Firefox

Pwn2Own 2016 Won't Attack Firefox (Because It's Too Easy) (eweek.com) 230

darthcamaro writes: For the last decade, the Pwn2own hacking competition has pitted the world's best hackers against web browsers to try and find zero-day vulnerabilities in a live event. The contest, which is sponsored by HPE and TrendMicro this year, is offering over half a million dollars in prize money, but for the first time, not a penny of that will directed to Mozilla Firefox. While Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Apple Safari are targets, Firefox isn't because it's apparently too easy and not keeping up with modern security: "'We wanted to focus on the browsers that have made serious security improvements in the last year,' Brian Gorenc, manager of Vulnerability Research at HPE said."
Security

Researcher Finds Tens of Software Products Vulnerable To Simple Bug (softpedia.com) 152

An anonymous reader writes: There's a German security researcher that is arduously testing the installers of tens of software products to see which of them are vulnerable to basic DLL hijacking. Surprisingly, many companies are ignoring his reports. Until now, only Oracle seems to have addressed this problem in Java and VirtualBox. Here's a short (probably incomplete) list of applications that he found vulnerable to this attack: Firefox, Google Chrome, Adobe Reader, 7Zip, WinRAR, OpenOffice, VLC Media Player, Nmap, Python, TrueCrypt, and Apple iTunes. Mr. Kanthak also seems to have paid special attention to antivirus software installers. Here are some of the security products he discovered vulnerable to DLL hijacking: ZoneAlarm, Emsisoft Anti-Malware, Trend Micro, ESET NOD32, Avira, Panda Security, McAfee Security, Microsoft Security Essentials, Bitdefender, Rapid7's ScanNowUPnP, Kaspersky, and F-Secure.
Firefox

Firefox Adopts a 6-8 Week Variable Release Schedule (mozilla.org) 249

AmiMoJo writes: Four years ago Mozilla moved to a fixed-schedule release model, otherwise known as the Train Model, in which we released Firefox every six weeks to get features and updates to users faster. Now Mozilla is moving to a variable 6-8 week cycle, with the same number of releases per year but some flexibility to 'respond to emerging user and market needs' and allow time for holidays. The new release schedule looks like this:
  • 2016-01-26 – Firefox 44
  • 2016-03-08 – Firefox 45, ESR 45 (6 weeks cycle)
  • 2016-04-19 – Firefox 46 (6 weeks cycle)
  • 2016-06-07 – Firefox 47 (7 weeks cycle)
  • 2016-08-02 – Firefox 48 (8 weeks cycle)
  • 2016-09-13 – Firefox 49 (6 weeks cycle)
  • 2016-11-08 – Firefox 50 (8 weeks cycle)
  • 2016-12-13 – Firefox 50.0.1 (5 week cycle, release for critical fixes as needed)
  • 2017-01-24 – Firefox 51 (6 weeks from prior release)

Mozilla

Firefox 44 Deletes Fine-Grained Cookie Management (mozilla.org) 423

ewhac writes: Among its other desirable features, Firefox included a feature allowing very fine-grained cookie management. When enabled, every time a Web site asked to set a cookie, Firefox would raise a dialog containing information about the cookie requested, which you could then approve or deny. An "exception" list also allowed you to mark selected domains as "Always allow" or "Always deny", so that the dialog would not appear for frequently-visited sites. It was an excellent way to maintain close, custom control over which sites could set cookies, and which specific cookies they could set. It also helped easily identify poorly-coded sites that unnecessarily requested cookies for every single asset, or which would hit the browser with a "cookie storm" — hundreds of concurrent cookie requests.

Mozilla quietly deleted this feature from Firefox 44, with no functional equivalent put in its place. Further, users who had enabled the "Ask before accept" feature have had that preference silently changed to, "Accept normally." The proffered excuse for the removal was that the feature was unmaintained, and that its users were, "probably crashing multiple times a day as a result" (although no evidence was presented to support this assertion). Mozilla's apparent position is that users wishing fine-grained cookie control should be using a third-party add-on instead, and that an "Ask before accept" option was, "not really nice to use on today's Web."

Ubuntu

Canonical Reveals the BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Tablet (omgubuntu.co.uk) 98

LichtSpektren writes: Several tech sites have now broke the news that Canonical has revealed their BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Tablet. Joey-Elijah Sneddon builds the hype: "A stunning 10.1-inch IPS touch display powered a full HD 1920×1200 pixel resolution at 240 ppi. Inside is a 64-bit MediaTek MT8163A 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory. A micro SD memory card is included, adding storage expansion of up to 64GB. Furthermore, the converged slate includes an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and dual LED flash (and capable of recording in full 1080p), plus a front facing 3-megapixel camera for video chats, vlogs and selfies. Front facing Dolby Atmos speakers will provide a superior sound experience during movie playback. The M10 measure 246mm x 171mm x 8.2mm, weighs just 470 grams — lighter than the Apple iPad Air — and has a 7280 mAh battery to give up to 10 hours of use. ... Tablet mode offers a side stage for running two apps side-by-side, plus a full range of legacy desktop applications, mobile apps and scopes. LibreOffice, Mozilla Firefox, The GIMP and Gedit are among a 'curated collection of legacy apps' to ship pre-installed on the tablet. It will also be possible for developers and enthusiasts to install virtually any ARM compatible app available on Ubuntu using the familiar 'apt-get' command." A photo gallery can also be seen on his website here. The price is not yet announced, but the Android version of the same tablet is currently on sale for €229.
Java

Oracle To Drop Java Browser Plugin In JDK 9 (softpedia.com) 165

An anonymous reader writes: After Mozilla said in October that it would stop supporting Firefox plugins on the older NPAPI technology, Oracle had no choice now but to announce the deprecation of the Java browser plugin starting with the release of the JDK version 9, which is set for release in March 2017, and developers are urged to start using the Java Web Start pluginless technology instead. Security issues also had a big part in Java's demise.
Firefox

Firefox 44 Arrives With Push Notifications (mozilla.org) 182

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today launched Firefox 44 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Notable additions to the browser include push notifications, the removal of RC4 encryption, and new powerful developer tools. Mozilla made three promises for push notifications: "1. To prevent cross-site correlations, every website receives a different, anonymous Web Push identifier for your browser. 2. To thwart eavesdropping, payloads are encrypted to a public / private keypair held only by your browser. 3. Firefox only connects to the Push Service if you have an active Web Push subscription. This could be to a website, or to a browser feature like Firefox Hello or Firefox Sync." Here are the full changelogs: Desktop and Android.
Ubuntu

Report: First Ubuntu Tablet To Be Unveiled At MWC 2016 (softpedia.com) 63

prisoninmate writes: Canonical has been working on expanding the capabilities of Ubuntu Touch for a long time now, and it appears the company will reportedly unveil the first dedicated Ubuntu tablet device this year, during the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2016 event. Canonical has been working on implementing support for X11 apps on its Ubuntu mobile operating system, allowing users to run any graphical software that is currently in the Ubuntu repositories, such as GIMP or Firefox.
Mozilla

Mozilla Is Developing an IoT Board Powered By Firefox OS (softpedia.com) 84

prisoninmate writes: An SBC called Chirimen was designed from the outset to use web browser technologies in various science projects by extending the I2C and GPIO WebAPIs to control devices powered by Mozilla's Firefox OS 2.0 and higher operating system. As such, Web developers can easily use browser technologies to develop awesome things. The board is developed by MozillaFactory.org in Japan.
Firefox

Firefox Will Support Non-Standard CSS For WebKit Compatibility (theregister.co.uk) 132

RoccamOccam writes: Mozilla developers have discussed a plan to implement support for a subset of non-standard CSS prefixes used in WebKit. Mozilla developer Daniel Holbert says: "A good chunk of the web today (and particularly the mobile web) effectively relies on -webkit prefixed CSS properties & features. We wish we lived in a world where web content always included standards-based fallback (or at least multiple-vendor-prefixed fallback), but alas, we do not live in that world. To be successful at rendering the web as it exists, we need to add support for a list of frequently-used -webkit prefixed CSS properties & features."
Firefox

Mozilla Document Shows Firefox OS Tablet, TV Stick, Router, Keyboard Computer 78

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this month, Mozilla announced that Firefox OS smartphones would no longer be sold via carriers. Because the company refused to talk about what's next for Firefox OS, aside from saying it will experiment with "connected devices," many were left simply to speculate as to what could be in the pipeline. Today, we have a leaked document, which Mozilla confirmed is legitimate. My favorite of the concepts is a Raspberry Pi-based keyboard.
Graphics

Unity Benchmarks Browser WebGL Performance (unity3d.com) 38

An anonymous reader writes: Jonas Echterhoff from Unity has posted the latest Unity WebGL benchmark results on the Unity blog. He writes, "A bit over a year ago, we released a blog post with performance benchmarks for Unity WebGL, to compare WebGL performance in different browsers. We figured it was time to revisit those benchmarks to see how the numbers have changed. Microsoft has since released Windows 10 with their new Edge browser (which supports asm.js and is now enabling it by default) – so we were interested to see how that competes. Also, we have an experimental build of Unity using Shared Array Buffers to run multithreaded code, and we wanted to see what kind of performance gains to expect. So we tested this in a nightly build of Firefox with Shared Array Buffer support." The benchmark concludes that Firefox 42 64-bit is the fastest, Edge takes second, and Chrome and Safari share third place.
Firefox

Firefox 43 Arrives With 64-bit Version For Windows, Android Tab Audio Indicators (venturebeat.com) 188

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today launched Firefox 43 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Notable additions to the browser include a 64-bit version for Windows (finally!), a new strict blocklist for the browser's tracking protection feature, and tab audio indicators on Android. "There is, however, a bit of a caveat. Firefox 64-bit for Windows has limited support for plugins. Certain sites that require plugins and work in Firefox 32-bit might not work in this 64-bit version. But Mozilla doesn’t see this as a big problem, and says it is by design. After all, the company plans to drop support for NPAPI plugins in Firefox by the end of the year (though it will keep Flash around). Mozilla has just over two weeks to deliver on that promise." Here are the changelogs: desktop and Android.
Firefox

Mozilla Will Stop Developing and Selling Firefox OS Smartphones (techcrunch.com) 174

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla announced today at its developer event in Orlando that the company is ending its smartphone experiment. Mozilla will stop developing and selling Firefox OS smartphones. Ari Jaaksi, Mozilla's SVP of Connected Devices, said, "We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices." However, he added that it didn't end up providing a great user experience, so they decided to move their efforts elsewhere within the "connected devices" ecosystem. The TechCrunch article notes, "Mozilla has been on a streamlining track lately. Last week it announced that it would be looking for alternative homes for its Thunderbird email and chat client. The aim is for the company to focus more on its strongest and core products and reputation."
Mozilla

Mozilla Launches Focus By Firefox, a Content Blocker For iOS 9 (mozilla.org) 30

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today launched an iOS content blocker called Focus by Firefox. It's a "content blocker" because although Focus is capable of blocking some ads, this latest project from the non-profit is aimed at stopping trackers. The free app is made possible thanks to iOS 9's content-blocking feature, which requires some setting up. Like with any content blocker, after you download Focus, you'll have to activate Focus' content-blocking features within your system-wide iOS settings (launching the app will provide a guide to finish configuration). It's worth noting that Focus only works with Safari. Mozilla says, "This was not our choice—Apple has chosen to make content blocking unavailable to third party browsers on iOS." Here is the Focus GitHub repo and its feedback tool.
Firefox

Mozilla Ends the Advertisements In Firefox's New Tab Tiles (mozilla.org) 197

An anonymous reader writes: For some time, Mozilla has been experimenting with advertisements in the "suggested tiles" on new Firefox tabs. They received a lot of criticism from the community for it, and now (using linguistic gymnastics), Mozilla has decided to end that experiment. They say, "We experimented with all content – including advertising. We proved that advertising can be done well while respecting users. We have learned a ton along the way. Our learnings show that users want content that is relevant, exciting and engaging. We want to deliver that type of content experience to our users, and we know that it will take focus and effort to do that right. We have therefore made the decision to stop advertising in Firefox through the Tiles experiment in order to focus on content discovery. We want to thank all the partners who have worked with us on Tiles. Naturally, we will fulfill our current commitments as we wind down this experiment over the next few months."
Firefox

Mozilla May Separate Itself From Thunderbird Email Client (techcrunch.com) 418

An anonymous reader writes: A company-wide memo distributed throughout the Mozilla Foundation by chairperson Mitchell Baker argues that the organization should disentangle itself from the Thunderbird email client in order to focus on Firefox. She said, "Today Thunderbird developers spend much of their time responding to changes made in core Mozilla systems and technologies. At the same time, build, Firefox, and platform engineers continue to pay a tax to support Thunderbird." Both projects are wasting time helping each other, and those demands are only going to get worse. She says many within Mozilla want to see it support community-managed projects without doing the bulk of the work on it, and perhaps Thunderbird could be one of those projects. Baker stresses that no decisions have been made yet — they're starting the conversation early to keep the community involved in what happens to Thunderbird.
Firefox

Mozilla Is Removing Tab Groups and Complete Themes From Firefox (venturebeat.com) 316

An anonymous reader writes: As part of Mozilla's "Go Faster" initiative for Firefox, the company is removing features that aren't used by many and require a lot of technical effort to continually improve. VentureBeat learned that the first two features to get the axe are tab groups and complete themes. Dave Camp, Firefox’s director of engineering, said, "Tab Groups was an experiment to help users deal with large numbers of tabs. Very few people chose to use it, so we are retiring it because the work required to maintain it is disproportionate to its popularity."
Firefox

Mozilla Has 'No Plans' To Offer Firefox Without Pocket (venturebeat.com) 199

An anonymous reader writes: In June, Mozilla integrated Pocket into Firefox, garnering a mixed response from the browser's community. This week, VentureBeat stumbled upon a Bugzilla ticket (bug 1215694) to "move Pocket to a built-in add-on" and immediately reached out to the company. "There are currently no plans to offer a version of Firefox that doesn't include Pocket," said Dave Camp, Firefox's director of engineering.
Firefox

Mozilla Plans To Remove Support For Firefox Complete Themes 267

AmiMoJo writes: Mozilla's engineers have announced the removal of Firefox complete themes as a way to lighten the browser core and remove a feature they don't see as heavily used any more. "Personas", or lightweight themes that are basically just wallpaper images, will remain. The Firefox community did not respond well to this piece of news, most seeing it as the engineers "chromifying Firefox." The change is part of Mozilla's Great-or-Dead initiative, which plans to simplify the Firefox codebase and remove features that are not popular.

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