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Moz/FF

Firefox 57 "Quantum" Web Browser Now Available to Download, Here's What's New

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Moz/FF

The biggest new feature of the Firefox 57.0 "Quantum" web browser is a major visual redesign that was developed by Mozilla as the Photon project and active on the Nightly channel until now. This makes the web browser two times faster than Firefox 49.0, according to Mozilla's development team.

"Firefox Quantum is roughly 2X faster than Firefox 49 on the Speedometer 2.0 benchmark, thanks to its new CSS engine, its “just right” multi-process architecture, the way it prioritizes your active tab, and much more," reads the preliminary release notes for Firefox 57.0 beta.

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Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

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Moz/FF

Open Source Insider Mozilla plans on November 14 to start rolling out Firefox 57, a massive update that just might send many of its users scurrying for the LTS release.

First the good news. Firefox 57 is faster, quite noticeably so, thanks to improvements to what Mozilla calls Project Quantum. Quantum encompasses several smaller projects in order to bring more parallelisation and GPU offloading to Firefox. That's developer speak for using more of that really fast GPU you've got. And again, the results are noticeable (some of them have already rolled out).

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Tor Development and Bugfix

Filed under
Moz/FF
Security

Microsoft, Mozilla and BSD

Filed under
Microsoft
Moz/FF
BSD
  • Microsoft rep switches to Chrome mid-presentation because Edge kept crashing
  • 10 Fascinating Things We Learned When We Asked The World ‘How Connected Are You?’

    We inquired about people’s relationships with their connected devices, like smart TVs, Fitbits, and routers. Questions ranged from “What connected devices do you own?“ to “What is your biggest fear as we move toward a more connected future?”

    Nearly 190,000 people around the world responded. People from the tiny islands of Tuvalu to the huge landmass of China and everywhere in between. (Mozilla released the survey in six languages: English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, and Portuguese.)

    What we learned is fascinating. Like: People in India are more likely to own a smart appliance, whereas people in Argentina are more likely to own a smart TV. And: People everywhere are worried that a more connected future will jeopardize their privacy.

  • $275K for Creative Gigabit Projects Across the U.S.

    Mozilla is partnering with museums, universities, nonprofits, libraries, and high schools in Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, and beyond.

    “We’re focusing on projects that leverage gigabit internet speeds — up to 250x average speeds — to make a positive impact in the communities we serve and across the country,” says Lindsey Frost, who directs Mozilla’s gigabit work. “Projects use augmented reality to train first responders; raise awareness about coastal erosion through virtual reality simulations; bring robotics into high school classrooms; and much more.”

    Through the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund — a partnership with the National Science Foundation and U.S. Ignite — Mozilla invests in projects that leverage lightning-fast gigabit internet connectivity to further education and workforce development.

  • pfSense 2.3.5 Security Update Addresses WPA2 KRACK Issue, Improves WebGUI

    If you haven't upgraded your pfSense BSD-based firewall to the major 2.4.x stable series yet, we have some good news for you today as the pfSense 2.3.5 security update is now available to download.

    pfSense 2.3.5 is a maintenance and bugfix release for the pfSense 2.3 stable series of the world's most trusted open source firewall, and it's here to patch a few critical security vulnerabilities, including that nasty WPA2 KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) issue.

  • OpenZFS RAID-Z Online Expansion Project Announcement

     

    The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce a collaborative project with Delphix to implement one of the most requested ZFS features, to allow RAID-Z pools to be expanded one disk at a time. We’ve combined our resources with iXsystems and Delphix to bring this project to fruition. The RAID-Z Expansion project will allow OpenZFS users to incrementally add storage to their RAID pools, one device at a time. The expansion will happen online, in the background, with zero downtime, and while maintaining the redundancy and reliability of RAID-Z.

Firefox 57 coming soon: a Quantum leap

Filed under
Red Hat
Moz/FF

Over the past year, Mozilla has been working on a series of major changes to the Firefox browser, mainly for performance and security. These changes are referred to as Project Quantum. Some improvements arrived already with no major differences for its users.

Last month the major changes landed in the developer channel. These changes mark a major deadline for how extensions work. This deadline gave third party developers a chance to look at their extensions and make changes to remain compatible. It was an important milestone date for the various Firefox add-ons. Firefox 57 marks an end to the legacy XUL based extensions. Starting with version 57, Firefox supports only a new type of extension, named WebExtension.

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Chrome and Mozilla

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Google Quietly Releases Chrome 62 to Stable Channel for Linux, Mac, and Windows

    Google quietly promoted the Chrome 62 web browser to the stable channel today for desktops, including Mac, GNU/Linux, and Microsoft Windows platforms.

  • Chrome 62 Promoted To Stable

    Google has released Chromium/Chrome 62 as the latest update to its widely-used web browser.

  • Chrome Working On JPEG Encode Accelerator With VA-API/V4L2 Support

    Landing in the Chromium browser code-base this morning is a JPEG encode accelerator interface.

  • Mozilla brings Microsoft, Google, the W3C, Samsung together to create cross-browser documentation on MDN

    Community contributions are at the core of MDN’s success. Thousands of volunteers have helped build and refine MDN over the past 12 years. In this year alone, 8,021 users made 76,203 edits, greatly increasing the scope and quality of the content. Cross-browser documentation contributions include input from writers at Google and Microsoft; Microsoft writers have made more than 5,000 edits so far in 2017. This cross-browser collaboration adds valuable content on browser compatibility and new features of the web platform. Going forward, Microsoft writers will focus their Web API documentation efforts on MDN and will redirect relevant pages from Microsoft Developer Network to MDN.

  • A Week-Long Festival for Internet Health

    Says Mark Surman, Mozilla’s Executive Director: “The Internet is layered into our lives like we never could have imagined. Access is no longer a luxury — it’s a fundamental part of 21st century life. A virus is no longer a nuisance consigned to a single terminal — it’s an existential threat that can disrupt hospitals, governments and entire cities.”

    But much of the Internet’s best nature is flourishing, too. Each day, new communities form despite members being separated by whole continents. Start-ups and artists have access to a global stage. And open-source projects put innovation and inclusion ahead of profit.

Firefox 57 - Trick or Treat?

Filed under
Moz/FF

The best way to describe Firefox 57 is too little, too late, but better later than never. In a way, it's a pointless release, because it brings us back roughly where Firefox was and should have been years ago. Only all this time in between was wasted losing user base.

WebExtensions will be the thing that makes or breaks the browser, and with insufficient quality in the available replacements for those that don't make the culling list, there will be no real incentive for people to stay around. Firefox 57 is better than earlier versions in terms of looks and performance, but that's like saying you get 50% discount on a price that is twice what it should be. Ultimately unnecessary, just like graduating from university by the age of 68. There aren't any major advantages over Chrome. This is essentially a Firefox that sucks less.

So yes, on the positive side, if you do want to continue using Firefox, version 57 makes much more sense than the previous 53 releases. It has an almost normal look, some of the sorely needed security & privacy addons are available, and it offers a passable user experience in terms of speed and responsiveness. Bottom line, I will stick with Firefox for now. As long as my extensions keep working. Take care.

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Mozilla 'Freemium' and Visual Impairment Simulator

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla might offer Freemium services in the future

    The whole idea seems to be in an early stage and it is quite possible that it won't come to fruition after careful examination. When asked what kind of services Mozilla was considering, Beard answered that the organization was exploring that. This is all the information that is available at this point in time.

  • Mozilla CEO says new Firefox browser delivers 'a big bang'

    There's another side as we start to look at products that we could potentially offer. Some of them start to look like services, exploring the freemium models. There'd be a free level always, but also some premium services offering.

  • NoCoffee: Visual Impairment Simulator

    Four years ago, on a snowy February day, Aaron Leventhal huddled in his unheated home and created a Chrome extension called NoCoffee. This extension allows users to experience web content through different lenses of visual impairments*.

Mozilla funds open source projects with half a million in grants

Filed under
Moz/FF
OSS

Mozilla has announced the latest recipients of its Open Source Support grants, totaling $539,000. The web tech company regularly helps out smaller projects, and this round in particular favored ones aimed at safety and security.

First was $194K to Ushahidi, a platform used to rapidly collect and disseminate local information to people who may need it quickly: blocked streets in a disaster area, police actions or tear gas in a protest, or voter intimidation during elections.

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Firefox 57 Benchmarks and Privacy

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Benchmarks Show Firefox 57 Quantum Doing Well, But Chrome Largely Winning

    With the hype this week around Firefox Quantum Beta with its user-interface refinements and more noticeably the performance improvements, I decided to run some benchmarks on my end with a variety of tests comparing Firefox 52 ESR, Firefox 56 stable, Firefox 57 Quantum beta, and Chrome 60. Here are those web browser benchmark results from the Linux x86-64 desktop.

  • Improving the Firefox Privacy Notice

    Back in 2014, we reorganized our privacy policies to make them simple, clear, and usable. That effort was based on simplifying the then 14-page privacy policy around a framework that retained some detail but helped users find information more quickly. We did this because of our Data Privacy Principles that offer us guardrails as we develop our products and services.

    Today I’m happy to announce another revision of our Firefox Privacy Notice, which follows our initial announcement on the topic. We continue to build our products focusing on user control and fulfilling our “no surprises” rule when it comes to privacy. We believe that in context notices with the user experience in mind make notices more understandable and actionable for users.

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Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • MX Linux Review of MX-17 – For The Record
    MX Linux Review of MX-17. MX-17 is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS Linux communities. It’s XFCE based, lightning fast, comes with both 32 and 64-bit CPU support…and the tools. Oh man, the tools available in this distro are both reminders of Mepis past and current tech found in modern distros.
  • Samsung Halts Android 8.0 Oreo Rollouts for Galaxy S8 Due to Unexpected Reboots
    Samsung stopped the distribution of the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system update for its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones due to unexpected reboots reported by several users. SamMobile reported the other day that Samsung halted all Android 8.0 Oreo rollouts for its Galaxy S8/S8+ series of Android smartphones after approximately a week since the initial release. But only today Samsung published a statement to inform user why it stopped the rollouts, and the cause appears to be related to a limited number of cases of unexpected reboots after installing the update.
  • Xen Project Contributor Spotlight: Kevin Tian
    The Xen Project is comprised of a diverse set of member companies and contributors that are committed to the growth and success of the Xen Project Hypervisor. The Xen Project Hypervisor is a staple technology for server and cloud vendors, and is gaining traction in the embedded, security and automotive space. This blog series highlights the companies contributing to the changes and growth being made to the Xen Project and how the Xen Project technology bolsters their business.
  • Initial Intel Icelake Support Lands In Mesa OpenGL Driver, Vulkan Support Started
    A few days back I reported on Intel Icelake patches for the i965 Mesa driver in bringing up the OpenGL support now that several kernel patch series have been published for enabling these "Gen 11" graphics within the Direct Rendering Manager driver. This Icelake support has been quick to materialize even with Cannonlake hardware not yet being available.
  • LunarG's Vulkan Layer Factory Aims To Make Writing Vulkan Layers Easier
    Introduced as part of LunarG's recent Vulkan SDK update is the VLF, the Vulkan Layer Factory. The Vulkan Layer Factory aims to creating Vulkan layers easier by taking care of a lot of the boilerplate code for dealing with the initialization, etc. This framework also provides for "interceptor objects" for overriding functions pre/post API calls for Vulkan entry points of interest.

Logstash 6.2.0 Released, Alfresco Grabbed by Private Equity Firm

  • Logstash 6.2.0 Release Improves Open Source Data Processing Pipeline
    The "L" in the ELK stack gets updated with new features including advanced security capabilities. Many modern enterprises have adopted the ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) stack to collect, process, search and visualize data. At the core of the ELK stack is the open-source Logstash project which defines itself as a server-side data processing pipeline - basically it helps to collect logs and then send them to a users' "stash" for searching, which in many cases is Elasticsearch.
  • Alfresco Software acquired by Private Equity Firm
    Enterprise apps company taken private in a deal that won't see a change in corporate direction. Alfresco has been developing its suite of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) technology since the company was founded back in June of 2005. On Feb. 8, Alfresco announced that it was being acquired by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL). Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.