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12.20.13

Links 20/12/2013: Mozilla and Firefox/Thunderbird

Posted in News Roundup at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Firefox’s on fire with 500M users and 50M Android downloads for 2013

    With half a billion users on desktop and another 50 million on Android, Firefox still holds its own in the browser wars, especially as privacy concerns become front-of-mind for normal consumers.

  • Mozilla: Native code? No, it’s JavaScript, only it’s BLAZING FAST
  • Firefox 27 Looks to Boost Web Security
  • Mozilla Firefox 26 Is Now Available for Download

    Today, December 10, Softpedia is happy to report that the final packages of the Mozilla Firefox 26.0 web browser are now available for download for all supported platforms, including Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X, ahead of the official announcement.

  • Mozilla Firefox 26 Is Shipping Today With Fun Features
  • Mozilla Firefox Enables VP9 Video Codec By Default
  • Firefox Still Working Towards Multi-Process Support

    While Google Chrome and other modern web-browsers — even modern versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer — support separate processes between the user-interface and other rendering tasks, notably missing from the threading party has been Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla developers, however, have been working towards a multi-process Firefox.

  • Firefox OS Phones Going Higher-End, Entering New Markets

    There have been some interesting developments surrounding Mozilla’s Firefox OS platform and smartphones built on it. Alcatel had already delivered its popular OneTouch Fire phone based on the mobile operating system in countries ranging from Germany to Hungary and Poland. Now, the OneTouch Fire is going on sale at low prices in Italy via Telecom Italia. Meanwhile, Geeksphone has been discussing a high-end Firefox OS phone called Revolution that will purportedly run both Mozilla’s platform and Android (though users will need to choose one platform).

  • Mozilla organizes Gaming contest for web, desktop and mobile, prizes worth $45,000

    Mozilla, the organization behind Firefox browser and operating system, is organizing a contest for creating games. They have teamed up with Goo Technologies for Mozilla and Goo’s Game Creator Challenge to engage ‘budding’ game creators.

  • Mozilla’s Rust Language Gets A GCC Compiler Front-End

    A Rust language front-end is under development for the GNU Compiler Collection. Rust is Mozilla’s programming language under development that’s similar to C/++ and aims to be a safe, concurrent practical language.

    Up to now all of the work around the Rust compiler has been implemented atop LLVM, but now GCC developer Philip Herron has decided to work on a Rust compiler front-end for the Free Software Foundation’s compiler.

  • Who (still) pays Mozilla’s bills? Google, mainly

    Mozilla’s dependence on search engine revenue raises questions about its effectiveness as a champion of the free, open Web

  • Could Mozilla become a branch of Google?

    Mozilla, the open-source Web browser group behind Firefox, doesn’t appear to have much to do with Google until you look at the bottom line. There, you’ll find that 90 percent of Mozilla’s revenue comes from Google.

  • Mozilla Revenue Tops $311 Million From Open-Source Technology
  • Mozilla’s web security guru talks open source

    Mozilla is about more than just web browsers

  • Only Openness Can Power The Next Wave Of Human Progress

    Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker argues that the mobile- and data-centric Web faces new threats to its flexibility and openness.

  • Firefox debuts new UI that looks like Chrome, but does that mean it can compete with Chrome?

    At long last, Mozilla has rolled out a massive UI update to Firefox that makes it look almost exactly like Chrome. Dubbed Australis, this is the biggest ever change to Firefox’s user interface, with much improved streamlining and customization, and the unification of Mozilla’s design language across the desktop, smartphone, and Firefox’s myriad other form factors. Australis will debut in Firefox 28, which just hit the Nightly (alpha testing) channel; if everything goes to plan, the new-look Firefox should be ready for mass consumption at the start of 2014.

  • Step back, haters: Firefox phone now has ‘thousands of apps’ and global growth
  • Mozilla Touts Thousands of Apps in Firefox Marketplace

    Back in August, in a post titled “The Success of Firefox OS Will Depend on the Success of Apps For It,” I made the case that Mozilla needs to drum up a lot of developer interest in its Firefox OS mobile platform in order to seed a healthy app ecosystem. And, sure enough, Mozilla has been steadily holding developer days in various locations and has even offered incentives for app development.

    Now, in a new post online, Rick Fant, Mozilla Vice President of Firefox Marketplace, says: “We are excited by the developer interest in the short time since we’ve opened the Firefox Marketplace and are impressed by the creativity and innovation inspired by Mozilla-pioneered WebAPIs.” Mozilla is pointing to thousands of available apps in the Marketplace.

  • Mozilla Fixes Security Flaws in Firefox 25 as Interface Updates Debut

    In a rare occurrence, Mozilla developers release an out-of-band update that patches five security flaws in Firefox 25.0.1.

  • Turning Mozilla Thunderbird into a Phoenix

    I’ve always been a big fan of Mozilla’s email client, Thunderbird, even when it was unfashionable to admit it. Because, for the last few years, the view amongst those “in the know” was that email was dead, that nobody used it, and that even if they did, Web-based systems like Gmail meant that Thunderbird and its ilk were dinosaurs.

  • Mozilla Thunderbird 24.2.0 Officially Lands in Ubuntu

    Canonical announced a couple of days ago, December 11, that the recently released Mozilla Thunderbird 24.2.0 email client landed in the Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.10, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.

    Officially released by Mozilla on December 10, 2013, the Mozilla Thunderbird 24.2.0 email client is a bugfix release that solves an issue where long email messages that had multiple signatures might no longer be readable, and fixes a problem where users were not able to edit account settings in various non-standard configurations of local folder setups, as well as several security issues.

New ACLU Campaign Warns Against Use of Microsoft’s Skype (Audio/Video/Text Surveillance)

Posted in Microsoft at 3:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mixer

Summary: Skype is (re)built for multiple listeners, including agents of espionage and dirt-digging

TECHTRIGHTS started the Skype is Spy Campaign shortly after Microsoft bought Skype. Our articles about Skype predate the acquisition and they cover mostly technical issues. Microsoft augmented the list of threats and as we correctly pointed this out at the time, when Microsoft bought Skype it basically gave the NSA easy access to everything, being an exceptionally close ally of the NSA for well over the decade (we covered this half a decade ago).

“With Microsoft, security holes are often there by design, under the guise of “national security” at expense of real security.”Well, the ACLU has launched an anti-NSA campaign and it says “You better watch out, You better not Skype”. In many ways, Skype is worse than anything else one might use because Microsoft went out of its way to facilitate NSA surveillance.

Christopher Soghoian, a notable voice for privacy around the Web, wrote some hours ago: “Presumably, after Microsoft purchased Skype (and started helping the USG [US government]), the NSA didn’t need to spy on Skype’s security team any more.” With Microsoft, security holes are often there by design, under the guise of “national security” at expense of real security.

Microsoft Booster at the Microsoft-Leaning Ars Technica: UEFI Restricted Boot is Good

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hannity banner

Summary: Ars Technica hardly pretends to be journalism anymore; advertisers get the bias they must be paying for (money for ads in expectation of reciprocity, e.g. in coverage)

GIVEN what we know about the NSA (thanks to whistleblowers), UEFI Restricted Boot is quite the horrific thing which blocks choice and can also remotely brick PCs (at hardware level). Germany has already banned UEFI on its PCs, perhaps precisely for these reasons (advice from its secret services must have led to this).

Peter Bright, a longtime Microsoft booster who gives Ars Technica somewhat of a tabloid's reputation (and he is not alone), is trying to Windowswash the GNU/Linux-powered Steambox and his disgusting (sub)headline says: “In the brave (relatively) new world of UEFI, things happen to mostly just work.”

That’s utter nonsense; UEFI is still a mess for GNU/Linux users (new example in [1]) and even Microsoft could not properly deal with UEFI. It bricked PCs. To Bright’s credit, he has shed off his camouflage a bit. He recently changed his bio to better show his real agenda (more like a mole). He now describes himself as “Microsoft Contributor at Ars.” He also moved to Texas.

So, Microsoft is a whole section at Ars Technica now? Good to know. Well, it sure seems to be accepting a lot of advertising money from Microsoft (sometimes the front page of the site is a collage of Microsoft ads and promotions); it must feel like it needs to give something in return, much like CBS (grossly filled with Microsoft boosters and even former Microsoft employees).

Once upon a time Ars Technica had an “Open Source” section. It has been dead for years (the only person who sometimes covers FOSS over there is a Microsoft booster from a FOSS-hostile site, Network World/IDG), just like the analogous section at CBS sites like CNET and ZDNet.

We need to identify sites that seed disinformation and pin down the reasons for it. Sometimes the choice of authors is a managerial choice made by publishers seeking to appease particular sponsors.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Tech Note: How To Install Linux On A Laptop With UEFI

Links 20/12/2013: Applications and Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 10:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 19/12/2013: Fedora 20 Screenshots

Posted in News Roundup, Red Hat at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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