It’s all over the internet that Mozilla has added a “ping” attribute to URLs:
I’ve been meaning to blog about a new web platform feature that we’ve added to trunk builds of Firefox. It is now possible to define a ping attribute on anchor and area tags. When a user follows a link via one of these tags, the browser will send notification pings to the specified URLs after following the link.
I’m sure this may raise some eye-brows among privacy conscious folks, but please know that this change is being considered with the utmost regard for user privacy. The point of this feature is to enable link tracking mechanisms commonly employed on the web to get out of the critical path and thereby reduce the time required for users to see the page they clicked on. Many websites will employ redirects to have all link clicks on their site first go back to them so they can know what you are doing and then redirect your browser to the site you thought you were going to. The net result is that you end up waiting for the redirect to occur before your browser even begins to load the site that you want to go to. This can have a significant impact on page load performance.
So let me get this straight: Privacy invasion was annoying not only the privacy-conscious, but everyone else too, because it sucked. Your response was not to say, sorry, gosh, that sucks, try directing people through fewer slow forwarders, but to apply a technical fix to the problem? Hello? You could also help people fill out their social security numbers on phishing sites. Some things should not be optimized. Oh, and rather than implementing the feature with default off, and/or implementing the privacy UI then the feature, you just go head and builds as is?
The inverted flag is, of course, a classic marine distress signal.