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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Firefox's Gecko Media Plugin & EME Architecture, Accessibility, Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday Results

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Moz/FF
  • Chris Pearce: Firefox's Gecko Media Plugin & EME Architecture

    For rendering audio and video Firefox typically uses either the operating system's audio/video codecs or bundled software codec libraries, but for DRM video playback (like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and the like) and WebRTC video calls using baseline H.264 video, Firefox relies on Gecko Media Plugins, or GMPs for short.

    This blog post describes the architecture of the Gecko Media Plugin system in Firefox, and the major class/objects involved, as it looked in June 2019.

    For DRM video Firefox relies upon Google's Widevine Content Decryption Module, a dynamic shared library downloaded at runtime. Although this plugin doesn't conform to the GMP ABI, we provide an adapter to allow it to be run through the GMP system. We use the same Widevine CDM plugin that Chrome uses.

    For decode and encode of H.264 streams for WebRTC, Firefox uses OpenH264, which is provided by Cisco. This plugin implements the GMP ABI.

  • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: How accessibility trees inform assistive tech

    The web is accessible by default. It was designed with features to make accessibility possible, and these have been part of the platform pretty much from the beginning. In recent times, inspectable accessibility trees have made it easier to see how things work in practice. In this post we’ll look at how “good” client-side code (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) improves the experience of users of assistive technologies, and how we can use accessibility trees to help verify our work on the user experience.

  • QMO: Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday Results

    As you may already know, Friday June 14th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 68 Beta 10.

Hey advertisers, track THIS

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Moz/FF

If it feels like the ads chasing you across the internet know you a little too well, it’s because they do (unless you’re an avid user of ad blockers, in which case this is not for you). Earlier this month we announced Enhanced Tracking Protection on by default for new users in our flagship Firefox Quantum browser as a way to stop third-party cookies in their tracks. If you’re still not sure why you’d want to block cookies, today we’re launching a project called Track THIS to help you recognize what they do.

You’re being followed across the web through cookies—small data files stored by your browser—that remember things like language preferences, sites you’ve visited, or what’s in your shopping cart. That might sound generally fine, but it gets shady when data brokers and advertising networks also use cookies to collect information about your internet habits without your consent. You should still have control over what advertisers know about you—if they know anything about you at all—which can be tough when web trackers operate out of sight.

Read more

Also: Once Again: It's Not Clear The Internet Needs Creepy Targeted Ads

Latest From Mozilla and Chrome 76 Beta

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Google
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Security Blog: Updated GPG key for signing Firefox Releases

    The GPG key used to sign the Firefox release manifests is expiring soon, and so we’re going to be switching over to new key shortly.

    The new GPG subkey’s fingerprint is 097B 3130 77AE 62A0 2F84 DA4D F1A6 668F BB7D 572E, and it expires 2021-05-29.

  • Happy BMO Push Day!
  • Extensions in Firefox 68

    In Firefox 68, we are introducing a new API and some enhancements to webRequest and private browsing. We’ve also fixed a few issues in order to improve compatibility and resolve issues developers were having with Firefox.

  • Chrome 76 Beta: dark mode, payments, new PWA features and more

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Find more information about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 76 is beta as of June 13, 2019.

  • Chrome 76 Beta Brings Dark Mode Media Query, Other Improvements

    Following last week's release of Chrome 75, Google today issued the first public beta for the Chrome 76 web-browser. 

    The Chrome 76 browser now supports the "prefers-color-scheme" media query that can be used if wanting to implement a dark mode for a web-site to match any dark theme/mode of the device / operating system.

7 Reasons Why Firefox Is My Favorite Web Browser

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Moz/FF

Here are 7 Reasons why Firefox is my favorite web browser to use. This is an opinion video and I don’t expect everyone agree with me but these are some of the reasons that I prefer to use Firefox over any other browser. There are many other reasons but I had to draw a line somewhere.

Read more

Also: Mozilla Changes The Iconic Firefox Logo To Reflect Its Broader Approach

Mozilla Firefox 67.0.2 Released with Various Improvements and Bug Fixes

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Moz/FF

Mozilla released today the second maintenance update to the latest Firefox 67 "Quantum" web browser for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.
Firefox 67.0.2 is now available, a bugfix and stability release that addresses several issues reported by users lately, including a crash with Apple's upcoming macOS Catalina 10.15 operating system, the ability to start two simultaneous downloads via < a download >, and a performance regression for Eclipse Remote Application Platform (RAP) apps.

On Linux systems, users are now able to easily install and use additional language packs using the built-in Preferences UI. On both Linux or macOS systems, Firefox users can now start the web browser in safe mode without it believing that the user profile is too recent on the subsequent launch to be used with the current version of Firefox.

Read more

Also: Mozilla to launch Firefox Premium

Browsers: Firefox Upselling and Branding, Chromium-Based Browsers Will Ignore Google’s Ad-Blocking Ban

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Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • This Free software ain't free to make, pal, it's expensive: Mozilla to bankroll Firefox with paid-for premium extras

    Mozilla is planning to launch a suite of paid-for subscription services to complement its free and open-source Firefox browser in October.

    CEO Chris Beard elaborated on the plan, mentioned in the company's bug reporting system eleven months ago, to German technology site T3N last week. In an interview, he said Mozilla's premium service plan will include VPN bandwidth above what's available from Mozilla's ProtonMail VPN partnership.

    He suggested the arrangement will augment a free VPN tier. That would be a change from the current $10 per month ProtonMail VPN arrangement, one that resembles the free VPN offering from the competing Opera browser. He also suggested the service bundle will include an allotment of secure cloud storage, though it isn't yet clear how much storage will be included or whether "secure" means user-held encryption keys.

  • Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday, June 14th

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, June 14th we are organizing Firefox 68 Beta 10 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: Sync & Firefox Account and Browser notifications & prompts.

    Check out the detailed instructions via this etherpad.

  • Mozilla Open Design Blog: Firefox: The Evolution Of A Brand

    Consider the fox. It’s known for being quick, clever, and untamed — attributes easily applied to its mythical cousin, the “Firefox” of browser fame. Well, Firefox has another trait not found in earthly foxes: stretchiness. (Just look how it circumnavigates the globe.) That fabled flexibility now enables Firefox to adapt once again to a changing environment.

    The “Firefox” you’ve always known as a browser is stretching to cover a family of products and services united by putting you and your privacy first. Firefox is a browser AND an encrypted service to send huge files. It’s an easy way to protect your passwords on every device AND an early warning if your email has been part of a data breach. Safe, private, eye-opening. That’s just the beginning of the new Firefox family.

    Now Firefox has a new look to support its evolving product line. Today we’re introducing the Firefox parent brand — an icon representing the entire family of products. When you see it, it’s your invitation to join Firefox and gain access to everything we have to offer. That includes the famous Firefox Browser icon for desktop and mobile, and even that icon is getting an update to be rolled out this fall.

  • Chromium-Based Browsers Will Ignore Google’s Ad-Blocking Ban

    Brave Opera and Vivaldi will not implement Google’s changes that will cripple ad-blockers.

    Commercial web browsers including Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi won’t be disabling ad blocker extensions as desired by Google. These browsers are based on the the same open source codebase that is used with Google Chrome. Google maintains an open source project called Chromium as the base of its Chrome browsers.

    According to ZDnet, “At the end of May, Google made a new announcement in which it said that the old technology that ad blockers were relying on would only be available for Chrome enterprise users, but not for regular users.”

Mozilla: Firefox Desktop Telemetry, NN at the Federal Communications Commission and These Weeks in Firefox

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Moz/FF
  • Data Science is Hard: Validating Data for Glean

    Glean is a new library for collecting data in Mozilla products. It’s been shipping in Firefox Preview for a little while and I’d like to take a minute to talk about how I validated that it sends what we think it’s sending.

    Validating new data collections in an existing system like Firefox Desktop Telemetry is a game of comparing against things we already know. We know that some percentage of data we receive is just garbage: bad dates, malformed records, attempts at buffer overflows and SQL injection. If the amount of garbage in the new collection is within the same overall amount of garbage we see normally, we count it as “good enough” and move on.

    [...]

    At this point, aside from the “metrics” ping which is awaiting validation after some fixes reach saturation in the population, Glean has passed all of these criteria acceptably. It still has a bit of a duplicate ping problem, but its clock skew and latency are much lower than Firefox Desktop’s. There are some outrageous clients sending dozens of pings over a period that they should be sending a handful, but that might just be a test client whose values will disappear into the noise when the user population grows.

  • It’s time for the US Senate to Save the Net

    On the one year anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality, Mozilla is joining millions of people across the internet to once again stand up to protect the open internet.

    When the FCC gutted net neutrality protections last year, we filed our lawsuit because we believed that repeal was unlawful. We also believed taking on the FCC was the right thing to do for the future of the internet and everyone who uses it.

    Until the Senate listens to the American people and protects the open Internet, Mozilla v. FCC continues to be net neutrality’s best hope.

    But it’s time our Senators do what they were elected to do – represent their constituents, and pass net neutrality legislation that has overwhelming support and protects Americans. With a victory in the courts, or bipartisan legislation, we can ensure that people – and not big cable and telephone companies – get to choose what they see and do online.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 59

Mozilla: Privacy, Focus and the Mozilla Reps Community

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox starts blocking third-party cookies by default
  • Firefox adds tracking protection by default

    The Mozilla blog announces a new Firefox feature...

  • Indicating focus to improve accessibility

    Focus indicators make the difference between day and night for people who rely on them. Let’s first look at what they are, and which people find them useful.

    Focus is something that happens between the interactive elements on a page. That’s the first thing you should know. (See the focusable elements compatibility table for a more detailed and nuanced definition.) Interactive elements are elements like links, buttons and form fields: things that users can interact with.

  • Mozilla Reps Community: New Council members – 2019 Spring elections

    In more detail here are the subjects that they will work on:

    Mayur Patil: Campaigns engagement and Newsletter work
    Yuliana Jimenez: improving the onboarding experience
    Prathamesh Chavan: Reaching out to external entities
    Shahid Farooqui: Reps value proposition
    Irvin Chen: will continue his work on bridging the local communities with the program

Privacy Charm Offensive From Mozilla and Firefox Team

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Moz/FF
  • Technology with respect and honesty. Here’s how we do it.

    Tech companies are using the word “privacy” a lot these days. What do they mean when they say it? To one company, privacy means keeping your information between you and your device. To another, it means knowing who in your social network can see the stuff you post. And to a third, it’s just a setting you can toggle while using their services. They all want you to think they can be trusted.

    Let’s be clear: the business success of many of these companies depends on using our personal information as their currency. The details of our lives fuel their growth. Like greenwashing, pretending to care about privacy doesn’t solve the underlying problem. It just muddies the truth.

    Here’s what we mean when we use the word “privacy”: we will never sell what little personal info we have about you. Our business doesn’t depend on abusing your trust. In fact, respecting your privacy is at the core of every Firefox product, and the heart of our mission.

  • Five ways joining Firefox can keep you safer and smarter online

    The word “privacy” gets thrown around a lot these days, but every tech company defines privacy differently. Respecting your privacy has been at our core from day one, with the Firefox Personal Data Promise baked into everything we make. Everyone who uses our products — from the browser and beyond — gets powerful privacy protection, and when you join Firefox, you get even more features.

  • Firefox Now Available with Enhanced Tracking Protection by Default Plus Updates to Facebook Container, Firefox Monitor and Lockwise

    It’s been several weeks since I was promoted to Senior Vice President of Firefox, responsible for overall Firefox product and web platform development. As a long-time employee with 10+ years, I’ve seen a lot of things within the tech industry from data breaches, net neutrality and the rise and fall of tech companies. I believe that Firefox has and will continue to make a big impact in building the necessary protections to keep people safe online.

    This past year, we’ve seen tech companies talk a big game about privacy as they’re realizing that, after several global scandals, people feel increasingly vulnerable. It’s unfortunate that this shift had to happen in order for tech companies to take notice. At Firefox, we’re doing more than that. We believe that in order to truly protect people, we need to establish a new standard that puts people’s privacy first. At Firefox, we have been working on setting this standard by offering privacy-related features, like Tracking Protection in Private Browsing, long before these issues were brought to light. With this new, increased awareness for privacy, we feel that the time is right for the next step in stronger online protections for everyone.

    Last year, we announced our new approach to anti-tracking, and our commitment to help people stay safe whenever they used Firefox. One of those initiatives outlined was to block cookies from known third party trackers in Firefox. Today, Firefox will be rolling out this feature, Enhanced Tracking Protection, to all new users on by default, to make it harder for over a thousand companies to track their every move. Additionally, we’re updating our privacy-focused features including an upgraded Facebook Container extension, a Firefox desktop extension for Lockwise, a way to keep their passwords safe across all platforms, and Firefox Monitor’s new dashboard to manage multiple email addresses.

  • The Mozilla Blog: When it comes to privacy, default settings matter!

    What if I told you that on nearly every single website you visit, data about you was transmitted to dozens or even hundreds of companies, all so that the website could earn an additional $0.00008 per ad! This is a key finding from a new study on behaviorally targeted advertisements from Carnegie Mellon University and it should be a wake-up call to all of us. The status quo of pervasive data collection in service of ad targeting is untenable. That is why we’re announcing some key changes to Firefox.

    Today marks an important milestone in the history of Firefox and the web. As of today, for new users who download and install Firefox for the first time, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be set on by default, protecting our users from the pervasive tracking and collection of personal data by ad networks and tech companies.

    It seems that each week a new tech company decides to decree that privacy is a human right. They tout how their products provide people with “choices” to change the settings if they wish to opt into a greater level of privacy protection to exemplify how they are putting privacy first. That begs the question — do people really want more complex settings to understand and fiddle with or do they simply want products that respect their privacy and align with their expectations to begin with?

  • The Mozilla Blog: The web the world needs can be ours again, if we want it

    People everywhere are demanding basic consumer protections. We want our food to be healthy to eat, our water to be clean to drink, and our air to be safe to breathe.

    This year people have started to demand more of the internet as well, however, there persists an expectation that on the internet people are responsible for protecting themselves.

    You should not have to worry about trading privacy and control in order to enjoy the technology you love. Tech companies have put the onus on people to read through their opaque terms and conditions tied to your data and privacy to use their services. The average privacy policy from a tech company is thousands of words and written at a level that often requires legal training to interpret. As such the vast majority of people don’t bother to read, and just click through these agreements trusting that the companies have their interests at heart.

    This isn’t right, and it’s not where we stand. We aspire to put people back in control of their connected lives. To better equip people to navigate the internet today, we’ve built the latest version of our flagship Firefox browser with Enhanced Tracking Protection on by default. These protections work in the background, blocking third-parties from tracking your online activity while increasing the speed of the browser.

    We’re offering privacy protections by default as you navigate the web because the business model of the web is broken, with more and more intrusive personal surveillance becoming the norm. While we hope that people’s digital rights and freedoms will ultimately be guaranteed, we’re here to help in the interim.

  • Firefox Now Will Have Enhanced Tracking Protection On by Default, 5.0 Kernel Reaches End of Life, Apple Replacing Bash with zsh as Default Shell, IBM Announces Major Upgrade to Db2 and Oracle's Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel R5 Update 2 Is Now Available

    Mozilla today announces that the Firefox browser will now have Enhanced Tracking Protection on by default. From Chris Beard's blog post: "These protections work in the background, blocking third-parties from tracking your online activity while increasing the speed of the browser. We're offering privacy protections by default as you navigate the web because the business model of the web is broken, with more and more intrusive personal surveillance becoming the norm. While we hope that people's digital rights and freedoms will ultimately be guaranteed, we're here to help in the interim."

  • Firefox 68 Beta 6 Testday Results

    As you may already know, last Friday May 31st – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 68 Beta 6.

    Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: Rockstarprem007, Mohamed Bawas, Aishwarya Narasimhan and Aishu, noelonassis!

Mozilla VR and Servo

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Moz/FF
  • Pathfinder: a first look at the best fonts and vector graphics on VR/AR

    Second only to watching video, most of the time people spend on computing devices today involves reading text and looking at vector graphics in the toolbars and user interfaces of programs. Over the last 20 years, a great deal of focus has gone into improving the quality of those fonts and graphics: subpixel anti-aliasing, cached font maps, etc.

    Unfortunately, as you can see in the left image below, that work results in grainy and jagged text in modern AR headsets. Ideally, we would render text smoothly at all angles, as shown in the image on the right.

  • This Week In Servo 130

    In the past month, we merged 208 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

  • Mozilla's Servo Beginning To Work On Linux Video Acceleration

    Mozilla developers working on the Servo browser engine code have begun implementing hardware-accelerated video playback for Linux.

    With Linux video acceleration for browsers often being neglected, it's good to see Linux support now being worked on for Servo's video acceleration code path.

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