October 25th, 2004

Chaz @ Coupecoy Beach

Firefox 1.0 Launch!!

Firefox 1.0 limbers up for launch

By Lucy Sherriff
Published Monday 25th October 2004 12:56 GMT

Mozilla will today launch the nearly-final version of Firefox, its open source web browser, ahead of the 1.0 product launch on 9 November. The organisation says it aiming for 10 million downloads in the 100 days after inauguration, sparking much discussion of a return to the days of the browser wars, when Microsoft, AOL and Netscape battled for market share.

Bart Decrem, spokesman for Mozilla, was in London last Friday to promote the browser. He noted: "When you look at how many people are downloading Firefox already, the 10m downloads target starts to feel very safe."

But despite the fighting talk, Decrem argues that Firefox isn't about taking back 80 per cent of the web, but about "preserving meaningful choice" on the internet: "One of our goals for the next year is to have 10 per cent of the market, but it is more about momentum than absolute market share."

He says that since IE so conclusively won the browser war, the product has barely changed. "It has stagnated," he said. "CSS, for example, is poorly supported, and web developers have been stuck a box. We need to bring back choice, which will stimulate innovation."

Decrem also predicts Mozilla will ink some deals with OEMs over the next year: "We will see OEMs deploying Firefox to users, perhaps as the default, but certainly as a secondary browser. It makes business sense because every time there is a bug or a security problem in IE, OEMs are bombarded with calls from their customers."

But its main focus over the next year will be on developing Firefox as a consumer product, and the Thunderbird email client.

"The sequence is that we get Firefox 1.0 out the door, hopefully with some positive word of mouth. Then we can look at ways of further improving the product," Decrem says. "As we get more into the mainstream, certainly things like ease of use become more and more important."

As more people start to use what Decrem calls "modern web browsers", like Opera, Netscape, Safari and Firefox, web developers will start to design pages that take advantage of, for example, better CSS support. Then, Microsoft will be forced to update IE, which "will be very good news for IE users".

There are signs that this is happening already - for example in an update to IE in SP2 blocks popups, which, Decrem says, shows that "Microsoft is paying attention".

But surely the last thing Mozilla wants is to make Microsoft pay very close attention to what it is doing. After all, we've been here before, and it didn't end well for Netscape.

Decrem concedes that the idea of having Microsoft coming after Mozilla is not a pleasant one, but argues that the landscape has changed considerably since the late 90's. As well as regulatory changes, he points to the broad community support the Firefox product has. Over 6,000 people have donated money to the organisation's bid to buy a full-page ad in the New York Times, celebrating the launch of Firefox, something Decrem says is hard to see happening in response to a new release from Microsoft.

"When Netscape open sourced its code in 1998, it was about inviting the world in. Firefox is fulfilling that goal. Microsoft can't compete with this sense of community, because people feel like they own a piece of Firefox."

As to why Firefox is doing so well - the previous release saw five million downloads in the first month - Decrem says it is an expression of support for the open source movement. He argues that there is a slice of the web community that likes the idea and the ideals of open source, but is not technically minded enough to run Linux.

"These people see Firefox as the open source thing they be a part of," he concludes.

You can support our work on Firefox and other projects and get some sweet stuff in return. Make a donation or buy a Firefox shirt at the Mozilla Store. Or donate to the Firefox 1.0 launch campaign fund and get your name listed in our full page New York Times ad!
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Boston's "Cat Lady" in the News Again!

‘Cat lady' arrested at Plymouth court: Warrant discovered as she is led outside for berating officials

The Patriot Ledger

PLYMOUTH - Boston's notorious ‘‘cat lady'' found out it's risky to raise a fuss in a courthouse, especially if you have an outstanding warrant.

Heidi Erickson, who made headlines last year when housing inspectors found dead cats in her freezer, was arrested outside Plymouth District Court yesterday on a Boston Municipal Court warrant for animal cruelty.

Erickson had been at the courthouse for more than an hour demanding prosecutors, clerks and magistrates investigate and file criminal charges against the Animal Rescue League.

About 42 of Erickson's cats, seized during her eviction from apartments in Boston and Watertown, landed at the Animal Rescue League's shelter in Pembroke.

League workers put to death many of the cats and put the entire shelter in quarantine because of a ringworm outbreak they blame on Erickson's animals, according to court files.

Erickson sued the League, accusing them of neglecting her cats and destroying them without reason, court documents indicate. She says her cats contracted ringworm at the shelter.

The case was thrown out and Erickson was banned from filing complaints in federal court as well as the Superior Courts in Suffolk, Middlesex and Plymouth counties.

Now she wants to pursue her dispute against the League in District Court, and that is what brought her to Plymouth.

Yesterday's exchanges were heated at times as court officials and police prosecutors tried to direct Erickson through the proper channels for filing such complaints.

Erickson demanded Pembroke police prosecutor David Klaus investigate and file criminal complaints against the Animal Rescue League.

When Klauss declined and referred her to a magistrate, she berated him and demanded the names of his superiors.

Court officers warned her several times to lower her voice and finally asked her to leave the building.

Plymouth police were called to the courthouse to help keep the peace while escorting Erickson from the building.

When they asked her for identification, they discovered the active warrant and arrested her. She was taken in shackles to Boston to answer the charges in court there.

Plymouth County Regional Administrative Justice Linda Giles ordered the Superior Court case against the Rescue League thrown out because Erickson did not seek approval from the court before filing the complaint.

Giles made the ruling citing Erickson's ‘‘frequent, vexatious litigations,'' including 19 legal actions in the three counties.

Erickson's request to the District Court to issue complaints are pending.

Assistant Magistrate Lucy Canavan, who presided over the first contentious hearing on the applications, has asked the regional admistrator for the District Courts if Erickson is also banned from filing actions in District Court.
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Last weekend...

Last weekend I headed out to Boston Bears' Happy Hour at The Alley Bar on Friday after work. Once again, I should learn just how strong they pour their drinks to folks that are "regulars" there! Normally, in an 8 oz drink, you would expect about 1 ounce (30 mL) liquor and 5 oz soda and 2 oz ice. Not for me -- they know me. I get 1 oz ice, 6 oz Jack Daniel's and a 1 oz of coke. Woooooo -- three drinks later I was three sheets to the wind! I had a good time; and I think I stayed out until about 10PM, but I don't remember getting back on the subway to go home! Eeks! Wanna know what I felt like? Look at the photo below for five minutes!

The weather SUCKED all weekend long, Dennis was out of town for the weekend, so I stayed inside almost all weekend just hanging out, watching TV (and some movies I downloaded I have been meaning to catch up on!) I finially watched "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" Jim Carrey, etc. -- it was mediocre. I don't think I will save it... Blah.

Game #1 & #2 of the World Series was won by the Sox, which was great news!! It was kinda scary in game one when they were tied nine and nine! The Patriots also won Sunday's game! Yahoo!

Thanks to a friend of mine, I had free movie passes and took my neighbour, Christopher to see "Team America: World Police" -- *gag* *puke* *barf* -- I'm soooo glad I didn't PAY to see that movie!! Matt & Trey should stick to South Park!! There were a few funnies in the movie, but overall, it sucked. I don't believe the critics gave it a "B-" on Yahoo Movies! Roger Ebert says it best with his review: "Like a cocky teenager who's had a couple of drinks before the party, they don't have a plan for who they want to offend, only an intention to be as offensive as possible."

Eclipse to overshadow World Series

By Rocky Mountain News
October 23, 2004

Wednesday night's matchup between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals will make World Series history, no matter what happens on the field.

For the first time, a total lunar eclipse will occur during a World Series game, according to astronomer Joe Rao, a columnist for Space.com.

Weather permitting, the eclipse will be visible to fans at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, where Game 4 is scheduled, Rao said.

The eclipse will be visible across most of the United States, including all of Colorado. The partial phase of the eclipse begins at 7:14 p.m. MDT.

The moon's disk will be completely blotted out by the Earth's shadow between 8:23 and 9:45, according to Sky & Telescope magazine.

The University of Denver's Chamberlin Observatory will host an eclipse-watching event from 8 to 11 p.m. at 2930 E. Warren Ave.
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