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Moz/FF

Mozilla: WebAssembly Interface Type, Bryce and Brady, FPR16

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Moz/FF
  • WebAssembly Interface Types: Interoperate with All the Things!

    People are excited about running WebAssembly outside the browser.

    That excitement isn’t just about WebAssembly running in its own standalone runtime. People are also excited about running WebAssembly from languages like Python, Ruby, and Rust.

  • Support.Mozilla.Org: Introducing Bryce and Brady

    I’m thrilled to share this update with you today. Bryce and Brady have joined us last week and will be able to help out on Support for some of the new efforts Mozilla are working on towards creating a connected and integrated Firefox experience.

    They are going to be involved with new products, but also they won’t forget to put extra effort in providing support on forums and as well as serving as an escalation point for hard to solve issues.

  • FPR16 delays

    FPR16 was supposed to reach you in beta sometime tomorrow but I found a reproducible crash in the optimized build, probably due to one of my vain attempts to fix JavaScript bugs. I'm still investigating exactly which change(s) were responsible. We should still make the deadline (September 3) to be concurrent with the 60.9/68.1 ESRs, but there will not be much of a beta testing period and I don't anticipate it being available until probably at least Friday or Saturday. More later.

Mozilla Firefox in Kazakhstan

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla takes action to protect users in Kazakhstan

    Today, Mozilla and Google took action to protect the online security and privacy of individuals in Kazakhstan. Together the companies deployed technical solutions within Firefox and Chrome to block the Kazakhstan government’s ability to intercept internet traffic within the country.

    The response comes after credible reports that internet service providers in Kazakhstan have required people in the country to download and install a government-issued certificate on all devices and in every browser in order to access the internet. This certificate is not trusted by either of the companies, and once installed, allowed the government to decrypt and read anything a user types or posts, including intercepting their account information and passwords. This targeted people visiting popular sites Facebook, Twitter and Google, among others.

    “People around the world trust Firefox to protect them as they navigate the internet, especially when it comes to keeping them safe from attacks like this that undermine their security. We don’t take actions like this lightly, but protecting our users and the integrity of the web is the reason Firefox exists.” — Marshall Erwin, Senior Director of Trust and Security, Mozilla

  • Protecting our Users in Kazakhstan

    In July, a Firefox user informed Mozilla of a security issue impacting Firefox users in Kazakhstan: They stated that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Kazakhstan had begun telling their customers that they must install a government-issued root certificate on their devices. What the ISPs didn’t tell their customers was that the certificate was being used to intercept network communications. Other users and researchers confirmed these claims, and listed 3 dozen popular social media and communications sites that were affected.

    The security and privacy of HTTPS encrypted communications in Firefox and other browsers relies on trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs) to issue website certificates only to someone that controls the domain name or website. For example, you and I can’t obtain a trusted certificate for www.facebook.com because Mozilla has strict policies for all CAs trusted by Firefox which only allow an authorized person to get a certificate for that domain. However, when a user in Kazakhstan installs the root certificate provided by their ISP, they are choosing to trust a CA that doesn’t have to follow any rules and can issue a certificate for any website to anyone. This enables the interception and decryption of network communications between Firefox and the website, sometimes referred to as a Monster-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack.

    We believe this act undermines the security of our users and the web, and it directly contradicts Principle 4 of the Mozilla Manifesto that states, “Individuals’ security and privacy on the internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional.”

Using WebThings Gateway notifications as a warning system for your home

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Moz/FF

Ever wonder if that leaky pipe you fixed is holding up? With a trip to the hardware store and a Mozilla WebThings Gateway you can set up a cheap leak sensor to keep an eye on the situation, whether you’re home or away. Although you can look up detector status easily on the web-based dashboard, it would be better to not need to pay attention unless a leak actually occurs. In the WebThings Gateway 0.9 release, a number of different notification mechanisms can be set up, including emails, apps, and text messages.

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Announcing Rust 1.37.0

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Development
Moz/FF

The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.37.0. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

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Mozilla's WebThings Gateway now available for Turris Omnia router

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Moz/FF

The first step for adding devices is to put them in a mode that is receptive to a new pairing, one at a time, then to tell the Gateway web application to scan for them. Once they are recognized (and renamed to something that makes more sense to the user), there are a number of different options. The device state can be queried (e.g. is a door open or a light on) or changed, for example; some devices may require an add-on in order to access them. Users can also create a floor plan of their house to place icons of the devices in the right locations.

Beyond that, there is a rules engine where automated changes can be programmed. So if the user wants a certain light to go on or off at a specific time, for example, that can be done. The interface is icon oriented, which should make it easier for less technical users. There is also an experimental Smart Assistant feature that allows voice or typed commands like "turn on the kitchen light" to be handled. The voice data is sent to Google's voice assistant API; the text commands are handled locally on the Gateway device. It is not clear why the assistant is not using Mozilla's speech-processing engine.

New for version 0.9 is a Notifier add-on that will send an email or SMS text message based on rules that the user specifies, so motion sensor activity could trigger a text message, for example. Accompanying the Gateway release is the 0.12 release of the WebThings Framework. It has made some changes to the Web Thing API to more closely align it with the recent W3C WoT Thing Description draft.

Centralizing IoT handling on a system controlled by the user is an admirable goal. The IoT world has so far proven to be an insecure morass of competing lock-in plays, or so it seems to this cynical observer. Wresting control of the devices from the manufacturers and placing it in the hands of their owners seems like an excellent step forward. Hopefully Mozilla sticks with this project for the long haul and that it gets the community support that it surely deserves—and needs.

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Mozilla: Secure Connections, Localisation and Latest on Rust

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla revamps Firefox's HTTPS address bar information

    Mozilla plans to make changes to the information that the organization's Firefox browser displays in its address bar when it connects to sites.

    Firefox displays an i-icon and a lock symbol currently when connecting to sites. The i-icon displays information about the security of the connection, content blocking, and permissions, the lock icon indicates the security state of the connection visually. A green lock indicates a secure connection and if a site has an Extended Validation certificate, the name of the company is displayed in the address bar as well.

    Mozilla plans to make changes to the information that is displayed in the browser's address bar that all Firefox users need to be aware of.

  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: August Edition

    We’re quickly approaching the deadline for Firefox 69. The last day to ship your changes in this version is August 20, less than a week away.

    A lot of content targeting Firefox 70 already landed and it’s available in Pontoon for translation, with more to come in the following days. Here are a few of the areas where you should focus your testing on.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 299

Mozilla, OSS and Development

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Development
Moz/FF
OSS
  • Mozilla VR Blog: Custom elements for the immersive web

    From the Mixed Reality team, we keep working on improving the content creator experience, building new frameworks, tools, APIs, performance tuning and so on.
    Most of these projects are based on the assumption that the users have a basic knowledge of 3D graphics and want to go deep on fully customizing their WebXR experience, (eg: using A-Frame or three.js).
    But there are still a lot of use cases where content creators just want very simple interactions and don’t have the knowledge or time to create and maintain a custom application built on top of a WebXR framework.

    With this project we aim to address the problems these content creators have by providing custom elements with simple, yet polished features. One could be just a simple 360 image or video viewer, another one could be a tour allowing the user to jump from one image to another.

  • Mozilla Reps Community: Reps OKRs for second half of 2019

    Here is the list of the OKRs (objective and Key Results) that the Reps Council has set for the second half of 2019

  • Building a non-breaking breakpoint for Python debugging

    This is the story of how our team at Rookout built non-breaking breakpoints for Python and some of the lessons we learned along the way. I'll be presenting all about the nuts and bolts of debugging in Python at PyBay 2019 in San Francisco this month. Let's dig in.

  • Excellent Free Books to Learn X86 Assembly

    An assembly language is a low-level programming language for a computer, or other programmable device. Assembly language is used by almost all modern desktop and laptop computers. It is as close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal. It is converted into executable machine code by a utility program referred to as an assembler.

  • A comprehensive guide to agile project management

    With a focus on continuous improvements, agile project management upends the traditional linear way of developing products and services. Increasingly, organizations are adopting agile project management because it utilizes a series of shorter development cycles to deliver features and improve continually. This management style allows for rapid development, continuous integration (CI), and continuous delivery (CD).

    Agile project management allows cross-functional teams to work on chunks of projects, solving problems and moving projects forward in shorter phases. This enables them to iterate more quickly and deliver more frequent updates.

    The agile methodology provides a higher level of quality improvements on an incremental basis instead of waiting to distribute finished projects. And agile project management works. For example, PWC reports agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional project methodologies.

Mozilla: SUMO, CPU Spikes in Firefox and Data Collection (Surveillance)

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Moz/FF
  • Community Management Update

    I have a couple announcements for today. I’d like you all to welcome our two new community managers.

    First off Kiki has officially joined the SUMO team as a community manager. Kiki has been filling in with Konstantina and Ruben on our social support activities. We had an opportunity to bring her onto the SUMO team full time starting last week. She will be transitioning out of her responsibilities at the Community Development Team and will be continuing her work on the social program as well as managing SUMO days going forward.

    In addition, we have hired a new SUMO community manager to join the team. Please welcome Giulia Guizzardi to the SUMO team.

  • Mike Hoye: Ten More Simple Rules

    The Public Library of Science‘s Ten Simple Rules series can be fun reading; they’re introductory papers intended to provide novices or non-domain-experts with a set of quick, evidence-based guidelines for dealing with common problems in and around various fields, and it’s become a pretty popular, accessible format as far as scientific publication goes.

  • Henrik Skupin: Example in how to investigate CPU spikes in Firefox

    So a couple of months ago when I was looking for some new interesting and challenging sport events, which I could participate in to reach my own limits, I was made aware of the Mega Hike event. It sounded like fun and it was also good to see that one particular event is annually organized in my own city since 2018. As such I accepted it together with a friend, and we had an amazing day. But hey… that’s not what I actually want to talk about in this post!

    The thing I was actually more interested in while reading content on this web site, was the high CPU load of Firefox while the page was open in my browser. Once the tab got closed the CPU load dropped back to normal numbers, and went up again once I reopened the tab. Given that I haven’t had that much time to further investigate this behavior, I simply logged bug 1530071 to make people aware of the problem. Sadly the bug got lost in my incoming queue of daily bug mail, and I missed to respond, which itself lead in no further progress been made.

    Yesterday I stumbled over the website again, and by any change have been made aware of the problem again. Nothing seemed to have been changed, and Firefox Nightly (70.0a1) was still using around 70% of CPU even with the tab’s content not visible; means moved to a background tab. Given that this is a serious performance and power related issue I thought that investigation might be pretty helpful for developers.

    In the following sections I want to lay out the steps I did to nail down this problem.

  • My StarCon 2019 Talk: Collecting Data Responsibly and at Scale

    Back in January I was privileged to speak at StarCon 2019 at the University of Waterloo about responsible data collection. It was a bitterly-cold weekend with beautiful sun dogs ringing the morning sun. I spent it inside talking about good ways to collect data and how Mozilla serves as a concrete example. It’s 15 minutes short and aimed at a general audience. I hope you like it.

Mozilla: Firefox 69, Revamping Firefox’s Reader Mode, MDN Ramble

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Moz/FF
  • Extensions in Firefox 69

    In our last post for Firefox 68, we’ve introduced a great number of new features. In contrast, Firefox 69 only has a few new additions. Still, we are proud to present this round of changes to extensions in Firefox.

  • Revamping Firefox’s Reader Mode this Summer

    For me, getting all set to read a book would mean spending hours hopping between stores to find the right lighting and mood to get started. But with Firefox’s Reader Mode it’s now much more convenient to get reading on the go. And this summer, I have been fortunate to shift roles from a user to a developer for the Reader Mode . As I write this blog, I have completed two months as a Google Summer of Code student developer with Mozilla. It has been a really enriching experience and thus I would like to share some glimpses of the project and my journey so far.

  • The Tall-Tale Clock: The myth of task estimates

    On the MDN team, we have begun over the past year to use a time unit we call the hypothetical ideal day or simply ideal day. This is a theoretical time unit in which you are able to work, uninterrupted, on a project for an entire 8-hour work day. A given task may take any appropriate number of ideal days to complete, depending on its size and complexity. Some tasks may take less than a single ideal day, or may otherwise require a fractional number of ideal days (like 0.5 ideal days, or 1.25 ideal days). We generally round to a quarter of a day.

5 open-source Firefox alternatives for Linux users

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Moz/FF
Web

Mozilla Firefox is an excellent open-source web browser, perhaps one of the best tools on the entire Linux platform. Still, the Firefox browser is adding more and more features, and these new additions aren’t for everyone. If you’re looking for an open-source alternative to Firefox on Linux, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 open-source Firefox alternatives for Linux users.

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