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Moz/FF

Mozilla/Firefox: TenFourFox and Listening Devices

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • TenFourFox FPR14b1 available (now with H.264 video)

    I had originally plotted three main features for this release, but getting the urgent FPR13 SPR1 set me back a few days with confidence testing and rebuilds and I have business trips and some vacation time coming up, so I jettisoned the riskiest of the three features (a set of JavaScript updates and a ugly hack to get Github and other sites working fully again) and concentrated on the other two. I'll be looking at that again for FPR15, so more on that later.

    Before we get to the marquee features, though, there are two changes which you may not immediately notice. The first is a mitigation for a long-standing issue where some malicious sites keep popping up authentication modals using HTTP Auth. Essentially you can't do anything with the window until the modal is dealt with, so the site just asks for your credentials over and over, ultimately making the browser useless (as a means to make you call their "support line" where they can then social engineer their way into your computer). The ultimate solution is to make such things tab-modal rather than window-modal, but that's involved and sort of out of scope, so we now implement a similar change to what current Firefox does where there is a cap of three Cancels. If you cancel three times, the malicious site is not allowed to issue any more requests until you reload it. No actual data is leaked, assuming you don't type anything in, but it can be a nasty denial of service and it would have succeeded in ruining your day on TenFourFox just as easily as any other Firefox derivative. That said, just avoid iffy sites, yes?

    The second change is more fundamental. For Firefox 66 Mozilla briefly experimented with setting a frame rate cap on low-end devices. Surprise, surprise: all of our systems are low-end devices! In FPR13 and prior, TenFourFox would try to push as many frames to the compositor as possible, no matter what it was trying to do, to achieve a 60fps target or better. However, probably none of our computers with the possible exception of high-end G5s were probably achieving 60fps consistently on most modern websites, and the browser would flail trying to desperately keep up. Instead, by setting a cap and enforcing it with software v-sync, frames aren't pushed as often and the browser can do more layout and rendering work per frame. Mozilla selected a 30fps cap, so that's what I selected as an arbitrary first cut. Some sites are less smooth, but many sites now render faster to first paint, particularly pages that do a lot of DOM transforms because now the resulting visual changes are batched. This might seem like an obvious change to make but the numbers had never been proven until then.

  • Sustainable smart home with the TXT

    Mozilla started venturing into IoT recently. They are trying to advocate for better privacy and user freedom by promoting interoperability. These goals are unified in a proposal for a device API that is based on web protocols called “Web of Things”. It is developed in collaboration with smart home and “industry 4.0” manufacturers. This API isn’t necessarily implemented by each device directly, some devices are too low powered to provide a web server or are using other successful local mesh networks like Z-Wave or Zigbee. In these cases a gateway that is connected to the user’s local network would provide the web thing API.

    The web thing API breaks physical devices down into three attributes: properties, actions and events. Properties as stateful values that can both be changed by the device and the user (I’ll often refer to the user as the client). A device can however declare a property as read-only or add input value restrictions. Actions let the user execute an action on the device that either isn’t stateful or affects multiple properties. Lastly, events are fired by the device to indicate a momentary effect that is not reflected in the state. Above that is a capabilities system, with which devices can indicate the semantics of their features. For example a light bulb can advertise itself as being a “Lamp”, it’s brightness property will be a “BrightnessProperty” and the power toggle will be an “OnOffProperty”. These allow clients to expose appropriate UIs and behaviors for devices. The protocol is available over HTTP(S) and optionally WebSockets for real-time communication of changes.

    Mozilla is developing both a reference gateway to control devices using this protocol and reference implementations in multiple languages to build web things with. The “WebThing gateway” also has an adapter system to bridge other smart home protocols to the web of things data model.

Mozilla: Extensions in Firefox 67, Firefox 66.0.2, and Mozilla’s Firefox Lockbox

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Addons Blog: Extensions in Firefox 67

    There are a couple of major changes coming to Firefox. One is in the current Beta 67 release, while the other in the Nightly 68 release, but is covered here as an early preview for extension developers.

  • Firefox 66.0.2 Now Available for Download

    Mozilla has just released a new Firefox update, only a few days after the company previously published another version to address a couple of security vulnerabilities.

    Firefox 66.0.2, however, comes with no release notes, as Mozilla has just published the new version on its FTP server to begin serving the downloads. However, further information on what’s been changed in the update should be provided later today.

    Nevertheless, unless Mozilla introduces further security improvements, this browser version should be all about fixing bugs under the hood, so there’s a good chance you won’t notice any difference after installing it. Obviously, you’re still recommended to install it to get all these latest refinements.

  • Mozilla’s Firefox Lockbox To Store Passwords Now On Android

    The Firefox Lockbox password manager app allows users to securely store passwords, which are already stored in the Mozilla Firefox browser. Therefore, a downside appears; it doesn’t let users add new passwords or delete the existing ones.

  • Firefox Lockbox Now on Android, Keeping your Passwords Safe

    If you’re like most Firefox users, you have dozens if not hundreds of stored logins in your browser. When you use Firefox Accounts you get to take your logins on the web in Firefox Mobile. Today, many of those logins are the same ones used in the apps you download on mobile, so we’ve been working on making your various online identities work on your terms.

    Today, we are excited to bring Firefox Lockbox to Android users, a secure app that keeps people’s passwords with them wherever they go.

Mozilla Thunderbird 60.6.1 Released with Critical Security Fixes

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Moz/FF
Security

Mozilla Thunderbird 60.6.1 comes with the same security patches that were released as part of Firefox 66.0.1 last week.

As explained in the official advisory here, Mozilla resolved two different security flaws, both of which were reported by Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative.

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Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox Leftovers

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Chrome 74 beta: reducing unwanted motion, private class fields, and feature policy API

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Android WebView, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 74 on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 74 is beta as of March 22, 2019.

  • Chrome 74 Beta Released With CSS Media Query To Prefer Reduced Motion/Animations

    Google engineers are ending out their work week by issuing the beta of Chrome 74. 

    The Chrome 74 Beta features the CSS "prefers-reduced-motion" media query for honoring accessibility settings for those that may want to reduce/eliminate animations or other motions. Also on the developer side is ECMAScript private class fields, a JavaScript API for feature policy, CSS transition events, WebRTC additions, and other changes.

  • Mike Conley: Firefox Front-End Performance Update #15

    Firefox 66 has been released, Firefox 67 is out on the beta channel, and Firefox 68 is cooking for the folks on the Nightly channel! These trains don’t stop!

    With that, let’s take a quick peek at what the Firefox Front-end Performance team has been doing these past few weeks…

  • SUMO A/B Experiments

    This year the SUMO team is focused on learning what to improve on our site. As part of that, we spent January setting support.mozilla.org up for A/B testing and last week we ran our first test!

  • Get the tablet experience you deserve with Firefox for iPad

    We know that iPads aren’t just bigger versions of iPhones. You use them differently, you need them for different things. So rather than just make a bigger version of our browser for iOS, we made Firefox for iPad look and feel like it was custom made for a tablet. Mostly because it was.

Firefox 66 Is Now Available for Ubuntu 18.10, 18.04 LTS, and 16.04 LTS Users

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Moz/FF
Ubuntu

Released earlier this week, the Mozilla Firefox 66 web browser has landed in Ubuntu's repositories with a bunch of great improvements, such as the hidden system title bar that respects the GNOME guidelines. Not only Firefox will now look good, but you won't have two title bars, nor you'll have to use extensions to get rid of one.

Apart from the looks for GNOME users, which is now the default desktop environment on Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish), Mozilla Firefox 66 comes with various under the hood improvements, such as freezeless downloading of files and faster web content loading by reducing the crash rates and increasing the processes from 4 to 8.

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Mozilla, Firefox and ChromeOS/Chrome

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Sharing our Common Voices

    From the onset, our vision for Common Voice has been to build the world’s most diverse voice dataset, optimized for building voice technologies. We also made a promise of openness: we would make the high quality, transcribed voice data that was collected publicly available to startups, researchers, and anyone interested in voice-enabled technologies.

    Today, we’re excited to share our first multi-language dataset with 18 languages represented, including English, French, German and Mandarin Chinese (Traditional), but also for example Welsh and Kabyle. Altogether, the new dataset includes approximately 1,400 hours of voice clips from more than 42,000 people.

    With this release, the continuously growing Common Voice dataset is now the largest ever of its kind, with tens of thousands of people contributing their voices and original written sentences to the public domain (CC0). Moving forward, the full dataset will be available for download on the Common Voice site.

  • Mozilla GFX: WebRender newsletter #42

    WebRender is a GPU based 2D rendering engine for web written in Rust, currently powering Mozilla’s research web browser servo and on its way to becoming Firefox‘s rendering engine.

  • Firefox UX: Look over here! Results from a Firefox user research study about interruptions.

    The Attention War. There have been many headlines related to it in the past decade. This is the idea that apps and companies are stealing attention. It’s the idea that technologists throw up ads on websites in a feeble attempt to get the attention of the people who visit the website.

    In tech, or any industry really, people often say something to the effect of, “well if the person using this product or service only read the instructions, or clicked on the message, or read our email, they’d understand and wouldn’t have any problems”. We need people’s attention to provide a product experience or service. We’re all in the “attention war”, product designers and users alike.

    And what’s a sure-fire way to grab someone’s attention? Interruptions. Regardless if they’re good, bad, or neutral. Interruptions are not necessarily a “bad” thing, they can also lead to good behavior, actions, or knowledge.

  • Google Releases Chrome 73 Update for Linux, Windows, and macOS

    Google has just released an update for Chrome 73, the major update of the browser that was shipped to all supported platforms earlier this month.

    Now at version 73.0.3683.86, Google Chrome comes with under-the-hood improvements on Windows, Linux, and macOS, and you can download it using the links here.

  • Google will implement a Microsoft-style browser picker for EU Android devices

     

    We don't have many details on exactly how Google's new search and browser picker will work; there's just a single paragraph in the company's blog post. Google says it will "do more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones. This will involve asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use."

  • EU hits Google with fine for abuse of AdSense service

     

    The European Commission has hit search giant Google with a third fine, related to abuse of its AdSense advertising service, and told the company to fork out €1.49 billion (A$2.38 billion) for breaching EU anti-trust rules.  

  • The EU fines Google $1.69 billion for bundling search and advertising

     

    Google and the EU's European Commission are making all sorts of announcements lately. Fresh off the revelation that Google would implement a browser and search-engine picker in EU-sold Android devices, Google's advertising division is getting slapped with a fine next, to the tune of €1.5 billion ($1.69 billion). The European Commission's latest antitrust ruling says that Google's bundling of its advertising platform with its custom search engine program is anti-competitive toward other ad providers.

Firefox 66 Released

Filed under
Moz/FF

Firefox now prevents websites from automatically playing sound. You can add individual sites to an exceptions list or turn blocking off.

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Also: Firefox 66 Arrives - Blocks Auto-Playing Sounds, Hides Title Bar By Default For Linux

Mozilla/Firefox: Reducing Your Online Annoyances, This Week in Servo Development and Vista 10 Integration

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Moz/FF
  • Today’s Firefox Aims to Reduce Your Online Annoyances

    Almost a hundred years ago, John Maynard Keyes suggested that the industrial revolution would effectively end work for humans within a couple of generations, and our biggest challenge would be figuring what to do with that time. That definitely hasn’t happened, and we always seem to have lots to do, much of it online. When you’re on the web, you’re trying to get stuff done, and therefore online annoyances are just annoyances. Whether it’s autoplaying videos, page jumps or finding a topic within all your multiple tabs, Firefox can help. Today’s Firefox release minimizes those online inconveniences, and puts you back in control.

  • This Week In Servo 127

    In the past week, we merged 50 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

  • Passwordless Web Authentication Support via Windows Hello

    Firefox 66, being released this week, supports using the Windows Hello feature for Web Authentication on Windows 10, enabling a passwordless experience on the web that is hassle-free and more secure. Firefox has supported Web Authentication for all desktop platforms since version 60, but Windows 10 marks our first platform to support the new FIDO2 “passwordless” capabilities for Web Authentication.

Open Source Doesn’t Make Money Because It Isn’t Designed To Make Money

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Moz/FF
OSS

We all know the story: you can’t make money on open source. Is it really true?

I’m thinking about this now because Mozilla would like to diversify its revenue in the next few years, and one constraint we have is that everything we do is open source.

There are dozens (hundreds?) of successful open source projects that have tried to become even just modest commercial enterprises, some very seriously. Results aren’t great.

I myself am trying to pitch a commercial endeavor in Mozilla right now (if writing up plans and sending them into the ether can qualify as “pitching”), and this question often comes up in feedback: can we sell something that is open source?

I have no evidence that we can (or can’t), but I will make this assertion: it’s hard to sell something that wasn’t designed to be sold.

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Firefox Wayland By Default Diverted To Fedora 31

Filed under
Red Hat
Moz/FF

The plans to ship the Wayland-ized Firefox by default in Fedora 30 have been thwarted and will now have to wait until Fedora 31 to try again.

For a while now there's been the firefox-wayland package available for Fedora users to try the Wayland-native version of Firefox rather than having to run through XWayland when firing up this default web browser on Fedora Workstation. With Fedora 30 the developers were hopeful the Wayland Firefox version was finally in good enough shape to ship it by default, but that's not the case.

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More in Tux Machines

Annual Report 2018: LibreOffice development

Throughout the second half of 2018, the developer community worked on a new major release: LibreOffice 6.2. Details about the end-user-facing new features are provided on this page, and in the following video – so in the rest of this blog post, we’ll focus on developer-related changes. Read more

Programming Leftovers

Linux Kernel: Chrome OS, Direct Rendering Manger (DRM) and Char/Misc

  • Various Chrome OS Hardware Support Improvements Make It Into Linux 5.3 Mainline

    Various Chrome OS hardware platform support improvements have made it into the Linux 5.3 kernel for those after running other Linux distributions on Chromebooks and the like as well as reducing Google's maintenance burden with traditionally carrying so much material out-of-tree.

  • The Massive DRM Pull Request With AMDGPU Navi Support Sent In For Linux 5.3

    At 479,818 lines of new code and just 36,145 lines of code removed while touching nearly two thousand files, the Direct Rendering Manger (DRM) driver updates for Linux 5.3 are huge. But a big portion of that line count is the addition of AMD Radeon RX 5000 "Navi" support and a good portion of that in turn being auto-generated header files. Navi support is ready for the mainline Linux kernel!

  • Char/Misc Has A Bit Of Changes All Over For Linux 5.3

    The char/misc changes with each succeeding kernel release seem to have less changes to the character device subsystem itself and more just a random collection of changes not fitting in other subsystems / pull requests. With Linux 5.3 comes another smothering of different changes.

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