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Mozilla on Fake News and Legal Disputes

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Moz/FF
  • Woke up and thought you were in a different reality? Reality Redrawn Challenge launches with a total prize value of $40,000

    It’s not often I get to invite artists and developers to collaborate together so I’m excited to see how they respond to the Reality Redrawn Challenge from Mozilla which launches today. The boundaries between truth and fiction are becoming harder to define, in part because of the proliferation of fake news and other forms of misinformation. Mozilla wants to shed light on this by sponsoring public demonstrations, using mixed reality and other art media that make the power of misinformation and its potential impacts visible and visceral.

    We live in strange times in which legitimate news organizations such as CNN have to launch advertising campaigns to remind people what real information is. Meanwhile social networks that connect millions more people struggle to help them differentiate truth from fiction and to define their unplanned role as media platforms.

    Throughout historic moments of upheaval people have used art to make sense of what appears to be dystopian reality. The west side of the Berlin wall became one of the largest canvases in the world as Berliners attempted to make sense of their divided city, while the east side remained blank as none were allowed to get close enough to paint. I also like to remember that Jazz icon and civil rights activist Nina Simone set an enduring challenge to all artists when she asked “how can you be an artist and not reflect the times?”

  • Mozilla Files Cross-Complaint Against Yahoo Holdings and Oath

    Yahoo Holdings and Oath filed a complaint against Mozilla on December 1, 2017, claiming that we improperly terminated the agreement between Mozilla and Yahoo. Today, in response, Mozilla filed a cross-complaint against Yahoo Holdings and Oath for breach of contract.

    While this is a legal matter and much of it is confidential, as Mozilla, we want to share as much information as we can in the spirit of our values of openness and transparency.

    We will create a wiki page with links to relevant public court documents – over time we expect to add more content as it becomes public.

Mozilla: Tor Browser Features and STT

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Quietly Adds Features From Tor Browser to Firefox

    In 2017, the developers at Mozilla have quietly added several features to Firefox that originated from the Tor Project’s Tor Browser. The new features come from the Tor Uplift project, which helps Mozilla integrate patches to Firefox that are used in the Tor Browser. The Tor Uplift project patches to Firefox help increase privacy and security, and the project has been helping improve Firefox since last year.

    Around 95% of the code in the Tor Browser itself comes from Mozilla, as it is based on Mozilla’s Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR). Mozilla, which earlier this month released Firefox version 57, known as Firefox Quantum, has most recently included a feature from the Tor Browser known as First Party Isolation.

  • Mozilla talks up speech-to-text application platform

    Mozilla is on a mission… and it’s a mission designed to ‘empower’ software application developers with tools to help create more STT apps.

    STT you say?

    Yes, that would be speech-to-text applications.

Mozilla’s new open source model aims to revolutionize voice recognition

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Moz/FF
OSS

You may have noticed the steady and sure progress of voice recognition tech in recent times – all the big tech firms want to make strides in this arena if only to improve their digital assistants, from Cortana to Siri – but Mozilla wants to push harder, and more broadly, on this front with the release of an open source speech recognition model.

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Also: Mozilla releases open source speech recognition tools

Mozilla Firefox Quantum

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Moz/FF
  • Can the new Firefox Quantum regain its web browser market share?

    When Firefox was introduced in 2004, it was designed to be a lean and optimized web browser, based on the bloated code from the Mozilla Suite. Between 2004 and 2009, many considered Firefox to be the best web browser, since it was faster, more secure, offered tabbed browsing and was more customizable through extensions than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. When Chrome was introduced in 2008, it took many of Firefox’s best ideas and improved on them. Since 2010, Chrome has eaten away at Firefox’s market share, relegating Firefox to a tiny niche of free software enthusiasts and tinkerers who like the customization of its XUL extensions.

    According to StatCounter, Firefox’s market share of web browsers has fallen from 31.8% in December 2009 to just 6.1% today. Firefox can take comfort in the fact that it is now virtually tied with its former arch-nemesis, Internet Explorer and its variants. All of Microsoft’s browsers only account for 6.2% of current web browsing according to StatCounter. Microsoft has largely been replaced by Google, whose web browsers now controls 56.5% of the market. Even worse, is the fact that the WebKit engine used by Google now represents over 83% of web browsing, so web sites are increasingly focusing on compatibility with just one web engine. While Google and Apple are more supportive of W3C and open standards than Microsoft was in the late 90s, the web is increasingly being monopolized by one web engine and two companies, whose business models are not always based on the best interests of users or their rights.

  • Firefox Nightly Adds CSD Option

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Firefox 57 is awesome — so awesome that I’m finally using it as my default browser again.

    But there is one thing it the Linux version of Firefox sorely needs: client-side decoration.

The Fox Hunt - Firefox and friends compared

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Google
Moz/FF
Web

So what should you use? Well, it depends. You want extensions, the entire repertoire as it's meant to be? Go with Pale Moon, but be aware of the inconsistencies and problems down the road. However, another piece of penalty is less than optimal looks. If you are more focused on speed and future development, then it's Firefox, as it offers the most complete compromise. The add-ons will make it or break it. Waterfox makes less sense, because the margins of benefit are too small.

My take is - Firefox. It's not ideal, but Pale Moon does not solve the problem fully, it combines nostalgia with technicals, and that's a rough patch, even though the project is quite admirable in what it's trying to do. Alas, I'm afraid the old extensions will die, and the new ones won't be compatible, so the browser will be left stranded somewhere in between. But hopefully, this little comparison test gives you a better overview and understanding how things work.

Finally, we go back to the question of speed. We've seen how one flavor of Fox stacks against another, but what about Chrome? I will answer that in a follow-up article, which will compare Chrome to Vivaldi, again based on popular demand, and then we will also check how all these different browsers compare using my small, limited and entirely personal corner of the Web. Stay tuned.

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Also: Firefox Private Browsing vs. Chrome Incognito: Which is Faster?

Firefox Quantum Now Rolling Out to All Ubuntu Linux Users, Update Now

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Moz/FF

It didn't take long, and just two days after its official launch, the Mozilla Firefox Quantum web browser (version 57.0) landed today in the stable software repositories of Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr).

Firefox 57.0 a.k.a. Firefox Quantum is Mozilla's latest and greatest web browser, offering speeds twice as fast as of previous releases, thanks to the implementation of an all-new Photon browsing engine that's capable of leveraging the full potential of your personal computer, as well as a brand-new interface.

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Mozilla: Firefox 57 “Quantum” and More

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Moz/FF
  • Fast. For good. Launching the new Firefox into the World

    Thirteen years ago, we marked the launch of Firefox 1.0 with a crowdfunded New York Times ad. It listed the names of every single person who contributed — hundreds of people. And it opened a lot of eyes. Why? It showed what committed individuals willing to put their actions and dollars behind a cause they believe in can make happen. In this case, it was launching Firefox, a web browser brought to market by Mozilla, the not-for-profit organization committed to making the internet open and accessible to everyone. And Firefox represented more than just a new and improved browser. It stood for an independent alternative to the corporately controlled Internet Explorer from Microsoft, and a way for people to take back control of their online experience.

  • Introducing the New Firefox: Firefox Quantum

    It’s by far the biggest update we’ve had since we launched Firefox 1.0 in 2004, it’s just flat out better in every way. If you go and install it right now, you’ll immediately notice the difference, accompanied by a feeling of mild euphoria. If you’re curious about what we did, read on.

  • Firefox’s faster, slicker, slimmer Quantum edition now out

    Mozilla is working on a major overhaul of its Firefox browser, and, with the general release of Firefox 57 today, has reached a major milestone. The version of the browser coming out today has a sleek new interface and, under the hood, major performance enhancements, with Mozilla claiming that it's as much as twice as fast as it was a year ago. Not only should it be faster to load and render pages, but its user interface should remain quick and responsive even under heavy load with hundreds of tabs.

  • Firefox 57 “Quantum” Is Here, And It’s Awesome

    Firefox 57 is here. It introduces a new look, sees legacy add-ons dropped, and gives the core rendering engine a big old speed boost.

  • Firefox Features Google as Default Search Provider in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan

    Firefox Quantum was released today. It’s the fastest Firefox yet built on a completely overhauled engine and a beautiful new design. As part of our focus on user experience and performance in Firefox Quantum, Google will also become our new default search provider in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

    Firefox default search providers in other regions are Yandex in Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan; Baidu in China; and Google in the rest of the world. Firefox has more choice in search providers than any other browser with more than 60 search providers pre-installed across more than 90 languages.

Mozilla: Firefox 57 and WebAssembly

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Moz/FF
  • Quantum-ized Firefox 57 Ready For Download

    Firefox 57.0 is being officially released this week and its stable download is now available.

    Firefox 57 is arguably the biggest update ever with pulling in the Project Quantum work, at least the initial pieces of it. Firefox 57/Quantum is twice as fast as Firefox from 2016 with better multi-threading, the Rust-written CSS engine, and other components pulled in from Servo. Mozilla is referring to Firefox 57 as "Firefox Quantum" for branding.

  • WebAssembly support now shipping in all major browsers

    While Mozilla has been preparing to launch Firefox Quantum, its fastest browser yet, some notable developments have happened with WebAssembly, the binary file format (“wasm”) that works with JavaScript to run web applications at near-native speeds.

  • Firefox 57 Brings Better Sandboxing on Linux

    Firefox 57, set to be released tomorrow, will ship with improvements to the browser's sandbox security feature for Linux users.

    The Firefox sandboxing feature isolates the browser from the operating system in a way to prevent web attacks from using a vulnerability in the browser engine and its legitimate functions to attack the underlying operating system, place malware on the filesystem, or steal local files.

Firefox 57 "Quantum" Web Browser Now Available to Download, Here's What's New

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Moz/FF

The biggest new feature of the Firefox 57.0 "Quantum" web browser is a major visual redesign that was developed by Mozilla as the Photon project and active on the Nightly channel until now. This makes the web browser two times faster than Firefox 49.0, according to Mozilla's development team.

"Firefox Quantum is roughly 2X faster than Firefox 49 on the Speedometer 2.0 benchmark, thanks to its new CSS engine, its “just right” multi-process architecture, the way it prioritizes your active tab, and much more," reads the preliminary release notes for Firefox 57.0 beta.

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Turi as FOSS

  • Fruit of an acquisition: Apple AI software goes open
    Apple's joined other juggernauts of the tech sector by releasing an open source AI framework. Turi Create 4.0, which landed at GitHub recently, is a fruit of its 2016 US$200 million acquisition of Turi. As the GitHub description explains, it targets app developers that want custom machine learning models but don't have the expertise to “add recommendations, object detection, image classification, image similarity or activity classification” to their apps.
  • Apple Releases Turi ML Software as Open Source
    Apple last week released Turi Create, an open source package that it says will make it easy for mobile app developers to infuse machine learning into their products with just a few lines of code. “You don’t have to be a machine learning expert to add recommendations, object detection, image classification, image similarity, or activity classification to your app,” the company says in the GitHub description for Turi Create. “Focus on tasks instead of algorithms.”

Security: Patch Management, Windows Keyloggers, and Fingerprinting MySQL

  • Open Source Patch Management: Options for DIYers [Ed: "Linux comes with patch management," it says, which defeats much of the point of this article...]
    CVE-2017-5638 is the code vulnerability that will long live in the corporate memory of Equifax, the credit ratings agency. A simple patch management system might have kept that vulnerability from turning into one of the most high-profile data breaches in recent memory. CVE-2017-5638 is a remote code execution bug that affects the Jakarta Multipart parser in Apache Struts, an open source application framework for developing Java EE web applications. Remote code execution bugs are generally extremely serious, and for that reason, when the vulnerability was discovered, the Apache Foundation recommended that any developers or users of affected versions of Struts upgrade to later versions that had been patched to close the vulnerability.
  • HP laptops found to have hidden keylogger

    HP said more than 460 models of laptop were affected by the "potential [sic] security vulnerability".

    [...]

    In May, a similar keylogger was discovered in the audio drivers pre-installed on several HP laptop models.

  • Fingerprinting MySQL with scannerl

    The goal here is to identify the version of MySQL running on a remote host.