23 April 2014 - 8:00Mr. AwesomeBar Runs for Congress

tl;dr The non-profit Mozilla changed the Internet by giving users choice and liberty. I, Ed Lee, want to build on that foundation to change how politics works in 2 ways: 1) get rid of politicians who focus on money and forget about voters and 2) change how politics is won by showing you can win without spammy advertisements that track tons of data about people. The Internet helped Mozilla take on “unbeatable” opponents, and I need your help to do the same.

I became a Mozillian 10 years ago. I found my passion helping people through Mozilla, a non-profit that promotes user choice and liberty on the Internet. These values attracted me to Mozilla in the first place, and I believe in these values even more after being employed at Mozilla for five years. I want to bring these values to politics because while the Internet can be a big part of our lives, politics tend to control the rest and can destroy the things/people we care about most.

During the SOPA protests, SopaTrack showed not only which Representatives were co-sponsors for the bill but also how often they voted with whichever side gave the most money. I was quite appalled to find out that Mark Amodei co-sponsored a bill that would take away our freedoms and earned a perfect 100% record of voting with the money [itworld.com].

The behavior of this “Representative” is the complete opposite of the values that brought me to Mozilla, and I believe the correct solution is to vote out these politicians. That’s why I’m running against him as a US Congress candidate in Nevada on a platform of “Non Profit” and “For Liberty” to directly contrast with this incumbent.

Amodei votes 100% with money, SOPA co-sponsor vs. Ed Lee

Amodei votes 100% with money, SOPA co-sponsor vs. Ed Lee

I’ve talked to various people involved in politics, and I’ve been ignored, laughed at, told to go away and stop wasting my time. The most interesting dismissal: “the Internet can’t help,” and I thought to myself, “Challenge Accepted.” I hope the rest of the Internet is as outraged as I was to hear that the best action is to do nothing and give a free pass to this incumbent who just votes with the money to destroy our liberties.

Mozilla was in a similar situation when Firefox had to take on the dominant web browser. The Internet cared about the browser that focuses on the user (e.g., would you like to see that popup?). People helped spread Firefox even without understanding the non-profit that created it because the built in values of freedom and choice resonated with users.

My ask of you is to think of aunts/uncles/friends/relatives in Reno/Sparks/Carson City and see if they’re on this anonymized list of names [edlee2014.com]. If so, please text or call that person and simply say “please look into Ed Lee,” and if you let me know, I’ll personally follow up with your contact. If you don’t find anyone on the list, please share it with others whom you think might know someone living in the northern half of Nevada. Early voting starts in a month with the primary less than 2 months away on June 10th, so let’s move fast!

I’m aiming for at least a third of the midterm primary votes in a 4-way race, and that roughly comes out to just over 9000. (Really!) The anonymized list of names are of people most likely to vote in my district’s Democratic primary, and the plan is to have the millions on the Internet find a connection to those several thousands to make a personal request. This is as opposed to traditional political advertising where large amounts of money is raised to track down and spam people where I estimate more than 95% of people won’t even be moved to vote or vote differently. With my Mozilla background, that’s not how I would want to approach campaigning.

If this technique works for the primary, it could work for the general election by focusing on non-partisan voters. We can further develop this technique to vote out all the money-seeking politicians and replace them with people who care about individuals and freedoms across the US, and dare I say, across the world.

The Internet helped Mozilla change the world with its non-profit mission and strong core values. I need your help to do the same in the world of politics.

- Ed Lee (Ed “Mr. AwesomeBar” Lee is a bit long for the ballot)

Paid for by Ed Lee for Congress
Yay for free speech, but apparently not free-as-in-beer if not correctly attributed.

4 Comments | Tags: AwesomeBar, Mozilla, Politics

4 April 2014 - 8:51Why I’m a Mozillian

I became a Mozillian 10 years ago when I started participating in Bugzilla and helping with the Spread Firefox campaign, earning both the 25 million and 50 million-downloads coins. I was just a freshman at the University of Illinois studying Computer Science, but I was eager to help the non-profit Mozilla create a web browser that promotes user choice for liberty.

SF Mozilla Monument

San Francisco Mozilla Monument

Mozilla’s founders created the mission for openness, innovation and opportunity on the Internet; and because of that, I was able to find my passion of helping people. In between lectures, I hacked on open source Firefox to create the AwesomeBar through many iterations of conversing with individuals to learn about their specific needs. I collaborated with other Mozillians to come up with ideas and to implement them into this Firefox feature which still provides better and faster choices for everyone.

Yesterday, I cried when I learned that one of Mozilla’s co-founders was leaving [brendaneich.com]. It was the most I’ve cried since my mother passed away, and in some sense it was appropriate as Brendan is a “founding father” of the organization I’ve dedicated over a third of my life to.

Even as Brendan announced his departure, he provided next steps to advancing the mission by reaffirming Mozilla’s focus on users. The direction he provided could put the non-profit Mozilla as a users union leader to push back the bullying aspects of the Internet that prey on individuals (think of privacy policies or terms of services) and instead flip that around to be pro-user [blog.mozilla.org].

I’m a Mozillian because the founders made Mozilla with the mission. I believed in the mission when I became a Mozillian, and I still believe in it now — especially with this golden opportunity for Mozilla to fight for users. I hope all Mozillians can continue to collaborate together to make the world a better place for everyone.

- Ed Lee
Love Mozilla

2 Comments | Tags: AwesomeBar, Mozilla, UIUC, User Data

25 May 2012 - 12:54Copy Selected urls from the AwesomeBar

I happened to switch to #fx-team to see madhava asking for an easier way to copy/paste urls from the AwesomeBar into the page. So whipped together something to do just that!

Just switch to the location bar by pressing ctrl/cmd-L, start searching, highlight the result you want, and press ctrl/cmd-enter. The url will be in the clipboard and automatically pasted to wherever you left off in the page.

And of course this works with Enter Selects, so you don’t even need to press down to copy the first result. Enter Selects automatically highlights it, so you can type out the page you want, and directly hit ctrl/cmd-enter and you’re done!

Try out Copy Selected or check out the code on github. (This is neater than I expected! I just used the functionality 3 times in one post. ;))

5 Comments | Tags: Add-on, AwesomeBar, Mozilla

29 March 2012 - 9:42Enter Selects with Inline Autocomplete

Firefox will soon have inline autocomplete [blog.mozilla.com] in the AwesomeBar, so I’ve updated Enter Selects [addons.mozilla.org] to be compatible with that new functionality.

If you’ve previously used Enter Selects, the behavior will now be the same as it was before — pressing [Enter] after typing in the AwesomeBar will automatically select the first result from the list. This is different from the new inline autocomplete behavior of completing a domain or url that begins with the letters you’ve typed.

Enter automatically selects the highlighted first result.

Enter Selects’ behavior is good for you if you tend to type words that match in the title or mid-url or use multiple words where the AwesomeBar’s adaptive behavior will push these non-prefix domain matches to the top. If you do want inline autocomplete after Enter Selects highlights the first result, just press [Up] to edit or load the inline-completed url.

Just as before, Firefox’s adaptive learning behavior will push the sites that you frequently visit to the top, so quite quickly, you’ll be able to type 1 letter and press [Enter] to go to the page you want.

I’ve also revamped the code from the original Firefox 3 implementation to be restartless by using the Add-on SDK [addons.mozilla.org]. Additionally I converted the repository from hg to git for people to fork [github.com].

“what a fine add-on! Saves so much on needless keystrokes!” “Thanks a lot, this function is easy but necessary, now I can forget about chrome~” “This is the BOMB! This should be a built-in feature in Firefox, as it is with IE9. Keep up the good work!” -st3ve, yaapal, Deep Thought [addons.mozilla.org]

Try out restartless Enter Selects in Firefox! [addons.mozilla.org]

23 Comments | Tags: Add-on, AwesomeBar, Development, Mozilla