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Mozilla is doing just fine

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The Firefox browser once had a tight bond with Google, not so much today. Mozilla is doing just fine without the millions of dollars it once pulled in from Google.

The developer behind the widely used Firefox browser said recently that it no longer relies on Google for its revenue and is confident new search-engine deals will bring in even more money.

For years, Google in effect sponsored Mozilla by paying for Web searches launched through Firefox. In 2014, the deal accounted for most of the nonprofit organization’s $330 million in revenue, according to financial results released for that year.

Mozilla, based in Mountain View, California, ditched the global Google deal at the end of last year, moving instead to regional deals with other search engine companies, notably Yahoo in the United States, Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia. Now, Mozilla gets no revenue at all from Google, even though Google is still the default search engine for Firefox users in Europe.

For Mozilla, more competition means giving consumers increased choices when they access information and services online. The online world has pushed beyond the PC, expanding to mobile experiences tightly controlled by companies like Apple and Google. A self-reliant Mozilla would help make it harder for those giants to abuse their positions of power by, for example, skewing search results in their own favor or blocking access to content from rivals.

Google and Mozilla often are allies, each seeking to make the Web better for activities like e-commerce, blogging, social networking, news publishing and communication. The tight financial relationship is unusual given how often Google was at odds with Mozilla’s mission to ensure people have choices in their online activities. Google maintains tight control over its Android smartphone software and its many linked services such as Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Music and Google Docs.

Mozilla is holding it’s own financially and expects to keep doing so without Google’s money. Its revenue for 2014, based on a recent tax file, came in at $330 million, up from $314 million in 2013. Mozilla is a nonprofit organization that doesn’t operate like Google, Microsoft and Apple, its biggest competitors in the browser market. Mozilla does however pay attention to keeping the lights on and recruiting talent.

It had about $270 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2014, a $20 million increase from a year earlier. It now employs about 1,000 people worldwide, boosted by the work of more than 10,000 volunteers. Mozilla’s search-related income is based on a combination of fixed payments and revenue that depends on the traffic that Firefox generates.

The Firefox browser has had an OS strategy shift. In the smartphone realm, Mozilla has been trying to combat the dominance of Google’s Android and Apple’s competing iOS with its own mobile operating system, Firefox OS. Mozilla’s strategy had been to spread the software to lower-end phones in developing markets that hadn’t yet undergone the smartphone revolution. However, Chris Beard, who took over as Mozilla’s chief executive in 2014, concluded earlier this year that the plan wasn’t working. The new mobile goal is to spread Firefox OS to enthusiasts.

Now, Android phone users can install a version that runs as an Android app or, for those feeling more experimental; completely replace Android with Firefox OS. That effort also includes a version of Firefox for Android phones and, as of two weeks ago, Firefox for Apple’s iOS. Because of Apple’s rules, though, Firefox for iOS is built with Apple’s browser technology at the core, which means Mozilla can’t use it to advance the Web standards it believes are important.

Mozilla has been saying for years that it is trying to boost its mobile efforts, but it has not had much to show. On smartphones, its share of browser usage is virtually nonexistent. Firefox OS is equally absent among mobile operating systems. Mozilla has helped advance Web technology for mobile devices, though. Even if that doesn’t necessarily directly help Firefox, the tech can aid the Web itself when other browser makers embrace the standards.

Despite challenges, Mozilla remains committed to its core mission. Even if people do not seem to fret about the degree of control Apple and Google exercise over them today, that can change, as it did a decade ago when Firefox showed the world there was a desirable alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Mozilla’s place in the browser world seems a bit complex for now, but it’s persistence is enough to take it far.

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Local artistes steal the show at GIMC concert

Keletso Thobega

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La Timmy gave his best as usual and set the mood a notch higher with his upbeat sounds.Meanwhile, Boogie Sid took the crowd way back with a set reminiscent of the early 2000s. Robbie Rob and Brando also gave a fun set that had dancing along. Meanwhile, Sjava’s performance was quite tepid.

He didn’t seem excited to be on stage and his performance was bland from start to finish. Han C on the other hand was a fireball of energy and set the pace, proving that local is truly lekker. The Sedilaka star belted out in tune while also gyrating madly as if his life depended on it. Many sang along to his hits Mafura fura and Se-ileng.

South African rapper Nasty C also held his own fort and although his performance was nothing to write home about, he seemingly gave his fans their money’s worth as they cheered wildly. The Hell No hitmaker saved the popular song for last and everyone sang along to the jam with a catchy hook.

Another energetic performer was Master KG who has been making waves recently. His unique sound, a mix of kwaito, mosakaso had many wiggling and jiggling as if they have ants in their pants. The Situation and Skeleton hitmaker and his dancers churned infectious dance moves throughout their performance.

Meanwhile, Lady Zamar churned hits such as Collide, Criminal, Charlotte and My Baby among others, as she showed off her well-choreographed dance moves. Prince Kaybee was in his usual element and while it was not his best night, most revellers enjoyed the house tunes, especially the hit Club Controller, which can make even the most uptight person lose their morals and hump and bump in the air.

One of the revellers Tshidiso Mokaila said she had enjoyed the concert. “It was chilly but the whole show was well-organised, from the sound to security. It was my first time here and I had the time of my life. I will definitely come again next year,” she said. Another reveller who only identified himself as Tshepo said that the popularity of the bash seemed to be declining but said he was impressed that the organisers had beefed up security this time around.

“We had fun knowing that our cars are safe. The performances were just OK but I think that the no cooler box policy turned off many people especially as there was only one beer on sale and no ciders.” The MCs for the night Loungo, Sadi and Somizi did a sterling job and kept revellers in a party mood. While the previous editions were much better than this year’s instalment, there were few incidents this time around. Revellers let their hair down and partied the night away until the wee hours of the morning.

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The sky is the limit for Ginah Molodi

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In what started as only a mere passion for music at the age of (11) for Ginah Tinah Molodi, it has now changed into a big reality as she recently featured in one of the most decorated DJ in Botswana Boineelo Othusitse known as DJ Bino in a single house-track dubbed Ke Mosadi. Growing up, 23-year-old Molodi was a vital member of the Praise and Worship at her church.

In a recent interview with Vibe, Molodi said that her mother had always encouraged her to give her best. “My late mother has always been my mother, a role model, a best friend, an instigator and that really kept going because she motivated me,” she said.

The Mmadinare born aspirant artiste made her first major appearance in one of the Botswana Television (BTV) talent show called My African Dream before deciding to try her luck on this year’s My Star Show, “I have always dreamt of joining My Star from the moment it started broadcasting on BTV and I only got join this year because I wanted to share my talent with Botswana as I always believed in my singing and the talent that got has given me. Winning would have been a great bonus to me,” she said.

Molodi further reiterated on her current main enthusiast who is apparently her aunt. “The one person who was always behind me is my aunt Thusano Moseki, she has always been my biggest fan and she used to call me at my tenure at My Star wanting to find out whether I chose either the right song or rehearsed well and stuff and that really motivated me a lot as she strongly believed in me,” she said.
Molodi said being eliminated in the My Star Top 12 had not deterred her as she went on to release a single. “I did not win at My Star but that never really discouraged me because I have so many people that believe in me. I decided to do a single titled Ke Mosadi which is basically a personal song and it celebrates a women from her phenomenal transition from a young to a women with a massive help from DJ Bino as my producer,” she said.
Meanwhile, DJ Bino said that Molodi’s brother had sent him her audio. “When I first heard that our home girl is currently at My Star, I told her brother to send me the audio and she was amazing. I promptly decided to start working with her.
She did not win maybe because sometimes the judges do not see what we see as producers hence I took liberty to do a song with her because I appreciate her talent,” he said. DJ Bino added that Molodi still had a long way to go as she will soon be working with big names such as Odirile ‘Vee’Sento, Busi (Malawi) to push her promising music career to greater heights. DJ Bino also confirmed that he was working on dropping his 2nd album, which will be titled The Journey.

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