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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement (CASE), VR, Security and Privacy

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: CASE Act Threatens User Rights in the United States

    This week, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up the Copyright Alternative in Small Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2019 (H.R. 2426). While the bill is designed to streamline the litigation process, it will impose severe costs upon users and the broader internet ecosystem. More specifically, the legislation would create a new administrative tribunal for claims with limited legal recourse for users, incentivizing copyright trolling and violating constitutional principles. Mozilla has always worked for copyright reform that supports businesses and internet users, and we believe that the CASE Act will stunt innovation and chill free expression online. With this in mind, we urge members to oppose passage of H.R. 2426.

    First, the tribunal created by the legislation conflicts with well-established separation of powers principles and limits due process for potential defendants. Under the CASE Act, a new administrative board would be created within the Copyright Office to review claims of infringement. However, as Professor Pamela Samuelson and Kathryn Hashimoto of Berkeley Law point out, it is not clear that Congress has the authority under Article I of the Constitution to create this tribunal. Although Congress can create tribunals that adjudicate “public rights” matters between the government and others, the creation of a board to decide infringement disputes between two private parties would represent an overextension of its authority into an area traditionally governed by independent Article III courts.

  • Mozilla VR Blog: WebXR emulator extension

    We are happy to announce the release of our WebXR emulator browser extension which helps WebXR content creation.

  • Firefox security tips: Understand how hackers work

    Forget about those hackers in movies trying to crack the code on someone’s computer to get their top secret files. The hackers responsible for data breaches usually start by targeting companies, rather than specific individuals. They want to get data from as many people as possible so they can use, resell or leverage it to make money.

  • Firefox’s Test Pilot Program Returns with Firefox Private Network Beta

    Like a cat, the Test Pilot program has had many lives. It originally started as an Add-on before we relaunched it three years ago. Then in January, we announced that we were evolving our culture of experimentation, and as a result we closed the Test Pilot program to give us time to further explore what was next.

    We learned a lot from the Test Pilot program. First, we had a loyal group of users who provided us feedback on projects that weren’t polished or ready for general consumption. Based on that input we refined and revamped various features and services, and in some cases shelved projects altogether because they didn’t meet the needs of our users. The feedback we received helped us evaluate a variety of potential Firefox features, some of which are in the Firefox browser today.

    If you haven’t heard, third time’s the charm. We’re turning to our loyal and faithful users, specifically the ones who signed up for a Firefox account and opted-in to be in the know about new products testing, and are giving them a first crack to test-drive new, privacy-centric products as part of the relaunched Test Pilot program. The difference with the newly relaunched Test Pilot program is that these products and services may be outside the Firefox browser, and we will be far more polished, and just one step shy of general public release.

  • In the US? You Can Try Firefox’s New VPN Feature

    Not only has Mozilla suddenly revived its (much missed) Test Pilot program, but it’s using it to check the tyres on a really interesting new feature: a VPN.

    The new Test Pilot site is currently home to ‘Firefox Private Network’, a beta product that, the company says, is near release.

Mozilla: DNS, Chrome Web Store and MDN

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox will soon 401 your URL with DNS

    There are no specific rollout details for this feature, though Mozilla says it'll be live for US users by the end of this month. When we'll see it in Blighty? We'll let you know when we do. Mozilla is staging the rollout to bug bash any problems it comes across.

  • State of the art protection in Chrome Web Store

    All of you certainly know already that Google is guarding its Chrome Web Store vigilantly and making sure that no bad apples get in. So when you hit “Report abuse” your report will certainly be read carefully by another human being and acted upon ASAP. Well, eventually… maybe… when it hits the news. If it doesn’t, then it probably wasn’t important anyway and these extensions might stay up despite being taken down by Mozilla three months ago.

    As to your legitimate extensions, these will be occasionally taken down as collateral damage in this fierce fight. Like my extension which was taken down due to missing a screenshot because of not having any user interface whatsoever. It’s not possible to give an advance warning either, like asking the developer to upload a screenshot within a week. This kind of lax policies would only encourage the bad guys to upload more malicious extensions without screenshots of course.

    And the short downtime of a few weeks and a few hours of developer time spent trying to find anybody capable of fixing the problem are surely a small price to pay for a legitimate extension in order to defend the privilege of staying in the exclusive club of Chrome extension developers. So I am actually proud that this time my other browser extension, PfP: Pain-free Passwords, was taken down by Google in its relentless fight against the bad actors.

  • Caniuse and MDN compatibility data collaboration

    Web developers spend a good amount of time making web compatibility decisions. Deciding whether or not to use a web platform feature often depends on its availability in web browsers.

    [...]

    We’ve been asked why the datasets are treated differently. Why didn’t we merge them in the first place? We discussed and considered this option. However, due to the intrinsic differences between our two projects, we decided not to. Here’s why:

    MDN’s support data is very broad and covers feature support at a very granular level. This allows MDN to provide as much detailed information as possible across all web technologies, supplementing the reference information provided by MDN Web Docs.

    Caniuse, on the other hand, often looks at larger features as a whole (e.g. CSS Grid, WebGL, specific file format support). The caniuse approach provides developers with higher level at-a-glance information on whether the feature’s supported. Sometimes detail is missing. Each individual feature is added manually to caniuse, with a primary focus on browser support coverage rather than on feature coverage overall.

    Because of these and other differences in implementation, we don’t plan on merging the source data repositories or matching the data schema at this time. Instead, the integration works by matching the search query to the feature’s description on caniuse.com. Then, caniuse generates an appropriate feature table, and converts MDN support data to the caniuse format on the fly.

Firefox 69 available in Fedora

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Moz/FF

When you install the Fedora Workstation, you’ll find the world-renowned Firefox browser included. The Mozilla Foundation underwrites work on Firefox, as well as other projects that promote an open, safe, and privacy respecting Internet. Firefox already features a fast browsing engine and numerous privacy features.

A community of developers continues to improve and enhance Firefox. The latest version, Firefox 69, was released recently and you can get it for your stable Fedora system (29 and later). Read on for more details.

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Why Use Firefox Portable?

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Moz/FF

The portable edition of Mozilla Firefox is commonly referred to as ‘Firefox Portable’. This is just a repacked version of Mozilla Firefox created by J. T. Haller. The software is designed to allow Firefox to operate from a CD-ROM, USB flash drive or any other portable device on Windows computer or UNIX/Linux computer running Wine.

One unique thing about this program is that it doesn’t need Firefox to get installed on a computer. Also, it doesn’t leave behind your private information on an interface or computer with pre-installed versions of Firefox. However, you can install this software on a hard drive without any problem.

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Mozilla: DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) and Communications

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Moz/FF
  • What’s next in making Encrypted DNS-over-HTTPS the Default

    In 2017, Mozilla began working on the DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol, and since June 2018 we’ve been running experiments in Firefox to ensure the performance and user experience are great. We’ve also been surprised and excited by the more than 70,000 users who have already chosen on their own to explicitly enable DoH in Firefox Release edition. We are close to releasing DoH in the USA, and we have a few updates to share.

    After many experiments, we’ve demonstrated that we have a reliable service whose performance is good, that we can detect and mitigate key deployment problems, and that most of our users will benefit from the greater protections of encrypted DNS traffic. We feel confident that enabling DoH by default is the right next step. When DoH is enabled, users will be notified and given the opportunity to opt out.

    This post includes results of our latest experiment, configuration recommendations for systems administrators and parental controls providers, and our plans for enabling DoH for some users in the USA.

  • Mike Hoye: Forward Motion

    This has been a while coming; thank you for your patience. I’m very happy to be able to share the final four candidates for Mozilla’s new community-facing synchronous messaging system.

    [...]

    We’ve been spoiled for choice here – there were a bunch of good-looking options that didn’t make it to the final four – but these are the choices that generally seem to meet our current institutional needs and organizational goals.

    We haven’t stood up a test instance for Slack, on the theory that Mozilla already has a surprising number of volunteer-focused Slack instances running already – Common Voice, Devtools and A-Frame, for example, among many others – but we’re standing up official test instances of each of the other candidates shortly, and they’ll be available for open testing soon.

    The trial period for these will last about a month. Once they’re spun up, we’ll be taking feedback in dedicated channels on each of those servers, as well as in #synchronicity on IRC.mozilla.org, and we’ll be creating a forum on Mozilla’s community Discourse instance as well. We’ll have the specifics for you at the same time as those servers will be opened up and, of course you can always email me.

Firefox 69 Released with Default Tracking Protection Enabled.

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Moz/FF

Firefox 69 Web Browser Released. Download Now. This release comes with Enhanced Tracking Protection enabled by default, stopping video autoplay features and many more.

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Firefox 69 Gearing Up For Release With Linux Performance Improvements

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Moz/FF

Firefox 69.0 is set to be officially released tomorrow but for those eager to upgrade the release binaries have now hit their FTP server.

Firefox 69 isn't the most exciting Mozilla web browser update in recent times but we've found it to at least provide better Linux performance for Firefox both out-of-the-box and when making use of the WebRender code path.

Other changes for Firefox 69.0 are mostly catering to macOS and Windows platform specific changes though one visible alteration is that Adobe Flash content will now always ask users before activating Flash content on a web page.

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TenFourFox FPR16 available

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Moz/FF

TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 16 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). This final version has a correctness fix to the VMX text fragment scanner found while upstreaming it to mainline Firefox for the Talos II, as well as minor outstanding security updates. Assuming no issues, it will become live on Monday afternoon-evening Pacific time (because I'm working on Labor Day).

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Mozilla: Firefox 69, Firefox 70, and Firefox Nightly

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox 69 new contributors

    With the release of Firefox 69, we are pleased to welcome the 50 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 39 of whom were brand new volunteers!

  • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: The Baseline Interpreter: a faster JS interpreter in Firefox 70

    Modern web applications load and execute a lot more JavaScript code than they did just a few years ago. While JIT (just-in-time) compilers have been very successful in making JavaScript performant, we needed a better solution to deal with these new workloads.

    To address this, we’ve added a new, generated JavaScript bytecode interpreter to the JavaScript engine in Firefox 70. The interpreter is available now in the Firefox Nightly channel, and will go to general release in October. Instead of writing or generating a new interpreter from scratch, we found a way to do this by sharing most code with our existing Baseline JIT.

  • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 63

    The about:addons shortcut management view is now notifying users when there extensions are using the same shortcuts. Thanks to Trishul for contributing this enhancement.

Firefox & Event ID 58 error

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Moz/FF

My general conclusion so far was thus: a Firefox-only problem. The error message indicates there could be a problem with thread management, and it's possible that some library got corrupt in some odd way, but not something that the user can perceive right away. Well, the Event log had one thing right, and that's the recommendation to try to repair the component.

So I did something rather simple - I reinstalled the browser. I grabbed the Firefox 68.0.1 installer from the Mozilla download page and ran it again. Technically, this didn't do anything, I still had my browser in place just like before. But practically, it DID make a difference. The error was indeed gone.

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Fedora IoT Review

With the rise in IoT use, we are witnessing a demand for ready-made operating systems to support smart device development. Currently, the race is between proprietary versions such as IoT Plug and Play by Microsoft and open source operating systems. One such emerging open source player is Fedora which has a workstation that supports virtualization and containers. Fedora is also slated to release an Internet of Things edition called “Fedora IoT” in future. Here is a review of the open source product’s support capabilities for IoT and relevant installation details. Read more

5 Practical Examples of the Read Command in Linux

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Programming: C++, C and Python

  • Extend C++ capabilities with LLVM STLExtras.h

    The LLVM compiler project provides a header file called STLExtras.h that extends the capabilities of C++ without any dependency on the rest of LLVM. In this article, we take a quick look at its basic functionality.

  • Rewriting Old Solaris C Code In Python Yielded A 17x Performance Improvement

    While we normally hear of rewriting code from Python and other scripting languages into C/C++ when its a matter of performance, in the case of Oracle Solaris it was taking old C code and modernizing it in Python 3 to yield a ~17x performance improvement. Shared today on Oracle's official Solaris blog was an interesting anecdote about their listusers command being rewritten in Python 3 from C. Oracle's Darren Moffat noted the C code was largely untouched since around 1988 and given its design at a time when systems were less dense than today with hundreds or even thousands of users per system.

  • Python Projects for Beginners: The Best Way to Learn

    Learning Python can be difficult. You can spend time reading a textbook or watching videos, but then struggle to actually put what you've learned into practice. Or you might spend a ton of time learning syntax and get bored or lose motivation. How can you increase your chances of success? By building Python projects. That way you're learning by actually doing what you want to do! When I was learning Python, building projects helped me bring together everything I was learning. Once I started building projects, I immediately felt like I was making more progress.

  • PyCon 2019: The People of PyCon

    I can’t tell you how amazing it was to meet the individuals I read, listen to, or who make the tools I use. I was so happy to meet the authors that helped me to grow over the last few years, especially Dan Bader, Peter Baumgartner, Matt Harrison, Reuven Lerner, Harry Percival , and Lacey Williams Henschel. I love podcasts, so it was wonderful to meet Michael Kennedy and Brian Okken in person. And I was happy to meet Paul Ganssle, Russell Keith-Magee, Barry Warsaw, and other maintainers and contributors. It was a delight to meet Bob Belderbos and Julian Sequeira from PyBites.

  • Find the first non-consecutive number with Python

    Your task is to find the first element of an array that is not consecutive. E.g. If we have an array [1,2,3,4,6,7,8] then 1 then 2 then 3 then 4 are all consecutive but 6 is not, so that’s the first non-consecutive number. If the whole array is consecutive then return None.

  • Perceiving Python programming paradigms

    Early each year, TIOBE announces its Programming Language of The Year. When its latest annual TIOBE index report came out, I was not at all surprised to see Python again winning the title, which was based on capturing the most search engine ranking points (especially on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu) in 2018.

OSI Announces Appointment of New Board Directors

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is pleased to announce the appointments of Deb Bryant and Tracy Hinds to fill the two vacant seats on the OSI Board of Directors. Their terms will begin immediately and run through October 2021. We hope you will join us in welcoming both to the OSI. Deb Bryant is returning to the OSI Board after spending several years away. After spending her days as the Senior Director of the Open Source Programs Office at Red Hat, Deb volunteers for open source organizations and supports the open source community. Bryant is passionate about open and transparent governments, bringing open source technology and ideas into the public sector. Tracy Hinds has an impressive history of managing development, operations, and growth for non-profit and for-profit organizations. Previous Education and Community Manager as well as Board Director of the OpenJS(formerly Node.js) Foundation, Hinds now works as Head of Platform at Samsung NEXT and is the president of GatherScript, where she works to support startup engagement and community, inspired by her prior work as a web engineer, community builder, OSS advocate, and strategist. Read more