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Mozilla is worried about being collateral damage in Google's antitrust case
by João Carrasqueira
Yesterday, the United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the search giant of monopolistic practices to maintain its dominant position in the search market. Among the practices brought up in the case is the fact that Google pays to be in the default search engine on some devices and web browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox.
In response to the lawsuit, Mozilla has issued a statement regarding the accusations. The blog post opens by saying that Mozilla believes that scrutiny of these practices is important in order to "build a better internet".
However, the organization follows up by bringing up the search agreement between Google and Mozilla, which allows Google to be the default search engine in Firefox. Mozilla says it's one of the organizations that's best positioned to drive competition on the web, and that the lawsuit shouldn't cause collateral damage to smaller and independent companies like Mozilla.
Back in August, Mozilla and Google reportedly renewed their search agreement deal, which ZDNet estimated to be worth between $400 million and $450 million. This was shortly after Mozilla announced it would be laying off 250 employees as part of corporate restructuring, so it's apparent that Mozilla heavily relies on funding from this search agreement.
Mozilla says it's still looking into the details of the lawsuit, and it will share updates on the case as more information comes. It'll be interesting to see if and how the lawsuit will be able to protect the interests of smaller organizations like Mozilla while putting a stop to Google's practices.
Firefox 82 comes with a better picture-in-picture experience
by Paul Hill
Mozilla has begun rolling out Firefox 82 for users on the desktop. This update doesn’t come with very noticeable changes but does speed up the browser and includes a refined picture-in-picture experience that makes the feature easier to find for new users.
Instead of the blue, nondescript, picture-in-picture button that appeared at the side of videos before, Firefox now shows a transparent grey box on the right-hand side of the video in the lower half that explains what the button is and what it does. After the user has had a chance to read the button it will be displayed as a circular button with the picture-in-picture icon. Even when it has shrunk to this form, the icon is larger than before making it easier to understand what it does.
For users on Mac, picture-in-picture can be enabled by pressing Option + Command + Shift + Right bracket. This new command even works before the video starts so you don’t have to spend time waiting for the video to load before switching tabs. Firefox on Windows now uses DirectComposition for hardware decoded video which improves CPU and GPU usage while watching videos and improves battery life.
Another big improvement in this update is the general speed of Firefox. According to Mozilla’s release notes, websites that use a flexbox-based layout load 20% faster than before, restoring a session is 17% quicker, and opening new browser windows in Windows is 10% faster. Mozilla’s WebRender has continued to roll out to more Windows users which will make browsing even faster for that group of people.
Existing Firefox users on Windows and Mac should be automatically updated while Linux users will need to wait until their distribution maintainer pushes the latest packages. New users can go directly to the Firefox website and grab the latest software.
by Razvan Serea
Firefox is a fast, full-featured Web browser. It offers great security, privacy, and protection against viruses, spyware, malware, and it can also easily block pop-up windows. The key features that have made Firefox so popular are the simple and effective UI, browser speed and strong security capabilities.
Firefox has complete features for browsing the Internet. It is very reliable and flexible due to its implemented security features, along with customization options. Firefox includes pop-up blocking, tab-browsing, integrated Google search, simplified privacy controls, a streamlined browser window that shows you more of the page than any other browser and a number of additional features that work with you to help you get the most out of your time online.
What's new in Firefox 82.0:
With this release, Firefox introduces a number of improvements that make watching videos more delightful the Picture-In-Picture button has a new look and position, making it easier for you to find and use the feature. Picture-In-Picture now has a keyboard shortcut for Mac users (Option + Command + Shift + Right bracket) that works before you start playing the video. For Windows users, Firefox now uses DirectComposition for hardware decoded video, which will improve CPU and GPU usage during video playback, improving battery life. Firefox is faster than ever with improved performance on both page loads and start up time: Websites that use flexbox-based layouts load 20% faster than before; Restoring a session is 17% quicker, meaning you can more quickly pick up where you left off; For Windows users, opening new windows got quicker by 10%. You can now explore new articles when you save a webpage to Pocket from the Firefox toolbar. WebRender continues to roll out to more Firefox users on Windows. Fixed:
Screen reader features which report paragraphs now correctly report paragraphs in Firefox instead of lines. Various security fixes Changed:
Credit card auto-fill is now more accessible with the card type, and the card number in the card editor now available to screen readers. Printing dialog errors for invalid form entries are now reported to screen readers. Developer:
Developer Information MediaSession API has been enabled by default which allows web authors to provide custom behaviors for standard media playback interactions, giving them more options than ever. DevTools now shows server side events in the Network panel. This allows a server to send new data to a web page at any time allowing developers to see events they previously couldn't and help with lower-level troubleshooting. Download: Firefox 82.0 for Windows | Firefox 64-bit | ~50.0 MB (Freeware)
Download: Firefox 82.0 for Linux | 64-bit | ~70.0 MB
Download: Firefox 82.0 for MacOS | 73.1 MB
View: Firefox Home Page | Release Notes
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By Abhay V
Microsoft releases Flight Simulator patch version 126.96.36.199 with a bunch of fixes
by Abhay Venkatesh
As promised last week, Microsoft has released a new patch for Flight Simulator, bringing version 188.8.131.52 to all users. Today’s update contains a bunch of fixes and improvements to various areas such as the UI, airports, planes, and more. The changelog also notes that multiplayer has been deactivated in the Japan discovery flight.
While the patch notes are short – in comparison to earlier patches –, the download from the Store is a 569MB package, with the in-game content download size reaching 2.4GB. The company is quick to add that these notes do not include “every single item that was updated”. Regardless, fixes for the VFR screen causing game crashes and issues in the Avionics screens will be welcome additions for those who have been experiencing them. There are other fixes for auto-generated scenery.
Here is the complete list of fixes in patch version 184.108.40.206:
Interestingly, the company has not listed if the ‘Press any key to start’ prompt has been removed from the game. The firm listed this ‘Top wishes’ item as fixed and slated for release in the fourth update, which is what today’s patch is. Another item in the latest Feedback Snapshot denoted as fixed in ‘Update 4’ is the issue with the left engine failing to start on the A320, which also isn’t present in the release notes.
In addition to the patch notes, the company has also updated the list of known issues and the possible workarounds. These include issues with various aircraft, airports, weather, and more. Users can head here to read through all the known issues and workarounds.
By Abhay V
Apple releases watchOS 7.0.2 with fixes for battery drain issue and ECG app availability
by Abhay Venkatesh
Apple released iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 to supported devices in September, earlier than it usually would have, due to the pandemic and delays in announcing the iPhone line-up for this year. The updates brought significant changes for Apple’s offerings, including a design overhaul to the home screen in iOS that introduced an App Library for all apps, new widgets and much more. watchOS 7 was also a major release, finally bringing sleep tracking, support for third party watch faces, and more.
Just a week after the release, the first bug-fixing update for the OSes came on September 24 and brought fixes to the default apps issue on iOS and iPadOS. Today, Apple is releasing the second bug-fixing update for the Apple Watch OS, bumping up the software to watchOS 7.0.2. The release brings improvements to battery usage and a fix for the ECG app not showing up.
Here’s the complete changelog:
While the update itself is fairly minor, the improvements to battery drain and the ability to enable the ECG app for users in regions where the feature is supported will be a welcome addition. However, more fixes and features are on their way in watchOS 7.1, which is currently in beta.