Joey Hops Around Mozilla Labs

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A simpler way to store web content for later retrieval on a mobile device is in the works at the Mozilla Foundation.

The Joey project at Mozilla offers a direct solution to the issue of content retrieval by mobile device users. It could also induce spit-takes in the offices of big wireless companies that want to have certain content limited to the deals they make.

A story on InfoWorld illustrated how this could take place:

In some cases, Joey can allow users to access content that might otherwise not be available from a mobile phone, Turner said. For example, YouTube has a deal with Verizon that offers some videos to certain Verizon subscribers.

"That is the walled garden idea, where the operator knows better than you what content you should consume. Our position is, we want that to go away," he said.

Project Joey lets users link to a specific YouTube video on their personal Joey page and then watch it on their cell phone, Turner said.

Why settle for a few videos from YouTube through Verizon when one can tap content from Daily Motion, FileCabi, and other sites, toss it onto one’s Joey page, and view it later?

It’s an approach we’ll look forward to seeing develop as Mozilla builds out Joey, from the experiment it is today. But we do see potential trouble ahead.

That Verizon-YouTube deal involves Google, YouTube’s owner. Google is also a big Mozilla partner and spends millions on them in exchange for prime search placement in the Firefox browser. Is it possible that Verizon could complain to Google to indirectly pressure Mozilla over Joey?

Joey Hops Around Mozilla Labs
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  • Asa Dotzler

    “Is it possible that Verizon could complain to Google to indirectly pressure Mozilla over Joey?”

    Can Verizon complain? I don’t know a thing about that company, but there’s nothing stopping them, or anyone else from complaining about anything that’s bothering them.

    Would Google listen to such a complaint and act on it? I have no idea. They’re free to operate as they see fit.

    Can Google (or any one, for that matter) effectively pressure Mozilla to change course on a Mozilla Labs project that they’re not directly involved with? Absolutely not.

    Can tech writers speculate? Sure. That’s a big piece of their job 😉

    – A

    • David A. Utter

      When Asa Dotzler says Mozilla won’t be pressured by Google, I believe him.

      Besides, we have to speculate. You wouldn’t believe the grief we’d get if we turned the lead-lined writers’ room into the Tech Writers’ Backgammon Open, sponsored by the Bourbon Bottlers of Kentucky, and spent the day sending our playing pieces and ourselves to the bar repeatedly.

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