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Mozilla takes a fresh look at Google's WebP image format

Mozilla is taking a new look at the WebP image format it once rejected after some large Web sites encouraged the Firefox developer to take a fresh look and after Google released a freshly upgraded version.

WebP, which derived from the VP8 video compression technology in the WebM project Google launched three years ago, is part of the search giant's effort to speed up the Web. In WebP's case, that speedup comes through use of an image compression technology Google says produces more compact files than either JPEG or PNG.

WebP can be used where both JPEG and … Read more

Firefox prepares additional 'Do Not Track' options

Firefox has readied a more nuanced approach to how it implements the controversial "Do Not Track" setting and the Android version of the browser has a new font face in the browser's latest betas.

Firefox 21 Beta (download for Windows, Mac, and Linux) introduces more user choice for the Do Not Track header. The header, first introduced two years ago in Firefox 4, sends a signal to Web sites to not track where people who have activated it go as they bop around the Web.

Up until now, implementations of it have been limited to "On" or "Off.&… Read more

Firefox 20 for Android Review

Review: Firefox for Android used to be a must-use mainly for Firefox fans. It was good at what it did, but it wasn't great, and the competitive field of Android browsers surpassed it on many levels.

In response, Mozilla spent the better part of a year redesigning the browser from the ground up. The new Firefox for Android brings an interface powered by native code, competitive page-load times, and Flash support. As important for Mozilla is that the sum of the new browser's parts will keep its flagship brand relevant on Android as Chrome for Android grows.

New … Read more

Mozilla Thunderbird for Mac Review

Working with multiple e-mail addresses and inboxes often requires a management client. Mozilla Thunderbird for Mac, despite its dated look, performs well as an open-source e-mail manager.

As an open-source project, this program is available as freeware with no restrictions or payments required. Download and installation occurred quickly and without any problems. After initial setup, which prompted us as to whether the program should be the default email client, Mozilla Thunderbird for Mac welcomed us with a well-designed main interface. Aesthetically, the graphics were dated and would have been appropriate for a program several years old, as opposed to a … Read more

Connect to FTP with your Web browser using FireFTP

File Transfer Protocol may not necessarily be the safest way to transfer files, but it's still one of the most popular. If you need to use FTP to move files in your network, the browser add-on FireFTP makes it easy. It's Fire(fox) + FTP ... get it?

FireFTP only works with Firefox, of course. To use it, you need to have the browser installed first. Then once you've approved the addition of the FireFTP extension, it's tucked away nicely in the "Web Developer" menu.

FireFTP employs the dual-window interface of most standalone FTP clients, running … Read more

Mozilla Firefox 20 Review

Mozilla Firefox has undergone an enormous rebirth over the past two years. Since Firefox 4 debuted in March 2011, the browser has been hell-bent on improvements. These have come, in large part, on the rapid-release cycle, which sees a new version of Firefox every six weeks. Many people like them, but a vocal minority has pooh-poohed the increase in version numbers. That's hardly a legitimate complaint in a world where mobile apps also update silently and effectively, but the transition for Firefox hasn't been an easy one.

Firefox is on version 20 at the time of this review. … Read more

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