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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.
Beginning in 89, you’ll notice a number of changes, including:
Simplified browser chrome and toolbar: Less frequently used items removed to focus on the most important navigation items. Clear, streamlined menus: Re-organized and prioritized menu content according to usage. Updated labels and removed iconography.
Updated prompts: Infobars, panels, and modals have a cleaner design and clearer language.
Inspired tab design: Floating tabs neatly contain information and surface cues when you need them, like visual indicators for audio controls. The rounded design of the active tab supports focus and signals the ability to easily move the tab as needed.
Fewer interruptions: Reduced number of alerts and messages, so you can browse with fewer distractions.
Cohesive, calmer visuals: Lighter iconography, a refined color palette, and more consistent styling throughout.
Firefox 92.0.1 fixes:
Fixes an issue where audio playback was not working on some Linux systems (bug 1730499) Fixes issues with the findbar close button on different operating systems (bug 1728368) Download: Firefox 92.0.1 for Windows | Firefox 64-bit | ~50.0 MB (Freeware)
Download: Firefox 92.0.1 for Linux | 64-bit | ~70.0 MB
Download: Firefox for MacOS | 127.0 MB
View: Firefox Home Page | Release Notes
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By Usama Jawad96
Chrome 94 is coming today with support for controversial idle detection API
by Usama Jawad
Chrome 93 rolled out to the Stable channel last month with support for WebOTP on desktop, and deprecation of the 3DES cipher suite in Transport Layer Security (TLS). Today, Chrome 94 will be released to the general public. Since Google is shifting to a four-week release cycle instead of its previous six-week cadence, and the fact that this build comes just three weeks after Chrome 93, the feature-set this time around is relatively smaller. However, it is certainly more controversial due to the introduction of support for an idle detection API.
Chrome 94 will offer more signals to developers to understand when a user is idle. The developer-facing notification will now be triggered for global signals such as interaction with other apps instead of only the current browser window. While the reaction from web developers has obviously been positive, Mozilla has shot down the API as harmful, citing "opportunity for surveillance capitalism" and the fact that a malicious site could utilize the API to maximize the device's compute resources without the user consenting or knowing about it. In the same vein, the development team behind WebKit - which is the browser engine for Apple's Safari - has provided a negative stance, stating that:
Regardless, this API will be available for developers to utilize in Chrome 94 and will be enabled by default.
Another new developer interface included in Chrome 94 is the VirtualKeyboard API. The motivation is to give more control to web developers in terms of how they want the virtual keyboard to be placed and its shape. Currently, this is handled completely by User Agent behaviors. The feedback about this API from the Microsoft Edge team has been positive, which makes sense given that they participated in its development. However, Mozilla and Apple are yet to provide a stance.
Chrome 94 will also bring in support for a low-level WebCodecs API which will offer access to existing hardware and software media encoders and decoders. This will improve the performance of certain applications such as latency-sensitive game streaming.
AppCache is being removed from Chrome 94 too. Google says that this is a deprecated standard and is a security liability, so developers should use Service Workers instead. The feedback from developers has been mixed so far but Mozilla and Apple are in the process of removing it from their respective browsers too.
In terms of relatively smaller changes, Chrome 94 is getting a new display-capture feature policy, support for more color spaces in 2D canvases, cleanup of an API that was used by Flash, a CSS property to offer more control over how layouts interact with scrollbars, and improvements to an existing property to enhance interoperability of CSS 3D transforms.
Chrome 94 is expected to roll out later today. If it does not update to version 94 automatically for you throughout the course of the day, head over to Help > About Google Chrome to trigger the update once it becomes available. Next up is Chrome 95 which is currently in the Beta channel with a Stable release expected on October 19. This is in line with Google's new release cycle where Stable Chrome updates are released every four weeks.
Microsoft's Bing might soon replace Google as the default Firefox search engine
by Sayan Sen
Mozilla is currently testing Microsoft's Bing as the default search engine for Firefox according to its latest SUMO study announcement for the month of September. The post states that since the 6th of this month, about 1% of the total Firefox desktop user base has been subjected to this early testing. Mozilla expects this testing phase to continue for about five months and be completed by January next year.
For those unfamiliar, SUMO stands for SUpport.MOzilla.org and according to the browser giant, these studies are "a part of optimizing the Firefox experience" for all users. A list of "Completed studies" is available for viewing if you run "about:studies" in the browser's address bar.
While we aren't sure why Mozilla may want to replace Google as the default search engine for Firefox with Bing, German blogger Sören Hentzschel speculates that the Mozilla team could be experimenting with Microsoft's Bing for the future as the current Mozilla-Google search deal is expected to end next year. So Bing might be the safety net for Mozilla in case the search contract with Google isn't extended further.
Via: Sören Hentzschel
By Usama Jawad96
PSA: Microsoft is ending support for Silverlight next month
by Usama Jawad
Silverlight is Microsoft's framework for the development of web applications. It was released in 2007 and its most recent release came almost three years ago. As of now, the legacy framework is only supported on Internet Explorer, and that is set to change soon as well. Silverlight is reaching end of support on October 12, 2021, as pointed out by Tero Alhonen on Twitter.
The writing's been on the wall for quite some time now for Silverlight. Silverlight 4 was the primary development platform for Windows Phone, and we all know what happened to that. Even way back in 2011, we had former Microsoft executives proclaiming the death of Silverlight. Netflix transitioned from Silverlight to HTML5 in 2013 too. Microsoft Edge does not support Silverlight outside of IE mode, Google Chrome ended support for it in September 2015, and Mozilla Firefox did the same in March 2017.
The dedicated Microsoft Silverlight portal shows a banner about impending end of support and points to a support document detailing some more information.
Microsoft says that until the end of support date on October 12, it will continue providing technical assistance to customers using Silverlight 5 only. This includes paid support for Silverlight applications running on Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) on the following platforms:
Windows 10 Windows Server 2016 Windows 8.1 Windows Server 2012 R2 Windows Server 2012 Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Windows Embedded 8 Standard POSReady 7 Thin PC 7 Microsoft has emphasized that it is not planning any move to kill off Silverlight applications but it is important to note that software running on this framework will not get any security or feature updates. Similarly, customers who purchased Silverlight perpetual licenses are still legally licensed to utilize it, without support. No customer is eligible for extended support past October 12, even if they offer to pay for it. The company has also warned that the perpetual Silverlight license cannot be redistributed.
After the aforementioned date, the Silverlight portal will still be accessible, but it will not offer an installer. For web-based applications, Microsoft has recommended Blazor as an alternative, while WinUI 3 with Windows App SDK has been encouraged if you're considering moving to a desktop-based application not dependent upon the browser.
Although Internet Explorer 11 - the last browser that currently supports Silverlight - is being phased out, Microsoft says that Silverlight apps will continue to work in IE mode in Edge.
By Usama Jawad96
Mozilla bypasses Microsoft, makes it easier to set Firefox as default browser in Windows
by Usama Jawad
Changing the default apps such as browsers in Microsoft Windows 10 is not a straightforward process. While this means that users have to jump through extra hoops to set up, let's say, Mozilla Firefox as their default browser, it also means that vendors such as Mozilla face more competition from Microsoft's own offering, which is Edge. The bad news is that in Windows 11, this is becoming even more cumbersome for end-users and vendors as the OS requires users to change the default browser for each type of extension individually.
Clearly tired of Microsoft's antics, as hinted by the company previously, Mozilla has now decided to bypass the Redmond tech giant's UI altogether. As reported by The Verge, Firefox 91 (which was released on August 10) now allows you to change the default browser directly from within the browser itself, instead of guiding users to the Settings app in Windows.
This has essentially been done by reverse-engineering Microsoft's own one-click process for Edge, such that it works for Firefox too, and does not require user interaction beyond a single confirmation click. You can see it in action, courtesy of The Verge, below:
A Mozilla spokesperson stated that:
On the other hand, Microsoft has cautioned that this is not a "supported" methodology to change default apps in Windows as it circumvents the anti-hijacking protections the company baked in to the OS against malware.
As of now, the method works in Windows 10 and Windows 11. It will be interesting to see if other vendors also decide to take a leaf from Mozilla's book, or if Microsoft puts a stop to this - without coming in the crosshairs of antitrust authorities, that is.