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Moz/FF

Leaving Mozilla and Recalling One's Job in Mozilla

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Moz/FF
  • yoric.steps.next()

    The web is getting darker. It is being weaponized by trolls, bullies and bad actors and, as we’ve witnessed, this can have extremely grave consequences for individuals, groups, sometimes entire countries. So far, most of the counter-measures proposed by either governments or private actors are even scarier.

    The creators of the Matrix protocol have recently published the most promising plan I have seen. One that I believe stands a chance of making real headway in this fight, while respecting openness, decentralization, open-source and privacy.

    I have been offered the opportunity to work on this plan. For this reason, after 9 years as an employee at Mozilla, I’ll be moving to Element, where I’ll try and contribute to making the web a better place. My last day at Mozilla will be October 30th.

  • Working open source | daniel.haxx.se

    I work full time on open source and this is how.

    Background

    I started learning how to program in my teens, well over thirty years ago and I’ve worked as a software engineer and developer since the early 1990s. My first employment as a developer was in 1993. I’ve since worked for and with lots of companies and I’ve worked on a huge amount of (proprietary) software products and devices over many years. Meaning: I certainly didn’t start my life open source. I had to earn it.

    When I was 20 years old I did my (then mandatory) military service in Sweden. After having endured that, I applied to the university while at the same time I was offered a job at IBM. I hesitated, but took the job. I figured I could always go to university later – but life took other turns and I never did. I didn’t do a single day of university. I haven’t regretted it.

    [...]
      
    I’d like to emphasize that I worked as a contract and consultant developer for many years (over 20!), primarily on proprietary software and custom solutions, before I managed to land myself a position where I could primarily write open source as part of my job.

    [...]

    My work setup with Mozilla made it possible for me to spend even more time on curl, apart from the (still going) two daily spare time hours. Nobody at Mozilla cared much about (my work with) curl and no one there even asked me about it. I worked on Firefox for a living.

    For anyone wanting to do open source as part of their work, getting a job at a company that already does a lot of open source is probably the best path forward. Even if that might not be easy either, and it might also mean that you would have to accept working on some open source projects that you might not yourself be completely sold on.

    In late 2018 I quit Mozilla, in part because I wanted to try to work with curl “for real” (and part other reasons that I’ll leave out here). curl was then already over twenty years old and was used more than ever before.

Mozilla: Rust, MDN and More

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Moz/FF
  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 361
  • MDN Web Docs: Editorial strategy and community participation - Mozilla Hacks - the Web developer blog

    Our updated editorial strategy has two main parts: the creation of content pillars and an editorial calendar.

    The MDN writers’ team has always been responsible for keeping the MDN web platform reference documentation up-to-date, including key areas such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web APIs. We are breaking these key areas up into “content pillars”, which we will work on in turn to make sure that the significant new web platform updates are documented each month.

  • L10n Report: October 2020 Edition | Mozilla L10N

    New content and projects What’s new or coming up in Firefox desktop

  • Modern Web Standards Are Leaving Niche Web Browsers Behind - LinuxReviews

    There's plenty of web browsers to choose from on desktop computers but there's not much of a choice if you look beneath the surface. There's a ton of web browsers based on Google's Chromium code-base, a few mostly iOS and macOS browsers based on Apple's Webkit engine and then there's Firefox with it's own Quantum rendering engine. There also Pale Moon with it's own Goanna rendering engine. It is increasingly falling behind the bigger browsers and more and more websites are broken in it as web developers deploy web standards other browsers, but not Pale Moon, support.

    [...]

    The developer of the Pale Moon web browser announced that Pale Moon's source code is being migrated off Microsoft GitHub yesterday. The reason? Moonchild doesn't like that GitHub is increasingly relying on web standards the Pale Moon web browser doesn't support.

  • US Department Of Justice Lawsuit Against Google Could Kill Firefox - LinuxReviews

    A US Department of Justice lawsuit against Google on the grounds that they are a "monopolist" could result in the death of the one realistic free software web browser alternative that's not based on the Google-controlled Chromium code-base and it's Blink rendering engine. Mozilla will need to find some other partner willing to pay them $400 million a year if they are forced to cancel their sweet "royalty" contract with Google.

Mozilla: Rust, Volunteers and Spying

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Moz/FF

  • Marking issues as regressions

    The Rust project gets many issues filed every day, and we need to keep track of them all to make sure we don't miss anything. To do that we use GitHub's issue labels feature, and we need your help to make sure we fix regressions as soon as possible!

    We have many issue labels that help us organize our issues, and we have a few in particular that mark an issue as a regression. These labels will ping a Rust working group called the prioritization working group, whose members will work to determine the severity of an issue and then prioritize it. But, this won't happen unless someone marks the issue with one of those labels!

  • New Contributors, Firefox 82 – about:community

    With Firefox 82 hot off the byte presses, we are pleased to welcome the developers whose first code contributions shipped in this release, 18 of whom were new volunteers!

  • Defining Data Intuition

    Last week, one of my peers asked me to explain what I meant by "Data Intuition", and I realized I really didn't have a good definition. That's a problem! I refer to data intuition all the time!

    Data intuition is one of the three skills I interview new data scientists for (along with statistics and technical skills). In fact, I just spent the first nine months of 2020 building Mozilla's data intuition. I'm really surprised to realize I can't point to a good explanation of what I'm trying to cultivate.

  • Five-Year Moziversary – chuttenblog

    In team news, Georg’s short break turned into the neverending kind as he left Mozilla late last year. We gained Michael Droettboom as our new fearless leader, and from my perspective he seems to be doing quite well at the managery things. Bea and Travis, our two newer team members, have really stepped into their roles well, providing much needed bench depth on Rust and Mobile. And Jan-Erik has taken over leadership of the SDK, freeing up Alessio to think about data collection for Web Extensions.

    2020 is indeed being the Year of Glean on the Desktop with several projects already embedding the now-successful Glean SDK, including our very own mach (Firefox Build Tooling Commandline) and mozregression (Firefox Bug Regression Window Finding Tool). Oh, and Jan-Erik and I’ve spent ten months planning and executing on Project FOG (Firefox on Glean) (maybe you’ve heard of it), on track (more or less) to be able to recommend it for all new data collections by the end of the year.

USDOJ Takes on Google, Mozilla Responds

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Google
Moz/FF
Web
Legal
  • Justice Department Sues Monopolist Google For Violating Antitrust Laws

    oday, the Department of Justice — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms. The participating state Attorneys General offices represent Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas.

    “Today, millions of Americans rely on the Internet and online platforms for their daily lives. Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s challenge against Google — the gatekeeper of the Internet — for violating antitrust laws is a monumental case both for the Department of Justice and for the American people,” said Attorney General William Barr. “Since my confirmation, I have prioritized the Department’s review of online market-leading platforms to ensure that our technology industries remain competitive. This lawsuit strikes at the heart of Google’s grip over the internet for millions of American consumers, advertisers, small businesses and entrepreneurs beholden to an unlawful monopolist.”

  • Mozilla Reaction to U.S. v. Google

    Like millions of everyday internet users, we share concerns about how Big Tech’s growing power can deter innovation and reduce consumer choice. We believe that scrutiny of these issues is healthy, and critical if we’re going to build a better internet. We also know from firsthand experience there is no overnight solution to these complex issues. Mozilla’s origins are closely tied to the last major antitrust case against Microsoft in the nineties.

    In this new lawsuit, the DOJ referenced Google’s search agreement with Mozilla as one example of Google’s monopolization of the search engine market in the United States. Small and independent companies such as Mozilla thrive by innovating, disrupting and providing users with industry leading features and services in areas like search. The ultimate outcomes of an antitrust lawsuit should not cause collateral damage to the very organizations – like Mozilla – best positioned to drive competition and protect the interests of consumers on the web.

  • DOJ May Force Google To Sell Chrome To Settle Antitrust Case: Report

    he U.S. Department of Justice may force Google to sell its Chrome browser. The development came after the US Congress’ antitrust report on big tech companies.

    It is also told that the DOJ is targeting Google’s advertising business as well. The prosecutors aim at breaking Google’s monopoly on the $162 billion digital advertising market. Politico reported the development via anonymous sources.

Firefox 83 Enters Beta with HTTPS-Only Mode, WebRender Support for Intel Gen12 GPUs

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Moz/FF

Scheduled for release next month on November 17th, the Firefox 83 web browser comes with a new security feature that was supposed to land in a previous version. It’s called HTTPS-Only Mode and will be available in the Privacy & Security tab under Preferences.

The HTTPS-Only Mode provides a secure and encrypted connection between your web browser and the websites you visit, even if they don’t use HTTPS. While most websites already support HTTPS, when HTTPS-Only Mode is enabled Firefox will upgrade all connections to use HTTPS.

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Firefox 82 Released with Picture-In-Picture Improvements, 17% Faster Session Restore

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Moz/FF

Firefox 82 isn’t a major update, but it brings a few enhancements to the Picture-In-Picture mode, which now has a new look and position to make it easier for users to access it and use it when watching videos, and further enhances the Pocket integration by letting users explore new articles when saving a webpage from the Firefox toolbar.

Most of the improvements in Firefox 82 are under the hood, making the free and open-source web browser more faster on both page loads and start up time. For example, Firefox is now up to 17% faster when restoring a session, and up to 20% faster when loading websites that use flexbox-based layouts.

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Firefox 82 is Out with New Sync Options, Malicious Download Blocking

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Moz/FF

Firefox 82 is due for formal release later today (October 20) but as that tend to happen when I’m in bed I’m posting this post a tiny bit early. Firefox 82 downloads are up on the release server.

Indeed, feature development for Firefox seems to be slowing down in general — Mozilla did recently sack a sizeable chunk of the brower’s development team — but a welcome round of enhancements and changes are available through this uplift.

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4 Firefox Features You Should Be Using Right Now

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Moz/FF

I was using Firefox as my secondary browser and Chrome was my primary browser because I have been using it for more than ten years and it has all my passwords and bookmarks stored.

Honestly, I was just lazy in switching the browser but it was way easier than I thought. Firefox imported the bookmarks from Google Chrome and I quickly arranged the folders on the main bookmark bar.

Similarly, I also exported all the saved account password and imported it into Firefox.

With these two things done, I happily started using Mozilla Firefox as my main browser. And this is when I started noticing and using obscure Firefox features that make my browsing experience better.

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Mozilla: Surveillance, Security and Accessibility

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Moz/FF
  • Follow up: Intentional Documentation

    In Q4, I'm trying to build a set of trainings to help Mozillians build data intuition. Last week, I was building a proposal for the project and I thought to myself, "Why don't these trainings already exist?"

    I spent the first half of 2020 working with Mozilla's product team to help build an understanding of our data and metrics. This feels like it would have been the perfect opportunity to create some scalable documentation. I've already invested a lot of time and energy into explaining our metrics. Why didn't I think to document the work as I went?

    [...]

    This is especially true at Mozilla. The company is constantly exploring new areas so our problem-space keeps shifting. This is in part because we're still new to working with data and in part because the company is trying to find a way to grow.

  • Guest Blog Post: Rollback Attack – Attack & Defense

    This blog post is about a vulnerability I found in the Mozilla Maintenance Service on Windows that allows an attacker to elevate privileges from a standard user account to SYSTEM. While the specific vulnerability only works on Windows, this is not really because of any Windows-specific issue but rather about how Mozilla validated trust in files it operated on with privileged components. This vulnerability is assigned CVE-2020-15663. It was reported on Mozilla Bugzilla Bug 1643199.

    One day I read the “Mozilla Foundation Security Advisory 2019-25,” and one bug caught my attention: “CVE-2019-11753: Privilege escalation with Mozilla Maintenance Service in custom Firefox installation location.” The description mentioned that a privilege escalation was caused “due to a lack of integrity checks.” My past experience taught me that maybe the fix was to check digital signatures only. If that’s the case, then a version rollback attack may be used to bypass the fix. So, I decided to check that, and it worked.

  • Marco Zehe: 25 years of Help Tech and Me

    It makes a difference whether blindness-specific products are being developed for the blind by sighted people who believe they know what a blind user might need, or whether devices and functions are being developed by the blind for the blind.

Perhaps Mozilla Should Unfck Itself Before “Unfcking The Internet”

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Moz/FF

The recent layoffs in August of more than 250 Mozilla employees, a quarter of its workforce, left the company shaking and the community worried about the future of the Firefox maker.

The entire Servo team (A new browser engine in development since 2012), many developers working on MDN (Mozilla’s web development documentation portal) beside people working on various aspects of the company were laid off.

Yet, instead of being transparent on why these layoffs happened and based on what criteria, and what will be the new company’s strategy to increase its current 4% browser marketshare instead of losing it, we get a new initiative from Mozilla called “Unfck The Internet” (Yes, that’s the official name they chose), which as they say, aims to “stop companies like Facebook and YouTube from contributing to the disastrous spread of misinformation and political manipulation”.

But this isn’t just a one-time off initiative from Mozilla. Over the past few years Mozilla has been throwing tons of money and resources on similar social issues and projects of the Internet rather than developing their own main product, which is why they were here in the first place: Firefox.

As a background story one should know that there are two entities here: Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation. The corporation is the one developing Firefox (And hence collects money from search agreements, other services… etc) while the Foundation is the only one receiving donations, hence there’s no direct way of donating to Firefox development. But the Corporation also funds the Foundation. The donations you do to Mozilla Foundation are never used to develop Firefox, but rather, to projects that promote the Mozilla Manifesto.

This situation leaves the scene complex in terms of who to blame; Firefox browser (Controlled by the Corp) is the one generating the profit, but the profit goes to fund the Foundation as well. Yet, people get laid off because there’s no money, despite the “fellowships & awards” category at Mozilla’s blog showing an at least +$10 million spending (With help of other funds) on these social activities and other web projects just in the last two months.

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