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Moz/FF

Firefox 71 Enters Development with New Kiosk Mode, Picture-in-Picture on Windows

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Moz/FF

While Firefox 71 doesn't look like a big update, it brings a couple of interesting new features, such as a new kiosk mode that allow you to open the web browser directly in full-screen mode without any other distractions. This is mostly useful for companies who want to use on their kiosks, and can be enabled via the --kiosk command-line parameter.

Another interesting feature that will land as part of the upcoming Firefox 71 web browser is Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode on Windows systems, which lets users pop a video out of its webpage into a floating window that can be resized and placed on top of all windows and in any part of your desktop.

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Latest From Mozilla

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Moz/FF
  • Password dos and don’ts

    So many accounts, so many passwords. That’s online life. The average person with a typical online presence is estimated to have close to 100 online accounts, and that figure is rising. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in that category. You have a collection of primary accounts that you care the most about because they’re important and you access them frequently, like your email, social media, bank, media subscriptions, streaming services, etc.

    Then you most likely also have a handful of lower priority accounts you set up without much thought, and some that you forgot about. Since those accounts are low priority, maybe you weren’t careful about password hygiene, and you slipped into bad habits like password reuse which can put your other accounts at a security risk should there be a data breach.

  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: A Year in Review: Fighting Online Disinformation

    A year ago, Mozilla signed the first ever Code of Practice on Disinformation, brokered in Europe as part of our commitment to an internet that elevates critical thinking, reasoned argument, shared knowledge, and verifiable facts. The Code set a wide range of commitments for all the signatories, from transparency in political advertising to the closure of fake accounts, to address the spread of disinformation online. And we were hopeful that the Code would help to drive change in the platform and advertising sectors.

    Since then, we’ve taken proactive steps to help tackle this issue, and today our self assessment of this work was published by the European Commission. Our assessment covers the work we’ve been doing at Mozilla to build tools within the Firefox browser to fight misinformation, empower users with educational resources, support research on disinformation and lead advocacy efforts to push the ecosystem to live up to their own commitments within the Code of Practice.

  • A Year with Spoke: Announcing the Architecture Kit

    Spoke, our 3D editor for creating environments for Hubs, is celebrating its first birthday with a major update. Last October, we released the first version of Spoke, a compositing tool for mixing 2D and 3D content to create immersive spaces. Over the past year, we’ve made a lot of improvements and added new features to make building scenes for VR easier than ever. Today, we’re excited to share the latest feature that adds to the power of Spoke: the Architecture Kit!

    We first talked about the components of the Architecture Kit back in March. With the Architecture Kit, creators now have an additional way to build custom content for their 3D scenes without using an external tool. Specifically, we wanted to make it easier to take existing components that have already been optimized for VR and make it easy to configure those pieces to create original models and scenes. The Architecture Kit contains over 400 different pieces that are designed to be used together to create buildings - the kit includes wall, floor, ceiling, and roof pieces, as well as windows, trim, stairs, and doors.

  • Auditing For Accessibility Problems With Firefox Developer Tools

    Since its debut in Firefox 61, the Accessibility Inspector in the Firefox Developer Tools has evolved from a low-level tool showing the accessibility structure of a page. In Firefox 70, the Inspector has become an auditing facility to help identify and fix many common mistakes and practices that reduce site accessibility. In this post, I will offer an overview of what is available in this latest release.

Mozilla: Newtab and Search, Firefox Nightly and Bazel

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Addons Blog: Add-on Policies Update: Newtab and Search

    As part of our ongoing work to make add-ons safer for Firefox users, we are updating our Add-on Policies to add clarification and guidance for developers regarding data collection. The following is a summary of the changes, which will go into effect on December 2, 2019.

  • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 67
  • evaluating bazel for building firefox, part 1

    The motivation behind switching build systems was twofold. The first motivation was that build times are one of the most visible developer-facing aspects of the build system and everybody appreciates faster builds. What’s less obvious, but equally important, is that making builds faster improves automation: less time waiting for try builds, more flexibility to adjust infrastructure spending, and less turnaround time with automated reviews on patches submitted for review. The second motivation was that our build system is used by exactly one project (ok, two projects), so there’s a lot of onboarding cost both in terms of developers who use the build system and in terms of developers who need to develop the build system. If we could switch to something more off-the-shelf, we could improve the onboarding experience and benefit from work that other parties do with our chosen build system.

    You may have several candidates that we should have evaluated instead. We did look at other candidates (although perhaps none so deeply as Bazel), and all of them have various issues that make them unsuitable for a switch. The reasons for rejecting other possibilities fall into two broad categories: not enough platform support (read: Windows support) and unlikely to deliver on making builds faster and/or improving the onboarding/development experience. I’ll cover the projects we looked at in a separate post.

Firefox 71 Doesn't Do Much For Performance

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Moz/FF

Following last week's release of Firefox 70 and Chrome 78 I posted some fresh Linux web browser benchmarks where the Mozilla browser continued to get beat severely by Google on Linux. But is the situation any better with Firefox 71 in beta? Not really.

The Firefox 71 beta released last week brings a new kiosk mode, a picture-in-picture mode for video playback on Windows, a redesigned about:config, a new certificate viewer, and other changes. But, unfortunately, nothing major in terms of performance.

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Also: Firefox UX: Prototyping Firefox With CSS Grid

Avast Online Security and Avast Secure Browser are spying on you

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Moz/FF
Security

Are you one of the allegedly 400 million users of Avast antivirus products? Then I have bad news for you: you are likely being spied upon. The culprit is the Avast Online Security extension that these products urge you to install in your browser for maximum protection.

But even if you didn’t install Avast Online Security yourself, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t affected. This isn’t obvious but Avast Secure Browser has Avast Online Security installed by default. It is hidden from the extension listing and cannot be uninstalled by regular means, its functionality apparently considered an integral part of the browser. Avast products promote this browser heavily, and it will also be used automatically in “Banking Mode.” Given that Avast bought AVG a few years ago, there is also a mostly identical AVG Secure Browser with the built-in AVG Online Security extension.

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Audiocasts/Shows: Mozilla's IRL, OggCamp 2019 and GNU World Order

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GNU
Linux
Moz/FF

OSS: Document Foundation, Linux Foundation, Openwashing, Open Access and Mozilla

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Moz/FF
OSS
  • Upcoming Elections for the next Board of Directors of The Document Foundation

    That upcoming term will then (regularly) end on February 17, 2022, so the next elections of the Board of Directors will take place before.

    As per § 6 III, only members of the Board of Trustees of The Document Foundation, as well as current members of any of its bodies, are eligible to be elected into the Board of Directors, and the election is overseen by the Membership Committee (§ 7 II).

    The active electoral right is reserved to those who have been members of the Board of Trustees before this announcement (§ 7 II).

    § 6 III also states that members of the Board of Directors or their deputies may not be members of the Membership Committee and vice versa. This means that current members of the Membership Committee are eligible to be elected, but with the acceptance of their new role they lose their current role in the MC. For clarification, they have to step down from the Membership Committee, with effect no later than to the beginning of the new term of the Board of Directors, the minute before accepting to become a member of the Board of Directors.

    There is one more notable limitation: per § 8 IV of the statutes, a maximum of 1/3 members of the Board of Directors is allowed to work on an employment basis for the same company, organization, entities, affiliates or subdivisions.

    Nomination of candidates fulfilling the above requirements, as well as self nomination is welcome. In total, at least seven Board of Directors members are required, and given there are enough candidates, up to three deputies can be elected (§ 7 II). As deputies are on duty quite often, we encourage many candidates to participate.

  • Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2019

    Next week, Collabora will be sponsoring, exhibiting & speaking at Embedded Linux Confererence Europe in Lyon, France. Now in its 14th year, ELCE, which is co-located with the Open Source Summit Europe, is the premier vendor-neutral technical conference for companies and developers using embedded Linux. If you are planning on attending either conference, please make sure to come say hello and see what our team has been working on!

    [...]

    Open Source meets augmented reality in our second demo, which centers around custom development work on the Magic Leap One augmented reality headset using GStreamer! This is your chance to experience this lightweight, wearable computer that seamlessly blends the digital and physical worlds, allowing digital content to coexist with real world objects around you.

  • Apple Provides Scholarships for FoundationDB Summit

    Apple will be providing sponsorships for the scholarships at FoundationDB Summit, happening on Day Zero of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon San Diego.

    For its second year, FoundationDB Summit has two tracks. The first is curated for attendees new to the community and will focus on architectural overviews as well as real-world business applications. The second track will provide technical deep dives into features, challenges, and tooling community members have been working on.
    The FoundationDB scholarship program provides support to those from traditionally underrepresented and/or marginalized groups in the technology and/or open source communities, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend CNCF events for financial reasons. Scholarships are also available on a needs and affordability basis.

  • Netflix builds a Jupyter Lab alternative, a bug bounty to fight election hacking, Raspberry Pi goes microscopic, and more open source news
  • Grafana Labs observability platform set to grow

    Dutt: Not really, I said we work with some CNCF projects like Prometheus, but there's no desire on our part to put our own projects such as Grafana or Loki into the CNCF.

    We are an open source observability company and this is our core competency and our core brand. Part of our strategy for delivering differentiated solutions to our customers involves being more in control of our own destiny, so to speak.

    We very much believe in the power of the community. We do have a pretty active community, though certainly more than 50 percent of the work is done by Grafana Labs. We have a habit of always hiring the top contributors within the community, which is how we scale our engineering team.

    [...]

    You know, if you want to have something be open source, then make it really open source, and if it doesn't work through a business model to make a particular thing open source, then don't make it open source.

    So our view is we have a lot of open source software, which is truly open source, meaning under a real open source license like Apache, and we also have our enterprise offerings that are not open.

  • How to migrate from VSCode to VSCodium (the best code editor ever minus the corporate bullshit) [Ed: No, you don't get to escape the "corporate bullshit" by using another form of "teaser" and openwashing stunt of proprietary software MSVS]

    Blogception: a post on VSCodium as it’s being written in VSCodium.

  • The Dawn Of Ad Tech’s Open Source Era
  • What if "Sesame Street" Were Open Access?

    The news of iconic children’s television show “Sesame Street”’s new arrangement with the HBO MAX streaming service has sent ripples around the Internet. Starting this year, episodes of “Sesame Street” will debut on HBO and on the HBO MAX service, with new episodes being made available to PBS “at some point.” Parents Television Council’s Tim Winter recently told New York Times that “HBO is holding hostage underprivileged families” who can no longer afford to watch new “Sesame Street” episodes.

    The move is particularly galling because the show is partially paid for with public funding. Let's imagine an alternative: what if “Sesame Street” were open access? What if the show’s funding had come with a requirement that it be made available to the public?

  • Don’t Let Science Publisher Elsevier Hold Knowledge for Ransom

    It’s Open Access Week and we’re joining SPARC and dozens of other organizations this week to discuss the importance of open access to scientific research publications. 

    An academic publisher should widely disseminate the knowledge produced by scholars, not hold it for ransom. But ransoming scientific research back to the academic community is essentially the business model of the world’s largest publisher of scientific journals: Elsevier.

  • why async fn in traits are hard

    After reading boat’s excellent post on asynchronous destructors, I thought it might be a good idea to write some about async fn in traits. Support for async fn in traits is probably the single most common feature request that I hear about. It’s also one of the more complex topics. So I thought it’d be nice to do a blog post kind of giving the “lay of the land” on that feature – what makes it complicated? What questions remain open?

    I’m not making any concrete proposals in this post, just laying out the problems. But do not lose hope! In a future post, I’ll lay out a specific roadmap for how I think we can make incremental progress towards supporting async fn in traits in a useful way. And, in the meantime, you can use the async-trait crate (but I get ahead of myself…).

Software: MPV Release and Mozilla's Rust, Pernosco

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Software
Moz/FF
  • MPV Player 0.30 Released For This Advanced Open-Source Video Player

    MPV 0.30 is out as the newest release to this cross-platform, open-source video player derived from MPlayer/mplayer2.

    MPV continues to be on an exciting trajectory with their v0.30 release. This release adds Vulkan interoperability with its CUDA hardware decoding support as well as VA-API + Vulkan interop support too. MPV 0.30 also replaces its previous Vulkan implementation with one based upon libplacebo, the work-in-progress MPV library, so their Vulkan support is centered around the library.

  • AWS to sponsor Rust project

    Amazon Web Services has agreed to sponsor the development of the Rust project, being just one of the latest tech giants to throw its weight behind this security-focused programming language.

    The sponsorship comes in the form of "promotional credits" that AWS will be making available to the Rust team, which they'll be able to use to rent AWS infrastructure and support the language's development.

    "We're thrilled that AWS, which the Rust project has used for years, is helping to sponsor Rust's infrastructure," said Alex Crichton, Rust Core Team Member.

  • Pernosco Demo Video

    Over the last few years we have kept our work on the Pernosco debugger mostly under wraps, but finally it's time to show the world what we've been working on! So, without further ado, here's an introductory demo video showing Pernosco debugging a real-life bug...

Mozilla: Management Shakeups, Glean 'Telemetry' (Spying), and Firefox Enhancer for YouTube

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Moz/FF
  • Longtime Mozilla board member Bob Lisbonne moves from Foundation to Corporate Board; Outgoing CEO Chris Beard Corporate Board Term Ends

    Today, Mozilla Co-Founder and Chairwoman Mitchell Baker announced that Mozilla Foundation Board member Bob Lisbonne has moved to the Mozilla Corporation Board; and as part of a planned, phased transition, Mozilla Corporation’s departing CEO Chris Beard has stepped down from his role as a Mozilla Corporation board member.

    “We are in debt to Chris for his myriad contributions to Mozilla,” said Mozilla Chairwoman and Co-Founder Mitchell Baker. “We’re fortunate to have Bob make this shift at a time when his expertise is so well matched for Mozilla Corporation’s current needs.”

    Bob has been a member of the Mozilla Foundation Board since 2006, but his contributions to the organization began with Mozilla’s founding. Bob played an important role in converting the earlier Netscape code into open source code and was part of the team that launched the Mozilla project in 1998.

    “I’m incredibly fortunate to have been involved with Mozilla for over two decades,” said Bob Lisbonne. “Creating awesome products and services that advance the Mozilla mission remains as important as ever. In this new role, I’m eager to contribute my expertise and help advance the Internet as a global public resource, open and accessible to all.”

    During his tenure on the Mozilla Foundation board, Bob has been a significant creative force in building both the Foundation’s programs — in particular the programs that led to MozFest — and the strength of the board. As he moves to the Mozilla Corporation Board, Bob will join the other Mozilla Corporation Board members in selecting, onboarding, and supporting a new CEO for Mozilla Corporation. Bob’s experience across innovation, investment, strategy and execution in the startup and technology arenas are particularly well suited to Mozilla Corporation’s setting.

  • This Week in Glean: A Release

    Back in June when Firefox Preview shipped, it also shipped with Glean, our new Telemetry library, initially targeting mobile platforms. Georg recently blogged about the design principles of Glean in Introducing Glean — Telemetry for humans.
    Plans for improving mobile telemetry for Mozilla go back as as far as December 2017. The first implementation of the Glean SDK was started around August 2018, all written in Kotlin (though back then it was mostly ideas in a bunch of text documents). This implementation shipped in Firefox Preview and was used up until now.
    On March 18th I created an initial Rust workspace. This kicked of a rewrite of Glean using Rust to become a cross-platform telemetry SDK to be used on Android, iOS and eventually coming back to desktop platforms again.
    1382 commits later1 I tagged v19.0.02.

  • Firefox Extension Spotlight: Enhancer for YouTube

    “I wanted to offer a useful extension people can trust,” explains Maxime RF, creator of Enhancer for YouTube, a browser extension providing a broad assortment of customization options so you can choose to tweak YouTube to taste. “Most of its features were suggested by users. It would not be used by so many people if it only offered the features I personally need.”

    Enhancer for YouTube is indeed loaded with ways to radically alter your YouTube experience—everything from the way the site looks to how it behaves. Once you have the extension installed on Firefox, a handy menu bar will automatically appear on all YouTube pages. From these simple controls you can access all manner of customization.

Firefox 70 Released. Here’s What’s New.

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Moz/FF

The latest edition of Firefox 70 brings more privacy focused changes and it is here to help you and be safe while surfing the web.
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More in Tux Machines

Openwashing Deception and FUD (Misusing and Badmouthing the "Open Source" Brand)

Acquia/Drupal After the Vista Equity Partners Takeover

  • Acquia, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert on open source, Vista, CDPs

    Dries Buytaert: No. We were profitable, we really didn't need more investment. But at the same time, we have an ambitious roadmap and our competitors are well-funded. We were starting to receive a lot of inbound requests from different firms, including Vista. When they come to you, you've got to look at it. It made sense.

  • New Acquia Drupal tools show open source loyalty post-Vista deal

    Web content management vendor Acquia Inc. delivered new marketing automation and content personalization platforms for the open-source Drupal faithful and for commercial customers. In late September, venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Acquia, but commitment to Acquia Drupal open source content management applications remain steady, according to Acquia CMO Lynne Capozzi.

Microsoft Claims a Monopoly Over 'Open Source'

Bringing PostgreSQL to Government

  • Crunchy Data, ORock Technologies Form Open Source Cloud Partnership for Federal Clients

    Crunchy Data and ORock Technologies have partnered to offer a database-as-a-service platform by integrating the former's open source database with the latter's managed offering designed to support deployment of containers in multicloud or hybrid computing environments. The partnership aims to implement a PostgreSQL as a service within ORock's Secure Containers as a Service, which is certified for government use under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, Crunchy Data said Tuesday.

  • Crunchy Data and ORock Technologies Partnership Brings Trusted Open Source Cloud Native PostgreSQL to Federal Government

    Crunchy Data and ORock Technologies, Inc. announced a partnership to bring Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes to ORock’s FedRAMP authorized container application Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution. Through this collaboration, Crunchy Data and ORock will offer PostgreSQL-as-a-Service within ORock’s Secure Containers as a Service with Red Hat OpenShift environment. The combined offering provides a fully managed Database as a Service (DBaaS) solution that enables the deployment of containerized PostgreSQL in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes has achieved Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification and provides Red Hat OpenShift users with the ability to provision trusted open source PostgreSQL clusters, elastic workloads, high availability, disaster recovery, and enterprise authentication systems. By integrating with the Red Hat OpenShift platform within ORock’s cloud environments, Crunchy PostgreSQL for Kubernetes leverages the ability of the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform to unite developers and IT operations on a single FedRAMP-compliant platform to build, deploy, and manage applications consistently across hybrid cloud infrastructures.