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Moz/FF

Chrome and Mozilla (Robert O'Callahan Unlocks Secrets)

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Google
Moz/FF
  • Robert O'Callahan: Ancient Browser-Wars History: MD5-Hashed Posts Declassified

    Another lesson: in 2007-2008 I was overly focused on toppling IE (and Flash and WPF), and thought having all the open-source browsers sharing a single engine implementation wouldn't be a big problem for the Web. I've changed my mind completely; the more code engines share, the more de facto standardization of bugs we would see, so having genuinely separate implementations is very important.

    I'm very grateful to Brendan and others for disregarding my opinions and not letting me lead Mozilla down the wrong path. It would have been a disaster for everyone.

    To let off steam, and leave a paper trail for the future, I wrote four blog posts during 2007-2008 describing some of my thoughts, and published their MD5 hashes. The aftermath of the successful Firefox 57 release seems like an appropriate time to harmlessly declassify those posts. Please keep in mind that my opinions have changed.

  • On Keeping Secrets

    Once upon a time I was at a dinner at a computer science conference. At that time the existence of Chrome was a deeply guarded secret; I knew of it, but I was sworn to secrecy. Out of the blue, one of my dinner companions turned to me and asked "is Google working on a browser?"

    [...]

    One thing I really enjoyed about working at Mozilla was that we didn't have many secrets to keep. Most of the secrets I had to protect were about other companies. Minimizing one's secrecy burden generally seems like a good idea, although I can't eliminate it because it's often helpful to other people for them to be able to share secrets with me in confidence.

  • Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6

     

    Chrome, in other words, is being used in the same way that Internet Explorer 6 was back in the day — with web developers primarily optimizing for Chrome and tweaking for rivals later. To understand how we even got to this stage, here’s a little (a lot) of browser history. If you want to know why saying "Chrome is the new Internet Explorer 6" is so damning, you have to know why IE6 was a damnable problem in the early ‘00s.

Mozilla: Trust Violations, Privacy Pretense and More

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla & Mr. Robot - Insert Freedom Here

    A few weeks ago, Mozilla finally showed us its true skin. No more illusions about its feel-goodie world-loving efforts. Yet another shark in the pond, after its share of filthy dimes. One day, there will be a new browser, and it will be something nice and cool and unspoiled by greed just yet. That will be the moment when I say goodbye to Firefox. For now, it's still the least annoying turd in the pile, and I'm exercising my rather futile civil duty to complain.

    In a world without real choice, the best you can do, short of a proper bloody revolution, is to bitch and moan and tell your story. Luckily, this seems to work well. If there's one good use to social media, it's blowing things out of proportion and making viral, tidal waves of feces. Harness that power. Fight back. Remember, there IS such a thing as bad publicity. When it hits their pocket, you know you're on the right track. So once again, thank you Mozilla for molesting my browser. Stay fake.

  • Mozilla statement on breach of Aadhaar data

    Mozilla is deeply concerned about recent reports that a private citizen was able to easily access the private Aadhaar data of more than one billion Indian citizens as reported by The Tribune.

    [...]

    Mozilla has been raising concerns about the security risks of companies using and integrating Aadhaar into their systems, and this latest, egregious breach should be a giant red flag to all companies as well as to the UIDAI and the Modi Government.

  • Lessons from the impl period
  • Looking back at Bugzilla and BMO in 2017

    Recently in the Bugzilla Project meeting, Gerv informed us that he would be resigning, and it was pretty clear that my lack of technical leadership was the cause. While I am sad to see Gerv go, it did make me realize I need to write more about the things I do.

Mozilla: Firefox Extensions for New Year’s Resolutions and Rust Programming

Filed under
Development
Moz/FF
GNOME
  • Firefox Extensions for New Year’s Resolutions

    It’s that time of year again where we endeavor to improve ourselves, to wash away poor habits of the past and improve our lot in life. Yet most of us fall short of our yearly resolution goals. Why? Maybe we just haven’t found the right Firefox extensions to assist our annual renewals…

  • This Week in Rust 214

    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. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.

  • Zeeshan Ali: My journey to Rust

    As most folks who know me already know, I've been in love with Rust language for a few years now and in the last year I've been actively coding in Rust. I wanted to document my journey to how I came to love this programming language, in hope that it will help people to see the value Rust brings to the world of software but if not, it would be nice to have my reason documented for my own sake.

Mozilla Announces Firefox 60 as Next ESR (Extended Support Release) Branch

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Moz/FF

Mozilla recently announced that the next ESR (Extended Support Release) branch of its open-source and cross-platform web browser would be Firefox 60, due for release next year in early May.

Since their initial launch, Firefox ESR releases have become more and more popular among various organizations that aim to offer customers a stable, long-term supported, and reliable browsing experience. Firefox ESR is known to be used in schools, universities, as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

The current Firefox ESR branch is based on Firefox 52, but it's nearing its end of life in six months, so Mozilla now plans to promote the upcoming Firefox 60 release to the ESR channel, along with a new policy engine that promises to make Firefox deployments and integration into existing infrastructures a lot simpler for sysadmins.

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Mozilla: Activity Stream, Distributed Teams, Open Innovation, Bug Firehose

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Moz/FF
  • Graduation Report: Activity Stream

    We believed that if people could easily get back to the pages they had recently viewed and saved, they would be happier and more productive. We wanted to help people rediscover where they had been and help them decide where to go next.

  • Distributed teams: Better communication and engagement

    I always think that as a distributed team, we have to overcome friction to communicate. If we all worked in the same physical office, you could just walk over to someone’s desk and look at the same screen to debug a problem. Instead, we have to talk in slack, irc, a video chat, email, or issue trackers. When the discussion takes place in a public forum, some people hesitate to discuss the issue. It’s sometimes difficult to admit you don’t know something, even if the team culture is welcoming and people are happy to answer questions.

  • Open Innovation for Inclusion

    We partnered with Stanford University for a user-centric open design sprint. Technology is permeating most human interactions, but we still have very centralized design processes, that only include few people. We wanted to experiment with an open innovation approach that would allow users with accessibility needs to take an active part in the design process. Our chosen path to tackle this challenge allowed for a collaborative form of crowdsourcing. Instead of relying on individual work, we got our participants to work in teams across countries, time zones and professional expertise.

  • The Mozilla Bug Firehose - Design Decisions

    There could be many blog posts about the Mozilla bug firehose. This is just about dealing with one particular aspect.

    When a bug comes into Mozilla it needs to get triaged - someone needs to figure out what to do with it. Triaging is an effort to try and get bugs appropriately classified to see how critical the bug is. Part of shipping a product every 6 weeks is that we have to try and fix crucial bugs in each release. To do that you have to read the bugs reports and try to understand what's happening.

Mozilla: Thunderbird, Rust, Arduino, Firefox on Amazon Fire TV

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • The Thunderbird Email Client Is Getting a New Look

    Thunderbird is getting a bold new look, developers of the open-source desktop email client have revealed. The new look is already available in beta builds.

  • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Rust in 2017: what we achieved

    Rust’s development in 2017 fit into a single overarching theme: increasing productivity, especially for newcomers to Rust. From tooling to libraries to documentation to the core language, we wanted to make it easier to get things done with Rust. That desire led to a roadmap for the year, setting out 8 high-level objectives that would guide the work of the team.

  • Mozilla Open Innovation Team: Applying Open Practices — Arduino

    Since 2003, this 50-person company, with offices in Europe and US, has build out a robust ecosystem of accessible, open electronics ideal for prototyping new technology and exploring novel hardware applications. The first Arduino board was introduced in 2005 to help design students without prior experience in electronics or micro-controller programming to create working prototypes connecting the physical world to the digital world. It has grown to become the world’s most popular teaching platform for physical prototyping. Arduino launched an integrated development environment (IDE) in 2015, and also has begun offering services to build and customize teaching materials suited to the specific needs of its educational partners.

    Behind the widespread adoption of its hardware platform there is a focus on a guiding mission and a clearly-defined user group: making technology open and accessible for non-technical beginners. All hardware design and development decisions feed into keeping the experience optimal and consistent for this target group, attracting a solid, stable base of fans.

    The popularity of an open-source platform does not, however, necessarily translate to a sustainable business model. One consequence of Arduino’s growing popularity has been the proliferation of non-licensed third-party versions of its boards. What can’t be cloned is Arduino’s model of community collaboration, strategic partnerships, and mix of open and closed practices — all primary forces in driving their ongoing success.

  • Firefox is Now on Amazon Fire TV – Happy Holiday Watching

    As many of us prepare to be with families and close friends for the holidays, I’m excited to announce that Mozilla is bringing the speed of Firefox and the power of the web onto the TV with an established family of streaming media devices, just in time for the holidays.

Mozilla: Policy, Accessibility, and Private Browsing

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Plugging in on Policy

    When Mozilla rolled out a new fellowship focused on tech policy this past June, the goal was to gather some of the world’s top policymakers in tech to continue advancing the important initiatives they were working on in government as fellows with Mozilla.

    We rounded up 10 fellows from the U.S., Brazil, India, and Kenya as part of the initial cohort. Fellows are spending the year keeping the Internet open and free both by furthering the crucial work they had already been leading, and by finding new ways to add to forward-thinking policy efforts.

  • Students Pitch New Accessibility Features for Firefox

    We will be sharing the winning concepts with the broader Test Pilot team and investigating the feasibility of turning the concepts into future experiments. Thanks to all of the Ravensbourne students for your fresh thinking on improving Firefox through accessibility! Read more about our collaboration with Ravensbourne on their blog.

  • Private shopping is smart holiday shopping

    Private Browsing not only keeps your clandestine purchases out of your browsing history – it also has tracking protection to block those pesky third parties who chase you with ads about the things you just browsed. (That’s one way it’s better than Chrome’s Incognito Mode – one study shows that Private Browsing is also faster than Incognito Mode.)

New Thunderbird Releases and New Thunderbird Staff

Filed under
Moz/FF

In April 2017 Thunderbird released its successful Extended Service Release (ESR) version 52. This release has just seen it’s fifth “dot update” 52.5.0, where fixes, stability and minor functionality improvements were shipped.

Thunderbird 57 beta was also very successful. While Thunderbird 58 is equally stable and offers further cutting-edge improvements to Thunderbird users, the user community is starting to feel the impact of Mozilla platform changes which are phasing out so-called legacy add-ons. The Thunderbird technical leadership is working closely with add-on authors who face the challenge of updating their add-ons to work with the Mozilla interface changes. With a few usually simple changes most add-ons can be made to work in Thunderbird 58 beta. https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Add-ons_Guide_57 explains what needs to be done, and Thunderbird developers are happy to lend a hand to add-on authors.

Read more

Backlash Over Mozilla Adware and Mozilla's Apology

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox users are ticked after Mozilla secretly installed Mr. Robot add-on

    If you use Firefox instead of Chrome, do you do so because you prefer Mozilla’s stance on privacy? Some loyal Firefox users and even employees were up in arms after Mozilla surreptitiously installed the add-on Looking Glass last week. It didn’t happen to all Firefox users, but the ones affected did not give the browser permission to install it.

  • Update: Looking Glass Add-on

    Over the course of the year Firefox has enjoyed a growing relationship with the Mr. Robot television show and, as part of this relationship, we developed an unpaid collaboration to engage our users and viewers of the show in a new way: Fans could use Firefox to solve a puzzle as part of the alternate reality game (ARG) associated with the show.

Mozilla Adware

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Angers Firefox Users After Force-Installing Mr. Robot Promo Add-On

    Mozilla took a bit of heat this week after the organization force-installed a Mr. Robot promotional add-on in some Firefox browsers.

    The add-on, called Looking Glass, was intended to promote the season 3 finale of Mr. Robot that aired on Wednesday, December 13, but the whole media stunt failed miserably.

  • Firefox is on a slippery slope

    This extension was sideloaded into browsers via the “experiments” feature. Not only are these experiments enabled by default, but updates have been known to re-enable it if you turn it off. The advertisement addon shows up like this on your addon page, and was added to Firefox stable. If I saw this before I knew what was going on, I would think my browser was compromised! Apparently it was a mistake that this showed up on the addon page, though - it was supposed to be silently sideloaded into your browser!

    There’s a ticket on Bugzilla (Firefox’s bug tracker) for discussing this experiment, but it’s locked down and no one outside of Mozilla can see it. There’s another ticket, filed by concerned users, which has since been disabled and had many comments removed, particularly the angry (but respectful) ones.

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More in Tux Machines

Librem 13: A few problems

I bought my old Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (1st gen.) when I entered grad school for my Master's program, in 2012. And after six years, the Thinkpad still ran well, but it was getting old, so I figured it was time for a change. I went back and forth about what kind of system should replace my laptop. I don't travel that much, so I figured a desktop would be better. And I could get a bigger screen. After going back and forth on the decision, I decided to get a laptop. I don't often travel with a laptop, but when I do, I prefer to use my primary system so I don't have to keep things synced. Of course, I wanted my system to run Linux. Purism is aimed at the Linux laptop market, and I wanted to support that. So I bought a Librem 13. I've had it now for about a week, and I love it now. But I'll be honest, I didn't love it right out of the box. I'd like to note two issues for folks who are thinking about getting a Librem laptop, so you aren't surprised like I was. Read more

Linux 4.17-rc7

So this week wasn't as calm as the previous weeks have been, but despite that I suspect this is the last rc. This week we had the whole "spectre v4" thing, and yes, the fallout from that shows up as part of the patch and commit log. But it's not actually dominant: the patch is pretty evenly one third arch updates, one third networking updates, and one third "rest". The arch updates are largely - although not exclusively - spectre v4. The networking stuff is mostly network drivers, but there's some core networking too. And "the rest" is just that - misc drivers (rdma, gpu, other), documentation, some vfs, vm, bpf, tooling.. The bulk of it is really pretty trivial one-liners, and nothing looks particularly scary. Let's see how next week looks, but if nothing really happens I suspect we can make do without an rc8. Shortlog appended as usual. Go out and test. Read more

Today in Techrights

Libre Hardware

  • Flash your Libre Firmware with a Libre Programmer
    Whether or not you personally agree with all the ideals of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), you’ve got to give them credit: they don’t mess around. They started by laying the groundwork for a free and open source operating system, then once that dream was realized, started pushing the idea of replacing proprietary BIOS firmware with an open alternative such as Libreboot. But apparently, even that’s not enough, as there’s still more freedom to be had. We’re playing 4D Libre Chess now, folks. [...] Luckily, the FSF has just awarded the Zerocat Chipflasher their “Respects Your Freedom” certification, meaning every element of the product is released under a free license for your hacking enjoyment.
  • Coreboot Picks Up Support For Another Eight Year Old Intel Motherboard
    If by chance you happen to have an Intel DG41WV motherboard, it's now supported by mainline Coreboot so you can free the system down to the BIOS. The DG41WV motherboard comes from the LGA-775 days with an Intel G41 Eaglelake chipset back when DDR3-1066 was great, motherboards topped out with 4GB of RAM, four USB 2.0 ports were suitable, and motherboard PCBs were much less fashionable. The DG41WV was a micro-ATX board and a decent choice for the times to pair with a CPU like the Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad.