Browsers

Firefox News

Yes, it has been a while since The Guru has posted non-release news. Here’s some Firefox news from the past month. Firefox for iOS adds Security Features (The Mozilla Blog)- Changes to the Firefox Password Manager now allow iPhone/iPad users to add a 4-Digit password to the password manager for extra security. Inviting Conversation (Mitchell’s Blog) – Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Foundation Chair is looking to invite conversation about the Open Internet, Mozilla and Mozilla’s mission in a series of upcoming less “official” blog posts. Shipping Some Firefox Features Outside of the Release Cycle (Mozilla Future Releases) – Now new bloat features will be introduced more often and…

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‘Iceweasel’ will be renamed ‘Firefox’

“Debian has shipped with a web browser named “Iceweasel” since 2006. This web browser is basically just Mozilla Firefox, but Mozilla demanded that Debian rename it. After a decade, Debian and Mozilla are burying the hatchet. Iceweasel is about to re-assume its proper name. …” Source: PCWorld ‘Iceweasel’ will be renamed ‘Firefox’ as relations between Debian and Mozilla thaw

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Firefox 44 Released

Mozilla released the next major update for Firefox on January 26th with Firefox 44. New features in this release included: Improved warning pages for certificate errors and untrusted connections Enable H.264 if system decoder is available Enable WebM/VP9 video support on systems that don’t support MP4/H.264 In the animation-inspector timeline, lightning bolt icon next to animations running on the compositor thread Support the brotli compression format via HTTPS content-encoding Screenshot commands allow user choice of pixel ratio in Developer Tools Firefox Can Now Get Push Notifications From Your Favorite Sites There were some fixes and other items in this release…

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Mozilla to Adjust 2016 Firefox Release Schedule

Mozilla has announced they are tweaking the Firefox release schedule for 2016. They still plan on pushing out the same amount of releases per year, just the timing between releases is going to fluctuate between 6 to 8 weeks. Four years ago Mozilla moved to a fixed-schedule release model, otherwise known as theTrain Model, in which we released Firefox every six weeks to get features and updates to users faster and move at the speed of the Web. We studied the process carefully and learned a lot. We have also identified additional areas for improvement and it’s time we iterate…

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Oracle will soon lay the Java browser plug-in to rest

“Now that Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari stopped or will soon stop supporting NPAPI web plug-ins*, Oracle thought it best to accept the Java plug-in’s fate and let it go. The company has announced that it will be deprecated in the next version of Java to come out on September 22nd before being removed entirely by another future release …” Source: EngadgetMore  Oracle will soon lay the Java browser plug-in to rest

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Sneaky Adware

“The two PUPs are Shell&Services and Mintcast 3.0.1. These are browser add-ons for Firefox, Chrome, and IE, and are generally installed without the user’s consent, packaged with other software.“These two come with a newer variant of the Mintcast adware, which, besides injecting ads inside the user’s browser while navigating legitimate websites, also secretly turns off Safe Browsing support in Firefox. …” Source: SoftpediaMore  Adware Sneakily Turns Off Firefox Safe Browsing

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HTML5 Netflix now supports Firefox

As we reported earlier, on December 17th NetFlix has started offering HTML5 videos for Firefox users. While this not a big deal for the Win32 users as they could still use Silverlight with Firefox, this is not the case for the Firefox Win64 users. The newly released Win64 Firefox browser does not support NPAPI plugins (except Flash). Note: Silverlight is planned on being supported with the upcoming Win64 version of Firefox 44. However, by the end of 2016 Mozilla plans on removing support for the very outdated NPAPI plugins (except Flash) from Win32 and Win64 versions of Firefox. Google Chrome ended support earlier this…

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Add-on Signing now Active in Firefox 43

One feature Mozilla, seems to have conveniently left out of the release notes for Firefox 43 is add-on/extension signing is now active and being enforced. Users can no longer install unsigned add-ons and there is no longer a mechanism to override this. Mozilla claims “(add-on signing) will make the block-list and other malware prevention measures more effective.”  

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Firefox 43 Released

Mozilla released the next major update for Firefox on December 15th with Firefox 43. New features in this release included: Private Browsing with Tracking Protection offers choice of blocking additional trackers Improved API support for m4v video playback Firefox 64-bit for Windows is now available via the Firefox download page Users can choose search suggestions from the Awesome Bar On-screen keyboard displayed on selecting input field on devices running Windows 8 or greater Firefox Health Report has switched to use the same data collection mechanism as telemetry There were some fixes and other items in this release which can be…

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Note: While this post mostly pertains to Mozilla’s other project, Thunderbird I still felt it was important to post this here as to remind people that while Thunderbird is very different from Firefox, they are still both ‘interconnected’ within the Mozilla Foundation in regards to technical resources. Mitchel Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation has posted an update on her blog about Thunderbird. She assures us that Mozilla is not ‘dropping’ Thunderbird. But, at the same time it is no longer effective for Thunderbird and Firefox to share the same technical infrastructure. Firefox and Thunderbird have diverging needs. Firefox needs to move at the speed…

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