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  1. How to become a part of the future of talking to machines THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION has announced that it is to release a library of audio to make it easier for users to create voice control apps. 'Common Voice' will crowdsource and file 10,000 hours of audio in a variety of accents and then make it available to anyone who needs it to analyse and verify snippets of data within their programs. M02!//@ wants your help, too. If you fancy it, you can spend some time reading out some text to get the system set up. There's a website or an iPhone app. You can also validate the voices of others who have previously read sentences to train the system on what good speaking English does sound like. This is very important as Samsung's engineers will tell you, after they failed to launch Bixby, the firm's AI voice assistant, along with the Galaxy S8 because there wasn't enough big data in English to do so. But it's the little guy that Mozilla is interested in. The aim of Common Voice is to democratise access to voice recognition. It's a worthy goal and a good example of the kind of projects that we can expect to see ^^*2!''AA diversifying into as it seeks to go beyond the browser market. Mozilla explains: "Experts think voice recognition applications represent the next big thing. The problem is the current ecosystem favours Big Tech and leaves out the next wave of innovators. These are the people who will take this incredible technology to the next level." "How is the game rigged for big tech? First, the data that is used to 'teach' computers how to understand our voices are biased towards English, Chinese and a select group of languages. The devices these data sets power don't understand all of us. "Second, these data sets are proprietary. Little guys like students, startups, and researchers who want to build voice-enabled devices can only access fairly limited data sets. Those can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. "The time has come for an open source data sets that can change the game. The time is right for Project Common Voice." The company's market share with Firefox has plummeted in recent years, but the existence of the Mozilla Foundation remains crucial and projects like this are an example of why. Yes, even with the silly logo. Project Common Voice continues into the Autumn before the results are released to developers in Q4. Article source
  2. E-mail addresses and cryptographically protected passwords for thousands of Mozilla developers were exposed through a database glitch that may have been exploited by hackers, Mozilla officials warned Friday. About 76,000 e-mail addresses and 4,000 password hashes were left on a publicly accessible server for about 30 days beginning June 23, according to a blog post. There is no indication the data was accessed, but Mozilla officials investigating the disclosure can't rule out the possibility. Hackers who might have managed to crack the hashes wouldn't be able to use the passwords to access Mozilla Developer Network accounts, but they may be able to access other user accounts secured with the same cracked passcode. The glitch was touched off when a data "sanitization" process failed, causing the addresses and hashes to be dumped to a publicly accessible server. "We are known for our commitment to privacy and security, and we are deeply sorry for any inconvenience or concern this incident may cause you," Stormy Peters, director of developer relations, and Joe Stevensen, operations security manager, wrote. They continued: Source : http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/08/thousands-of-mozilla-developers-e-mail-addresses-password-hashes-exposed/
  3. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has taken Mozilla to task for its decision to allow digital rights management (DRM) technology add-ons to be installed in its Firefox browser. The FSF said in a statement on its website that Mozilla's move put it at odds with the free software movement and creates a "hostile" presence. "The Free Software Foundation is deeply disappointed in Mozilla's announcement. The decision compromises important principles in order to alleviate misguided fears about loss of browser marketshare. It allies Mozilla with a company hostile to the free software movement and to Mozilla's own fundamental ideals," it stated. Mozilla appears to have adopted DRM reluctantly and revealed its move on its Hacks pages and in a blog post by Mozilla chairperson Mitchell Baker. In the statement, Mozilla said that DRM is a controversial area, but added that it really had no alternative. It said that it was responding to moves in the market, and mentioned entertainment on-demand businesses including Netflix and Amazon as it spoke of its support for Adobe and Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). "Today at Mozilla we find ourselves at a difficult spot. We face a choice between a feature our users want and the degree to which that feature can be built to embody user control and privacy," it said in a post. "Firefox should help users get access to the content they want to enjoy, even if Mozilla philosophically opposes the restrictions certain content owners attach to their content... This is a difficult and uncomfortable step for us given our vision of a completely open web, but it also gives us the opportunity to actually shape the DRM space and be an advocate for our users and their rights in this debate." The FSF said it understood Mozilla's dilemma, but added that the move meant Mozilla has aligned itself with the "proprietary" competition. "We recognize that Mozilla is doing this reluctantly, and we trust these words coming from Mozilla much more than we do when they come from Microsoft or Amazon," it said. "At the same time, nearly everyone who implements DRM says they are forced to do it, and this lack of accountability is how the practice sustains itself. Mozilla's announcement today unfortunately puts it - in this regard - in the same category as its proprietary competitors." The FSF asks Mozilla to reverse its decision and rally against "forced choice". Source
  4. Today, Mozilla has announced an updated flavor of its mobile operating system, namely Firefox OS 1.3, which will arrive on devices with a variety of improvements packed inside, including dual-SIM support. The platform has been updated with dual-standby capabilities as well, so that users could enjoy access to both SIM cards at the same time, as well as with a variety of other enhancements, such as a better camera app, and more. Firefox OS 1.3 comes with continuous autofocus capabilities and with support for flash, which should result in much better imaging capabilities to all of its users out there. Moreover, the new camera improvements are accompanied by a series of changes to the Galley app, which should be faster now and which also include content arrangement by month, along with file-information display. Mozilla has also announced new features for the media applications in the platform, such as access to music controls in the notifications tray and on the lock screen. Moreover, the FM Radio app can now be played through the phone’s loudspeaker, the company has announced. Another change in the platform includes adaptive app search, which allows users to easily search for applications in from the Firefox Marketplace, in addition to the Web. The OS also comes with smart collections, which means that apps will automatically be grouped together on the home screen into specific categories, including Social, Games, Music, Showbiz, and the like. “By clicking on one of these categories, lets say gaming, you will see a list of all your installed games and clearly delineated below; a list of suggested new gaming apps you might like to try out,” Mozilla explains in a blog post. “You can also save specific searches that interest you on the homescreen as new smart collections (examples: recipes, sports, news) by tapping the star icon under the search bar.” Firefox OS 1.3 also comes with new messaging capabilities, including support for MMS/SMS, enabling users to send MMS messages to email addresses. The platform will switch an SMS to an MMS when an image or video is added. Moreover, users will get the option to save message drafts and can also choose to receive delivery notifications when a message is read. Moreover, the OS update comes with support for email notifications and POP3. Other changes in the new platform update include support for multiple Bluetooth file transfers, a series of performance improvements for scrolling and app startup, and support for new languages: Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Cyrillic & Latin), Slovak, Spanish, Turkish. As detailed in the aforementioned blog post, the new Firefox OS 1.3 also comes with a series of enhancements aimed at developers, such as NFC enablers, better support for graphics and gaming, new WebAPIs for better Gecko Platform Capabilities, and Audio Streaming with RTSP. Release Notes Source
  5. As part of a special security bug bounty program, Mozilla Corporation is offering $10,000 to anyone who reports a qualifying security vulnerability in the new cryptography library it plans to deploy in a yet-to-be-released version of Firefox. Today, Mozilla’s security engineering team announced the company had developed a new certificate verification library for its products, known as mozilla::pkix. Mozilla said the new code is more robust and easily maintainable than its existing one. The reason for this special bug bounty program is that the company would like to ensure that there are no serious security flaws in their code before the new library’s projected release along with Firefox version 31 on or sometime after July 1. The move is a clear reaction to the recent emergence of troubling cryptography vulnerabilities – like the OpenSSL Heartbleed bugand Apple’s Goto Fail – that exposed large swaths of the Internet to exploits that are difficult to detect and mitigate. Mozilla believes its new certificate verification library will be an upgrade over existing ones “because certificate path building attempts all potential trust chains for a certificate before giving up (acknowledging the fact that the certificate space is a cyclic directed graph and not a forest).” Furthermore, the security team says the new implementation will be easier to maintain because of its slimmed down code base (having only 4,167 lines of C++ code compared to the previous 81,865 lines of code that was auto-translated from Java to C). “We are primarily interested in bugs that allow the construction of certificate chains that are accepted as valid when they should be rejected, and bugs in the new code that lead to exploitable memory corruption,” writes Daniel Veditz, security lead at Mozilla Corporation. “Compatibility issues that cause Firefox to be unable to verify otherwise valid certificates will generally not be considered a security bug, but a bug that caused Firefox to accept forged signed [Online Certificate Status Protocol] responses would be.” In order to qualify for the payout, researchers must not only adhere to the rules ofMozilla’s existing bug bounty program, but also meet the following requirements as well: 1. the bug has to be present in or caused by code in security/pkix or security/certverifier as used in Firefox; 2. it must be triggered through normal web browsing (for example “visit the attacker’s HTTPS site”); 3. researchers will need to report their bugs in enough detail, including test cases, certificates, or even a running proof-of-concept server, that Mozilla can reproduce the problem; 4. bugs will also have to be reported by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on June 30 (ahead of the Firefox 31 release). Valid security bugs that don’t meet the specific parameters of this special program, the company says, will remain eligible for Mozilla’s typical $3,000 bug bounties. Source
  6. If you're interested in building your own website, or developing a web app or service for others to use, you'll need to get familiar with how the web works and the tools you'll need to develop for it. Mozilla's Webmaker project can help you learn, with fun, interactive activities and lesson plans designed for people of all skill levels. Webmaker is actually a global project by the folks at Mozilla designed to teach people web literacy—that is, pull back the veil on how the web works and your favorite sites and apps function, and so you can learn to build for the web yourself. The general idea, according to Mozilla, is that there's no better way to learn the mechanics and culture of the web than by playing around and hacking it in a safe, fun environment. Webmaker has three major components—the Thimble interactive, collaborative code editor that demystifies HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and corrects you as you write it (and shows you the results of what you write as you write it), X-Ray Goggles, which lets you view the source of any element on a web page—then change and tweak it to see what effect it would have on a real website, and Popcorn, an HTML5 media tool that shows you how to layer videos, images, audio embeds, and other rich media on web sites. The Thimble editor just picked up an educational award, and the whole project is designed to break from a simple cirriculum of lessons (a la Codecademy and the like) and instead focus on getting hands-on with web design and development. If you're interested, or thinking about building your own website or webapps, it's worth a look. Hit the link below for more information. Webmaker Source
  7. The inventor of JavaScript and the Firefox developer's chief technology officer now is running the show. Top agenda items: Firefox OS and Mozilla services. Brendan Eich, the programmer who invented JavaScript in a 10-day burst of activity at Netscape in 1995, now is the chief executive of Mozilla, the nonprofit organization that develops the Firefox browser and Firefox OS mobile operating system. Eich worked on the Netscape Navigator browser and -- after Microsoft won the first browser wars of the 1990s -- on Mozilla's effort to make something useful of the Netscape open-source code base. Although Mozilla succeeded in restoring competition to the browser market, and JavaScript has proved remarkably adaptable as the Web's programming language, Eich is now grappling with bigger issues than just competing against Microsoft. Specifically, Mozilla is trying to crack the mobile OS market, first with Firefox for Android and now with the Firefox OS smartphone operating system. And it's trying to launch services, too. That puts companies like Apple and Google in Mozilla's crosshairs. Mozilla has been looking for a new CEO since Gary Kovacs announced in April that he'd be leaving. Mozilla announced Eich's new role on Monday, when he spoke with CNET's Stephen Shankland. The following is an edited transcript. Stephen Shankland: You've been chief technology officer at Mozilla, but now the nerd is in charge of the whole show. What's changed? Brendan Eich: I've been doing management for a while. I was just CTO, but last January, I took over responsibility for managing engineering, and I was doing management before then. I was having all the angst and none of the authority, but now I have both. Mozilla is made of people, and people fu is more important than code fu. I've been working with [Mozilla Foundation Executive Chairwoman] Mitchell Baker for 15 years, including 2003, when we were spinning out the Mozilla Foundation [from AOL] and bringing Firefox 1.0 to market. This is a natural progression to make best use of me and the other people at Mozilla. Will you still have time for technology matters like wrestling with JavaScript at the TC39 standards group and shepherding Web standards at the World Wide Web Consortium? Eich: I will not be doing a lot of that technology stuff. I tried to replace myself -- good leaders hire smart people. I feel engineering is in good hands. I have other things to do in advancing Mozilla to higher levels of discourse than just deal with HTML and JavaScript and CSS [the three broad technologies that power Web sites and, increasingly, Web apps, too]. I haven't pushed a patch in 14 months now. I feel OK about that. I'll still be there sometimes to make rain or peace in the standards bodies, but I'll have helpers who will do better than I would. Will the CEO title give you more clout when negotiating with others in the technology domain, like Mozilla's effort a few years ago to get Microsoft to permit a full-fledged third-party browser in Windows 8's Metro mode? What new projects will you tackle with the authority of CEO? Eich: The title carries more clout. I'll be leading all the parts of Mozilla, including the marketing effort, which we call engagement. We're already working up the stack to higher levels above HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We announced partnerships with Unity [a game development technology company] and Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4. You'll see a lot more of that rolling forward without me needing to be involved. The higher levels are about things like identity -- owning your own stuff on the Web, not stuck in some proprietary silo. The way the first- and second-mover advantage, they take power. People tend to get pulled into those power centers, to get signed up and monetized. A lot of users would like choice to come and go or have choice. With a browser and OS, you can start to climb up domain discourse stack to user identity and messaging and user sovereignty. When we started Firefox, we were going up against the Microsoft IE monopoly that was not good for users. But people didn't think about the cloud even though they were using browsers. For us to advance Mozilla's mission now requires us to have Firefox OS with enough adoption to matter to developers on mobile. And you have to have services, or partnerships for services, with user choice. So we'll see more Mozilla user services? Eich: Yes. One we've mentioned is the Mozilla Location Service. We're starting to work with the wardriving community and Stumbler apps to make a location service based on radio triangulation. Whose location services do you use now? Eich: We've had Google for location on desktop. Firefox OS uses Qualcomm for location and Nokia Here for map tiles. According to analytics firm StatCounter, Firefox is holding steady in browser usage share. It's struggled to gain a foothold in the mobile market, though, which is why Firefox OS is Mozilla's top job now. StatCounter In the old days Microsoft was the competitor. Who's on Mozilla's enemies list now that you're trying to break down the walled gardens? Apple, Facebook, Google? Eich: We don't really have an enemies list. We have frenemies everywhere. We're trying to help the people who feel owned or rented by some of the silos, but we also are fine allies to some of those. You've been trying to give people control over how much data they share with advertisers through the Do Not Track effort, but it looks right now like that effort is toast. Will DNT ever amount to anything? Eich: It's not toast. The idea is a timeless, good idea -- that users should have their wishes respected. We're working on the Electronic Freedom Foundation's experiments on enforce EFF on the client side [in other words, in the browser or on a computing device]. Is Firefox OS your top priority now? Eich: I see it as the highest priority. It's like the great circus act -- spinning plates while doing back handsprings, and we are definitely turning mobile in the only way that can be really effective. The highest priority is to get volume to Firefox OS, especially the $25 phones. To get high volumes of developers and users? Eich: To get developer and user volume, we can go after not only smartphones at the really low end, and we can also mature upward. It's like a wedge going upwards and downwards. You already saw at Mobile World Congress that there will be better devices over time. A year ago you planned to tackle the US market. Why did you back off that? At some point you have to take on iOS and Android more directly, not just take on markets below their price range. Eich: That decision was a bit of ours and our partner's, Sprint. We'll get there. It's a matter of timing and focus. What's the division of labor between you and Mitchell Baker? You've worked together for years now. Eich: Mitchell is executive chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation, and she's chairwoman of the board, too. That's a powerful role. I've worked with her forever. Mitchell and I do have a good way of working together. Her domain is the broader work the foundation does as well as what we do inside Firefox. Most of the operationally heavy stuff is going to be me. As CEO, you're now the money guy, too. Will Mozilla's finances be changing? [Mozilla currently makes the lion's share of its money from search ads on Google shown to people Firefox refers to the search engine.] Eich: We're in a good place with Firefox. We have a competitive search market in the US. Our goal should be first to serve users and build good products and services and Firefox OS. :view: www.cnet.com
  8. The Firefox web browser took a beating during last week’s Pwn2Own contest with researchers bringing four zero-day vulnerabilities and exploits to the table, walking away with a collective $200,000 in prize money in the process. Yesterday, Mozilla capped all four bugs among 18 security advisories addressed in Firefox 28. Firefox was by no means the only browser targeted during the annual contest; all four leading vendors failed to hold up against some of the best white hat hackers in the world. Two days ago, Google led the charge with the first set of patches addressing vulnerabilities disclosed during Pwn2Own. Google also paid out more than $150,000 to the winners of its Pwnium contest which went after bugs in Chromium and the Chrome OS. George Hotz, known by his handle geohot and for his iPhone and PlayStation 3 jailbreaking, cashed in at both competitions. The 24-year-old claimed a $50,000 prize for a zero-day in Firefox that also affected Thunderbird and Seamonkey, Mozilla said. Mozilla said in its advisory that Hotz discovered an issue where values are copied from an array into a second, neutered array. “This allows for an out-of-bounds write into memory, causing an exploitable crash leading to arbitrary code execution,” Mozilla said in its advisory. Hotz’s big prize, however, came during the Pwnium event when he scored a $150,000 prize for a persistent code execution bug discovered in the Chrome OS. Pwn2Own and Pwnium veteran hacker Pinkie Pie also found a sandbox code execution and kernel out of bounds vulnerabilities; Google has yet to announce his prize. Three other Pwn2Own bugs were patched by Mozilla in Firefox 28. Researcher Juri Aedla, a frequent Google bug-hunter, found a zero-day code execution bug in the browser. Mozilla said in its advisory that: “TypedArrayObject does not handle the case where ArrayBuffer objects are neutered, setting their length to zero while still in use. This leads to out-of-bounds reads and writes into the JavaScript heap, allowing for arbitrary code execution.” Researchers from French exploit vendor VUPEN were the big winners during Pwn2Own and Pwnium, cashing in six times, including a Firefox zero day. Team VUPEN found a memory corruption issue leading to an exploitable use-after-free condition. Founder Chaouki Bekrar told Threatpost that the discovery of the zero-day required running more than 60 million test cases through a fuzzer. Polish researcher Mariusz Mlynski was the fourth Pwn2Own contestant to topple Firefox. He combined two vulnerabilities to gain privilege escalation. “Combined these two bugs allow an attacker to load a JavaScript URL that is executed with the full privileges of the browser, which allows arbitrary code execution,” Mozilla said in its advisory. Firefox 28 addressed one more critical vulnerability, actually a set of memory safety hazards, Mozilla said. “Some of these bugs showed evidence of memory corruption under certain circumstances, and we presume that with enough effort at least some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code,” Mozilla said in its advisory. Source
  9. geeteam

    [Infographic] Browser Wars

    According to New Relic’s data, which analyzed more than 16.8 million page loads from early October through early November last year, BlackBerry 10 devices loaded web pages in 1.55 seconds on average. The second-fastest web browser, Opera Mini 4.2, wasn’t even close, with page load times that averaged 4.78 seconds. In other words, the BlackBerry 10 browser is more than three times faster than its next-closest competitor. Apple’s Safari browser on the iPad came in at No. 3 with an average page load time of 4.91 seconds, and no other native web browser was even included in New Relic’s top-9 rankings. An infographic showcasing the company’s test results follows below. Source
  10. Today Mozilla unveiled its new launcher aimed at helping you find new apps, as well as those you may have downloaded but forgotten about. Aptly named Firefox Launcher after the company’s popular web browser, the new homescreen replacement designed in conjunction with contextual computing startup EverythingMe highlights apps you may want based on your usage. The launcher will also automatically create smart folders that group similar types of apps, besides recommending apps you might download or web apps based on what you search for. Both Mozilla and EverythingMe will get revenue based on referring apps, providing ecommerce purchases or showing sponsored content. The launcher’s homescreen shows you different apps during different parts of the day. In the morning it will show you alarm and weather apps, while the “Good Afternoon” homescreen (above) will display things like your calendar, News apps and nearby POI apps so you can plan out your evening. When searching, it brings up relevant apps based on your search queries. A search for Katy Perry brings up a Spotify shortcut to her artist page rather than the standard Spotify screen. There are also Google Now-like context cards that also show relevant results from your searches. Firefox Launcher for Android is expected to be available for download in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to see how well it works in action. Source
  11. The US might not see it immediately, but the world will soon get its first Firefox OS tablet. Mozilla has begun testing is browser-based operating system on tablets and has developed its own tablet prototype. Currently Firefox OS runs on smartphones and may eventually power smart television screens, but this is the first showing of it on tablet devices. The Foxconn-built prototype isn't the best tablet by any means, but not the worst either. The specs released say it will have a 10-inch, 1280 x 800 display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. It will also feature front and rear cameras, GPS, a microSD card slot, micro USB port, and a 7000mAh battery. In an age of high-pixel density displays, it would be pretty difficult for this Mozilla tablet to compete with the iPad Mini with Retina display, the Nexus 10, or the Nexus 7 — instead, the display is a giveaway of the company's intention to go after emerging markets. That's the key here: emerging markets. We saw Mozilla stepping back at the end of 2013 when the company said its Firefox OS-equipped smartphones wouldn't be coming to the US in the near future. It's all because the company wants to focus on winning areas of the world where the smartphone and tablet saturation isn't so high. That's not to say that Firefox OS devices will never make it to the states, but for now Mozilla knows that its best chance for success is to put Firefox OS on as many platforms as possible, and to put those devices in front of the people who will be most inclined to buy them. Source
  12. Mozilla Firefox 26 Beta 6 is now available. :) ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/26.0b6/win32/
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