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Moz/FF

Browsers: Firefox, Browsh and Chrome

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Moz/FF
Web
  • Mozilla B-Team: happy bmo push day!
  • Mozilla VR Blog: This week in Mixed Reality: Issue 12

    This week we landed a bunch of core features: in the browsers space, we landed WebVR support and immersive controllers; in the social area, added media tools to Hubs; and in the content ecosystem, we now have WebGL2 support on the WebGLRenderer in three.js.

  • Robert Kaiser: VR Map - A-Frame Demo using OpenStreetMap Data

    The prime driver for writing my first such demo was that I wanted to do something meaningful with A-Frame. Previously, I had only played around with the Hello WebVR example and some small alterations around the basic elements seen in that one, which is also pretty much what I taught to others in the WebVR workshops I held in Vienna last year. Now, it was time to go beyond that, and as I had recently bought a HTC Vive, I wanted something where the controllers could be used - but still something that would fall back nicely and be usable in 2D mode on a desktop browser or even mobile screens.

  • Firefox Test Pilot: The Evolution of Side View

    Side View is a new Firefox Test Pilot experiment which allows you to send any webpage to the Firefox sidebar, giving you an easy way to view two webpages side-by-side. It was released June 5 through the Test Pilot program, and we thought we would share with you some of the different approaches we tried while implementing this idea.

  • Browsh – A Modern Text Browser That Supports Graphics And Video

    Browsh is a modern, text-based browser that supports graphics including video. Yes, you read that right! It supports HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, photos, WebGL content and of course video as well. Technically speaking, it is not much of a browser, but some kind of terminal front-end of browser. It uses headless Firefox to render the web page and then converts it to ASCII art. According to the developer, Browsh significantly reduces the bandwidth and increases the browsing speed. Another cool feature of browsh is you can ssh from, for example an old laptop, to a regular computer where you have Browsh installed, and browse HTML5 webpages without much lag. Browsh is free, open source and cross-platform.

  • The most ambitious browser mitigation yet for Spectre attacks comes to Chrome

    Google’s Chrome browser is undergoing a major architectural change to enable a protection designed to blunt the threat of attacks related to the Spectre vulnerability in computer processors. If left unchecked by browsers or operating systems, such attacks may allow hackers to pluck passwords or other sensitive data out of computer memory when targets visit malicious sites.

Mozilla: Addons, OverbiteNX and Remarks on Indian Telecom Commission

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Addons Blog: Upcoming changes for themes

    Theming capabilities on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) will undergo significant changes in the coming weeks. We will be switching to a new theme technology that will give designers more flexibility to create their themes. It includes support for multiple background images, and styling of toolbars and tabs. We will migrate all existing themes to this new format, and their users should not notice any changes.

    [...]

    It’s only a matter of weeks before we release the new theme format on AMO. Keep following this blog for that announcement.

  • OverbiteNX is now available from Mozilla Add-Ons for beta testing

    OverbiteNX, a successor to OverbiteFF which allows Firefox to continue to access legacy resources in Gopher in the brave courageous new world of WebExtensions, is now in public beta. Unlike the alpha test, which required you to download the repo and install the extension using add-on debugging, OverbiteNX is now hosted on Mozilla Add-Ons.

    Because WebExtensions still doesn't have a TCP sockets API, nor a spec, OverbiteNX uses its bespoke Onyx native component to do network operations. Onyx is written in open-source portable C with no dependencies and is available in pre-built binaries for macOS 10.12+ and Windows (or get the repo and build it yourself on almost any POSIX system).

  • India advances globally leading net neutrality regulations

    India is now one step away from having some of the strongest net neutrality regulations in the world. This week, the Indian Telecom Commission’s approved the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations to introduce net neutrality conditions into all Telecom Service Provider (TSP) licenses. This means that any net neutrality violation could cause a TSP to lose its license, a uniquely powerful deterrent. Mozilla commends this vital action by the Telecom Commission, and we urge the Government of India to move swiftly to implement these additions to the license terms.

  • India sets the bar for net neutrality with 'world's strictest' rules

     

    Whilst the US is still fumbling after FCC head Ajit ‘Pumpkin' Pie deregulated the internet to please his cable pals, India has just past a whole chunk of recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Association of India (TRAI) to ensure it will never go the same way.

  • India implements strong net neutrality rules

     

    The government has taken an "unambiguous stand" in making sure that certain types of content are not prioritized over others and that broadband providers will be unable to slow down or block websites at their choosing, India's telecom regulatory body declared Thursday.
     

    Around two-thirds of the country’s 1.3 billion people still don't have [I]nternet access, but the country is moving forward with its net neutrality plans as more and more people begin to use smartphones.

Mozilla: Languages, New Features in Firefox Focus and Red Hat's E-mail Poll

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Moz/FF
  • Localization, Translation, and Machines

    Now that’s rule-based, and it’d be tedious to maintain these rules. Neural Machine Translation (NMT) has all the buzz now, and Machine Learning in general. There is plenty of research that improves how NMT systems learn about the context of the sentence they’re translating. But that’s all text.

    It’d be awesome if we could bring Software Analysis into the mix, and train NMT to localize software instead of translating fragments.

    For Firefox, could one train on English and localized DOM? For Android’s XML layout, a similar approach could work? For projects with automated screenshots, could one train on those? Is there enough software out there to successfully train a neural network?

  • New Features in Firefox Focus for iOS, Android – now also on the BlackBerry Key2

    Since the launch of Firefox Focus as a content blocker for iOS in December 2015, we’ve continuously improved the now standalone browser for Apple and Android while always being mindful of users’ requests and suggestions. We analyze app store reviews and evaluate regularly which new features make our privacy browser even more user-friendly, efficient and secure. Today’s update for iOS and Android adds functionality to further simplify accessing information on the web. And we are happy to make Focus for Android available to a new group: BlackBerry Key2 users.

  • Which email client do you prefer? [Ed: Thunderbird is probably still the best one around and it’s good that Mozilla hired people to maintain/develop it.]

    Email's decentralized nature makes it a fundamental part of the free and open internet. And because of this, there are a ton of clients to choose from, including several great open source choices. We've compiled lists of some of our favorites.

Codecs and Patents

Filed under
Moz/FF
OSS
Legal
  • An Invisible Tax on the Web: Video Codecs

    Here’s a surprising fact: It costs money to watch video online, even on free sites like YouTube. That’s because about 4 in 5 videos on the web today rely on a patented technology called the H.264 video codec.

    A codec is a piece of software that lets engineers shrink large media files and transmit them quickly over the internet. In browsers, codecs decode video files so we can play them on our phones, tablets, computers, and TVs. As web users, we take this performance for granted. But the truth is, companies pay millions of dollars in licensing fees to bring us free video.

    It took years for companies to put this complex, global set of legal and business agreements in place, so H.264 web video works everywhere. Now, as the industry shifts to using more efficient video codecs, those businesses are picking and choosing which next-generation technologies they will support. The fragmentation in the market is raising concerns about whether our favorite web past-time, watching videos, will continue to be accessible and affordable to all.

  • AV1, Opportunity or Threat for POWER and ARM Servers?

    While I haven’t seen an official announcement, Phoronix reported that the AV1 git repository was tagged 1.0, so the launch announcement is imminent. If you haven’t heard about it already, AOMedia Video 1 (AV1) is an open, royalty-free video coding format by the Alliance for Open Media.

  • VP9 & AV1 Have More Room To Improve For POWER & ARM Architectures

    Luc Trudeau, a video compression wizard and co-author of the AV1 royalty-free video format, has written a piece about the optimization state for video formats like VP9 and AV1 on POWER and ARM CPU architectures.

Mozilla: Privacy Laws, WebVR/XR, Funding, Privacy in Thunderbird and More

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla applauds passage of Brazilian data protection law

    Mozilla’s previous statement supporting the Brazilian Data Protection Bill can be found here. The bill will now go to Brazilian President Michel Temer for his signature.

  • My Journey to Tech Speaking about WebVR/XR

    Ever since a close encounter with burning out (thankfully, I didn't quite get there) forced me to leave my job with Mozilla more than two years ago, I have been looking for a place and role that feels good for me in the Mozilla community. I immediately signed up to join Tech Speakers as I always loved talking about Mozilla tech topics and after all breaking down complicated content and communicating it to different groups is probably my biggest strength - but finding the topics I want to present at conferences and other events has been a somewhat harder journey.

  • Mozilla Funds Top Research Projects

    We are very happy to announce the results of the 2018H1 Mozilla Research Grants. This was an extremely competitive process, with over 115 applicants. We selected a total of eight proposals, ranging from tools to fight online harassment to systems for generating speech. All these projects support Mozilla’s mission to make the Internet safer, more empowering, and more accessible.

    The Mozilla Research Grants program is part of Mozilla’s Emerging Technologies commitment to being a world-class example of inclusive innovation and impact culture-and reflects Mozilla’s commitment to open innovation, continuously exploring new possibilities with and for diverse communities. We will open the 2018H2 round in Fall of 2018: see our Research Grant webpage for more details and to sign up to be notified when applications open.

  • 4 add-ons to improve your privacy on Thunderbird

    Thunderbird is a popular free email client developed by Mozilla. Similar to Firefox, Thunderbird offers a large choice of add-ons for extra features and customization. This article focuses on four add-ons to improve your privacy.

  • Mozilla’s Test Pilot Program For Mobile Apps: Launches “Lockbox” and “Notes” App

Mozilla: FTAPI SecuTransfer, European Union Policy and Notes by Firefox

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Moz/FF
  • FTAPI SecuTransfer - the secure alternative to emails? Not quite...

    Emails aren’t private, so much should be known by now. When you communicate via email, the contents are not only visible to yours and the other side’s email providers, but potentially also to numerous others like the NSA who intercepted your email on the network. Encrypting emails is possible via PGP or S/MIME, but neither is particularly easy to deploy and use. Worse yet, both standard were found to have security deficits recently. So it is not surprising that people and especially companies look for better alternatives.

    It appears that the German company FTAPI gained a good standing in this market, at least in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Their website continues to stress how simple and secure their solution is. And the list of references is impressive, featuring a number of known names that should have a very high standard when it comes to data security: Bavarian tax authorities, a bank, lawyers etc. A few years ago they even developed a “Secure E-Mail” service for Vodafone customers.

  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Searching for sustainable and progressive policy solutions for illegal content in Europe

    As we’ve previously blogged, lawmakers in the European Union are reflecting intensively on the problem of illegal and harmful content on the internet, and whether the mechanisms that exist to tackle those phenomena are working well. In that context, we’ve just filed comment with the European Commission, where we address some of the key issues around how to efficiently tackle illegal content online within a rights and ecosystem-protective framework.

  • Notes by Firefox Now Lets You Sync Notes Between Desktop and Android

    Mozilla has released a note taking app for Android that syncs with the Firefox browser on the desktop. Called (rather simply) ‘Notes by Firefox‘, the feature offers basic, encrypted note taking in the browser and via a standalone app for Android phones and tablets.

Mozilla and Chrome: Lockbox, New Site for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey Add-ons and More

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Mozilla Announces Firefox Lockbox, a Face ID-Compatible Password Manager for iOS

    After it made sure Firefox is one of the most popular web browsers on the desktop, Mozilla continues their quest to conquer the mobile world with new and innovative apps.

    Today, Mozilla announced that it had developed two new apps for Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems, Firefox Lockbox for iOS and Notes by Firefox for Android. The two apps are currently available for testing through the company's Mobile Test Pilot Experiments initiative.

    The Firefox Lockbox for iOS promises to be a password manager that you can take anywhere, so you won't have to reset your new passwords when you forget them. While the app can sync passwords across devices, it's only compatible with passwords save through the Firefox web browser via a Firefox Sync account.

  • New Site for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey Add-ons

    When Firefox Quantum (version 57) launched in November 2017, it exclusively supported add-ons built using WebExtensions APIs. addons.mozilla.org (AMO) has followed a parallel development path to Firefox and will soon only support WebExtensions-based add-ons.

    As Thunderbird and SeaMonkey do not plan to fully switch over to the WebExtensions API in the near future, the Thunderbird Council has agreed to host and manage a new site for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey add-ons. This new site, addons.thunderbird.net, will go live in July 2018.

    Starting on July 12th, all add-ons that support Thunderbird and SeaMonkey will be automatically ported to addons.thunderbird.net. The update URLs of these add-ons will be redirected from AMO to the new site and all users will continue to receive automatic updates. Developer accounts will also be ported and developers will be able to log in and manage their listings on the new site.

  • A Vision for Engineering Workflow at Mozilla (Part Three)

    This is the last post in a three-part series on A Vision for Engineering Workflow at Mozilla.

  • Why Isn't Debugging Treated As A First-Class Activity?

    One thing developers spend a lot of time on is completely absent from both of these lists: debugging! Gitlab doesn't even list anything debugging-related in its missing features. Why isn't debugging treated as worthy of attention? I genuinely don't know — I'd like to hear your theories!

    One of my theories is that debugging is ignored because people working on these systems aren't aware of anything they could do to improve it. "If there's no solution, there's no problem." With Pernosco we need to raise awareness that progress is possible and therefore debugging does demand investment. Not only is progress possible, but debugging solutions can deeply integrate into the increasingly cloud-based development workflows described above.

  • Bug futures: business models

    Recent question about futures markets on software bugs: what's the business model?

    As far as I can tell, there are several available models, just as there are multiple kinds of companies that can participate in any securities or commodities market.

  • Are You a Fan of Google Chrome’s New Look?

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t think the look of Google Chrome has altered all that much since it blinked into life in 2009.

    But that will shortly change.

    Rumour has it that Google plans to debut a new-look Google Chrome ahead of the browser’s 10th birthday in September.

    And if you’re a spoiler fan, the new look is already available for testing.

    Now, we’re not talking a revamp based on the old ‘boxy’ Material Design here. Oh no. The visual rejig Is based on the rounder, softer and more tactile Material Design 2 (on full display in Android P and arriving piecemeal to the Chrome OS desktop).

Announcing Rust 1.27.1

Filed under
Development
Moz/FF

The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.27.1. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

Read more

Also: 6 IDEs you need to know about

Mozilla: Notes on Android, Introducing Firefox Lockbox, and Review of Igalia's Web Platform

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Notes is available on Android

    The mobile companion application supports the same multi-note and end-to-end encryption features as the WebExtension. After you sign in into the app, it will sync all your existing notes from Firefox desktop, so you can access them on the go. You can also use the app standalone, but we suggest you pair it with the WebExtension for maximum efficiency.

    Please provide any feedback and share your experience using the “Feedback” button in the app drawer. This is one of the first mobile Test Pilot experiments and we would like to hear from you and understand your expectations for future Test Pilot mobile applications.

  • Take your passwords everywhere with Firefox Lockbox

    Firefox users, you can now easily access the passwords you save in the browser in a lightweight iOS app!

    Download Firefox Lockbox from the App Store. Sign in with your Firefox Account, and your saved usernames and passwords will securely sync to your device using 256-bit encryption, giving you convenient access to your apps and websites, wherever you are. Find out more about the experiment on Firefox Test Pilot.

    We have so many online accounts, and it’s hard to keep track of them all. The browser can save them, but they’re not always easy to find or access later, especially when trying to get into the same account on mobile. The Firefox Lockbox iOS app is our first experiment to help you find and use your passwords everywhere.

  • Introducing Firefox’s First Mobile Test Pilot Experiments: Lockbox and Notes

    This summer, the Test Pilot team has been heads down working on experiments for our Firefox users. On the heels of our most recent and successful desktop Test Pilot experiments, Firefox Color and Side View, it was inevitable that the Test Pilot Program would expand to mobile.

    Today, we’re excited to announce the first Test Pilot experiments for your mobile devices. With these two experiences, we are pushing beyond the boundaries of the desktop browser and into mobile apps. We’re taking the first steps toward bringing Mozilla’s mission of privacy, security and control to mobile apps beyond the browser.

  • Review of Igalia's Web Platform activities (H1 2018)

    Igalia has proposed and developed the specification for BigInt, enabling math on arbitrary-sized integers in JavaScript. Igalia has been developing implementations in SpiderMonkey and JSC, where core patches have landed. Chrome and Node.js shipped implementations of BigInt, and the proposal is at Stage 3 in TC39.

    Igalia is also continuing to develop several features for JavaScript classes, including class fields. We developed a prototype implementation of class fields in JSC. We have maintained Stage 3 in TC39 for our specification of class features, including static variants.

    We also participated to WebAssembly (now at First Public Working Draft) and internationalization features for new features such as Intl.RelativeTimeFormat (currently at Stage 3).

Mozilla: Leadership Programs, UA Strings and Firefox 62 Beta 8 Testday

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Moz/FF
  • Welcoming Sunil Abraham – Mozilla Foundation’s New VP, Leadership Programs

    I’m thrilled to welcome Sunil Abraham as Mozilla Foundation’s new VP, Leadership Programs. Sunil joins us from The Center for Internet and Society, the most recent chapter in a 20 year career of developing free and open source software and an open internet agenda.

  • Firefox now supports the macOS share menu

    Firefox now supports the macOS share menu. This means you can send the current page you are viewing to another application. For instance, you can add a link to your Things 3 or Omnifocus inbox, add a page to Apple Notes, send a link to Evernote, send a link to someone using messages, or share a link to a social network.

  • Notable moments in Firefox desktop pre-release UA string history

    I'm sure everyone remembers this super great blog post from 2010 about changes in the Firefox 4 user agent string. In terms of "blog posts about UA string changes", it's, well, one of them.

  • Firefox 62 Beta 8 Testday, July 13th

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, July 13th, we are organizing Firefox 62 Beta 8 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on 3-Pane Inspector and React animation inspector features.

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More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu MATE - Pimp your desktop to perfection

Ubuntu MATE has made a quantum leap of innovation in the past several months, offering a wealth of visual and functional changes and a mindblowing level of flexibility when it comes to customization. You really have the ability to implement anything and everything, and all of it natively, from within the system's interface. The list of options is so long that it can be overwhelming. Hopefully, this little pimping guide puts some order into this fine and rich chaos. Ubuntu Bionic isn't the most refined distro, but it sure has the almost infinite possibilities to make it appear and behave how you want it. You can have a classic desktop one day and then a MAC-like thing the next and then Ubuntu Unity the day after that. It's all there, very slick, very elegant. Well, it's time for you to do some exploring. See you. Read more

Games: Atari VCS, NEC, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Beast of Winter, State of Mind

  • Atari VCS RAM upgraded to 8GB and Atari confirm you can put a normal Linux distribution on it
    While I remain quite sceptical of the Atari VCS, I'm still pretty interested in it as a Linux gaming device. Atari recently did a Q&A blog post detailing some interesting information about it. The post is written by Rob Wyatt, the System Architect for the Atari VCS device. If the name Rob Wyatt doesn't ring a bell—they were the original Xbox system architect.
  • Atari VCS Product Q&A #1
    At this time the developer program is not open yet and it will come online in the coming months. If you have an application in mind you can start today, make sure it runs on Linux at HD resolution using standard runtime libraries, the changes from this to the AtariOS will be minimal and mostly related to application startup and application packaging. In the very near future we will release documentation on the AtariOS which will detail all the runtime components we support as well as libraries for Linux that mimic the AtariOS.
  • Is it worth $129 to relive your NES Duck Hunt glory days?

    But the folks behind the Modern Mallard Kickstarter campaign figured out a way to overcome this problem -- by using a speedy processor to rewrite the game's code in real time, counteracting the lag. The project includes a hardware mod for both the original Duck Hunt game cartridge and Zapper that makes it compatible with LCD, LED and OLED TVs. Note that the campaign doesn't include the game cartridge or Zapper, so you'll have to use your own.

    You can read more about how the mods work at the bottom of the Kickstarter page.

  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Beast of Winter due out early next month
    The first piece of expansion content will be released 2 August. Expect to get caught up in a different realm, the Beyond, and face new enemies and puzzles.
  • Futuristic thriller 'State of Mind' has a new story trailer and releasing a day earlier than expected
    Daedalic Entertainment's futuristic thriller 'State of Mind' has a new story trailer out and a new release date. When we mentioned it last month, they gave us a release date of August 16th. However, they seem to have moved it forward as it's now going to release on August 15th. This will come with same-day Linux support!

Security Leftovers

  • Data breaches show we’re only three clicks away from anarchy
    An IT glitch afflicting BP petrol stations for three hours last Sunday evening might not sound like headline news. A ten-hour meltdown of Visa card payment systems in June was a bigger story — as was the notorious TSB computer upgrade cock-up that started on 20 April, which was still afflicting customers a month later and was reported this week to be causing ruptures between TSB and its Spanish parent Sabadell. Meanwhile, what do Fortnum & Mason, Dixons Carphone, Costa Coffee and its sister company Premier Inn have in common with various parts of the NHS? The answer is that they have all suffered recent large-scale ‘data breaches’ that may have put private individuals’ information at risk. IT Governance, a blog that monitors international news stories in this sphere, came up with a global figure of 145 million ‘records leaked’ last month alone. Such leaks are daily events everywhere — and a lesson of the TSB story was that cyber fraudsters are waiting to attack wherever private data becomes accessible, whether because of computer breakdown or lax data protection.
  • UK security researcher Hutchins makes renewed bid for freedom

    British security researcher Marcus Hutchins, who was arrested by the FBI last August over alleged charges of creating and distributing a banking trojan, has made a fresh bid to go free, claiming that the US has no territorial jurisdiction to file charges against him for alleged crimes committed elsewhere.

  • Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security

    An open letter by Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, John Dean, Governor Bill Richardson, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, Valerie Plame, and others.

Containers or virtual machines: ​Which is more secure? The answer will surprise you

Are virtual machines (VM) more secure than containers? You may think you know the answer, but IBM Research has found containers can be as secure, or more secure, than VMs. James Bottomley, an IBM Research Distinguished Engineer and top Linux kernel developer, writes: "One of the biggest problems with the current debate about Container vs Hypervisor security is that no-one has actually developed a way of measuring security, so the debate is all in qualitative terms (hypervisors 'feel' more secure than containers because of the interface breadth) but no-one actually has done a quantitative comparison." To meet this need, Bottomley created Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP), designed to describe system security in a way that it can be objectively measured. Bottomley has discovered that "a Docker container with a well crafted seccomp profile (which blocks unexpected system calls) provides roughly equivalent security to a hypervisor." Read more