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Mozilla: Firefox on ARM64, Mozilla Thunderbird and Mark Surman

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  • arm64 windows update #1

    A month ago, we formally announced that we were working to bring Firefox to ARM64 Windows. The last month has seen significant progress on our journey to that release.

    The biggest news is that we have dogfoodable (auto-updating) Nightly builds available! As that message states, these Nightlies are even nightlier than our normal Nightlies, as they have not gone through our normal testing processes. But Firefox is perfectly usable on ARM64 Windows in its present state, so if you have an ARM64 device, please give it a try and file any bugs you find!

  • Encryption? This time it'll be usable, Thunderbird promises

    Those who remember trying to configure the Thunderbird of old to work with PGP – an effort akin to learning how to run an Enigma machine while blindfolded – will be watching with interest: the project's coders promise that 2019 will be the year of easy encryption.

    When the Mozilla Foundation decided to turn the email client loose in May 2017, its future looked doubtful, but it's still here and, according to this post by community manager Ryan Sipes, donations are flowing freely enough for Thunderbird to expand its development team.

    The current eight personnel are to be expanded to 14, and one of the roles to be resourced is an engineer who will focus on security and privacy.

    "The UX/UI around encryption and settings will get an overhaul in the coming year," Sipes wrote.

  • Mark Surman: Raising my sights in 2019

    At the beginning of last year, I set the intention to ‘stay the course’ on big changes that I had made in both my personal life and at Mozilla. This has paid off. I have a house of my own that I have slowly, and with the help of others, turned into a home. I have a renewed sense of family and community, including a much richer relationship with my boys. And, I have energy, hope and gratitude for Mozilla and the people I work with that is stronger than it has been in years. Being present and staying the course on a good set of choices, made these things possible.

Mozilla: MOSS, Socorro and Thunderbird

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  • MOSS 2018 Year in Review

    Mozilla was born out of, and remains a part of, the open-source and free software movement. Through the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) program, we recognize, celebrate, and support open source projects that contribute to our work and to the health of the internet.

    2018 was a year of change and growth for the MOSS program. We worked to streamline the application process, undertook efforts to increase the diversity and inclusion of the program, and processed a record number of MOSS applications. The results? In total, MOSS provided over $970,000 in funding to over 40 open-source projects over the course of 2018. For the first time since the beginning of the program, we also received the majority of our applications from outside of the United States.

  • Socorro in 2018

    Socorro is the crash ingestion pipeline for Mozilla's products like Firefox. When Firefox crashes, the crash reporter collects data about the crash, generates a crash report, and submits that report to Socorro. Socorro saves the crash report, processes it, and provides an interface for aggregating, searching, and looking at crash reports.

  • Mozilla Looks to Improve Email With 2019 Thunderbird Roadmap

    Mozilla, an organization that is best known for its Firefox web browser, is starting 2019 by renewing focus on its Thunderbird email client. It's a move that comes after a meandering 20-year path for the open-source organization's email efforts.

    Email is not a new thing for Mozilla, and to understand how long the organization has been grappling with developing an email client, it's important to go back and look at the history of the internet itself. Mozilla has its roots in the Netscape browser, which in its final years had a full suite known as Netscape Communicator that included both email and web browser applications. The original Mozilla suite that debuted in 1998 included both email and browser capabilities.

    In 2003, Mozilla split its email and browser efforts into two groups, one for browsers that led to Firefox and the other effort for email, which is where Thunderbird comes in. So yeah, Mozilla has been trying to build traction for its stand-alone email client for 16 years, with a lot of ups and downs along the way.

Mozilla: Firefox Extensions, WebRender, ARCore and Arkit, Privacy

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  • [Firefox] January’s featured extensions
  • WebRender newsletter #34

    Happy new year! I’ll introduce WebRender’s 34th newsletter with a rather technical overview of a neat trick we call primitive segmentation. In previous posts I wrote about how we deal with batching and how we use the depth buffer both as a culling mechanism and as a way to save memory bandwidth. As a result, pixels rendered in the opaque pass are much cheaper than pixels rendered in the blend pass. This works great with rectangular opaque primitives that are axis-aligned so they don’t need anti-aliasing. Anti-aliasing, however, requires us to do some blending to smoothen the edges and rounded corners have some transparent pixels. We could tessellate a mesh that covers exactly the rounded primitive but we’d still need blending for the anti-aliasing of the border. What a shame, rounded corners are so common on the web, and they are often quite big.

    Well, we don’t really need to render whole primitives at a time. for a transformed primitive we can always extract out the opaque part of the primitive and render the anti-aliased edges separately. Likewise, we can break rounded rectangles up into smaller opaque rectangles and the rectangles that contain the corners. We call this primitive segmentation and it helps at several levels: opaque segments can move to the opaque pass which means we get good memory bandwidth savings and better batching since batching complexity is mostly affected by the amount of work to perform during the blend pass. This also opens the door to interesting optimizations. For example we can break a primitive into segments, not only depending on the shapes of the primitive itself, but also on the shape of masks that are applied to it. This lets us create large rounded rectangle masks where only the rounded parts of the masks occupy significant amounts of space in the mask. More generally, there are a lot of complicated elements that can be reduced to simpler or more compact segments by applying the same family of tricks and render them as nine-patches or some more elaborate patchwork of segments (for example the box-shadow of a rectangle).

  • ARCore and Arkit: What is under the hood : Anchors and World Mapping (Part 1)

    Some of you know I have been recently experimenting a bit more with WebXR than a WebVR and when we talk about mobile Mixed Reality, ARkit and ARCore is something which plays a pivotal role to map and understand the environment inside our applications.

    I am planning to write a series of blog posts on how you can start developing WebXR applications now and play with them starting with the basics and then going on to using different features of it. But before that, I planned to pen down this series of how actually the "world mapping" works in arcore and arkit. So that we have a better understanding of the Mixed Reality capabilities of the devices we will be working with.

  • Rabimba: ARCore and Arkit, What is under the hood: SLAM (Part 2)

    In our last blog post (part 1), we took a look at how algorithms detect keypoints in camera images. These form the basis of our world tracking and environment recognition. But for Mixed Reality, that alone is not enough. We have to be able to calculate the 3d position in the real world. It is often calculated by the spatial distance between itself and multiple keypoints. This is often called Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). And this is what is responsible for all the world tracking we see in ARCore/ARKit.

  • India attempts to turn online companies into censors and undermines security – Mozilla responds

    Last week, the Indian government proposed sweeping changes to the legal protections for “intermediaries”, which affect every internet company today. Intermediary liability protections have been fundamental to the growth of the internet as an open and secure medium of communication and commerce. Whether Section 79 of the Information Technology Act in India (under which these new rules are proposed), the EU’s E-Commerce Directive, or Section 230 of the US’ Communications Decency Act, these legal provisions ensure that companies generally have no obligations to actively censor and limited liability for illegal activities and postings of their users until they know about it. In India, the landmark Shreya Singhal judgment had clarified in 2015 that companies would only be expected to remove content when directed by a court order to do so.

  • Kenya Considers Protection of Privacy and Personal Data

    Mozilla applauds the government of Kenya for publishing the Data Protection Bill, 2018. This highly anticipated bill gives effect to Article 31 of the Constitution of Kenya, which protects the right to privacy, and, if passed, will be Kenya’s first data protection law.

Thunderbird in 2019

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Our team grew considerably in 2018, to eight staff working full-time on Thunderbird. At the beginning of this year we are going to be adding as many as six new members to our team. Most of these people with the exception of this author (Ryan Sipes, Community Manager) are engineers who will be focused on making Thunderbird more stable, faster, and easier to use (more on this below).

The primary reason we’ve been able to do this is an increase in donors to the project. We hope that anyone reading this will consider giving to Thunderbird as well. Donations from individual contributors are our primary source of funding, and we greatly appreciate all our supporters who made this year so successful!

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Mozilla's Adware Experiment

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  • Mozilla: Ad on Firefox’s new tab page was just another experiment

    Some Firefox users yesterday started seeing an ad in the desktop version of the browser. It offers users a $20 Amazon gift card in return for booking your next hotel stay via We reached out to Mozilla, which confirmed the ad was a Firefox experiment and that no user data was being shared with its partners.

    The ad appears at the bottom of Firefox’s new tab page on the desktop version with a “Find a Hotel” button that takes the user to a page. The text reads: “Ready to schedule that next family reunion? Here’s a thank you from Firefox. Book your next hotel stay on today and get a free $20 Amazon gift card. Happy Holidays from Firefox! (Restrictions apply).” A second version reads: “For the holidays, we got you a little something just for using Firefox! Book your next hotel stay on today and get a free $20 Amazon gift card. Happy Holidays from Firefox! (Restrictions apply.)”

  • How to Disable Ad Banners on Firefox’s New Tab Page

    A Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat that this “was not a paid placement or advertisement,” and was “an experiment to provide more value to Firefox users through offers provided by a partner.” Who does Mozilla think they’re fooling?

    Anyway, if you don’t want to see these advertisement banners in the future, there’s a simple solution.

    Click Menu > Options > Home, or just click the gear-shaped “Options” button at the top-right corner of FIrefox’s New Tab page.

  • Firefox with ads on New Tab Page

    Reports indicate that the Firefox browser displays advertisement on the browser's New Tab Page to some users of the browser.

    A thread on Reddit offers some details: a user reported that Firefox was displaying an advertisement at the bottom of the New Tab Page.

Mozilla Labs is back!

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Not seen for a number of years, Mozilla Labs used to be home to experimental Firefox projects. Now, the relaunched version is home to more, including Project Things, Spoke, Hubs and more -- Firefox is no longer the sole focus.

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Mozilla: Extensions, Privacy and Firefox Focus

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  • December 2018 - what extensions do I use in Firefox desktop
  • Privacy in practice: Mozilla talks “lean data” in India

    How can businesses best implement privacy principles? On November 26th, Mozilla hosted its first “Privacy Matters” event in New Delhi, bringing together representatives from some of India’s leading and upcoming online businesses. The session was aimed at driving a practical conversation around how companies can better protect user data, and the multiple incentives to do so.

    This conversation is timely. The European GDPR came into force this May and had ripple effects on many Indian companies. India itself is well on its way to having its first comprehensive data protection law. We’ve been vocal in our support for a strong law, see here and here for our submissions to the Indian government. Conducted with Mika Shah, Lead Product and Data Counsel at Mozilla Headquarters in Mountain View, the meeting saw participation from thirteen companies in India, ranging from SMEs to large conglomerates, including Zomato, Ibibo, Dunzo, Practo and Zeotap. There was a mix of representatives across engineering, c-level, and legal/policy teams of these companies. The discussions were divided into three segments as per Mozilla’s Lean Data framework, covering key topics: “Engage users”, “Stay Lean”, and “Build-in Security”.

  • KStars v3.0.0 Now Available, Malware Targeting IoT Devices Is Growing, Enhanced Privacy Settings for Mozilla's Latest Firefox Focus, Coreboot 4.9 Released and Pivotal Announces Pivotal Cloud Foundry Platform Version 2.4

    Mozilla announces the latest release of Firefox Focus, introducing enhanced privacy settings. According to the Mozilla blog, "You can choose to block all cookies on a website, no cookies at all—the default so far—third party cookies or only 3rd party tracking cookies as defined by Disconnect's Tracking Protection list. If you go with the latter option, which is new to Firefox Focus and also the new default, cross-site tracking will be prevented." You can get the latest version of Firefox Focus from Google Play and in the App Store.

Mozilla: A New Mozilla Labs, Extensions in Firefox 65, Latest Firefox Focus and Rust 1.31.1

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  • Create, test, innovate, repeat.

    Imagine you are somewhere that is familiar to you such as your home, or your favorite park.

    Imagine that everything around you is connected and it has a link.

    Imagine you have the internet in your ears and you can speak directly to it.

    Imagine that instead of 2D screens around you, the air is alive with knowledge and wonder.

    Imagine that you are playing your favorite game with your friend while they are virtually sitting next to you.


    Today, Mozilla is launching a new Mozilla Labs. This is our online space where anyone can find our latest creations, innovations, and cutting-edge technologies.

  • Extensions in Firefox 65

    In lieu of the normal, detailed review of WebExtensions API coming out in Firefox 65, I’d like to simply say thank you to everyone for choosing Firefox. Now, more than ever, the web needs people who consciously decide to support an open, private, and safe online ecosystem.

    Two weeks ago, nearly every Mozilla employee gathered in Orlando, Florida for the semi-annual all-hands meeting. It was an opportunity to connect with remote teammates, reflect on the past year and begin sharing ideas for the upcoming year. One of the highlights was the plenary talk by Mitchell Baker, Chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation. If you have not seen it, it is well worth 15 minutes of your time.

  • Latest Firefox Focus provides more user control

    The Internet is a huge playground, but also has a few dark corners. In order to ensure that users still feel secure and protected while browsing, we’ve implemented features that offer privacy and control in all of our products, including Firefox Focus.

    Today’s release truly reflects this philosophy: Android users can now individually decide which publishers they want to share data with and are warned when they access risky content. We also have an update for iOS users with Search Suggestions.

  • Announcing Rust 1.31.1

    The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.31.1. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

Mozilla: Rust and WebAssembly, WebRender, MDN Changelog for November 2018, Things Gateway and Firefox 65 Beta 6 Testday

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  • Rust and WebAssembly in 2019

    Compiling Rust to WebAssembly should be the best choice for fast, reliable code for the Web. Additionally, the same way that Rust integrates with C calling conventions and libraries on native targets, Rust should also integrate with JavaScript and HTML5 on the Web. These are the Rust and WebAssembly domain working group’s core values.

    In 2018, we made it possible to surgically replace performance-sensitive JavaScript with Rust-generated WebAssembly.

  • rust for cortex-m7 baremetal
  • WebRender newsletter #33

    Yes indeed. In order for picture caching to work across displaylists we must be able to detect what did not change after a new displaylist arrives. The interning mechanism introduced by Glenn in #3075 gives us this ability in addition to other goodies such as de-duplication of interned resources and less CPU-GPU data transfer.

  • MDN Changelog for November 2018

    Potato London started work on this shortly after one-time payments launched. We kicked it off with a design meeting where we determined the features that could be delivered in 4 weeks. Potato and MDN worked closely to remove blockers, review code (in over 25 pull requests), and get it into the staging environment for testing. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we launched a high-quality feature on schedule.

    We’ve learned a lot from these payment experiments, and we’ll continue to find ways to maintain MDN’s growth in 2019.

  • K Lars Lohn: Things Gateway - a Virtual Weather Station

    Today, I'm going to talk about creating a Virtual Weather Station using the Things Gateway from Mozilla and a developer account from Weather Underground. The two combined enable home automation control from weather events like temperature, wind, and precipitation.

  • Taskgraph Like a Pro

    Have you ever needed to inspect the taskgraph locally? Did you have a bad time? Learn how to inspect the taskgraph like a PRO. For the impatient skip to the installation instructions below.

  • Firefox 65 Beta 6 Testday, December 21th

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, December 21th, we are organizing Firefox 65 Beta 6 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: and changes and UpdateDirectory.

    Check out the detailed instructions via this etherpad.

Mozilla Firefox 64 Is Now Available for All Supported Ubuntu Linux Releases

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Mozilla Firefox 64.0 continues the "Quantum" series with new features and improvements, including better recommendations for US users by showing suggestions about new and relevant Firefox features, services, and extensions based on their browsing habbits, enhanced tab management by allowing you to more easily and quickly close, move, pin, or bookmark tabs.

This release also makes it easier to manage performance via a new "Task Manager" accessible from the about:performance page, allowing users to view which tabs consume more CPU time so you can close them to conserve power, adds link time optimization (Clang LTO) for Linux and Mac users, as well as a new toolbar context menu option to remove add-ons.

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