Samsung joins Mozilla's quest for Rust

Mozilla's goals seemed quixotic at best when its research arm decided last year to put its brain power behind a new programming language called Rust.

However, Rust and its Servo testbed on GitHub apparently are now far enough along that no less than Samsung has committed some engineering know-how to its success, the companies announced today. Rust also has reached version 0.6.

Rust is an attempt to create a programming language to replace C++ with one that can handle today's heterogeneous, multicore hardware better while also being more secure. According to Mozilla Research's FAQ on Rust and ServoRead more

New Firefox expands 'porn-mode' abilities

Along with an update to the infamous "porn mode" that turns off your browser's ability to record your browsing session, the new Firefox 20 includes usability and back-end changes.

Firefox 20 (download for Windows | Mac | Linux) updates now allow you to run a private browsing session in a new window, alongside a standard Firefox browsing window. On Firefox 20 for Android (download), the browser now lets you run private mode tabs next to standard session tabs.

Private browsing on Firefox is analogous to Internet Explorer's InPrivate or Chrome's Incognito. It's a feature that turns … Read more

Mozilla wants you to get your game on -- in your browser

SAN FRANCISCO--If you could play high-end, 3D games in your browser at the same speed as on a console, would you? Here at the annual Game Developers Conference, the maker of Firefox revealed a plan to get you to do just that.

Mozilla's current holy grail is getting the mix of HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS that powers the modern Web to run apps at speeds that rival native code, the operating system-dependent languages underpinning apps on iOS, Android, Windows 8, and other proprietary systems.

The not-so-secret weapon in Mozilla's plan is something called ASM.js, said Director of Engineering Vladimir Vukicevic. "It's a dialect of JavaScript that can optimize [code] much better. It's around two times as fast," he said.… Read more

Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 makes its debut

Mozilla yesterday announced the launch of a new Firefox OS Simulator.

Mozilla acknowledged that the third version of the simulator is "a bit rough around the edges," but decided to release it to give users the chance to give feedback and contribute fixes.

Firefox OS is Mozilla's upcoming mobile operating system. Since late last year, the organization has been offering simulators showcasing its functionality and giving users the chance to try it out. As with previous versions, Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 is available to Windows, Linux, and OS X users, and runs as an extension in … Read more

Ad group: New Firefox cookie plan will boost spam

The Interactive Advertising Bureau ratcheted up its pressure on Mozilla's Firefox to reconsider its decision to block third-party advertising cookies by default.

The trade group, whose senior vice president tweeted last month that the policy was a "nuclear first strike against the ad industry," put out a statement from its president and CEO, Randall Rothenberg, detailing its concerns. He painted a bleak picture of the future of the Internet, saying that a vast array of Web sites would be shut down by the proposed change.

"If Mozilla follows through on its plan to block all third-party … Read more

The elusive third great mobile OS

There's no better illustration of the intense competition in the wireless industry than the race to establish another legitimate operating system behind Android and Apple -- where else is third place considered a lofty goal for so many major players?

Yet that's exactly what nearly a dozen companies are trying to achieve. While this year's Mobile World Congress wireless trade show was light on blockbuster smartphone and tablet announcements, it was heavy on burgeoning operating systems and new ways of thinking about mobile devices.

Mozilla's FireFox OS made a big splash at the show, as did … Read more

Mozilla says no plans to return to iOS

AUSTIN, Texas -- Mozilla's Firefox browser will have no place on Apple devices so long as Apple continues its unfriendly attitude toward third-party browsers, Jay Sullivan, vice president of product at Mozilla, said today.

The nonprofit Mozilla, which pulled Mozilla Firefox Home from Apple's App Store in September 2012, is not currently building a version of its Firefox browser for iOS, nor does the company plan to, said Sullivan, speaking on a mobile browser wars panel at South by Southwest Interactive moderated by CNET Senior Reporter Seth Rosenblatt.

The sticking point for Mozilla is not being able to … Read more

EU fines Microsoft $731M over Windows 7 browser foul

Microsoft is to learn the hard way that "a deal is a deal," at least in the eyes of the European Union, by being forced to swallow a massive fine for breaching earlier promises made with the 27-nation bloc.

The software giant has been fined 561 million euros ($731 million) by European authorities for falling foul of previous antitrust settlement conditions.

The software giant breached a settlement that it signed with the European Commission in 2009, which mandated that it display a "browser choice" screen on all existing and new PCs in the region.

Europe's … Read more

Ubuntu Touch beats Firefox OS to win best of MWC from CNET

BARCELONA, Spain--We've seen lots of interesting hardware at Mobile World Congress, and yesterday when the team met to talk about what product should get our best of show award, there were plenty of gadgets in the mix. Asus' Padfone Infinity was in the running, along with its FonePad, the Nokia Lumia 720, and Sony's Xperia Z tablet.

But the nine-strong judging team from our San Francisco, New York, and London offices quickly discounted those products. We were much more interested in the product category that has arguably generated more buzz at MWC and is potentially much more disruptive: … Read more

Who really needs the Firefox phone OS? Not me.

BARCELONA, Spain--One of the big news developments at MWC 2013 is Mozilla's big push of its Firefox operating system for mobile phones. Based on the few devices which are expected to run it, however, I'm not impressed.

Software maker Mozilla certainly generated a lot of buzz when it announced a slew of mobile carriers (18 in all) which have jumped on board the Firefox phone operating system. Big-name handset manufactures have also hinted at supporting the fledgling mobile platform or have expressed outright plans to sell their own devices running Firefox themselves.

Besides heavy-hitters such as Sony and … Read more