Mozilla has long considered itself a champion of the free and open Web, and plans to walk the walk as much as it talks the talk. The company's latest and best foot forward in that direction: Lightbeam for Firefox.
This Firefox add-on shows, graphically, how the sites you visit interact with other sites -- and how tracking information may be gathered in the process, often from multiple sites at once without your knowledge.
Many of us know casually that browsing a given site also means interacting invisibly with a whole slew of other sites. Facebook, for instance: there's barely a site that doesn't invoke code from Facebook's servers for the sake of the Like button, Comment forms, and so on. Lightbeam aims to make it clearer how all that works. Read more...
Mozilla last week said that slower-than-expected progress on Firefox for Microsoft's Windows 8 "Modern" user interface (UI) means that the touch-based browser likely won't launch until late January.
Estimates a month ago by the open-source developer had pegged Dec. 10 as the target release for the "Metro-ized" version of Firefox. Metro was the name Microsoft once applied to the Windows 8 and Windows RT radical UI, but the company ditched the moniker in August 2012 over a trademark dispute with a German retailer.
The Firefox "Preview Release" will still be packaged with the Aurora build of Firefox 26 for the Windows desktop when it launches Tuesday, as originally planned. Read more...
Given Android and iOS together control 90% of the worldwide smartphone market, what chance does Mozilla have to find success with its new Firefox OS for smartphones?
Will Firefox OS even matter, given the struggles Windows Phone, BlackBerry and other operating systems are facing to gain market share against Apple and Google?
Despite such questions from skeptics, the Firefox OS does matter, insists Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich.
In a press conference on Monday, Eich acknowledged the odds facing Firefox OS, but then laid out a strong argument for the platform.
Eich described keen interest shown by 8 million Web developers in the OS, and said that 20-plus smartphone makers and wireless carriers plan to offer new Firefox OS-based smartphones to first-time buyers globally, initially in markets where low-cost phones are in demand. Read more...
Mozilla has postponed blocking third-party cookies by default in Firefox 22, "to collect and analyze data on the effect of blocking some third-party cookies."
The nonprofit organization is, however, not softening its stand on protecting privacy and putting users first, Brendan Eich, Mozilla's CTO and senior vice president of engineering, wrote in a blog post Thursday.
Mozilla has been testing a patch from Jonathan Mayer, a graduate student at Stanford University in computer science and law and online privacy activist, which like Apple's Safari browser allows cookies from websites already visited, but blocks cookies from sites not visited yet. Read more...
Norwegian browser maker Opera Software has filed suit against Trond Werner Hansen, one of its former developers, alleging that Hansen took trade secrets with him when he went to work with Opera rival Mozilla.
As first reported by The Next Web, Hansen worked at Opera from 1999 through 2006. There he led design and UI development, first for the Windows version of the Opera browser, then for the cross-platform Desktop version. He later returned as an independent consultant from 2009 to 2010, at Opera's request.
Then in 2012, Hansen began to work with the Mozilla Foundation, makers of the open source Firefox browser – and that's when things got dicey. Read more...
Mozilla yesterday took the unusual step of yanking Firefox 16 from distribution just a day after its release.
The company said a critical vulnerability triggered the move.
The bug was apparently overlooked by Mozilla while it was developing Firefox 16, or introduced by the fixes baked into the upgrade that started reaching users early Tuesday.
"Mozilla is aware of a security vulnerability in the current release version of Firefox (version 16). Firefox version 15 is unaffected," said Michael Coates, Mozilla's director of security assurance, in a Wednesday post to the company's security blog.
On Tuesday, Mozilla rolled out Firefox 16, which featured patches for 24 vulnerabilities, 21 of which were judged "critical," the open-source developer's highest threat ranking. Read more...
Two years after it managed to place a browser-related app on the iOS App Store, Mozilla last week announced it was retiring Firefox Home and yanked it from Apple's market.
The move was only the latest in a string of messages that the open-source company has sent over several years that it is not interested in developing a version of Firefox for the iPhone or iPad.
Firefox Home, which was approved by Apple on July 16, 2010, was not a full-fledged browser, but instead was a spin-off of the bookmark and tab synchronization technology Mozilla offered as an add-on, then later built into the desktop browser. The app gave users access to their browser bookmarks and history, to the open tabs from their most recent Firefox sessions, and to Firefox's "Awesome Bar" -- Mozilla's name for the address bar -- that let users search for previously-visited pages using keywords or characters in the URL or page title. Read more...
Google's Chrome browser lost usage share for the fifth time in the last seven months, while Mozilla's Firefox gained share for the second consecutive month, a Web measurement company said Wednesday.
Net Applications, which calculates browser usage by tracking unique visitors to approximately 40,000 Web sites, pegged Chrome's share for July at 18.9%, a two-tenths of a percentage point decline from June. Chrome has been in decline this year: Of the six months in which Chrome went into the red since Net Applications began tracking the browser, five were in 2012.
Firefox's share grew by one-tenth of a point to end the month at 20.2%, Net Applications declared. The open-source browser is up nearly half a point since its four-year low of 19.7% in May 2012.
But Net Applications' numbers were again disputed by rival StatCounter, which tallies browser share differently, counting page views, not unique visitors, for about 3 million websites. And unlike Net Applications, StatCounter does not weight the results by each country's pool of online users. Read more...
In the seven days since its debut, Firefox 14's share of all Mozilla browsers went from 3% on July 17 to 46% on July 23, according to usage data collected by Irish analytics company StatCounter.
At the end of their first week, version 12 accumulated a 30% share of all Firefox browsers and version 13 accounted for 31%. Read more...
Just days after a former employee blasted Mozilla for its frequent updates, the company on Tuesday shipped Firefox 14, patching 18 vulnerabilities and adding automatic encryption of searches passed to Google's search engine.
The upgrade also lets users set an option that loads plug-ins -- such as Adobe's Flash Player or Oracle's Java -- only after approval, an additional security measure that may prevent stop some attacks.
Half of the 18 bugs quashed in Firefox 14 were rated "critical" by Mozilla, while four were labeled as "high" threats in the company's four-step scoring system. The remaining five were pegged as "moderate" vulnerabilities.
That's all well and good, but the contents of a leaked internal Mozilla memo suggest that the full picture may be less rosy than it seems.
The announcement, which was made in a blog post by Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker on Friday afternoon, suggests a major restructuring of the release and governance model of the Thunderbird project:
Once again we've been asking the question: is Thunderbird a likely source of innovation and of leadership in today's Internet life? Or is Thunderbird already pretty much what its users want and mostly needs some on-going maintenance? Read more...
The open-source firm has had a version of its popular browser on little green phones since 2010, but it hasn't lit many Google-mobe-lovers' fires so far.
Chrome has been available in beta since February, but only on Android mobes running Ice Cream Sandwich (version 4.0). Read more...
Adobe yesterday updated Flash Player to solve a weeks-long problem for users of Mozilla's Firefox browser.
The update, Flash Player 11.3.300.262, was released Thursday and applies only to Firefox on Windows.
Since Adobe shipped an update to Flash Player to 11.3 two weeks ago, users of Firefox, including older editions as well as the current Firefox 13, had reported crashes when trying to access Flash content.
Initial suspicions at Mozilla pointed to Flash Player 11.3's new sandboxed plug-in for Firefox, but yesterday Adobe claimed that there were "different causes" for the crashes, which seemed to be concentrated on Windows Vista and Windows 7 machines. Read more...
Mozilla has released a web page creation editing tool that steps novice users through HTML and CSS.
Dubbed “Thimble”, Mozilla bills the new tool a “webmaker”. While that term is cringeworthy, the two-paned web app is anything but. One pane offers raw HTML, with just a few basic tags. The other offers a WYSIWYG view of the HTML as you code.
Once authors deem a page complete, the service allows publication to a new Mozilla service, webmaker.org.
So far, so bland – aside from instructional floating information about each tag (at bottom left in the image below) there's not a colossal difference between Thimble and myriad HTML editors from the mid-90s. Read more...
First came the BlackBerry, bringing the smartphones for suits perfected by RIM to consumers. Next came the iPhone, which quickly hoovered up 23 per cent of the market. But the iPhone came at a price: the freedom of users and coders. It is tightly controlled by Apple, as Adobe quickly found to its cost with Flash.
Next up was Android. In just four years, Android exploited consumers' desire to poke and stroke their phones to become the world's most popular smartphone OS – burying the iPhone – with 59 per cent of the market.
Android had a plus: freedom of choice for both coder and consumer thanks to an open-source code base.
Honeycomb changed things: the Android code was yanked back inside the Googleplex as Mountain View asserted control over builds and contributions. Read more...