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Mozilla Firefox 48 Released

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  • Firefox 48 Released, This Is What’s New (Updated)

    Mozilla Firefox 48 features new security settings, improves WebRTC, and makes it easier to find bookmarked content from the Awesome bar.

  • Mozilla Firefox 48.0 Now Officially Available

    Firefox 48 takes the first Rust code into production within this web browser, Electrolysis is beginning to be turned on by default, a variety of WebRTC improvements, improved Linux Canvas support, various security improvements, enforcing that add-ons be signed/verified through Mozilla, and more.

Mozilla News

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  • Exciting Improvements Delivered Today in Firefox for Desktop and Android

    Today we’re proud to announce the initial rollout of multi-process Firefox for Desktop to our general audience. With this, we’re taking a major step forward in improving Firefox for Desktop. Users should experience a Firefox that is less susceptible to freezing and is generally more responsive to input, while retaining the experience and features that users love.

    In Firefox 48, we aim to slowly enable multi-process Firefox (also known as Electrolysis or e10s) for release users, starting with one percent and ramping up to nearly half the Firefox Release if things go as expected. e10s promises to offer a major improvement to your browsing experience by separating Web content and Firefox UI processes. This means when a web page is consuming a large part of your computer’s processing power, your tabs, buttons and menus won’t lock up. Wondering if your Firefox instance has enabled e10s? Type “about:support” into the URL bar. If e10s is active, you’ll see “1/1 (Enabled by default)” under the Multiprocess Windows line item.

  • Announcing the Second Cohort of Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows

    That’s why Ford Foundation and Mozilla launched the Open Web Fellows program two years ago: To empower a network of leaders capable of defending the open web. The Open Web Fellows program places bright technologists and activists on the front lines of the open internet movement. Last year, Ford and Mozilla placed six fellows at leading NGOs like Amnesty International and the ACLU, where they used their tech savvy to fight for issues like freedom of expression and gender equality online.

Future of Mozilla

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  • Servo Is Planning For More GPU-Accelerated WebRender Improvements

    As mentioned in today's This Week in Servo newsletter, their Q3 roadmap plans have been published.

    Among the work to be tackled by Mozilla developers working on the next-generation Servo layout engine this quarter includes finishing the development of WebRender, experiments around WebRender 2, Stylo as the sryle system in Gecko integration work, and continuing with the Servo nightly builds support. There's also work around Promise API, Autolander migration, Android work, auto-updating, JavaScript error reporting, Web Font loading, performance improvements, correcting more layout bugs, etc. You can see the current road-map via this GitHub page.

  • What Happens to Mozilla and its Deal with Yahoo?

    In late 2014, many observers were flummoxed to see that Yahoo and Mozilla had announced a "strategic five-year partnership" agreement which would make Yahoo the primary search option for Firefox. Mozilla was up for renewal negotiations for its deal with Google, which had historically subsidized more than 90 percent of Mozilla's revenues, to the tune of more than $300 million per year at times. In return, for lots of money, Google got primary search placement in the Firefox browser over the years.

    Last week, though, Verizon,announced its intention to purchase Yahoo for $4.8 billion. What are the implications for Mozilla and its deal? Here are the details.

Firefox vs. Flash

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  • Firefox to start blocking Flash content in August

    In Firefox 48, Mozilla will enable a new Firefox plug-in blocklist by default. Initially the blocklist will be small, mostly containing URLs of Flash SWF files that have been identified by Mozilla as supercookies (i.e. cookies that are very hard to shake off) or fingerprinting files (i.e. they scan your system and create a unique fingerprint, again usually for tracking purposes).

  • Firefox sets kill-Flash schedule

    Mozilla yesterday said it will follow other browser markers by curtailing use of Flash in Firefox next month.

    The open-source developer added that in 2017 it will dramatically expand the anti-Flash restrictions: Firefox will require users to explicitly approve the use of Flash for any reason by any website.

    As have its rivals, Mozilla cast the limitations (this year) and elimination (next year) as victories for Firefox users, citing improved security, longer battery life on laptops and faster web page rendering.

Mozilla News

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  • Firefox is latest browser to kill off Adobe Flash support

    MOZILLA HAS become the latest browser company to turn off the ageing Adobe Flash plug-in.

    The Firefox browser will turn off "not essential" Flash content by default starting in August, but sites that require the plug-in for heritage functionality will be excepted.

    "These and future changes will bring Firefox users enhanced security, improved battery life, faster page load and better browser responsiveness," said Mozilla in a blog post.

  • Mozilla’s Dave Herman on Building an Open Source Research Lab

    Listen to a very interesting talk by Dave Herman, Director of Strategy at Mozilla Research, explaining how research and practice can better talk to each other. Among other things, Dave is the author of the popular book “Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript.”

    His thesis for this talk is: “An open research lab is a research group that engages directly with the market and works via open collaboration to close the feedback loop between ideas and practice.”

Rust Spreading

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  • Fedora 25 Planning For Proper Rust Support

    There are some new feature proposals to talk about for Fedora 25, which will be officially released around November.

    The latest self-contained change that is proposed for Fedora 25 is Rust compiler support. In particular, the hope is to package up the LLVM-based Rust compiler and its Cargo build system and offer them via the main Fedora repository. The current plan is for packaging Rust 1.10 and Cargo 0.11.

  • Mozilla Will Begin “Rusting” Of Its Firefox Browser On August 2

    Mozilla is all set to launch multi-processing functionality in the new update. The new version–Firefox 48–is scheduled for a release on August 2. Firefox 48 will have some of its components coded in Rust, a programming language developed by Mozilla.

Shipping Rust in Firefox

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  • Shipping Rust in Firefox

    It’s hard to believe it’s been almost seven years since Mozilla Research first began sponsoring the development of Rust, at the time little more than an ambitious research experiment with a small but devoted community. Remarkably, despite a long history of inventions and discoveries, Rust’s key principles have remained constant. The Rust core team’s original vision—a safe alternative to C++ to make systems programmers more productive, mission-critical software less prone to memory exploits, and parallel algorithms more tractable—has been central to Mozilla’s interest in backing the Rust project and, ultimately, using Rust in production.

  • Firefox 48 Will Take The First Rust Code Into Production

    Mozilla will be taking their first Rust programming language code into production with Firefox 48.

    Beyond the Servo/Browser.html tech preview that's now shipping nightly, another goal of Mozilla developers for 2016 has been to ship at least one Servo/Rust component within the Gecko engine / Firefox. With Firefox 48, they are stepping along on that crusade with shipping their first Rust production code.

Mozilla News (Rust, Yahoo)

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  • Announcing Rust 1.10

    The Rust team is happy to announce the latest version of Rust, 1.10. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

  • Rust 1.10 Programming Language Update

    Version 1.10 of the Rust programming language is now available.

    Rust 1.10 brings the -C panic=abort flag as their most-requested feature for yielding 10% smaller binaries and about 10% faster compilation time. Rust 1.10 also brings the new cdylib crate type for compiling Rust as a dynamic library to be embedded in another language. Rust 1.10 also has build system changes to allow it to be built with Rust 1.9 and that trend will continue to be supported for future releases.

  • Buyer beware: Mozilla deal demands up to $1 billion after Yahoo’s sale, Recode says

    According to a contract seen by Recode, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer struck a deal with Mozilla in 2014 specifying annual payments of $375 million to the browser creator in exchange for Yahoo's search engine appearing in the default position on Firefox. That $375 million price tag will be paid out every year until 2019 one way or another—even if Mozilla doesn’t like the company that buys Yahoo and decides to walk away.

    Of course, if Mozilla decides it likes whichever company buys the embattled search giant, then payments continue as before and the new owner of Yahoo’s search engine retains the default position on the browser.

Web Browsers

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  • WebVR Shell: Google Is Making Every Website On The Web Viewable In VR

    Boosting its efforts in the virtual reality technology, Google has brought the WebVR APIs to its Chrome web browser. In near future, one should expect a richer web full of VR-enabled websites that a person can explore using a VR headset.

  • Context Graph: It’s time to bring context back to the web

    The largest button on a modern browser is the back button. Trips to the web are short. Enter a search, get a result, click back, then try again. This feels backwards (forgive the pun!). What if there was a better forward button? One that helps you understand a topic better or find alternative solutions to a problem you’re solving? What if web browsers were immediately useful instead of demanding input when you launched them? Browsers could do so much more, through a better understanding of your behavior and by using the experience of people at human-scale to give you content that enriches your life, regardless of whom you know or where you live.

  • Mozilla Is Looking To Build A Recommendation System: Context Graph

    If Mozilla didn't already have their hands full with enough projects, the latest they are looking to engage in is a recommendation system to potentially upset the likes of Facebook and Google when it comes to looking for similar sites/resources.

  • This Coder Shows How To Play Games Inside A PDF File

    A GitHub user named Omar Rizwan has found a way to put games in PDF files. He even coded his own game after taking help from a tutorial. Rizwan has put the details of this Horrifying PDF Experiments on his repository.

Servo Nightly for GNU/Linux

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DevOps Handbook and Course

Leftovers: Gaming

Android Leftovers

  • Off We Go: Oracle Officially Appeals Google's Fair Use Win
    It was only a matter of time until this happened, but Oracle has officially appealed its fair use Java API loss to the Federal Circuit (CAFC). As you recall, after a years-long process, including the (correct) ruling that APIs are not covered by copyright being ridiculously overturned by CAFC, a new trial found that even if APIs are copyright-eligible, Google's use was covered by fair use. Oracle then tried multiple times to get Judge William Alsup to throw out the jury's ruling, but failed. In fact, on Oracle's second attempt to get Alsup to throw out the jury's ruling, citing "game changing" evidence that Google failed to hand over important information on discovery, it actually turned out that Oracle's lawyers had simply failed to read what Google had, in fact, handed over.
  • On iMessage’s Stickiness
  • Physical RAM attack can root Android and possibly other devices [Ed: Memory flipping is not at all an Android problem]

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Enterprise Open Source Programs Flourish -- In Tech and Elsewhere
    If you cycled the clock back about 15 years and surveyed the prevailing beliefs about open source technology at the time, you would find nowhere near the volume of welcome for it that we see today. As a classic example, The Register reported all the way back in 2001 that former CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer made the following famous statement in a Chicago Sun-Times interview: "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."
  • 5 More Reasons to Love Kubernetes
    In part one of this series, I covered my top five reasons to love Kubernetes, the open source container orchestration platform created by Google. Kubernetes was donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in July of 2015, where it is now under development by dozens of companies including Canonical, CoreOS, Red Hat, and more. My first five reasons were primarily about the project’s heritage, ease of use, and ramp-up. The next five get more technical. As I mentioned in part one, choosing a distributed system to perform tasks in a datacenter is much more complex than looking at a spreadsheet of features or performance. And, you should make your decision based on your own needs and team dynamics. However, this top 10 list will give you my perspective, as someone who has been using, testing, and developing systems for a while now.
  • Bankers plan to give Corda blockchain code to Hyperledger project
  • Are European Banks Falling Behind in Blockchain Development?
  • Hyperledger adds 10 new members to support open source distributed ledger framework
    The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger project has announced that 10 new members have joined the project in order to help create an open standard for distributed ledgers for a new generation of transactional applications.
  • The Blockchain Created By Ethereum's Fork is Forking Now
    A blockchain that was born out of the rejection of a contentious technical change is on the cusp of making a decision some argue contradicts its core values. That's the situation the developers behind ethereum classic face ahead of a hard fork expected to be enacted on its blockchain on 25th October (should network participants approve the upgrade). Originally formed in reaction to a decision by the ethereum community to edit its "immutable" ledger, the fork caused an ideological schism among its enthusiasts. Alarmed by the action (or seeing a chance to profit by continuing the original network), miners and speculators began running its blockchain, which developers named "ethereum classic". Other investors then bought into the vision, and today, there are currently 85m classic ethers (ETC) worth $87m.
  • Red Hat: OpenStack moving beyond the proof-of-concept phase
    Red Hat’s annual poll found that 43 percent of respondents have deployed the cloud platform in production, compared to just 16 percent one year ago. The company reckons the increase reflects efforts by the community to address complexity and deployment issues that were previously known to have been a major roadblock to adoption. The study also noted that the steep learning curve for deploying OpenStack is being addressed as a growing number of engineers become certified to operate the platform. In addition, Red Hat cited cloud native application development as another driving force in enterprise adoption of OpenStack.
  • OpenStack Summit Emphasizes Security, Interoperability
    From security to interoperabilty to use cases and everything in-between, this week's OpenStack Summit from Oct. 25 to 28 in Barcelona, is set to illuminate the cloud. This year's event, which brings together vendors, operators and developers of the open-source cloud platform, will offer more sessions than ever before on securing OpenStack clouds. The Barcelona Summit follows the release of the OpenStack Newton milestone, which debuted on Oct. 6. While discussions about the most recent release are always part of every OpenStack Summit, so too are case-studies from operators of OpenStack clouds.
  • A complete view into application security must include open source [Ed: Black Duck spam (self-promotional marketing) takes form of FOSS FUD, as usual]
  • While Other Cities Go Linux, Toronto Bets Big on Microsoft Software [Ed: Toronto joins the Dark Forces]
    "" The partnership between Microsoft and the city of Toronto certainly comes at the right time, as other authorities across the world already announced decisions to give up on Windows and Office and replace them with open-source alternatives. Munich is the city that started the entire trend, but it wasn’t at all a smooth transition. Some of the local officials proposed a return to Microsoft software, claiming that training and assistance actually impacted productivity and explaining that in the end it all pays off to use Microsoft software because of the familiarity that users experience, which translates to a substantial productivity boost. And yet, the transition off Microsoft products is happening and more authorities are willing to do it, not necessarily because of the costs, but also due to security concerns, as is the case of Russia.
  • Open-Source Toolkit Lets Communities Build Their Own Street Furniture
    Despite the vast amount of customization options technology has allotted us, it can still be difficult to create projects that are community-centric. For example, though 3D printing can help us personalize our own jewelry, it has limited use for outfitting parks with trash cans or equipping bus stops with comfortable seating. Still, hyper-customizable tech has taught us the convenience of managing our own products, eliminating the bureaucratic complications of mass produced, production-line assembly. Leveraging this ideology to better the community, the Better Block Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to building local communities, has developed an open-source toolkit for creating a variety of fixtures for communities. The platform, called Wikiblock, allows designs ranging from benches to beer garden fences to be downloaded and taken to a maker space where a computer-aided machine can print the design from plywood. Similar to Ikea’s simplistic, DIY approach, the printed wood can be assembled by hand, without glue or nails.
  • How to make a lighted, porch bag for Halloween
    While I typically go all out for Halloween decorations every year, I'll admit I'm feeling tired this year. I still wanted to delight the neighborhood kids with simple details, so I decided to make lighted bags for my front porch railing this year. If you are someone who has a paper cutting machine like the Silhouette, this project will likely be a lot easier. Simply import the SVG file, resize for whatever size box you want, cut out, and assemble. However, for those of you who don't have one, I've included instructions on how to make this project without any machine at all. The box was created with the help of artists who share their art at OpenClipArt. I also used Inkscape to create the SVG file. If you don't like bats, you could modify the SVG file to include other types of clipart in the center of the bag.