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Moz/FF

Mozilla's 'All Hands' Meeting and Remarks on Public Policy

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Moz/FF
  • State of Mozilla Support: 2018 Mid-year Update – Part 1

    As you may have heard, Mozilla held one of its All Hands biannual meetings, this time in San Francisco. The support.mozilla.org Admin team was there as well, along with several members of the support community.

    The All Hands meetings are meant to be gatherings summarizing the work done and the challenges ahead. San Francisco was no different from that model. The four days of the All Hands were full of things to experience and participate in. Aside from all the plenary and “big stage” sessions – most of which you should be able to find at Air Mozilla soon – we also took part in many smaller (formal and informal) meetings, workshops, and chats.

  • This Week in Mixed Reality: Issue 10

    Last week, the team was in San Francisco for an all-Mozilla company meeting.

    This week the team is focusing on adding new features, making improvements and fixing bugs.

  • Parliament adopts dangerous copyright proposal – but the battle continues

    n 20 June the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee (JURI) approved its report on the copyright directive, sending the controversial and dangerous copyright reform into its final stages of lawmaking.

  • Data localization: bad for users, business, and security

    Mozilla is deeply concerned by news reports that India’s first data protection law may include data localization requirements. Recent leaks suggest that the Justice Srikrishna Committee, the group charged by the Government of India with developing the country’s first data protection law, is considering requiring companies subject to the law to store critical personal data within India’s borders. A data localization mandate would undermine user security, harm the growth and competitiveness of Indian industry, and potentially burden relations between India and other countries. We urge the Srikrishna Committee and the Government of India to exclude this in the forthcoming legislative proposal.

Mozilla: Openwashing, Things Gateway, and San Francisco All Hands Meeting

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Moz/FF

Brave/Mozilla News

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Moz/FF
  • Deterministic Firefox Builds

    As of Firefox 60, the build environment for official Firefox Linux builds switched from CentOS to Debian.

    As part of the transition, we overhauled how the build environment for Firefox is constructed. We now populate the environment from deterministic package snapshots and are much more stringent about dependencies and operations being deterministic and reproducible. The end result is that the build environment for Firefox is deterministic enough to enable Firefox itself to be built deterministically.

  • Brave Launches User Trials for Opt-In Ads That Reward Viewers

    We’ve been busy building our new Basic Attention Token (BAT) platform, which includes a new consent-based digital advertising model that benefits users, publishers, and advertisers. Our first phase started last Fall with the integration of BAT into Brave Payments, and enabled users to anonymously distribute contributions to their favorite publishers and creators.

  • Get Paid For Watching Ads: Brave Browser Announces Opt-in Trials

    Brave, the web browser which garnered a huge fan following, predominantly for its ad blocking feature, and depriving advertisers of confiscating private data by blocking trackers is in the news again. And this time, users can earn some cash.

    In a blog post, Brave announced that it will be conducting voluntary testing of their new ad model in which they will showcase at least 250 pre-packaged ads to users who will sign up for their early access version. Thus, offering a small amount of money in the form of micropayments.

Mozilla: Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source, VR, Phabricator, Rust and WebRender

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Moz/FF
  • Call for Feedback! Draft of Goal-Metrics for Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source (CHAOSS)

    In the last few months, Mozilla has invested in collaboration with other open source project leaders and academics who care about improving diversity & inclusion in Open Source through the CHAOSS D&I working group. Contributors so far include:

    Alexander Serebrenik (Eindhoven University of Technology) , Akshita Gupta (Outreachy), Amy Marrich (OpenStack), Anita Sarma (Oregon State University), Bhagashree Uday (Fedora), Daniel Izquierdo (Bitergia), Emma Irwin (Mozilla), Georg Link (University of Nebraska at Omaha), Gina Helfrich (NumFOCUS), Nicole Huesman (Intel) and Sean Goggins ((University of Missouri).

  • Introducing A-Terrain - a cartography component for A-Frame

    Have you ever wanted to make a small web app to share your favorite places with your friends? For example your favorite photographs attached to a hike, or just a view of your favorite peak, or your favorite places downtown, or a suggested itinerary for friends visiting?

  • Setting up Arcanist for Mozilla development on Windows
  • Taming Phabricator

    So Mozilla is going all-in on Phabricator and Differential as a code review tool. I have mixed feelings on this, not least because it’s support for patch series is more manual than I’d like. But since this is the choice Mozilla has made I might as well start to get used to it. One of the first things you see when you log into Phabricator is a default view full of information.

  • This Week in Rust 239

    This week's crate is SIMDNoise, a crate to use modern CPU vector instructions to generate various types of noise really fast. Thanks to gregwtmtno for the suggestion!

  • WebRender newsletter #20

Mozilla: Motion, Contributors, Testday, ActivityMonitor, San Francisco Oxidation

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox has a motion team?! Yes we do!

    Motion may sometimes feel like an afterthought or worse yet “polish”. For the release of Firefox Quantum (one of our most significant releases to date), we wanted to ensure that motion was not a second class citizen and that it would play an important role in how users perceived performance in the browser.

    We (Amy & Eric) make up the UX side of the “motion team” for Firefox. We say this in air quotes because the motion team was essentially formed based on our shared belief that motion design is important in Firefox. With a major release planned, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have a team working on motion.

  • Firefox 61 new contributors

    With the upcoming release of Firefox 61, we are pleased to welcome the 59 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 53 of whom were brand new volunteers!

  • QMO: Firefox 61 Beta 14 Testday Results

    As you may already know, last Friday – June 15th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 61 Beta 14.

    Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place!

  • IOActivityMonitor in Gecko

    This is a first blog post of a series on Gecko, since I am doing a lot of C++ work in Firefox these days. My current focus is on adding tools in Firefox to try to detect what's going on when something goes rogue in the browser and starts to drain your battery life.

    We have many ideas on how to do this at the developer/user level, but in order to do it properly, we need to have accurate ways to measure what's going on when the browser runs.

    One thing is I/O activity.

    For instance, a WebExtension worker that performs a lot of disk writes is something we want to find out about, and we had nothing to track all I/O activities in Firefox, without running the profiler.

    When Firefox OS was developed, a small feature was added in the Gecko network lib, called NetworkActivityMonitor.

  • San Francisco Oxidation meeting notes

    At last week’s Mozilla All Hands meeting in San Francisco we had an Oxidation meeting about the use of Rust in Firefox. It was low-key, being mostly about status and progress. The notes are here for those who are interested.

Mozilla: WebVR and Rust

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Moz/FF
  • WITHIN creates distribution platform using WebVR

    Virtual Reality (VR) content has arrived on the web, with help from the WebVR API. It’s a huge inflection point for a medium that has struggled for decades to reach a wide audience. Now, anyone with access to an internet-enabled computer or smartphone can enjoy VR experiences, no headset required. A good place to start? WITHIN’s freshly launched VR website.

    From gamers to filmmakers, VR is the bleeding edge of self-expression for the next generation. It gives content creators the opportunity to tell stories in new ways, using audience participation, parallel narratives, and social interaction in ever-changing virtual spaces. With its immersive, 360-degree audio and visuals, VR has outsized power to activate our emotions and to put us in the center of the action.

    WITHIN is at the forefront of this shift toward interactive filmmaking and storytelling. The company was one of the first to launch a VR distribution platform that showcases best-in-class VR content with high production values.

  • This Week in Rust 238
  • What do you think are the most interesting/exciting projects using Rust?

    Jonathan Turner suggested I write up the responses as a blog post, and here we are.

Mozilla: Firefox for ALSA, OverbiteNX, Scripts on GitHub

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Moz/FF
  • Building Firefox for ALSA (non PulseAudio) Sound

    I did the work to built my own Firefox primarily to fix a couple of serious regressions that couldn't be fixed any other way. I'll start with the one that's probably more common (at least, there are many people complaining about it in many different web forums): the fact that Firefox won't play sound on Linux machines that don't use PulseAudio.

    There's a bug with a long discussion of the problem, Bug 1345661 - PulseAudio requirement breaks Firefox on ALSA-only systems; and the discussion in the bug links to another discussion of the Firefox/PulseAudio problem). Some comments in those discussions suggest that some near-future version of Firefox may restore ALSA sound for non-Pulse systems; but most of those comments are six months old, yet it's still not fixed in the version Mozilla is distributing now.

  • Let's kill kittens with native messaging (or, introducing OverbiteNX: if WebExtensions can't do it, we will)

    WebExtensions (there is no XUL) took over with a thud seven months ago, which was felt as a great disturbance in the Force by most of us who wrote Firefox add-ons that, you know, actually did stuff. Many promises were made for APIs to allow us to do the stuff we did before. Some of these promises were kept and these APIs have actually been implemented, and credit where credit is due. But there are many that have not (that metabug is not exhaustive). More to the point, there are many for which people have offered to write code and are motivated to write code, but we have no parameters for what would be acceptable, possibly because any spec would end up stuck in a "boil the ocean" problem, possibly because it's low priority, or possibly because someone gave other someones the impression such an API would be acceptable and hasn't actually told them it isn't. The best way to get contribution is to allow people to scratch their own itches, but the urgency to overcome the (largely unintentional) institutional roadblocks has faded now that there is somewhat less outrage, and we are still left with a disordered collection of APIs that extends Firefox relatively little and a very slow road to do otherwise.

    Or perhaps we don't have to actually rely on what's in Firefox to scratch our itch, at least in many cases. In a potentially strategically unwise decision, WebExtensions allows native code execution in the form of "native messaging" -- that is, you can write a native component, tell Firefox about it and who can talk to it, and then have that native component do what Firefox don't. At that point, the problem then becomes more one of packaging. If the functionality you require isn't primarily limited by the browser UI, then this might be a way around the La Brea triage tarpit.

  • Fixing Content Scripts on GitHub.com

    Content scripts ordinarily reload for each new page visited but, on GitHub, they don’t. This is because links on GitHub mutate the DOM and use the history.pushState API instead of loading pages the standard way, which would create an entirely new DOM per page.

Mozilla Leftovers

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Moz/FF
  • Browse Websites Side by Side Using Side View Feature on Mozilla Firefox Web Browser | Test Pilot

    Mozilla Firefox Test Pilot program is intended to provide a new experimental features on the latest release of Mozilla Firefox. Here’s a new highly demanded feature many users have been waiting for is now available on Test Pilot program for Mozilla Firefox, It’s Mozilla Firefox Side View which allows you to browse websites side by side.

  • Things Gateway - Nest Thermostat & the Pellet Stove

    Back in January of 2014, I wrote a blog post called Hacking a Pellet Stove to Work with Nest. It was a narrative about trying to use the advanced features of the Nest learning thermostat to control a pellet stove in the volatile temperature environment of a yurt.

    [...]

    Once this software was complete and tested, I installed it on a dedicated Raspberry Pi, set the jumpers for controlling the relay board, wired the 24VAC thermostat relay and then wired the pellet stove components. It started working immediately. It doesn't need the Things Gateway to run in its basic mode.

    My Things Gateway doesn't run in the yurt, it lives in my office in the old original farm house. Fortunately, ten years ago, I trenched in gigabit Ethernet between all my buildings. So, while standing in the yurt, I opened the Things Gateway in Firefox running on my Android tablet. I added the Pellet Stove thing, and it all worked correctly.

    There appears to be a minor bug here. Only the "low_linger_minutes" and "medium_linger_minutes" are settable by the user. However, the Things Gateway is allowing all the other fields to be settable, too - even though setting them doesn't actually do anything. I've not yet figured out if this is a bug in my code or in the Things-URL adapter.

  • This week in Mixed Reality: Issue 9

    Next week, the team will be in San Francisco for an all-Mozilla company meeting.

Software: GNU/Linux, Chrome, and Mozilla/Firefox

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Google
Software
Moz/FF
  • Read Ebooks Quicker With This Spritz-Like Fast Reading Command Line Software

    Uniread aims at improving your reading speed by using a Spritz-like technique for fast reading. The application uses Node.js, runs on the command line, and it currently supports the EPUB ebook file format.

    According to Spritzinc, when you read "the eye seeks a certain point within the word, which we call the optimal recognition point, or ORP. After your eyes find the ORP, your brain starts to process the meaning of the word that you're viewing".

    They continue to mention that "when reading, only around 20% of your time is spent processing content. The remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word and scanning for the next ORP".

    This is where the Spritz-like technique / software comes in. Using it, you can read the text without moving your eyes and thus, improve your reading speed (thanks to the 80% of time gained from not having to move your eyes and by increasing the speed at which words are being displayed on screen).

  • Linux Release Roundup: Curlew, Cantata & Google Chrome

    Another week, another batch of welcome Linux app updates to round-up — and another one of these rather difficult post intros to write!

    This week we’re taking in updates from a diverse range of apps: from a nifty media converter to a nimble music player, by way of a largely unknown web browser called “Google Chrome”.

    Yes, that was an attempt at sarcasm.

  • Chrome 68 Beta: add to home screen, payment handler, page lifecycle

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 68 on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 68 is beta as of June 7, 2018.

  • Chrome 68 Rolls Out In Beta Form

    For those not satisfied by last week's Chrome 67 stable release, Chrome 68 is now available in beta form with the latest and greatest feature work.

  • @media, MathML, and Django 1.11: MDN Changelog for May 2018
  • What is Standup?

    Standup is a system for capturing standup-style posts from individuals making it easier to see what's going on for teams and projects. It has an associated IRC bot standups for posting messages from IRC.

  • Paris, Munich, & Dresden: Help Us Give the Web a Voice!

    In July, our Voice Assistant Team will be in France and Germany to explore trust and technology adoption. We’re particularly interested in how people use voice assistants and how people listen to content like Pocket and podcasts. We would like to learn more how you use technology and how a voice assistant or voice user interface (VUIs) could improve your Internet and open web experiences. We will be conducting a series of in-home interviews and participatory design sessions. No prior voice assistant experience needed!

Mozilla: Firefox 60.0.2, Pseudolocalization in Firefox, WebExtension, Voice and Side View

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Releases Firefox 60.0.2 for Linux, Windows, Mac, and Android

    Mozilla released on Wednesday Firefox 60.0.2, the second point release of the Firefox 60 "Quantum" web browser series with an updated NSS component and various improvements.

    Coming about three weeks after Firefox 60.0.1, this point release isn't as imperious as it, but it updates the NSS (Network Security Services) component, a set of libraries for supporting cross-platform development of security-enabled server and client apps, to version 3.36.4 from 3.36.1 used in the previous release.

  • Pseudolocalization in Firefox

    One of the core projects we did over 2017 was a major overhaul of the Localization and Internationalization layers in Gecko, and all throughout the first half of 2018 we were introducing Fluent into Firefox.

  • Browser detection inside a WebExtension

    Just for the record, if you really need to know about the browser container of your WebExtension, do NOT rely on StackOverflow answers... Most of them are based, directly or not, on the User Agent string. So spoofable, so unreliable. Some will recommend to rely on a given API, implemented by Firefox and not Edge, or Chrome and not the others. In general valid for a limited time only... You can't even rely on chrome, browser or msBrowser since there are polyfills for that to make WebExtensions cross-browser.

  • Mozilla's Common Voice Project Now Multilingual, Victory at Sea Pacific Coming Soon to Linux, Thunar 1.8 Released and More

    Mozilla yesterday announced that its Common Voice project, which is crowdsourcing a large dataset of human voices for use in speech technology, will now be multilingual. You currently can donate your voice in German, French and Welsh, and Mozilla will be adding 40+ languages soon.

  • Browse Two Websites in One Tab With Firefox Side View

    Side View is a Firefox Test Pilot project, meaning it might become part of Firefox later. This simple feature lets you browse websites using the Firefox sidebar. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Firefox dropped below the 10% share value on Netmarketshare

    Google Chrome, Firefox's biggest rival in the browser world, managed to increase its massive lead from 60.08% in June 2017 to 62.85% in May 2018.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Foundation on Value of GNU/Linux Skills

  • Jobs Report: Rapid Growth in Demand for Open-Source Tech Talent
    The need for open-source technology skills are on the rise and companies and organizations continue to increase their recruitment of open-source technology talent, while offering additional training and certification opportunities for existing staff in order to fill skills gaps, according to the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report, released today by The Linux Foundation and Dice. 87% of hiring managers report difficulty finding open-source talent, and nearly half (48%) report their organizations have begun to support open-source projects with code or other resources for the explicit reason of recruiting individuals with those software skills. After a hiatus, Linux skills are back on top as the most sought after skill with 80% of hiring managers looking for tech professionals with Linux expertise. 55% of employers are now also offering to pay for employee certifications, up from 47% in 2017 and only 34% in 2016.
  • Market value of open source skills on the up
    The demand for open source technology skills is soaring, however, 87% of hiring managers report difficulty finding open source talent, according to the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report which was released this week.
  • SD Times news digest: Linux Foundation releases open-source jobs report, Android Studio 3.2 beta and Rust 1.27
    The Linux Foundation in collaboration with Dice.com has revealed the 2018 Open Source Jobs Report. The report is designed to examine trends in open-source careers as well as find out which skills are the most in demand. Key findings included 83 percent of hiring managers believes hiring open source talent is a priority and Linux is the most in-demand open-source skill. In addition, 57 percent of hiring managers are looking for people with container skills and many organizations are starting to get more involved in open-source in order to attract developers.

GNU/Linux Servers as Buzzwords: "Cloud" and "IaaS"

  • Linux: The new frontier of enterprise in the cloud
    Well obviously, like you mentioned, we've been a Linux company for a long time. We've really seen Linux expand along the lines of a lot of the things that are happening in the enterprise. We're seeing more and more enterprise infrastructure become software centric or software defined. Red Hat's expanded their portfolio in storage, in automation with the Ansible platform. And then the really big trend lately with Linux has been Linux containers and technologies like [Google] Cooper Netties. So, we're seeing enterprises want to build new applications. We're seeing the infrastructure be more software defined. Linux ends up becoming the foundation for a lot of the things going on in enterprise IT these days.
  • Why next-generation IaaS is likely to be open source
    This is partly down to Kubernetes, which has done much to popularise container technology, helped by its association with Docker and others, which has ushered in a period of explosive innovation in the ‘container platform’ space. This is where Kubernetes stands out, and today it could hold the key to the future of IaaS.

Ubuntu: Snapcraft, Intel, AMD Patches, and Telemetry

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Snapcraft
    Canonical, the company behind operating system and Linux distribution Ubuntu, is looking to help developers package, distribute and update apps for Linux and IoT with its open-source project Snapcraft. According to Evan Dandrea, engineering manager at Canonical, Snapcraft “is a platform for publishing applications to an audience of millions of Linux users.” The project was initially created in 2014, but recently underwent rebranding efforts.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Now Certified on Select Intel NUC Mini PCs and Boards for IoT Development, LibreOffice 6.0.5 Now Available, Git 2.8 Released and More
    Canonical yesterday announced that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is certified on select Intel NUC Mini PCs and boards for IoT development. According to the Ubuntu blog post, this pairing "provides benefits to device manufacturers at every stage of their development journey and accelerates time to market." You can download the certified image from here. In other Canonical news, yesterday the company released a microcode firmware update for Ubuntu users with AMD processors to address the Spectre vulnerability, Softpedia reports. The updated amd64-microcode packages for AMD CPUs are available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), "all AMD users are urged to update their systems."
  • Canonical issues Spectre v2 fix for all Ubuntu systems with AMD chips
    JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU'D HEARD THE END of Spectre, Canonical has released a microcode update for all Ubuntu users that have AMD processors in a bid to rid of the vulnerability. The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were made public at the beginning of this year, affecting literally billions of devices that had been made in the past two decades.
  • A first look at desktop metrics
    We first announced our intention to ask users to provide basic, not-personally-identifiable system data back in February. Since then we have built the Ubuntu Report tool and integrated it in to the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS initial setup tool. You can see an example of the data being collected on the Ubuntu Report Github page.

Most secure Linux distros in 2018

Think of a Linux distribution as a bundle of software delivered together, based on the Linux kernel - a kernel being the core of a system that connects software to hardware and vice versa – with a GNU operating system and a desktop environment, giving the user a visual way to operate the system via a graphical user interface. Linux has a reputation as being more secure than Windows and Mac OS due to a combination of factors – not all of them about the software. Firstly, although desktop Linux users are on the up, Linux environments are far less common in the grand scheme of things than Windows devices on personal computers. The Linux community also tends to be more technical. There are technical reasons too, including fundamental differences in the way the distribution architecture tends to be structured. Nevertheless over the last decade security-focused distributions started to appear, which will appeal to the privacy-conscious user who wants to avoid the worldwide state-sanctioned internet spying that the west has pioneered and where it continues to innovate. Of course, none of these will guarantee your privacy, but they're a good start. Here we list some of them. It is worth noting that security best practices are often about process rather than the technology, avoiding careless mistakes like missing patches and updates, and using your common sense about which websites you visit, what you download, and what you plug into your computer. Read more