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  1. Mozilla has released security updates for multiple products to address zero-day vulnerabilities exploited during the Pwn2Own Vancouver 2022 hacking contest. If exploited, the two critical flaws can let attackers gain JavaScript code execution on mobile and desktop devices running vulnerable versions of Firefox, Firefox ESR, Firefox for Android, and Thunderbird. The zero-days have been fixed in Firefox 100.0.2, Firefox ESR 91.9.1, Firefox for Android 100.3, and Thunderbird 91.9.1. Manfred Paul (@_manfp) earned $100,000 and 10 Master of Pwn points after demoing prototype pollution and improper input validation bugs on the first day of Pwn2Own. The first vulnerability is a prototype pollution in Top-Level Await implementation (tracked as CVE-2022-1802) that can let an attacker corrupt the methods of an Array object in JavaScript using prototype pollution to achieve JavaScript code execution in a privileged context. The second one (CVE-2022-1529) allows attackers to abuse Java object indexing improper input validation in prototype pollution injection attacks. "An attacker could have sent a message to the parent process where the contents were used to double-index into a JavaScript object, leading to prototype pollution and ultimately attacker-controlled JavaScript executing in the privileged parent process," Mozilla explained. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) also encouraged admins and users on Monday to patch these security flaws, given that threat actors could exploit them to "take control of an affected system." Mozilla patched these vulnerabilities two days after they were exploited and reported at the Pwn2Own hacking contest by Manfred Paul. However, vendors don't usually hurry to release patches after Pwn2Own since they have 90 days to push security fixes until Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative publicly discloses them. Pwn2Own 2022 Vancouver ended on May 20 after 17 competitors earned $1,155,000 for zero-day exploits and exploit chains demonstrated over three days after 21 attempts. Security researchers also earned $400,000 for 26 zero-day exploits targeting ICS and SCADA products demoed between April 19 and April 21 during the 2022 Pwn2Own Miami contest. Mozilla fixes Firefox, Thunderbird zero-days exploited at Pwn2Own
  2. Mozilla VPN launches in some countries officially Mozilla announced the launch of the organization's VPN service, called Mozilla VPN, yesterday on the official blog. Rumors that the official launch was imminent surfaced in June 2020. The service is available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand, and available for $4.99 per month. Mozilla plans to expand to other -- unmentioned -- countries later this year. A waitlist is provided for users interested in the VPN that cannot join because of country restrictions- The VPN is available for Windows, Android and iOS devices currently, but Mozilla promises that Linux and Mac clients are under development and will become available eventually as well. The network provides access to more than 280 servers in more than 30 countries currently, and does not impose restrictions on bandwidth. Mozilla promises that network activity is not logged, and that it has not partnered with third-party analytics platforms. The VPN solution may be used on up to five devices. The client uses the cutting edge WireGuard protocol which has a slim code base, is open source, focuses on modern cryptographic techniques, and promises very high speeds when compared to classic VPN protocols. The VPN network is provided by Mozilla's partner Mullvad, a privacy-focused VPN offered by the Swedish company Mullvad VPN AB. Mozilla unveiled the VPN solution in 2019, then under the name Firefox Private Network VPN to beta testers from the United States. The organization changed the name because it wants to reach a wider audience with the service and not just Firefox users, and also to better distinguish the device-wide VPN solution from the Firefox Private Network browser extension which adds a VPN-proxy to the Firefox web browser. Mozilla VPN is one of the main attempts by Mozilla to diversify the organization's income. Most revenue comes from search partner deals in the Firefox web browser, and one of Firefox's main competitors, Google with its Chrome browser, provides most of the income currently. Mozilla started several projects in the recent past, some of them paid, to diversify the income. Firefox VPN is probably the most promising product at the time of writing as it fits well into Mozilla's privacy-focused image. Details about the agreement between Mozilla and Mullvad are not available, and it is unclear how much of the $4.99 per month is ending up in Mozilla's pockets. Mozilla VPN launches in some countries officially
  3. Firefox Private Relay is Mozilla's latest experimental service Firefox Private Relay is a new experimental service by Firefox maker Mozilla; the (currently) invite-only service is designed to reduce unwanted emails and spam by acting as a proxy email service of sorts. The idea is not new but Mozilla may be on to something considering that trust is important for this kind of service. Users sign-in with their Firefox account, or create a new one, to start using the service. A companion add-on for Firefox is available as well which integrates the service in Firefox. Users of the service may use it to create alias email addresses on the fly that redirect emails sent to them to the user's "real" email address. The user is in full control of the alias and may terminate or disable the alias at any point in time to cut the connection and block any spam or unwanted emails from reaching the real email address. Users may click on the relay button next to email fields to create an alias on the fly. The alias is automatically forwarding emails that come from that service to the real email address. The add-on's description provides further information: Private Relay adds UI to generate unique, random, anonymous email addresses that forward to your real address. You can use your relay addresses to sign up for apps, sites, or newsletters. When you're done with that service, you can disable or destroy the email address so you'll never receive any more emails from it. And, if the service has an incident, their data won't be linked back to you. Some features are unclear at the time of writing because of the invite-only nature of the service. Will users be able to select different domains for the email aliases or only one? It is quite common that disposable email services and email forwarding services get blocked by Internet companies and sites. It is also unclear whether Mozilla plans to introduce a paid option or options such as custom domain, if PGP or similar is supported, and whether functionality is limited in any form (e.g. number of aliases or forwards). Users who don't have an invite at the time may check Anonaddy, an open source service that is offering free and cheap paid accounts. Source: Firefox Private Relay is Mozilla's latest experimental service (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. sanjoa

    Issue with Firefox and IDM

    Hi everybody! I'm facing issues with Internet Download Manager and Firefox 77.0/77.0.1. IDM integration module stopped working since I've updated to latest Mozilla version. IDM support told me to uninstall and reinstall the plugin but it didn't work. What should I do?
  5. Mozilla has a new virtual private network service and if you have a Chromebook, a Windows 10 computer or an Android device in the US, you can start using a beta version now. Called Firefox Private Network, the new service is designed to function as a full-device VPN and give better protection when surfing the web or when using public Wi-Fi networks. The company offers two options: a free browser-extension version, which it launched in beta last year, that provides 12 one-hour VPN passes when using the Firefox browser and a Firefox account; and a second, $4.99-a-month option that provides a more complete VPN service across your whole device. The new paid option, which runs off of servers provided by Swedish open-source VPN company Mullvad, can protect up to five devices with one account. It allows for faster browsing and streaming, and gives you the ability to tap into servers located in "30-plus countries" for masking your location data. It works on Windows 10, Android and Chromebooks, with Mozilla touting that iOS is "coming soon." Support for Mac, Linux and additional countries are also in the works. According to Mozilla, the premium option won't monitor or log any user data. The company's free version, which is provided by Cloudflare, however, "temporarily logs unidentified browsing history and deletes this data within 24 hours as a mechanism to detect and handle abuse on the network." Mozilla does add that, "Neither Firefox nor Cloudflare is able to associate usage with users, as each party holds partial aspects of this data which are never joined." The move is a much-needed step up in security, especially for those who travel. Whereas an incognito mode can delete your web history, those looking to prevent trackers from their internet provider and add an extra layer of protection when using open networks should use a VPN. If you want to try out the browser-level protection, you can do so today with the Firefox browser extension. The premium option has a waitlist for those looking to join but is accepting new submissions. Source
  6. We test Mozilla’s new Wireguard-based $5/mo VPN service Mozilla's VPN is available now for Windows, Android, and iOS. Enlarge / Mozilla's new Wireguard-based service offers a very simple, attractive, and cleanly functional VPN user interface. Jim Salter 35 with 29 posters participating, including story author Mozilla, the open source company best known for the Firefox Web browser, made its VPN service generally available in the United States this month. The cross-platform VPN is based on Wireguard and delivered in partnership with well-known and especially techie-friendly VPN provider Mullvad. Mullvad itself was, to the best of our knowledge, the first publicly available VPN provider to offer Wireguard support back in 2017. The Mozilla VPN service costs $4.95 per month and offers server endpoints in 30-plus countries. It currently has VPN clients available for Windows 10, Android, and iOS—but users of other operating systems, such as MacOS and Linux, are going to have to wait. Mozilla says that support for MacOS and Linux is coming soon—but unfortunately, even if you're an advanced user who understands Wireguard configs, you can't just roll your own connection now. The service authenticates via Firefox cloud account. When you sign up for a Mozilla VPN subscription, you'll be asked to create a Firefox account if you don't already have one. The Firefox account is an SSO (Single Sign On) service which uses oauth2, much like a Google account—but it's not tied to a Google account, so even if you sign up using a Gmail address tied to an Android device, that device won't be automatically logged in. Aside from the Firefox-based oauth2 integration, Mozilla's VPN appears to effectively be a Mullvad VPN, with a different client application and different billing entity. It is a bit less expensive through Mozilla, though—Mullvad costs €5 per month. This makes Mozilla's offering about $0.80 per month cheaper, at current exchange rates. Before we go any further, we need to make something clear—we've repeatedly said that Ars Technica, as editorial policy, does not and cannot specifically recommend any public VPN service provider. While Mozilla does put its own stamp of approval on Mullvad's policies, we have neither sufficient access nor resources to audit those claims ourselves. Readers will need to decide for themselves whether Mozilla's endorsement and partnership constitutes sufficient assurances for their own level of privacy and security needs. Readers who want a publicly available VPN service and a somewhat higher level of potential privacy might consider bypassing Mozilla and going directly to Mullvad. The Mozilla VPN service must be tied to a working email address and paid for with a credit card. By contrast, Mullvad accounts have no identifying information besides the account number itself, and they can be paid for with bitcoin—or even literal cash in a mailed-in envelope. We don't have any better way to guarantee Mullvad's internal policies and handling than Mozilla's, of course—but never collecting a user's real-world information in the first place is a pretty solid start on the privacy game. Testing Mozilla VPN—Android (Google Pixel 2XL) On Android devices, the Mozilla VPN client is available directly from the Play store. It's a fairly small download (20MiB) and quick install. Once installed, bringing up the application directs the user to log in with a Firefox single sign-on account; assuming that account also has a paid subscription to the Mozilla VPN service, you're ready to go immediately—no additional configuration is necessary. The application itself is about as simple as it could possibly be. By default on first login, a fairly nearby VPN endpoint is automatically selected by geolocation; the VPN itself is off until toggled on using a small slider. After toggling the slider on, the VPN itself connects in two seconds or less... and that's it. By default, all traffic from the phone is routed through the Mozilla VPN. Diving into the Settings tab reveals a little more functionality. You can manage your Mozilla VPN account, change your VPN endpoint, or opt to pass individual apps on your phone or tablet directly through to the raw network connection. The Mozilla VPN account management just opens a webpage in your default browser; logging in with your Firefox SSO once more gives you access to your payment and profile information. Selecting a VPN endpoint lets you first choose an endpoint country, and then you choose from one or more city locations in that country. The nice thing here is that changing your endpoint automatically breaks and reconnects your VPN connection as well—there aren't any additional clicks necessary. Finally, the "Protect specific apps" setting does just what you'd expect, providing you with two lists—protected apps (those routed through the VPN) and unprotected apps (given direct network access). You don't see these lists at all unless you toggle the slider on; once you do, all apps by default are protected. If you prefer your defaults the other way around, you get a button to "unprotect all apps" as well as individual checkboxes for the apps themselves. So getting things just the way you like them is easy. There is no option to pass LAN traffic directly through—so if you use apps that depend on local traffic, you'll unfortunately need to pass those entire apps through. Testing Mozilla VPN—Windows 10 (build 2004) If you read through the Android section above, you know just about everything you need to know about the Windows client as well. The interfaces are almost pixel for pixel identical, although you can resize the Windows client, since it's running on a full multiple-window desktop interface. The one real difference we found between Android and Windows is the ability to pass local network traffic directly to the local network, bypassing the VPN. This allows connections to devices such as printers, local file servers, Plex media servers, and so forth to continue unmolested. It would be nice if Android offered the same option—one of the biggest complaints we saw in user reviews on the Play store was from people frustrated that enabling the VPN on their phones broke exactly those sort of connections. On the other hand, the Windows client is missing the ability to route individual apps' traffic through the VPN or directly to the local interface. You win some, you lose some. Performance testing with Mozilla VPN The TL;DR here is simple—Mozilla VPN's performance is perfectly fine. We found very little difference between a raw, direct connection and one routed through a relatively nearby Mozilla/Mullvad endpoint, whether testing using a Pixel 2XL phone connected over Wi-Fi, or a Windows 10 build 2004 VM connected via Ethernet. The nearest endpoint to our test location is in Atlanta, Georgia—where we also maintain a self-hosted Wireguard instance. Our self-hosted Wireguard instance in Atlanta was not meaningfully faster or slower than Mozilla's in the same city. We saw slightly better latency to our self-hosted endpoint (accessed via the vanilla Wireguard client on each platform) and slightly better throughput to the Mozilla endpoint. The farther away your endpoint, the more difference you'll see in both latency and throughput. Routing from the US East Coast through London added about 80ms latency and lost about 15-20 percent of the possible throughput, on either Android/Wi-Fi or Windows/Ethernet. Conclusions Did we mention that we cannot specifically recommend any commercial VPN provider? Well, we're not going to stop mentioning it. Although Mozilla has earned many people's trust for its own advocacy for Internet privacy through both policy and code, we cannot verify how either it or its partner Mullvad actually handle its internal networks. With that said, the stated policies of both Mozilla and Mullvad are on point, the Mozilla-provided Android and Windows clients are easy and intuitive to use, and the network performance was very good indeed. If you're in the market for a commercial VPN provider and you like Mozilla, this service is well worth a look. We test Mozilla’s new Wireguard-based $5/mo VPN service
  7. https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.11.0/ EXE: Win x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.11.0/win32/en-US/Thunderbird Setup 78.11.0.exe Win x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.11.0/win64/en-US/Thunderbird Setup 78.11.0.exe MSI: Win x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.11.0/win32/en-US/Thunderbird Setup 78.11.0.msi Win x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.11.0/win64/en-US/Thunderbird Setup 78.11.0.msi
  8. Changelog: https://www.seamonkey-project.org/releases/seamonkey2.53.10/ Download Page: https://www.seamonkey-project.org/releases/2.53.10 / https://archive.mozilla.org/pub/seamonkey/releases/2.53.10/ You MUST absolutely do a full backup of your profile before upgrading from a version earlier than SeaMonkey 2.53.1. This version of SeaMonkey makes changes to your profile that can't be reverted in cases where you need to go back to the older version. Automatic upgrades from previous 2.53.x versions are enabled for this release. The Mozilla backend code SeaMonkey is based on, now usually incorporates breaking changes in every release. This is especially true for the Mozilla Gecko add-ons code and the JavaScript interpreter. Consequently, some older extensions may no longer function properly. If you experience any problems please refer to the troubleshooting section first. Especially try to disable extensions first and check if this makes a difference. Important only if you upgrade from 2.49.5 or an earlier version: Due to changes in the user profile, if you have set a master password, you will have to remove it before upgrading to SeaMonkey 2.53.10. After a successful upgrade, don't forget to manually remove the files key3.db and cert8.db in your profile afterwards, as they include credentials and passwords no longer protected by a master password. You can find the path to your profile folder entering the special about:support URL in a SeaMonkey browser window. You can remove your master password by providing an empty password in the "Change Master Password" dialog. Do not use the "Reset Password" function. You will lose all stored passwords this way. If you have a SeaMonkey 2.53.1 or 2.53.2 language pack installed you need to remove it before upgrading to this version. These language pack versions were marked to be compatible with all SeaMonkey 2.53.x releases and cause breakage when used with a different version. You can then install one of the provided 2.53.10 language packs from the download section after installation of the base product. Downloads: Official builds MD5 sums and SHA1 sums are available for official packages and source tarballs. Language Version Windows x64 Windows x86 macOS x64 Linux x64 Linux x86 Chinese (Simplified) 中文 (简体) 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Chinese (Traditional) 正體中文 (繁體) 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Czech Čeština 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Dutch Nederlands 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download English (British) English (British) 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download English (US) English (US) 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Finnish suomi 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download French Français 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Georgian ქართული 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download German Deutsch 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Greek Ελληνικά 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Hungarian Magyar 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Italian Italiano 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Japanese 日本語 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Norwegian (Bokmål) Norsk bokmål 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Polish Polski 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Portuguese (Brazilian) Português (do Brasil) 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Portuguese (Portugal) Português (Europeu) 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Russian Русский 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Slovak slovenčina 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Spanish (Argentina) Español (de Argentina) 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Spanish (Spain) Español (de España) 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Swedish Svenska 2.53.10 Download Download Download Download Download Source code The source code is available either as a tar package or from the comm source repository, mozilla source repository and l10n source repository on GitLab. Source Code Tarball (xz, 271 MB) - note that it doesn't unpack a subdirectory itself, so create a directory to unpack it in. Source Localisation Tarball (xz, 13 MB) - note that it doesn't unpack a subdirectory itself, so create a directory to unpack it in. The README file explains how to pull SeaMonkey 2.53.10 from the source repository. Language Packs See the activation notes for how to install those packages. Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Dutch, English (British), English (US), Finnish, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Slovak, Spanish (Argentina), Spanish (Spain), Swedish,
  9. Mozilla is working on Firefox background updates on Windows This week, Mozilla enabled a new feature in the Nightly version of the organization's Firefox web browser designed to improve the updating functionality of the browser on Windows. The new functionality enables background updates for Firefox on Windows, even if the browser is not running at the time. Mozilla plans to introduce the new updating functionality in Beta and Stable versions of the web browser when these hit version 89. Firefox 89 Stable will be released on June 1, 2021 according to the official release schedule. The change improves the updating behavior of the Firefox web browser. Firefox users may use policies to block the new behavior. Mozilla engineer Nick Alexander explains the inner workings of the new updating mechanism on the Firefox Dev Google Groups forum. the default Firefox profile (for each OS-level user) will schedule OS-level tasks that run periodically [2]. These tasks invoke Firefox in a stripped-down headless “background task mode” [3] that pumps the update cycle before exiting. These tasks have been designed to not process updates when other Firefox instances are running, so they should not force restarts of running instances; and they access (lock) the default profile for only a very short period of time so they should not prevent starting Firefox for regular browsing. If you need to disable this functionality, about:preferences should show a checkbox in the “Updates” section for you to disable, or you can set the BackgroundAppUpdate Firefox policy to false.ps forum. In other words: Firefox will use a scheduled task on the system level to run update checks, download updates and install the downloaded updates. The task is configured to run every 7 hours, but only if Firefox is not running. The task, named Firefox Nightly Background Update followed by hex code in the Nightly version, is automatically installed by Nightly and will be reinstalled automatically as well if deleted. The name will be adjusted for Beta and Stable versions of Firefox. Firefox users who want to disable the task need to use the Enterprise policy BackgroundAppUpdate to do so. If the policy is set to False, Firefox does not try to install updates when the application is not running. The policy affects the Firefox preference app.update.background.enabled, but just setting the preference does not have any effect at the time of writing. If the scheduled task is deleted, it is reinstated regardless of the state of the preference. Disabling the task in the Task Scheduler on the other hand does not seem to enable it again, at least not during the same session. More data is needed to find out if Nightly updates make changes to the task's state. Interested users can follow the development on [email protected] Source: Mozilla is working on Firefox background updates on Windows
  10. https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.12.0/ EXE: Win x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.12.0/win32/en-US/Thunderbird Setup 78.12.0.exe Win x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.12.0/win64/en-US/Thunderbird Setup 78.12.0.exe MSI: Win x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.12.0/win32/en-US/Thunderbird Setup 78.12.0.msi Win x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/78.12.0/win64/en-US/Thunderbird Setup 78.12.0.msi
  11. https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/91.3.2/ EXE: Win x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/91.3.2/win32/en-US/Thunderbird%20Setup%2091.3.2.exe Win x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/91.3.2/win64/en-US/Thunderbird%20Setup%2091.3.2.exe MSI: Win x86: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/91.3.2/win32/en-US/Thunderbird%20Setup%2091.3.2.msi Win x64: https://download-installer.cdn.mozilla.net/pub/thunderbird/releases/91.3.2/win64/en-US/Thunderbird%20Setup%2091.3.2.msi
  12. Mozilla winds down DeepSpeech development, announces grant program In 2017, Mozilla launched DeepSpeech, an initiative incubated within the machine learning team at Mozilla Research focused on open sourcing an automatic speech recognition model. Over the next four years, the DeepSpeech team released newer versions of the model capable of transcribing lectures, phone conversations, television programs, radio shows, and other live streams with “human accuracy.” But in the coming months, Mozilla plans to cease development and maintenance of DeepSpeech as the company transitions into an advisory role, which will include the launch of a grant program to fund a number of initiatives demonstrating applications for DeepSpeech. DeepSpeech isn’t the only open source project of its kind, but it’s among the most mature. Modeled after research papers published by Baidu, the model is an end-to-end trainable, character-level architecture that can transcribe audio in a range of languages. One of Mozilla’s major aims was to achieve a transcription word error rate of lower than 10%, and the newest versions of the pretrained English-language model achieve that aim, averaging around a 7.5% word error rate. It’s Mozilla’s belief that DeepSpeech has reached the point where the next step is to work on building applications. To this end, the company plans to transition the project to “people and organizations” interested in furthering “use-case-based explorations.” Mozilla says it’s streamlined the continuous integration processes for getting DeepSpeech up and running with minimal dependencies. And as the company cleans up the documentation and prepares to stop Mozilla staff upkeep of the codebase, Mozilla says it’ll publish a toolkit to help people, researchers, companies, and any other interested parties use DeepSpeech to build voice-based solutions. DeepSpeech: A brief history Mozilla’s work on DeepSpeech began in late 2017, with the goal of developing a model that gets audio features — speech — as input and outputs characters directly. The team hoped to design a system that could be trained using Google’s TensorFlow framework via supervised learning, where the model learns to infer patterns from datasets of labeled speech. The latest DeepSpeech model contains tens of millions parameters, or the parts of the model that are learned from historical training data. The Mozilla Research team started training it with a single computer running four Titan X Pascal GPUs but eventually migrated it to two servers with 8 Titan XPs each. In the project’s early days, training a high-performing model took about a week. In the years that followed, Mozilla worked to shrink the DeepSpeech model while boosting its performance and remaining below the 10% error rate target. The English-language model shrank from 188MB to 47MB and memory consumption dropped by 22 times. In December 2019, the team managed to get DeepSpeech running “faster than real time” on a single core of a Raspberry Pi 4. Mozilla initially trained DeepSpeech using freely available datasets like TED-LIUM and LibriSpeech as well as paid corpora like Fisher and Switchboard, but these proved to be insufficient. So the team reached out to public TV and radio stations, language study departments in universities, and others they thought might have labeled speech data to share. Through this effort, they were able to more than double the amount of training data for the English-language DeepSpeech model. Inspired by these data collection efforts, the Mozilla Research team collaborated with Mozilla’s Open Innovation team to launch the Common Voice project, which seeks to collect and validate speech contributions from volunteers. Common Voice consists not only of voice snippets but of voluntarily contributed metadata useful for training speech engines, like speakers’ ages, sex, and accents. It’s also grown to include dataset target segments for specific purposes and use cases, like the digits “zero” through “nine” and the words “yes,” ” no,” ” hey,” and ” Firefox.” Today, Common Voice is one of the largest multi-language public domain voice corpora in the world, with more than 9,000 hours of voice data in 60 different languages including widely spoken languages and less-used ones, like Welsh and Kinyarwanda. Over 164,000 people have contributed to the dataset to date. To support the project’s growth, Nvidia today announced that it would invest $1.5 million in Common Voice to engage more communities and volunteers and support the hiring of new staff. Common Voice will now operate under the umbrella of the Mozilla Foundation as part of its initiatives focused on making AI more trustworthy. Grant program As it winds down the development of DeepSpeech, Mozilla says its forthcoming grant program will prioritize projects that contribute to the core technology while also showcasing its potential to “empower and enrich” areas that may not otherwise have a viable route toward speech-based interaction. More details will be announced in May, when Mozilla publishes a playbook to guide people on how to use DeepSpeech’s codebase as a starting point for voice-powered applications. “We’re seeing mature open source speech engines emerge. However, there is still an important gap in the ecosystem: speech engines — open and closed — don’t work for vast swaths of the world’s languages, accents, and speech patterns,” Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, told VentureBeat via email. “For billions of internet users, voice-enabled technologies simply aren’t usable. Mozilla has decided to focus its efforts this side of the equation, making voice technology inclusive and accessible. That means investing in voice data sets rather than our own speech engine. We’re doubling down on Common Voice, an open source dataset that focuses on languages and accents not currently represented in the voice tech ecosystem. Common Voice data can be used to feed [open speech] frameworks … and in turn to allow more people in more places to access voice technology. We’re [also] working closely with Nvidia to match up these two sides of the inclusive voice tech equation.” Source: Mozilla winds down DeepSpeech development, announces grant program
  13. Mozilla decides to hide Compact Mode in Firefox for new users but keep it for existing ones If you follow Firefox web browser news you may have read some time ago that Mozilla planned to remove the browser's compact mode from the customization options. Compact Mode is one of Firefox's three density modes for its main interface; it is the smallest layout option and leaves most room for webpages displayed in the browser. The other two modes, normal, which is the default, and touch, which is for touch-capable devices, display a bigger interface. Mozilla's original plan was to remove the Compact Mode option from the browser's customize menu. You may access the customize option by selecting Main Menu > Customize. The reason that Mozilla gave for the removal was that the option was "hard to discover" and that it believed that "it got low engagement". The reasoning did not sit well with Firefox users, many of which were using Compact Mode in the browser. A new bug on Mozilla's bug tracking site reveals Mozilla's plan for Compact Mode in Firefox. According to the listing, Compact Mode remains enabled for Firefox users who are using it. The mode remains available in the customize menu for those users. Firefox users who have not set it won't see it in the customize menu anymore, but they may reactivate it through a "hidden" about:config setting. The preference browser.compactmode.show determines whether the Compact option is shown under Density in the customize menu. Set the preference to TRUE to show the compact density option, or keep it at the default FALSE to hide it from the menu. It is unclear whether setting browser.uidensity to 1 will enable compact mode without showing it in the customize option, but it looks that way as the preference is the one that Firefox users to determine the set density. If you compare the new decision to the old plan, you will notice the following; Compact Mode is still moved to about:config as a hidden option. The main change is that the mode remains enabled for users who have it set. In the previous plan, these users would be moved to the default density automatically. Mozilla plans to make it clear that Compact Mode is unsupported by adding (not supported) to the string in the customize menu. Closing Words The decision feels shortsighted, especially since it angered Firefox users who are using Compact Mode and prefer it over the other modes, especially with Proton coming along soon and making everything bigger. Removing features, regardless of how few users are using them, is always going to infuriate some users. If you do it too often, you are frustrating more and more users of the browser. Mozilla could have reversed the decision, maintain the mode, and display a customize prompt to new users that would allow them to set compact mode among several other options on first run. Source: Mozilla decides to hide Compact Mode in Firefox for new users but keep it for existing ones
  14. Mozilla, maker of Firefox and other products, plans to offer a Privacy Pack later this year. Mozilla Privacy Pack combines the organization's products Firefox Relay, Firefox Monitor and Mozilla VPN into a single subscription-based product. Add-on tools and services are also planned. Some of the products are free to use at the time of writing, but Mozilla revealed plans to increase the functionality of the products to make the bundle more attractive. Sören Hentzschel, a blogger and Mozilla contributor from Germany, discovered mockups of Mozilla Privacy Packs. The mockups provide an overview but may differ from the final product when it is released. The price point, as displayed in the mockups, is between $9.99 and $12.99 per month. Mozilla VPN is available for $9.99 per month or $4.99 for the 12-month plan as a standalone product. Firefox Relay, Mozilla's email forwarding service, and Firefox Monitor, the organization's data breach monitoring service, are both included in the package. Mozilla Privacy Pack customers get enhanced versions of both products. Firefox Relay will support an unlimited number of email aliases, opposed to five email aliases of the free version of the product. Customers may also integrate custom domains in the product, but only as a subdomain of Mozilla's mozmail.com domain. Aliases would then be available in the form [email protected]<yourdomain>.mozmail.com. Firefox Monitor removes the email address limit of the service. Mozilla Privacy Pack subscribers are not limited in the number of email addresses that they may add to the service. Another new feature is the "remove my data" form. Customers may order Mozilla to remove their data from websites using a new form. It is not entirely clear how this removal feature will work at this point. Mozilla VPN, the third service that is part of the organization's Privacy Pack subscription service, does not come with extra features. Hentzschel notes that the pack may include additional services and tools. Mozilla seems to be working on a mobile application to control all three services in a single interface. Customers may gain access to privacy guides. Closing Words Mozilla Privacy Pack is another commercial product by Mozilla. The organization launched Mozilla VPN some time ago in order to reduce its dependence on search engine deals. Who is this for? Mozilla VPN customers who pay by the month may get a better deal out of the new offer. The enhanced Firefox Relay and Firefox Monitor functionality improves both services. It is unclear if the improved versions will also be available as standalone upgrades, or if they are exclusively available in the Privacy Pack. All in all, it may be an attractive package for Firefox enthusiasts who are already using Mozilla VPN and/or the other services, or Firefox supporters, provided that the price of the product is not too high. Mozilla's plan to offer a Privacy Pack
  15. Mozilla launches Ideas platform to improve communication with its userbase Mozilla Ideas is a new platform by Firefox maker Mozilla to improve communication with the Firefox userbase. At its core, Ideas works similarly to Uservoice and other services of its kind. Firefox users and developers may post new content on the platform, and everyone else may comment and vote on the idea. The introduction on the main page reveals Mozilla's intentions with the platform: This is where we grow our next generation of ideas, designs, experiments and products. You can take a look at the big problems we're working on, challenges we're exploring and bring your ideas to the conversation as we shape up and ship our next generation of software and services. The service is powered by Crowdicity, a third-party service. An account is required to interact with the service, e.g. to post new ideas, leave comments or vote. A Firefox account is not supported, but you may sign-in with any email address or by using social media accounts. Users may access the latest, top voted, most discussed or even random topics on the Ideas platform. Current ideas include re-adding the compact interface option, improving the master password protection, or providing a higher contrast default theme. A click on an idea displays its description, user comments, stats, and options to subscribe to the idea or give it a thumbs up vote. Mozilla employees participate on the site, but they are not highlighted in any way. Ideas features challenges as well. These are topics that Mozilla would like to gather ideas for. Current challenges include "stay safe and private online", "search and navigate the web", or "customizing, extensions and themes". Users of the site may publish ideas related to a challenge, and when you select one, all active ideas that have been posted already are shown. Closing words Mozilla Ideas serves two main purposes: first, to improve communication with the Firefox userbase, and second, to move user posts from Mozilla's bug tracking site to the new Ideas platform. Mozilla employees are interacting on the Ideas platform, and it is likely that popular ideas will get the attention of the organization. Whether that will lead to changes on the platform remains to be seen. Mozilla launches Ideas platform to improve communication with its userbase
  16. Mozilla working on several macOS improvements for Firefox It is weekly Firefox Nightly news, Mozilla has said that it’s working on a number of items in the macOS version of Firefox to improve how native it feels. The changes outlined include scrollbars squishing during rubber-banding (hitting the bottom and top of web pages), the arrival of native fullscreen, and improvements to enhanced dark mode handling. The latter two items can be toggled on in Firefox Nightly for testing. The current version of Firefox on the Nightly channel is version 90, the release after the big interface overhaul due on June 1. Firefox 90 is expected to launch on July 13, 2021, according to FX Trains which tracks Firefox releases. According to Mozilla, the new squishy scrollbars are enabled in Firefox Nightly but native fullscreen and the dark mode enhancements need to be enabled. To enable native fullscreen, head to about:config and turn on full-screen-api.macos-native-full-screen. To turn on enhanced dark mode support, go into about:config again and enable widget.macos.respect-system-appearance. The work on native fullscreen and support for enhanced dark mode is still underway so you should be aware that you may experience problems after enabling these features in Firefox Nightly. As long as Mozilla doesn’t run into any major issues, we could see all of these improvements arrive with the stable release of Firefox 90. Source: Mozilla working on several macOS improvements for Firefox
  17. Last month, rumors pointed to an imminent release of a new subscription service by Firefox maker Mozilla. Today, Mozilla announced the launch of MDN Plus, a new subscription-based service officially on the company's developer blog Mozilla Hacks. MDN Plus extends the development resource that Mozilla maintains, without taking away features from free users. Web developers may access the main MDN website to access documentation on web technologies such as CSS, HTML or JavaScript. MDN Plus is a premium subscription service launched in March 2022 by Mozilla. The service allows users to customize their MDN Web Docs experience through premium features such as Notifications, Collections and MDN Offline. MDN Plus introduces two paid tiers and a basic tier that developers may subscribe to. These tiers extend the core functionality of MDN. The following three plans have been created: MDN Core -- The basic option gives limited access to the premium features. MDN Plus 5 -- Adds access to notifications, collections and offline use of MDN. MDN Supporter 10 -- Gets every feature of MDN Plus and a direct feedback channel to the MDN team. MDN Plus is available for $5 per month or $50 per year, MDN Supporter 10 for $10 per month or $100 per year. For now, paid plans are only available in the United States and Canada. Mozilla plans to expand the availability of the subscriptions to the following countries in the coming months (and others, that Mozilla did not mention): France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore. The three main features of the MDN Plus plan: Notifications -- Subscribers may follow pages on MDN to receive notifications when content changes; this helps them stay up to date on technologies and topics. Collections -- The option to save pages on desktop and mobile, and to gain access to automatic collections based on viewed articles. Collections may be filtered and sorted. Offline Access -- A Progressive Web Application that gives subscribers access to MDN content while they are offline. May also improve the performance as content may load faster when it is available offline. Feedback and research done in 2020 and 2021 indicated that MDN users were interested in additional features. The three main features of MDN Plus reflect the feedback according to Mozilla. Mozilla plans to reinvest some of the subscription money into improvement the MDN Web documentation. All users, free or commercial, will benefit from this. Closing words MDN Plus is completely optional and all existing content remains accessible freely. Mozilla will reinvest some of the earned revenue into the site and the service. Revenue from subscription-based services increases year-over-year. The last revenue report, for the year 2020, shows an increase by $10 million from $14 million in 2019 to $24 million in 2020. Several products that Mozilla launched were not available in all regions at the time, and the 2021 revenue report will likely see another increase in revenue. Services such as Mozilla VPN or Firefox Relay Premium contribute a small percentage to Mozilla's overall revenue, which still comes to a very large percentage from search engine deals. Now You: are subscription-based products the right way to diversify Mozilla's income? Source: https://www.ghacks.net/2022/03/25/mozilla-launches-mdn-plus-service-in-some-regions/
  18. Remember [email protected]? The service was launched by Mozilla in mid-2021 to improve communication between the organization and the Firefox community. Firefox users could publish ideas on how to improve the Firefox web browser on the platform and everyone who is using the platform may comment on those ideas and may vote on them. Ideas used the Crowdicity platform and users needed to create an account on the platform for interaction purposes. Mozilla is sending out emails to users of its platform currently in which it informs them that it is shutting down Ideas; this is not the end of it all though, as Mozilla is working on creating Mozilla Connect, which will serve similar purposes. Mozilla Connect will be a community site that allows users and Mozilla employees to share ideas, provided feedback and interact with each other. The email highlights several of the advantages of Mozilla Connect over Ideas: Firefox account is supported. Improved labeling system that helps everyone find posts quickly. "Clearly defined areas" for ideas, feedback and discussions. More participation by Mozilla employees. Ideas content will be reviewed by Mozilla before the content is archived and personal data is deleted. The email does not make it clear whether Ideas content is migrated to the new platform or if Mozilla Connect is started from scratch. Mozilla did not include a date for the shutdown or the launch of Mozilla Connect in the email, but it promised that existing users will be informed about the launch first. Closing Words Ideas sounded like a great idea when it was launched. Firefox users had finally an option to suggest new features or changes to Mozilla, and the organization would get feedback directly from the pulse of its userbase. Unfortunately, Ideas suffered from a lack of participation from Mozilla employees and also from users. In July 2021, I wrote about this here on the site mentioning that no new ideas were published for a period of three weeks as they were all held in moderation. Starting from scratch with Mozilla Connect may improve the interaction and the platform as a whole, but it sounds as if no user data migration is going to happen. All existing ideas will be lost in that case, and while Mozilla mentioned that it will look at them all, it is going to take a lot of convincing to get users to start from scratch on the new platform. The promise, that Mozilla employees will interact on the platform, is the same one that Mozilla made when it launched the Ideas platform. Only time will tell if interaction will improve on the new platform. Now You: have you used Ideas? Source: https://www.ghacks.net/2022/02/24/mozilla-is-shutting-down-its-ideas-platform-and-creating-mozilla-connect-instead/
  19. 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/
  20. Firefox developer Mozilla plans to launch its next premium service next month according to information published by Sören Hentzschel on his blog. The service, MDN Plus, extends the free MDN Web Docs resource for developers. Mozilla's main source of income comes from its main competitor in the browser space, Google. The agreement between Mozilla and Google ends next year, and it is not clear if both parties will renew the agreement. While Mozilla does have a few options in the case the renewal should fall through, it has changed its strategy in regards to revenue generation in recent years. In 2020, Mozilla earned $496 million in revenue, a slight increase of $6 million when compared to 2019 if you ignore a one-time payment Mozilla received in that year. The bulk of the revenue came from search engine deals; agreements to make a specific search engine the default in the Firefox web browser. A total of $441 million was contributed by search engine deals. Revenue from other services, mostly subscription-based services, rose from $14 million in 2019 to $24 million in 2020. Mozilla did launch additional products, including Firefox Relay Premium and Mozilla VPN, which will likely increase the overall revenue from subscription-based services going forward. Hentzschel reports that Mozilla may launch the new MDN Plus service as early as March of 2022. Mozilla did test MDN Plus in Summer of 2021 and revealed after the test period that it had plans to launch MDN Plus in the future to the public. According to Hentzschel's information, Mozilla could launch the service on March 9, 2022 in select countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and some other countries. The subscription-based service will offer in-depth technology articles from experts and additional features to improve MDN Web Docs usage, including offline usage, personal collections, change notifications, or theming options. The price may be $10 per month or $100 per year according to Hentzschel's information. Closing Words Mozilla needs to diversify its revenue stream to reduce the dependence on search engine deals. Subscription-based revenue is on the rise and the creation of new services will certainly contribute to the overall revenue, provided that services are not dropped in the future. It will be interesting to see how well these services did in 2021 compared to 2020. Now You: do you use one of Mozilla's premium services? Sources: https://www.soeren-hentzschel.at/mdn/exklusiv-mdn-plus/ https://www.ghacks.net/2022/02/21/mdn-plus-mozilla-plans-to-launch-premium-developer-service/
  21. 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/
  22. We recently reported that Microsoft is finally making it easier to switch default browsers in Windows 11, making it a single-click process... kind of. Essentially, the company will allow you to set a default browser for some extensions with a single click, but for others such as PDF, SHTML, SVG, FTP, and other web-related files, associations still have to be set manually. A Mozilla spokesperson has now reached out to Neowin and provided its take on the matter: Microsoft’s changes that improve the default browser setting experience for users are a step in the right direction. But more can be done to respect default browser choice on Windows. People should have the ability to simply and easily set defaults and all operating systems should offer official developer support for default status. In practice, we’d like to also see progress on reducing the number of steps required to set a new browser as default, and on opening and making APIs available for apps to set default that other Microsoft applications use. As can be seen above, Mozilla is somewhat pleased with the changes that Microsoft has introduced in Windows 11 but has made it clear that it wants more to be done. In essence, the firm wants a one-stop solution where a simplified process can set a browser as the default for all use-cases. This is not the case in the current implementation. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft responds to this feedback in upcoming builds and makes it more easy to switch default browsers in Windows 11. Somewhat happy: Mozilla wants Microsoft to make default browser switching more easy
  23. Linux Mint, developer of the popular Linux distribution, and Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox web browser and Thunderbird email client, have signed a partnership agreement. The Linux Mint team announced the partnership on the official blog. According to the information published there, the partnership is commercial and technical in nature. Some things will change for Linux Mint users who use Firefox as a browser on the system. Linux Mint shipped Firefox with a custom set of settings and configurations in the past, and most of these will be dropped to go back to the defaults. The team mentions the following changes in particular: The default start page will no longer be https://www.linuxmint.com/start/. Default search engines of Firefox are restored, Linux Mint search partners are no longer included (unless they match the default list of search engines in Firefox). Mozilla default configuration switches are used by Firefox. Firefox won't include code changes or patches from Linux Mint, Debian or Ubuntu anymore. For Linux Mint, the change means the freeing up of development and maintenance resources. The team used to build Firefox using Ubuntu's packaging, but will package the Mozilla provided version of Firefox instead. For Mozilla, it is mentioned that the organization wants Firefox to work identical across all supported platforms. Not mentioned but probably as important is the commercial benefit that Mozilla may be getting out of this, as the company's search partners and Firefox's default startpage are displayed to Linux Mint users going forward. One FAQ entry points out that Linux Mint is getting a share of the income that is generated when Linux Mint Firefox users use Google Search. Other details are not mentioned. The transition took already place in Linux Mint 20.3, which the team released last week. For all other supported versions of Linux Mint, Linux Mint 19.x, 20.x and LMDE, it will take place with the release of Firefox 96. Firefox 96 will be released on January 11, 2022. Custom user settings should not be affected by the change according to the announcement. If a user has changed preferences in Firefox, they should remain changed. The team notes that defaults may change however, and that users may want to check the preferences after the upgrade to Firefox 96 to make sure that these defaults have the right values set. Closing Words The Linux Mint and Mozilla partnership should benefit both organizations. Linux Mint is freeing up development and maintenance resources, Mozilla is getting more users to use its search partners and other offers. While specifics have not been mentioned, it is likely that Linux Mint is going to see an increase in revenue that is coming out of this partnership. Whether it is limited to a revenue share agreement between the two parties, or money that Mozilla paid the organization directly is unknown. Mozilla and Linux Mint sign a partnership agreement
  24. Mozilla is the latest company to take heat for its involvement with cryptocurrency Mozilla, the nonprofit organization that makes the Firefox web browser, announced Thursday that it would be pausing the ability to accept cryptocurrency donations following significant backlash spurred in part by a Mozilla founder, Jamie Zawinski (via Business Insider). Zawinski, who stopped working for mozilla.org in 1999, tweeted scathing criticism to a December 31st Mozilla tweet promoting that it accepted cryptocurrency donations. Mozilla began accepting bitcoin for donations in 2014. “Everyone involved in the project should be witheringly ashamed of this decision to partner with planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters,” Zawinski said on January 3rd. (Cryptocurrencies have come under significant scrutiny for their impact on the environment and the fact that the bulk of supposed crypto wealth seems to currently be available to a limited few.) Peter Linss, who made the Gecko engine that underpins Firefox, tweeted his disapproval to Mozilla as well. “What. The. Actual. Fuck,” he said. “You were meant to be better than this.” And it’s not just them — many quote-tweets of Mozilla’s December 31st post are brutal. On Thursday, Mozilla addressed the situation in a Twitter thread. “Last week, we tweeted a reminder that Mozilla accepts cryptocurrency donations,” Mozilla said. “This led to an important discussion about cryptocurrency’s environmental impact.” Mozilla says it will be “reviewing if and how our current policy on crypto donations fits with our climate goals,” and while that review is taking place, it will be pausing crypto donations. It also promised that the review will be “a transparent process” and that it will “share regular updates.” However, Mozilla isn’t completely distancing itself from decentralized technologies like cryptocurrency, saying that “decentralized web technology continues to be an important area for us to explore.” “I’m glad Mozilla reversed course here,” Linss said in a Twitter DM to The Verge after we first published this article. “They play a crucial role in keeping the web open and free. I’m also grateful for the support of all the fans of Mozilla helping to keep them accountable to the ideals they were founded under.” Zawinski responded to Mozilla’s decision in a blog posted Thursday evening, where he kept up his sharp criticism. Here is an excerpt (included links are his): I am happy for whatever part I played in getting them to rescind that terrible decision. Cryptocurrencies are not only an apocalyptic ecological disaster, and a greater-fool pyramid scheme, but are also incredibly toxic to the open web, another ideal that Mozilla used to support. So I hope that after they “conduct their review”, the conclusion they reach is the obvious one: ”Bury it in the desert. Wear gloves.” Mozilla is just the latest company to take heat for its involvement with cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. Tesla was lambasted for its decision to accept bitcoin as payment last year, and it reversed the policy soon after. And gaming companies have recently been heavily criticized for their NFT efforts, with the developer of the upcoming game STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl going so far as to entirely cancel its NFT plans in response to outcry. Update January 6th, 7:06PM ET: Added comment from Jamie Zawinski. Mozilla pauses accepting crypto donations following backlash
  25. Mozilla announces that it will comply with Californian privacy rules worldwide Mozilla has announced that it plans to abide by the new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) on a worldwide scale in the new year, not just for those based in the western U.S. state. For those that haven’t been tracking CCPA, it’s a new law that gives Californians more privacy protections, similar to what Europeans have with the GDPR. The CCPA comes into effect on January 1, 2020. With the CCPA in place, the Attorney General of Califonia is allowed to enforce privacy protections, those in California can also sue companies not handling their data in accordance with the law. Under CCPA, users in California can ask companies what personal information is being collected, gain access to it, update and correct it, delete it, find out who it’s being shared with, and opt-out of its sale to third-parties. In the announcement, Mozilla said it already collects very little data about its users; in an upcoming update, however, Mozilla plans to give users the ability to delete their telemetry data from Mozilla’s servers. In Firefox, telemetry only gives Mozilla general information such as how many tabs were open and how long they’re open for; the company can’t tell what sites you’re on and doesn’t collect any data while you’re in private browsing mode. In the next browser update on January 7, users will be able to find a control to delete their telemetry data. For the time being, this feature sounds as though it will only be available in the desktop version of the browser, but knowing Mozilla, the mobile version will probably gain the feature sooner or later. Source: Mozilla announces that it will comply with Californian privacy rules worldwide (Neowin)
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