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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Firefox Privacy Features and the Cost of Proprietary Software for Communication

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Moz/FF
  • Save and update passwords in Private Browsing with Firefox

    Private browsing was invented 14 years ago, making it possible for users to close a browser window and erase traces of their online activity from their computers. Since then, we’ve bundled in various levels of tracking protection and privacy control. While that’s great, some basic browser functionality pieces were missing from the Private Browsing Mode experience, namely giving you the option to save logins and passwords and giving you the power to choose which extensions you wanted enabled.

  • No-Judgement Digital Definitions: What is Cryptocurrency?

    Cryptocurrency, cryptomining. We hear these terms thrown around a lot these days. It’s a new way to invest. It’s a new way to pay. It’s a new way to be deeply confused. To many of us, crypto-things sound like technobabble from sci fi movie. If you’re used to thinking about money as something that is issued by your government, kept in a bank and then traded for goods and services, then wrapping your head around cryptocurrency might be a bit of work, but we can do it!

  • Let Firefox help you block cryptominers from your computer

    Is your computer fan spinning up for no apparent reason? Your electricity bill inexplicably high? Your laptop battery draining much faster than usual? It may not be all the Netflix you’re binging or a computer virus. Cryptocurrency miners may be using your computer’s resources to generate cryptocurrency without your consent. We know it sounds like something out of a video game or one of those movies that barely gets technology right, but as much as cryptomining may sound like fiction, the impact on your life can be very real.

  • How to block fingerprinting with Firefox

    If you wonder why you keep seeing the same ad, over and over, the answer could be fingerprinting.

    Fingerprinting is a type of online tracking that’s different from cookies or ordinary trackers. This digital fingerprint is created when a company makes a unique profile of your computer, software, add-ons, and even preferences. Your settings like the screen you use, the fonts installed on your computer, and even your choice of a web browser can all be used to create a fingerprint.

  • Firefox 67: Dark Mode CSS, WebRender, and more

    Firefox 67 is available today, bringing a faster and better JavaScript debugger, support for CSS prefers-color-scheme media queries, and the initial debut of WebRender in stable Firefox.

  • The Cost of Fragmented Communication

    Mozilla recently announced that we are planning to de-commission irc.mozilla.org in favour of a yet to be determined solution. As a long time user and supporter of IRC, this decision causes me some melancholy, but I 100% believe that it is the right call. Moreover, having had an inside glimpse at the process to replace it, I’m supremely confident whatever is chosen will be the best option for Mozilla’s needs.

    I’m not here to explain why deprecating IRC is a good idea. Other people have already done so much more eloquently than I ever could have. I’m also not here to push for a specific replacement. Arguing over chat applications is like arguing over editors or version control. Yes, there are real and important differences from one application to the next, but if there’s one thing we’re spoiled for in 2019 it’s chat applications. Besides, so much time has been spent thinking about the requirements, there’s little anyone could say on the matter that hasn’t already been considered for hours.

Firefox 67.0 Released

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Moz/FF
  • Version 67.0, first offered to Release channel users on May 21, 2019
  • Latest Firefox Release is Faster than Ever

    With the introduction of the new Firefox Quantum browser in 2017 we changed the look, feel, and performance of our core product. Since then we have launched new products to complement your experience when you’re using Firefox and serve you beyond the browser. This includes Facebook Container, Firefox Monitor and Firefox Send. Collectively, they work to protect your privacy and keep you safe so you can do the things you love online with ease and peace of mind. We’ve been delivering on that promise to you for more than twenty years by putting your security and privacy first in the building of products that are open and accessible to all.

    Today’s new Firefox release continues to bring fast and private together right at the crossroads of performance and security. It includes improvements that continue to keep Firefox fast while giving you more control and assurance through new features that your personal information is safe while you’re online with us.

  • Firefox 67.0 Released, ownCloud Announces New Server Version 10.2, Google Launches "Glass Enterprise Edition 2" Headset, Ubuntu Expands Its Kernel Uploader Team and Kenna Security Reports Almost 20% of Popular Docker Containers Have No Root Password

    Firefox 67.0 was released today. From the Mozilla blog: "Today's new Firefox release continues to bring fast and private together right at the crossroads of performance and security. It includes improvements that continue to keep Firefox fast while giving you more control and assurance through new features that your personal information is safe while you're online with us." You can download it from here, and see the release notes for details.

  • Firefox 67.0 Released, Upgrading to Dav1d AV1 Decoder

    Mozilla Firefox 67.0 was released today with performance improvements and some new features.

  • Firefox 67.0 Released With Better Performance, Switches To Dav1d AV1 Decoder

    Mozilla set sail Firefox 67.0 this morning as the newest version of this web browser and the update is heavy on the feature front.

    Firefox 67.0 brings a number of performance improvements, the ability to block known cryptominers/fingerprinters, better keyboard accessibility, usability/security enhancements to Private Browsing, various ease-of-use improvements, switching to DAV1D as its AV1 video decoder, FIDO U2F API support, security fixes, and various JavaScript API additions.

  • Firefox 67 released

    The Mozilla blog takes a look at the Firefox 67 release.

Mozilla: WebXR, DevTools and More

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla VR Blog: Bringing WebXR to iOS

    The first version of the WebXR Device API is close to being finalized, and browsers will start implementing the standard soon (if they haven't already). Over the past few months we've been working on updating the WebXR Viewer (source on github, new version available now on the iOS App Store) to be ready when the specification is finalized, giving developers and users at least one WebXR solution on iOS. The current release is a step along this path.

    Most of the work we've been doing is hidden from the user; we've re-written parts of the app to be more modern, more robust and efficient. And we've removed little-used parts of the app, like video and image capture, that have been made obsolete by recent iOS capabilities.

    There are two major parts to the recent update of the Viewer that are visible to users and developers.

  • Faster smarter JavaScript debugging in Firefox DevTools [Ed: Mozilla needs to delete GitHub and other proprietary software. On several fronts they’re now in violation of their mission statement/spirit. Too many projects hosted on Microsoft servers, chats in spying firms.]

    Script debugging is one of the most powerful and complex productivity features in the web developer toolbox. Done right, it empowers developers to fix bugs quickly and efficiently. So the question for us, the Firefox DevTools team, has been, are the Firefox DevTools doing it right?

    We’ve been listening to feedback from our community. Above everything we heard the need for greater reliability and performance; especially with modern web apps. Moreover, script debugging is a hard-to-learn skill that should work in similar fashion across browsers, but isn’t consistent because of feature and UI gaps.

    With these pain points in mind, the DevTools Debugger team – with help from our tireless developer community – landed countless updates to design a more productive debugging experience. The work is ongoing, but Firefox 67 marks an important milestone, and we wanted to highlight some of the fantastic improvements and features. We invite you to open up Firefox Quantum: Developer Edition, try out the debugger on the examples below and your projects and let us know if you notice the difference.

  • A few words on main thread disk access for general audiences
  • Virtual Private Social Network: Tales of a BBM Exodus [Ed: Mozilla's Chris H-C on what happens when you rely on a single for-profit company (now a patent troll actually) and proprietary software for communications]

    On Thursday April 18, my primary mechanism for talking to friends notified me that it was going away. I’d been using BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) since I started work at Research in Motion in 2008 and had found it to be tolerably built. It messaged people instantly over any data connection I had access to, what more could I ask for?

    The most important BBM feature in my circle of contacts was its Groups feature. A bunch of people with BBM could form a Group and then messages, video, pictures, lists were all shared amongst the people in the group.

    Essentially it acted as a virtual private social network. I could talk to a broad group of friends about the next time were getting together or about some cute thing my daughter did. I could talk to the subset who lived in Waterloo about Waterloo activities, and whose turn it was for Sunday Dinner. The Beers group kept track of whose turn it was to pay, and it combined nicely with the chat for random nerdy tidbits and coordinating when each of us arrived at the pub. Even my in-laws had a group to coordinate visits, brag about child developmental milestones, and manage Christmas.

Mozilla WebThings, Mozilla VR and Google Surveillance

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Google
Moz/FF
  • Empowering User Privacy and Decentralizing IoT with Mozilla WebThings

    Smart home devices can make busy lives a little easier, but they also require you to give up control of your usage data to companies for the devices to function. In a recent article from the New York Times’ Privacy Project about protecting privacy online, the author recommended people to not buy Internet of Things (IoT) devices unless they’re “willing to give up a little privacy for whatever convenience they provide.”

    This is sound advice since smart home companies can not only know if you’re at home when you say you are, they’ll soon be able to listen for your sniffles through their always-listening microphones and recommend sponsored cold medicine from affiliated vendors. Moreover, by both requiring that users’ data go through their servers and by limiting interoperability between platforms, leading smart home companies are chipping away at people’s ability to make real, nuanced technology choices as consumers.

    At Mozilla, we believe that you should have control over your devices and the data that smart home devices create about you. You should own your data, you should have control over how it’s shared with others, and you should be able to contest when a data profile about you is inaccurate.

  • Mozilla VR Blog: Making ethical decisions for the immersive web

    One of the promises of immersive technologies is real time communication unrestrained by geography. This is as transformative as the internet, radio, television, and telephones—each represents a pivot in mass communications that provides new opportunities for information dissemination and creating connections between people. This raises the question, “what’s the immersive future we want?”

    We want to be able to connect without traveling. Indulge our curiosity and creativity beyond our physical limitations. Revolutionize the way we visualize and share our ideas and dreams. Enrich everyday situations. Improve access to limited resources like healthcare and education.

  • Google finds ways to cover your mobile in even more advertising

     

    This week's Google Marketing Live event produced several new options to make Android and iOS just that little bit more ad-heavy. For 'little', read 'understatement'.
     

    They include 'gallery ads' which will allow you to swipe through images, which will become part of the search process on mobile. They'll also form part of the 'Discover' option in the Google Assistant screen and on Google's mobile home page.

react-content-marker Released – Marking Content with React

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Development
Moz/FF

Last year, in a React side-project, I had to replace some content in a string with HTML markup. That is not a trivial thing to do with React, as you can't just put HTML as string in your content, unless you want to use dangerouslySetInnerHtml — which I don't. So, I hacked a little code to smartly split my string into an array of sub-strings and DOM elements.

More recently, while working on Translate.Next — the rewrite of Pontoon's translate page to React — I stumbled upon the same problem. After looking around the Web for a tool that would solve it, and coming up short handed, I decided to write my own and make it a library.

Read more

Announcing Rust 1.34.2

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Development
Moz/FF

The Rust team has published a new point release of Rust, 1.34.2. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

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FOSS, Self-Hosted Applications and People of Mozilla

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Moz/FF
OSS
  • 6 Open-Source Alternatives to Proprietary Software: Self-Hosted Applications

    Using FOSS software is a great way of getting free access to valuable services and retaining your privacy and independence when you do it. Whether you’re running your own business on a tight budget or just want to use social media without fear of corporations stockpiling your personal info, there are tons of free and open source alternatives to the mainstream proprietary software that you’re probably used to.

    FOSS software also fosters communities and the sharing of knowledge. For those that have the hardware and time, there are tons of benefits to self-hosting sites built on open-source software. Here are 6 of the best open-source, self-hosted applications and how they compare to their proprietary counterparts.

  • Support.Mozilla.Org: Introducing Josh and Jeremy to the SUMO team

    Today the SUMO team would like to welcome Josh and Jeremy who will be joining our team from Boise, Idaho.

    Josh and Jeremy will be joining our team to help out on Support for some of the new efforts Mozilla are working on towards creating a connected and integrated Firefox experience.

    They will be helping out with new products, but also providing support on forums and social channels, as well as serving as an escalation point for hard to solve issues.

  • Mozilla Reps Community: Rep of the Month – April 2019

    Lidya Christina is from Jakarta, Indonesia. Her contribution in SUMO event in 2016 lead her into a proud Mozillian, an active contributor of Mozilla Indonesia and last March 2019 she joined the Reps program.

Firefox & GNOME Can Finally Run On The AFS File-System With Linux 5.2

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Linux
Moz/FF
GNOME

AFS, the Andrew File-System that serves as a distributed file-system and used by the likes of Carnegie Mellon University and has seen ports to different operating systems, can now handle more programs running on top of the file-system like Firefox and GNOME.

The AFS file-locking up until now has caused issues with SQLite databases as is commonly used by Firefox and countless other desktop applications on multiple platforms. With the Linux 5.2 kernel changes, AFS file-locking changes now jive with SQLite and thus allow a lot more applications to run when AFS is in use as the home directory.

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Also: Mozilla looks to Tor as it ponders Super Private Browsing mode

Mozilla: SUMO/Firefox Accounts integration, Privacy Features, and Another Facebook Rant

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Moz/FF
  • SUMO/Firefox Accounts integration

    One of Mozilla’s goals is to deepen relationships with our users and better connect them with our products. For support this means integrating Firefox Accounts (FxA) as the authentication layer on support.mozilla.org

  • Mozilla To Add Tor Features In Firefox For A ‘Super Privacy Browsing’ Mode

    Mozilla Firefox, with an aim to further work on the privacy and security of users, could soon introduce a new mode for the same. As found in the Research Grants of the company, Mozilla plans to work in two main areas: Data and Privacy and Security in the Firefox browser.

    Speaking of Privacy and Security, Mozilla is planning to incorporate Tor in Firefox browser which will lead to the introduction of a new Super Privacy Browsing mode for easy and anonymous internet surfing.

  • Mozilla offers research grant for a way to embed Tor inside Firefo

    Mozilla is looking for a more efficient way of integrating Tor into Firefox, and the organization is willing to throw money at the problem.

    A better Tor integration is one of the key points that Mozilla is willing to fund via its Research Grants 2019H1 program that the organization announced last month.

    This program has been going on for quite a while and is how Mozilla has paid the bills for the development of new Firefox features in the past.

  • Alpine Linux Docker Images Shipped with Unlock Root Accounts, Mozilla Offering a Research Grant to Embed Tor into Firefox, Plasma 5.16 to Get a Rewritten Notification System, Unity 2019.2 Beta Released and Emirates NBD Wins Red Hat's 2019 Innovation Award

    Mozilla has offered a research grant to find a way to embed Tor into Firefox to create a Super Private Browser mode.

  • Google’s Ad API is Better Than Facebook’s, But…

    Last month, Mozilla released an analysis of Facebook’s ad archive API, a tool that allows researchers to understand how political ads are being targeted to Facebook users. Our goal: To determine if Facebook had fulfilled its promise to make political advertising more transparent. (It did not.)

    Today, we’re releasing an analysis of Google’s ad archive API. Google also promised the European Union it would release an ad transparency tool ahead of the 2019 EU Parliament elections.

    [...]

    Overall: While the company gets a passing grade, Google doesn’t sufficiently allow researchers to study disinformation on its platform. The company also significantly delayed the release of their API, unveiling it only weeks before the upcoming EU elections and nearly two months after the originally promised deadline.

    With the EU elections fewer than two weeks away, we hope Google (and Facebook) take action swiftly to improve their ad APIs — action that should have been taken months ago.

File Sharing: qBittorrent 4.1.6 and Mozilla Thunderbird WeTransfer

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Software
Moz/FF
  • qBittorrent 4.1.6 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu 18.04

    qBittorrent torrent client 4.1.6 was released a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 18.10, and Ubuntu 19.04.

  • Mozilla Thunderbird: WeTransfer File Transfer Now Available in Thunderbird

    WeTransfer’s file-sharing service is now available within Thunderbird for sending large files (up to 2GB) for free, without signing up for an account.

    Even better, sharing large files can be done without leaving the composer. While writing an email, just attach a large file and you will be prompted to choose whether you want to use file link, which will allow you to share a large file with a link to download it. Via this prompt you can select to use WeTransfer.

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