dblohm7's recent activity

  1. Comment on Tinnitus is making me crazy in ~health

    dblohm7
    Link Parent
    That's my wife's purview, of course, but I'd suggest looking up a registered audiologist in your area who has taken supplemental training for it. Here is a location finder for providers who have...

    That's my wife's purview, of course, but I'd suggest looking up a registered audiologist in your area who has taken supplemental training for it. Here is a location finder for providers who have taken some of the same training that my wife has.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Tinnitus is making me crazy in ~health

    dblohm7
    Link
    My wife is an audiologist who specializes in tinnitus treatment. From what I have learned from her, yes, there is no cure for tinnitus, but there are treatments that essentially involve working to...

    My wife is an audiologist who specializes in tinnitus treatment. From what I have learned from her, yes, there is no cure for tinnitus, but there are treatments that essentially involve working to train your mind to ignore it.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on US Department of Justice recovers $2.3 million worth of Bitcoin that Colonial Pipeline paid to ransomware extortionists in ~tech

  4. Comment on US Department of Justice recovers $2.3 million worth of Bitcoin that Colonial Pipeline paid to ransomware extortionists in ~tech

    dblohm7
    Link
    Can anybody ELI5 how the DOJ can just seize bitcoins, from a technical perspective?

    Can anybody ELI5 how the DOJ can just seize bitcoins, from a technical perspective?

    2 votes
  5. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    dblohm7
    Link
    I'm working on getting COOP+COEP and SharedArrayBuffer enabled on Firefox for Android. I only have it enabled on Nightly for now, as there are some bugs that need to be ironed out before we can...

    I'm working on getting COOP+COEP and SharedArrayBuffer enabled on Firefox for Android. I only have it enabled on Nightly for now, as there are some bugs that need to be ironed out before we can let it ride to release.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Fortnightly Programming Q&A Thread in ~comp

    dblohm7
    Link Parent
    I don't think it's too bad to jump into as long as you use the "blessed" tools (in other words, Android Studio), as the docs and workflow are definitely tailored toward using those.

    I don't think it's too bad to jump into as long as you use the "blessed" tools (in other words, Android Studio), as the docs and workflow are definitely tailored toward using those.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Tab viewer/organizer? in ~tech

    dblohm7
    Link
    Tab Stats is maintained by a longtime Mozilla developer. It's very bare-bones (and might in fact be too plain for what you're looking for), but it does give you the ability to see stats and...

    Tab Stats is maintained by a longtime Mozilla developer. It's very bare-bones (and might in fact be too plain for what you're looking for), but it does give you the ability to see stats and de-duplicate your tabs.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on Blind people and advocates criticize AccessiBe, a company claiming to automatically make websites ADA compliant in ~tech

    dblohm7
    Link
    (I worked on Firefox's a11y implementation for a little while and remain friends with current and former members of that team, some of whom are blind.) This is really disappointing to me, but I...

    (I worked on Firefox's a11y implementation for a little while and remain friends with current and former members of that team, some of whom are blind.)

    This is really disappointing to me, but I think something that is even more disappointing is the fact that companies would rather spend money to throw somebody else's shitty product at the problem instead of just making their website more accessible to begin with.

    It's not as hard to make a website accessible as these guys are making it out to be. A little bit of forethought and proper use of semantic HTML goes a loooong way.

    As an example, don't use <div class="button">, just use an actual <button> tag!

    (And when you make a site more accessible, the advantages often spill over into benefits for sighted users as well!)

    7 votes
  9. Comment on Warez Wars (1997) in ~comp

    dblohm7
    Link
    That Quake crack was EPIC!

    That Quake crack was EPIC!

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Fortnightly Programming Q&A Thread in ~comp

    dblohm7
    Link
    I'm mentoring a junior engineer at work, and I'm wondering whether anybody has any suggestions for C++ books/training that are more specialized toward an audience who is already familiar with...

    I'm mentoring a junior engineer at work, and I'm wondering whether anybody has any suggestions for C++ books/training that are more specialized toward an audience who is already familiar with C-style syntax but has less experience with native code and C++ footguns.

    7 votes
  11. Comment on Surprisingly Slow in ~comp

    dblohm7
    Link
    As you can probably tell from the various mentions in the post, Greg used to work for Mozilla on our build system. He is awesome and we miss him!

    As you can probably tell from the various mentions in the post, Greg used to work for Mozilla on our build system. He is awesome and we miss him!

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Xbox is supporting old games, while Sony and Nintendo are leaving them behind in ~games

    dblohm7
    Link Parent
    I just bought a switch last month and I agree with you. In addition to their policies around games, as much as I like the Switch, it is pretty clear that Nintendo wanted to avoid paying licensing...

    I just bought a switch last month and I agree with you. In addition to their policies around games, as much as I like the Switch, it is pretty clear that Nintendo wanted to avoid paying licensing fees unless absolutely necessary.

    This is unfortunate, as I believe that supporting both Bluetooth and some kind of streaming tech could have propelled the Switch from a great device into an outstanding device.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Why do interviewers ask linked list questions? in ~comp

    dblohm7
    Link
    I completely agree with the conclusion of the post. The first thing I thought when I read #1 and #2 were, "Nah, this stuff is asked to make sure that the candidate groks pointers." How important...

    I completely agree with the conclusion of the post. The first thing I thought when I read #1 and #2 were, "Nah, this stuff is asked to make sure that the candidate groks pointers."

    How important is this in real life? As always, it depends!

    1 vote
  14. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

  15. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    dblohm7
    Link Parent
    As @hungariantoast said, I work on Firefox professionally, so making it sandboxed is part of my day job. Sandboxing an app does not require us to do anything to Android itself; it's essentially...

    As @hungariantoast said, I work on Firefox professionally, so making it sandboxed is part of my day job.

    Sandboxing an app does not require us to do anything to Android itself; it's essentially just turning up various dials that Android already makes available to us. I've essentially split this project into two stages:

    • Stage 1 is where we turn on the isolatedProcess attribute, which causes Android to remove access to a bunch of IPC and system services. It's just a simple change to our application manifest to turn this on, however as I indicated in my previous post, the hard part is getting the Gecko content processes to work correctly in such an environment.
    • Stage 2 is going to be enabling a seccomp-bpf-based sandbox, similarly to the one we use for desktop Linux. The restrictions in this sandbox will be even tighter than isolatedProcess, so we're expecting to need to do additional work on Gecko to get it working there.

    The good news is that the cross-platform code in Gecko is already mostly sandboxing-compliant thanks to the work that has already been done for Firefox desktop; the issues that we need to fix are in Gecko's Android-specific code.

    5 votes
  16. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    dblohm7
    Link
    I'm working on sandboxing content processes in Firefox for Android. When it comes to web browsers, adding the code to actually do the sandboxing is easy; the hard part is adapting the rest of the...

    I'm working on sandboxing content processes in Firefox for Android.

    When it comes to web browsers, adding the code to actually do the sandboxing is easy; the hard part is adapting the rest of the browser's code to be aware of it.

    Essentially, there are many components in the browser that were written for a pre-sandboxing universe. These components expect to be able to talk directly to the OS, and potentially to other processes, without hindrance. As we make the sandbox stricter, we need to modify those components to work differently. Often times this involves changing the affected components so that, when running as sandboxed content, they communicate with their counterparts in the parent process to do work on their behalf. In Mozilla parlance, we refer to the procedure of modifying these components as "remoting."

    8 votes
  17. Comment on Researcher hacks over 35 tech firms via package/dependency managers in ~comp

    dblohm7
    Link
    While I recognize that in some ways npm, pip, etc have massively contributed to the success of their corresponding programming languages, the thought of implicitly trusting all of those...

    While I recognize that in some ways npm, pip, etc have massively contributed to the success of their corresponding programming languages, the thought of implicitly trusting all of those dependencies terrifies the shit out of me.

    I don't know how we as an industry do it, tbh.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on A "reverse spell checker" in Firefox in ~tech

    dblohm7
    Link
    Not exactly what you’re describing, but this extension comes to mind.

    Not exactly what you’re describing, but this extension comes to mind.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on Mozilla's 2020 Internet Health Report in ~tech

    dblohm7
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Chalk it up to fatigue due to the fact that I and many other Mozillians have been on the receiving ends of all kind of hostility for quite some time. I just no longer have the emotional capacity...
    • Exemplary

    I'm not sure it was your intent, but the overall tone of what you wrote comes across as incredibly hostile, which is definitely unnecessary.

    Chalk it up to fatigue due to the fact that I and many other Mozillians have been on the receiving ends of all kind of hostility for quite some time. I just no longer have the emotional capacity to discuss these issues in anything less than blunt terms.

    Ignorance isn't fixed by calling someone ignorant. You need to provide actual information.

    Okay, but I'm not sure why the onus lies entirely on the person calling you out, especially when the information you need is just a quick internet search away.

    Anyway, here are some other factors that do not help:

    • Mozilla's primary competitor is Google.
      • The Google home page has the highest traffic of any page on the web. They use that page, as well as the "above the fold" search results, to market Chrome. There are some reasonable estimates of what the market value of that exposure would have been had the Chrome team actually had to pay for it. Those dollar amounts are in the range of nine to ten figures.
      • Google requires Android device manufacturers to ship Chrome by default in order to license Play Services [1]. Most manufacturers are going to play ball because they need access to the Play Store. Yes, some manufacturers don't, but they're niche.
      • [Caveat: We're getting very far into my personal opinions within this post] Google can afford to throw massive amounts of money at Chrome/Chromium development. Our budget pales in comparison. They're able to demo relatively massive numbers of prototypical web features and push them through standards committees while everybody else is still playing catch-up from their previous round of features [2]. And then they evangelize web developers to use those new features [3]. Without a similar budget, the other players appear to be perpetually "behind."
      • Google tends to optimize and/or enhance their own websites [EDIT: Massively popular in their own right, such as GMail, GApps, and their various incarnations of chat apps] in favour of Chrome.
    • Mozilla does not have its own OS to bundle a browser by default.
      • In some ways it was hoped that FirefoxOS could have been that vector, but alas...
      • Microsoft no longer worries about antitrust scrutiny around bundling IE/Edge with Windows; all of their consent decrees have expired. In modern versions of Windows, they now give Edge special privileges which allow it to programmatically replace the user's default browser. The third-party browsers do not have those privileges. EDIT: Oh, Edge also gets special keys for enabling it to be distributed through the Windows Store, while the third-party browsers don't. When Microsoft tries to push Windows into a new segment (like to compete with Chromebooks), they like to disable Desktop apps and only allow Store apps. Ergo, no Firefox for you!

    It's certainly not good management to raise executive compensation while market share continues to dwindle. Just maybe that money could've be used more effectively elsewhere.

    This is getting into "I do not completely absolve Mozilla management" territory, and I do have some personal thoughts about this that I am not going to share, however I will say that it is my understanding that freezing/reducing executive compensation would not have abated the need for restructuring. The announcement was not lying when it said that the big August layoff was precipitated by a decline in revenue due to COVID-19.

    But circling back to the "hostility" thing: Since the layoffs happened in August, I've seen a lot of the web peanut gallery arguing that Mozilla executives and employees should not be paid competitively because Mozilla is non-profit. I was pretty disappointed to see some commenters on Hacker News debate whether it would be better to pay mid-five figures to a new grad straight out of school in a low cost-of-living locale instead of paying salaries like mine [4]. Many Mozilla employees could make a lot more money elsewhere (and probably deal with a lot less grief), but we stay because we want to build a better web for everyone. And then to see people suggesting that "non-profit" should also mean "no revenue and no expenses" and that we don't deserve to be reasonably compensated for what we're trying to achieve... It's a figurative slap in the face. So yeah, maybe I am defensive, but Mozillians have been on the receiving end of a lot of bullshit.

    I use Firefox every day (even on iOS), despite its plethora of pain points

    I am glad to hear this.

    willful denial of important features, and spending limited human resources on random tasks.

    And you write this while wondering why I am defensive?

    Two points:

    • With a user base as large and as diverse as ours, the list of distinct "important features" that people are upset about is in the hundreds. With our budget, we cannot deliver on all of those simultaneously, if at all. We have no choice but to prioritize, and while I am not privy to the PWA decision, I am confident that it would have been made neither lightly nor without data.
    • As for your second point, this kind of reasoning really grinds my gears. I don't think it is beyond the realm of common sense to realize that changes like that do not involve halting a team of hundreds of developers to spend thousands of person-hours making those changes. It's like one or two people, for at most a week. Stop cherry-picking bugs you don't like and then using them to dump on all of Mozilla or Firefox. You're not helping. It is similar to some people on /r/firefox who take a massive shit all over the entire development team because they don't like some minuscule theming change. Get some perspective.

    Outside of that, there's really not much I can do, unless you've got some strategy/plan more people should know about.

    Your best options at the moment:

    • Use Firefox as often as possible (And thanks), and also encourage others to do so;
    • Subscribe to Pocket Premium;
    • Subscribe to Mozilla VPN.
    • If you're a web developer, push back on using non-standard tech that is not widely supported. Use progressive enhancement whenever possible.

    EDIT: And if you really want to contribute:

    • Leave telemetry enabled. Seriously, it's important!
    • File compatibility bugs: A team of volunteers triage these and figure out whether the bug is in the site or in the browser, and then they report them accordingly;
    • File any bugs you encounter on Bugzilla (for Desktop) or Github (for [Android] or [iOS])
    • Help translate Firefox from English to other languages;
    • Find another way that you might want to get involved.

    [1] This has changed a bit in Europe, but broadly speaking this is still an issue.
    [2] Joel Spolsky once referred to this kind of strategy as Fire and Motion:

    The competition has no choice but to spend all their time porting and keeping up, time that they can’t spend writing new features.

    [3] As annoying as it is that we cannot ship Gecko on iOS devices, in one twisted way it benefits us too: Google can't ship Blink on those devices either. With iOS's large market share in North America, this means that, in NA at least, the mobile web is forced out of necessity to limit itself to the capabilities offered by WebKit on iOS. This serves as a bit of a brake on the pace of development.
    [4] Note that I am trying to treat "being paid competitively" as orthogonal to the debate about the timing and amount of executive raises.

    19 votes