News: mozilla.org and wiki.mozilla.org

The news from Mozilla.org and wiki.mozilla.org these days has been pretty political. Mozilla, via the Firefox browser and crowd sourcing technologies, is stepping into the political arena in a number of ways. Most of the big stories involve the role of media and visibility in politics, as well as the desire for freedom of the internet. The most recent Mozilla.org news pertains to the State of the Union Address given by President Barack Obama on January 24th. In partnership with PBS Newshour, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Participatory Culture Foundation, the President’s speech was subtitled with crowd sourced captions as well as subtitles, submitted by viewers from around the world.

Besides the State of the Union Address, Mozilla.org has had some other news of dramatic political messages that were shared with users around the world. In solidarity with the high profile internet black-outs held by Wikipedia and others, the Mozilla Firefox start page was black and contained an important message about the SOPA/PIPA bills in Congress. The main complaint of all sites that took part in the black out is that these two bills effectively allow internet censorship. The idea was to educate users about the potential threat to usability, without reducing the access that users expect from Mozilla.

Over at wiki.mozilla.org, a new default template has been released, somewhat big news from the wiki world. Users and web designers will be excited to see the updated image, which combines usability with sleek and thematic design.

The other most recent news from Mozilla that has been exciting for everyone involved is the conclusion of the Mozilla Firefox Challenge which raised more than $680,000 from people all around the world. The donations are another example of how individual action can cause global impact, something Mozilla.org exemplifies with the free and accessible web browsing tools.