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Moz/FF

Web Browsers: New Tor RC, Firefox/Mozilla Trouble, and Web Browsers Need to Stop

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Moz/FF
Web
  • New release candidate: 0.4.4.4-rc

    There's a new alpha release available for download. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for 0.4.4.4-rc from the download page. Packages should be available over the coming weeks, with a new alpha Tor Browser release likely in the coming weeks.

    Remember, this is a release candidate, not a a stable release: you should only run this if you'd like to find and report more bugs than usual.

  • Mozilla is dead

    If Mozilla wants to survive, the management will be fired with unearned compensation, the most important departments will be strengthened, products that nobody ordered will be discontinued and the organization will be limited to its core competence. Browser, email, security, adaptability and the fight for a free Internet. And they work with all their might to ensure that the products will become an integral part of everyday life and all operating systems.

    Three months. That’s all the time they have for a clear signal. After that, users have to make a decision. Unfortunately, it will probably only be something with chromium.

    Poor Internet.

  • Web browsers need to stop

    I call for an immediate and indefinite suspension of the addition of new developer-facing APIs to web browsers. Browser vendors need to start thinking about reducing scope and cutting features. WebUSB, WebBluetooth, WebXR, WebDRM WebMPAA WebBootlicking replacing User-Agent with Vendor-Agent cause let’s be honest with ourselves at this point “Encrypted Media Extensions” — this crap all needs to go. At some point you need to stop adding scope and start focusing on performance, efficiency, reliability, and security5 at the scope you already have.

Mozilla: Browser Wish List, Layoffs and "Web Monetization"

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Moz/FF
  • Browser Wish List - Distressful Content Filtering

    On the other hands, they are system where you can shield yourself against the website practice. For example for privacy, you may want to use something like uMatrix where you can block everything by default, and allow certain HTTP responses type for each individual URIs. This is what I do on my main browser. It requests a strong effort in tailoring each individual pages. It's a built a policy on the go. It creates general list for future sites (you may block Google Analytics for every future sites you will encounter), but still it doesn't really learn more than that on how to act on your future browsing.

    We could imagine applying this method to distressful content with keywords in the page. In terms of distressful content, it may dramatically fail for the same reasons that universal shields fail. They don't understand the content, they just apply a set of rules.

  • Firefox maker Mozilla axes a quarter of its workforce, blames coronavirus, vows to 'develop new revenue streams'

    Firefox maker Mozilla has axed 250 employees, or a quarter of its workforce, claiming the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is to blame after hitting it in the wallet. The organization will also "ship new products faster and develop new revenue streams."

    “Economic conditions resulting from the global pandemic have significantly impacted our revenue,” Mozilla Corp CEO Mitchell Baker said in a public statement today. “As a result, our pre-COVID plan was no longer workable.”

    Mozilla gets the vast, vast majority of its funding from Google, Yandex, and Baidu, who pay to be the default search engine in Firefox in their regions. In 2018, Moz had a $451m cash pile, 95 per cent of which, some $430m, was provided by these web giants. Those deals will expire [PDF, p25] in November 2020 unless renewed or renegotiated.

  • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: js13kGames 2020: A lean coding challenge with WebXR and Web Monetization

    Have you heard about the js13kGames competition? It’s an online code-golfing challenge for HTML5 game developers. The month-long competition has been happening annually since 2012; it runs from August 13th through September 13th. And the fun part? We set the size limit of the zip package to 13 kilobytes, and that includes all sources—from graphic assets to lines of JavaScript. For the second year in a row you will be able to participate in two special categories: WebXR and Web Monetization.

Christopher Arnold: The Momentum of Openness - My Journey From Netscape User to Mozillian Contributor

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Moz/FF
Web

Working at Mozilla has been a very educational experience over the past eight years. I have had the chance to work side-by-side with many engineers at a large non-profit whose business and ethics are guided by a broad vision to protect the health of the web ecosystem. How did I go from being on the front of a computer screen in 1995 to being behind the workings of the web now? Below is my story of how my path wended from being a Netscape user to working at Mozilla, the heir to the Netscape legacy. It's amazing to think that a product I used 25 years ago ended up altering the course of my life so dramatically thereafter. But the world and the web was much different back then. And it was the course of thousands of people with similar stories, coming together for a cause they believed in.

The Winding Way West

Like many people my age, I followed the emergence of the World Wide Web in the 1990’s with great fascination. My father was an engineer at International Business Machines when the Personal Computer movement was just getting started. His advice to me during college was to focus on the things you don't know or understand rather than the wagon-wheel ruts of the well trodden path. He suggested I study many things, not just the things I felt most comfortable pursuing. He said, "You go to college so that you have interesting things to think about when you're waiting at the bus stop." He never made an effort to steer me in the direction of engineering. In 1989 he bought me a Macintosh personal computer and said, "Pay attention to this hypertext trend. Networked documents is becoming an important new innovation." This was long before the World Wide Web became popular in the societal zeitgeist. His advice was prophetic for me.

[...]

The Mozilla Project grew inside AOL for a long while beside the AOL browser and Netscape browsers. But at some point the executive team believed that this needed to be streamlined. Mitchell Baker, an AOL attorney, Brendan Eich, the inventor of JavaScript, and an influential venture capitalist named Mitch Kapoor came up with a suggestion that the Mozilla Project should be spun out of AOL. Doing this would allow all of the enterprises who had interest in working in open source versions of the project to foster the effort while Netscape/AOL product team could continue to rely on any code innovations for their own software within the corporation.

A Mozilla in the wild would need resources if it were to survive. First, it would need to have all the patents that were in the Netscape portfolio to avoid hostile legal challenges from outside. Second, there would need to be a cash injection to keep the lights on as Mozilla tried to come up with the basis for its business operations. Third, it would need protection from take-over bids that might come from AOL competitors. To achieve this, they decided Mozilla should be a non-profit foundation with the patent grants and trademark grants from AOL. Engineers who wanted to continue to foster AOL/Netscape vision of an open web browser specifically for the developer ecosystem could transfer to working for Mozilla.

Mozilla left Netscape's crowdsourced web index (called DMOZ or open directory) with AOL. DMOZ went on to be the seed for the PageRank index of Google when Google decided to split out from powering the Yahoo search engine and seek its own independent course. It's interesting to note that AOL played a major role in helping Google become an independent success as well, which is well documented in the book The Search by John Battelle.

Once the Mozilla Foundation was established (along with a $2 Million grant from AOL) they sought donations from other corporations who were to become dependent on the project. The team split out Netscape Communicator's email component as the Thunderbird email application as a stand-alone open source product and the Phoenix browser was released to the public as "Firefox" because of a trademark issue with another US company on usage of the term "Phoenix" in association with software.

Google had by this time broken off from its dependence on Yahoo as a source of web traffic for its nascent advertising business. They offered to pay Mozilla Foundation for search traffic that they could route to their search engine traffic to Google preferentially over Yahoo or the other search engines of the day. Taking "revenue share" from advertising was not something that the non-profit Mozilla Foundation was particularly well set up to do. So they needed to structure a corporation that could ingest these revenues and re-invest them into a conventional software business that could operate under the contractual structures of partnerships with other public companies. The Mozilla Corporation could function much like any typical California company with business partnerships without requiring its partners to structure their payments as grants to a non-profit.

[...]

Working in the open was part of the original strategy AOL had when they open sourced Netscape. If they could get other companies to build together with them, the collaborative work of contributors outside the AOL payroll could contribute to the direct benefit of the browser team inside AOL. Bugzilla was structured as a hierarchy of nodes, where a node owner could prioritize external contributions to the code base and commit them to be included in the derivative build which would be scheduled to be released as a new update package ever few months.

Module Owners, as they were called, would evaluate candidate fixes or new features against their own list of items to triage in terms of product feature requests or complaints from their own team. The main team that shipped each version was called Release Engineering. They cared less about the individual features being worked on than the overall function of the broader software package. So they would bundle up a version of the then-current software that they would call a Nightly build, as there were builds being assembled each day as new bugs were upleveled and committed to the software tree. Release engineering would watch for conflicts between software patches and annotate them in Bugzilla so that the various module owners could look for conflicts that their code commits were causing in other portions of the code base.

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Mozilla is laying off 250 people and planning a ‘new focus’ on making money

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Moz/FF

As part of the layoffs, Baker laid out a series of new focuses for Mozilla to set a stronger course for the company. That includes focuses on building community, building new products that “mitigate harms” and “that people love and want” to use, and crucially, to build out new revenue streams.

Mozilla makes most of its money from companies paying to make their search engine the default in Firefox. This includes deals with Baidu in China, Yandex in Russia, and most notably, Google in the US and most of the rest of the world. The company also makes money from royalties, subscriptions, and advertising, but those search deals still represent the “majority” of its revenue.

Baker says Mozilla will initially focus on products such as Pocket, its VPN service, its VR chatroom Hubs, and new “security and privacy” tools. The company started launching paid consumer services over the past year, offering a news subscription and access to a VPN from directly within Firefox.

Firefox is also getting a stronger focus on user growth “through differentiated user experiences.” That means reducing investment in other areas, though, such as in building out developer tools.

Mozilla has had a rough decade, as Firefox’s market share dwindled and attempts at bigger projects — like a Firefox phone running Firefox OS — fell apart. Baker seems to recognize that Mozilla needs to meet people where they are, building products that people want to use on the platforms they’re already using. She became CEO in April and was appointed interim CEO in December 2019; Baker has been the chair of the Mozilla Foundation since 2003.

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Mozilla Leftovers

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Moz/FF

           

  • Driving Value as a Tiny UX Content Team: How We Spend Content Strategy Resources Wisely

    Our tiny UX content strategy team works to deliver the right content to the right users at the right time. We make sure product content is useful, necessary, and appropriate. This includes everything from writing an error message in Firefox to developing the full end-to-end content experience for a stand-alone product.

    Mozilla has around 1,000 employees, and many of those are developers. Our UX team has 20 designers, 7 researchers, and 3 content strategists. We support the desktop and mobile Firefox browsers, as well as satellite products.

    There’s no shortage of requests for content help, but there is a shortage of hours and people to tackle them. When the organization wants more of your time than you actually have, what’s a strategic content strategist to do?

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 77
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  • Improving Your Experience across Products

    When you log into your Firefox Account, you expect a seamless experience across all your devices. In the past, we weren’t doing the best job of delivering on that experience, because we didn’t have the tools to collect cross-product metrics to help us make educated decisions in a way that fulfilled our lean data practices and our promise to be a trusted steward of your data. Now we do.

    Firefox 81 will include new telemetry measurements that help us understand the experience of Firefox Account users across multiple products, answering questions such as: Do users who set up Firefox Sync spend more time on desktop or mobile devices? How is Firefox Lockwise, the password-manager built into the Firefox desktop browser, used differently than the Firefox Lockwise apps? We will use the unique privacy features of Firefox Accounts to answer questions like these while staying true to Mozilla’s data principles of necessity, privacy, transparency, and accountability–in particular, cross-product telemetry will only gather non-identifiable interaction data, like button clicks, used to answer specific product questions.

  • Possibly one step towards named arguments in Rust

    A number of programming languages offer a feature called “Named Arguments” or “Labeled Arguments”, which makes some function calls much more readable and safer.

    Let’s see how hard it would be to add these in Rust.

Mozilla VR, Security, Surveillance and More

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Moz/FF

  • Virtual Tours of the Museum of the Fossilized Internet

    In March 2020, Michelle Thorne and I announced office tours of the Museum of the Fossilized Internet as part of our new Sustainability programme. Then the pandemic hit, and we teamed up with the Mozilla Mixed Reality team to make it more accessible while also demonstrating the capabilities of social VR with Hubs.

    We now welcome visitors to explore the museum at home through their browsers.

  • Review of the year so far, and looking forward to the next 6 months.

    In 2019 we started looking into our experiences and 2020 saw us release the new responsive redesign, a new AAQ flow, a finalized Firefox Accounts migration, and a few other minor tweaks. We have also performed a Python and Django upgrade carrying on with the foundational work that will allow us to grow and expand our support platform. This was a huge win for our team and the first time we have improved our experience in years! The team is working on tracking the impact and improvement to our overall user experience.

    We also know that contributors in Support have had to deal with an old, sometimes very broken, toolset, and so we wanted to work on that this year. You may have already heard the updates from Kiki and Giulia through their monthly strategy updates. The research and opportunity identification the team did was hugely valuable, and the team identified onboarding as an immediate area for improvement. We are currently working through an improved onboarding process and look forward to implementing and launching ongoing work.

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  • What's new in ECSY 0.4 and ECSY-THREE v0.1

    Since the initial release of ECSY we have been focusing on API stability and bug fixing as well as providing some features (such as components’ schemas) to improve the developer experience and provide better validation and descriptive errors when working in development mode.

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  • Understanding Web Security Checks in Firefox (Part 2)

    This is the second and final part of a blog post series that explains how Firefox implements Web Security fundamentals, like the Same-Origin Policy and Content-Security-Policy. While the first post explained Firefox security terminology and theoretical foundations, this second post covers how to log internal security information to the console in a human readable format. Ultimately, we hope to inspire new security research in the area of web security checks and to empower participants in our bug bounty program to do better, deeper work.

    Generally, we encourage everyone to do their security testing in Firefox Nightly. That being said, the logging mechanisms described in this post, work in all versions of Firefox – from self-build, to versions of Nightly, Beta, Developer Edition, Release and ESR you may have installed locally already.

    [...]

    An attacker could use a CSP bypass like this and target users on web pages that are susceptible to XSS or content injections. However, this bug was identified in a previous version of Firefox and has been fixed for all of our users since.

    To summarize, using the provided logging mechanism allows us to effectively detect security problems by visual inspection. One could take it even further and generate graph structures for nested page loads. Using these graphs to observe where the security context (e.g., the CSP) changes can be a very powerful tool for runtime security analysis.

    Going Forward

    We have explained how to enable logging mechanisms within Firefox which allows for visual inspection of every web security check performed. We would like to point out that finding security flaws might be eligible for a bug bounty. Finally, we hope the provided instructions foster security research and in turn allow researchers, bug bounty hunters and generally everyone interested in web security to contribute to Mozilla and the Security of the Open Web.

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  • What’s new in Perfherder?

    Perfherder is one of the primary tools used by our performance sheriffs to triage and investigate regression (and improvement) alerts. It’s also a key part of the workflow any Firefox engineer may experience when working on performance, either responding to a regression, or proactively measuring the impact of their changes. This post will cover the various improvements that have been made to Perfherder so far in 2020.

  •        

  • Mozilla Performance Blog: Improving Firefox Startup Time With The about:home Startup Cache

    For the past year or so, the Firefox Desktop Front-End Performance team has been concentrating on making improvements to browser startup performance.

    The launching of an application like Firefox is quite complex. Meticulous profiling of Firefox startup in various conditions has, thankfully, helped reveal a number of opportunities where we can make improvements. We’ve been evaluating and addressing these opportunities, and several have made it into the past few Firefox releases.

    This blog post is about one of those improvements that is currently in the later stages of development. I’m going to describe the improvement, and how we went about integrating it.

    In a default installation of Firefox, the first (and only) tab that loads is about:home. (Note: this is only true if the user hasn’t just restarted after applying an update, and if they haven’t set a custom home page or configured Firefox to restore their previous session on start.)

  • How to use git branch aliases with Mozilla Central

    I just set up Mozilla Central with a git wrapper so I can contribute to the main Gecko codebase using Git. It works great, but the default branch has an unusual name compared to what I’m used to.

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  • Automated end-to-end tests for Glean

    Last year at the Mozilla All-Hands in Whistler, Canada I went for a walk with my colleague Mark Reid who manages our Data Platform team. We caught up on personal stuff and discussed ongoing projects as well as shared objectives for the next half-year. These in-person conversations with colleagues are my favorite activity at our semi-annual gatherings and are helpful in ensuring that my team is working on the most impactful projects and that our tests create value for the teams we support. 

    [...]

    For Mozilla, getting reliable data from our products is critical to inform our decision making. Glean is a new product analytics and telemetry solution that provides a consistent experience and behavior across all of our products. Mark and I agreed that it would be fantastic if we had automated end-to-end tests to complement existing test suites and alert us of potential issues with the system as quickly as possible.

  • Data@Mozilla: Experimental integration Glean with Unity applications [Ed: Mozilla fusing together its Microsoft-hosted surveillance project with Microsoft Mono]

    As we know, Glean SDK has provided language bindings for different programming language requirements that include Kotlin, Swift, and Python. However, when we are talking about supporting applications that use Unity as their development toolkit, there are no existing bindings available to help us achieve it. Unity allows users using a Python interpreter to embed Python scripts in a Unity project; however, due to Unity’s technology being based on the Mono framework, that is not the same as our familiar Python runtime for running Python scripts. So, the alternative way we need to find out is how to run Python on .Net Framework or exactly on Mono framework. If we are discussing possible approaches to run Python script in the main process, using IronPython is the only solution. However, it is only available for Python 2.7, and the Glean SDK Python language binding needs Python 3.6. Hence, we start our plans to develop a new Glean binding for C#.

  • Google, nobody asked for a new Blogger interface

    I'm writing this post in what Google is euphemistically referring to as an improvement. I don't understand this. I managed to ignore New Blogger for a few weeks but Google's ability to fark stuff up has the same air of inevitability as rotting corpses. Perhaps on mobile devices it's better, and even that is a matter of preference, but it's space-inefficient on desktop due to larger buttons and fonts, it's noticeably slower, it's buggy, and very soon it's going to be your only choice.

    My biggest objection, however, is what they've done to the HTML editor. I'm probably the last person on earth to do so, but I write my posts in raw HTML. This was fine in the old Blogger interface which was basically a big freeform textbox you typed tags into manually. There was some means to intercept tags you didn't close, which was handy, and when you added elements from the toolbar you saw the HTML as it went in. Otherwise, WYTIWYG (what you typed is what you got). Since I personally use fairly limited markup and rely on the stylesheet for most everything, this worked well.

Introducing Firefox Reality PC Preview

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Moz/FF

Have you ever played a VR game and needed a tip for beating the game... but you didn’t want to take off your headset to find that solution? Or, have you wanted to watch videos while you played your game? Or, how about wanting to immerse yourself in a 360 video on Youtube?

Released today, Firefox Reality PC Preview enables you to do these things and more. This is the newest addition to the Firefox Reality family of products. Built upon the latest version of the well-known and trusted Firefox browser, Firefox Reality PC Preview works with tethered headsets as well as wireless headsets streaming from a PC.

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Review of Firefox “Fenix” for Android

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Android
Moz/FF
Reviews

Mozilla has begun a staged roll-out of its redesigned and rearchitected Firefox browser for Android (codename “Fenix”). So far, Fenix has only been released in 14 countries through the Google Play Store. Here’s my review of Mozilla’s new flagship mobile browser as a long-time user and as an extension developer.

Fenix’s user interface is minimal, but it represents a large amount of work under the hood. It’s built on GeckoView and Mozilla Android Components (MOZAC); a set of reusable components for mobile app developers that makes it easier to build a web browser based on Mozilla technology. These components are a modernization of the old codebase as well as a direct competitor to WebView — the web engine that’s built-in to Android, as well as Google’s ChromiumView.

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Mozilla: SameSite, SUMO, Firefox and More

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  • Changes to SameSite Cookie Behavior – A Call to Action for Web Developers

    We are changing the default value of the SameSite attribute for cookies from None to Lax, per new IETF guidelines. This will greatly improve security for users. However, some web sites may depend (even unknowingly) on the old default, potentially resulting in breakage for those sites. At Mozilla, we are slowly introducing this change. And we are strongly encouraging all web developers to test their sites with the new default.

    [...]

    Testing in the Firefox Nightly and Beta channels has shown that website breakage does occur. While we have reached out to those sites we’ve encountered and encouraged them to set the SameSite attribute on their web properties, the web is clearly too big to do this on a case-by-case basis.

    It is important that all web developers test their sites against this new default. This will prepare you for when both Firefox and Chrome browsers make the switch in their respective release channels.

  •         

  • New platform milestone completed: Python upgrade

    In 2020 a lot of the SUMO platform’s team work is focused on modernizing our support platform (Kitsune) and performing some foundational work that will allow us to grow and expand the platform. We have started this in H1 with the new Responsive and AAQ redesign. Last week we completed a new milestone: the Python/Django upgrade.

    Why was this necessary

    Support.mozilla.org was running on Python 2.7, meaning our core technology stack was running on a no longer supported version. We needed to upgrade to at least 3.7 and, at the same time, upgrade to the latest Django Long Term Support (LTS) version 2.2.

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  • Firefox 79 includes protections against redirect tracking

    A little over a year ago we enabled Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) by default in Firefox. We did so because we recognize that tracking poses a threat to society, user safety, and the autonomy of individuals and we’re committed to protecting users against these threats by default. ETP was our first step in fulfilling that commitment, but the web provides many covert avenues trackers can use to continue their data collection.

    Today’s Firefox release introduces the next step in providing a safer and more private experience for our users with Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0, where we will block a new advanced tracking technique called redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking. ETP 2.0 clears cookies and site data from tracking sites every 24 hours, except for those you regularly interact with. We’ll be rolling ETP 2.0 out to all Firefox users over the course of the next few weeks.

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  • Fast Company Recognizes Katharina Borchert as one of the Most Creative Business People

    We are proud to share that Katharina Borchert, Mozilla’s Chief Open Innovation Officer, has been named one of the  Most Creative People by Fast Company. The award recognizes her leadership on Common Voice and helping to diversify AI speech through machine learning. Katharina was recognized not just for a groundbreaking idea, but because her work is having a measurable impact in the world.

    [...]

    The full list also includes vintner, Krista Scruggs, dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp, and Ryan Reynolds: “for delivering an honest message, even when it’s difficult”.

    “‘This is a real honor,” said Katharina, “which also reflects the contributions of an incredible alliance of people at Mozilla and beyond. We have a way to go before the full promise of Common Voice is realized. But I’m incredibly inspired by the different communities globally building it together with Mozilla, because language is so important for our identities and for keeping cultural diversity alive in the digital age. Extending the reach of voice recognition to more languages can only open the doors to more innovation and make tech more inclusive.”

  •        

  • Latest Firefox rolls out Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0; blocking redirect trackers by default

    Today, Firefox is introducing Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) 2.0, our next step in continuing to provide a safe and private experience for our users. ETP 2.0 protects you from an advanced tracking technique called redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking. We will be rolling out ETP 2.0 over the next couple of weeks.

    Last year we enabled ETP by default in Firefox because we believe that understanding the complexities and sophistication of the ad tracking industry should not be required to be safe online. ETP 1.0 was our first major step in fulfilling that commitment to users. Since we enabled ETP by default, we’ve blocked 3.4 trillion tracking cookies. With ETP 2.0, Firefox brings an additional level of privacy protection to the browser.

    Since the introduction of ETP, ad industry technology has found other ways to track users: creating workarounds and new ways to collect your data in order to identify you as you browse the web. Redirect tracking goes around Firefox’s built-in third-party cookie-blocking policy by passing you through the tracker’s site before landing on your desired website. This enables them to see where you came from and where you are going.

  •        

  • Moth wants you to design a Firefox Theme for San Francisco Shock

    This summer we partnered with Overwatch League’s San Francisco Shock to help the fans at home cheer on their 2019 Grand Finals Champions. This included Firefox Protection Plays and giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of the SF Shock players.

    Before the summer season ends, we wanted to do one last thing for the SF Shock team and their fans. One of the players, Moth, shared that Firefox is the only browser he uses. He learned about Firefox while studying software engineering in college. Firefox and Mozilla’s mission along with the open source ethos is what keeps him a loyal user. To celebrate that, we’re inviting SF Shock fans — and anyone else who might be interested — to design an original Firefox theme.

Mozilla: Rust 1.45.2 and Code Quality/Security

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  • Announcing Rust 1.45.2

    The Rust team is announcing a new version of Rust, 1.45.2. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

  • Reference Sheet for Principals in Mozilla Code
  • Understanding Web Security Checks in Firefox (Part 1)

    This is the first part of a blog post series that will allow you to understand how Firefox implements Web Security fundamentals, like the Same-Origin Policy. This first post of the series covers the architectural design, terminology, and introduces core interfaces that our implementation of the Same-Origin Policy relies on: nsIPrincipal and nsILoadinfo.

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

IBM/Red Hat/Fedora Leftovers

  • The modern developer experience

    We hear from many clients that developer productivity and efficiency continue to be pain points. Cloud adoption can help normalize developer experiences across application stacks and runtimes. The path and steps for your developers to push code should be clear, simple, and easy to implement, even on Day 1. The modern developer experience provides a unified and normalized practice with modern tools. Developers thrive in the inner loop where unit tests and code come together, and in a penalty-free runtime execution environment where no one gets hurt, no processes take down precious workloads, and no one knows that it took 20 minutes to resolve that pesky runtime error. The inner loop occurs in a developer workspace that is easy to set up, manage, prepare, maintain, and, more importantly, easy to allocate. If a new developer is added to your squad, they can have all of the mechanical things they need to push code changes into the pipeline on their first day. An important part of the modern developer experience is expressed as Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces, which provides a set of constructs to provision a developer workspace in the cloud where they can perform their inner loop. A save action to a workspace file initiates an inner loop build in their local workspace, and an endpoint for the developer to see their changes quickly.

  • Call for Code Daily: Grillo, and how your code can help

    The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that we have built around this major #TechforGood initiative. Whether it is the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers leveraging the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all the amazing #TechforGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you. Check out the stories from the week of August 10th:

  • Culture of Innovation and Collaboration: Hybrid Cloud, Privacy in AI and Data Caching

    Red Hat is continually innovating and part of that innovation includes researching and striving to solve the problems our customers face. That innovation is driven through the Office of the CTO and includes OpenShift, OpenShift Container Storage and use cases such as the hybrid cloud, privacy concerns in AI, and data caching. We recently interviewed Hugh Brock, research director for the office of the CTO, here at Red Hat about these very topics.

  • Fedora program update: 2020-33

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Fedora 33 has branched from Rawhide. Please update the Release Readiness page with your team’s status. I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

  • Fedora Magazine: Come test a new release of pipenv, the Python development tool

    Pipenv is a tool that helps Python developers maintain isolated virtual environments with specifacally defined set of dependencies to achieve reproducible development and deployment environments. It is similar to tools for different programming languages, such as bundler, composer, npm, cargo, yarn, etc. A new version of pipenv, 2020.6.2, has been recently released. It is now available in Fedora 33 and rawhide. For older Fedoras, the maintainers decided to package it in COPR to be tested first. So come try it out, before they push it into stable Fedora versions. The new version doesn’t bring any fancy new features, but after two years of development it fixes a lot of problems and does many things differently under the hood. What worked for you previously should continue to work, but might behave slightly differently.

  • Introduction to cloud-native CI/CD with Tekton (KubeCon Europe 2020)

    If you’re interested in cloud-native CI/CD and Tekton but haven’t had a chance to get hands-on with the technology yet, the KubeCon Europe Virtual event provides an opportunity to do that. Tekton is a powerful and flexible open source framework for creating cloud-native CI/CD pipelines. It integrates with Kubernetes and allows developers to build, test, and deploy across multiple cloud providers and on-premises clusters as shown in Figure 1.

  • Introduction to Strimzi: Apache Kafka on Kubernetes (KubeCon Europe 2020)

    Apache Kafka has emerged as the leading platform for building real-time data pipelines. Born as a messaging system, mainly for the publish/subscribe pattern, Kafka has established itself as a data-streaming platform for processing data in real-time. Today, Kafka is also heavily used for developing event-driven applications, enabling the services in your infrastructure to communicate with each other through events using Apache Kafka as the backbone. Meanwhile, cloud-native application development is gathering more traction thanks to Kubernetes. Thanks to the abstraction layer provided by this platform, it’s easy to move your applications from running on bare metal to any cloud provider (AWS, Azure, GCP, IBM, and so on) enabling hybrid-cloud scenarios as well. But how do you move your Apache Kafka workloads to the cloud? It’s possible, but it’s not simple. You could learn all of the Apache Kafka tools for handling a cluster well enough to move your Kafka workloads to Kubernetes, or you could leverage the Kubernetes knowledge you already have using Strimzi.

  • OpenShift for Kubernetes developers: Getting started

    If you are familiar with containers and Kubernetes, you have likely heard of the enterprise features that Red Hat OpenShift brings to this platform. In this article, I introduce developers familiar with Kubernetes to OpenShift’s command-line features and native extension API resources, including build configurations, deployment configurations, and image streams.

  • Man-DB Brings Documentation to IBM i

    IBM i developers who have a question about how a particular command or feature works in open source packages now have an easy way to look up documentations, thanks to the addition of support for the Man-DB utility in IBM i, which IBM unveiled in late July. Man-DB is an open source implementation of the standard Unix documentation system. It provides a mechanism for easily accessing the documentation that exists for open source packages, such as the Node.js language, or even for commands, like Curl. The software, which can be installed via YUM, only works with open source software on IBM i at the moment; it doesn’t support native programs or commands.

  • Making open decisions in five steps

    The group's leader made a decision, and everyone else accepted it. The leader may have been a manager, a team lead, or the alpha in a social group. Was that decision the best one for the group? Did it take all relevant factors into account? It didn’t really matter, because people didn’t want to buck authority and face the ramifications. But this behavior was typical of life in hierarchical systems.

  • 7 tips for giving and receiving better feedback

Wine 5.15 and Beyond

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 5.15 is now available.
    
    
    
    
    What's new in this release (see below for details):
      - Initial implementation of the XACT Engine libraries.
      - Beginnings of a math library in MSVCRT based on Musl.
      - Still more restructuration of the console support.
      - Direct Input performance improvements.
      - Exception handling fixes on x86-64.
      - Various bug fixes.
    
    
    
    
    The source is available from the following locations:
    
    
    
    
      https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.15.tar.xz
      http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.15.tar.xz
    
    
    
    
    Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
    
    
    
    
      https://www.winehq.org/download
    
    
    
    
    You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
    
    
    
    
    You can also get the current source directly from the git
    repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
    
    
    
    
    Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
    AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
    
  • Wine 5.15 Release Brings Initial Work On XACT Engine Libraries

    Wine 5.15 is out as the latest bi-weekly development snapshot for this program allowing Windows games/applications to generally run quite gracefully on Linux and other platforms. 

  •        
  • Wine Developer Begins Experimenting With macOS ARM64 Support

    Over the months ahead with Apple preparing future desktops/laptops with their in-house Apple silicon built on the ARM 64-bit architecture, Wine developers are beginning to eye how to support these future 64-bit ARM systems with macOS Big Sur.  Wine developer Martin Storsjo has been experimenting with the macOS + ARM64 support and has got the code along far enough that "small test executables" can run on the patched copy of Wine. 

Wandboard IMX8M-Plus SBC debuts AI-enabled i.MX8M Plus

echNexion’s “Wandboard IMX8M-Plus” SBC runs Linux or Android on NXP’s new i.MX8M Plus with 2.3-TOPS NPU. Pre-orders go for $134 with 2GB RAM or $159 with 4GB and WiFi/BT, both with 32GB and M.2 with NVMe. In January, NXP announced its i.MX8M Plus — its first i.MX8 SoC with an NPU for AI acceleration — but so far the only product we’ve seen based on it is a briefly teased Verdin iMX8M Plus module from Toradex. Now, TechNexion has opened pre-orders for a Wandboard IMX8M-Plus SBC based on a SODIMM-style “EDM SOM” module equipped with the i.MX8M Plus. Read more