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Moz/FF

Mozilla and Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners

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Moz/FF
  • Lessons from Carpenter – Mozilla panel discussion at ICDPPC

    The US Supreme Court recently released a landmark ruling in Carpenter vs. United States, which held that law enforcement authorities must secure a warrant in order to access citizens’ cell-site location data. At the upcoming 40th Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, we’re hosting a panel discussion to unpack what Carpenter means in a globalised world.

  • The future of online advertising – Mozilla panel discussion at ICDPPC

    At the upcoming 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, we’re convening a timely high-level panel discussion on the future of advertising in an open and sustainable internet ecosystem.

Things Gateway - Rules Rule

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Moz/FF

A smart home is a lot more than just lights, switches and thermostats that you can control remotely from your phone. To truly make a Smart Home, the devices must be reactive and work together. This is generally done with a Rule System: a set of maxims that automate actions based on conditions. It is automation that makes a home smart.

There are a couple options for a rule system with the Things Gateway from Mozilla. First, there is a rule system built into the Web GUI, accessed via the Rules option in the drop down menu. Second, there is the Web Things API that allows programs external to the Things Gateway to automate the devices that make up a smart home. Most people will gravitate to the former built-in system, as it is the most accessible to those without predilection to writing software. This blog post is going to focus on the this rules system native to the Things Gateway.

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Mozilla: Firefox Lockbox, Project DeepSpeech, Firefox Reality, Servo

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Moz/FF
  • AutoFill your passwords with Firefox Lockbox in iOS

    Today Firefox Lockbox 1.3 gives you the ability to automatically fill your username and password into apps and websites. This is available to anyone running the latest iOS 12 operating system.

  • Streaming RNNs in TensorFlow

    The Machine Learning team at Mozilla Research continues to work on an automatic speech recognition engine as part of Project DeepSpeech, which aims to make speech technologies and trained models openly available to developers. We’re hard at work improving performance and ease-of-use for our open source speech-to-text engine. The upcoming 0.2 release will include a much-requested feature: the ability to do speech recognition live, as the audio is being recorded. This blog post describes how we changed the STT engine’s architecture to allow for this, achieving real-time transcription performance. Soon, you’ll be able to transcribe audio at least as fast as it’s coming in.

  • Explore the immersive web with Firefox Reality. Now available for Viveport, Oculus, and Daydream

    Earlier this year, we shared that we are building a completely new browser called Firefox Reality. The mixed reality team at Mozilla set out to build a web browser that has been designed from the ground up to work on stand-alone virtual and augmented reality (or mixed reality) headsets. Today, we are pleased to announce that the first release of Firefox Reality is available in the Viveport, Oculus, and Daydream app stores.

    At a time when people are questioning the impact of technology on their lives and looking for leadership from independent organizations like Mozilla, Firefox Reality brings to the 3D web and immersive content experiences the level of ease of use, choice, control and privacy they’ve come to expect from Firefox.

    But for us, the ability to enjoy the 2D web is just table stakes for a VR browser. We built Firefox Reality to move seamlessly between the 2D web and the immersive web.

  • These Months In Servo 113

    In the past 1.5 months, we merged 439 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

Mozilla: Firefox GCC/LLVM Clang Dilemma, September 2018 CA Communication and CfP

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Moz/FF
  • Fedora Firefox – GCC/CLANG dilemma

    After reading Mike’s blog post about official Mozilla Firefox switch to LLVM Clang, I was wondering if we should also use that setup for official Fedora Firefox binaries.

    The numbers look strong but as Honza Hubicka mentioned, Mozilla uses pretty ancient GCC6 to create binaries and it’s not very fair to compare it with up-to date LLVM Clang 6.

    Also if I’m reading the mozilla bug correctly the PGO/LTO is not yet enabled for Linux, only plain optimized builds are used for now…which means the transition at Mozilla is not so far than I expected.

  • September 2018 CA Communication

    Mozilla has sent a CA Communication to inform Certification Authorities (CAs) who have root certificates included in Mozilla’s program about current events relevant to their membership in our program and to remind them of upcoming deadlines. This CA Communication has been emailed to the Primary Point of Contact (POC) and an email alias for each CA in Mozilla’s program, and they have been asked to respond to the following 7 action items:

  • Emily Dunham: CFP tricks 1

    Some strategies I’ve recommended in the past for dealing with this include looking at the conference’s marketing materials to imagine who they would interest, and examining the abstracts of past years’ talks.

The 'New' Microsoft

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
Moz/FF
Web
  • Windows derails Chrome, Firefox installation, promotes Microsoft Edge instead [iophk: "Where are the Microsoft apologists on this? They sure have been quiet."]

    Microsoft is trying a new tactic to get people to use its Edge browser: a warning dialog box that interrupts the installation of other browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

  • Microsoft tests ‘warning’ Windows 10 users not to install Chrome or Firefox

    While the prompts can be turned off, they’re yet another example of Microsoft infesting Windows 10 with annoying ads and pop-ups. Some similar prompts already appear and attempt to push Chrome or Firefox users to use Edge, but this latest one steps up Microsoft’s war against Chrome even further. It’s not clear why Microsoft thinks it’s a good idea to include these irritating prompts, as all they’re likely to do is anger Windows 10 users rather than convince them to switch to Edge.

  • Microsoft Tests Warning Windows 10 Users About Installing Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox [iophk: "yeah, Microsoft "loves" FOSS"]

    While the warning does not block the installation, it is a blatant move from Microsoft to try and stop users from downloading a rival's Web browser. As per a CNET report, test was confirmed in Windows 10 version 1809, build 17758.1. It is worth noting that it is a preview release, which will not be available to the general public for another month or so. In a statement to CNET, Microsoft referred to its Windows test programme, and said, "We're currently testing this functionality with insiders only. The Windows Insider Program enables Microsoft to test different features, functionality and garner feedback before rolling out broadly. Customers remain in control and can choose the browser of their choice." The Verge, on the other hand, cites its sources to say the warning will not make its way to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Mozilla: Firefox Focus with GeckoView, WebRender, DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox Focus with GeckoView

    Firefox Focus is private browsing as an app: It automatically blocks ads and trackers, so you can surf the web in peace. When you’re done, a single tap completely erases your history, cookies, and other local data.

  • WebRender newsletter #22

    The closer we get to shipping WebRender, the harder it is for me to take the time to go through commit logs and write the newsletter. But this time is special.

    Yesterday we enabled WebRender by default on Firefox Nightly for a subset of the users: Desktop Nvidia GPUs on Windows 10. This represents 17% of the nightly population. We chose to first target this very specific configuration in order to avoid getting flooded with driver bugs, and we’ll gradually add more as things stabilize.

  • Mozilla Future Releases Blog: DNS over HTTPS (DoH) – Testing on Beta

    DNS is a critical part of the Internet, but unfortunately has bad security and privacy properties, as described in this excellent explainer by Lin Clark. In June, Mozilla started experimenting with DNS over HTTPS, a new protocol which uses encryption to protect DNS requests and responses. As we reported at the end of August, our experiments in the Nightly channel look very good: the slowest users show a huge improvement, anywhere up to hundreds of milliseconds, and most users see only a small performance slowdown of around 6 milliseconds, which is acceptable given the improved security.

Looking at Firefox performance 57 vs 63

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Moz/FF

Last November we released Firefox v.57, otherwise known as Firefox Quantum. Quantum was in many ways a whole new browser with the focus on speed as compared to previous versions of Firefox.

As I write about many topics on my blog which are typically related to my current work at Mozilla, I haven’t written about measuring or monitoring Performance in a while. Now that we are almost a year out I thought it would be nice to look at a few of the key performance tests that were important for tracking in the Quantum release and what they look like today.

First I will look at the benchmark Speedometer which was used to track browser performance primarily of the JS engine and DOM.

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Programming: Compiling Firefox, Mozilla's Rust, and Go/Python Adventures

Filed under
Development
Moz/FF
  • Firefox is now built with clang LTO on all* platforms

    You might have read that Mozilla recently switched Windows builds to clang-cl. More recently, those Windows builds have seen both PGO and LTO enabled.

    As of next nightly (as of writing, obviously), all tier-1 platforms are now built with clang with LTO enabled. Yes, this means Linux, Mac and Android arm, aarch64 and x86. Linux builds also have PGO enabled.

    Mac and Android builds were already using clang, so the only difference is LTO being enabled, which brought some performance improvements.

  • Rust office hours

    ...I’m going to start an experiment that I call Rust office hours. The idea is simple: I’ve set aside a few slots per week to help people work through problems they are having learning or using Rust. My goal here is both to be of service but also to gain more insight into the kinds of things people have trouble with. No problem is too big or too small!

  • This Week in Rust 251

    Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community.

  • Return to Limbo

    When the time came to pack up and return to Norway I considered whether I wanted to continue writing small examples in Go and porting some of my Python modules. It didn't feel all that comfortable or intuitive to write in Go, though I realise that it simply takes practice to gain familiarity. Despite this, it was worth taking some time to get an overview of the basics of Go for reasons that I'll get to later.

    [...]

    As mentioned earlier, I was interested in setting up Inferno on an old netbook – an Efika MX Smartbook – and had already experimented with running the system in its hosted form on top of Debian GNU/Linux. Running hosted Inferno is a nice way to get some experience using the system and seems to be the main way it is used these days. Running the system natively requires porting it to the specific hardware in use, and I knew that I could use the existing code for U-Boot, FreeBSD and Linux as a reference at the very least. So, the task would be to take hardware-specific code for the i.MX51 platform and adapt it to use the conventions of the Inferno porting layer. Building from the ground up, there are a few ports of Inferno to other ARM devices that could be used as foundations for a new port.

Browsh and Firefox on Old PCs (Better on GNU/Linux)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Moz/FF
Web
  • Browsh – A Modern Text Based Browser Which Supports Graphics And Video

    We had wrote many articles about text based browser in the past such as Links, Links2, ELinks, Lynx, w3m and Netrik.

    Why we need a text-based browser in Linux? As you already know most of the Linux servers are running without GUI. It helps Linux administrator to browse the website from CLI.

    As i know, all these text-based browsers renders only web pages and supports color but browsh is advanced, well-established, feature-rich modern text based browser which supports graphics and video.

  • Firefox Just Dropped Windows XP and Vista Support, and Soon Steam Will Too

    Version 52 of Firefox’s Extended Support Edition (ESR) was the last version of Firefox compatible with Windows XP and Vista machines, but it is no longer getting security updates as of last week. This means any security flaws will never be patched, potentially putting users in danger of breaches.

Mozilla identifies 10 open source personas: What you need to know

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Moz/FF
OSS

Participating in open source communities—or in any open organization, for that matter—means collaborating with others who might not operate the same way you do. Their motivations may differ. Their governance models might seem foreign. Their goals might not immediately speak to you. So if you're going to work together, you'll need to develop a clear sense of what makes the project tick—and decide quickly whether working together is best for your team and your business.

Similarly, if you're instigating an open source project, you should ask yourself, "what kind of community do I want to attract?" Then you can plan for and signal that accordingly.

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Debian Patches for Intel's Defects, Canonical to Fix Ubuntu Security Flaws for a Fee

  • Debian Outs Updated Intel Microcode to Mitigate Spectre V4 and V3a on More CPUs
    The Debian Project released an updated Intel microcode firmware for users of the Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system series to mitigate two of the latest Spectre vulnerabilities on more Intel CPUs. Last month, on August 16, Debian's Moritz Muehlenhoff announced the availability of an Intel microcode update that provided Speculative Store Bypass Disable (SSBD) support needed to address both the Spectre Variant 4 and Spectre Variant 3a security vulnerabilities. However, the Intel microcode update released last month was available only for some types of Intel CPUs, so now the Debian Project released an updated version that implements SSBD support for additional Intel CPU models to mitigate both Spectre V4 and V3a on Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" systems.
  • Announcing Extended Security Maintenance for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – “Trusty Tahr” [Ed: Canonical looking to profit from security flaws in Ubuntu like Microsoft does in Windows.]
    Ubuntu is the basis for the majority of cloud-based workloads today. With over 450 million public cloud instances launched since the release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, a number that keeps accelerating on a day-per-day basis since, many of the largest web-scale deployments are using Ubuntu. This includes financial, big data, media, and many other workloads and use cases, which rely on the stability and continuity of the underlying operating system to provide the mission-critical service their customers rely on. Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) was introduced for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS as a way to extend the availability of critical and important security patches beyond the nominal End of Life date of Ubuntu 12.04. Organisations use ESM to address security compliance concerns while they manage the upgrade process to newer versions of Ubuntu under full support. The ability to plan application upgrades in a failsafe environment continues to be cited as the main value for adoption of ESM. With the End of Life of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in April 2019, and to support the planning efforts of developers worldwide, Canonical is announcing the availability of ESM for Ubuntu 14.04.
  • Canonical Announces Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) Extended Security Maintenance
    Canonical announced today that it would extend its commercial Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) offering to the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) operating system series starting May 2019. Last year on April 28, 2017, when the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system series reached end of life, Canonical announced a new way for corporate users and enterprises to receive security updates if they wanted to keep their current Ubuntu 12.04 LTS installations and had no plans to upgrade to a newer LTS (Long Term Support) release. The offering was called Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) and had a great success among businesses.

Graphics: NVIDIA and AMD

  • Initial NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Linux Benchmarks
    This article is going to be short and sweet as just receiving the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti yesterday and then not receiving the Linux driver build until earlier today... The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti has been busy now for a few hours with the Phoronix Test Suite on the Core i7 8086K system running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the latest drivers.
  • NVIDIA Introduces A Number Of New OpenGL Extensions For Turing
    As part of the GeForce RTX 2080 series launching with the new GPU architecture, NVIDIA has published a number of new OpenGL extensions for making use of some of Turing's new capabilities.
  • Vulkan 1.1.85 Released With Raytracing, Mesh Shaders & Other New NVIDIA Extensions
    Leading up to the Turing launch we weren't sure if NVIDIA was going to deliver same-day Vulkan support for RTX/ray-tracing with the GeForce RTX graphics cards or if it was going to be left up to Direct3D 12 on Windows for a while... Fortunately, as already reported, their new driver has Vulkan RTX support. Additionally, the NVX_raytracing extension and other NVIDIA updates made it into today's Vulkan 1.1.85 release.
  • Radeon/GPUOpen OCAT 1.2 Released But No Linux Support Yet
    A new feature release is out for the Radeon/GPUOpen "OCAT" open-source capture and analytics tool. OCAT 1.2 is their first release of the year and includes VR head-mounted display (HMD) support, new visualization tools, system information detection, new settings, and other enhancements.

Security: Updates, US Demand for Back Doors, and Microsoft's Collusion with the NSA Keeps Serving Crackers

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • State Department Still Sucks At Basic Cybersecurity And Senators Want To Know Why
    The senators are hoping the State Department will have answers to a handful of cybersecurity-related questions by October 12th, but given the agency's progress to compliance with a law that's been on the book for two years at this point, I wouldn't expect responses to be delivered in a timelier fashion. The agency's track record on security isn't great and these recent developments only further cement its reputation as a government ripe for exploitation. The agency's asset-tracking program only tracks Windows devices, its employees are routinely careless with their handling of classified info, and, lest we forget, its former boss ran her own email server, rather than use the agency's. Of course, given this long list of security failures, there's a good possibility an off-site server had more baked-in security than the agency's homebrew.
  • EternalBlue Vulnerability Puts Pirated Windows Systems at Malware Risk [Ed: Microsoft's collusion with the NSA (for US-controlled back doors) continues to cost billions... paid by people who foolishly chose or accepted PCs with Windows.]
    A particular vulnerability that has been codenamed EternalBlue is to be blamed for this misfortune. The malware risk especially affects computers which use pirated Windows versions. This gap in security has its traces back in the legacies of US secret service NSA. Even after several years, many systems continue to be vulnerable. For more than three years, US intelligence was using it for performing hidden attacks on all kinds of targets. The agency finally had to leak the vulnerability to Microsoft due to the danger of hacking by a famous hacker group, Shadow Brokers. Microsoft then consequently had to abandon a patch day for the very first time in the company’s history for filling in the gap as quickly as possible.

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