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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Project Meeting, Controlling the Web, This Week In Servo and More

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Weekly Project Meeting
  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Report of High Level Expert Group on “Fake News”: A good first step, more work is needed

    In mid March, the European Commission published the final report of the High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Fake News, “A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Disinformation”. The group was established in early January of this year, and comprised a range of experts and stakeholders from the technology industry, broadcasters, the fact checking community, academics, consumer groups, and journalists. The group was expertly chaired by Dr Madeleine De Cock Buning of Utrecht University, specialised in Intellectual Property, Copyright and Media and Communication Law.

    I represented Mozilla in the HLEG, in close cooperation with Katharina Borchert, our Chief Innovation Officer, who spearheads the Mozilla Information and Trust Initiative. Mozilla’s engagement in this High Level Expert Group complements our efforts to develop products, research, and communities to battle information pollution and so-called “fake news” online.

    The HLEG was assigned an ambitious task of advising the Commission on “scoping the phenomenon of fake news, defining the roles and responsibilities of relevant stakeholders, grasping the international dimension, taking stock of the positions at stake, and formulating recommendations.” The added challenge was that this was to be done in under two months with only four in-person meetings.

  • This Week In Servo 109

    We also got Servo running under the hood of Firefox Focus on Android as a proof of concept.

  • Merge Pull Requests without Merge Commits

    By default, GitHub’s pull request (or GitLab’s merge request) will merge with a merge commit. That means your feature branch will be merged into the master by creating a new commit, and both the feature and master branch will be kept.

    Let’s illustrate with an example:

    Let’s assume we branch out a feature branch called “new-feature” from the master branch, and pushed a commit called “Finished my new feature”. At the same time someone pushed another commit called “Other’s feature” onto the master branch.

More ad-versarial tech: Mozilla to pop limited ad blocker into Firefox

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Moz/FF

Mozilla intends to add basic ad filtering capabilities to its Firefox browser later this year, according to its recently updated roadmap.

The move follows from what Asa Dotzler, Firefox roadmap and community leader at Mozilla, describes as changes that are making the web experience worse.

"Trackers, intrusive ads and other dark patterns threaten to drive people away from the open web and that's not good for people browsing or publishing," he says in Firefox roadmap update made on Thursday.

"Over the next year or so, Firefox will take a stand against tracking, intrusive ads, and other dark patterns on the web by blocking the worst content and more clearly communicating the privacy and other protections the browser offers."

Read more

Mozilla: Facebook-Mozilla Rift, MDN, No More Notifications (If You Want)

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla stops Facebook advertising, demands privacy changes

    It’s probably not top of Mark Zuckerberg’s worry list this week but Mozilla Corporation, developer of the Firefox browser, is officially unhappy with Facebook.

  • Results of the MDN “Competitive Content Analysis” SEO experiment

    The next SEO experiment I’d like to discuss results for is the MDN “Competitive Content Analysis” experiment. In this experiment, performed through December into early January, involved selecting two of the top search terms that resulted in MDN being included in search results—one of them where MDN is highly-placed but not at #1, and one where MDN is listed far down in the search results despite having good content available.

    The result is a comparison of the quality of our content and our SEO against other sites that document these technology areas. With that information in hand, we can look at the competition’s content and make decisions as to what changes to make to MDN to help bring us up in the search rankings.

  • No More Notifications (If You Want)

    Online, your attention is priceless. That’s why every site in the universe wants permission to send you notifications about new stuff. It can be distracting at best and annoying at worst. The latest version of Firefox for desktop lets you block those requests and many others.

Mozilla News and Progress

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Moz/FF
  • Zero coverage report

    Using these reports, we have managed to remove a good amount of code from mozilla-central, so far around 60 files with thousands of lines of code. We are confident that there’s even more code that we could remove or conditionally compile only if needed.

    As any modern software, Firefox relies a lot on third party libraries. Currently, most (all?) the content of these libraries is built by default. For example,~400 files are untested in the gfx/skia/ directory).

  • Shipping a security update of Firefox in less than a day

    One of Mozilla’s top priorities is to keep our users safe; this commitment is written into our mission. As soon as we discover a critical issue in Firefox, we plan a rapid mitigation. This post will describe how we fixed a Pwn2Own exploit discovery in less than 22 hours, through the collaborative and well-coordinated efforts of a global cross-functional team of release and QA engineers, security experts, and other stakeholders.

    Pwn2Own is an annual computer hacking contest. The goal of this event is to find security vulnerabilities in major software such as browsers. Last week, this event took place in Vancouver. Without getting into technical details of the exploit here, this blog post will describe how Mozilla responded quickly to ship updated builds of Firefox once an exploit was found during Pwn2Own.

  • Firefox Performance Update #4
  • The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies (Startklar?! March 2018)

    I presented today in Berlin at the Goethe Institute’s Startklar?! event. I went after a keynote (in German) by Cathleen Berger, Mozilla’s Global Engagement Lead. My time at Mozilla didn’t overlap with hers, but the subjects covered in our presentations certainly did!

    It was good to see Cathleen reference the Web Literacy Map, work that I led from 2012 to 2015 at Mozilla. She also referenced the recent Cambridge Analytica revelations and the DQ Institute.

  • Mozilla Accepting Applications for Internet Fellowships, Node.js Now Available as a Snap, Krita 4.0.0 Released and More

    Mozilla is accepting applications for its 2018–2019 Internet Fellowships: "Mozilla Fellows are technologists, activists, and policy experts building a more humane digital world." Apply here. Applications are due April 20, 2018 at 5pm EDT.

Browsers: Mozilla and Chrome

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Google
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Presses Pause on Facebook Advertising

    Mozilla is pressing pause on our Facebook advertising. Facebook knows a great deal about their two billion users — perhaps more intimate information than any other company does. They know everything we click and like on their site, and know who our closest friends and relationships are. Because of its scale, Facebook has become one of the most convenient platforms to reach an audience for all companies and developers, whether a multibillion corporation or a not-for-profit.

  • Results of the MDN “Duplicate Pages” SEO experiment

    Following in the footsteps of MDN’s “Thin Pages” SEO experiment done in the autumn of 2017, we completed a study to test the effectiveness and process behind making changes to correct cases in which pages are perceived as “duplicates” by search engines. In SEO parlance, “duplicate” is a fuzzy thing. It doesn’t mean the pages are identical—this is actually pretty rare on MDN in particular—but that the pages are similar enough that they are not easily differentiated by the search engine’s crawling technology.

  • Send, getting better

    Send continues to improve incrementally. Since our last post we’ve added a few requested features and fixed a bunch of bugs. You can now choose to allow multiple downloads and change the password on a file if you need to.

    Send is also more stable and should work more reliably across a wider set of browsers. We’ve brought back support for Microsoft Edge and some older versions of Safari.

  • Chrome 66 Beta: CSS Typed Object Model, Async Clipboard API, AudioWorklet

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 66 on ChromeStatus.

  • Chrome 66 Beta Delivers On Async Clipboard API, Web Locks API

    Following the Chrome 65 release earlier this month, Google developers have now catapulted the Chrome 66 beta.

Mozilla: Privacy Violations, Privacy Rants, Development and More

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla's opt-out Firefox DNS privacy test sparks, er, privacy outcry

    Mozilla's plan to test a more secure method for resolving internet domain names – known as Trusted Recursive Resolver (TRR) via DNS over HTTPs (DoH) – in Firefox Nightly builds has met with objections from its user community due to privacy concerns.

    The browser maker's intentions appear to be beneficial for Firefox users. As Patrick McManus, one of the Mozilla software engineers conducting the test, explains in a note posted this week to one of the company's developer forums, DoH can make DNS communication more secure.

  • Mozilla Statement, Petition: Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

    The headlines speak for themselves: Up to 50 million Facebook users had their information used by Cambridge Analytica, a private company, without their knowledge or consent. That’s not okay.

  • Enough is enough. Let’s tell Facebook what we want fixed.

    I had one big loud thought pounding in my head as I read the Cambridge Analytica headlines this past weekend: it’s time for Facebook users to say ‘enough is enough‘.

  • Crash-Stop, an extension to help handle crashes on Bugzilla

    Crash-stop is a webextension I wrote for Bugzilla to display crash stats by builds and patch information.

    The goal is to have enough information to be able to decide if a patch helped (hence its name) and, if needed, uplift it to the Beta/ESR/Release trains as appropriate.

    This project was initially meant to assist release-managers but it’s been useful for developers who fix/monitor crashes or for folks doing bug triage.

  • New features in Notes v3

    Today we are updating TestPilot Notes to v3.1! We have several new user-facing features and behind the scenes changes in this v3 release. The focus of this release was discoverability, speed and a bit of codebase cleanup.

    We heard your feedback about “Exporting notes…” and with this release we have added the first export related feature. You can now export the notepad as HTML using the menu. We are still playing around with Markdown and other exporting features.

  • compare-locales 3.0 – GSOC

    There’s something magic about compare-locales 3.0. It comes with Python 3 support.

    It took me quite a while to get to it, but the writing is on the wall that I had to add support for Python 3. That’s just been out for 10 years, too. Well, more like 9ish.

    We’re testing against Python 2.7, 3.5, and 3.6 now.

  • Multilingual Gecko Status Update 2018.1

    As promised in my previous post, I’d like to do a better job at delivering status updates on Internationalization and Localization technologies at Gecko at shorter intervals than once per year.

    In the previous post we covered recent history up to Firefox 58 which got released in January 2018. Since then we finished and shipped Firefox 59 and also finished all major work on Firefox 60, so this post will cover the two.

  • Bringing interactive examples to MDN
  • March Add(on)ness: Ghostery (2) Vs Decentraleyes (3)

Mozilla News/Views

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Moz/FF
  • What we learned about gender identity in Open Source

    To learn more, we launched a Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source survey earlier this year, which sought to better understand how people identify, including gender-identity.

    Our gender spectrum question, was purposely long — to experiment with the value people found in seeing their identity represented in a question. People from over 200 open projects participated. Amazingly, of 17 choices, each was uniquely selected, by a survey participant at least once.

  • Why we participate in support

    Users will not use Firefox if they don’t know how to use it, or if it is not working as expected. Support exists to retain users. If their experience of using Firefox is a bad, we’re here to make it good, so they continue to use Firefox.

  • WebRender newsletter #16
  • A good question, from Twitter

    Why do I pay attention to Internet advertising? Why not just block it and forget about it? By now, web ad revenue per user is so small that it only makes sense if you're running a platform with billions of users, so sites are busy figuring out other ways to get paid anyway.

  • This Week In Servo 108

    We have been working on adding automated performance tests for the Alexa top pages, and thanks to contributions from the Servo community we are now regularly tracking the performance of the top 10 websites.

Mozilla: Mozilla Firefox 60 Plans, Firefox 59 Release and More

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Firefox 60 Promises Enhanced Camera Privacy and USB Token Authentication

    While most Internet users are enjoying their brand-new Firefox 59 web browser with all of its performance improvements and new privacy features, Mozilla works hard on the next major release, Firefox 60.

  • Firefox Quantum for Enterprise Brings Control to Browser Deployments

    Mozilla is aiming to increase its browser market share with a new effort that will better enable managed deployments of the Firefox browser in enterprise environments.

    The new Firefox Quantum for Enterprise technology is part of the Firefox 60 release which reached the beta milestone on March 14 and is set to become generally available on May 9. The Firefox 60 Beta release comes a day after the Firefox 59 browser was released, providing incremental feature updates and security fixes.

  • Firefox 59 Released: Faster Page Loading, Better Graphics For macOS, New Screenshot Features
  • March Add(on)ness: Tree Style Tab (1) Vs Don’t Touch My Tabs (4)
  • Enter the Firefox Quantum Extensions Challenge

    Firefox users love using extensions to personalize their browsing experience. Now, it’s easier than ever for developers with working knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to create extensions for Firefox using the WebExtensions API. New and improved WebExtensions APIs land with each new Firefox release, giving developers the freedom to create new features and fine-tune their extensions.

  • Building Mixed Reality spaces for the web

    One of the primary goals of our Social Mixed Reality team is to enable and accelerate access to Mixed Reality-based communication. As mentioned in our announcement blog post, we feel meeting with others around the world in Mixed Reality should be as easy as sharing a link, and creating a virtual space to spend time in should be as easy as building your first website. In this post, we wanted to share an early look at some work we are doing to help achieve the second goal, making it easy for newcomers to create compelling 3D spaces suited for meeting in Mixed Reality.

Mozilla: New Firefox Snap, Firefox 60 Plans and These Weeks in Firefox

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  • Firefox is now available as a Snap package

    The latest version of Mozilla Firefox is available as a Snap package for Ubuntu and other Linux distros. Not just any ol’d Snap package either, but an official, made-by-Mozilla Snap package. It’s arrival, without any sort of formal fanfare (yet) has been a long time coming.

  • Firefox 60 Is In Beta With Web Authentication & Policy Engine Support

    Other changes in Firefox 60.0 beta include the new Firefox Quantum CSS engine being used to render the browser's user-interface, enhanced camera privacy indicators, support for promises with IndexedDB transactions, and more.

    There doesn't appear to be anything new with regards to Wayland support in Firefox 60 Beta.

    Firefox 60.0 should be officially released in early May.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 34

Mozilla Development/News

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Moz/FF
  • Making WebAssembly better for Rust & for all languages

    One big 2018 goal for the Rust community is to become a web language. By targeting WebAssembly, Rust can run on the web just like JavaScript. But what does this mean? Does it mean that Rust is trying to replace JavaScript?

    The answer to that question is no. We don’t expect Rust WebAssembly apps to be written completely in Rust. In fact, we expect the bulk of application code will still be JS, even in most Rust WebAssembly applications.

    This is because JS is a good choice for most things. It’s quick and easy to get up and running with JavaScript. On top of that, there’s a vibrant ecosystem full of JavaScript developers who have created incredibly innovative approaches to different problems on the web.

  • March Add(on)ness: Video Download Helper (1) Vs Cookie AD (4)

    Video DownloadHelper is the easy way to download and convert Web videos from hundreds of YouTube-like sites.

    Video DownloadHelper is a strong contender, giving users the ability to snag videos from virtually any site. The add-on automatically finds videos on a webpage. What users do with those videos is nobody’s business and anyone’s guess.

    Fun Fact: 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day. If you tried to download all of them, your computer would explode.

  • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 225
  • The new Firefox lets you stop websites from asking to send you notifications

    The Mozilla Foundation released a new version of Firefox this week—release number 59. It treads further down the performance improvement path that November's Quantum release began, but its most interesting feature is a quality-of-life one: Firefox 59 users can prevent some websites from popping up requests to send notifications to your device or from requesting to use your camera unexpectedly.

  • Things Gateway, Part 7 - IKEA TRÅDFRI

    In this series of postings, I've been setting up, configuring, and playing with IoT devices through the experimental Things Gateway from Mozilla. I've covered the generic Zigbee and Z-Wave devices, the Philips Hue devices, and the TP-Link WiFi devices. Today, I add IKEA TRÅDFRI to this circus.

    Of course, in this series, I've also been doing a bit of editorializing. I was critical of the TP-Link devices because their security model requires the end user to just trust them. I'm critical of the IKEA TRÅDFRI for a physical safety reason. What does the word TRÅDFRI mean? I'm assuming it is a Swedish word that means "severe blood loss from slashed wrists" because that is what is likely to happen when opening the package. The clamshell plastic that entombs their products is difficult to open with anything short of a chainsaw. My kitchen scissors wouldn't do the job and I had to resort to garden pruning shears and that left dangerously sharp pieces that drew blood. Be careful.

  • Firefox Performance Update #3

    Hi! I’ve got another slew of Firefox performance work to report today.

    Special thanks to the folks who submitted things through this form to let me know about performance work that’s taken place recently! If you’ve seen something fixed lately that’ll likely have a positive impact on Firefox performance, let me know about it!

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More in Tux Machines

Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" Installer Updated with Linux Kernel 4.16 Support

Developed under the Debian Testing umbrella, the forthcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series just received today the third alpha milestone of its installer, which lets people install the Linux-based operating system on their personal computers, servers, and IoT devices, such as the Raspberry Pi. One of the most interesting changes that caught out eyes is the bump of the kernel support from Linux kernel 4.13, which was used in the second alpha build, to Linux kernel 4.16. Of course, this means that there's better hardware support, so chances are you'll be able to install the development version of Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" on newer machines or if you have some exotic components on your PC. Read more

The New Microsoft

  • Microsoft ICE Contract Draws Fire

    “ICE’s decision to accelerate IT modernization using Azure Government will help them innovate faster while reducing the burden of legacy IT. The agency is currently implementing transformative technologies for homeland security and public safety, and we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud,” he wrote.

  • Microsoft faces outrage for blog post touting ICE contract

    As outrage grew online, a Microsoft employee quietly removed mention of ICE from the January press release this morning. Social media users noticed that, too. The company has since restored the press release's original language, and called its removal a "mistake."

  • Microsoft Removes Mention of ICE Cloud Work After Protests

    Microsoft Corp. scrubbed an online reference to its work for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as the agency faces criticism for its role in separating families at the U.S.-Mexican border.

  • Microsoft briefly removes blog post mentioning ICE contract after backlash
  • Microsoft's Ethical Reckoning Is Here

    Tech Workers Coalition, a labor group for tech industry employees, urged Microsoft employees to coordinate their opposition. “If you are a worker building these tools or others at Microsoft, decide now that you will not be complicit,” the group tweeted.

Android Leftovers

First Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 Release Candidate Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is Here

The latest Ubuntu Touch update from UBports, OTA-3, was released last year near the Christmas holidays, but it was still based on Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet), so if you though Ubuntu Phones are dead, think again, because the UBports team has been hard at work to bring you the OTA-4, which will be the first to rebase the operating system on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus). "The main reason why the arrival of OTA-4 seemed to take so long is because Ubuntu Touch switched its base to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus. This is a mammoth milestone for the project, because it allowed us to transition from the unsupported Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet to a Long Term Support (LTS) base," reads today's announcement. Read more Also: UBports' Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 RC Released, Upgrades To Ubuntu 16.04 LTS