

Here we go, all the way back to September 2003.

AdSense and Opera
Google AdSense and Opera
[webmasterworld.com ]

Sometimes my mind can retain mountains of useless trivia.
9:37 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Guys and gals, I still don't get it!

User can't use Pocket UNLESS THEY ARE ALREADY ON YOUR PAGE.... it's (for lack of a better paradigm) a fancy bookmark and in that case. YOUR ADS HAVE BEEN SERVED!

As for copyright, go after all the browsers with a cache. Or don't publish on the web. That's a cake and eat it, too, argument as EVERY browser infringes by cache so the very act of finding your page is...

I ask these questions as I have seen no harm on adsense or even adwords for myself or my clients. And I do not see folks using this "tool" as a scraping device.

Reader View is even less innocuous as the reader HAS TO BE ON YOUR PAGE before they decide to use it.... and the only reason they would is YOU (figuratively ) made a mess of your page. :) It is also a choice per page, not a browser wide, or site wide, option. Have the click the book icon EVERY SINGLE PAGE. (Hint, not a scraping tool)

It appears I am the lone voice of reason speaking into the wilderness of FUD, and at this point I've said all I have to say.... so will go away, certain there's no harm to webmasters or their income in either of these INTEGRATED apps in the Firefox browser. If this is really a problem for some, and since many say FF is 6th or less of browsers, the easy fix to to kill MOZILLA in your htaccess and be done with it. No need to look for RV clues or Pocket clues... just get rid of the browser. Neat, clean, and damn quick to implement.

YMMV
9:43 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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IanCP: Thanks for the blast from the past. On a similar note, does anyone here recall when the "Save as" or "Save page as" feature was added to browsers? (I can't recall it is existed in the days of Mosaic and Cello, but the addition must have raised some of the same concerns that we're seeing with today's "read it later" tools such as Pocket.)
11:06 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It appears I am the lone voice of reason speaking into the wilderness of FUD,

Some of us have a lot at stake here. I'm sure I'm not the only one who relies heavily on income from my web properties.

If your web presence is more of a "fan page" or "hobby site" then I would not expect the same level of outrage that Firefox has easily enabled the user to steal images, videos, articles, and other property from us and store them in the Amazon Cloud to do with as they please, at any time they wish.

For Firefox to also enable the user to read our articles stripped of the very ad income that enables us to publish these articles is ludicrous.
11:24 pm on June 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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does anyone here recall when the "Save as" or "Save page as" feature was added to browsers?

I believe that Internet Explorer 5 was the first to offer an archive format (MHT) back in 1999.

Other browsers soon followed suit (usually with different formats) and the current Firefox certainly has a "Save Page As" option.

Perhaps the current trend for overt buttons is due to the default hiding of the Menu Bar in IE10.

...
2:06 am on June 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If your web presence is more of a "fan page" or "hobby site" then I would not expect the same level of outrage...

Some of us are pragmatists. Consider:

1) Pocket and other "read it later" tools have been around for years. Some people use them (just as some people use ad blockers), but most people don't.

2) The only thing new here is the inclusion of Pocket in Firefox. I'd guess that most people who want "read it later" tools are already using browser extensions in Firefox, Chrome, IE, etc.

3) Firefox has a small and (unless I'm mistaken) a declining share of the browser market. As mobile usage grows, Firefox's market share will shrink even more. So what deal Firefox has made with Pocket (presumably out of desperation) is unlikely to have as much impact on your revenues as third-party "read it later" add-ons to more popular browsers might have.

As far as copyright goes, the fact that Pocket and its rivals are still around after quite a few years would suggest that the copyright argument hasn't gained any legal traction. That's understandable, since it isn't the toolmaker's fault if a tool is misused. (The "first-sale doctrine" may apply here.)

I've been earning a living online since the mid-1990s. During that time, there have been enormous changes (proprietary online services giving way to the open Internet, the rise of Google and Amazon, the death of dial-up,the explosion of "social media," and so on). Pocket wouldn't even make the top 25 in a list of disruptive changes to the online publishing world since 1995.
4:20 am on June 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Pocket wouldn't even make the top 25 in a list of disruptive changes to the online publishing world since 1995.
I thought you just said you were a pragmatist?

Here's how to block it:

UA: HTTP_Request2/2.2.0 (http://pear.php.net/package/http_request2) PHP/5.3.29


Known AWS IP ranges used by Pocket to date:
54.210.0.0/15
54.210.0.0 - 54.211.255.255
54.64.0.0/11
54.64.0.0 - 54.95.255.255

The user comes to our page on their own UA & IP address. The above UA & IP switch doesn't happen until they click the button and choose what to scrape from our pages. So, if blocked by UA and/or IP, the user may still view our scraped files in their Firefox Pocket List and may also still view our intellectual property sans Adsense and other bill paying ads via Reader View, however at least our files cannot be copied & saved to the AWS Cloud and shared with others.
4:42 am on June 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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FWIW - Meaning, I'm only the messenger.

Bug 1172126 - Remove Pocket integration
[bugzilla.mozilla.org ]

Topic then apparently moved to:

Remove Pocket Integration from Firefox
[groups.google.com ]
4:48 am on June 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Again as messenger - from the offishul web site:
"How to Disable Pocket for Firefox

Introduction

New versions of Firefox (38.0.5 and above) have Pocket built-in. If you prefer not to use the Pocket for Firefox integration, it can be disabled.

Remove the Pocket for Firefox Button

You can disable Pocket in Firefox by removing it from the Firefox Toolbar or Menu. When this happens, the View Pocket List item in your Bookmarks menu is disabled as well.

Here’s how:
1.Right-click (or control-click) on the Pocket button in your Firefox Toolbar or Menu
2.Select Remove from Toolbar or Remove from Menu...[continued]"

[help.getpocket.com ]
8:18 am on June 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the links IanCP.

Before the entire internet went crazy with protest, I removed Pocket this way:

• I used the gear icon in Pocket to access my account, then delete my entire Firefox account (I reopened my Firefox account later, after everything was removed.)

• I uninstalled the extension in Tools > Add Ons

• From my Windows C drive: Programs > Mozilla Firefox > Chrome > Profiles > userChrome.css and removed the listing there.

• With Firefox launched, I typed about:config in the address bar, then searched for "pocket" which resulted in about 8 or 10 listings.

• Changed them all to false or 0, and on several I needed to Modify to remove any account numbers. There was also a horizontal linear list of extensions where I found mention of "pocket" somewhere in the middle of the list, so I removed that part of the extension list.

• Closed browser, relaunched browser... voila!
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