Wikipedia also opts out of Phorm


Following in the footsteps of Amazon, the Wikimedia Foundation has announced that it too will be blocking user-profiling software Phorm from scanning its site.

Interestingly, the blog post announcing the move mentioned that Wikimedia had an internal discussion about whether blocking the tech would mean legitimizing it. Many websites are ignoring Phorm entirely, wanting to have nothing to do with it whatsoever.

Wikimedia’s opt-out will mean that nothing hosted on Wikipedia, Wikiquote, Wikimedia, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wikisource or Wiktionary will be able to be tracked by the spyware. As those sites tend to rank very highly in search engines, it’s a big blow to Phorm. It also begins a rolling ball that could see all major websites blocking the service.

(via Wikimedia Tech Blog)

Mozilla and Wikimedia Foundation throw their weight behind open source web video


Pay attention, because this one’s important. Web video has issues. It has issues because it’s closed, and proprietary. The vast majority of web video is delivered in the Flash format, which owned by Adobe. This means that video sites have to suffer restrictions and pay license fees. Wouldn’t it be better if there was an open source version?

Enter Theora. It’s an open-source video codec which, when combined with the Vorbis audio codec and the .OGG file format, could replace Flash as the dominant form for web video.