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Slowly but surely, browser maker Mozilla is rolling out its own mobile operating system, and prospective buyers can already grab a handset -- the ZTE Open and Alcatel One are available through Ebay. The OS has not yet managed to catch on...
Slowly but surely, browser maker Mozilla is rolling out its own mobile operating system, and prospective buyers can already grab a handset -- the ZTE Open and Alcatel One are available through Ebay. The OS has not yet managed to catch on, though its still very early in the process. However, Mozilla is steadily pushing forward, today rolling out version 1.1 of the platform.The latest iteration of Firefox OS claims to add, not only performance improvements and additional language support, but also a slew of new features.The platform now supports MMS (multimedia messaging service), which is a must-have for many of today's mobile customers, thanks to the proliferation of texting, which is gradually replacing using a phone to actually make a call.Other new features include the ability to import contacts from both Gmail and Hotmail (Facebook was already included); the ability to add contacts from your call log, SMS or email by long-tapping your choice; adaptive app search on the home screen; the ability to download media files from the included Firefox browser; auto-correct for the touch keyboard; music search and the ability to tap on a desired time slot in the calendar to create a new event.The organization also claims that performance improvements included in version 1.1 will bring faster load times for apps, In addition, support for 15 more languages is included in this update.Developers need not feel left out, as Firefox OS now includes an API for push notifications, claiming "developers can make use of push to deliver timely notifications to apps and reduce overall battery consumption"."There have been hundreds of improvements added to Firefox OS", claims Chris Lee, Director of Product for Firefox OS.The update will begin reaching handsets shortly, but the big question remains -- can Firefox OS compete in a market that has been whittled down to a three-horse race? For now the organization is targeting the low-end of the market, selling phones via Ebay in the US for as low as $79.99. Its an intriguing mobile platform, but Apple and Google need not worry, at least not anytime soon. The post Mozilla announces Firefox OS 1.1, adds new features appeared first on gHacks Technology News.
38 minutes ago
Positive Reactions and Momentum Shown in Initial Markets Mozilla today announced that new launches of Firefox OS smartphones will begin soon with more devices and in more markets around the world. This news follows just weeks after the s...
Positive Reactions and Momentum Shown in Initial Markets Mozilla today announced that new launches of Firefox OS smartphones will begin soon with more devices and in more markets around the world. This news follows just weeks after the successful launches of the first Firefox OS smartphones, the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire and the ZTE Open. Firefox OS phones are currently available from Telefónica in Spain, Colombia and Venezuela and Deutsche Telekom in Poland. Individual partners will announce specifics about upcoming launches in each market. “The positive market reception of the first Firefox OS smartphones demonstrates that people like the user experience and openness we’re building with Firefox OS,” said Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Chief Operating Officer. “We continue to enhance Firefox OS to deliver the best experience for the many people around the world buying their first smartphones. We are looking forward to seeing the response to the next round of Firefox OS launches.” Yotam Ben-Ami, Director of Open Web Devices at Telefónica, said, “These first launches of Firefox OS in Spain, Colombia and Venezuela have surpassed our expectations demonstrating a strong consumer appetite for a great value and open smartphone offer. We now look forward to bringing the benefits of Firefox OS to our customers in Brazil and three other Latin America markets during Q4 2013 as well as making it available through many more Telefónica operating businesses during 2014.” Thomas Kiessling, Chief Product and Innovation Officer at Deutsche Telekom, said, “Deutsche Telekom’s launch of the first Firefox OS smartphone in Poland is very successful. We are really pushing the device to all T-Mobile Poland’s points of sale and experience that people are absolutely keen on exploring the possibilities of the new operating system. We are now excited about the upcoming sales start for our congstar customers in Germany. And we will bring the first devices to Greece and Hungary soon.” Telenor also confirmed plans to launch Firefox OS phones in Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro before the end of the year. John Jackson, IDC Research Vice President said, “Many of the new markets Firefox OS is expanding into offer significant volume potential, and all contribute Web ecosystem benefits. This growth underscores operators’ strategic commitment to the platform and their satisfaction with consumer adoption to date. It is striking that the Firefox OS is entering its second phase of expansion at a time when other aspiring third smartphone platforms continue to struggle for position, scale, and sustainability in the competitive market. The platform continues to add new features that are appropriate for its target markets, striking a balance between value to consumers and affordability. Perhaps more importantly, Firefox OS continues to attract new apps and content partnerships. These are like lifeblood for a platform and should further help drive consumer adoption and spur innovation in developer communities around the Web.” New Firefox OS phones will have the latest version of Firefox OS (1.1), which includes many performance improvements and new features like MMS messaging. Existing Firefox OS users will be upgraded to the latest version soon. About Firefox OS Firefox OS smartphones are the first devices powered completely by Web technologies to deliver the performance, personalization and price you want in a smartphone with a beautiful, intuitive and easy-to-use experience that is unmatched by any other phone. Firefox OS has all the things you need from a smartphone as well as the things you want like built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, HERE Maps with offline capabilities, much-loved features like the Firefox Web browser, the Firefox Marketplace and much more. Firefox OS features a brand new concept for smartphones – an adaptive app search that literally transforms the phone to meet your needs and interests at any moment. Simply sta
about 5 hours ago
The new Australis interface that Mozilla plans to ship in one of the future versions of the Firefox web browser is as controversial as it can get in the community. While some applaud Mozilla for the fresh modern look that it ships with, ...
The new Australis interface that Mozilla plans to ship in one of the future versions of the Firefox web browser is as controversial as it can get in the community. While some applaud Mozilla for the fresh modern look that it ships with, others dislike it because of its resemblance to Google Chrome's interface or because of the interface elements that Mozilla will change or remove from the browser in the process.I have covered the proposed list of changes of Australis previously here on Ghacks, and also tried to highlight why it is not a good idea to remove the status bar add-on bar from the browser.Things are not as dire as they seem, and this can be mostly attributed to Firefox's add-on support. Browser extensions are in the making that will restore features that were removed in Australis from the browser. While that is not the same as native features, it is the next best thing and probably the only hope of Firefox users who do not want to miss features that Mozilla removes from the browser.Get AustralisNote: the screenshot above is how Firefox looked like when I loaded Australis using my main browser profile. I'm running only eight extensions in the browser, and it already looks crowded in the address bar.Australis is still only available as a special UX build that is independently updated from all other browser channels that Mozilla makes available. It looks as if the deployment of Australis will get delayed, considering that the nightly version of the browser reached version 27 recently and that Australis was said to be launched way before that.The Get Australis website aims to promote Australis to users of the browser. It enables interested users to download the latest Australis UX build to their system so that they can check it out and take it for a test ride.The builds are provided for every desktop operating system Firefox supports, Mac, Windows and Linux.If you launch Australis for the first time, you will notice several differences to regular Firefox versions.The add-on bar is gone and cannot be enabled again.All add-on icons are placed in the address bar toolbar.The Firefox menu at the top left is gone, it has been replaced with a single Chrome style menu that links to even less options than the Firefox menu did.Tabs are now curved and above the address bar.Only the menu bar and bookmarks toolbar can be displayed, custom toolbars are gone, as is the option to hide the navigational toolbar.Lets do a menu comparison: old Firefox button menu versus new Australis menu:Australis menu:New WindowNew Private WindowSave PageDownloadsHistoryFindOptionsAdd-onsHelpCustomizeExitOld Firefox menuNew Tab (New Tab, New Window, Open File)New Private WindowEditSave Page AsEmail LinkPrint (Print, Print Preview, Page Setup)Web DeveloperFull ScreenSet Up SyncExitBookmarksHistoryAdd-onsOptionsHelp (direct access to help pages)To be fair, it needs to be said that you can customize the new Firefox panel menu. You can add or remove items that you use or do not use from it. If you are a web developer, you can simply drag and drop the developer options back to the menu, or add-on icons so that they do not take up all that space in the address bar.I'm fairly certain however that the interface change will be highly confusing to many Firefox users. If you look at all the support threads that are caused by minor changes in the browser, it is almost a given that support requests will explode when Australis launches.Users may want to know where this or that option went, how they can access a particular feature of the browser, or why Mozilla made the decision to remove or change a feature in first place.Anyway, if you want to test Australis on your system right now, head over to the Get Australis website to get a taste of it. It installs next to any copy of Firefox you have running (but will use the same profile). The post Mozilla launches Get Australis: invites everyone to install the latest Firefox Australis version appeared first on gHacks Technol
2 days ago
Firefox, just like other web browsers such as Google Chrome, Opera or Internet Explorer supports geolocation, a feature that allows services and sites to locate your location in the world. Most services use this to provide you with bette...
Firefox, just like other web browsers such as Google Chrome, Opera or Internet Explorer supports geolocation, a feature that allows services and sites to locate your location in the world. Most services use this to provide you with better functionality, like zooming in on a map so that it displays your location automatically, or to display offers to you based no your location.I have to admit that I never really bother with geolocation before, as I had no use for that feature whatsoever. Most websites offered other options to display custom information, so that there was no need to use it at all.Today, when I started to test geolocation features in Firefox, I noticed that the feature was not working at all in the browser.  I tried the Google Maps JavaScript API v3 page, the HTML5 Demos page, the W3Schools geolocation test, and about a dozen or so more services that use the feature.Not a single one worked.Firefox geolocationI remembered that Firefox used to display a notification prompt that enabled you to allow the site to use geolocation or deny access to the feature. This prompt was not shown anymore in the browser. I first thought that I had disabled the feature for good, but a quick check in about:config revealed that the parameter geo.enabled was set to true and thus active.Firefox can remember geolocation preferences on a per-site basis. I right-clicked on all sites, selected view page info, switched to the permissions tab there and checked the access your location preference there. It was set to always ask. I changed that to allow but it did not change a thing.Next thought: browser extensions. A tap on the Alt-key and the selection of Help > Restart with Add-ons Disabled restarted Firefox without add-ons. The effect on the site was the same, it did not work.Last resort, another profile. I fired up the new profile and nothing changed. The geolocation feature was broken. I loaded Firefox 24 then to see if it would resolve the issue and it did not help as well.To verify that the websites worked fine, I opened them in Google Chrome and the geolocation feature on those sites worked without issues. Chrome displayed a prompt that I could accept to make use of it or deny access.I asked around and the users who replied could not get the feature to work on one of the sample pages as well.I know that this is all unscientific, but it appears that geolocation is broken in Firefox. If it is working for you let me know. I'm also interested in tips on how to restore the feature if it turns out that a settings or file is responsible for this. The post Firefox’s Geolocation feature appears broken in recent versions appeared first on gHacks Technology News.
5 days ago
Finally after years of being held hostage by Macromedia/Adobe’s Flash Plugin, Firefox will no longer be dependent on this annoying and often times mischievous plugin to display Flash type content come Firefox 27 in early 2014. Mozi...
Finally after years of being held hostage by Macromedia/Adobe’s Flash Plugin, Firefox will no longer be dependent on this annoying and often times mischievous plugin to display Flash type content come Firefox 27 in early 2014. Mozilla developed Shumway, an open-source HTML5 competent starting back in early 2012 to replace the proprietary Flash (player) Plugin. via Geek.com
6 days ago
The majority of browser developers agree that plugins based on Netscape's old NPAPI are bad and that HTML5 is the future of the Internet. This has several reasons, with major ones being compatibility, stability and security. Companies di...
The majority of browser developers agree that plugins based on Netscape's old NPAPI are bad and that HTML5 is the future of the Internet. This has several reasons, with major ones being compatibility, stability and security. Companies disagree on how that future will look like in particular though. Google for instance introduced its Pepper API in Chromium and Chrome, and is using still making use of plugins. The only difference here is that they use the new API and not the old one.Mozilla's take on the matter is different. The company wants to get rid of plugins completely, and has been working on replacements for popular ones for some time now.Shumway is the organization's idea to replace Adobe's Flash Player on the Internet. It has been working on the project since 2012. The main goal of the project is to create a platform for parsing and rendering SWF files. Unlike Google's implementation, which is reserved to Chromium-based browsers, Mozilla's is completely open and released as open source on Github.Shumway lands in FirefoxShumway has been available in form of a browser extension for some time now for testing purposes. This extension is still available, but Mozilla landed the core code in the Nightly version of Firefox today.The technology is not enabled by default right now, but that can be easily done. Shumway has additional requirements though, and you may need to make changes to certain preferences in Firefox to make it work at all.Adobe Flash Player still needs to be installed, and it needs to be set to Ask to Activate in the Add-ons Manager.Click to Play needs to be enabled in Firefox.With that out of the way, load about:config in the browser's address bar and hit the enter key. If this is your first time here, confirm that you will be careful. Now search for shumway using the search form up top, and double-click the preference to change the value of shumway.disabled from true to false.  Restart Firefox afterwards to complete the operation.You should not expect miracles right now though. A quick test on popular sites such as Kongregate or YouTube turned out that it is not really able to replace Flash just yet on these sites. It did not work at all on YouTube for example, with Flash being used automatically on the site even though click to play was enabled. On Kongregate, games would not load but display the Shumway logo in the lower corner.The Shumway extension supported several parameters that were not set by default in Firefox, and it seems that the native integration supports at least some of those as well. You can check out this Github Wiki page for a list of supported configuration parameters.Closing WordsCode integration is a major step for the project, and while it will certainly take some time before the implementation lands in the stable version of Firefox, it is fair to say that Mozilla is making good progress so far. It remains to be seen if Shumway will be able to replace Adobe Flash fully though in Firefox and maybe also other browsers out there. The post Mozilla’s Flash plugin replacement Shumway lands in Firefox Nightly appeared first on gHacks Technology News.
7 days ago
On June 15, Mozilla kicked off Maker Party — our flagship Webmaker event and a three-month long global celebration of making and learning on the web. Buoyed by the success of last year’s Summer Code party, we tried hard to ma...
On June 15, Mozilla kicked off Maker Party — our flagship Webmaker event and a three-month long global celebration of making and learning on the web. Buoyed by the success of last year’s Summer Code party, we tried hard to make this year’s global celebration of webmaking even bigger and better. And thanks to the incredible work of Mozillians and party hosts around the world, it was! Maker Parties were held in 330 cities across the globe. Some places, like Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, held their first ever party, while others, like New York City, threw more than 400 separate events! As we reflect on the feedback from this year’s event, here are some themes that emerged: Tools Popcorn Maker projects proved to be our most popular tool, and more than 35,000 Popcorn videos were created. Thimble was a hit as well, and more than 15,000 webpages were created or remixed with the easy-to-use tool. “Popcorn is particularly useful for kids who only have access to computers at school or the library, because you don’t need to download or pay for software – as long as you have an internet connection, you can use Popcorn.” — YWCA Toronto Girls’ Council Maker Party in Toronto, Canada Curriculum Teachers and mentors discovered ingenious ways integrate Maker Parties into their curricula. Even more exciting, they collaborated and created informal networks to help others teach the web. “Stéphanie [a teacher] explained to me what she wanted to do and asked me whether Popcorn could do it. And it could! She was really happy to see it would be so easy, nothing to install, no matter if she was using Windows or Linux. She’s a teacher and she already plans to show Webmaker to her colleagues and her pupils.” — NightScience Maker Party in Paris, France Community Many event hosts were not formal educators. By connecting with other web enthusiasts eager to share skills, Maker Parties were a great way to gain experience and form networks. “During my first class, I was kind of nervous, but my students were awesome. They really loved the innovation experience that we shared together. I really felt it was a learning and teaching experience for all of us.” — Virtual United Maker Party in Chicago, USA Joy We heard over and over how much fun people had at this year’s Maker Party. Collaboratively exploring coding and learning to make and share things on the web proved to be an engaging, joyful process for people across the globe, regardless of their skill levels. “At the end of this session, I asked an attendee what he thought of learning collaboratively and he said “I spent half the session teaching that other guy in CSS, and it was so much fun.”” — OHM Festival Maker Party in Alkmaar, Netherlands Continuity We’ve been flooded with requests to keep the party rolling and we’re happy to reassure eager makers that the fun continues at webmaker.org. You can inspect and remix any webpage with the X-Ray Goggles, create and share your own webpages with Thimble, and remix web video, audio and images into cool mashups with Popcorn. You can also connect with other mentors, find teaching resources and use event guides to host your own party. Get Involved: Explore fantastic Maker Party on webmaker.org. Check out the event map to see what’s happening next in your hometown. Become a web mentor and share you skills with others.
7 days ago
When I'm watching videos on YouTube, I'm usually ignoring the comment section as it is filled with spam, immature contents and other comments that do not really add anything to the video that I'm watching.It is not always the case though...
When I'm watching videos on YouTube, I'm usually ignoring the comment section as it is filled with spam, immature contents and other comments that do not really add anything to the video that I'm watching.It is not always the case though, especially if a channel author takes good care of the section by moderating comments regularly. This weeds out the majority of comments that should not really be there at all.Google recognized the issue a long time ago but it took the company years to come up with a solution. It recently announced that it would switch to Google+ exclusively, which means that YouTube users who want to leave comments need a Google+ account to do so.While I still think that this is yet another attempt to push the Google+ social networking service, it may lead to less comment spam on YouTube after all as a side-effect. It won't take care of the issue on the other hand.YouTube video responsesYouTube did highlight video responses to videos in a special section on the page previously, but I'm not entirely sure if that is still the case. I have not seen a response section for some time now on the site.The /watch Video Responder extension for the Firefox web browser improves the discovery of these responses. Without it, you have to go through all comments manually to find videos linked here by their authors. With the extension, you simply look on the right and see them all listed here so that you can click on them right away.Note: Only the first 1000 comments are crawled by the extension due to YouTube API limitations.The extension crawls the top 1000 comments on YouTube video pages automatically and lists every video response that it finds on the sidebar. Only video links by their authors, checked by comparing the username's of the comment poster and video author are displayed here. This takes care of YouTube links posted by non-authors.All videos are displayed with their title, comment, video thumbnail and link. The extension checks for availability and will highlight videos that are no longer available in the sidebar. It would probably have been better if those were not displayed at all here, but it is better than nothing. This can be changed in the options though.Partial video links, for instance those where only part of the url is posted, will be turned into links that you can click on by the extension. The extension adds an icon to Firefox's address bar that you can click on to display its options.Here you can disable the highlighting of matched responses, or enable the prioritization of said responses.VerdictIf you like to watch follow-up videos on YouTube, then this extension may help you speed up the discovery process of video responses on the site. The add-on does not slow down the Firefox web browser or the video loading time, which is definitely a plus. The post Make video response links more visible on YouTube appeared first on gHacks Technology News.
8 days ago
If you hear Balrog, you are probably thinking Lord of the Rings, or maybe even of the Street Fighter character of the same name (also known as M.Bison), but certainly not of Firefox's update engine.Mozilla used the same update engine for...
If you hear Balrog, you are probably thinking Lord of the Rings, or maybe even of the Street Fighter character of the same name (also known as M.Bison), but certainly not of Firefox's update engine.Mozilla used the same update engine for years and while there have been talks every now and then an update to the engine, it has only recently been made a priority by some members of the engineering staff.The update engine is responsible for the distribution of updates to Firefox users worldwide. Considering that there are hundreds of millions of Firefox users out there that need to be updated in a short period of time, it is fair to say that it has done considerable well in the past.Problems arose when Mozilla switched to the rapid release process as it not only reduced the time period between releases, but also added new channels which also required updates.New requirements came along that the update server was not designed to prepare to handle. From throttling OS-specific update rates, the handling of custom updates for custom-build users of Firefox, or dropping support for operating systems or variants of it.Mozilla update serverThat's why work began in earnest on the next version of the update engine. Development was switched on and off for years but more important projects put the development on ice for a while, before it was resumed.Mozilla will launch the new update engine Balrog for Firefox Nightly users today. If things turn out alright, end users won't notice a thing. Updates will be delivered as usual and that is it.The engineers responsible for the new code have tested the new update engine extensively, but there is always the chance that something goes wrong when code gets deployed in a productive environment.The worst case scenario is that the update breaks Firefox Nightly in a way that cannot be repaired remotely, say by distributing a second update that fixes the first.Your best bet if that happens is to download the latest Nightly version from the official Firefox website and install it anew on the system.Closing WordsThe update itself is not really that interesting to users of the browser. In best case, no one will notice the switch as updates will be handled just like before. For Mozilla, it is a big step in the right direction as it gives the organization better control and management options in regards to updates for the Firefox web browser.Additional information about the update are available on John O'Duinn's blog. The post Mozilla to switch Firefox Nightly’s update engine today to BALROG appeared first on gHacks Technology News.
9 days ago
You do have a couple of options when it comes to bookmarking pages in the Firefox web browser. You can hit the shortcut Ctrl-D to display the bookmark dialog, or click on the star icon that is displayed on the right side of the browser's...
You do have a couple of options when it comes to bookmarking pages in the Firefox web browser. You can hit the shortcut Ctrl-D to display the bookmark dialog, or click on the star icon that is displayed on the right side of the browser's address bar instead to do so.Other options include dragging and dropping links and the web address to the bookmarks bar or the open bookmarks manager.If you use the first option, you may have noticed that it is not the most straightforward of options available. Especially the selection of a custom folder takes time as you need to click several times to select it.If you use the bookmark star in the address bar for instance, you have to click twice on it to display the add bookmark menu. Here you need to click on the folder selection menu, and then on the folder that you want to add the new bookmark to.Tip: If you click only once on the icon, it will be added to the unsorted bookmarks folder.Firefox bookmarking add-on QuickMarkThe Firefox extension QuickMark improves the bookmarking process in the Firefox web browser. When you click on the bookmark star in the address bar, or use Ctrl-D to create a new bookmark, you get a list of folders directly that you can file the bookmark into.It takes two clicks therefore to add a bookmark to one of the root folders, or one keyboard shortcut and one click to do so.That's not all though. You can type the first letter of the folder's name to jump to it right away. Once that folder is selected, you can use the arrow keys to navigate the structure. A tap on the right arrow key opens all subfolders of the current folder, so that you can select those directly using the menu as well.If you expand subfolders, they will stay expanded so that you can file new bookmarks easily into them without having to repeat the process.Tip: The left arrow contracts the folder again.What you cannot do here is to create a new folder though. If you use that feature often, the extension may not be for you.VerdictIf you use the Firefox bookmark star or Ctrl-D regularly to add bookmarks to the browser, you may want to give QuickMark a try, as it may speed up the whole bookmarking process for you. The post QuickMark speeds up bookmarking in Firefox appeared first on gHacks Technology News.
11 days ago