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Mozilla: Today's Firefox Release and Much More

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Moz/FF
  • 71.0 Firefox Release

    Version 71.0, first offered to Release channel users on December 3, 2019

  • Firefox 71 Officially Released with Native MP3 Decoding on Linux, Windows & Mac

    Mozilla officially released today the Firefox 71 web browser for all supported platforms, including Linux, Windows, and macOS, a release that adds various improvements and new features.
    While we already took an early look at Firefox 71, which our readers could download since yesterday, Mozilla has published more details release notes that highlight a much-improved built-in password manager that can now recognize subdomains and automatically fill domain logins and provide breach alerts from Firefox Monitor for users with screen readers.

    Furthermore, the integrated Enhanced Tracking Protection, which was enabled by default in the Firefox 69 release, now offers users more information about the actions it takes by displaying notifications when Firefox blocks cryptominers, as well as a running tally of blocked trackers in the protection panel, which users can access by clicking the address bar shield.

  • Firefox 71 Available With New Kiosk Mode, New Certificate Viewer

    Today marks the last Mozilla Firefox feature update of 2019 with the release of Firefox 71.0.

    Firefox 71.0 introduces a --kiosk CLI switch for launching Firefox in a full-screen kiosk mode, a redesigned about:config area, a new certificate viewer, new server timing information is exposed via Firefox's Developer Tools, partial support for the Media Session API, native MP3 encoding is enabled for all desktop platforms, and various other developer enhancements.

  • Mozilla and Google remove Avast extensions from add-on stores

    A month ago I wrote about Avast browser extensions being essentially spyware. While this article only names Avast Online Security and AVG Online Security extensions, the browser extensions Avast SafePrice and AVG SafePrice show the same behavior: they upload detailed browsing profiles of their users to uib.ff.avast.com. The amount of data collected here exceeds by far what would be considered necessary or appropriate even for the security extensions, for the shopping helpers this functionality isn’t justifiable at all.

    [...]

    Spying on your users is clearly a violation of the terms that both Google and Mozilla make extension developers sign. So yesterday I reported these four extensions to Mozilla and Google. Quite surprisingly, as of today all of these extensions are no longer listed on either Mozilla Add-ons website or Chrome Web Store. That was a rather swift action!

    It remains to be seen how this will affect millions of existing extension users. At least Mozilla didn’t add Avast extensions to the blocklist yet, stating that they are still talking to Avast. So the extensions will remain active and keep spying on the users for now. As to Google, I don’t really know where I can see their blocklist, any hints?

  • Multilingual Gecko Status Update 2019

    Welcome to the fourth edition of Multilingual Gecko Status Update!

    In the previous update we covered the work which landed in Firefox 61-64.

    At the time, we were landing Fluent DOM Localization APIs, still adding mozIntl features, and we had close to 800 strings migrated to Fluent.

    I indicated that 2019 should be quieter, and in result I reduced the update frequency to just one this year.

  • Questions About .org

    Last month, the Internet Society (ISOC) announced plans to sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR) — the organization that manages all the dot org domain names in the world — to a private equity firm named Ethos. This caught the attention of Mozilla and other public benefit orgs.

    Many have called for the deal to be stopped. It’s not clear that this kind of sale is inherently bad. It is possible that with the right safeguards a private company could act as a good steward of the dot org ecosystem. However, it is clear that the stakes are high — and that anyone with the power to do so should urgently step in to slow things down and ask some hard questions.

    For example: Is this deal a good thing for orgs that use these domains? Is it structured to ensure that dot org will retain its unique character as a home for non-commercial organizations online? What accountability measures will be put in place?

    In a letter to ISOC, the EFF and others summarize why the stakes are high. Whoever runs the dot org registry has the power to: set (and raise) prices; define rights protection rules; and suspend or take down domains that are unlawful, a standard that varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is critical that whoever runs the dot org registry is a reliable steward who can be held accountable for exercising these powers fairly and effectively.

  • Updates on Firefox Private Network

    We are continuing our beta testing of the Firefox Private Network extension that we released earlier this year. The extension hides your Firefox browsing activity and location. This prevents eavesdroppers on public Wi-Fi from spying on the actions you take online by masking your IP address and routing your traffic through our partner’s secure servers. It also protects you from internet service providers collecting or selling data on your browsing activity. And it hides your locations from websites and data collectors that profile you to target ads.

    There will be no changes for test pilots who have already started using the extension by logging in with their Firefox account. For those who are not yet using the extension, we invite you to join the Test Pilot program and try it out. When you sign up or log in with a Firefox account and become one of our beta testers, you’ll get 12 hours of protected browsing for free this month. We are continuing to explore the best way to deliver browser-level protection to our users and we welcome your feedback and input each step of the way.

  • Mozilla Future Releases Blog: Firefox Preview Beta reaches another milestone, with Enhanced Tracking Protection and several intuitive features for ease and convenience

    In June we made an announcement, that left us — just like many of our users — particularly excited: we introduced Firefox Preview, a publicly available test version of our upcoming best in class browser for Android that will be fueled by GeckoView. GeckoView is Mozilla’s own high-performance mobile browser engine, which enables us to deliver an even better, faster and more private Firefox to Android device owners. Hundreds of thousands of users have downloaded and tested Firefox Preview since it became available.

    Over the past 5 months we’ve been working diligently on improvements to the app. We’ve been listening closely to user feedback and are basing app development on users’ requests and needs; one very recent example is our support for extensions through the WebExtensions API. We will still continue to test Firefox Preview Beta and we’re expecting to launch as a final product in the first half of 2020. Today, we want to provide an update on our progress, and share some of the amazing new features we’ve added to Firefox Preview since the beta release of 1.0.

  • Marco Zehe: 12 years at Mozilla

    Today marks my 12th anniversary working for Mozilla. I started on December 3, 2007, as a contractor, and moved to a full employment 13 months later, in January 2009. So in January this year, I was employed there 10 years.

    I wrote about my work anniversary once before. Some things have changed since then, some have not. I am still working on Firefox accessibility, doing, unfortunately, less blogging than I used to (current series excepted), and am doing more engineering and less evangelism in general.

    To many, especially in Silicon Valley, it is strange, yes even bewildering, for someone to stay in one employment relationship for that long. However, if you look at people with disabilities, the number of long term employments is generally higher than with the rest of the population working in the same field. The answer is quite simple: Regardless of the U.S., Canada or Europe, finding employment as a person with a disability is much harder than if you’re not disabled. As a consequence, we tend to hang on to our jobs much longer, do less job hopping.

  • News from Firefox on Mobile, Private Network and Desktop

    As the year comes to a close, we look back at what we’ve accomplished. As recently noted in the press, this year may be the mark of our privacy-renaissance. We’ve built additional privacy protections in the browser which included blocking third party tracking cookies and cryptomining by default and created an easy-to-view report which shows the trackers that follow you and collect your online browsing habits and interests. To date, we’ve blocked more than 1 Trillion tracking requests that attempt to follow you around the web! Privacy has always been part of our DNA. We’ve always believed our role is and has always been to help give people more control over their online lives.

By Chris Mills

  • Firefox 71: A winter arrival

    Another release is upon us: please welcome Firefox 71 to the stage! This time around, we have a plethora of new developer tools features. These include the web socket message inspector, console multi-line editor mode, log on events, and network panel full text search!

    And as if that wasn’t good enough, there are important new web platform features available, like CSS subgrid, column-span, Promise.allSettled, and the Media Session API.

By Joey Sneddon

  • Firefox 71 Released with Native MP3 Decoding, Other Changes

    Among them: native MP3 decoding on Linux, Windows and macOS systems. This is a particularly big feature and is made possible by patents on the MP3 technology expiring.

    For Linux users, this changes means that Firefox does not have to rely on third-party packages like gstreamer to play mp3 content (e.g., a podcast) in the browser.

    The Lockwise password manager (requires a Firefox account) gains support for subdomains and makes breach alerts available to those using the browser with a screen reader enabled.

    Another feature in Firefox 71 is the new Kiosk mode aimed at enterprise users. Launching Firefox with the --kiosk flag at the command line will open the app in an immersive fullscreen mode.

Firefox 71

  • Firefox 71

    Firefox 71 is available. New features include improvements to the Lockwise integrated password manager and native MP3 decoding.

Firefox 71 arrives with better Lockwise and tracker blocking

  • Firefox 71 arrives with better Lockwise and tracker blocking, Picture-in-Picture on Windows

    Mozilla today launched Firefox 71 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Firefox 71 includes Lockwise password manager improvements, Enhanced Tracking Protection tweaks, and Picture-in-Picture video on Windows. There isn’t too much else new, possibly because Mozilla is getting ready to speed up Firefox releases to a four-week cadence (from six to eight weeks) next year. The company did, however, share updates on its VPN efforts and Firefox Preview.

    Firefox 71 for desktop is available for download now on Firefox.com, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. The Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play, and the iOS version is on Apple’s App Store. According to Mozilla, Firefox has about 250 million active users, making it a major platform for web developers to consider.

Firefox 72 Enters Development with Picture-in-Picture Support

  • Firefox 72 Enters Development with Picture-in-Picture Support on Linux and macOS

    With the release of Firefox 71 to the stable channel, Mozilla already kicked off the development of the next major release of its open-source and cross-platform web browser, Firefox 72.
    Firefox 72 is now available for public beta testing, which means that we can have an early look at its features and improvements. One of these will certainly please Linux and macOS users as Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support is finally coming to their platforms.

    Picture-in-Picture support has just been added for Windows users in the Firefox 71 release announced earlier today, but with Firefox 72 it also comes to Linux and macOS users, allowing them to detach a video from its web page and watch it in a floating window while working in other tabs.

Firefox 71 rolls out

Mozilla Firefox 71.0 Released with Native MP3 Decoding

  • Mozilla Firefox 71.0 Released with Native MP3 Decoding

    Mozilla Firefox released the latest stable 71.0 a day ago. Here’s what’s new and how to install it in Ubuntu.

    [...]

    You’ll be able to upgrade the pre-installed Firefox to the latest 71.0 release in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04, and Ubuntu 19.10, through the Software Updater in 2 or 3 days (check the building page).

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More in Tux Machines

XFS - Online Filesystem Checking

Since Linux 4.17, I have been working on an online filesystem checking feature for XFS. As I mentioned in the previous update, the online fsck tool (named xfs_scrub) walks all internal filesystem metadata records. Each record is checked for obvious corruptions before being cross-referenced with all other metadata in the filesystem. If problems are found, they are reported to the system administrator through both xfs_scrub and the health reporting system. As of Linux 5.3 and xfsprogs 5.3, online checking is feature complete and has entered the stabilization and performance optimization stage. For the moment it remains tagged experimental, though it should be stable. We seek early adopters to try out this new functionality and give us feedback. Read more

Linux 5.5 RC7

  • Linux 5.5-rc7
    Well, things picked up at the end of the week, with half of my merges
    happening in the last two days.
    
    Whether that is the usual "send the weeks work to Linus on Friday", or
    a sign that things are just picking up in general after the holidays,
    I don't know.  If the former, I'll probably just release the final 5.5
    next week. But if it looks like there's pent-up fixes pending next
    week, I'll make another rc.
    
    Nothing in here looks particularly odd. Drivers is about half of the
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    Please do test, there should be nothing scary going on.
    
                  Linus
    
  • Kernel prepatch 5.5-rc7

    The 5.5-rc7 kernel prepatch is out. Linus is still unsure whether the final 5.5 release will come out next week or not: "if it looks like there's pent-up fixes pending next week, I'll make another rc".

  • Linux 5.5-rc7 Kernel Released

    The seventh weekly release candidate to Linux 5.5 is now available for testing. Linus noted with Linux 5.5-rc7 there was a large uptick in patch volume at week's end. "Well, things picked up at the end of the week, with half of my merges happening in the last two days." Due to the recent holidays in large part, it's possible an eighth release candidate may be needed for Linux 5.5 before then releasing the kernel as stable on 2 February. However, in today's 5.5-rc7 announcement, Torvalds noted he may just end up releasing 5.5 stable next week. In any case, the release of Linux 5.5 is right on the horizon and this should be the kernel powering Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and other upcoming distribution releases.

GNU Make 4.3 Released!

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Kernel: Zhaoxin, Arch Linux's Zen and WireGuard in Linux 5.6

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    When it comes to the Zhaoxin x86-compatible processors coming out of VIA's joint venture in Shanghai, their forthcoming 7-series (KX-7000) has hardware mitigations in place for some CPU vulnerabilities. We haven't heard much about these Chinese x86 CPUs with regards to speculative execution vulnerabilities but it appears the pre-7-Series is vulnerable to Spectre Variant Two and at least SWAPGS. But with their 7-series, hardware mitigations appear to be in place.

  • Benchmarks Of Arch Linux's Zen Kernel Flavor

    Following the recent Linux kernel tests of Liquorix and other scheduler discussions (and more), some requests from premium supporters rolled in for seeing the performance of Arch Linux's Zen kernel package against the generic kernel. Here are those benchmark results. These are some benchmarks I recently did on the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X while running EndeavourOS. Tests were done with its default Linux 5.4.8-arch1 kernel compared to the same kernel revision but using Arch's Zen kernel flavor. That is Arch's spin of the Zen-kernel patches (not to be confused with AMD Zen).

  • Intel's ConnMan Is Ready With WireGuard Support

    In addition to NetworkManager having good WireGuard support in advance of this secure VPN tunnel tech landing with the Linux 5.6 kernel, Intel's ConnMan software is also ready with supporting WireGuard. Intel's ConnMan hasn't seen a new tagged release in nearly one year but over the past two months in the Git development code WireGuard support has materialized. ConnMan, as a reminder, is the Intel-led effort for providing an Internet connection manager on Linux designed for embedded/mobile use-cases that dates back to their Moblin days.