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  1. Mozilla releases Firefox 67.0.3 to fix actively exploited zero-day. The Mozilla team has released earlier today version 67.0.3 of the Firefox browser to address a critical vulnerability that is currently being abused in the wild. "A type confusion vulnerability can occur when manipulating JavaScript objects due to issues in Array.pop," Mozilla engineers wrote in a security advisory posted today. "This can allow for an exploitable crash," they added. "We are aware of targeted attacks in the wild abusing this flaw." Samuel Groß, a security researcher with Google Project Zero security team, and the Coinbase Security team were credited with discovering the Firefox zero-day -- tracked as CVE-2019-11707. Outside of the short description posted on the Mozilla site, there are no other details about this security flaw or the ongoing attacks. Based on who reported the security flaw, we can safely assume the security flaw was being exploited in attacks aimed at cryptocurrency owners. Groß did not respond to a request for comment from ZDNet seeking additional details about the attacks. Firefox zero-days are quite rare. The last time the Mozilla team patched a Firefox zero-day was in December 2016, when they fixed a security flaw that was being abused at the time to expose and de-anonymize users of the privacy-first Tor Browser. Fellow browser maker Google patched a zero-day in its browser in March this year. The zero-day was being used together with a Windows 7 zero-day as part of a complex exploit chain. Source
  2. Block autoplaying video and audio in Firefox 69+ natively Most modern web browsers mute audio content that plays automatically on websites that users visit on the Internet. Firefox started to block autoplaying audio automatically with the release of Firefox 66 which Mozilla started to test in mid-2018 already in development versions of the web browser. Google Chrome, and most Chromium-based browsers, block audio from playing automatically as well on sites. Mozilla plans to improve Firefox's autoplay-blocking capabilities with the release of Firefox 69. Firefox 69 is scheduled for a September 3, 2019 release. Current versions of the Firefox web browser, that is any version pre-69, block audio from playing automatically when you visit Internet sites. Video content is not blocked in the web browser even if sites play videos automatically when you open them. Starting with Firefox 69, Firefox users will get an option to add video to the autoplay-blocking behavior of the web browser. The new Autoplay permission replaces the "block websites from automatically playing sound" option in the Firefox options. A click on the Settings button associated with the permission opens a new configuration overlay in the browser. There you find an option to set the default level of blocking for all sites and to manage websites with custom autoplay permissions. Firefox 69 supports the following three defaults for autoplay media on websites: Block Audio -- Default level. Blocks audio from playing automatically but won't block video from playing. Block Audio and Video -- New option. Blocks any media from playing automatically. Allow Audio and Video -- Allows all media to autoplay. You cannot use the configuration prompt to set custom permissions for sites. That needs to be done on the frontend by clicking on the i-icon in the Firefox address bar. Doing so opens the site information options for the active site. There you find information about the connection and content blocking, and permissions. Firefox displays all permissions that apply to the site; the development version of Firefox 69 displays "autoplay sound" still when autoplay is blocked or allowed on the site but that is surely going to get fixed before the stable release. A click on the menu next to the blocking option displays the three levels of blocking. There you may set a custom level, e.g. allow audio and sound, for that particular site. The changes that you make apply to the entire site automatically. A click on the settings icon next to permissions opens the autoplay permissions to manage the defaults and list of exceptions. Firefox won't block video and audio content on media sites. When you open a video on YouTube, it plays just fine with audio as it is the desired behavior, and the same is true for other media streaming sites such as Dailymotion. Extensions may block autoplay on video hosting sites such as YouTube, YouTube no Buffer, for example blocks autoplay on the site and when videos are embedded on third-party sites. Closing Words Starting with the release of Firefox 69, Firefox users get built-in options to block video content from autoplaying on sites automatically. The browser continues to block audio content only by default but users may change the default behavior in the settings to block video as well. Source: Block autoplaying video and audio in Firefox 69+ natively (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  3. Firefox 69 gets a password generator Mozilla is working on a new feature for the Firefox web browser that helps users generate random secure passwords when they create new accounts on the Internet. The feature is part of a concentrated effort to make the password manager of the Firefox browser more useful. Mozilla launched a first batch of improvements in Firefox 67 which it released on May 21, 2019 to the public. Among the new features were options to save passwords in private browsing mode and support for an authentication API. Mozilla released Firefox Lockwise, a password manager companion app for Android, iOS and desktop systems recently as well. Firefox Lockwise on mobile brings all saved Firefox passwords to the mobile device and supports options to sign-in globally using these passwords. Mozilla plans to introduce a password generator in Firefox 69. The password generator would work in conjunction with Firefox's built-in password manager. Firefox suggests a password during registration processes on Internet sites. The process works on sites that use the autocomplete="new-password" attribute currently only but will work on password fields that don't use it as well in the future. (thanks Sören) Firefox displays a "use generated password" option when the password field is activated. Selection of the password adds it to the field and saves it automatically under saved logins. The password is saved there even if the registration is ended prematurely. The new password generator of Firefox is not enabled by default in Firefox Nightly. It is controlled by an advanced configuration option that Firefox users may set to on or off to allow or disable the functionality. Load about:config in the Firefox address bar. Confirm that you will be careful. Search for signon.generation.available. Set the preference to True to enable the password generator or set it to False to disable it. Firefox 69 has a preference in the regular settings to control the password generator. Load about:preferences#privacy in the Firefox address bar. Scroll down to the logins and passwords section. Suggest and generate strong passwords determines whether Firefox's password generator is turned on or off. Check it to turn it on, or uncheck it to turn it off. Firefox 69 is scheduled for a September 3, 2019 release. Closing Words The password generator comes without any configuration options at this point; it is not possible to change important parameters such as the password length or charset. Still, the introduction is a step in the right direction as it assists users who use Firefox's built-in password manager with the generation of passwords that are more secure than the average passwords that users choose when they create accounts on the Internet. Google Chrome supports password generations as well but only if sync is enabled. Source: Firefox 69 gets a password generator (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. Firefox's Session Restore code is changing, bugs possible Firefox users may experience bugs and issues related to the browser's Session Restore feature while Mozilla is working on changing the feature's code. Session Restore is a core feature of the Firefox web browser designed to reload the last browsing session on start of the browser. Firefox users may set up the browser to load all open tabs of the previous browsing session on start of the browser. All that is required for that is to make sure that "Restore previous session" is enabled on about:preferences. Mozilla started to work on converting Firefox's current Session Restore logic to C++ to reduce the feature's impact on the browser's memory usage and performance. The bug listing on Mozilla's bug tracking website, bug 1474130, highlights the rationale behind the change content-sessionStore.js is currently loaded into every tab frameloader. Which means it gets loaded multiple times per process, which is not great. But even when loaded only once, it uses about 86K. Add to that 17K from ContentRestore.jsm and 12K from SessionHistory.jsm, and we're up to at least 120K per process, if none of the other helper JSMs get loaded. The things that these scripts do can easily be done by C++ (some of them more easily), so there doesn't seem to be a good justification for loading this much JS into every process for the sake of session restore. Ah, and of course another 12K for Utils.jsm. Mozilla hopes to address Sessionstore related performance issues with the move and to reduce the per-process memory costs of Firefox processes. The meta Sessionstore feature development bug lists the work that still needs to be done to improve the feature. It is clear, just by looking at the list of dependencies and open bugs, that it will take quite some time to resolve all outstanding issues. Another meta bug collects reliability reports related to Sessionstore, and yet another performance related issues. The list of dependencies is even longer and some users who filed bugs noticed them in stable versions of the Firefox web browser and not development versions. Tip: How to restore Firefox sessions if Session Restore is not working correctly Firefox users will benefit from the change once it lands but issues may be experienced in the meantime, especially in development versions of the Firefox web browser. Session Restore may be unable to restore the session; at least one case has been reported on Reddit by a user who reported that Firefox would restore an older session and not the most recent one. Firefox users may want to consider backing up their profiles regularly in the meantime or using extensions such as Session Boss, Tab Stash, SessionSync or Set Aside. (thanks Robert) Source: Firefox's Session Restore code is changing, bugs possible (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  5. If you lost all passwords in Firefox, read this! Reports are coming in by Firefox users from all over the world that saved passwords are no longer available when they start the web browser. Firefox, just like any other modern browser, supports the saving of authentication information to improve the sign-in process on websites. Instead of having to enter the passwords manually each time they are requested, Firefox would provide the password when needed. Firefox saves the data in the file logins.json in the Firefox profile folder. Reports suggest that Avast and AVG security applications cause the issue for Firefox users. It appears that the software programs somehow corrupt the login.json file so that Firefox cannot read it anymore. It is possible that other security programs may cause the issue as well. Good news is that the passwords are still there and that affected users should be able to recover them on their devices. Bad news is that this is only a temporary solution as the files will be corrupted again unless Avast updates its software programs to address the issue. In other words: the issue is not caused by Firefox, it is caused by third-party software that corrupts the logins file of the Firefox web browser. Fixing the lost password issue Open the Firefox web browser. Load about:support. Click on the "open folder" link near the top of the page that opens; this opens the profile folder. Close Firefox. Check if you see a file called logins.json.corrupt. If you do, rename the file to logins.json to fix it. Start Firefox. The passwords should be available again. The fix is a temporary one as the logins file will corrupt again when you restart the system. One option to fix the issue on the user's end would be to exclude Firefox or the file from scans. Other than that, you either have to wait for AVG/Avast to issue a patch that addresses the problem or remove the software from the system. Some Firefox users fixed the issue by rolling back to Firefox 67.0.1; AVG/Avast software appears to play fine with that version of the browser. The incident is not the first time that AVG or Avast software caused issues in Firefox. When Firefox 61 was released in mid 2018, the browser suddenly threw Secure Connection Failed errors when attempting to connect to HTTPS sites. Then in February 2019, users would get SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER when connecting to secure sites. Turned out that the issues were caused by the security software. Update: Here is the official bug by Mozilla that highlights the issue. (thanks Techdows) Update 2: AVG provided the following statement: Some AVG users recently may have been unable to access their browser passwords when using Firefox. This only applied to those who purchased the AVG Password Protection feature and the issue was fixed today at 12:20pm. Avast users were not affected. This happened because Firefox updated its certificates for sign in to the new version of the browser and AVG did not have this new certificate marked in its database as trusted. The problem was fixed today for AVG users at 12:20 CET and an update was distributed immediately to our user base. AVG checks for updates every four hours, and users can also manually update their software under their AVG settings -> Update. Users with product version VPS 190614-02 and newer will not experience any issues. For those affected, Firefox has not deleted the password file but will have renamed it to from ‘logins.json’ to something like ‘logins.json.corrupt’ (or ‘logins.json-1.corrupt’, ‘logins.json-2.corrupt’, etc.). This means the passwords are not lost, but the user will need to rename the file back to ‘logins.json’. We recommend the user does a backup of these ‘logins.json’ files, for example to another folder, before renaming them. The password file is typically stored in the Firefox profile directory: c:\Users\<user-name>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<random-string>.default\logins.json We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to the affected users. Source: If you lost all passwords in Firefox, read this! (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  6. Firefox 68: add-on release notes in add-ons manager The Firefox Add-ons Manager will soon display the release notes of updated extensions directly in the web browser. Mozilla plans to release the new feature in Firefox 68 which is scheduled for a July 9, 2019 release. Firefox supports browser extensions; users may install add-ons in the browser to extend functionality of the browser or sites visited in the browser. Add-ons are updated automatically by default whenever a new version is released by the developer or publisher. Firefox users who want more control over the update process may change the default behavior to turn automatic updates off. Current versions of Firefox, those prior to version 68, don't reveal update information when you select Extensions. Updates are highlighted under Available Updates in the Add-ons Manager but only until the update is installed. The only option after installation was to visit the extension's profile page on the Mozilla Add-ons repository, or to look the information up on the developer's site if they were provided there. The profile page on Mozilla AMO lists the release notes of the latest version of an add-on. It is possible to click on "see all versions" on the page to display release notes for previous releases. Starting with Firefox 68, release notes are also a part of the Extensions listing of the Firefox web browser. Apart from that change, the latest release notes are listed there so that it is possible to go through them after the fact. All you need to do is open about:addons in the Firefox web browser, click on one of the installed browser extensions, and switch to the Release Notes tab. Note that you can also click on the menu icon (the three dots) next to any extension and select "more options" to open the details page of the installed extension. Release Notes are pulled from Mozilla's AMO website when they are opened in the browser; it may take a moment to display them because of that. Implementing an option to integrate release notes with releases so that they don't need to be fetched separately would be a welcome improvement. The release notes depend on the content that the developer of the extension or its publisher add to the release notes snipped on Mozilla AMO. Some developers provide extensive information, others barely any information at all. Closing Words The option to display release notes directly in the Firefox Add-ons Manager is a welcome step in the right direction. I'd like to see an option get these displayed during add-on updates as well to get even more control over the updating process. Mozilla could implement these optionally and keep the automatic process the default in coming versions of Firefox. Source: Firefox 68: add-on release notes in add-ons manager (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  7. Mozilla to run a Firefox Origin Telemetry experiment in development versions of Firefox Mozilla announced a push to improving privacy for all users of the Firefox web browser recently. The organization began to enable Tracking Protection functionality for all new installations with the release of Firefox 67.0.1 Stable, and plans to flip the switch for existing installations as well if settings were not modified by users already. The new default level blocks "some" trackers in private and regular browsing windows, and known tracking cookies. The previous setting blocked some known trackers in private windows only. The companies and individuals that operate these trackers and sites may react to the change, and Mozilla wants to be prepared for that. The organization plans to run an experiment in development versions of the Firefox web browser to detect workarounds by these organizations and individuals. Mozilla is aware of the sensitive nature of the data and decided that it would need a better way to analyze the data that would not potentially reveal sensitive information. Firefox Origin Telemetry Mozilla developed Firefox Origin Telemetry for that specific use case. The component is built on top of Prio, a "privacy-preserving data collection system developed by Stanford Professor Dan Boneh and PhD candidate Henry Corrigan-Gibbs". Mozilla wants to collect blocklist totals only. We will use Firefox Origin Telemetry to collect counts of the number of sites on which each blocklist rule was active, as well as counts of the number of sites on which the rules were inactive due to one of our compatibility exemptions. By monitoring these statistics over time, we can determine how trackers react to our new protections and discover abuse. Firefox Origin Telemetry needs to be validated before it could land in release versions of Firefox. Mozilla plans to run a test starting with Firefox 69 Nightly. Prio requires that data is collected by two independent parties and Mozilla plans to meet the requirement in release versions. For this initial test, however, Mozilla will run both data collection servers. The collected data falls within the organization's "data collection policies" for pre-release versions of the Firefox web browser. The test runs on 1% of the Firefox Nightly population as that is all that is required to validate the API. Firefox Nightly users who don't want to participate in the experiment may disable Firefox's ability to install and run studies, and to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla. Both options can be configured on the about:preferences#privacy under Firefox Data Collection and Use. Additional information is provided on Mozilla's Security blog. Closing Words Mozilla is open when it comes to the collecting of Telemetry data while companies like Google don't reveal much at all when it comes to that and the experiments that they run. The openness puts Mozilla in a difficult spot as it may be criticized for the decisions it makes; Google is not criticized nearly as much as it is usually tight-lipped in all those regards. Source: Mozilla to run a Firefox Origin Telemetry experiment in development versions of Firefox (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  8. Firefox Add-ons to delete history of active page or domain Delete The Browsing History Of The Current Page and Delete Browsing History Of Domain Of Current Page are two Firefox add-ons that make it very easy to delete certain bits from the Firefox browsing history. Designed by the same developer, the two add-ons are designed to erase the browsing history and cookies of the active page or of an entire site. Firefox users may delete the browsing history and other data at any time in the browser. All that is required for that is to either use Ctrl-Shift-Del to open the clear browsing history tool or open it by going to Menu > Options > Privacy and Security > Clear History under History. While you get some options, e.g. to clear all browsing data that accumulated over the last hour, there is no option to delete data from a single site only using the tool. You may delete individual pages or visited pages using the History, but that won't remove cookie and other site data. Delete The Browsing History Of The Current Page is a streamlined add-on for Firefox that serves just one purpose: erase the current page from Firefox's browsing history. The extension requires access to the browsing history and adds an icon to the Firefox address bar. The icon is a bit difficult to spot but you can check out the screenshot below to see where it is located in the interface. All you have to do now is to activate the icon to remove the browsing history of the active page from the Firefox browsing history. You may assign a shortcut to the extension as well if you prefer to delete the browsing history using a shortcut. Just open Firefox's add-ons manager, about:addons, click on the menu icon, and select the Manage Extension Shortcuts option to do so. Open the Browsing History using Ctrl-Shift-H to verify that the extension works. Delete Browsing History Of Domain Of Current Page works similarly but instead of deleting the browsing history of the active page, it deletes the activity of the domain the page is hosted on. If you visit multiple sites on Ghacks and activate the extension afterward, all Ghacks traces are removed from the browsing history. Closing Words Both Firefox add-ons may be useful to users who prefer to keep their browsing history clean. While that is also possible using private browsing modes or different Firefox profiles, both add a straightforward unobtrusive option to Firefox to do the same. Firefox uses the browsing history to display suggestions to users when they type in the browser's address bar. Visited sites may also land on the browser's New Tab page. Source: Firefox Add-ons to delete history of active page or domain (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  9. Facebook Container 2.0 for Firefox blocks Facebook's third-party site tracking Mozilla announced a big privacy push yesterday on the official site. The organization revealed that Firefox's Tracking Protection would be enabled by default for non-private browser windows for new and existing users to improve user privacy and minimize tracking. Mozilla published an updated version of its Facebook Container add-on for Firefox on June 4, 2019 as well which improves user privacy significantly. Facebook Container was released in March 2018 officially to separate activity on Facebook from other web activity. Mozilla launched a Container test pilot experiment in 2017 to find out if there was interest for a container-based solution to contain sites in containers. The organization launched the Multi-Account Container add-on which gives Firefox users the tools at hand to create containers of their own. Facebook Container is designed specifically for Facebook: official Facebook pages are loaded in a container to make it more difficult for Facebook to generate user profiles using third-party data. The main difference to Multi-Account Container is that Facebook Container prevents sites that are not on the allow list from being loaded in the container. It is more set-and-forget, and does not offer many customization options. A handful of cool add-ons are available by third-parties that extend Firefox's container functionality. The add-on Block sites outside container may be used to block sites from running outside designated containers and to allow sites to be run in multiple containers, Temporary Containers creates and deletes containers automatically while you use the browser. Facebook Container 2.0 for Firefox Facebook Container 2.0 improves the tracking protection of the extension further by targeting Facebook scripts on third-party sites. Today, we’re releasing the latest update for Facebook Container which prevents Facebook from tracking you on other sites that have embedded Facebook capabilities such as the Share and Like buttons on their site. The new version of Facebook Container blocks Facebook scripts on third-party sites by default. Note that the blocking affects only active scripts; the Facebook button here on this site is passive and does not submit any data to Facebook on page load. The new version of Facebook Container works for signed-in and anonymous users. Mozilla notes that the blocking makes it more difficult for Facebook to create so-called Shadow Profiles which contain data about users who are not on Facebook or data that cannot be linked to an existing Facebook user. Firefox adds a purple fence badge to Facebook elements that it blocked on third-party websites. The very same blocking icon is also displayed when you load Facebook pages directly; this time it is displayed in the Firefox address bar. Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger are loaded in the container by default. The coloured underline of the container tab in Firefox's tab bar remains as it has before to indicate that the tab was loaded in a container. Facebook Container does not impact functionality on first-party Facebook websites. All features should work on these sites just like before. The container may limit functionality on third-party sites, especially if these sites embed Facebook content or use Facebook's login system. Closing Words Facebook Container 2.0 improves the effectiveness of the Firefox add-on significantly by taking care of Facebook scripts on third-party websites. Source: Facebook Container 2.0 for Firefox blocks Facebook's third-party site tracking (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  10. What Is Tracking Protection and Why Mozilla Enabled It by Default in Firefox Mozilla has pledged to keep browsing fully private for its users, and with Firefox now becoming the only worthy alternative to Chromium-powered browsers, delivering on these promises is the only way to go. As part of the company’s push for better privacy when browsing the world, Mozilla started the work on tracking protection nearly five years ago. The first implementation of the intuitively-called Tracking Protection feature went live in late 2014 when Mozilla released it for testing as part of Firefox Nightly, essentially making a major step towards blocking websites from tracking users and collecting data from their devices. Tracking Protection was included in builds in the stable channel with the release of Firefox 39, and since then, Mozilla has gradually improved this feature with further enhancements. In fact, Tracking Protection evolved to eventually become a wider set of privacy features bundled into Firefox and simply referred to as “content blocking.” This arsenal of features includes everything from tracker and cookie blockers to a defensive system again cryptominers and fingerprinters. In the existing builds of Firefox, the content blocking set of tools comes down to four different capabilities that can deal with the following categories: Trackers (content, cookies, scripts) Third-party tracking cookies Cryptominers (beginning with Firefox 67) Fingerprinting scripts (beginning with Firefox 67) The Enhanced Tracking Protection is actually a mode that’s offered in Firefox as part of the privacy system mentioned above, and it blocks known third-party tracking cookies based on the Disconnect list. When Enhanced Tracking Protection kicks in during your browsing session, a small shield icon shows up in the address bar, letting you know that a specific tracker is blocked. Clicking this shield reveals more information on the blocked content, but also provides you with additional controls should you want to allow certain parts like cookies. If you want to see the companies that are blocked and their cookies, it all comes down to a few clicks: Shield icon > Cookies There are three categories of cookies displayed here: From this site Tracking cookies Third-party cookies Because Enhanced Tracking Protection blocks third-party cookies that could help collect information about you and your device, Mozilla decided to enable this feature as default for all users as part of the Standard setting in the browser. The Standard protection level blocks known trackers in private windows and third-party tracking cookies and is served as the default setting in Firefox. You can switch to Custom if you want to customize the content that is blocked in the browser. To change the level of tracking protection in Firefox, follow this path: Firefox > Options > Privacy & Security > Browser Privacy > Content Blocking You can read more about setting up content blocking in Firefox in this article. Mozilla says Enhanced Tracking Protection will be activated not only on new installs, but also for existing users. “For new users who install and download Firefox for the first time, Enhanced Tracking Protection will automatically be set on by default as part of the ‘Standard’ setting in the browser. For existing users, we’ll be rolling out Enhanced Tracking Protection by default in the coming months without you having to change a thing,” the company explains. All these changes apply to all desktop versions of Firefox, including on Windows, Linux, and Mac. The latest build of the browser is Firefox 67.0.1, and it is the first major release for version 67. The next major update for the browser is Firefox 68 projected to go live on July 9. Source
  11. Mozilla enables Tracking Protection by default in Firefox Mozilla announced on June 4, 2019 it enabled the privacy feature Tracking Protection for new Firefox installations as of this day, and that the change will be enabled for existing Firefox installations as well this year. Mozilla launched Tracking Protection in Firefox Nightly (desktop and mobile) in late 2014, and enabled the feature for Firefox's private browsing mode with the release of Firefox 39 in 2015. Studies by Mozilla revealed that Tracking Protection decreased page load time by an average of 44% next to improving the privacy of users by blocking tracking cookies. Mozilla relied on the Disconnect list and introduced an option to select different blocklists in late 2015. The organization launched a Tracking Protection Test Pilot experiment in 2016 to gather more data, and included full tracking protection functionality in Firefox 57 in 2017. Full tracking protection meant that Firefox users could enable tracking protection for regular browsing windows directly from the browser's settings. Tracking Protection got another boost in 2018 when Mozilla added mining and fingerprinting protection options to the feature. Mozilla made the decision then and there to push tracking protection in Firefox by improving its visibility. June 4, 2019 marks the next step. Tracking Protection is enabled by default in all new Firefox installations so that third-party tracking cookies are blocked in all browsing windows ; a huge change to the previous default value that blocked trackers (and not cookies) only in private windows. Mozilla plans to make the setting the default for existing Firefox installations in the coming months as well. Firefox users who run the browser already may change the default setting to benefit from the new tracking right away. It is certainly also possible to disable the tracking altogether. Load about:preferences#privacy in the browser's address bar. Select Custom under Content Blocking. Check the "cookies" box to block cookies and trackers going forward. Optional: block trackers in all windows and not only in private windows. Note that this may impact accessibility and functionality of some sites. You can check out Mozilla's content blocking support page for additional information on all options. Mozilla indicates blocked content with a shield icon next to the web address in the browser's main toolbar. A click on it displays what is blocked, an option to turn off blocking for that site, or to check what has been blocked by the browser's protective features. Closing Words It took a long time to get where we are today. Mozilla enabling Tracking Protection for all its users is a welcome step as it improves privacy for all Firefox users. Some may say that limiting tracking is not going far enough, and there is certainly some justification to that as tracking is just one side of the coin that makes Internet users dislike ads. Besides privacy, advertisement is disliked because it slows down the loading of sites, may be disruptive, and may be used in malware and scam campaigns. Still, enabling tracking protection by default is a step in the right direction albeit one that Mozilla should have made years ago. Source: Mozilla enables Tracking Protection by default in Firefox (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  12. Save and Restore Tabs in Firefox with Tab Stash Tab Stash is a browser extension for the Firefox web browser that you may use to save and restore browser tabs at any time. Firefox handles lots of tabs better than Chrome in my opinion as it displays a scroll bar instead of blank unidentifiable tabs. Chrome suffers from phantom tabs as well if you open too many as new tabs are not displayed anymore in the browser's tab bar once you reach the maximum threshold. Still, tab management suffers the more webpages you open in the Firefox web browser. Management is not the only thing that is affected negatively. The more tabs you open the more memory Firefox uses; may not be a problem if you have 32 Gigabytes of RAM but if the device has 4 Gigabytes or less, you may run into memory issues and as a cause of that increased page file use and slow downs. Tab Stash is not the first Firefox extension to introduce tab saving options. Extensions like Set Aside, Session Boss, or Sleep Mode offer similar functionality. Tab Stash Tab Stash introduces a new feature to the Firefox browser that mitigates the issues. It may save all open tabs in a Firefox window to a stash using Firefox's bookmarking system. Imagine you have twenty tabs open in the Firefox web browser and don't need this for the moment anymore. Maybe you started to notice that free RAM is way down and want to free memory up. A click on the Tab Stash icon in the Firefox toolbar saves all open tabs to a new stash. The tabs are hidden and then unloaded in the process and memory is freed as a consequence. Apart from pushing all open tabs to a new stash, it is possible to do so for individual tabs instead. Pinned tabs are excluded from the process. Tab groups saved by the extension may be accessed in Firefox's sidebar or on a new management page. Just right-click on the extension icon and select either option to do so. All tab stashes are listed with date and time, and the titles and favicons of the sites. A click on any listed tab opens it in a new tab in the Firefox browser window without deleting it from the stash. Icons are provided to open and delete individual tabs or all tabs of a stash group, to add all open tabs or the active tab to the selected stash, or to delete a stash without opening any of the listed tabs. The extension supports drag and drop operations to move tabs from one group to another, rename to rename groups, and search functionality to find tabs quickly. Tab Stash Options Tab Stash features two options which you may access on about:addons when you select the extension. The first option defines whether the extension opens the sidebar listing or tab listing when saving new tabs to a stash. The second option handles memory management. Tab Stash hides tabs but keeps them loaded in the background for a while by default. The extension unloads tabs automatically after a while of inactivity. You may change that to unload tabs immediately when they are stashed or to close tabs immediately. Closing Words Tab Stash is a useful browser extension for the Firefox web browser. It works well and improves memory usage when you use it. The extension lacks support for a whitelist to block certain sites from being added to a stash. While you can pin some to protect them from being stashed away, an option to exclude others without pinning them would probably be useful. All in all though a good extension for the Firefox web browser. Source: Save and Restore Tabs in Firefox with Tab Stash (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  13. Mozilla releases Firefox Lockwise (formerly Lockbox) add-on Remember Firefox Lockbox, a password management solution designed to improve the built-in Firefox password manager? The service is still in active development but it is now called Firefox Lockwise instead. Mozilla launched an alpha of Firefox Lockbox back in December 2017 as a Firefox add-on to test and improve password management and online security. The organization released the Lockbox application for iOS in July 2018, and we took a first look at the Android Lockbox app in 2019 when it was released officially. Firefox Lockwise Firefox Lockwise is a password management solution that is available for iOS and Android devices, and now also as a Firefox add-on. The Firefox web browser includes a password manager and users may use it to sync passwords between Firefox installations so that the passwords can be used in all Firefox installations. Firefox Lockwise is an experimental solution that brings Firefox passwords to Android and iOS devices. The system uses Firefox Sync and requires a Firefox Account because of that. The core differences between syncing Firefox passwords between Firefox installations on the desktop and on mobile, and Firefox Lockwise are that Lockwise supports global auto-fill of passwords on the mobile device, and that it comes without any editing options. If things go well, Firefox Lockwise could replace the current password management solution that is built-in to the Firefox browser. For now, it is available as an extra that Firefox users need to install to use. Please note that Lockwise does not work if a master password is set currently. The Lockwise add-on for Firefox replaces the built-in password manager when you install it. When you launch the password manager in Firefox, you get the Lockwise interface instead of the classic interface. The add-on adds an icon to the main Firefox toolbar that you may interact with. The frontend supports two main features currently: It highlights if logins are available for the active site so that you may use these to sign in. It features a search to find passwords. You may copy username and password using the interface. The password management options provide more options than the mobile Lockwise applications. You may use the interface to find, delete, copy, create, and edit passwords. All existing passwords are listed on the left; Lockwise picks up any passwords currently stored by Firefox automatically provided that a master password has not been set. You may select any of these and edit or delete the data set. Other options include launching the linked web address, or copying the username or password to the clipboard of the operating system. Passwords can only be typed manually, there is no option to generate a password based on certain parameters such as length or charset. One difference to the built-in password manager is that Lockwise does not support any import options at the time. Closing Words Lockwise may replace the built-in password manager of the Firefox web browser eventually. For now, it is an option that users may install on their devices. Its main advantage right now is that it adds auto-fill on mobile devices that works system-wide, the disadvantage that it does not support master passwords or imports. Source: Mozilla releases Firefox Lockwise (formerly Lockbox) add-on (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  14. A wave of malware add-ons hit the Mozilla Firefox Extensions Store If you browse the official Mozilla store for Firefox extensions, called Mozilla AMO, you may stumble upon extensions that have names of popular software products or extensions. Extensions like Adobe Flash Player or ublock Origin Pro are listed in the Mozilla AMO store currently. These have no users at the time of writing as they are brand new and they appear to have been created and uploaded by random users (Firefox user xyz). The extensions have no description and they require access to all data for all websites. When you download the extensions, you may notice that the name of the extension does not necessarily match the downloaded file name. The download if ublock origin pro returned a adpbe_flash_player-1.1-fx.xpi file. The actual extensions have different file sizes and their functionality may differ as well. All have in common that they listen to certain user inputs and send these to a third-party web server. The uBlock copycat extension sends form data to a web server, the first Adobe Flash Player copycat that I checked logged all keyboard inputs and did the same. Mozilla will remove the extensions once it notices them. The problem here is that this happens after the fact. The spam extensions may turn up in user searches and they also turn up when you sort by recent updates. Mozilla switched from a "review first, publish second" to a "publish first, review second" model in 2017. Any extension uploaded to Mozilla AMO that passes automated checks is published first with the exception of extensions of the Firefox Recommended Extensions program. Google does the same thing but does not even review extensions manually after publication. The process leads to faster publications but also opens the door for spam and malicious extensions. Closing Words Malicious or spam extensions that use the names of popular extensions or programs are not anything new. Mozilla's AMO store was hit with waves of spam extensions in 2017 and 2018, both happened after Mozilla switched the release process. Google's Chrome Web Store was hit even harder by unwanted extensions in recent years. Chrome's popularity and the fact that Google does not review any extensions manually by default play a role here. While it is easy to spot these particular fake extensions, others may not be as easy to spot. Back in 2017 I suggested Mozilla add a "manual reviewed" batch to extensions to give Firefox users more confidence in the legitimacy of extensions on the official add-ons repository. Source: A wave of malware add-ons hit the Mozilla Firefox Extensions Store (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  15. How to fix Firefox starting with a blank user profile Mozilla released Firefox 67.0 recently and integrated in that release came a -- long-overdue -- feature that assigned unique profiles to each Firefox installation on the system. The change should not have affected existing Firefox installations and profiles on the system but reports are coming in from all over the Internet that this is not the case for some users of the browser. Mozilla's implementation assigns a unique profile to any new Firefox installation. That is a good thing for systems with multiple Firefox installations as you don't have to create and assign profiles for these installations manually anymore using the profile manager or other means. Firefox uses the set profile from that moment on during start so that it is no longer necessary to tell the browser what to do (either manually on start or by using shortcut parameters). Some Firefox users who upgraded the browser to version 67.0 noticed that it started with a blank profile; all their user data, bookmarks, open tabs, passwords, history, and other data appeared gone. The problem that these users experienced is that Firefox assigned a new default profile to the installation; this should not have happened, but it appears to have happened to some. Good news is that the user data is not deleted or gone. All that is needed is to assign the old profile to the installation of Firefox to restore it. You have two main options to do so, one uses the Firefox interface to change the assigned profile, the second loads it using a parameter that you add to the Firefox shortcut. Option 1: Set a default profile for Firefox in the interface Load about:profiles in the Firefox address bar. The page that opens displays all known profiles and the paths assigned to them. The page displays the current profile at the top and any unused profile (that the current Firefox installation does not touch) below. Locate the previous user profile. If you cannot locate it using the folder name, you may use trial and error until you get the right profile, or use open folder to browse the profile folder and check it out. Select "Set as default profile" to assign a new profile to the installation. You may also use "launch profile in a new browser" to check it out without switching to it permanently. Option 2: Adding a profile parameter to the Firefox shortcut The second option forces Firefox to load a specific profile or the profile manager on startup. Windows users right-click on the Firefox shortcut and select Properties from the context menu. The Shortcut tab lists the target, and it is here that you add the instructions. Add the parameter -p -no-remote to the end of the target line (leave a space) forces Firefox to open the profile manager on start that displays a list of all available profiles. The parameter -no-remote lets you run multiple Firefox installations side-by-side. Add the parameter -p profile -no-remote to load a specific profile right away. You need to replace "profile" with the name of the profile. Check about:profiles to find out about the names. Source: How to fix Firefox starting with a blank user profile (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  16. Mozilla Firefox has an issue right now that is causing conflicts if multiple extensions are installed that modify CSP headers on visited sites. CSP, which stands for Content Security Policy, is a security addition that sites may use to detect and mitigate certain attack types such as Cross Site Scripting or data injections. Browser extensions may use CSP injection to modify headers. The popular content blocker uBlock Origin may use it to block remote fonts from loading on pages visited in the browser, and Canvas Blocker uses it to block data URL pages. The team behind the Ghacks User JS maintains a list of extensions known to use CSP injection for some functionality. The team did a great job analyzing the issue and collecting all the bits and pieces. You may also want to read through the issue description on GitHub for additional information. You find popular extensions like uBlock Origin, uMatrix, or HTTPS Everywhere on the list as well as others such as Enterprise Policy Generator, Cookie AutoDelete, or Skip Redirect. Addendum: only entries with a red exclamation mark use CSP injection. The issue If there is more than one extension active on a page that uses CPS injection, only one is used. Imagine the following scenario: you have a content blocker and another extension installed that both use CSP injection. Only one of those will actually be able to do that, the other won't. In other words, it can happen that some extensions won't work 100% because of the conflict. when two or more extensions use CSP injection to modify headers on the same page, only one wins. It doesn't matter who: first loaded, first modified - don't care: the fact is only one extension will achieve what it is meant to, the other(s) will fail Basic example? Content blockers not blocking certain content because another extension got priority. The issue appears to be Firefox specific at the time. The bug was reported to Mozilla some time ago (more than a year ago) and Mozilla assigned it a priority of 2. P2 issues are not exactly high placed in the development queue and it is unclear if or when the issue will be resolved. Firefox does not seem to reveal the conflict to the user of the browser, and it is not trivial to find out if an extension does CSP injections (search for content-security-policy in all files of an extension, but first extract it to the local system or use Extension Source Viewer to view it). You may use Notepad++ to search for text in all files, the excellent search tool Everything, or the command line tool findstr. You may be able to resolve the issue by either a) disabling the functionality in extensions if possible or b) uninstalling add-ons. Source: Firefox CSP Issue may cause extension conflicts (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  17. Mozilla plans to land a change in Firefox 69 that disables the loading of userChrome.css and userContent.css by default to improve performance. The files userChrome.css and userContent.css are used to modify content of webpages or the browser itself using CSS instructions. The option to do so is not removed but Mozilla plans to make it opt-in instead of opt-out. The organization states that not having to look for the two files on startup improves the start-up performance of the Firefox browser. Firefox users who use the files already will have the feature enabled for them automatically to avoid disruptions to their workflows or expectations. The preference needs to be flipped to True on new installations only starting with the release of Firefox 69. Tip: check out customizing Firefox with userchrome.css. Timeline for the change (proposed, subject to change): Firefox 68: Firefox checks if userChrome.css or userContent.css exist. If yes, preference will be set to True to allow the loading of these files on browser start. If no, preference remains set to False (don't look). Firefox 69: new installations will not support userChrome.css and userContent.css by default unless preference is set by the user. The Preference that determines the state The preference in question is toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets. Here is how you change its value: Load about:config in the Firefox address bar. Confirm that you will be careful. Search for toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets using the search at the top. Toggle the preference. True means Firefox supports the CSS files, False that it ignores them. Closing Words Options to load userChrome.css and userContent.css won't go away but users need to be aware that they may need to change the preference to allow the loading of these files from Firefox 69 onward. The organization announced no plans to retire the option in the future. Mozilla landed the User Scripts WebExtensions API recently in Firefox, but it appears unrelated to the change. Source: Firefox 69: userChrome.css and userContent.css disabled by default (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  18. How to Enable the Lockwise Password Manager in Mozilla Firefox While Mozilla has just released a new version of Firefox, the company isn’t just focusing on the stable browser, but also trying to plan in advance and introducing new features in the early releases of the browser. Firefox Nightly, which is Mozilla’s testing platform for new ideas, now provides users with access to a new password manager that could at some point become available for everyone as well. Called Lockwise, this password manager is actually based on the LockBox app that was previously available on Android and iOS, and it is part of a broader effort to provide users with advanced password management capabilities and sync features across devices. While Lockwise could be pushed to desktop versions of Firefox with dedicated add-ons that would eventually become part of the browser, it looks like Mozilla is already experimenting with a more advanced implementation that makes the password manager a built-in feature. As reported by TechDows, Firefox Nightly already gives us the chance of testing Lockwise right within the browser without the need for installing a dedicated add-on. However, because we’re still in the early days of Lockwise being integrated into Firefox, the feature needs to be enabled manually from the advanced flags screen. So read on for full instructions on how to do it. First and foremost, you need to make sure that you are running the latest version of Firefox Nightly. This tutorial was tested on Nightly build 69.0a1 (2019-05-20) (64-bit), so you need to be running at least this version. Next, fire up the browser and in the address bar, type the following command: about:config Using the search box at the top of the screen, look for the following flag in Mozilla Firefox Nightly: signon.management.page.enabled In the current version of Firefox Nightly, this flag should be set to false, so click the Toggle button to switch it to true. At this point, the Lockwise password manager should be ready for use, and you only need to restart the browser once more to enable it. If you want to access Lockwise in Firefox Nightly after enabling it, click the address bar and type: about:logins This UI is still in its early days, so it doesn’t come with too many features, albeit it does display all logins stored in Mozilla Firefox, along with website address, usernames, passwords, creation dates, last changed, and last used dates. You can edit and delete any entry. Users are allowed to launch the website of a specific account, copy the username or the password to the clipboard. Every time Firefox saves an account when browsing the web, it is displayed not only in the existing password manager that is integrated into the app, but also in Lockwise and shown in this menu. Most likely, Mozilla will continue improving this implementation in the coming updates, so expect further new features to land soon. Mozilla has also launched a Lockwise extension for Firefox on GitHub, so it’s believed that while the company wants to test all these features separately, as part of this standalone add-on, the company could very well integrate the same functionality in the browser as well. This would obviously make Firefox a fully-featured browser without the need for other downloads, albeit this is something that depends on a series of factors, including the feedback regarding the password manager from early testers. At this point, Mozilla is fully tight-lipped on its plans regarding the password manager, so there’s no ETA as to when it could go live. Sooner or later, however, the company is likely to spill the beans on this project, especially as it needs feedback from users. Source
  19. I have noticed recently that NSANE tabs are very slow to switch between if I have more than 1 NSANE tab open. All other tabs are fine. It is only NSANE tabs that are affected. I am using Firefox 64-bit on Windows 10 64-bit. I have just switched to IPS Default theme, and it seems to be quicker.
  20. How to Try Out Mozilla’s WebRender Ahead of the Public Launch in Firefox 67 The next version of Mozilla Firefox is due this week, and in addition to several new features, it will also introduce something that’s not necessarily visible at first glance. With Firefox 67, Mozilla plans to begin the rollout of WebRender, a feature that the company started working on more than three years ago. A commit spotted in September 2015 indicated that Mozilla was working a new technology supposed to enhance the experience online in a new way. WebRender was meant to push the web to “maximum FPS,” technically helping users get smoother browsing thanks to the processing power that their devices boast. WebRender, as Mozilla itself puts it, is already famous for “being extremely fast,” but at the same time, it’s a technology that can help make the browsing experience smoother. “With WebRender, we want apps to run at a silky smooth 60 frames per second (FPS) or better no matter how big the display is or how much of the page is changing from frame to frame. And it works. Pages that chug along at 15 FPS in Chrome or today’s Firefox run at 60 FPS with WebRender,” Mozilla said. Firefox 67 will thus mark the introduction of WebRender for the first users, and Mozilla says the rollout will happen gradually. Only 5% of the users will receive the new system enabled in Firefox based on a series of conditions that are yet to be revealed. However, it’s believed that users must be running Windows 10 and have NVIDIA graphics boards, albeit this is something that is yet to be confirmed. The rollout will take place in stages, so while only a few users would get the new feature at first, more would receive it as Mozilla conducts more testing and receives more information on the actually performance gains. But at the same time, it’s actually possible to enable WebRender even before Mozilla rolls it out officially for your own installation of Firefox. The steps here work in both the beta version and Nightly builds of Firefox, and they are very likely to cover the stable version of Firefox 67 as well once it launches later this week. First and foremost, there won’t be a dedicated option to enable WebRender in Firefox, so you’ll have to do the whole thing from the advanced flags screen. So what you need to do is to launch the browser and in the address bar to type the following command: about:config In the address bar, you need to search for the following flag: gfx.webrender.all If WebRender isn’t enabled on your device, it should be set to false, so click the Toggle button to switch it to true. Mozilla Firefox then needs to be restarted to save your changes and enable WebRender. Once enabled, WebRender should help make the performance overall smoother in Firefox, and the most visible changes will be on high-end displays with enough graphics power. Mozilla could provide more information on the implementation of WebRender in this new Firefox version later this week when the rollout of the new browser begins. In the meantime, it’s not yet clear who gets it, but the aforementioned steps can be used not only on Windows, but also on Linux. Firefox is currently considered the only worthy alternative to Chromium-powered browsers, including here Google Chrome, Vivaldi, and the new Microsoft Edge. Updates and new technologies like this one certainly help the browser become an even better browser, but it remains to be seen how the feature will be received by users worldwide. Source
  21. Translate Man is an add-on for the Firefox web browser that you may use to translate anything that is displayed on a webpage. While Mozilla has been working on integrating a translation service into the Firefox web browser, nothing has come out of that up until now. Extensions introduced support for Google Chrome's translate functionality in Firefox. One of the first, gTranslator for Firefox, replicated Google Chrome's translate feature but with the difference that users had to take manual action. The extension, as well as others such as Translate This, are no longer available. Mozilla started to work on a translation feature in 2014 and integrated some functionality in Nightly versions of Firefox. Mozilla revived the project in late 2018 after years of inactivity targeting Firefox 63 as the stable release for the translate feature. Firefox 63 came but the feature did not make it. Translate anything in Firefox Translate Man is a translation extension for Firefox that you may use to translate anything on-the-fly. The extension works a bit different to how Chrome's translation feature works, but it uses the Google Translate API for its translations. It supports the translation of individual words, phrases, paragraphs and longer text structures. First thing you may want to do is click on the extension's icon in the Firefox address bar to make sure the desired output language is correct. You may use the extension in different ways afterwards: Double-click on any word to translate it instantly. An option to have it pronounced is available as well. Highlight any text to have it translated. Just use the mouse to select text and you get a translation in an overlay next to the selection. Use the Ctrl-key modifier to translate text. Translate on hover automatically. The option is disabled by default. Enable automatic pronunciation of the selected text. You may enable or disable any of these options individually. If you don't want translations when you highlight words, maybe because it is getting into the way of your copy operations, you can disable that option but keep the Ctrl-key modifier one available to use it whenever you need to translate something. Translations pop up nearly instantly on the screen when you use one of the available methods provided by Translate Man. It works really well and there is little to criticize. An option to blacklist languages might be useful to some users but the extension does not get into the way of the user that much anyway. Closing Words Translate Man is a great browser add-on for the Firefox web browser. Firefox users who use translation services at times may find it useful the most, obviously. Source: Translate anything instantly in Firefox with Translate Man (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  22. Mozilla plans to remove configuration options in upcoming versions of the Firefox web browser that allow users to disable the browser's multi-process architecture. Mozilla introduced the multi-process architecture in the Firefox web browser in 2016. Firefox would use multiple processes to divide loaded sites between them and use different processes for the browser's own functionality. While that increased memory usage, it also meant that Firefox would become more stable in the process and less prone to site crashes taking the entire browser with them. Mozilla's implementation was different to Google's. Chrome uses one process per site, Firefox puts multiples sites in a single process. Firefox's Multi-process architecture received numerous improvements over the years. Mozilla added more processes to it and introduced a sandbox security feature later on that depended on it. Mozilla plans to remove two Firefox preferences from any version of the web browser going forward. The change is planed for Firefox 68. browser.tabs.remote.force-enable -- Enforces the use of multi-process in Firefox if it is not enabled by default, e.g. because of accessibility. browser.tabs.remote.force-disable -- Disables multi-process in the Firefox web browser. You probably wonder about browser.tabs.remote.autostart, the preference that enables or disables the multi-process architecture in Firefox (opposed to enforcing a value like the two other preferences do). Mozilla will restrict the preference to true in home builds. While it is still in Firefox, setting it to false in about:config won't have the desired effect anymore once the change lands. The status of the preference is always true in home builds of Firefox regardless of the user chosen value. In other words: going forward, Firefox users can't disable multi-process anymore in the browser. It is unclear in how many Firefox installations multi-process is disabled. Some users do so to improve memory usage or slowness of the browser. Closing Words Mozilla does not reveal why it wants to remove the preference on Bugzilla, only that disabling multi-process should not be "that easy". Additional information is available in a post on the Mozilla Dev Platform group: The broad aim was to ensure that we stop grandfathering users into a non-e10s configuration which they should not run on a day-to-day basis, given that it receives little to no testing and is less secure. It was mentioned as well that Activity Stream breaks if multi-process is disabled. (via Techdows) I'm not particularly fond of changes that remove user choice from any program including web browsers. Mozilla is probably going to get a lot of flak for the removal even if it affects only a minority of users of the browser. Firefox 68 is the next ESR release of the browser. It is scheduled for a July 9th, 2019 release. Source: Going forward, Multi-process can't be turned off anymore in Firefox (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  23. How to Get Extension Recommendations in Mozilla Firefox Like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox has one of the largest collections of browser add-ons out there, and in addition to a plethora of extensions, users can also install themes and plugins to further customize the browser. Leaving aside the extension blunder that broke down browser add-ons in Firefox a few weeks ago, one of the priorities for Mozilla is to provide users with easy access to top-rated extensions, but at the same time, to boost the visibility of others. This is how the Firefox Recommended Extensions program came to be, as the parent company wants to make sure that the best extensions are easy to discover. Firefox already comes with a list of recommended extensions in the add-ons screen, but with the Firefox Recommended Extensions program, the company is hoping to also encourage devs to create better extensions. “This program will foster a curated list of extensions that meet our highest standards of security, utility, and user experience. Recommended extensions will receive enhanced visibility across Mozilla websites and products, including addons.mozilla.org (AMO),” Mozilla said when announcing the program. Technically, extensions will be part of the browser if they are “really good” at what they do, “offer an exception user experience,” are “relevant to a general audience,” and are safe to use. While Mozilla said the rollout of the program would take place in stages by the end of June, it looks like the company has already started experimenting with an early version as part of the Nightly build of Firefox. In other words, you can give a try to the Firefox Recommended Extensions program right now by installing Firefox Nightly on any supported desktop platform. However, the feature isn’t enabled by default, so you have to activate it using the steps below. First of all, make sure you are running the latest Nightly build. The tutorial here was tested on version 68.0a1 (2019-05-14), so any release newer than this should work too. Then, in the browser’s address bar tab the following code to access the advanced flags: about:config Hit “yes” when prompted to advance because you understand the risks of messing with these advanced flags and next use the search box at the top to look for the following flag: extensions.htmlaboutaddons.discover.enabled By default, this flag is set to false, so as per TechDows, you need to switch it to true. Once you do that, the Firefox Recommended Extensions program should be active in your browser, and to check it out, follow this path in the browser: Firefox menu > Add-ons > Recommendations At this point, the UI here isn’t much different from the original implementation of recommended extensions, but there are new elements like ratings, number of downloads, and more straightforward information for each item. “Here’s a selection Firefox recommends for exceptional security, performance, and functionality,” the UI reads. “Some of these recommendations are personalized. They are based on other extensions you’ve installed, profile preferences, and usage statistics.” You can simply install an extension, theme, or plugin by simply clicking the “Add to Firefox” button. The new feature should become available to all users by the end of the next month, so despite being offered in the Nightly build of Firefox, it should be promoted to the stable channel pretty fast. The next stable version of the browser is Firefox 67, and it is due on May 21. Firefox 68, on the other hand, which is the version that is being used to test the new extensions program as part of the Nightly build, is scheduled to launch on July 9. Source
  24. Mozilla Releases Fix for Add-On Bug in Older Firefox Versions Mozilla has released an official fix for an add-on issue in older versions of Firefox browser. An expired certificate wreaked havoc for Firefox users in early May, as it disabled extensions in the browser and blocked them from installing new add-ons. Mozilla rolled out updated versions of Firefox to resolve the issue, including Firefox 66.0.4 and Firefox 66.0.5, promising a separate fix for older versions of the browser as well. This fix is now available as a dedicated add-on called Disabled Add-On Fix for Firefox 52-56, and it can be installed from Mozilla using this page. As the description of the extension reveals, simply installing it resolves the bug by deploying a new security certificate in the browser. “On May 3, 2019, an expired security certificate prevented existing and new add-ons from running or being installed in Firefox. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. This extension will install a new security certificate and re-enable extensions and themes for Firefox versions 52 through 56,” Mozilla says. “If you install this extension and then upgrade to a supported version of Firefox, please uninstall this extension as it may not be compatible with updated versions.”Separate patch for Firefox 57 – 65 also in the worksAs per GHacks, the same extension can be used to resolve the issue in other Firefox-based browsers as well including, for example, Waterfox. At this point, Firefox versions 57 to 65 are yet to receive this add-on fix, but Mozilla previously said a patch for these releases was in the works as well. Mozilla last week said it would remove all telemetry data it collected from Firefox users after requiring them to enter its Studies program to receive an emergency fix. The company revealed its investigation on the add-on blunder was still in the works, with more details to be shared at some point in the future after the analysis comes to a conclusion. Source
  25. Good news for Firefox users who run older versions of the web browser that are not supported anymore officially by Mozilla. Mozilla plans to release updates for these web browsers and also a standalone extension to address the add-on signing issue that caused browser add-ons to fail in all versions of the web browser. Mozilla will release an automatic update that fixes the issue for the Firefox versions 52 through 60. Firefox users who run version 61 to 65 may install a browser extension instead to resolve the issue on their end. Last Friday, Firefox users from around the world noticed that the Firefox browser would deactivate all installed browser add-ons. Firefox would display the notification "One or more installed add-ons cannot be verified and have been disabled" to users of the browser. All browser extensions were deactivated in the browser, and it was impossible to enable them again or download extensions from the Mozilla Add-ons website. Mozilla has yet to publish details on how something like this could happened; from what we know, it was a certificate that expired. Since it expired, it could not be used anymore to verify add-on signatures. Mozilla reacted and released a fix through the Firefox browser's Shield studies system at first. The organization pushed out Firefox 66.0.4 and 66.0.5 to the Stable channel, and updates for other Firefox channels as well to resolve the issue. While that took care of supported Firefox installations, it ignored Firefox installations that were not on the most recent version of the browser. Mozilla updated the blog post that it released on May 4, 2019 several times. Yesterday's update highlights that a fix will be released for older versions of the Firefox web browser that are not supported officially anymore. For users who cannot update to the latest version of Firefox or Firefox ESR, we plan to distribute an update that automatically applies the fix to versions 52 through 60. This fix will also be available as a user-installable extension. For anyone still experiencing issues in versions 61 through 65, we plan to distribute a fix through a user-installable extension. These extensions will not require users to enable Studies, and we’ll provide an update when they are available. (May 8. 19:28 EDT) It is unclear how the update for Firefox 52 to 60 will be released. Do users have to search for the update (and risk being updated to a new version of Firefox), or is there another way to push an update to Firefox installations. Mozilla revealed that it would not use the Shield service for that. The organization promised that information will be provided once the update is available. Mozilla plans to release a browser extension for Firefox 61 to 65 that fixes the issue as well. A link will be provided when it becomes available. Closing Words The decision to release updates for older versions of Firefox should please users who are still on that older version, and it should put the (conspiracy) theory to rest that Mozilla broke the system deliberately to force users to update to the latest version of the browser. Something like this should never have happened; it showed how fragile enforced systems can be and how big of an impact simple things can have. It will be interesting to see how Mozilla plans to make sure that something like this won't happen again in the future. Still, it is a good move by Mozilla to release updates for earlier versions. Whether that is the cause for the one-week release delay for the coming Firefox 67 release is unclear at this point. Source: Mozilla will fix add-on signing issue for older Firefox versions (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
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