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Mozilla proposes Web tech for sharing personal interests

Mozilla has tangled with advertisers, for example making it harder for Web sites to use tracking files called cookies and supporting do-not-track effort to curtail online behavior tracking. But today, it announced an effort that could make advertisers happier.

The nonprofit organization announced an interface that Web sites could use to slurp up information about a user's interests. The idea is to let Web sites customize content and ads according to a user's behavior, but to keep the user in control over what gets shared rather than rely on today's online behavior tracking methods.

The Interests API … Read more

Geeksphone now selling Firefox OS to consumers with Peak+

Geeksphone on Thursday began taking preorders for its upcoming Peak+, a smartphone that marks the startup's expansion from earlier developer-oriented Firefox OS models to ones geared for consumers.

The Peak+, with a promotional preorder price of 149 euros ($197) while stock lasts, is a tweak to the earlier Peak model for developers. It's got 1GB of memory instead of 512MB, and its interior and internals have been updated for a polished finish and a better feel, the company said. The company will sell the model at an undisclosed but "slightly higher" price starting September 15, when … Read more

Automatically remove tracking tokens from URLs in Chrome, Firefox

Urchin Tracking Modules, or UTMs, are tracking tokens added to URLs. They are a tool used by Google Analytics to help calculate the unique number of clicks on a specific link, navigation choices on a Web site, and how much time is spent looking at it. The namesake comes from Urchin Software, a company Google acquired in 2005. Google Analytics borrows a great deal of its structure and features from Urchin 6.

To get started, you'll just need to install a copy of the respective add-on for your Web browser.

For Chrome:

Head to the Chrome Web Store entry … Read more

MaskMe guards your privacy like a vigilant angel

Who hasn't bought something online, only to receive a torrent of marketing spam that follows you around like a rabid puppy?

Abine's new MaskMe browser add-on and mobile app, debuting Monday, ensure that you can use the Web while avoiding the data stalkers by preventing you from giving out your contact info in the first place.

MaskMe is a freemium add-on for Firefox (download for Windows | download for Mac) and Chrome (download for Windows | download for Mac) that creates and manages dummy accounts for your e-mail address, phone number, credit card, and Web site log-ins. Upgrading gets you … Read more

Geeksphone to bring Firefox OS to consumer market with Peak+

Consumers who want a higher-end Firefox OS than the Alcatel One Touch Fire and ZTE Open that just went on sale soon will have an option: the Geeksphone Peak+.

Geeksphone, a small Spanish company, makes the higher-end Peak and the low-end Keon. Both are for developers who want to contribute to Mozilla's Firefox OS project or to make sure their Web apps will work on the browser-based operating system. On Monday, it announced it will sell a "new and improved" version of the Peak for consumers, too.

"After the success achieved by Keon and Peak Firefox … Read more

Mozilla fleshes out Firefox OS simulator features

Mozilla is at an awkward stage with Firefox OS: it wants its brand-new mobile operating system to attract developers, but there are very few phones available in the real world. To bridge the gap, the organization offers a phone simulator, and on Thursday, it updated the Firefox OS simulator to version 4.

Among the new features in the software, which is an add-on to the Firefox browser for personal computers, according to a blog post by Firefox OS developer advocate Angelina Fabbro:

• The ability to simulate touch-screen events with mouse clicks.

• A style editor tool that lets programmers create and … Read more

Deutsche Telekom brings Mozilla's Firefox OS to Poland

A week after Spain's Telefonica became the first carrier to sell Firefox OS phones, Deutsche Telekom has become the second.

The German company will begin selling the Alcatel One Touch Fire with Mozilla's Firefox OS in Poland starting Friday in 850 shops and online, the company said Thursday.

Deutsche Telekom subsidiaries Magyar Telekom in Hungary and Cosmote in Greece will begin selling the phones starting in the fall. The company didn't release pricing details.

Firefox OS is a browser-based operating system that runs Web apps, which gives it a running start when trying to attract developers. Although … Read more

Firefox OS phone launches Tuesday in Spain at $3 a month

It's not every day that a new mobile operating system arrives, but Tuesday will be one of them as Telefonica begins selling the inexpensive ZTE Open with Mozilla's Firefox OS in Spain.

The move marks the commercial beginning of an effort by phone makers and network operators to use Mozilla's open-source, browser-based operating system to reclaim power in the mobile market lost to Apple and Google.

The phone itself costs 69 euros ($90), including 30 euros ($39) of pay-as-you-go credit -- or for those who sign up for a two-year contract, for 2.38 euros ($3.10) … Read more

Rival mobile browsers chip away at Safari's lead

Safari, the top browser in terms of mobile usage, lost a little share to three rivals in June.

The Apple browser dropped from 60.0 percent of usage in May to 58.0 percent in June, still well ahead of competing browsers, according to statistics released by tracking firm Net Applications on Monday. Google's unbranded Android browser, in second place, also dipped, from 20.7 percent to 20.6 percent.

Picking up the slack were Opera Mini, which rose from 10.5 percent to 11.2 percent; Google's Chrome, which rose from 3.2 percent to 3.8 … Read more

RSS, autocomplete URLs hit new Android Firefox beta

Mozilla debuted a new Firefox for Android 23 beta (download) on Thursday that brought with it a flatter but more Web-friendly version of the familiar browser logo.

The new logo has been designed, wrote Sean Martell, Mozilla's lead visual designer, with "SVG compatibility and color consistency" in mind. It doesn't ditch detail just for the sake of it, he said in his blog post about the change, but actually adds more detail in some areas.

One major detail he pointed out that has changed is the fox's arm. It now comes from its shoulder, instead … Read more