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Browsers: Mozilla Firefox and Bromite

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox 60 Product Integrity Requests Report

    Late last year I was putting out weekly reports on the number of requests Mozilla’s Product Integrity group was receiving and how well we were tracking toward our self-imposed service-level agreement (respond to 90% within 48 hours).

    The initial system we set up was only ever intended to be minimally viable and has not scaled well, although that’s probably to be expected. There’s been quite a lot of growing pains so I’ve been tasked with taking it to the next level.

  • Tab Warming: How Firefox Will Improve Web Browsing Experience? How To Get It Now?

    Mozilla developer Mike Conley described the details about Tab Warming in a post on his personal blog. It will improve tab switching by pre-loading the contents of a tab before it gets displayed in front of the users.

  • Bromite Is the New NoChromo — Open Source Chrome Port with Ad Blocking

    A while back, we told you about NoChromo, a no-root ad-blocking browser based on Google Chrome's open source code base, Chromium. That browser was wildly successful, as it offered an identical interface to regular Chrome, but without any ads. Sadly, the developer abandoned NoChromo, but a new ad-blocking Chromium port called Bromite has been released to fill its void.

Android Things and Google Assistant appear in new smart speakers, smart displays, and modules

Filed under
Android
Google

Google announced third-party products that run Android Things, Google Assistant, and Cast, including smart speakers from LG and iHome. There are also embedded modules from Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Rockchip that will drive speakers and smart displays from JBL, Lenovo, Sony, and others.

Google has avoided the CES show in recent years, but has shown up big in 2018 to counter-attack Amazon’s voice assistant juggernaut Alexa with news about its rival, second place Google Assistant agent. We’ll focus here on new products that combine the Assistant voice agent with Google’s lightweight Android Things distribution. These include the LG ThinQ WK7 and iHome iGV1 smart speakers, and three new computer-on-modules: the Qualcomm SD212 Home Hub Platform, MediaTek MT8516, and Rockchip RK3229 SoM. The modules will drive speaker and smart displays from JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony, as well as smart speaker reference designs from three ODMs: Tymphany, Goertek, and Tonly.

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Chrome and Mozilla (Robert O'Callahan Unlocks Secrets)

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
  • Robert O'Callahan: Ancient Browser-Wars History: MD5-Hashed Posts Declassified

    Another lesson: in 2007-2008 I was overly focused on toppling IE (and Flash and WPF), and thought having all the open-source browsers sharing a single engine implementation wouldn't be a big problem for the Web. I've changed my mind completely; the more code engines share, the more de facto standardization of bugs we would see, so having genuinely separate implementations is very important.

    I'm very grateful to Brendan and others for disregarding my opinions and not letting me lead Mozilla down the wrong path. It would have been a disaster for everyone.

    To let off steam, and leave a paper trail for the future, I wrote four blog posts during 2007-2008 describing some of my thoughts, and published their MD5 hashes. The aftermath of the successful Firefox 57 release seems like an appropriate time to harmlessly declassify those posts. Please keep in mind that my opinions have changed.

  • On Keeping Secrets

    Once upon a time I was at a dinner at a computer science conference. At that time the existence of Chrome was a deeply guarded secret; I knew of it, but I was sworn to secrecy. Out of the blue, one of my dinner companions turned to me and asked "is Google working on a browser?"

    [...]

    One thing I really enjoyed about working at Mozilla was that we didn't have many secrets to keep. Most of the secrets I had to protect were about other companies. Minimizing one's secrecy burden generally seems like a good idea, although I can't eliminate it because it's often helpful to other people for them to be able to share secrets with me in confidence.

  • Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6

     

    Chrome, in other words, is being used in the same way that Internet Explorer 6 was back in the day — with web developers primarily optimizing for Chrome and tweaking for rivals later. To understand how we even got to this stage, here’s a little (a lot) of browser history. If you want to know why saying "Chrome is the new Internet Explorer 6" is so damning, you have to know why IE6 was a damnable problem in the early ‘00s.

Syzbot: Google Continuously Fuzzing The Linux Kernel

Filed under
Linux
Google

On the Linux kernel mailing list over the past week has been a discussion about Syzbot, an effort by Google for continuously fuzzing the mainline Linux kernel and its branches with automatic bug reporting.

Syzbot is the automation bot around Syzkaller, the Google-developed unsupervised kernel fuzzer that has since been extended to support FreeBSD, Fuchsia, NetBSD, and Windows. For those curious how the Syzkaller fuzzer works, it's documented via their GitHub documentation and the main project site. Syzkaller has been heavily developed over the past nearly two years while Syzbot is the more recent effort.

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Linux-driven IoT gateway hooks up to Google Cloud analytics

Filed under
Linux
Google
Hardware

SolidRun’s “ClearCloud 8K” IoT gateway runs Linux on its quad -A72 MacchiatoBIN SBC with 1-, 2.5-, and 10GbE ports, and links to Google Cloud IoT Core.

SolidRun has launched a MacchiatoBIN ClearCloud 8K IoT gateway appliance with built-in software for connecting to Google’s beta-level Cloud IoT Core analytics service (see farther below). The $399 box is built around SolidRun’s open-spec, $349 Marvell MacchiatoBIN Mini-ITX networking SBC, which features 2.5GbE and 2x 10GbE SFP+ ports, along with a standard Gigabit Ethernet port. The ClearCloud 8K is intended for evaluation use only, and lacks FCC resale compliance for resale.

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More on Chrome 63

Filed under
Google
Software
Web

New Chrome Browser and End of Chrome Web Store

Filed under
Google
Web
  • Chrome 63 rolling out to Mac, Windows, and Linux w/ Flags redesign, Site Certificate shortcut

    Chrome 63 is rolling out to Mac, Windows, and Linux today with an assortment of developer-focused features and security fixes. The biggest additions in this desktop release are a redesigned chrome://flags page and a tweaked permissions dropdown.

  • Chrome Apps are dead, as Google shuts down the Chrome Web Store section

    More than a year ago, Google announced that Chrome Apps would be removed from Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of Chrome (but not Chrome OS) some time in 2017, and it seems we've come to that point today. Google has shut down the "app" section of the Chrome Web Store for those platforms, meaning you can't install Chrome Apps anymore. Google has started sending out emails to Chrome app developers telling them that Chrome Apps are deprecated, and while previously installed apps still work, the functionality will be stripped out of Chrome in Q1 2018.

Raspberry Pi Vision

Filed under
Google
Hardware
  • Google is making a computer vision kit for Raspberry Pi

    Google is offering a new way for Raspberry Pi tinkerers to use its AI tools. It just announced the AIY Vision Kit, which includes a new circuit board and computer vision software that buyers can pair with their own Raspberry Pi computer and camera. (There’s also a cute cardboard box included, along with some supplementary accessories.) The kit costs $44.99 and will ship through Micro Center on December 31st.

  • Google made a computer vision kit so your Raspberry Pi devices can see

    At Google I/O earlier this year, Google wasn't shy about discussing technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning and how it is committed to integrating them into its products and services. So, it's not surprising to see the company announce AIY Vision Kit. It includes a new circuit board and computer vision software that you can connect to your tiny, low-cost Raspberry Pi computer and camera.

  • Google introduces $45 AIY Vision Kit for DIY computer vision hardware projects

    Google is launching a new hardware and software kit aimed at developers and hackers who want to build products that incorporate computer vision… on a budget.

Microsoft Worker Leaves for Google, Criticizes Post-Windows Vista Dev Strategy

Filed under
Google
Microsoft

Microsoft employee Tim Sneath, who spent no less than 17 years with the company, announced in a blog post that he’s leaving the software giant to work for Google on the new Flutter mobile framework.

Sneath started his post by emphasizing how great Microsoft is, explaining that he company has “incredibly diverse interests” and is “filled with talented people.”

Despite the good parts, however, the former Microsoft Program Manager who worked on a series of projects for developers, discussed what he described as the “missteps” that the Redmond-based software giant embraced beginning with the Windows Vista era.

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Also: ‘Goodbye Microsoft, hello Linux’

The Fox Hunt - Firefox and friends compared

Filed under
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?

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More in Tux Machines

Mozilla: Rust, Security, Things Gateway, Firefox and More

  • Rust pattern: Precise closure capture clauses
    This is the second in a series of posts about Rust compiler errors. Each one will talk about a particular error that I got recently and try to explain (a) why I am getting it and (b) how I fixed it. The purpose of this series of posts is partly to explain Rust, but partly just to gain data for myself. I may also write posts about errors I’m not getting – basically places where I anticipated an error, and used a pattern to avoid it. I hope that after writing enough of these posts, I or others will be able to synthesize some of these facts to make intermediate Rust material, or perhaps to improve the language itself.
  • This Week in Rust
  • Mozilla publishes recommendations on government vulnerability disclosure in Europe
    As we’ve argued on many occasions, effective government vulnerability disclosure (GVD) review processes can greatly enhance cybersecurity for governments, citizens, and companies, and help mitigate risk in an ever-broadening cyber threat landscape. In Europe, the EU is currently discussing a new legislative proposal to enhance cybersecurity across the bloc, the so-called ‘EU Cybersecurity Act’. In that context, we’ve just published our policy recommendations for lawmakers, in which we call on the EU to seize the opportunity to set a global policy norm for government vulnerability disclosure.
  • Testing Strategies for React and Redux
  • K Lars Lohn: Things Gateway - a Virtual Weather Station
  • Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14 Testday Results
    As you may already know, last Friday – April 20th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox DevEdition 60 Beta 14. Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place: gaby2300, micde, Jarrod Michell, Thomas Brooks.
  • Supporting Same-Site Cookies in Firefox 60
    Firefox 60 will introduce support for the same-site cookie attribute, which allows developers to gain more control over cookies. Since browsers will include cookies with every request to a website, most sites rely on this mechanism to determine whether users are logged in. Attackers can abuse the fact that cookies are automatically sent with every request to force a user to perform unwanted actions on the site where they are currently logged in. Such attacks, known as cross-site request forgeries (CSRF), allow attackers who control third-party code to perform fraudulent actions on the user’s behalf. Unfortunately current web architecture does not allow web applications to reliably distinguish between actions initiated by the user and those that are initiated by any of the third-party gadgets or scripts that they rely on.
  • Enterprise Policy Support in Firefox
    Last year, Mozilla ran a survey to find out top enterprise requirements for Firefox. Policy management (especially Windows Group Policy) was at the top of that list. For the past few months we’ve been working to build that support into Firefox in the form of a policy engine. The policy engine adds desktop configuration and customization features for enterprise users to Firefox. It works with any tool that wants to set policies including Windows Group Policy.
  • any.js
    Thanks to Ms2ger web-platform-tests is now even more awesome (not in the American sense). To avoid writing HTML boilerplate, web-platform-tests supports .window.js, .worker.js, and .any.js resources, for writing JavaScript that needs to run in a window, dedicated worker, or both at once. I very much recommend using these resource formats as they ease writing and reviewing tests and ensure APIs get tested across globals.
  • Alex Gibson: My fifth year working at Mozilla
    Today marks my fifth year working for Mozilla! This past year has been both fun and frantic, and overall was a really good year for both Mozilla and Firefox. Here’s a run down a few of the things I got to work on.

Fedora Workstation 28 Coming Soon

  • Warming up for Fedora Workstation 28
    Been some time now since my last update on what is happening in Fedora Workstation and with current plans to release Fedora Workstation 28 in early May I thought this could be a good time to write something. As usual this is just a small subset of what the team has been doing and I always end up feeling a bit bad for not talking about the avalanche of general fixes and improvements the team adds to each release.
  • Fedora Workstation 28 Is Shaping Up To Be Another Terrific Update
    Fedora Workstation 28 is shaping up to be another compelling update for those that are fans of this bleeding-edge Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution. I've been running Fedora Workstation 28 snapshots on a few laptops and test machines here and am quite happy with how it's shaped up as another Fedora release that delivers not only the latest features, but doing so in a seemingly sane and stable manner: I haven't encountered any problems unlike some of the past notorious Fedora releases from years ago. Overall, I am quite excited for next month's Fedora 28 release and will be upgrading my main production system to it.

Android Leftovers

Configuring local storage in Linux with Stratis

Configuring local storage is something desktop Linux users do very infrequently—maybe only once, during installation. Linux storage tech moves slowly, and many storage tools used 20 years ago are still used regularly today. But some things have improved since then. Why aren't people taking advantage of these new capabilities? This article is about Stratis, a new project that aims to bring storage advances to all Linux users, from the simple laptop single SSD to a hundred-disk array. Linux has the capabilities, but its lack of an easy-to-use solution has hindered widespread adoption. Stratis's goal is to make Linux's advanced storage features accessible. Read more