A few months ago, Mozilla threw down the gauntlet by asking developers to find major security flaws in Firefox in return for a $3000 reward. Enter, Alex Miller from San Jose, who spotted a critical security flaw hidden away in the Firefox code. Alex spent 90 minutes every day for 10 days before he stumbled onto something and reported it to Firefox’s parent company. Security program manager at Firefox, Brandon Sterne, said: “Mozilla depends on contributors like these for our very, sort of, survival. Mozilla is a community mostly of volunteers. We really encourage people to get involved in the community. You don’t have to be a brilliant 12-year-old to do that”. Pretty impressive stuff. Hit the read link for the full article.
Last month, we reported on the demise of cross-browser, bookmark-syncing service Xmarks. This month, we are happy to inform you that is looks like Xmarks will live on. According to a recent blog post by the company, an outpouring of support from users has drastically changed the company’s plans. As Xmarks explains:
The past ten days have been an amazing lesson in the power of community. Not in the “web 2.0 social graph” sense – I’m talking about old school community with users speaking up, speaking out and banding together. Thank you Xmarks users. You told the world it was simply unacceptable for our service to shut down and it worked. Thanks to your passion, Xmarks now has multiple offers from companies ready and willing to take over the service and keep making browser sync better and better!
The company does note that no deal has been finalized, but they are confident with multiple offers on the table Xmarks will be able to stay open for business. At time of publishing, over 35,000 users had pledged to pay between $10 and $20 per year for the service. Hit the read link to read the full post. More →
If for whatever reason you feel that the default browser loaded on your Android or Maemo device is not sufficient, you should know that you have options. Opera Mobile is available, the very capable Dolphin browser is available, and now — thanks to a recently released beta — Mozilla Firefox is available. The list of features include:
- Pinch-to-zoom (Android), double-tap, or use the volume rocker (Nokia N900) to zoom in and out
- Tabbed browsing in thumbnail view lets you easily see and open the site you want
- Location-Aware Browsing gives you content and info relevant to your location
- Find in Page in the Site Menu lets you quickly find text on the webpage
- Share Page in the Site Menu lets you send content to email, Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader
- Forget Password in the Site Menu tells a website you no longer trust to forget your private data
- Add Search Engine in the Site Menu lets you quickly add a new search engine to your Awesome Screen
- Context Menu lets you Open in New Tab and Share by long tapping and holding a link
- Smart Tapping lets you tap on links, widgets and other Web content with accuracy
- Password Manager lets you choose to remember site password to avoid typing
The beta will support the Nokia N900 and any Android device running OS version 2.0 or higher. Hit the read link to download Mozilla’s latest creation, and let us know what you think. More →
If you’ve enjoyed mucking around with the beta builds of Firefox 4, you might want to pay close attention to the next release. Slated to drop on Monday, Firefox 4 beta 4 will enable hardware-accelerated graphics for some Windows users. As CNET explains, “Hardware acceleration […] is designed to shift some tasks from a computer’s main processor to its graphics processor. One way Firefox is tackling the technology is by using Windows’ Direct2D interface, which can speed up the display of text and graphics on newer versions of Windows.” The feature will be off by default, but you can enable it by:
- Entering about:config in the Firefox Awesome Bar
- Accept warning asking you to “be careful.”
- Search for mozilla.widget.render-mode and set its value to 6
- Search for gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled and set its value to true.
The ability to group tabs into “tab sets” is also scheduled to be available in beta 4. Anyone out there using Firefox 4 beta as their primary browser? More →
Mozilla is upping the ante — literally — for those who find and report bugs in its Firefox, Firefox Mobile, and Thunderbird programs. Starting July 1, 2010 (yes, it is backdated), eligible security bugs that are confirmed by Mozilla will be paid out with a $3,000 bounty. A bug is eligible if it is critical, and a bug is considered critical when it is: original, remote, reproducible, and “allows execution of arbitrary code on users’ systems, while high severity security bugs allow access to users’ confidential information.” Lucas Adamski, Mozilla’s Director of Security Engineering, had this to say: “A lot has changed in the 6 years since the Mozilla program was announced, and we believe that one of the best ways to keep our users safe is to make it economically sustainable for security researchers to do the right thing when disclosing information.” More →
It looks like Apple has just green-lighted Mozilla’s latest application submission: Firefox Home. Home is a program designed to provide “access to your Firefox desktop history, bookmarks and open tabs on your iPhone.” If you’re an iPhone toting Firefox user, who loves to stay in sync, hit up the App Store and let the good times roll. We’ve got the full press release for you after the break. More →
Yesterday, Mozilla released the first beta of its Firefox 4.0 web browser into the wild. Some of the updated features include: the Gecko 2.0 engine, tabs on top (Windows only for now), a new extensions manager, HD HTML5 WebM video format support, “crash protection,” and a new HTML5 engine. Hit the read link to view the release notes and download the very latest bits Mozilla has to offer. More →
Yesterday, the good folks over at Mozilla announced that they will be releasing an iPhone app, based on Firefox Sync technology, called Firefox Home. Home will give iPhone users “instant access to their Firefox browsing history, bookmarks and the set of tabs from their most recent browser session.” Home will also bring the Awesome Bar to the iPhone, enabling “people to get to their favorite web sites with minimal typing.” Synchronization between Mozilla’s servers and your iPhone will be encrypted from end-to-end, and the application will be free of charge. The Mozilla team said the application should be available soon — don’t muck things up with an App Store rejection Apple! We’ve go the, very short, teaser video all ready for you after the break. More →
Mike Beltzner, Director of Firefox for the Mozilla Corporation, gave a slide show presentation to the Mozilla community detailing what may be in Firefox 4. We say “may” as most of Beltzner’s slides included the following disclaimer:
The presentation focused on three key themes: speed, power, and control. Speed and power are easy to understand; the Mozilla team wants to have the strongest possible code base, leveraging the latest and greatest web standards and technologies. The “control” piece appears to be where Firefox 4 will get most of its UI sexification and usability refinements. Potential improvements include: enhancements to the Awesome Bar, a revamped extensions manager, site-specific preferences, and a tighter navigation/tab experience. Beta builds of Firefox 4 should start rolling out in June or July, with a final release candidate scheduled for October. We’ve got the slide presentation queued up for you after the break. Firefox users, let us know what you think! More →
Having long reigned as the king of the browser world, Internet Explorer continued its downward slide in April as its market share fell to a ten-year low. Market share for the Windows-based browser dropped 0.7 percent in April. to 59.95%. Despite its unhealthy losses, Internet Explorer still remains the dominant browser with double the market share of its closes competitor, Firerfox, which made a modest gain of 0.07% to finish the month at 24.59%. While IE stumbled, Chrome was on the upswing, grabbing 0.6 more percentage points to capture an overall market share of 6.73%. Apple’s Safari made a 0.07% gain at the expense of Opera which lost 0.07%. Next month’s figures should prove to be interesting as they may reveal whether the precipitous drop is the result of the EU’s mandatory browser ballot, now in full swing, or merely a bad month for Microsoft.
Thanks to Mozilla we got our hands on a Nokia N900 for a few weeks and had the opportunity to give its new Firefox Mobile browser a thorough test drive. Firefox Mobile has a long development history that started in late 2008 when Mozilla announced its very early alpha browser first for the Maemo platform and then for the Windows Mobile platform. While the Windows Mobile version may have been abandoned, the Maemo version just came out of beta earlier this year and is still going strong. Despite its enthusiasm, Firefox Mobile is entering a very crowded mobile browser field that is dominated by Opera Mobile, Opera Mini and the built-in WebKit browsers found on the iPhone, Android, and WebOS handsets. With most smartphone platforms now rocking very capable browsers, how does Firefox Mobile stand up to the competition? Hit the jump to find out. More →
After a slow start, Firefox Mobile has been making great strides recently; releasing the final version of the mobile browser for the Maemo platform and ramping up development on its Android client. Mozilla’s VP of Mobiles, Jay Sullivan, recently told Tech Radar that Mozilla is targeting the end of 2010 as a tentative release date for the Android edition of Firefox Mobile. The development of the Android version poses a bit of a challenge as Firefox Mobile is based upon C and C++, while Android is Java-based and the latest Native Development kit which is necessary to bring Firefox Mobile to Android was only released last October. Sullivan also addresses other platforms in the interview, commenting that MeeGo presents an exciting opportunity for Mozilla, while the future of the Windows Mobile version, already in Alpha, is under review now that the radically new Windows Phone 7 Series operating system has been officially introduced by Microsoft. More →