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Moz/FF

Mozilla Firefox 46.0.1 Lands in the Ubuntu Repos, But No Sign of Thunderbird 45

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Moz/FF
Ubuntu

Canonical recently pushed the first point release of the Mozilla Firefox 46.0 web browser to the stable channels for all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems, along with Mozilla Thunderbird 38.8.0.

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Mozilla Steps beyond Open Source with Gigabit Internet Funding in Austin

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Moz/FF
OSS

Mozilla has built its name on open source software. But its latest Gigabit funding initiative, which piggybacks on Google Fiber, extends the organization's reach into networking and hardware by supporting the development of robotics, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

On Wednesday Mozilla announced that, in August, it will expand its National Gigabit Community Fund to Austin, Texas. The fund originated in 2014 in Chattanooga and Kansas City.

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Webconverger 35 Switches to Linux Kernel 4.5, Adds Firefox 46 with GTK3 Support

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GNU
Linux
Moz/FF

Webconverger, a Debian-based GNU/Linux operating system whose main design goal is to distribute a fully functional and controlled web kiosk platform, has been updated today to version 35.1.

There are many Linux kernel-based distributions out there that claim to offer a powerful web kiosk system for use in offices or Internet cafes, but Webconverger is among the most popular ones, and it is based on the almighty Debian GNU/Linux operating system.

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Mozilla News

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Moz/FF
  • Welcome Alex Salkever, Vice President of Marketing Communications

    Alex was most recently Chief Marketing Officer of Silk.co, a data publishing and visualization startup, where he led efforts focused on user growth and platform partnerships. Alex has held a variety of senior marketing, marketing communications and product marketing roles working on products in the fields of scientific instruments, cloud computing, telecommunications and Internet of Things. In these various capacities, Alex has managed campaigns across all aspects of marketing and product marketing including PR, content marketing, user acquisition, developer marketing and marketing analytics.

  • Firefox tops Microsoft browser market share for first time

    StatCounter, which analysed data from three million websites, found that Firefox’s worldwide desktop browser usage last month was 0.1 percent ahead of the combined share of Internet Explorer and Edge at 15.5 percent.

  • Mozilla Rebuffed in Effort to Get Code Vulnerability Disclosed to it First

    All around the world, there continue to be many people who want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. Typically, the anonymous crowd turns to common tools that can keep their tracks private, and one of the most common tools of all is Tor, an open source tool used all around the world. Not everyone realizes that Tor shares code with Mozilla's Firefox.

    That fact had to do with why Mozilla recently asked the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, in the interest of Firefox users, to disclose any findings of vulnerability in Tor to it first, before any other party learns of the vulnerability. I covered the request here. Now, a federal judge has rejected Mozilla's bid to have the government disclose any vulnerability related to its Firefox web browser. Here are details.

Mozilla and Linux Foundation Advance New Trends in Open Source Funding

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Linux
Moz/FF
OSS

Who pays for open source development? Increasingly, large organizations like Mozilla and the Linux Foundation. That's the trend highlighted by recent moves like the expansion of the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) project.

The Mozilla Foundation has long injected money into the open source ecosystem through partnerships with other projects and grants. But it formalized that mission last year by launching MOSS, which originally focused on supporting open source projects that directly complement or help form the basis for Mozilla's own products.

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Mozilla MOSS and Security

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla and Linux Foundation Advance New Trends in Open Source Funding

    Who pays for open source development? Increasingly, large organizations like Mozilla and the Linux Foundation. That's the trend highlighted by recent moves like the expansion of the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) project.

    The Mozilla Foundation has long injected money into the open source ecosystem through partnerships with other projects and grants. But it formalized that mission last year by launching MOSS, which originally focused on supporting open source projects that directly complement or help form the basis for Mozilla's own products.

  • Mozilla Extends its MOSS Program, Providing Funding for Open Source Projects

    Mozilla isn't alone in funding open source development outside its own purview. The Linux Foundation and other organizations are well known for providing such funding. Mozilla is now spreading its MOSS effort even wider, though. It is adding a second track for MOSS called “Mission Partners” which is open to any open source project in the world which is undertaking an activity that meaningfully furthers Mozilla’s mission.

  • The FBI and the Mozilla Foundation Lock Horns over Known Security Hole

    The Mozilla Foundation and the FBI recently have clashed over security weaknesses. The FBI is aware of a weakness in the Tor browser that may affect Firefox—it's a weakness the FBI has exploited during an investigation.

    Mozilla wants the FBI to reveal the details of the exploit ahead of the trial, but the FBI is playing its cards close to its chest. Because of the potential risk to its users, Mozilla has turned to the courts to force the FBI to reveal its information.

    It's just the latest of several high-profile cases this year concerning security and privacy. Each of these cases has involved the Federal government and software firms or communities. For the average guy on the street, it's just business as usual. But for those who keep an ear to the ground, it's hard not to read between the lines.

Mozilla and Tor

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Moz/FF
Security
  • Mozilla Wants Heads-Up From FBI on Tor Browser Hack

    The maker of the Firefox browser is wading into an increasingly contentious court battle over an undisclosed security vulnerability the FBI used to track down anonymous users of a child-porn site.

  • Mozilla To FBI: “Tell Us About The TOR Bug Used To Hack 1000+ Pedophiles”

    Recently, Mozilla filed a brief with the court, urging the FBI to reveal the technique used to hack 1000+ computers of pedophile TOR users. The open source supporter said that TOR software suite is based on Firefox and any known flaw can compromise the security of the end users.

  • Mozilla Asks U.S. Court to Disclose to it First Any Vulnerabilities in Tor

    There continue to be many people around the globe who want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. Typically, the anonymous crowd turns to common tools that can keep their tracks private, and one of the most common tools of all is Tor, an open source tool used all around the world.

    Project leaders behind Tor have continuously improved its security features, but now Mozilla is asking the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, in the interest of Firefox users, to disclose any findings of vulnerability in Tor to it first, before any other party learns of the vulnerability. Here is the thought behind this.

  • Mozilla Asks Court To Force FBI To Turn Over Information On Hacking Tool It Used In Child Porn Case

    With the Tor browser being built on the Firefox framework, any exploit of Tor could affect vanilla Firefox users. Not only that, but the FBI is apparently sitting on another Firefox vulnerability it used in a previous investigation to unmask Tor users. (This refers to the FBI's 2012 child porn sting, which also used a NIT to obtain information about visitors to a seized website.) The filing notes the FBI has been less than helpful when approached for info about this Firefox/Tor-exploiting NIT.

Mozilla News

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Open Source Support: Now Open To All Projects
  • Advanced Disclosure Needed to Keep Users Secure

    User security is paramount. Vulnerabilities can weaken security and ultimately harm users. We want people who identify security vulnerabilities in our products to disclose them to us so we can fix them as soon as possible. That’s why we were one of the first companies to create a bug bounty program and that’s why we are taking action again – to get information that would allow us to fix a potential vulnerability before it is more widely disclosed.

  • My URL isn’t your URL

    I’ve not tried to write a conclusive list of problems or differences, just a bunch of things I’ve fallen over recently. A “URL” given in one place is certainly not certain to be accepted or understood as a “URL” in another place.

    Not even curl follows any published spec very closely these days, as we’re slowly digressing for the sake of “web compatibility”.

    There’s no unified URL standard and there’s no work in progress towards that. I don’t count WHATWG’s spec as a real effort either, as it is written by a closed group with no real attempts to get the wider community involved.

Mozilla News

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Thunderbird 45.1.0 Released for GNU/Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X

    Today, May 11, 2016, Mozilla quietly pushed the first maintenance version of the Mozilla Thunderbird 45 email, news, and calendar client to users of Linux, OS X, and Windows operating systems.

  • Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS): Now Open To All Projects

    Last year, we launched the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS) – an award program specifically focused on supporting open source and free software. The first track within MOSS (“Foundational Technology”) provides support for open source and free software projects that Mozilla uses or relies on. We are now adding a second track. “Mission Partners” is open to any open source project in the world which is undertaking an activity that meaningfully furthers Mozilla’s mission.

    Our mission, as embodied in our Manifesto, is to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. An Internet that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent. We know that many other software projects around the world share these goals with us, and we want to use our resources to help and encourage others to work towards them.

  • Firefox for iOS Makes it Faster and Easier to Use the Mobile Web the Way You Want
  • Firefox Lets Users Try New Features With ‘Test Pilot’

    On Tuesday Mozilla announced a new program for Firefox that allows users to try features that are in the works but not yet ready for prime time. The news of the new program, called Test Pilot, came by way of a Mozilla Blog post by Nick Nguyen, the organization’s vice president of Firefox product. He said that the program will not only allow users an early look at yet to be implemented planned features, but will give Firefox’s developers a chance to get feedback from the community.

GNOME and Mozilla

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Moz/FF
GNOME
  • Easily Create Your Own Numix-Based GTK Themes With Oomox

    Note that Numix theme requires GTK 3.16 or newer, so the themes generated with Oomox require the same version.

  • From Firefox UI Papercuts To GNOME Testing: The 41 Projects Of Outreachy This Round

    The Outreachy summer 2016 intern accepted projects/participants were announced at the end of April with the internship period running from the end of May through the end of August. Here are the accepted projects.

  • Is Web Mail Killing Thunderbird?

    I have used Thunderbird off and on since about 2003. I started using it on Windows and then installed it onto my Linux PCs later on. The point is: Thunderbird is near and dear to my heart.

    Unfortunately over the past few years Thunderbird's importance with Mozilla has faltered. Not because of anything negative, rather because Mozilla is trying to refocus their efforts with Firefox. Most recently, the news that Mozilla is finally letting Thunderbird go took a lot of folks by complete surprise. What was once loved by legions of users has now been placed onto the market for others to adopt it.

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Purism’s next product could be a smartphone that runs Linux/free software

Purism is a company that’s been developing laptops and tablets that run Linux-based, free and open source software for a few years. Now Purism is considering building a smartphone and the company is soliciting feedback from potential customers. The idea would be to release a Librem Phone that runs GNU/Linux rather than Android, and which offers security and privacy features to help set it apart from most other phones on the market. Read more

Cinnamon 3.2 in Linux Mint 18.1 Supports Vertical Panels, Better Accelerometers

After informing the community a few days ago about the Mintbox Mini Pro PC and the upcoming improvements and new features shipping with the XApps software projects in Linux Mint 18.1, Clement Lefebvre just published the monthly Linux Mint newsletter. Read more

Blender 2.78 Open-Source 3D Graphics Software Released with Spherical Stereo VR

Today, September 30, 2016, the Blender Foundation is proud to release Blender 2.78, the latest stable and most advanced version of the popular, open-source, free, and cross-platform Blender 3D modelling software. Blender 2.78 comes six months after the release of Blender 2.77, and it's a major update that adds numerous new features and improvements, among which we can mention rendering of spherical stereo images for VR (Virtual Reality), viewport rendering improvements, as well as brand new freehand curves drawing over surfaces. Moreover, the Grease Pencil received awesome improvements and it now doubles as both an animation and drawing tool, powerful new options have been added for B-Bones, it's now possible to import and export basic operators in the Alembic support, and the Cloth Physics feature received new Simulation Speed option and Dynamic Base Mesh support. Read more

OSS Leftovers

  • Tools for writing the next best seller
    I am using bibisco in conjunction with LibreOffice on my Ubuntu 16.04 Asus laptop that I converted over from Windows 7 to develop my characters, scenes, and plot. I tried Manuskript, but find that I like bibisco better, although the results are similar. For one, it gives helpful prompts.
  • GNOME Calendar App to Feature a New Sidebar, Week View & Attendees in GNOME 3.24
    GNOME developer Georges Stavracas wrote an in-depth blog post the other day to inform the GNOME, Linux, and Open Source communities about the upcoming improvements and new features coming to the GNOME Calendar apps. Now that some of us are already enjoying the recently released GNOME 3.22 desktop environment, the GNOME developers are hard at work to improve the GNOME apps and core components by either adding new exciting features and technologies or improving existing ones.
  • PHP version 5.6.27RC1 and 7.0.12RC1
  • Kubernetes Arrives in New Flavors
    Kubernetes has taken center stage in recent days, and, as we’ve been noting in recent posts, the open source container cluster manager is heading in new directions. Google has just announced the release of Kubernetes 1.4, which makes the tool much easier to install. Meanwhile, Canonical has now launched its own distribution of Kubernetes, with enterprise support, across a range of public clouds and private infrastructure. It's Kubernetes at the core, but features a number of extra bells and whistles.
  • 2016 Women in Open Source Award Winners
    We hope you enjoy and are inspired by this short video celebrating Preeti Murthy and Jessica McKellar, the winners of this year’s Red Hat Women in Open Source Awards.
  • Tech, talent and tools: The secret to monetizing open-source
    “In California during the gold rush, you didn’t make money digging for gold; you made money selling shovels,” said Mehta. A fitting metaphor for the idea that investing in talent and tools, especially tools, is how to turn a profit. The actual data, databases, algorithms and so on would be open source. Money would come from the tools to use that technology to benefit specific areas, such as automation of healthcare. And healthcare is a good place to start. “Big Data is all about making life cheaper, better. … If we forget about how to solve problems for humans, we’ve lost. We want to be known for enriching life,” said Mehta.
  • Changing the way we design for the web
    On the one hand, open source should mean lower cost of entry for people from poorer communities (like me, growing up). But on the other, I feel it is hard to contribute when under- or unemployed. I had a grant to work on the Web Animations API documentation, but I can't do as much as I'd like with other animation features (motion paths, advanced timing functions) because I need to spend a lot of time working on my own business, getting paid. Essentially this leads to an awkward model where the only contributors are employed programmers—and when it comes to open source animation or design APIs, platforms, etc, this lack of user input really starts to show. Or, the only products with thriving open source development teams are those that have financially lucrative futures, turning the open source software (OSS) model into a capitalist one.
  • Leaders in Data Management and Open Source Innovation to Gather for Postgres Vision 2016
  • CloudReady by neverware
    I thought I would put together a quick “installation” review of a product called CloudReady by neverware. What is CloudReady? CloudReady is basically a project to bring Chromium OS to those who would like to convert traditional laptops into Chromebook-like devices. I stumbled on them several months ago and finally decided to see how hard it was to install Chromium OS and how functional it actually was as a Chromebook-like device. I have a few low end (netbook-like) devices and I have been trying to figure out how I could make them functional for my boys, I thought this might be the solution.
  • Mozilla tells Firefox OS devs to fork off if they want to chase open web apps vision
    The Mozilla Foundation's Firefox development team has decided enough is enough and will stop supporting Windows XP and Vista in March 2017 and also bin Firefox OS. The OS first. In this post Mozillans Ari Jaaksi and David Bryant, respectively the head of connected devices and veep for platform engineering, write that “By the end of 2015 Mozilla leadership had come to the conclusion that our then Firefox OS initiative of shipping phones with commercial partners would not bring Mozilla the returns we sought.” That decision means that “as of the end of July 2016 have stopped all commercial development on Firefox OS.”
  • Cloudera Delivers Release Built on Apache Spark 2.0, and Advances Kudu
    Cloudera, focused on Apache Hadoop and other open source technologies,has announced its release built on the Apache Spark 2.0 (Beta), with enhancements to the API experience, performance improvements, and enhanced machine learning capabilities. The company is also working with the community to continue developing Apache Kudu 1.0, recently released by the Apache Software Foundation, which we covered here. Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. Taken together, Cloudera's new tools are giving it more diverse kinds of presence on the Big Data scene. Cloudera claims it was the first Hadoop big data analytics vendor to deliver a commercially supported version of Spark, and has participated actively in the open source community to enhance Spark for the enterprise through its One Platform Initiative. "With Spark 2.0, organizations are better able to take advantage of streaming data, develop richer machine learning models, and deploy them in real time, enabling more workloads to go into production," the company reports.
  • Cloudera Delivers Enterprise-Grade Real-Time Streaming and Machine Learning with Apache Spark 2.0 and Drives Community Innovation with Apache Kudu 1.0
  • INSIDE Secure and Marvell Deliver Open Source Open Data Plane Security VPN Solution [Ed: “open source Open Data Plane (ODP) security API” sounds like nonsensical openwashing]
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  • OpenBSD 6.0 Limited Edition CD set (signed by developers)
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  • Friday Working together for Free Software Directory IRC meetup: September 30th
  • Machine Learning with Python
    I first heard the term “machine learning” a few years ago, and to be honest, I basically ignored it that time. I knew that it was a powerful technique, and I knew that it was in vogue, but I didn’t know what it really was— what problems it was designed to solve, how it solved them and how it related to the other sorts of issues I was working on in my professional (consulting) life and in my graduate-school research. But in the past few years, machine learning has become a topic that most will avoid at their professional peril. Despite the scary-sounding name, the ideas behind machine learning aren’t that difficult to understand. Moreover, a great deal of open-source software makes it possible for anyone to use machine learning in their own work or research. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that machine learning already is having a huge impact on the computer industry and on our day-to-day lives.