Upgrading your ZTE Open to Firefox 1.1 or 1.2 (fastboot enabled)


If you are a ZTE Open owner, you may have already upgraded to Firefox OS 1.1 following the instructions from our previous post. If so, you probably realized that the latest build from ZTE had a problem: fastboot wasn’t enabled anymore. For those of you who didn’t upgrade because of that, ZTE has put a new build of 1.1 with fastboot enabled on their site.

Depending on the version of the phone you purchased, you need either the US or the UK (European) version of the build. Download the files from the ZTE support site by clicking the “Downloads” tab on one of these pages: US version or UK version. The zip file you’ll download will also contain documentation for the upgrade, or you can follow our earlier instructions.

Upgrading to Firefox 1.2

We are pleased to announce that ZTE has also made available a version of Firefox OS 1.2. If you want to upgrade to it, you’ll first need to install the version of 1.1 that has fastboot enabled (or be on an older version of the OS with fastboot enabled). Next, you need to verify that you can establish a connection with the phone via USB. This post describes how to configure Windows, Linux and Mac machines for a USB connection (something you’ll want to do anyway if you are pushing apps to your phone during development).

Finally, you’ll need to have have fastboot from the Android Developer Toolkit installed on your desktop machine. It is not necessary to install the entire toolkit. adb and fastboot are found in the /platform-tools/ folder. They can be copied to /usr/bin of your Linux or Mac OS X machine, or copied to another folder as long as that folder is added to your $PATH.

After your phone and your desktop computer are properly configured, connect your phone to your computer via USB cable and try to restart your device with this command from the console:

fastboot restart

If your phone reboots itself, you are good to go for the upgrade. Download the appropriate version of the build from the Dropbox account ZTE has set up: US version or UK version. For Windows users, you can also download special instructions, and an upgrade tool to help you to install the new version easily. In this post, however, I provide steps for all operating systems–Linux, OS X, and Windows–without relying on the special tool.

Once you have the file, extract the contents, and open a console. Then navigate to the folder where the files are. Still in the console, type these commands:

adb reboot bootloader
fastboot flash boot boot.img

If you want to erase the phone data, type the command below. If you don’t, continue to the next step.

fastboot flash userdata userdata.img;

Whether you erased your data or not, finish the process with these commands:

fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
fastboot erase cache
fastboot reboot
ZTE Open upgraded to Firefox OS 1.2

The software version you see after upgrading

If everything went well, your phone should reboot at this point. You’ll find that this version of 1.2 from ZTE includes many test applications, which you can remove if you like.

Congratulations, your phone is now running Firefox OS 1.2! You will benefit from all the bug fixes, new features for users, and new features for developers of the latest released build of Firefox OS.

If you have any questions related to the upgrade, I invite you to submit them on our StackOverflow Q&A. You’ll benefit from the expertise of thousands of people, including our Technical Evangelist team.

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WebRTC enabled, H.264/MP3 support in Win 7 on by default, Metro UI for Windows 8 + more – Firefox Development Highlights

Time again for looking at the latest progress with Firefox. These posts are part of our Bleeding Edge and Firefox Development Highlights series – take note that most examples only work in Firefox Nightly (and could be subject to change).

WebRTC enabled by default

Previously, you needed to go to about:config in Firefox and set the media.peerconnection.enabled option to true, but now it’s enabled by default. This is a huge step forward, to be able to run WebRTC directly in a web browser without it needing any special settings or configuration.

For more details behind this decision, please read Pref on WebRTC by default.

Want to get started with WebRTC? Then we recommend our article Cross-browser camera capture with getUserMedia/WebRTC.

Metro UI

The new Firefox User Interface for Windows 8 has landed (if you had Firefox Nightly as your default browser, reset that permission to see the new UI).

There are more screenshots available too.

H.264 & MP3 support enabled by default in Windows 7

We talked about H.264 & MP3 support before, and now that support is activated by default.

We are still working on supporting Mac OS X and Linux.

WebAudio API progress

We are working on implementing the WebAudio API, and the first parts of support has just started appearing.

It’s available in about:config in the media.webaudio.enabled preference – set it to true to enable it and be able to access things such as AudioContext.decodeAudioData.

Crypto API: window.crypto.getRandomValues

If you provide an integer-based TypedArray (i.e. Int8Array, Uint8Array, Int16Array, Uint16Array, Int32Array, or Uint32Array), window.crypto.getRandomValues is going fill the array with cryptographically random numbers:

/* assuming that window.crypto.getRandomValues is available */
var array = new Uint32Array(10);
console.log("Your lucky numbers:");
for (var i = 0; i < array.length; i++) {

canvas: ctx.isPointInStroke

This has been uplifted to Firefox 19 Beta.

From the WHATWG mailing list:

“We have recently implemented isPointInStroke(x,y) in Firefox (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=803124). This is a parallel to isPointInPath(x,y) and returns true if the point is inside the area contained by the stroking of a path.”

JavaScript: Math.imul

Math.imul allows for fast 32-bit integer multiplication with C-like semantics. This feature is useful for projects like Emscripten.


function imul(a, b) {
    var ah  = (a >>> 16) & 0xffff;
    var al = a & 0xffff;
    var bh  = (b >>> 16) & 0xffff;
    var bl = b & 0xffff;
    // the shift by 0 fixes the sign on the high part
    return (al * bl) + (((ah * bl + al * bh) << 16) >>> 0);

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Web enabled video at news:rewired

Tomorrow I will be at Microsoft London to make IE10 support classList speak at news:rewired – media in motion on the topic of open web video and what you can do with it. For this, I got 10 minutes and then answer questions (or ask them) in a panel.

The slides – for what they are worth – are on Slideshare:

Web enabled video

And here are the notes used in the slides and the story I will tell to the audience with all the links for you to try out:

Web enabled video

Today I have a few minutes to talk to you about online video and why it is an amazing opportunity for journalists.

Video is engaging…

There is no doubt that video is an incredibly engaging format for information, news, entertainment – well, for anything really. A video can much easier explain a complex topic than text could as people can see and repeat what you do. You can show instead of just telling or hoping people read what you painstakingly wrote.

Video is also hard to edit and change

One of the issues with video is that it is much harder to maintain than a text. Editing a video requires more technical expert skill and takes longer than writing a text or changing something in an article. Say you got a number wrong – in a blog post that can be easily remedied. In a video it means a re-edit, in the worst case a re-shoot. In the case of the web it also means re-encoding the video in a format fit for consumption on the web and re-uploading it to the servers where it needs to go.

Video is also a black hole on the web

The other big thing is that whilst your videos are engaging and amazing – for search robots on the web they are actually nothing at all. Video content is not indexed and the information in it doesn’t allow people to find it.

So what can be done about that?

It seems pretty old-school that we still live in a time where videos have to be produced as a fixed package, with names, labels, map overlays, other videos and imagery and extras inside the video. This does not only mean that these things can not be updated, but it also means in a lot of cases when it comes to online video that their quality is impeded by the overall quality of the video.

Separation makes things easier to maintain

On the web we long understood that by separating concerns from each other, we can deliver much better results. How things look is defined and maintained somewhere else than what they are. A text is written without any design to it, the design is defined in the site template or in the overall look and feel of your product. This makes it easy to re-use the text in several places and formats – covering mobile and desktop needs or even as a news subscription in a feed.

Separation allows anyone to enhance

OK this is going into “data hippy territory” but if you separate your content and make your video available, then anyone can help improve the quality of it and provide for example translations of the captions. For this, there is a simple interface called universal subtitles available.

Separation increases accessibility and find-ability

Subtitles and captions are a great example to make video content more available to people. Not only the hard of hearing but anyone. You can for example follow a debate in the gym or in the pub without needing to hear it. The other big thing about it is that a transcript of a video makes it searchable by Google and Bing. And – if it is timed it allows people to to jump to a certain section of a video instantly.

HTML5 video allows for all of that!

HTML5 video is a step forward in interactive video on the web. Its openness allows us to innovate with it and weave video content into the web much like we did with text and images in the past. No need to have a plugin, no need to pay licenses for offering your video in a fast loading and high quality format on the web. By using open formats you can make your videos part of the massive interlinked thing we called the WWW in no time.

Just another page element

In HTML5, multimedia is just another page element I can add into my design. You can make it interactive in parts, you can show only parts of it, you can rotate and style it any way you want. For example I always hated the second sun in Star Wars to show us that Tatooine is not on earth. In this demo I can now drag the sun away.

The timestamp is the glue

The main trick is that I have full control over the video in HTML5 and I can react differently according to the time the video is playing right now. I have many other things I can monitor and react to, showcased here and using HTML5 canvas I can even change the video itself while it is playing.

Tapping into the real-time web

All this allows us to have a video and get information from the web to mix with it. Realtime updates from Twitter, other videos, photos and comments from other sources – all of these can be used easily as we are using video with the web rather than putting already done video on the web for consumption. The 18 days in egypt interactive demo shows for example how you can add all kind of – at that time – real-time web information to the the January 28th speech by Hosni Mubarak.

Lean back, relax, grab some popcorn

And the good news is that Mozilla – the non-for profit for the betterment of the web – is making it easy for you to do that with our Popcorn project. Popcorn is a JavaScript library and tool to add web content to videos and re-distribute the final product on the web.

Some quick demos

Some very cool things have been built with popcorn already:

  • One millionth tower is a unique multi-project documentary from the National Film Board of Canada exploring “vertical living” around the world.
  • History in these streets is a audio documentary about the history of the Black Panther party enhanced with Google Maps, images and other multimedia
  • Buffy slays Twilight is a mashup of “Buffy the vampire slayer” and “Twilight” with information in Pop Up Video style.

Popcorn and its maker

We now need you to help us on our quest to make it easier for people like you to embrace the interactivity of online video. For this, we created popcorn.js as explained earlier, but we also made a tool that allows you to create videos in an interface. It is called popcorn maker, and we want you to kick its tires and tell us what is missing and what could be done better.

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Cloud Computing Needs a Hero. Introducing Liquid Web Smart Servers! Cloud Enabled Dedicated Servers Guaranteed by …

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Liquid Web invented a proprietary technology called ‘SMART SERVERS’ that blend the best of managed dedicated server hosting with the flexibility of Cloud Computing . Liquid Web “Smart Servers” are dedicated servers combined with powerful cloud computing features – all guaranteed by Liquid Web 24×7 Heroic Support . Now you don’t have to worry about …

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