Mozilla bridges Gmail to Persona log-in

You can now use your Google account credentials with Mozilla Persona to log in to Web sites, but have no fear: Mozilla assures its users that Google can't track which sites you use with its service.

"Persona remains committed to privacy: Gmail users can sign into sites with Persona, but Google can't track which sites they sign into," wrote the company on its Identity at Mozilla blog, which tracks Persona development.

Mozilla added Gmail support to the log-in service on Thursday. The Google support in Persona joins support for Yahoo log-ins, as well as Persona's … Read more

Mozilla brands Persona as password killer

Mozilla's Web site log-in alternative known as Persona unveiled a Beta 2 version today. Now you can sign in to any Web site supporting Persona using a Yahoo Mail account.

Persona, which is still in development, is an open authentication system that works on desktops and mobile devices. In addition to being able to log in using either your Persona ID or your Yahoo credentials, today's release introduces support for Firefox OS, which means you can expect to use Persona to log in to any Firefox OS devices that launch later this year. It also includes back-end changes … Read more

Safeguard your online Persona with Mozilla ID system

If you've ever struggled with remembering your Facebook password, or felt uncomfortable using your Google ID to log in to a non-Google Web site, Mozilla has a solution for you -- one it calls Persona.

This first beta of Persona, which used to be called Mozilla's BrowserID project, is designed to compete with Web site login systems like the ones offered by Twitter, Facebook, and Google. Whether this open source alternative can hold its own against those other login heavy-hitters, though, is another story.

Persona essentially aims to give you a cross-platform, cross-browser way to log into a … Read more

Mozilla looks to summit 'Kilimanjaro' for project unity

It's been a busy year at the home of Firefox, as Mozilla went public with major developments meant to change the Web, but it's about to get much busier as it looks to make those initiatives a reality. A key step forward will be to unify its development schedules under a project named Kilimanjaro.

Oh, and it wants to have Kilimanjaro bagged by September of this year. The related bugs blocking Kilimanjaro have all been marked as "highest priority."

Damon Sicore, vice president of engineering at Mozilla, explained in a forum post that Kilimanjaro is about … Read more

Protecting your blind side in IT

I recently argued that everyone has a blind side. When people or organizations miss important threats or opportunities--ones that are perhaps obvious to you--it's easy to think badly of them, to assign blame. My goodness! Why ever could they not see that coming?! Idiots! But it's not simple to avoid being those idiots.

I've dealt with department managers with unimpressive budgets who truly "get it." And I've worked with international governments and captains of industry who wouldn't recognize a clue if it dressed up as Colonel Mustard and bludgeoned them with a lead pipe in the conservatory.

In my experience, truly incompetent individuals and outlandishly oafish organizations are the exception. What I usually find are intelligent, well-meaning folks who can't see what they're missing--not because they're stupid, lazy, or in any other meaningful way blameworthy--but because they're focused on other tasks and looking the other way.

Last week, I promised to share some techniques for dealing with the blind side. I wish I could say "Combine a pound of black beans, a quart of skepticism, three eggs, four product evaluations, and a dash of focus group feedback in a large mixing bowl; stir until creamy; pour into well-greased pan; and bake for an hour at 325 degrees." But it's not like that. Improving your perception and handling of things that are over the horizon, camouflaged, latent, or visible only in the "negative space" (i.e., what's missing rather than what's there)--those are skills to be learned, not recipes to be followed. Nevertheless, I've used these these techniques with excellent results:

Admit It, Move On People tend to be embarrassed by, thus defensive about, their blind spots, weaknesses, ulterior motives, errors, and failures. Ego drives us to pretend they don't exist. But when you're pretending something isn't a problem, it's hard to do much about it. So get over it. Accept that you have significant weaknesses, fears, and other assorted ugly bits--that there's an often large gap between where/what you are and where/what you want to be. Getting over shame and blame and getting your ego out of the way lets you get on with the real work. If it's not your ego in the way, help whoever's ego is in the way to get out of it.… Read more

Proton Persona Elegance unveiled

This shaky, handheld video is the official unveiling of the Proton Persona Elegance (facelift) in East Malaysia.

The video, which appeared on YouTube on Thursday, doesn't offer much explanation. But what I gather is, there have been changes to the design of the car to give it a more pronounced front grill, redesigned headlights, and rear LED lights. The new models also offer comfort and safety additions.

The Persona Elegance is expected to boost sales for Proton by 8 percent.

Mozilla releases first beta of Firefox 3.6

Those keen to try out Mozilla's latest browser--and its new process to update the software more frequently--now can try Firefox 3.6 beta 1 for Windows, Mac, or Linux.

Among the features in the new version, according to Mike Beltzner, Mozilla's director of Firefox, and Mozilla evangelist Chris Blizzard:

• Personas, which lets people customize the browser appearance. Personas has been available as an add-on, so there are plenty of Personas skins to choose from.

• Faster execution of Web-based JavaScript programs, better browser responsiveness, and faster startup time. Mozilla has been working on JavaScript performance for many months, … Read more

Google launches Chrome theme gallery

Google on Tuesday launched a gallery of 29 themes for Google Chrome (requires Google Chrome 3.0 beta for Windows). But Mozilla, while refraining from sniggering, boasted it's now up to 20,000.

Cosmetic changes are, well, cosmetic, but a lot of people like them as a way to add some flair to their machines. Many had been pestering Google to add themes support even though Chrome employs a Spartan user interface without much acreage for artistry. Last week's developer version of Chrome added a "Get themes" button in the Options dialog box, and now Google … Read more

Cranking up the conversion rates with personas and 'Persuasion Architecture'

As we gear up for another frantic holiday season, many online retailers are asking themselves two questions: 1) "How can I increase my traffic?", and 2) "How do I increase my conversion rates?" For the former, refer to my recent Practical Ecommerce article "SEO: Is Your Site Holiday-Ready?." For the latter, enter Future Now's Chief Persuasion Officer, Bryan Eisenberg, an inventor of "Persuasion Architecture," a process that helps persuade customers to make a decision on your Web site when traditional marketing methods fail.

I had the opportunity to interview Bryan in … Read more