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  1. The uBlackList browser extension lets you clean up search results by removing specific sites when searching on Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and other search engines. While the browser extension is not new, being developed since early 2021, it was recently posted to Y Combinator's Hacker News, so we thought we would take a look at it. uBlackList is a browser extension for both Chromium and Firefox that allows you to input a list of websites you want to be blocked from search results. Whether these sites are low quality, are known for misleading information, or you simply have no desire to read their content, uBlackList can prevent them from being displayed on the Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Qwant, StartPage, and Yahoo! Japan search engines. Removing sites from search result pages To get started with uBlackList, install the browser extension from the Chrome Web Store or Firefox Add-ons page. Once installed, you can click on the extension's icon and select 'Options' to configure the extension. From the options screen, you can add the sites you would like to block from search results using regular expressions or match patterns, as shown below. uBlackList extension options screenSource: BleepingComputer For example, if you want to remove all pages from example.com and Wikipedia (just an example!) from search results, you could add the following patterns to uBlackList: *://*.example.com/* *://*.wikipedia.com/* Once you click on the Save button and perform a search that returns results from wikipedia.com, you will find that they are no longer displayed, as shown below. Search results for wikipedia.com removed from GoogleSource: BleepingComputer Even more helpful, the extension adds a 'Block this site" link next to URLs shown in search results, easily letting you block sites as you see them. By default, the extension will only remove search results from Google, but as we said previously, it also supports blocking sites in the Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Qwant, StartPage, and Yahoo! Japan search engines. Supported search enginesSource: BleepingComputer It's also possible to configure a URL that contains a list of patterns that should be blocked, which will be downloaded and updated regularly. Finally, you can configure the extension to synchronize your settings across the Google Cloud, allowing you to use the same settings on different browsers that you may use. I tested the extension throughout the day and found that it did a great job removing sites that I felt were cluttering up search results related to malware removal. For those who wish to try out uBlackList, you can install it from the Google Chrome Web Store or Mozilla Firefox Add-ons page or download the source from the project's GitHub page. Browser extension lets you remove specific sites from search results
  2. Mozilla says that all Firefox users will now be protected by default against cross-site tracking while browsing the Internet. This is because, starting today, Mozilla is rolling out and enabling its Total Cookie Protection set of privacy improvements for all Firefox users worldwide. Total Cookie Protection forces all websites to keep their cookies in separate "jars," thus blocking attempts to track you across the web and building browsing profiles. First introduced with the release of Firefox 86 in February 2021, this privacy feature was only active until now in private browsing or when users would manually enable ETP Strict Mode in the web browser's settings. "Total Cookie Protection offers strong protections against tracking without affecting your browsing experience," said Mozilla today. "Total Cookie Protection is Firefox's strongest privacy protection to date, confining cookies to the site where they were created, thus preventing tracking companies from using these cookies to track your browsing from site to site." By creating a separate cookie jar for every website, Firefox will automatically block any attempts to use cookies to track the users while they're browsing the web. Total Cookie Protection (Mozilla) Ongoing fight against ad-tech tracking efforts Today's announcement further highlights Mozilla's ongoing fight against ad tech companies' online tracking efforts that started in 2018 when it first introduced the Enhanced Tracking Protection feature. One year later, Mozilla toggled on Enhanced Tracking Protection in Firefox by default to automatically block cookies from known trackers. After the launch of Firefox 72 in January 2020, Mozilla's web browser also started auto-blocking scripts used by fingerprinting companies for browser fingerprinting via cross-site tracking. In January 2021, starting with version 85, Firefox also comes with supercookie protection which blocks hidden trackers from keeping tabs on your web browsing activity. With the rollout of Total Cookie Protection, Mozilla now protects more than 211 million monthly active users and 3,26% of the browser market share worldwide from cross-site tracking attempts. Firefox now blocks cross-site tracking by default for all users
  3. Firefox Translations, Firefox's privacy friendly built-in translate feature, has reached a new milestone with the release of a new add-on version. Translate functionality that is built-into the web browser was introduced by Google and its Chrome web browser. You had to install browser extensions before that or rely on manual translations before that. Most translate services require an Internet connection to work. Google Chrome communicates with the company's Google Translate service to return translated content to the user. While that is handy, some users dislike the privacy implications of translate services. Some browser makers have integrated privacy-friendly translate services as a response. Vivaldi Technologies, maker of the Vivaldi browser, integrated such a service in Vivaldi 4.3. Instead of using a cloud-based third-party service or untrusted translate feature, Vivaldi Technologies is hosting its own translate service instance. The holy grail from a privacy perspective is a browser that supports local translations that do not require an Internet connection at all. Mozilla has been working on that for some time now for its Firefox web browser. Mozilla integrated Firefox Translations in the Nightly version of the browser in mid 2021, but it stopped working eventually and little information was released on the status of the project. Mozilla continued its work on Firefox Translations in the background. A new version has been released some days ago that improves the functionality significantly. If you read the 2021 article on the integration in Firefox, you may remember that Firefox Translations supported only a handful of languages at the time. It could be used to translate English, Spanish and Estonian, and English into German. Firefox Translations 1.1.2 introduces support for additional languages. Right now, English, Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, German, Italian, Norwegian Bokmål, Portuguese and Spanish are supported fully. The languages Icelandic, Norwegian Nynorsk, Persian and Russian are listed as beta. Firefox Translations adds an icon to the browser's address bar; a click on the icon displays a toolbar that resembles the translate toolbar of other browsers. Since Firefox Translations is running all translate jobs locally, it is necessary to download language packs that power the functionality. When a user selects a language for the first time, its language pack is downloaded to the local system. Once downloaded, Firefox will identify the language automatically. The system language is not displayed as a translate source. If Firefox is in English, you won't get translate options to translate English pages to another language, only the other way around. Besides improved language support, work on improving the performance of the translate feature has continued. There is room for improvement, as there is a noticeable delay between hitting the translate button and receiving the translated page. It took a second or two in tests, but mileage may vary. Translation quality was excellent, but more tests are required to assess the quality and compare it to translations by popular online services. Mozilla added several other improvements in the latest version. Firefox Translations supports Apple Silicon Chip devices, the translations of forums, and the highlighting of translate errors. Firefox users may also enable the automatic translation of selected languages. The latest Firefox Translations add-on is available on GitHub. It can be installed in Nightly and Developer editions of the web browser. Users need to set the preference xpinstall.signatures.required to FALSE and the preference extensions.experiments.enabled to TRUE on about:config to install the add-on in the browser. Closing Words Built-in translate functionality that is privacy friendly could give Firefox a much needed boost once it is integrated into the stable version of the browser. There is no fixed date yet. Mozilla still has work to do, including adding more languages and improving the performance of the service further. Now You: will you use Firefox Translations when it is released? (via Sören Hentzschel) Firefox Translations: Firefox's offline translate feature is making progress
  4. Mozilla changed the download behavior of Firefox when it released version 97 of the browser, by skipping the prompt that allowed users to choose whether to Open a file, save it, or cancel the action. When you click on a download link, the file gets saved to your Downloads folder. Most other browsers have this behavior enabled by default, so Mozilla was following the trend. That's not always a good idea. Since the browser downloads files by default, this could result in the Downloads directory getting cluttered with files that you did not want to download, i.e. accidentally clicking a link, or clicking the wrong link. It wasn't surprising to see that many users weren't happy with this change. There are a couple of ways to prevent files from being downloaded, the first of which is to simply change an option under Firefox's Settings > General > Files and Applications. Set it to "Always ask you where to save the Files", and Firefox will display a File Explorer dialog that prompts you to select the download folder, you can hit the Cancel button to skip the download. A better solution is to change a preference in the about:config page that restores the classic behavior, i.e. the prompt that has the Open With and Save options. You can find how to enable the old behavior here. Firefox 101 Beta brings back the download prompt After listening to feedback from users, Mozilla has added the Download prompt back in Firefox's beta channel. A reddit user spotted that the latest version, Firefox 101.0b2, displays the old prompt, giving more control to the user on how the download should be handled. A support page on Mozilla's website explains the change. It also highlights a new option that is available in Firefox's settings. Take a look at the two options below the "Applications" section. The first radio button, when enabled, will Save files by default. The other one, will "ask whether to open or save files". This is essentially the same as changing the preference, but is a more user-friendly way to enable the old download prompt. Opening a file quickly, an easy way to cancel a misclick, and the choice of where the file should get saved are all very useful options to have. Mozilla plans to add an option to allow using the Temp Folder for starting downloads Regardless of whether you clicked on the Open or Download option (while clicking on a link), the file gets saved on to the computer's drive. The only difference between the two options, is the folder where Firefox saves the files to. In prior versions of the browser, clicking the Open button would save the file in the Temporary folder, before opening it in the corresponding program. This option was particularly useful in some scenarios, e.g. if you wanted to read a PDF once. But since Firefox 97 removed the download prompt completely, all files were dumped in the Downloads folder. This has caused some inconvenience for users, there is a lengthy discussion about it on reddit and Bugzilla. The issue has been updated by a Mozilla developer, who stated that a future update for Firefox will add an option to re-enable the use of the Temp folder, (via a sub-folder) for starting downloads. The new option will be an opt-in, i.e., it will not be enabled by default. The "use temp folder" option will be a toggle under about:config, and will also be available via an enterprise policy. Mozilla's developers believe that a file that is saved in the temp folder could result in it being deleted, so users could lose an important file. There are also some concerns regarding the performance on network shares. That's why users will have to decide whether they want to enable the option to use the temp folder for starting downloads, or stick with the default download flow. I think they shouldn't have messed with these options in the first place. Firefox 101 Beta brings back the download prompt allowing users to choose whether to open or save files
  5. Mozilla released the Extended Color Management in collaboration with the visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic for the Firefox web browser. Designed to provide a simple on-off toggle for using the operating system's color management in the Firefox web browser, it is giving Firefox users an option to disable the use of the operating system's color management capabilities in the browser. Web browsers like Firefox use the color management options of the operating system by default to "optimize and render colors and images" according to Mozilla. While that is usually wanted, it may cause issues in areas that require colors to be identical across devices and operating systems. The Extended Color Management add-on was created to add this capability to the Firefox web browser. It installs in a matter of seconds and displays a single button in its interface when its icon is activated. A click on the icon toggles the use of the operating system's color management functionality on or off. Since it is on by default, clicking the button for the first time will set it to off. A restart is required before the changes take affect. Once disabled, Firefox will display "the colors of graphics and videos consistent", even across different device types and operating systems. With the extension, creators and their vendors can now disable color management, then simply restart the Firefox browser so that the colors of graphics or videos are consistent, even across different operating units. This allows media engineers to make consistent and reliable assumptions about the color pipeline between the content shown in a browser and the actual pixel values sent to the computer’s display. Color management can be turned off in most applications, e.g., in Adobe Photoshop, but some content may only be viewed in a browser, and the extension ensures that this content is displayed as color-accurate as possible. Mozilla describes one use case that the new extension provides for Industrial Light & Magic, best known for its work on various Star Wars and Marvel movies and shows: With this extension, Firefox offers creators a turnkey solution to simply turn off in-browser color management when sharing content between color-calibrated and matched displays, so that both Lucasfilm and remote partners can see the intended colors and view ‘dailies’ more easily than before. In short: the browser extension helps ensure that content is as color accurate as possible, regardless of how and where it is viewed. Firefox users can check out Mozilla's blog post on the matter or head over to Mozilla's add-ons repository to install the extension directly. Now You: what is your take on the new extension? (via Caschy) Mozilla releases Extended Color Management add-on for Firefox
  6. Firefox users who run the open source web browser on Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system need to make sure that Windows update KB4474419 is installed on their devices. The update is a prerequisite for Firefox 100 as Mozilla switched to SHA-256 digest signing in that release. The Windows update KB4474419 introduced support for SHA-2 code signing on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2. The last version of the update dates back to September 2019, and it should be installed on most Windows 7 devices by now, as it was released before the operating system reached end of support. Systems without the update may get Windows Update error 0x80092004 because of the missing dependency; this may happen on manually updated systems. Customers who run legacy OS versions (Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2) are required to have SHA-2 code signing support installed on their devices to install updates released on or after July 2019. Any devices without SHA-2 support will not be able to install Windows updates on or after July 2019. Windows 7 administrators find the update on the Microsoft Update Catalog, but it should also be available on Windows Update and other update management systems. Mozilla notes on the Firefox 100 release notes for the Nightly version that the update is required to install Firefox successfully on Windows 7 devices. Beginning in this release, the Firefox installer for Windows is signed with a SHA-256 digest, rather than SHA-1. Update KB4474419 is required for successful installation on a computer running the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. SHA-1 was phased out by Microsoft because of weaknesses and to "align to industry standards". SHA-2 does not have these weaknesses and it ensures that the Firefox installation or update has not been tampered with. Mozilla does not mention if Firefox's installer displays an error message if the required Windows update is not installed on the system. It would make sense to highlight the missing dependency to help users resolve it. The change affects Firefox for the Windows 7 operating system only. Firefox running on newer versions of the Windows operating system will install or update normally once Firefox 100 is released. Mozilla plans to release the first three-digit version of the web browser on May 3, 2022 according to the release schedule. Now You: do you run Firefox on Windows 7, or other systems? (via Techdows) Firefox 100 requires the Windows Update KB4474419 on Windows 7
  7. Mozilla plans to release a new stable version of the organization's Firefox web browser today. Firefox 98.0.2 includes four fixes, one of which resolves a crash issue on Windows. Once released, Firefox installations should receive the update automatically thanks to the built-in updating functionality of the browser. Selecting Menu > Help > About Firefox displays the version that is installed currently and runs a check for updates. The manual check will pick up the new version provided that Mozilla gave the go for release already. The official release notes will become later today on this page. Firefox 98.0.2 Firefox 98.0.2 fixes four issues in the web browser. The first issue, filed under bug 1757618 on Mozilla's bug tracking website Bugzilla, fixes a browser crash on Windows machines. The investigation discovered that 32-bit builds of Firefox were affected predominantly, and that Firefox would crash because of an out-of-memory event. Mozilla fixed the issue by reducing the allocation size on all installations except on Mac OS with aarch64 CPUs. The second issue is specific to certain add-ons that users have installed in Firefox. It is related to using add-ons to sign-in to eGovernment sites that use pkcs11 modules. According to the reporter on Bugzilla, add-ons affected by the issue would not provide the functionality they were designed to provide. The update to Firefox 98.0.2 resolves the issue. The third fixed issue affects Firefox on Mac OS systems that prevent users from typing in the browser's address bar under certain circumstances. The bug reporter listed the following steps to reproduce the issue: Open a new tab in the browser and select the address bar. Use Cmd-Enter. The attempt to type anything in the address bar fails. The shortcut Cmd-Enter, the Windows equivalent is Ctrl-Enter, appends .com to the address automatically. Bug 1758664 lists the fourth and final issue on Bugzilla. The starting page of an internal time tracking website, powered by Bosch ATOSS, returned a blank page in Firefox 98.0. The page worked fine in previous versions. Mozilla analyzed the issue and changed the behavior regarding the loading of iframes from session history. Mozilla plans to release the new version of Firefox later today on March 23, 2022. Firefox 99 will be released on April 5, 2022 according to the release schedule. Now You: did you run into any of these issues? Firefox 98.0.2 fixes a crash on Windows, an add-ons issue, and more Frontpaged: Mozilla Firefox Browser 98.0.2
  8. Internet users who download the Firefox web browser from the official Mozilla website get a unique identifier attached to the installer that is submitted to Mozilla on install and first run. The identifier, called dltoken by Mozilla internally, is used to link downloads to installations and first runs of the Firefox browser. The identifier is unique to each Firefox installer, which means that it is submitted to Mozilla whenever it is used. While it is possible to download new installers each time a new Firefox version is released, it is also possible to use the downloaded installer again for that purpose. A bug report on Mozilla's official bug tracking website confirms the use of the download token. The linked document is not public, but the listing itself confirms the use and provides an explanation on why it has been implemented: This data will allow us to correlate telemetry IDs with download tokens and Google Analytics IDs. This will allow us to track which installs result from which downloads to determine the answers to questions like, "Why do we see so many installs per day, but not that many downloads per day?" According to Mozilla's description, the identifier is used to analyze downloading and installation trends among other things. The feature is powered by Telemetry in Firefox and it applies to all Firefox channels. Interested users may verify the findings. One of the easier ways is to check the hashes of two or more Firefox installer downloads (the same version, language and architecture). Each hash is different. A search for dltoken using any hex editor reveals the string in the Firefox installer. Firefox users who prefer to download the browser without the unique identifier may do so in the following two ways: Download the Firefox installer from Mozilla's HTTPS repository (formerly the FTP repository). Download Firefox from third-party download sites that host the installer, e.g., from Softonic. The downloaded installers do not have the unique identifier, as they are identical whenever they are downloaded. Mozilla notes that the opt-out mechanism is the standard Telemetry opt-out. How users may opt-out before the installation of Firefox is unclear. A quick check of Chrome installers returned identical hashes each time. Now You: how useful do you think is the information to Mozilla? (thanks PMC for the tip) Each Firefox download has a unique identifier
  9. Picture-in-Picture mode is a priceless feature in browsers, it is a great way to watch videos in a small window on your monitor, or your second screen while working on something else. Firefox introduced PiP mode in version 71, which was released in 2019. Mozilla added various tweaks to the feature ever since. The organization outlined its plan to improve PiP mode in January 2022, and the first of those improvements has now landed in the Firefox Nightly channel. The latest version of the browser brings support for an important feature, subtitles. Subtitles and closed captions are an underrated feature, in my opinion. Not only do they help non-native speakers of a language understand the dialogue, they are a must-have option for people with hearing impairments, to enjoy the narrative in videos and games. Here is some context related to Firefox's QoL update that explains how it worked until the new build was released. Videos that play in the Picture-in-Picture mode in the stable version of the browser do not display closed captions in the panel. Instead, the subtitles are shown in the video's tab, while the media played in the pop-up. That sort of defeats the purpose of the PiP panel, for users who rely on the accessibility feature. Subtitles in Picture-in-Picture mode in Firefox Nightly Let's see how the update addresses the problem. Open any video in Firefox Nightly, and switch to the Picture-in-Picture mode by clicking the pop-out button. It should display the subtitles right inside the PiP panel. The browser supports subtitles uploaded by the content creator, and closed captions that are auto-generated by streaming services. I tested the new feature with YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and it worked fine on all three platforms. However, the subtitles didn't appear in PiP mode when I played videos on Disney+ Hotstar. That is quite understandable, as it is an experimental feature, and Mozilla's announcement in January did mention that they were testing the video wrapper scripts (that enables this feature) with just 4 streaming services as a start, this service was not of them. Hopefully, the developers will expand support for more websites in the future, once they have worked out the kinks with the current version. Limitations in Picture-in-Picture mode There is one minor issue with the player. You can't change the subtitle's settings directly from the Picture-in-picture panel in Firefox. Regular users may be aware that the pop-up player uses settings of the web player, e.g. to change the resolution or playback speed. So, if you want to change the language or other subtitle options, you will need to set them in the parent tab to make the PiP window reflect the same settings. Download Firefox Nightly 100.0a1 from the official website, and test the feature yourself. PiP mode combined with uBlock Origin and SponsorBlock offers an excellent experience while watching YouTube videos while multitasking. That said, I also like Opera's implementation of PiP, the automatic video pop-out is nice, and it also has the time seek bar, which Firefox doesn't, and could be useful additions. I think adding subtitles in Picture-in-Picture mode is a great quality of life update. What do you think? Firefox now displays subtitles for videos in Picture-in-Picture mode in the Nightly channel
  10. For a long time, content blocker Adblock Plus held the popularity crown over at the Mozilla Firefox add-ons repository. It was trailed by uBlock Origin, another content blocker, which gained rapidly in terms of user numbers. Now, uBlock Origin has surpassed Adblock Plus on the Firefox add-ons store, making it the number one Firefox extension in regards to user numbers. Mozilla reports that uBlock Origin crossed the 5.5 million users mark while Adblock Plus is sitting at 5.47 million users at the time of writing. If the trend continues, the gap between the two ad blockers will widen in the coming months and years. UBlock Origin beats Adblock Plus in other metrics as well. The average rating is 4.8 out of 5 on the Mozilla add-ons store, while Adblock Plus has a rating of 4.5 out of 5. As far as the number of reviews is concerned: uBlock Origin received more than 13200 reviews, thousands more than Adblock Plus' 8500 reviews at the time of writing. The uBlock Origin extension was first published on Mozilla's extensions store in April 2015 by its creator Raymond Hill, known as gorhill online. The extension was created after Hill left the uBlock project that he created. Hill improved the extension over the years, adding features and improvements to it on a regular basis. To name a few improvements: blocking WebRTC from leaking IP addresses, removing elements permanently from webpages, blocking JavaScript by default, and addressing new tracking methods, such as CNAME tracking, The Firefox version of uBlock Origin is considered the version that offers the best protection, as it supports protection against CNAME tracking, which the Chrome versions do not offer. Hill calls uBlock Origin a "wide-spectrum content blocker" instead of an ad blocker. The extension blocks more advertisement but also trackers, miners, popups, malicious URLs and more by default. Users may add more lists, for instance to deal with annoyances on the Internet. Many users hold uBlock Origin in high regard because of its memory and CPU effectiveness. Hill, who never accepted donations or compensation for his development work, is another core reason why the extension is as popular as it is right now. Now You: do you use content blockers? uBlock Origin is now the most popular Firefox add-on
  11. Mozilla released new versions of its Firefox web browser on March 5, 2022. The new browser versions fix two critical security vulnerabilities in the Firefox web browser. Updates are available for Firefox 97.0.2 Stable, Firefox ESR 91.6.1, Firefox for Android 97.3.0 and Firefox Focus 97.3.0. All browser versions are configured to update automatically, but that happens on a scheduled rollout and not instantly. Firefox desktop users may speed up the installation of the security update by doing the following: Select Menu > Help > About Firefox A small window opens that displays the version that is installed currently. Firefox runs a check for updates when the window opens, and will either download the new update automatically or on user request. Firefox needs to be restarted to complete the process. Versions 97.02 or 91.6.1 should be displayed afterwards when the about window is opened, depending on the branch of Firefox that is used. Firefox on Android is updated through Google Play. There is no option to speed up the installation of the update via Google Play. The official release notes list the following fixed security vulnerabilities in the Firefox releases: Critical -- CVE-2022-26485: Use-after-free in XSLT parameter processing Removing an XSLT parameter during processing could have lead to an exploitable use-after-free. We have had reports of attacks in the wild abusing this flaw. Critical -- CVE-2022-26486: Use-after-free in WebGPU IPC Framework An unexpected message in the WebGPU IPC framework could lead to a use-after-free and exploitable sandbox escape. We have had reports of attacks in the wild abusing this flaw. Both vulnerabilities have a severity rating of critical, the highest rating available. Mozilla notes that both vulnerabilities are exploited in the wild, but it is unclear how widespread the attacks are. The linked bugs are not public. Firefox users are encouraged to update their browsers as soon as possible to protect the browser and data against attacks targeting the vulnerabilities. Firefox 97.0.2 and Firefox ESR 91.6.1 are out with critical security fixes Frontpaged: Mozilla Firefox Browser 97.0.2
  12. One of the things that I like about Microsoft Edge, is the option that lets you access your tabs from the sidebar. It appears that Mozilla could add support for Vertical Tabs in Firefox. The option, which was introduced about a year ago in Edge, lets you hide the tab bar that normally appears at the top of the window. Enabling the feature creates a sidebar with icons for each tab. Clicking one of the icons switches to the corresponding tab. So, you get the same experience but in a more compact interface. If you expand the side panel, you will find that it is a more efficient way to manage your tabs. Most websites have a ton of blank space either side of the screen, in my opinion, having a vertical tab bar offers a better experience, because it looks cleaner. Users with large screens or an ultra-wide monitor may find Vertical Tabs to be a blessing. Ever since Microsoft debuted the feature, Vertical Tabs has been a popularly requested feature by users of other browsers, especially in the Mozilla Firefox community. As far as I know, only one other browser has this feature baked in, Vivaldi. To enable the side panel, head to the Settings > Tabs page, and set the Tab Bar position to the left. You will need to shrink the panel to its minimum size, to get the vertical tabs experience in Vivaldi. Mozilla could bring Vertical Tabs for Firefox Users had voted to request Vertical Tabs for Firefox at the Mozilla Crowdicity community. The feedback portal, which was slow to pick up the pace, is abuzz with activity. A Product Community Manager at Mozilla, has finally responded to the request with good news. He wrote that since the request has emerged as a top idea in the community, it has been reviewed by the developers at Mozilla. They are looking at ways to improve the tab management, and are researching the possibility of adding support for Vertical Tabs in Firefox. This of course does not mean that the feature is certain to be added, which is why I wrote "could" instead of "will". We don't know what Mozilla's implementation of Vertical Tabs could look like. Hopefully, it's not just a sidebar that auto-hides, we need to hide the tab bar from the top. For now, I think users can rejoice that the option is being explored, and keep our fingers crossed. Other ways to add Vertical tabs in Firefox Firefox has a lot of customization options, and there are a few add-ons that let you view and manage tabs from a sidebar, the most popular of which is, of course, Tree Style Tab. There are other alternatives like Tab Center Reborn, personally, I like Vertigo Tabs for its simplicity. But none of these extensions have the ability to hide the standard tab bar. Why is that? Because, like other programs of its kind, Firefox has APIs in place which allows the user to tweak the interface to their preference. The other side of the coin is that these APIs are limited, and extensions cannot access or modify certain parts of the GUI, due to some restrictions. These rules are in place to protect the user from malicious add-ons, that could otherwise wreak havoc, or hijack the browser. Now, these restrictions are limited to add-ons, which means there are other ways to modify the browser. Many Firefox users rely on custom CSS code to change the theme of their browser, the new tab page, etc. So, yes you could use one of the scripts to edit the userChrome.css, to hide the tab bar, and use an extension to access tabs from a side panel. Here is a user-created script for Vertical Tabs, and here is a website that has more custom CSS themes for Firefox. Most, if not all, of these scripts are open-source. I advise caution while tinkering with scripts, you may want to take a backup of your tabs, sessions, and data, just in case something goes awry, and you have to reset the browser. What do you think about Vertical Tabs? Source: https://www.ghacks.net/2022/02/23/mozilla-is-looking-into-bringing-vertical-tabs-for-firefox/
  13. Firefox users who upgraded the web browser to version 97 may have noticed that Mozilla removed the classic Print Preview option from the browser. The organization introduced the new Print Preview interface in Firefox 81, released on August 10, 2020, but it did add an option to Firefox to restore the classic Print Preview of the browser. Some users did just that and the classic option was restored for them. The release of Firefox 97 changes that as it removed the option and enforced the use of the new Print Preview interface on all users. Differences between both modes exist even though both share most features. The new Print Preview opens as an overlay on the existing page, the old one in a new separate window. As far as options are concerned, some, like the ability to jump to a specific page or scale presets, are missing in the new user interface. Mozilla did improve the new Print Preview mode since the initial release. Several missing features, including printing a simplified version of the webpage or improved readability on smaller screens, were added. Readability of the webpage when displayed in the new Print Preview interface is still not ideal, especially on smaller displays or when the browser window is not maximized. Additionally, the Simplified format does not work well sometimes, as you may end up with lots of white space on some pages. The following screenshot highlights the issue. Firefox users who restored the classic Print Preview option in Firefox, dislike the removal of the classic print preview interface in Firefox for the most part. Closing words Mozilla's main intention was to unify the Print Preview in Firefox for all desktop platforms. The print dialog resembles that of Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers now, which is fine for users who use both browsers or who migrate from one browser to another. The number of Firefox users who restored the old Print Preview feature after Mozilla landed the change in the browser is unknown, but the majority of users who are affected by this will not appreciate the change. One option that is left is to switch to Firefox ESR, as it includes the classic Print Preview preference until it is replaced by the next Firefox ESR version. Firefox 91.x ESR will retire in September 2022. Now You: classic or new Print Preview, which do you prefer? Source: https://www.ghacks.net/2022/02/19/mozilla-removed-the-classic-print-preview-from-firefox-there-is-still-one-option/
  14. Firefox 98 will be released in early March 2022 and it will include a change that replaces the default search engine of the browser with another automatically for some users. Firefox ships with a number of search engines based on a user's region. The default search engine is the one that is used automatically when the user types in the address bar or uses other means to search, e.g., from the browser's New Tab Page. In most regions, Google Search is the default, but in some, other search engines such as Baidu or Yandex are the default. Firefox users are free to add search engines to the browser and change the default search engine. If they prefer to use DuckduckGo, Startpage or Brave Search, they may do so as the browser supports it. An article on Mozilla's support website confirms that the default search engine may change for some Firefox users with the release of Firefox 98. The support article is vague when it comes to specifics. It does not mention search engines by name nor does it provide any other details. According to Mozilla, the change is necessary because it "was unable to secure formal permission to continue including search engines in Firefox". Mozilla "provided an opportunity to previously-included search engines to sign an agreement" and some search engine companies "did not complete the agreement" according to the article. The nature of the agreement is unknown. It is unclear if it included financial compensation or other requirements. The Bugzilla bug listing is set to private. Firefox ships with a number of search engines, many of which are local search engines that are available besides global ones, others are search engines of commercial sites. It appears that only these search engines are affected, but there is no confirmation of this at this point. Firefox users who are affected by the changing of the default search engine are informed about this when the browser launches. Your default search engine has been changed. Firefox no longer supports NAME. Google is now your default search engine. Firefox users may re-add the removed search engine to the browser again after the removal; this is a strong point in favor of the theory that the removal affects built-in search engines only, as Mozilla might likely not allow this otherwise. Closing Words The support page lacks information and there is a chance that only a small subset of users are affected by the change. Mozilla is shooting itself into the foot with the omittance of important information in the article. Would it be that difficult to list the affected search engines or provide a brief explanation of the agreement that search engine companies had to sign? This miscommunication happens frequently. It is often a tempest in a teapot that could have been avoided entirely if communication would have been clearer. Mozilla will replace the default search engine for some Firefox users
  15. Mozilla released Firefox 97.0.1 to the Stable channel on February 17, 2022. The new version of the open source web browser fixes issues that affect services such as TikTok and Hulu. Firefox 97.0.1 is already available and should be installed on most user devices automatically over the coming days. Firefox users who want the update right now can run a manual check for updates to install it. All that it takes for that is to select Menu > Help > About Firefox to do so. The page that opens displays the installed version and runs a check for updates. The update should be picked up at this point and installed automatically. Firefox 97.0.1 is a bug fix release only. It does not add new features to the web browser nor does it address security issues. The official release notes list four issues that Mozilla has fixed in the new version: Addresses an issue with the video service TikTok that prevented videos to play on the service's website if they were started from a user profile. The new version addresses the issue that was a SHIP regression according to Mozilla's bug listing. Fixes an issue that prevented Firefox's Picture-in-Picture mode from working on Hulu. Picture-in-Picture moves videos from the current webpage to an overlay that can be moved around freely and stays visible even if the user does something else in the browser, e.g. switches to other tabs. Addresses a compatibility issue with the security software WebRoot SecureAnywhere antivirus, which, "in some situations" caused Firefox to become unusable. Fixes an issue that displays the Restore Session screen to users when starting Firefox unexpectedly. Restore Session is usually displayed after Firefox crashes. Mozilla released Firefox 97.0 Stable on February 8, 2022. Firefox 97.0.1 is the first update for that release. The next version of Firefox, Firefox 98, is expected to be released on March 8, 2022. Now You: did you run into any of the issues mentioned in the release notes? Firefox 97.0.1 fixes issues with TikTok and Hulu Frontpaged: Mozilla Firefox Browser 97.0.1
  16. Changelog: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/notes/ Download Pages: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/win32/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/win32-EME-free/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/win64/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/win64-EME-free/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/linux-i686/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/linux-x86_64/ https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/mac/ Downloads - Win: x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/win32/en-US/Firefox Setup 97.0.1.exe https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/win32/en-US/Firefox Setup 97.0.1.msi x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/win64/en-US/Firefox Setup 97.0.1.exe https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/firefox/releases/97.0.1/win64/en-US/Firefox Setup 97.0.1.msi
  17. Karlston

    Is Firefox OK?

    Mozilla’s privacy-heavy browser is flatlining. What it does next is crucial for the future of the web. At the end of 2008, Firefox was flying high. Twenty percent of the 1.5 billion people online were using Mozilla’s browser to navigate the web. In Indonesia, Macedonia, and Slovenia, more than half of everyone going online was using Firefox. “Our market share in the regions above has been growing like crazy,” Ken Kovash, Mozilla’s president at the time, wrote in a blog post. Almost 15 years later, things aren’t so rosy. Across all devices, the browser has slid to less than 4 percent of the market—on mobile it’s a measly half a percent. “Looking back five years and looking at our market share and our own numbers that we publish, there's no denying the decline,” says Selena Deckelmann, senior vice president of Firefox. Mozilla’s own statistics show a drop of around 30 million monthly active users from the start of 2019 to the start of 2022. “In the last couple years, what we've seen is actually a pretty substantial flattening,” Deckelmann adds. In the two decades since Firefox launched from the shadows of Netscape, it has been key to shaping the web’s privacy and security, with staff pushing for more openness online and better standards. But its market share decline was accompanied by two rounds of layoffs at Mozilla during 2020. Next year, its lucrative search deal with Google—responsible for the vast majority of its revenue—is set to expire. A spate of privacy-focused browsers now compete on its turf, while new-feature misfires have threatened to alienate its base. All that has left industry analysts and former employees concerned about Firefox’s future. Its fate also has larger implications for the web as a whole. For years, it was the best contender for keeping Google Chrome in check, offering a privacy-forward alternative to the world’s most dominant browser. Since its release in 2008, Chrome has become synonymous with the web: It’s used by around 65 percent of everyone online and has a huge influence on how people experience the internet. When Google launched its AMP publishing standard, websites jumped to implement it. Similarly plans to replace third-party cookies in Chrome—a move that will impact millions of marketers and publishers—are shaped in Google’s image. “Chrome has won the desktop browser war,” says one former Firefox staff member, who worked on browser development at Mozilla but does not want to be named, as they still work in the industry. Their hopes for a Firefox revival are not high. “It's not super reasonable for Firefox to expect to win back even any browser share at this point.” Another former Mozilla employee, who also asked not to be named for fear of career repercussions, says: “They're just going to have to accept the reality that Firefox is not going to come back from the ashes.” Mozilla and Google have a complicated relationship. While they may be competitors, they are also business partners. Each year Google pays Mozilla hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties—reports say that figure is currently in the range of $400 million per year—for its search engine to be set as the default in Firefox. In its 2020 financial results, the most recent available, Mozilla listed its total revenue as $496 million, with royalties from search deals equaling $441 million. Firefox has other default search engine partners, such as Yandex Search in Russia, and these royalties are also crucial. (Google also pays Apple huge sums each year to ensure it is the default search engine in Safari.) The Google-Mozilla deal was last renewed in 2020 and is expected to expire in 2023. Stats show Firefox’s market share has dropped around 1 percent over the course of this agreement. The company’s own figures show its monthly active users have stayed stable at around 215 million. But there’s no guarantee Google will renew at the same level. Deckelmann says Mozilla doesn’t reveal details about arrangements with its partners and declined to say whether negotiations with Google are ongoing. Mozilla’s financial declarations from 2020 said that despite the layoffs it is in a healthy place, and it expects its financial results for 2021 to show revenue growth. However, Mozilla and Firefox acknowledge that for its long-term future it needs to diversify the ways it makes money. These efforts have ramped up since 2019. The company owns read-it-later service Pocket, which includes a paid premium subscription service. It has also launched two similar VPN-style products that people can subscribe to. And the company is pushing more into advertising as well, placing ads on new tabs that are opened in the Firefox browser. Mozilla’s combined subscription and ad revenue rose from $14 million in 2019 to $24 million in 2020, and the company says it expects 2021’s financial results to show new products contributing 14 percent of its revenue. That independence from Google is key to creating a “healthier” business model. However, some of these new bets haven’t worked out and can seem at odds with Firefox’s wider privacy aims. An encrypted file-sharing service was shut down after being used to spread malware. The company has inserted ads into Firefox's URL bar. And the less said about the mid-2010s Firefox OS phones, the better. The pressure to find new revenue streams comes at a time when Firefox faces more browser competition than ever. “A lot of browsers use privacy in their branding,” says Lourdes Turrecha, founder of Rise of Privacy Tech, a group that monitors privacy-focused companies. Many of Chrome’s competitors look to differentiate themselves by not collecting data about your browsing history or tracking what you do online. Firefox, DuckDuckGo, Brave, Vivaldi, and Safari all join Tor—which is widely considered the most privacy-preserving option—in blocking tracking to varying degrees. Firefox’s privacy credentials are about as strong as any of its commercial rivals. “The main thing with Firefox is how extensible it is,” says Jonah Aragon, a system administrator who also helps run the recommendation website Privacy Guides. The site, which focuses on open source software, ranks the Firefox browsers highly. “There's a lot of privacy features that aren't enabled by default, which is unfortunate, but it at least gives you the option to enable those if you think that you need them.” In addition to the main Firefox browser for Android and iOS, Mozilla also runs the Focus browser, which ramps up privacy protections by default. (Deckelmann says the two Firefox browsers have distinct use cases, and she doesn’t see the apps merging into one product.) Aragon adds that while Firefox competes with other privacy-focused browsers, it hasn’t necessarily been the first to introduce these features—for instance, Safari pioneered blocking third-party tracking cookies by default. This echoes concerns about how Firefox will differentiate itself going forward. Former Firefox employees say Mozilla should stick to a distinct strategy for its marquee browser. “It's basically a more optimized privacy browser, but at the same time they're trying to get more utility out of it and squeeze revenue out of it by going in different directions,” one former employee says, citing search bar ads as a prime example of conflicting priorities. “Once lost, users hardly come back until there's a compelling reason, and what would that compelling reason be?” says Bart Willemsen, a VP analyst focusing on privacy at Gartner. Willemsen says he has been a Firefox user since its earliest days. “I think Firefox really has a challenge to find a unique position—not only in marketing statements, but in their absolute product—and go in one direction,” he says. For Deckelmann, making Firefox more personalized is key. She says this includes trying to increase the browser’s functionality to fit in with people being online more. “It’s almost impossible now for people to manage all this information,” Deckelmann says. For instance, last year Firefox revamped its homepage to allow people to pick up previously abandoned searches and unfinished articles. It redesigned its Android app and added features from its password manager to the Firefox app. Mozilla has also been focusing on partnerships, including recently working with Facebook parent company Meta to push for more privacy-focused advertising. Deckelmann says Firefox is likely to continue looking for ways to keep personalizing people’s online browsing. “I'm not sure that what's going to come out of that is going to be what people traditionally expect from a browser, but the intention will always be to put people first,” she says. Just this week, Firefox announced a partnership with Disney—linked to a new Pixar film—that involves changing the color of the browser and ads to win subscriptions to Disney+. The deal speaks both to Firefox’s personalization push and the strange roads its search for revenue streams can lead down. Deckelmann adds that Firefox doesn’t need to be as big as Chrome or Apple’s Safari, the second largest browser, to succeed. “All we really want is to be a viable choice,” Deckelmann says. “Because we think that this makes a better internet for everybody to have these different options.” Despite some of its misses, Firefox still matters. Mozilla is pushing companies to be more private, and its key product is different at its core. The browser market is dominated by Google’s Chromium codebase and its underlying browser engine, Blink, the component that turns code into visual web pages. Microsoft’s Edge Browser, Brave, Vivaldi, and Opera all use adapted versions of Chromium. Apple makes developers use its WebKit browser engine on iOS. Other than that, Firefox’s Gecko browser engine is the only alternative in existence. “This market needs variety,” Willemsen says. If Firefox diminishes further, there’ll be less competition for Chrome. “We need that difference for open internet standards, for the sake of preventing monopolies,” Willemsen says. Others agree. Everyone we spoke with for this story—inside and outside of Mozilla—says having Firefox flourish makes the web a better place. The trick is figuring out how to get there. Is Firefox OK? (May require free registration to view)
  18. Write notes in a new tab and save them locally with the TextNotes extension for Firefox Found something interesting and want to save it for future reference? You could save the web page, or copy the content and save it in Notepad, or a cloud-based note taking service. But if you would like to save the note directly in Firefox, you'll probably like the TextNotes extension. Before you get your hopes up and think this is an add-on that saves notes to specific tabs, let me tell you that it doesn't. Click on the extension's button on the toolbar and a new tab opens. This is TextNotes' interface, and the page is divided into two panes. The one on the left is the tree panel which lists the notes that you have added, select a note and its contents will appear on the right pane. Well, there is no note available to begin with, so let's add one. Click the + button above the tree and a new blank note is created. Place the cursor in the right pane and type away. TextNotes will automatically save the note. Where does it save it? The extension does not rely on cloud services, as I hinted earlier it is an offline add-on. Your notes are saved directly in your browser's storage (in your current profile). There is another way that you can create new notes. Select some text on a web page, access the right-click menu, and choose the option that says "Add Selected Text to TextNotes". This creates a new note which contains the text, but it doesn't include the title or the URL of the tab/page that the content was saved from. You can open TextNotes with a hotkey; Ctrl + Alt + O. Don't want to open it in a new tab? Use Ctrl + Alt + P, or click the toolbar button while holding the Ctrl key, to open the interface in a new window. The hotkeys can be changed from Firefox's add-ons page: Add-ons > Manage Extension Shortcuts > TextNotes. You can trash notes, and the deleted notes are stored in the add-on's built-in trash bin, from where they can be recovered instantly if required. Drag and drop notes to rearrange their order. Right-click on the sidebar to create a new note, add a separator to manage a collection of notes or to delete a note. TextNotes has a feature called hyperclicks, which are clickable hyperlinks or URLS, paste the link in a note, and you're good to go. To use a saved link, hold the Ctrl key and the left mouse button for a few seconds, that's a Ctrl + long-click. This action opens the link in a new tab in the foreground. To open it in a background tab, make sure that Caps Lock is enabled while you Ctrl + long-click. Since TextNotes does not support cloud-based synchronization of its own, you will have to rely on Firefox sync. But, in order to prevent loss of data, you may want to save your notes manually. Click on the three-dot icon in the top right corner of the add-on's interface. Select Preferences and a pop-up window appears with 3 options. Hit the Save button to store your notes as a TN (compressed document) file. Or you can save the content directly to a plain-text file, which you can open with Notepad or any text editor of your choice. The TN document is useful if you want to Load (import) it back to TextNotes. If you want cloud-support, you can save this file to your online storage account, as a backup. The add-on's menu also has a Help file which explains how TextNotes works. TextNotes is an open source extension. Landing Page https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/textnotes/ Source: Write notes in a new tab and save them locally with the TextNotes extension for Firefox
  19. Firefox 85 for Android released with DRM stream support and usability improvements Mozilla released Firefox 85.0 Stable for all supported desktop operating systems last week. Firefox 85 is the first stable version of Firefox without Flash support, and Mozilla did add a number of usability features to give users better control over certain areas of the browser. Firefox 85.0 Android is now available as well. The new version of Firefox for Android is already available via Google Play and may be pushed to user devices via the built-in updating functionality. A tap on Menu > Settings > About Firefox displays the installed version on the device. The official release notes of Firefox 85.0 for Android lack information; the only changes listed on the official page are support for network partitioning, a feature that improves privacy, and security fixes. The Firefox 85 Security Advisory Page lists a total of 13 different vulnerabilities. The highest severity rating is high, the second-highest after critical. Firefox 85.0 for Android includes capabilities to play DRM-protected media on sites such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. The browser uses Google Widevine and displays a prompt when a site attempts to play DRM protected media by default. Firefox users may change the default behavior under Menu > Settings > Site permissions. The preference DRM-controlled content supports "allowed" and "blocked" besides the default "ask to allow". Blocked will block any requests outright, allow permits it without user interaction. The latest version for Android includes a bunch of usability improvements: Sites added to a Collection will be loaded when they are opened. Previously, Firefox loaded the content from cache but that was problematic for sites with content that changes regularly as old content might be displayed when opened from a Collection link. Memory optimizations designed to reduce or eliminate the unwanted effect that sites are reloaded when users switch between tabs in the browser. Top sites can be selected directly, the extra click is no longer required. Supported extensions can be installed from Mozilla's official add-ons website. Closing Words Work on the new version of Firefox for Android continues. The addition of DRM-media playback closes a gap between Firefox and other browsers such as Google Chrome; users who don't want it can set its preference to block to do so. (via Sören Hentzschel) Source: Firefox 85 for Android released with DRM stream support and usability improvements
  20. Firefox 81 for Android gets an automatic tab closing option The next version of the new Firefox mobile browser for Google's Android operating system includes a new automatic tab closing features. Tab opening and closing behavior differs highly between two major groups on the Internet. Lean users keep a small number of tabs open in the browser, and tend to close tabs quickly. Tab hoarders on the other hand have dozens or even hundreds of tabs open, and keep them open for a long time. I fall into the second category of users. While I don't keep hundreds of tabs open on mobile devices, I do have dozens of them open at any point in time. I do use bookmarks to save important sites and reduce the number of tabs. Mozilla will introduce a new feature in Firefox 81 for Android that assists users when it comes to the closing of tabs in the browser. The feature automates the tab closing process similarly to how Apple's Safari browser does it. It is off by default to avoid that user tabs get closed without their explicit permission. Firefox users may switch the tab closing behavior from manual, the default setting, to (after) one day, one week, or one month. The setting does not provide one crucial bit of information: the automatic closing of tabs requires that tabs were not active in the selected period of time. If you choose to close tabs after one week, all tabs that were not active for at least a week will be closed automatically. It is still possible to restore them using the browsing history, provided that it is not cleared regularly. Firefox users who want to configure the feature need to run at least version 81 of the browser. The version is currently available as a beta but will be released later this month to stable channel devices. Select Menu > Settings to open the Firefox preferences. Locate and activate the "close tabs" option on the Settings page. The current status of the feature is highlighted directly there. Switch the status to one of the available options, e.g. to one week, and go back to verify that the change has been applied. Firefox will, from that moment on, close tabs automatically based on the selected time period. Closing Words The feature is not enabled by default and Firefox users need to enable it before it starts to close tabs automatically in the browser. The main effects of the automatic behavior are that memory use may be reduced and that tab management is improved. An option to add all the auto-closed tabs to a specific bookmarks folder might have been a useful addition though, considering that these tabs may be lost for good if users have configured the browser to delete the browsing history regularly. Firefox 81 for Android gets an automatic tab closing option
  21. Firefox 82: new automatic downloads protection Mozilla plans to introduce a new security feature in Firefox 82 that prevents the automatic downloading of files under certain circumstances. The feature will block downloads that are initiated by sandboxed iframes, a technology that is used by sites and services to load embedded content such as advertisement or media on third-party sites. The sandbox attribute of an iframe adds an extra set of restrictions to the content hosted by the iframe. Developers may specify certain allow parameters to allow actions such as popups or forms. It is uncommon for sites to use sandboxed iframes to initiate downloads but most browsers don't block these downloads at the time. Google introduced the protection in Chrome 83 which it released in May 2020. Since Chrome is based on Chromium, most Chromium-based browsers have the protection implemented already or will have it in the near future. The company introduced support for Secure DNS in the same browser version. From Firefox 82 on, automatic downloads that originate from sandboxed iframes will be blocked in the Firefox browser. Developers may specify the "allow-download" parameter to allow these downloads. Depending on the configuration, downloads may be saved automatically to the system's downloads folder. Firefox may be configured to display a "save to" prompt whenever downloads are initiated in the browser; this prompt provides a layer of protection against unwanted downloads as it is possible to hit the cancel button to stop the download before it reaches the user system. Just load about:preferences#general in the Firefox address bar, scroll down to the downloads section on the page that opens, and make sure that the setting is set to "Always ask you where to save files". The setting may be less convenient, as you will get a prompt each time you download a file in the browser, but it is better when it comes to security. Firefox 82 will be released on October 20, 2020 according to the release schedule. The next stable version is Firefox 81; it will be released in September 2020. You can check out the bug on Mozilla's bug tracking website for additional information. Firefox 82: new automatic downloads protection
  22. nightTab is a highly customizable new tab replacement extension for Firefox and Chrome There are lots of ways to customize the new tab experience. Some like using custom CSS or display a blank page, others rely on extensions like Group Speed Dial or Tabliss. Want something that's user-friendly, customizable, and minimalistic? The add-on nightTab might be just the thing you need. Install the extension and open a new tab to access nightTab's interface. It has a dark theme, and a bunch of pre-configured bookmark tiles, aka speed dials. All the elements you see on the tab are customizable. The search bar at the top of the tiles can be used to search in your bookmarks, or to perform an online search in Google. NightTab displays a clock and the date to the left of the search box. Let's see how to manage the speed dials. Click on the Edit button next to the search box, or the Add button in nightTab's screen to create a new group or bookmark. This brings up several buttons for each shortcut. Use the left and right arrows to move a speed-dial right or left. You may reorder the tiles by clicking on the three-line icon and dragging it elsewhere, even onto another group. The x button deletes a speed dial, while the pencil icon is used to customize a tile. You can edit the appearance of the dial from the Visual Element settings. The letter option in nightTab uses a cool font, which you can use to name your bookmarks. Or you can pick from many icons that the extension comes preloaded with; these are part of the Font-Awesome collection. You can paste a URL of a custom image that you want to use for the tile. If you assigned an icon or a picture, you may want to add a label to the speed dial, and that's what the name field is for. Paste the URL of the page that the speed dial is for in the Address field and hit the save button, and your new tile is ready. NightTab allows you to customize the appearance of the tiles further, change the size of the letter, icon, image, shadow and name. Set the position of the element in the tile, rotate it, pick the accent color, theme color, opacity from the advanced options. You can even use an image or a video as the background for the speed dial. Each set of bookmarks is a group and it has a title to categorize it. You can change the name of the group, reorder its position, or delete it. Tiles can be moved between bookmarks with a drag and drop, or from the editor. Click on the "color" button to pick a custom background color from the palette. The Accent button similarly allows you to use a different color for the letters, icons and names. The gear icon in the top right corner has even more settings. You can adjust the scaling size, width and alignment, padding of the layout. Enable the Greeting option if you like to see "Good morning, Hello, Hi", followed by your name. Transitional words places shows the words "The time and date is" or "It's" before the clock. Speaking of which, the clock can be customized too. Switch from number-based to a word-based clock, enable seconds, change the separators, toggle 24-hour clock, enable AM/PM. The Date settings are modifiable as well and has options to switch the format, word style, size, etc. Next is the Search settings which aside from a couple of visual options lets you choose from the following search engines: Google, DuckDuckGo, YouTube, Giphy, Bing, or a custom search provider. Dislike having the Edit, Add, Color and Accent buttons in the new tab? Disable them from the options. Bored with the colors? nightTab has plenty of themes to choose from, of course you can create your own easily. The extension allows you to use Google Fonts for the text and numbers. Why restrict yourself to a colorful background? Use an image or a video, nightTab supports both local and online media, go nuts. No one likes to see their settings reset to default. It may be a good idea to use the add-on's built-in backup and restore option to preserve your customized preferences. I tried importing my backup from Firefox to Chrome, and it worked like a charm. Download nightTab for Firefox and Chrome. The extension is open source. NightTab is an excellent new tab replacement with a ridiculous number of settings, yet somehow it manages to keep things user-friendly. Landing Page: https://github.com/zombieFox/nightTab nightTab is a highly customizable new tab replacement extension for Firefox and Chrome
  23. Firefox 78 comes with option to view blocked resources Firefox 78 Stable will support options to view website resources that were blocked during page load. Some site content may not be loaded; a common reason for that is that users make use of built-in on third-party content blocking options. While content blocking, e.g. to block ads or tracking, are common, there are also other reasons such as resources that time out or cut server connections. Up until now, Firefox did not list the blocked resources in the list of network connections when opening sites in the web browser. The information may be displayed by the used tools but that depends on the used tool. Firefox 78 comes with a new option to analyze blocked connections; the information is useful to site owners and developers for the most part, but home users may also find it useful if they notice that content is not loaded on certain sites. All that is required is to tap on the F12 shortcut to open the Developer Tools of the web browser. Select the Network tab when the Developer Tools interface is ready. Every item that is listed in red has not been loaded. The reason for that is provided as well, e.g. Firefox might display "blocked by uBlock Origin" if the extension is installed and active. Users may also see Tracking Protection or other blocker extensions as the reason for the blocking. A click on the "transferred" column sorts the entire listing of connections based on the data of that column so that it is easy to analyze all resources that were blocked in the browser during connection to the site. The developer tools provide no option to allow blocked connections; this needs to be managed in the blocking options of Firefox or the extension instead. The new feature is already available in developer versions of the Firefox web browser. Firefox 78 Stable will be released on June 30, 2020 according to the browser's release schedule. Closing Words Extension developers and webmasters may appreciate the new option the most but it may also be useful for home users who want to figure out why content is not loaded on a specific site. Source: Firefox 78 comes with option to view blocked resources (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  24. Get RSS feed URLs from any page and preview them using the Want My RSS extension for Firefox When you are on a website, and want to see if it offers an RSS feed that you may want to subscribe to, what do you do? Usually the best way is to look for the RSS icon on the page. IF there is none, you could check the source or try common feed URLs direclty, e.g. by appending /feed/ to to the domain. https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Want-My-RSS-icon.jpg Want my RSS is a Firefox extension that aims to simplify this task. Install the add-on and visit any web page. You'll notice an RSS icon (next to the bookmark icon) in the address bar. Click on the icon and a small pop-up appears, that lists the available RSS feeds. Mouse over the RSS feed that you want to access. Left-click on it and Want My RSS will open load the page in its feed previewer. Another way to do this is to click the RSS Feed URL on the website, or simply open the feed's link, it will be loaded in the extension's previewer. Use it to read the latest articles on the website. This includes the images that were included in the posts, but videos aren't displayed in the previewer. Click on an article's title/URL to load it normally. By default, the add-on uses "Relative time" (like an hour ago) to indicate when an article was published in the feed that you're viewing. Uncheck the box next to "Relative time" to view the exact time stamp when the post was published to the feed. Use the sort box near the top corner in the feed previewer to sort the articles by Newest or Oldest. See that icon to the right of the articles? Click on it to switch to the day or night theme, which changes the background color of the Want My RSS previewer page. Do note that this isn't a full-fledged RSS reader extension by any means (for starters it lacks notifications). You may want to try something like Smart RSS or Feedbro for a proper feed reader. Or, click on the icon next to the Subscribe button to choose from a list of feed readers: Feedly, The Old Reader, InoReader, News Blur, Netvibes, BazQux, Feedbin, G2Reader, CommaFeed, Nooshub. If you don't use any of those, scroll to the top of the preview page. The add-on displays the name and the link of the RSS feed in the top left corner. Mouse over near the URL to view the URL and copy it. Now, you can use it to subscribe to the feed in any feed reader of your choice. The add-on doesn't work perfectly with all sites. E.g. For some reason, it doesn't pick up gHacks' feed, i.e. the Want My RSS button doesn't appear in the address bar. Another thing that I observed was the "Subscribe to page" option that appears when clicking on the three-dot icon in the address-bar. The option was grayed out. However, clicking on the blog's feed button loaded it in the previewer. I also noticed an issue with some websites where the extension would not load the preview (for e.g. the European PlayStation blog). Other options Open the add-on's page to define the rules for custom feeds. If you don't want the extension to load the preview of feeds, disable the "Intercept requests" option. Toggle the "open popup feeds in a new tab" option to force Want My RSS to load a feed in a new tab. It's useful when you don't want to navigate away from the source website. Want My RSS is an open source extension. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/want-my-rss/ Source: Get RSS feed URLs from any page and preview them using the Want My RSS extension for Firefox (gHacks - Ashwin)
  25. Firefox may soon get native password exports Firefox users may soon be able to export passwords natively in the web browser. Currently, it is not possible to export passwords directly using built-in tools. While password syncing is supported to sync passwords across Firefox installations, an option to export or import manually is not. Users may use third-party password managers like KeePass to export Firefox passwords or third-party tools like Firefox Password Exporter. The initial request to add exporting options to Firefox's password manager dates back more than 16 years. The bug reporter suggested that Firefox should get functionality to export/backup saved passwords to a file. The bug was assigned to a new contributor who discovered it on Bugzilla. It did not take long to integrate the export functionality in Firefox. The feature lands in Firefox Nightly first; it is hidden according to the developer and it may take a while before it gets enabled by default in Firefox Nightly. Mozilla has not yet decided on the stable version of Firefox that may get the feature included. The password exporting option itself has been integrated into the Firefox password manager. All you need to do is open about:logins in the Firefox address bar to open it. A click on the main menu (the three dots) displays the new "export passwords to CSV" option. A save dialog opens when you select the export option and you may save the file to the local system or open it using an installed software program. The CSV file contains all saved Firefox passwords and related information; it is a plain text file that can be opened in any plain text editor or spreadsheet application. Most password managers should be able to import the data using the file. Note: since the file is not protected in any way, it is important to keep it safe. One of the better options is to put it in an encrypted container or on encrypted storage space, e.g. by using a program like Vera Crypt. Closing Words Password exporting may not be a much requested feature, and that is likely the main reason why it has not been picked up earlier, but it is a feature that some users will welcome. Firefox may soon get native password exports
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