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  1. Mozilla begins bringing Fenix to Firefox Beta Mozilla has begun work on migrating Firefox Beta on Android to Fenix, a whole new Firefox experience on Android. According to the Are We Fenix Yet? status page, progress to migrating Firefox Beta to Fenix is at 2.1%. Porting to Firefox Beta is the final stage before it arrives on the release channel, ready to consume by the average Firefox user. To figure out how long it will be before the Release channel is migrated, you can look at how long ago the Nightly version was ported. At the end of January, Mozilla gave the green light for the Nightly channel to migrate, therefore, at the end of May, we could see the firm begin migration on the Release channel ready for the update to arrive in June or July. Mozilla has been working on Fenix, better known as Firefox Preview, for about a year now. It has been working hard to introduce features already present in the existing Firefox atop the new, faster, browser engine. Earlier this month, it released Firefox Preview 4 which included better login management, top sites, and initial add-on support. While it adds the finishing touches to make its new browser ready for public consumption, the Firefox Release channel on Android has been stuck on Firefox 68 with point updates being released instead of fully-fledged upgrades. With today’s news, those running Firefox Beta should prepare for their browser to get a radical new look. Source: Sören Hentzschel Source: Mozilla begins bringing Fenix to Firefox Beta (Neowin)
  2. View all your tabs in one place, search, move them between windows with Tab Manager Plus for Firefox and Chrome There are plenty of add-ons that make tab management easier in Firefox. Tab Session Manager, Foxy Tab, Tree Style Tab are some good options that come to mind. Tab Manager Plus is an extension for Firefox and Chrome that lets you view all your tabs in one place, search in open tabs and move them between windows. The add-on places an icon on the browser's toolbar; it displays a badge that indicates the total number of tabs that are open at the time. Click the icon to view the add-on's interface. This pop-up window contains favicons of every tab that is opened. Mouse over a favicon to view the tab's title and URL. Tab Manager Plus assigns a title to the window that is based on the number of tabs you have opened per site. For.e.g If you had 6 or 7 gHacks tabs open or 8-9 of GitHub, it will use gHacks and GitHub. Mouse over the title and click on it to customize it if you prefer a different one. You may change the background color of the window from this screen as well and click on a favicon to switch to the tab instantly. There are four buttons below the tab icons for closing the window, minimizing it, setting the window color and title, and opening a new tab. If you want to jump to a specific tab, but aren't sure where it is, use the search box at the bottom of Tab Manager Plus'interface. It works on an as-you-type basis in real time, and highlights the tabs which match the search term. For e.g. If I type "ghacks", the extension highlights the tabs which have the word in the url or title. Right-click on a tab's icon to select it, you can select multiple. Press enter to move tabs to a new window, or drag the icons from one window's pane to another. The toolbar at the bottom of the add-on's interface can be used to highlight duplicate tabs, open a new window, filter tabs that don't match your search, or to pin the current tab. The other two options are handy for managing tabs that you have selected, they can either be discarded from the memory or closed. Click the three-line menu button to change the view. The default view is the horizontal view, and the others are vertical view, block view and big block view. Right-click on the Tab Manager Plus icon to view a context menu. This allows you to open the add-on's interface in its own tab which can be useful if you're using the vertical or big block view modes. The wrench icon in the top right corner opens the extension's Options panel. You can set the maximum number of tabs per window (for e.g. 15), once it reaches the limit, new tabs will be opened in a new window. The pop-up interface's size can be customized in terms of height and width. Not a fan of bright colors? Enable dark mode. Compact mode trims the spaces between each icon. Tab Manager Plus supports some mouse and keyboard shortcuts. As mentioned earlier, right-click selects tabs, holding shift while right-clicking selects multiple tabs. Close tabs using the middle mouse button. Pressing the enter key opens a selected tab, or moves multiple tabs to a new window. You can toggle animations, window titles, and the tab counter from the add-on's options page. The extension has a couple of experimental features for session management. But I couldn't get these to work in Firefox or Chrome. Tab Manager Plus is an open source extension. This reddit post explains the origin of Tab Manager Plus. Apparently, the developer was using a similar Chrome extension which was eventually sold and then went bad. So he forked the original add-on (before it went rogue), improved it and later ported it to Firefox. Landing Page: https://github.com/stefanXO/Tab-Manager-Plus Source: View all your tabs in one place, search, move them between windows with Tab Manager Plus for Firefox and Chrome (gHacks - Ashwin)
  3. Mozilla won't delay Firefox releases (but some features may be delayed) Mozilla won't change the schedule of Firefox releases for the moment according to a schedule update published on the official Mozilla Wiki website. Several browser makers, software developers and hardware manufacturers announced recently the postponing of planned releases. Google for example decided to skip Chrome 82 and Microsoft announced that it would focus on delivering security updates for its Windows operating systems only and skip non-security updates for the time being. It was not clear up until now if Mozilla would also delay the release of new Firefox versions; this changed yesterday when Mozilla confirmed that the current Covid-19 pandemic won't impact the Firefox release schedule. Firefox Stable will continue to be updated every four weeks. Mozilla changed the flexible Firefox release schedule to a fixed four-week cycle recently. The next Firefox Stable release will therefore be released on April 7, 2020 as planned. Mozilla notes that feature developments may be slowed down because of the current situation; while this won't impact the release schedule, it could mean that planned features may be moved to a later release date. The organization plans to review planned features and delay some of the non-critical changes based on that review. sticking with the published release schedule for the moment expect feature development to slow down though reviewing planned features for breaking potential, and delaying some changes Mozilla re-enabled the security protocols TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in Firefox already this month, which it disabled in the Firefox 74 release previously, as some government sites relied on these protocols exclusively. Firefox users who tried to access these sites could not any longer because Firefox support for these outdated protocols ended with the release of Firefox 74 originally. Mozilla (and other browser makers) will still disable TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in browsers eventually but the current situation made it necessary to re-enable the protocols. (via Sören) Source: Mozilla won't delay Firefox releases (but some features may be delayed) (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. Firefox 76 will password protect all your saved passwords Mozilla will begin protecting users’ saved passwords with a master password with the release of Firefox 76 later this year. It's is already part of the latest Nightly builds but most users will begin using the feature from May 5 if the company sticks to its existing release schedule. With more people accessing sensitive services such as bank accounts online, this move makes sense. As it stands right now, if you leave your computer unlocked, anyone with access to your computer can head to the hamburger menu > Login and Passwords and then start scrolling through your accounts and passwords. Optionally, you can set a master password to add more security but many users do not do this, especially less technical users who don’t even realise that they can set a master password. The new feature will be available on Windows and macOS. If you’ve not set a master password within Firefox, you’ll be prompted to enter your operating system’s password instead. If you prefer to use biometric authentication, such as a fingerprint, you can use this also. Unfortunately, Linux users do not yet have access to this feature and its unclear whether it will ever be implemented on that platform. Once you’ve entered your operating system password, you’ll be able to access your saved login information for five minutes before you are asked to re-authenticate yourself. Source: Firefox 76 will password protect all your saved passwords (Neowin)
  5. Firefox 76 gets optional HTTPS-only mode Mozilla plans to introduce an optional HTTPS-only mode in Firefox 76 which only allows connections to HTTPS sites. Most Internet sites use HTTPS already to improve the security of connections. HTTPS encrypts the connection which protects against manipulation and also blocks the logging of activity. Firefox users may soon enable an option in the web browser to allow only HTTPS connections; this sounds very similar to how HTTPS Everywhere operates. The browser extension tries to upgrade unencrypted resources to encrypted ones when enabled, and it comes with an option to block any traffic that is not encrypted. When enabled, Firefox loads HTTPS sites and resources just like before. When HTTP sites or resources are detected, the browser attempts to upgrade these to HTTPS. The site or resource is loaded if the upgraded worked; if not, it is blocked which may result in sites becoming inaccessible or partially loaded. Firefox users who run Firefox 76 or newer can activate the new HTTPS-Only mode in the browser in the following way: Load about:config in the browser's address bar. Confirm that you will be careful. Search for dom.security.https_only_mode using the search field at the top. Set the preference to TRUE to enable HTTPS-only connections in Firefox. Set the preference to FALSE to allow all connections (default). A "Secure Connection Failed" error is displayed by Firefox is a site cannot be upgraded to HTTPS after setting the preference to TRUE in the Firefox preferences. The new HTTPS-Only mode works like HTTPS Everywhere's strict mode as it blocks all insecure connections automatically. Firefox's built-in feature does not support a fallback mode (which HTTPS Everywhere supports). Is this useful? How useful is a HTTPS-only mode on today's Internet? I see some limited applications for it when combined with browser profiles. A user could enable the feature for a profile that is used exclusively for online banking or other sensitive tasks on the Internet that benefit from increased security. While most sites do support HTTPS already, Mozilla's own stats show that about 82% of all Firefox connections use HTTPS, it is quite common that HTTP-only sites or resources are accessed on the Internet. Most Internet users therefor may find the HTTPS-only mode disruptive as it blocks access to certain sites or resources on the Internet. Source: Firefox 76 gets optional HTTPS-only mode (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  6. Firefox will soon support hardware media controls Mozilla enabled support for the Media Session API in Firefox 76 Nightly recently. The plan is to introduce the API in stable versions of the Firefox web browser soon. One of the abilities of the API is to support hardware media keys in the web browser. If that sounds familiar, it may be because Google added support for hardware media keys in the company's Chrome web browser this year. Google introduced support for media keys in Chrome 73 Stable for the desktop. The feature enables support for using media keys on the keyboard, e.g. mute, volume up or down, or play/pause, on media sites in the browser. One of the downsides of the feature is that it may interfere with other services and apps that rely on media keys, e.g. Spotify or iTunes. Chrome users may disable media key support in Chrome to fix the issue currently. Mozilla enabled the Media Session API in Firefox 71 partially and has now enabled it by default in Firefox 76 Nightly. Firefox will display an overlay when media keys are used when the feature is enabled. A quick test on several media sites such as YouTube and Twitch was successful. All test sites responded to media keys such as mute or play/pause. Firefox users may interact with the overlay once it is displayed using mouse or touch input as well. Windows 10 users may furthermore notice media controls on the operating system's lockscreen if a video is playing in Firefox. Nightly is the development version of the Firefox web browser and the Meta bug suggests that work is still ongoing. Nightly users may run into bugs or issues because of that. If development progresses as planned, Firefox users may soon use hardware media keys to control playback in the browser. Mozilla added an option to Firefox to disable the feature; this may be useful if Firefox interferes with used media applications just like Chrome does. Here is what you need to do to disable media key support in Firefox: Load about:config in the Firefox web browser. Confirm that you will be careful if the warning message appears. Search for dom.media.mediasession.enabled. Set the preference to TRUE to enable the feature. Set the preference to FALSE to disable the feature. Closing Words Users who spend a lot of time in the browser, especially on media sites, may find the new media support useful if they have a keyboard with multimedia keys. Instead of having to interact with the browser's UI, e.g. by using mouse or touch, they may then use the media keys to control playback. Source: Firefox will soon support hardware media controls (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  7. Mozilla re-enables TLS 1.0 and 1.1 because of Coronavirus (and Google) Mozilla released Firefox 74.0 Stable to the public on March 10, 2020. The new version of Firefox came with a number of changes and improvements; among them the deprecation of the security protocols TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 in the Firefox web browser. The functionality has not been removed from Firefox but the default status of both protocols has been set to disabled in Firefox 74.0 by Mozilla. A consortium of browser makers, among them Mozilla, Google, Microsoft and Apple, vowed to remove TLS 1.0 and 1.1 from their browsers in order to improve the security and performance of Internet connections by relying on TLS 1.2 and TLS 1.3 for secure connections. Mozilla has re-enabled TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in the Firefox Stable and Beta browser; it is unclear when Mozilla did that but an update on the Firefox release notes page highlights why the protocols have been enabled again. Mozilla notes: We reverted the change for an undetermined amount of time to better enable access to critical government sites sharing COVID19 information. According to the update posted on the release notes page, Mozilla made the decision because some government sites still rely on the old protocols. Mozilla does not provide any examples of government sites that still rely on these dated protocols. The organization's Site Compatibility site offers more details: Mozilla is going to temporarily re-enable the TLS 1.0/1.1 support in Firefox 74 and 75 Beta. The preference change will be remotely applied to Firefox 74, which has already been shipped. This is because many people are currently forced to work at home and relying on online tools amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, but some of critical government sites still don’t support TLS 1.2 yet. A new bug on Mozilla's bug tracking site provides additional information and another reason entirely. Mozilla highlights that Google postponed Chrome releases and that it is unlikely that Google will disable TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in the Chrome browser for the time being and that this would leave Firefox as the sole browser with the protocols disabled in the Stable version. The consequence is that Mozilla re-enabled TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in Firefox Stable and Firefox Beta. Firefox users may still disable the protocols manually in the browser by setting the preference security.tls.version.min to 3 to allow TLS 1.2 or higher only. Source: Mozilla re-enables TLS 1.0 and 1.1 because of Coronavirus (and Google) (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  8. Firefox may soon ask for the Windows Password to interact with saved passwords Mozilla plans to introduce a change to the password management system of the organization's Firefox web browser on Windows that improves the security of the data. Firefox users may save logins using native password management capabilities. Passwords may also be imported from other web browsers installed on the device Firefox is installed or run on, or my syncing data between Firefox instances. The Firefox password manager, recently relaunched as Firefox Lockwise, will prompt users for the Windows password of the signed-in user account before certain interactions with passwords, e.g. the showing of passwords, is permitted; this will only happen if the Firefox user has not set a master password in the web browser. Current versions of Firefox may be protected with a master password. Once set, and setup is completely optional, the master password is required to interact with password storage. Starting in Firefox 76, Firefox will protect passwords for accounts without master password. Since the default is off, many Firefox users will benefit from this security precaution. Google has been using a similar system in its Chrome web browser. Unlike Firefox, Chrome does not support the setting of a master password. Firefox will show a password or Pin prompt on Windows devices once the change lands. Firefox 76, Nightly, also has it implemented and users who are adventurous may take it for a test drive. Actions such as the request to reveal a password, to copy it, or to edit a password will spawn the prompt. Note that this happens each time a request is made currently; it is unclear if Mozilla plans to implement a system that would request the password only once per session or once every y minutes to avoid user annoyance. Firefox will request the master password only once during a session and that system might be preferable to users who interact with passwords regularly. You can follow the bug on Mozilla's bug tracking website. Firefox 76 is scheduled for a May 5, 2020 release. Source: Firefox may soon ask for the Windows Password to interact with saved passwords (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  9. automaticDark is a Firefox extension that can switch to dark theme automatically on a schedule Firefox has a really cool native dark theme. You're probably aware of this, but in case you don't know, you can switch to it from the add-ons page: select the themes option on the side bar and click on the Dark theme. This process has to be done manually every time you want to switch between themes. Windows 10 has a night mode that can be enabled automatically, and when this option's enabled, Firefox will enable the dark theme on its own, and reverts to the default theme when the operating system turns off night mode. But not everyone uses Windows 10. If you're on a different operating system, and want your browser to switch to a dark mode on a schedule, you can use an add-on called automaticDark. You may also find the add-on useful if you want to enable and disable the dark theme on a custom schedule. The extension doesn't have a toolbar icon which means that you need to head to the add-ons page to manage it. The options page lets you set the dark theme at sunset, and switches back to the daytime theme at sunrise. The default options for sunrise and sunset are set to 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. You can change the time manually, like I've done. That's a pretty useful option to have, since not everyone works during the same hours of the day. There is an option to automatically set the sunrise/sunset time, but if you enable it, you'll be prompted to grant the geo-location permission for the add-on. There are two more options on the page: these allow you to set the daytime theme and the nighttime theme. You can choose from any of the three default themes that Firefox ships with: Default, Light and Dark. If you're a night shift worker and prefer using the day theme during the night (and vice versa), you can switch them per your requirement. Once you have set the sunset and sunrise times, automaticDark will enable the corresponding theme automatically. I've been using it for about a week, and it has worked flawlessly. The extension does not change the appearance of websites, i.e., it will not change a page's background to a dark color. If you want that, you should try Dark Reader. Custom themes support I don't like the built-in themes in Firefox, so I use third-party themes. Will automaticDark work with it? Absolutely, as long as the theme that you're using is listed in the Add-ons > themes section (and not under Extensions), it should work. The easiest way to check this is right from automaticDark's options page, just click the daytime or nighttime theme setting, and the third party theme that you want to use should be available in the drop-down menu. Set it as the theme, and you are good to go. On the other hand, I found that extensions which change the appearance of the browser like NightOwl, Firefox Color aren't supported. This isn't automaticDark's fault, it's just that these add-ons use a different method (modified CSS) to change the look of the browser. automaticDark is an open source extension. The full name of the extension is automaticDark - Time-Based Theme Changer. This is a useful add-on, even for those on Windows 10. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/automatic-dark/ Source: automaticDark is a Firefox extension that can switch to dark theme automatically on a schedule (gHacks - Ashwin)
  10. Here is what is new and changed in Firefox 74.0 Stable Firefox 74.0 is the latest stable version of the web browser. Its release date is March 10, 2020. All major Firefox channels are updated as well. Firefox Beta and Firefox Dev receive an update to version 75.0, Firefox Nightly is moved to version 76.0, and Firefox ESR to version 68.6. Additionally, Firefox for Android will also be upgraded to version 68.6. You may check out the release overview for Firefox 73.0 here in case you missed it. The next stable version of Firefox, Firefox 75.0, is scheduled to be released on April 7, 2020. Executive Summary Firefox does not support TLS 1.0 or TLS 1.1 anymore. Privacy improvements by blocking access to certain information, e.g. geolocation from cross-origin iframes. Firefox 74.0 download and update The official release date of Firefox 74.0 is March 10, 2020. The browser will become available on that day on Mozilla's website and as an in-browser upgrade. Firefox users may select Menu > Help > About Firefox to run a manual check for updates. Once released, Firefox will pick up the new version automatically and install it on the device. The following pages list direct downloads for supported Firefox channels (will be available later on March 10, 2020) Firefox Stable download Firefox Beta download Nightly download Firefox ESR download Firefox 74.0 Changes Firefox 74.0 is a smaller release with just a few changes and improvements. Mozilla reduced the time period between releases; a new Firefox version is released every four weeks from 2020 on. TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 support removed Mozilla and other prominent browser makers announced plans to deprecate the old standards TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in browsers in 2020. Mozilla started to disable TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in Firefox Nightly last year and has now removed support for the encryption protocols in Firefox 74.0 Stable. Firefox will throw a "secure connection failed" error when a site only supports TLS 1.1 or lower. Sites need to support at least TLS 1.2 to make sure that users can connect to the sites. Non-user installed add-ons may be removed using about:addons Firefox users may remove extensions installed by external applications using the browser's add-ons management page about:addons. Mozilla plans to disallow extension installations by external applications going forward. Other changes Firefox now provides better privacy for your web voice and video calls through support for mDNS ICE by cloaking your computer’s IP address with a random ID in certain WebRTC scenarios. The Facebook Container extensions for Firefox supports adding custom sites to the container now. Firefox Lockwise, the built-in password manager of Firefox, now supports reverse alpha sorting entries (Z-A). Geolocation, fullscreen, camera, mic, screen capture requests from cross-origin <iframe> are now disabled by default Improved bookmarks and history importing from the new Microsoft Edge on Windows and Mac devices. Mozilla fixed an issue that could cause pinned tabs to become lost or reordered. Fixed Picture-in-Picture toggle on Instagram which sit on top of the "next" button when uploading photos to the site. The shortcut Ctrl-I opens the Page Info window on Windows now (instead of the Bookmarks sidebar). Firefox for Android Mozilla lists "various stability and security fixes" without providing additional details. Developer Changes Cross-Origin-Resource-Policy header is enabled by default. Feature Policy is enabled by default. Javascript: Optional Chaining operator has been implemented Security updates / fixes Security updates are revealed after the official release of the web browser. You find the information published here. Additional information / sources Firefox 74 release notes Add-on compatibility for Firefox 74 Firefox 74 for Developers Site compatibility for Firefox 74 Firefox Security Advisories Firefox Release Schedule Source: Here is what is new and changed in Firefox 74.0 Stable (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  11. Smart RSS Reader is a feed reader extension for Firefox and Chrome Web based feed readers are kind of a pain to use. They often implement changes that you don't want, while taking away features that you like. Local readers are much better when it comes to this, because you can revert to an older version in case of adverse changes. Smart RSS Reader is a feed reader extension for Firefox and Chrome that I have been using for a week; I'm quite impressed by it so far. Install the add-on and click its toolbar icon to open a new tab with the extension's RSS reader. It has three panes, each of which has a toolbar at the top. The left pane is the feeds pane and lists all RSS feeds that you're subscribed too. Selecting a feed displays the title of the articles published by the site in the center pane. It also displays the author's name and the date when the article went live. Click on an article's title to open it in the browser view, aka the right pane. Smart RSS Reader displays the article in its native format (i.e. no misaligned text or items) and it contains the images included in the post too. Use the Pin icon in the top right corner of an article's page to favorite it. Smart RSS Reader supports offline article reading which is useful when you're away from an internet connection. The extension's toolbar icon flashes a badge when a new article has been published, so you won't miss out on reading your favorite sites. Adding RSS Feeds The toolbar on the top of the Feeds pane has a plus button. Clicking it brings up a box where you can enter an RSS Feed's URL. For e.g. http://www.ghacks.net/feed/ The extension automatically picks-up the name of the website, its favicon and you'll immediately see the list of articles available for reading. Another way to add a feed is by right-clicking on the extension's toolbar icon. This context menu is useful for subscribing to the RSS feed of the website that you're currently on. This doesn't work for every site though, it needs to have an RSS or XML feed available which the add-on pulls automatically. If you're subscribed to a lot of feeds already, don't worry you don't need to waste time re-adding each of those to Smart RSS Reader. Click on the wrench icon in the top right corner to go to the options page, scroll down to the Import section and select the OPML > browse button to pick your OPML file. The feeds are imported instantly, and the add-on preserves the folders that you have set in your previous RSS reader. Managing Feeds Right-click on the "All feeds" option to view a context menu which allows you to "Update all, Mark all read, and Delete all articles". Select a Feed and right-click on it, click on Properties to change the URL, name etc. Use the "New Folder" option in the Feeds pane's toolbar to create a new folder, and move RSS feeds into it. This can help you organize things. Each feed has its own context menu that has options to update the list of articles, mark all as read, delete (unsubscribe), refetch (redownload), Openhome (opens the feed's website). The feeds list pane has yet another context menu. This one can be used to jump to the next unread, previous unread articles, or to mark articles as unread, mark and next/previous as unread, unpin articles, and to open the article in a new tab. The toolbar at the top of this pane has three icons: mark all read, update, delete. The Search box is handy to search for a particular article in your feeds. Smart RSS Reader options The extension has a bunch of options including a 2-pane view, sorting options, article font size, reader behavior, export feeds to OPML or SMART (text document), etc. Smart RSS Reader has many keyboard shortcuts that you can use to read and manage your feeds. Get the Firefox extension from the add-ons repository, and the Chrome version from the webstore. According to the developer, the extension is a fork of an add-on made by Martin Kadlec, which was made as an alternative to the built-in RSS reader in Opera 12. Smart RSS Reader is an open source extension. The fact that you don't need an online account to manage your feeds, and that everything is stored locally is really nice. Add-ons like this and Feedbro are the closest alternative for desktop readers, though I do use QuiteRSS myself. Smart RSS Reader is very fast and fluid. Landing Page: https://github.com/zakius/Smart-RSS Source: Smart RSS Reader is a feed reader extension for Firefox and Chrome (gHacks)
  12. Firefox 75 will purge site data if associated with tracking cookies Mozilla plans to integrate a change in Firefox 75 to improve the privacy of users of the web browser further. The organization plans to purge site data of sites associated with tracking cookies automatically in the browser. Firefox ships with tracking protection enabled and while that is a good first line of defense against tracking on the Internet, it is based on a list of known tracking sites which means that it does not protect against all site-based tracking attempts. Tracking sites not on the list are not blocked and may therefore set cookies and use other means of tracking users. A relatively new way of tracking users came to light recently; called first-party tracking, it is making use of CNAME redirects to bypass most built-in and extension-based blockers. Basically, what happens is that a subdomain of the site is redirected but since this happens after the initial blocking, it is not prevented by most blocking tools. The popular uBlock Origin extension for Firefox handles these by performing look-ups of these redirects and blocking resources identified as trackers or ad-servers. Mozilla plans to integrate functionality into Firefox to purge cookies and other site data of tracking domains automatically which addresses first-party tracking attempts. The bug 1599262 on the organization's bug tracking site Bugzilla provides information on the new protection: Purge site data when site identified via old tracking cookies Identify sites that set tracking cookies, remove those cookies (and other site data) if the site has not been interacted with in 30 days. Firefox will check if sites that set tracking cookies are available; if they are and if the site has not been interacted with for 30 days, they are deleted. Mozilla created three preferences that handle the purging: privacy.purge_trackers.enabled -- Defines whether the feature is enabled (True) or disabled (False). privacy.purge_trackers.logging.enabled -- Defines whether the activity is logged (True) or not logged (False). privacy.purge_trackers.max_purge_count -- Maximum number of cookies purged per batch (default 100). If you don't want Firefox to purge site data and cookies of trackers automatically, you need to set privacy.purge_trackers.enabled to false. If you don't want the process to be logged, set the privacy.purge_trackers.logging.enabled to false. All three preferences can be managed on about:config and they are only available in the most recent Firefox 75 versions (Nightly) at the time of writing). Closing Words Mozilla continues to improve privacy protections in the Firefox web browser. Since it is also the only browser with support for the new uBlock Origin feature, it is becoming a good choice for privacy conscious users even if you consider the missteps in the past. It is also a good idea to block third-party cookies entirely in any browser to limit cookie-based tracking further. Source: Firefox 75 will purge site data if associated with tracking cookies (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  13. Firefox is showing the way back to a world that’s private by default Tracking shouldn’t be the norm Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge One of the nice things about looking at the full scope of tech news for the day is that two stories that you otherwise wouldn’t think to connect end up playing off each other perfectly. So it was today with the following pieces of news. First, Firefox is turning on a controversial new encryption methodology by default in the US. Second, Amazon is expanding its cashierless Go model into a full-blown grocery store. Here’s where I see the connection: both are about companies tracking your activities in order to gather data they could monetize later. Let’s take them one by one, starting with Amazon. You likely already know the story with Amazon Go stores: you can walk in and browse around, putting stuff in your cart as you like. Instead of checking out, you just leave. It all works because cameras track your every move and determine what you’ve picked up to charge you later. You can even pick something up, walk around the store with it, then put it back and leave and Amazon will figure that out. I know this because I’ve done it several times just to see. Nick Statt visited Amazon’s new expansion of that concept and reported an excellent story about how it works as a full grocery store. He also interviewed executives on the details of how it’s all being positioned. Notably, this is an “Amazon Go” store and not just a Whole Foods. For Amazon, they’re two distinct retail models (for now). Nick explains: That complexity inherent to the grocery market is why Amazon chose to brand its new store as a Go one, instead of choosing to bring its cashier-less Go model to an existing Whole Foods location. Amazon wants the freedom to sell people products from major brands they might find at a city bodega, a neighborhood CVS, or a Kroger store, and not just the organic and high-end ones Whole Foods sells today. That sets up Amazon to service a wider variety of customers: Go stores for the office lunch crowd, Go Grocery for the everyday residential shopper, and Whole Foods for the organic-minded and more affluent. But as you are thinking about this whole model I suspect that Amazon’s go to market strategy isn’t top of mind. Instead, there’s either an alarm klaxon going off in your head or — at the very least — a quiet voice saying this: it seems super creepy for cameras to watch your every move as you walk around a store. The follow-up thought is that the convenience of not having to check out is perhaps not worth the tradeoff for the surveillance that’s happening inside these stores. I hear the same alarm. But I also visited Amazon dot com this week and shopped for all sorts of things. If you think that the surveillance and data collection that happens at an Amazon Go retail location is creepy, well friend, it’s got nothing on what Amazon can glean from what happens on its website. Keep that tension in your mind as we turn to Mozilla and Firefox. The core thing that Mozilla is doing is trying to encrypt DNS, which stands for Domain Name Service. When you visit a website like www.theverge.com, what you’re actually visiting is a much less descriptive series of numbers. DNS is the address lookup that tells your browser that the human-readable domain — theverge.com — is located at a particular IP address. For most browsers, that address lookup isn’t encrypted, which means your internet service provider (or anybody else interested enough to snoop on it) could see what websites you’re visiting. Putting DNS behind a secure connection means that it’s less likely that snoops could see where you’re going. The decision is controversial on a number of fronts. There’s the ever-present concern about protecting kids form predators, of course, but there’s also a large group of security experts who think it’s not actually all that effective. On the whole, I think that Mozilla’s decision is fundamentally good, even with the above caveats. That’s because it shifts the Overton Window for privacy, just a bit. Whatever you think of its efficacy, the shift helps to change our default assumptions about privacy, Specifically, browsing should be fully private. If you haven’t connected the DNS story with the Amazon story on your own, let me lay it out more explicitly. I don’t think we’ve fully grappled with the idea that by default there’s not an expectation of privacy with what we do online. Think about it in other contexts: would you recoil at the idea of a company knowing what books you casually browsed at the library or bookstore? Probably you would, which is why the Amazon Go concept seems so squiggy (technical term). Until we got on the web, our browsing habits were private by default. Now, they’re not. For web browsing, I admit that there are contexts where trusted people like parents (or less trusted but still in power over your time, like the company you work for) might have a legitimate reason for gathering information on the websites you visit. But for the most part, what we choose to look at should be our business — whether that happens online, in a library, or in a grocery store. And yet the default assumption online is that certain companies get to gather and use that information. Specifically your ISP, the company that provides your web browser, or even any company that manages to drop a cookie on a website you happen to visit can all gather data on your web browsing habits. In a different world, one where we made different choices about how to construct and pay for the web in the early days, the online tradeoffs we’ve all agreed to would seem as bizarre as Amazon Go cameras tracking our every move in a grocery store. In this world, though, why have we accepted one online trade as normal while finding the trade of cameras in a store to be weird? When it comes to the online world, Mozilla’s solution may not be perfect. But it seems like a step in the right direction to me. As do all the other changes that are coming to web browsers — even Google Chrome is coming around to reducing tracking, as I’ve written about before. For the past twenty years at least, we’ve been living in a world where the default assumption is that it’s okay for companies to track our browsing habits because we get something in exchange. But if you’re squigged out by having your real-world store browsing habits tracked, sit with that feeling and ask yourself: should you feel differently about online browsing? Source: Firefox is showing the way back to a world that’s private by default (The Verge)
  14. Security upgrade — Firefox turns encrypted DNS on by default to thwart snooping ISPs US-based Firefox users get encrypted DNS lookups today or within a few weeks. Enlarge Getty Images | Anadolu Agency Firefox will start switching browser users to Cloudflare's encrypted-DNS service today and roll out the change across the United States in the coming weeks. "Today, Firefox began the rollout of encrypted DNS over HTTPS (DoH) by default for US-based users," Firefox maker Mozilla said in an announcement scheduled to go live at this link Tuesday morning. "The rollout will continue over the next few weeks to confirm no major issues are discovered as this new protocol is enabled for Firefox's US-based users." DNS over HTTPS helps keep eavesdroppers from seeing what DNS lookups your browser is making, potentially making it more difficult for Internet service providers or other third parties to monitor what websites you visit. As we've previously written, Mozilla's embrace of DNS over HTTPS is fueled in part by concerns about ISPs monitoring customers' Web usage. Mobile broadband providers were caught selling their customers' real-time location data to third parties, and Internet providers can use browsing history to deliver targeted ads. Wireless and wired Internet providers are suing the state of Maine to stop a Web-browsing privacy law that would require ISPs to get customers' opt-in consent before using or sharing browsing history and other sensitive data. The telecom companies already convinced Congress and President Trump to eliminate a similar federal law in 2017. ISPs protested encrypted-DNS plans Mozilla has not been deterred by a broadband-industry lobbying campaign against encrypted DNS. The ISPs' lobbying targeted Google's plan for the Chrome browser, even though Firefox is deploying DNS over HTTPS more aggressively. With Web users already being tracked heavily by companies like Google and Facebook, Mozilla has said it is embracing DNS over HTTPS because "we don't want to see that business model duplicated in the middle of the network" and "it's just a mistake to use DNS for those purposes." "Today, we know that unencrypted DNS is not only vulnerable to spying but is being exploited, and so we are helping the Internet to make the shift to more secure alternatives," Mozilla said in its announcement today. "We do this by performing DNS lookups in an encrypted HTTPS connection. This helps hide your browsing history from attackers on the network, [and] helps prevent data collection by third parties on the network that ties your computer to websites you visit." While Firefox's encrypted DNS uses Cloudflare by default, users can change that to NextDNS in the Firefox settings or manually enter the address of another encrypted-DNS service. Firefox users can also disable the new default setting if they don't want to use any of the encrypted-DNS options. Mozilla has said it is open to adding more encrypted-DNS providers as long as they meet a list of requirements for privacy and transparency and don't block or filter domains by default "unless specifically required by law in the jurisdiction in which the resolver operates." Mozilla isn't turning encrypted DNS on automatically outside the United States. But users outside the US and US-based users who haven't gotten the new default setting yet can enable DNS over HTTPS in the Firefox settings. To do that, go to Firefox "Preferences," then "General," scroll all the way down to "Network Settings," click "Settings," then click "Enable DNS over HTTPS." After clicking that box, you can choose Cloudflare, choose NextDNS, or enter a custom server. There's a list of encrypted-DNS servers at this Github page. Encrypted DNS will not be turned on by default in certain cases, such as when Firefox detects that enterprise policies have been set on the device or when it detects the presence of parental controls. Those and other questions about how DNS over HTTPS works in Firefox are answered in this FAQ. Google's plan for encrypted DNS in Chrome—which is still in the experimental phase and hasn't been deployed to everyone—is a little different from Mozilla's. Instead of automatically switching users to a DNS provider chosen by Google, Chrome sticks with whichever DNS provider the user has selected. If the user-selected DNS provider offers encrypted lookups and is in this list of providers, Chrome automatically upgrades the user to that DNS provider's encrypted service. If the user-selected DNS provider isn't in the list, Chrome makes no changes. Source: Firefox turns encrypted DNS on by default to thwart snooping ISPs (Ars Technica)
  15. Popular AdBlocking extension, UBlock Origin has received a new update (v1.25) to protect Firefox users against CNAME Cloaking or First-Party tracking or DNS delegation or DNA aliasing. The Extension brings the feature to Firefox by utilizing Mozilla’ WebExtensions DNS API, since there is no such comparable API available for Google Chrome, hence Chromium browsers may not get this feature unless such API is developed by Google. While Firefox protects you from third-party tracking out of the box, if you install UBO, it will block first-party tracking scripts in the Firefox browser. Three months back a user brought an issue to UBlock Origin creator notice that a french site’s (liberation.fr) first-party tracker hasn’t been detected by extension. Generally, the tracking scripts that served from a third-party domain (third-party trackers) are blocked by browsers such as Firefox, Safari, and brave and conventional ad blockers. To circumvent this, sites are reportedly trying to load trackers via a subdomain or same domain which are called first-party trackers, thus making impossible for adblockers to identify. Now here comes UBlock Origin for Firefox to uncloak CNAME records. CNAME-uncloaked network requests will be shown as blue entries in Popup panel and logger. Here is how you can update to latest UBlock Origin version in FIrefox. If you’ve already installed UBO, 1. Click on Firefox menu >Add-ons > Extensions 2. Click on the gear icon and select “check for updates”, Firefox informs about the update via a door hanger notification and prompts for permission to install the update. Click Update and restart the Firefox browser. Don’t be worried about UBO’s new “Access IP address and hostname information” permission, as said in release announcement on Reddit, the permission is to get “details about websites/trackers from DNS servers directly through browser API.” READ: Why Ublock Origin requires new permission to change your privacy-related Settings? You can download UBlock Origin for Firefox from AMO here. Source
  16. What are Firefox Containers? You may have heard of Firefox Containers. But do you know what they are? How do they help us? To understand the purpose of this feature, you need to understand how web tracking works. Let's begin with Facebook. For e.g. John looks up used cars on a search engine and visits some pages for more information. Later he visits Facebook, and starts seeing recommendations for used cars. John is puzzled because he never searched for these on the social network. How did this happen? The pages John visited may have contained elements related to Facebook, such as the Share and Like buttons. The site also most likely used Facebook Pixel which is a piece of code from the social network, and I'm quoting the official description here "a snippet of Javascript code that allows you to track visitor activity on your website." The website may have had ads, and/or third-party tracking cookies. The cookies may be used to link activity to a particular computer, and they remain active unless they expire or they are deleted on the local machine. All these are part of your digital fingerprint which may include personally identifiable details such as your IP address, browser information, location, or operating system. This data is "shared" by the website you visited (through the elements on the page), to the social network. So when John logs into Facebook, the cookies are used to identify him as the one who visited the used cars website. This is how they track you and display "Relevant Ads", "Recommended Pages", and all that. In case of ads and third-party cookies, it can be worse. The data may be shared with companies affiliated to the advertising network, in other words unknown entities. Facebook uses different kinds of tracking methods, this example is just one of them. That's the reason why Mozilla has a Facebook Container add-on, an extension dedicated to prevent the tracking atrocities of the network. I still hear stories of privacy horror like "I was planning a trip with my friends, and began seeing Facebook ads for hotels located there". This was from friend, and he had used Google Maps to look up the distance from his city to the destination. How did Facebook know that? He claims the app was listening. I cannot confirm such theories without evidence, but yes these have happened to me too. Recently I was discussing visiting a book fair with a family member. A few minutes later he handed me his phone and I saw that the phone app was recommending a page about books. That's creepy. I have no explanation for these things. Note: I don't hate Facebook, I have had clients contact me through the service. It's a pretty good way to stay in touch with friends/family, but the tracking has gone too far. That's why I don't use the app, I login to the mobile website only when required (or when someone texts/calls me to say "Hey Ash, check Facebook"). But that's me, I understand that people need to use messenger for day-to-day communication. You should definitely use the Facebook Container extension to minimize the tracking. Cookie based tracking Not all cookies are bad. The ones you used to sign in to your accounts, and stay signed in are helpful. You want to store these. But some cookies do more than that, they track your internet usage, even when you leave their website, i.e., they can know which website you visited after you left their site. Firefox blocks third-party tracking cookies by default. Some can be even more intrusive and use information from other cookies. Time for another example. Let's say you bought some cookies, they are of different kinds. But you have a single cookie jar, so you put them all together. What happens? Bits and pieces, crumbs of cookies get mixed up with one another. It's a mess. Now, replace the edible cookies with browser cookies. For e.g. Google, Facebook, Shopping sites, Financial sites, etc. Your browser stores these cookies together. That ends up in a digital breadcrumb trail. So they can know what you searched for, or which pages you previously visited etc, all in the name of offering a "personalized browsing experience". This is the reason why you will see ad banners or pages related to the product you search for or purchased. At what cost, though? Would you be okay with some random company having (parts of) your medical history, insurance or banking information, your home address, or your family information? NO. What are Firefox Containers? One unique way of preventing cookie based tracking is to isolate them, sort of like storing them in different jars. But in this case, we use Firefox Containers. Note that you may also block all third-party cookies in the browser, and that should deal with the bulk of cookie-based tracking as well. You can have a container for Google, another for Twitter, a separate one for Amazon, one for your bank, a different for PayPal, and so on. Each of these act as a digital container, each containing the cookies of the website you want. Your Amazon cookie is restricted to its container, your bank's to its container, etc. Get it? This way, none of the websites have access to the cookies or the history of the other websites. This enhances your privacy greatly. Another advantages of using Firefox Containers is to use multiple accounts, in case you have more than one on the same service. While you are at it, you should also use uBlock Origin to prevent ad banners and malicious scripts from tracking you. Will Firefox Containers guarantee my privacy? They can minimize the tracking. Nothing can guarantee your privacy, because most services are constantly finding new ways to track users for marketing, advertising, affiliate purposes and some of them have unlimited resources for this. We live in a digital world, we can only do so much. Don't use cloud services for storing personal data, passwords, clear your cookies regularly, avoid shady sites and suspicious URLs, use throw away accounts if you have to. Tor and VPNs can help too, but make sure you don't use them with your regular account's containers. Source: What are Firefox Containers? (gHacks)
  17. Google has brought its popular Lighthouse extension used by over 400,000 users to Mozilla Firefox so that web developers can test the browser's performance against submitted web pages. Lighthouse is an open-source tool for testing the performance of web pages through Google's PageSpeed Insights API and was released as an extension for Google Chrome in 2016. Now that the Mozilla Firefox Lighthouse Extension has been released, Firefox users can perform pages peed tests in their preferred browser. For those not familiar with Lighthouse, it is a browser extension that allows you to generate a report about a web page's performance using the Google PageSpeed API. This API includes real-time data from Google's Chrome User Experience Report and lab data from Lighthouse. The report will display information on how fast the page loads, what issues are affecting its performance and will offer suggestions on how to increase the page's performance, accessibility, and SEO. For example, below is a Lighthouse report for a Google search results page. As you can see, it provides a score ranging from 0-100 for performance, accessibility, best practices, and SEO categories. Lighthouse report for Google Search results page The reports real value comes in the form of suggestions and optimization tips to increase each category's score and thus the speed of the web page. Lighthouse suggestions to improve performance For web developers, this is a very useful tool and while it is very difficult to achieve a high score, especially if the page display ads, it does provide numerous useful suggestions on how to optimize a web site to increase performance for its visitors. If you manage a web site and have not used Lighthouse before, you should give it a try as I am sure you will find suggestions that you can use to increase your site's performance. Source
  18. Simple Tab Groups is a Firefox extension for organizing your tabs Simple Tab Groups is a Firefox extension that can help you organize your tabs. The extension was inspired by one with a similar name, Tab Groups. The extension includes five plugins (add-ons from the same developer) merged into one for a functioning Tab Group manager extension. After you install Simple Tab Groups, it opens a local web page with a screenshot to guide users how to "Enable the restore previous session" option in Firefox. That's because when you restart the browser, the add-on will load the last accessed tab group. You will see that the extension added a button to the toolbar. Click on it to see three options. Create New Group This is the option you will be using the most. Selecting it will prompt you to assign a name, and this creates an empty Tab Group. To add tabs to the group, mouse over to the tab bar and right-click on a tab. Select "Move Tab To Group". This adds the tab to the created group and hides it from view. If you have multiple groups, you'll have the option to select which group you want to move the tabs to. You may also create new groups from the menu. Once saved, a group can be opened anytime. This works in new windows too. Managing Group Settings Let's get back to the Tab Groups' toolbar menu. Now that we have some groups, we can manage them. Right-click on a group's name to view its context-menu. This allows you to open all tabs in a group in a new window, sort the groups alphabetically, export the selected group to bookmarks, and to reload all tabs in the group. You can discard the selected group or all other groups, or delete the group completely. Select the Group Settings. Here you can rename a group, select its icon style. The tab's icon (the website's favicon), can be set as the Group's icon, do this from the tab bar. The Group Settings panel also has options to mute tabs when a group is closed/restored, make a sticky group (tabs are never moved from the group), show/discard tabs after moving. Simple Tab Groups works with Firefox Containers, and can be configured to automatically move specific containers to a particular group. For e.g. If you have a container for shopping websites, and you have created a Tab Group called shopping, it may be a good idea to move the tabs in the Shopping container to the group. The extension also supports RegEx for capturing tabs from the same domain. Add-on Settings The main menu of the add-on has a caret icon, click on it to view other tabs (not part of the group). There are 3 options here all of which perform a single-click action to: close all these tabs, move these tabs to the current group, or create a new group with these tabs. The gear icon in the menu can be used to access the add-on's options. You can customize the open, close, discard behavior of tabs, optionally discard a tab after hiding it or enable a dark theme and more from this screen. The Manage Groups option opens a new tab with a speed-dial like representation of each tab groups, you can right click on a group to manage it. The extension is an open source project. The add-on is compatible with Gesturefy, though it needs a little tinkering to get it working. Note: Simple Tab Groups is NOT a session manager. If you have many tabs in a group and close it before exiting other windows, you will lose the tabs. To prevent this, you should close all the other windows first. I recommend using the Bookmarks option. You can also use OneTab, which does save a history of the tabs and has a restore option. Simple Tab Groups provides an easy way to de-clutter your browser and organize your tabs. It does not interfere with the new tab page, so add-ons like Group Speed Dial work alongside perfectly. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/simple-tab-groups/ Source: Simple Tab Groups is a Firefox extension for organizing your tabs (gHacks)
  19. Mozilla launches Firefox Private Network VPN for Android Mozilla launched Firefox Private Network VPN for Google's Android operating system recently. The standalone Android application extends support to Android devices. The organization launched a beta of Firefox Private Network VPN back in December 2019. The service was, and is, limited to users from the United States at the time of writing and available for $4.99 per month during the beta phase; Mozilla has not revealed information on final pricing or about availability in other regions of the world. Firefox Private Network was unveiled in September of the same year as the first product of the newly revived Test Pilot Program. The service was offered as an extension for Firefox initially before a Windows 10 program was launched in December 2019 that introduced full system support as the program can be installed just like any other VPN client on Windows. The new Android version brings support to Android devices. Since Firefox Private Network is still in beta, the same limitations apply to the Android version. It is only available if you connect from the United States (Google Play), and there is a waiting list that you need to join right now if you have not done so already. Users from outside the United States may install the application if they manage to download it from other sources, e.g. from mirror services that host Android APK files. The application displays some of the main selling points of Mozilla's VPN service on first start: Connect up to five devices -- Stream, download and game. We won't restrict your bandwidth. Device level encryption -- No one will see your location or activity, even on unsecure Wi-Fi networks. No activity logs -- We're Mozilla. We don't log your activity and we're always on your side. Servers in 39 countries -- Stand up to tech bullies and protect your access to the web. Firefox VPN users may install the application on their Android devices to connect to the VPN network; all applications and all traffic uses that connection once it has been established. Closing Words Firefox Private Network VPN is now available for Windows and Android. It is likely that other operating systems will follow eventually. The service is very important to Mozilla as it is hopes to diversify the organization's income which, to a very large extend, comes from search engine deals and, currently, Mozilla's main competitor Google. Tip: check out our list of the best VPN Firefox add-ons. Source: Mozilla launches Firefox Private Network VPN for Android (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  20. Open in Browser is a Firefox extension that opens PDFs, images directly instead of downloading them Firefox as you know, has built-in support for viewing some document formats like TXT, PDF, XML and image formats. But sometimes you get a download dialog open up, instead of the content being displayed. That's not convenient if you prefer that the content is opened in the browser, and is precisely what the Open In Browser extension for Firefox is meant to fix. How does it work? When you click on URLs that contain a file, websites return a MIME type (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) to your browser; these contain something called a "content-type" header. Sometimes, the data that is provideds may not work as intended, for e.g. you might have clicked on an image to view the full-size version, but instead Firefox shows you a download option instead of opening it right away in the browser. Example 1: The browser will directly download the PDF. Example 2: Clicking a document's (or image's) URL prompts the download dialog instead of allowing the browser to view it. Surprisingly both links didn't open the documents, despite the fact that the "Preview in Firefox" option for PDF had been enabled. I tested other PDFs from my inbox, Internet Archive, etc and they all opened directly. I installed the add-on and tried accessing the same URLs. A new prompt appeared and Open in Browser detected them as "server sent MIME". It had an option to open it with Firefox. This saves you the trouble of downloading and opening it. Another advantage is that your downloads folder doesn't get cluttered. The extension also allows you to select the way the download should be handled; it can be used to open web files in five ways: As a text, a web page, an XML, an image or a PDF. This is of course limited to the browser's capabilities. Obviously, you will need compatible content as well for this to work. e.g. text documents, PDFs or PNGs. Other file types will be downloaded as they're normally handled by the browser. There is a caveat, you will see the download dialog twice anytime you try to download something (EXEs, ZIPs, MSIs etc) when you have the extension installed. There is a fix for this as well: head to the about:addons page, click on Open In Browser > Options. Enable the setting that reads "Never ask to confirm "Save File" action". You will notice it has a link next to it that says "application/prs.oib-ask-once", click on it and you will see a download dialog pop-up. Enable the "Do this automatically for files like this from now on" option for it, and the extension won't bother you with double download dialogs. If the extension is not working with a particular file, try forcing it by going to the Tools menu (F10 or Alt) > Open in Browser > Enable for next request. Warning: Never set the "Open with Firefox" option and then enable "Do this automatically for files like this from now on" option. Doing that will open blank tabs endlessly, thus crashing your session. This is not related to the add-on, but an issue with Firefox. Open in Browser is an open source extension, the source code is available on GitHub. The add-on improves the browsing experience a bit, and saves some precious time. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/open-in-browser/ Source: Open in Browser is a Firefox extension that opens PDFs, images directly instead of downloading them (gHacks)
  21. Firefox 75 gets lazy loading support for images and iframes Mozilla plans to support lazy loading for images and iframes in Firefox 75. Lazy loading refers to a technique that defers the loading of elements on a page to improve loading and rendering of the webpage, reduce memory use and network data usage; these elements are usually below the fold on load (not visible to the user). Lazy loading up until now required the use of JavaScript. A new attribute for images and iframes adds lazy loading support in browsers that support it. Google introduced support for the new lazy loading tag in Chrome 76 which it released last year. Mozilla added support for lazy loading in recent versions of Firefox Nightly, the cutting edge development version of the browser. Lazy loading is not enabled by default but users may enable it in Firefox Nightly. The feature will make its way to Beta, Dev and eventually Stable versions of the Firefox web browser. Control Lazy Loading in Firefox Here is how you control lazy loading functionality in Firefox: Load about:config in the browser's address bar. Confirm that you will be careful if the intermediary warning page is displayed. Search for dom.image-lazy-loading.enabled. Toggle the preference so that its value is True (enabled). You can disable lazy loading at any time by setting the preference to False in about:config. Load the following demo page to check if lazy loading support is working correctly. Lazy loading, once enabled, works on sites that use the tag for images. WordPress plans to introduce support for the loading attribute for images in the popular blogging platform by default which would add support automatically to WordPress blogs once the change lands and the blog is updated to the new version. Webmasters who don't use WordPress may need to add the tags manually or by using scripts. All it takes is to add loading="lazy" to images or iframes to make use of the new feature. Closing Words The native integration of lazy loading of images and iframes in web browsers, and support of the new attribute by WordPress, should push the feature significantly. JavaScript lazy loading has some issues associated with it but since the native integration limits support to image and iframes, it should not be affected by the majority of these. Source: Firefox 75 gets lazy loading support for images and iframes (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  22. Firefox Multi-Account Containers introduces sync functionality Mozilla published the Firefox Multi-Account Containers add-on for the Firefox web browser in 2017. The extension introduces options to separate websites by loading them into containers which act independent from one another. Site data, such as the browsing cache or cookies, is restricted to the container the site is loaded in. Other features of Firefox, e.g. bookmarks or extensions, work in all Containers. The functionality may be used to sign-in to multiple accounts on the same site, limit tracking, or separate different browsing tasks, e.g. for work and home, from one another. Several extension developers created add-ons that extend or improve the Containers functionality of the web browser. Containers with Transitions supersedes Mozilla's extension. It introduces a rules-based system to define how sites opened from within a container are opened in the browser. There are also specific container extensions for YouTube, Facebook and Google that limit activity on these sites to specific containers, and the Temporary Containers extension to use temporary containers that delete automatically. Firefox Multi-Account Containers 6.2 The latest version of Firefox Multi-Account Containers introduces support for a long-request feature. It is now possible to sync container data between different devices using Firefox Sync. A click on the extension's icon in the Firefox main toolbar should display a panel that highlights the new feature. You may enable syncing right away with a click on "start syncing" to sync containers and data between devices. Mozilla notes the following on the official company blog: The new sync feature will align Multi-Account Containers on different computers. The add-on carries over Container names, colors, icons, and site assignments on to any other machines with the same Firefox account. Syncing requires a Firefox Account and that you are signed in to the account in the Firefox web browser. Closing Words Firefox users who use the Containers extension and Firefox Sync will find the new sync functionality useful as it keeps Containers data in sync between devices. Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/multi-account-containers/ Source: Firefox Multi-Account Containers introduces sync functionality (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  23. Your favorite browser extensions might not work with the new Firefox [for Android] Don't expect too many add-ons for the mobile browser (Image credit: Mozilla) Mozilla has been busily beavering away on a new version of Firefox for Android, and its work is nearly done. The browser has been rewritten from scratch, and this explains why the project has been so many months in the making. But with the launch now not far away, there's some slightly disappointing news about browser extensions. At the moment there is just one extension – yep, one solitary extension – that works with Firefox for Android. If you're a fan of uBlock Origin, then you're in luck, but things are quite so rosy if you like the idea of kitting out your browser with a wide range of add-ons. Support for uBlock Origin is currently limited to the Firefox Preview Nightly build, and Mozilla says that it should be available in the Firefox Preview build by the middle of this month, before spreading to beta users. After this, things aren’t going to improve a great deal – and certainly not very quickly. In an FAQ about extension support in Firefox for Android Mozilla says that it is "working on building support for other extensions in our Recommended Extensions program". The list of recommended extensions currently consists of fewer than 100 add-ons, so there's a high chance that those that you have come to know and love on the desktop will not be supported any time soon. Limited extensions It's fair to say that there a lot of familiar names in the "recommended" list, but it is far from exhaustive. If you're wondering how Mozilla decides which ones to lend support to, the company says that it is "prioritizing Recommended Extensions that cover common mobile use cases and that are optimized for different screen sizes". Take a browse through the list and you'll get an idea of what could be supported in Firefox for Android over the coming weeks and months. But if you're hoping that other extensions you use will be migrated, perhaps don't hold your breath. Mozilla says it has no news about when extensions that are not part of the recommendation program will be supported. If you want to try out the Firefox for Android Beta, you can download it from Google Play. In addition to this, there are the Firefox Preview Nightly and Firefox Preview builds available for testing, but these are more likely to be problematic by virtue of their pre-release status. Source: Your favorite browser extensions might not work with the new Firefox [for Android] (TechRadar)
  24. Save Page WE is a Firefox and Chrome extension that can save webpages as HTML files Having a resource available offline is often a good idea as you can access it at any time without having to worry about Internet connectivity or availability of the resource on the Internet. All modern web browsers support basic functionality to save webpages to the local system. Normally, when you click the "Save Page As" option, the browser downloads the content on the page and saves it as a HTML file and a folder that contains the media, icons, CSS code and other web elements that were present on the page. The number of files in the folder varies from website to website, and page to page. Using an extension like Single File (Chrome, Firefox) or Save Page WE can help you save webpages as HTML files without the folders. This single file has all the content that was on the webpage. Before we get into the options of the extension, let me show you an example. I saved this Wikipedia page using Firefox's built-in "save page" option. I disabled the internet and opened the page from my hard drive. Now compare it with the one saved by the Save Page WE extension. Can you see the differences? Allow me to highlight them. The web page's favicon on the tab bar, the Wikipedia logo at the top left, the language icon on the left, and the user icon near the top right, are all missing in the one saved by the browser's tool. The extension on the other hand saved them all perfectly as a 1:1 copy, and more importantly in just one file. In comparison, Firefox's Save option had 17 files in total (HTML + a folder containing 16 files). This may not be a big deal for this particular page, but if you had saved something else for future use and later discovered it was missing some important content, that can be annoying. Save Page WE The extension places a floppy icon on the toolbar, click on it to save the current web page. The keyboard shortcut for this is Alt + A. Depending on the content on the page, it may take a few seconds to pack it all into a single HTML file. A download dialog box will pop-up, which you can use to save the HTML document. You can open it in any browser of your choice, even on a mobile browser as all support opening HTML files. Right-click on the Save Page WE toolbar icon to view its context menu. It has three options: Save Basic Items, Save Standard Items and Custom Items. What do these do? Basic Items saves the current web page's contents such as the HTML and CSS elements, images, and font styles. Standard Items includes all Basic Items + HTML audio, video, objects and embedded files. Custom items lets you choose what you want to save from the above mention content. Use the Firefox add-on's management page (or right-click on the icon in chrome) to access the extension's options. The General Tab lets you set the default button action (save method) along with an option to preserve the page's title. Some web pages may contain elements that cannot be saved; you can choose whether the add-on should warn you when a page contains such items, and also if it should list all un-saveable elements.The second tab, Saved Items, lets you define which custom elements should be saved when you use the "Save Custom Items" option. Though it also contains a list of Basic and Standard Items, none of these options can be modified. Save Page WE saves the content as per the script on the website, and if you want it to avoid elements that have been blocked by content blockers (ad blockers like uBlock Origin), page editors, etc, you can enable the "Purge Elements" option in the Advanced tab. It may help in reducing the file size as well. Other options in this tab include blocking referer header, allowing mixed media content, and settings to manage nested frames, resource size and loading. You can set a custom shortcut for the add-ons save page action, from the Shortcuts tab. Advantages of saving web pages as HTML Saving webpages as a single file makes sharing them easier, especially if you want to send multiple pages. You can attach them to a mail, or via an instant messenger message, upload them to a cloud drive, or even transfer them to your phone for reading it on the go, without having to worry about the extra folders. If you have dozens or hundreds of web pages saved on your computer, each of these will have its own folder, and when you put them all together in a directory it might become a bit messy. That's not the case if you save the page as a single HTML file, so in terms of organization it has an edge. This also helps in renaming the saved pages without breaking any elements that it contains. Save Page WE not only packs the content into the HTML, but also compresses it a bit. The web page's file size can be an issue at times, in most cases the extension saved it in a smaller size, but occasionally the browser's built-in tool was better. Here are 2 example screenshots. In the first image we can see the add-on outperforming the built-in tool by a slight margin. The 2nd picture shows that Save Page WE saved the page in a 13MB file, while Firefox managed to keep it less than 3MB. Again, this depends on the web page, and when you accumulate tons of web pages it may make a difference depending on how much storage you can spare. You can download Save Page WE from the Chrome web store or from the Firefox Add-ons repository. Warning: I couldn't find the source code or even a web page for Save Page WE. Two other add-ons from the same developer are "Recommended by Mozilla", which is a good sign. I've been using it for a long time too. Landing Pages: Save Page WE (Firefox) Save Page WE (Chrome) Source: Save Page WE is a Firefox and Chrome extension that can save webpages as HTML files (gHacks)
  25. Hi all ! I am using Firefox 72 x64 and want to prevent other people to run it. I tried to use the "master password feature" included in the app but it is not suitable. I would like to find a way so that the password would be asked just before opening Firefox. An extension maybe ? Password protect the executable ? ... ? Thank you
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