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Firefox Mozilla Privacy Software Upgrades

Firefox 42 Arrives With Tracking Protection, Tab Audio Indicators 134

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today launched Firefox 42 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Notable additions to the browser include tracking protection, tab audio indicators, and background link opening on Android. The new private browsing mode goes further than just not saving your browsing history (read: porn sites) — the added tracking protection means Firefox also blocks website elements (ads, analytics trackers, and social share buttons) that could track you while you're surfing the web, and it works on all four platforms. The feature is almost like a built-in ad blocker, though it's really closer to browser add-ons like Ghostery and Privacy Badger because ads that don't track you are allowed through.
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Firefox 42 Arrives With Tracking Protection, Tab Audio Indicators

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  • It looks like [netmarketshare.com] the current marketshare is under 12% and in a decline.
    • by danbob999 ( 2490674 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @02:17PM (#50857279)

      Who cares? It's still the best choice if you value privacy and don't like ads.

      • by waspleg ( 316038 )

        Agreed. It makes me sad how many people use IE and Chrome. OTOH many people where I work refer to the E as "The Internet", so not that surprising. Also wondering about their methods... where their research money comes from (i.e. bias), etc.

        • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

          OTOH many people where I work refer to the E as "The Internet", so not that surprising.

          I don't think it's a lack of creativity that caused Microsoft to use an identical looking icon for their new Edge browser. They know there are a lot of illiterate people out there who don't know what "Internet Explorer" is and just double-click the blue E to go online.

          • The funny thing is, this "tracking protection" feature is lifted wholesale from IE, which has had it since v9 (with a less-user-friendly version present in v8). The only difference is that, in IE, tracking protection is off by default but can be turned on (temporarily or as the new default) easily, whether in Private Browsing mode or not. In Firefox, so far as I can tell from the high-propaganda-low-content links in the TFS, it's only active in Private Browsing mode but at least it's active by default there

      • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @02:25PM (#50857389)
        If Mozilla were really concerned about security and privacy, that is where they would/should concentrate. Instead we see Pocket integration and other bloat.

        .
        Where is DANE/TLSA DNSSEC support for TLS certs? Why do I need to install a plug-in to get that ability, but I don't need to install a plug-in for the bogus Pocket functionality?

        Fortunately, at least the DNSSEC/TLSA Validator for Firefox works very well.

        I wish I could say the say for the apparent bugfest that is the DKIM validation plug-in for Thunderbird. Again, Mozilla, where is the security focus in Thunderbird? Why do I need to install a buggy plug-in to get DKIM validation?

        You will care about Firefox's declining marketshare once it goes below 10%. That threshold seems to be the point where a browser can affect Internet web standards, and Firefox is moving to the point where it will be irrelevant, standard-wise.

        • How do you make money to keep the project going? Well, you have to have some give and take (*cough* yahoo default search engine *cough*).

          Firefox has ~10% market share and is not installed as a default in Windows, IOS, OSX, or Android. Google does not recommend it every time you run a search on a non Chrome browser either. 10% is pretty damn good all things considered.

          The doom and gloom claim is simply wrong. Sure, they may leverage some technology better than others but moving to the point it's not re

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Considering some number had FF over 50%, ~10% if fucking pathetic. They let their ux "experts" start calling the shots and started moving dev pet plugins into teh core browser even though no one wanted to use them. That's why their market share plummeted. Couple that with the impending destruction of their addon api, the only reason to use the fucking POS, and it's a wonder anyone bothers.

            Use Chromium with uMatrix. Done.

            • by s.petry ( 762400 )
              When FF had 50% of the market there were 2.1 Browsers being used. I.E., Firefox, and Opera.
            • Chromium uses roughly twice the memory on my Ubuntu desktop than Firefox! Similarly configured and similar plugins added... Firefox is relatively stable. I had some issues after installing the pepperflash implementation, but that's sorted now and it works just fine for me.
          • I understand Mozilla have to make money to keep going but they have to be very careful about their monetization strategies: Annoy the user too much and you'll lose many users instead of making more money.
            I personally would be open to paying a small amount of money per year to have no monetization "features" at all.
        • I wish I could say the say for the apparent bugfest that is the DKIM validation plug-in for Thunderbird. Again, Mozilla, where is the security focus in Thunderbird? Why do I need to install a buggy plug-in to get DKIM validation?

          DKIM was designed to be verified on the receiving servers. Users' mail clients were expected to visibly mark verification results. I guess one reason they don't is because few senders add DKIM-Signatures, so much so that that add-on rolls its own DKIM verification crypto. Another reason is that DKIM authentication by itself can be misleading. DMARC adjustments still cannot address a faked domain, either look-alike or display phrase. And end users don't seem to care much.

          The answer to your question ough

      • It still needs some way to show which tabs are killing the CPU. I constantly find Firefox at 100% of a cpu and can't find the tab/tabs causing the problem.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @02:24PM (#50857369)

      I find these stats [caniuse.com] to be more in line with what I'm seeing with many of my websites. The 12% you mention is high for Firefox. It's most likely closer to only 8%.

      But you are correct, Firefox's market share does continue to decline month after month, with no end in sight.

      My question is, when the fuck will Mozilla realize that everything they've done since Firefox 4 has been universally disliked?

      I mean, how much further does Firefox's market share have to decline? Does it need to hit 5%? Or 1%? Or are they just going to drive head-on into 0%?

      Mozilla totally missed the boat on mobile. Firefox for Android is universally disliked, and has at most 0.1% (yes, that's a fraction of 1%!) of the browser market. Chrome for Android has over 15%, and iOS Safari has over 5%.

      Mozilla has repeatedly ignored what users have wanted for Firefox on the desktop. Despite a huge outcry from the community, all we've gotten is one unwanted change after another. Mozilla trashed Firefox's UI. They trashed Firefox's usability. They put ads into Firefox. They forced in totally unwanted and unnecessary social media integration. They still haven't done much to improve Firefox's remarkably slow performance or its excessively high resource usage.

      Desktop Firefox is the only product that Mozilla offers that even has a small number of users. Since they abandoned Thunderbird, we've seen that gradually become avoided by users. None of Mozilla's other efforts have seen much success. Persona is a failure. Servo is perpetually going nowhere. Rust took forever to get to 1.0, and now that C++14 is out and is better there is no need for Rust. Let's Encrypt has been taking forever. Firefox OS has gotten some of the most scathing software reviews ever seen [arstechnica.com], and is seeing no uptake.

      With its continually dropping share of the market, at some point soon Firefox is going to become completely irrelevant. It's close enough, as it is. Once that finally happens, Mozilla's influence will evaporate. The small number of remaining Firefox users are the only thing keeping Mozilla even remotely relevant. When Firefox's market share percentage is measured on one finger, nobody will care what Mozilla and its handful of users will think about the direction that the web is taking.

      The saddest thing about all of this is that it's something that Mozilla has done to itself! It wasn't Microsoft, or Google, or Apple, or Opera, or anyone else who destroyed Firefox. It was Mozilla, and Mozilla alone! Even Firefox's users can't be blamed, because they did what they could and protested each and every awful change that Mozilla has forced. It's all so goddamn unnecessary!

      • by plover ( 150551 )

        TL;DR version: s/BSD/Firefox/*

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yet if you ask the decision makers at Mozilla, they will probably tell you that most of the UI changes have been made using data from A/B tests, UI usage data (ie. UI hotspots). Is their methodology wrong?
        Should we blame the massive marketing muscle of Google for so many people transitioning to Chrome? I've tried Chrome and IMO it's not better, though it is close.

        • Yet if you ask the decision makers at Mozilla, they will probably tell you that most of the UI changes have been made using data from A/B tests, UI usage data (ie. UI hotspots). Is their methodology wrong?

          Not at all, if your goal is to appeal to the lowest-common denominator of user. You'd better get it right, though, because at that point, you're playing Microsoft's game.

      • by Man On Pink Corner ( 1089867 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @05:11PM (#50858861)

        The saddest thing about all of this is that it's something that Mozilla has done to itself! It wasn't Microsoft, or Google, or Apple, or Opera, or anyone else who destroyed Firefox. It was Mozilla, and Mozilla alone! Even Firefox's users can't be blamed, because they did what they could and protested each and every awful change that Mozilla has forced. It's all so goddamn unnecessary!

        Good rant, and pretty much spot on target.

        Apparently, they haven't even fixed issues as annoying as this [helgeklein.com], after almost five years. There are always plenty of resources at Mozilla to move controls around and break the UI, but when it comes to performance and real-world usability, well, that stuff isn't as much fun to work on, I guess.

        (Hint: for those who are annoyed by FireFox's habit of hitching and pausing every 10 seconds or so, that liink to helgeklein.com is well worth a click. It seems to have fixed the problem for me.)

        • I reported a bug recently where animated favicons visible in a tab or loaded and cached in your bookmarks toolbar tank scrolling performance in Firefox. This includes things like the spinning tab loading animation. Doesn't look like it will be fixed until after Firefox 44 as they still haven't figured out why the animated favicon causes so many redraw problems.

          If this is your issue, you can sort of fix it by turning off all the gfx.vsync.* settings and restarting Firefox.

      • If you're bitching about resource usage you haven't used Chrome lately. And as long as FF is around, it keeps the other browsers (corporations) in line.
        I for one, do not welcome our new Google overlord.

    • No shit. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @02:25PM (#50857393) Journal

      No kidding it continues to decline. There's two main reasons:

      1. Go to google.com and you det an advert for chrome. So, the world's largest advertiser it heavily avertising on one of the highest traffic sites in the world.

      2. Chrome is installed on the majority of mobile devices, and that's now a HUGE segment, and hardly anyone seems to install a better browser on their phone.

      I'm inclined to say the latter is more important. If you look at the stats on wikipedia, the decline of firefox mirrors the rise in mobile devices, not the rise in chrome.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      So, massive advertising campaign and aggressive bundling from one of the largest companies in the world? What chance do they stand?

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        I'm inclined to say the latter is more important. If you look at the stats on wikipedia, the decline of firefox mirrors the rise in mobile devices, not the rise in chrome.

        If you go to gs.statcounter.com and select just the desktop platform it's 57% Chrome, 17% Firefox, in total on all platforms it's 9.5%. At its peak in November 2009 Firefox had 32% when the mobile market was negligible. So it's about even, they've lost 45% of the desktop market share and the desktop has lost 45% of the total.market. YMMV but I switched because having Firefox running for long periods made it a slow memory hog requiring a full restart, in Chrome closing the offending tab solved things. Mozill

    • It looks like [netmarketshare.com] the current marketshare is under 12% and in a decline.

      Is it any wonder, with bone headed moves like completely blocking support for some plugins (ahem, flash)? I moved off the nightly builds onto waterfox for this very reason. I'll be the one in charge of deciding which plugins I do/don't run thank you very much.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Notable additions to the browser..."

    Stop adding shit!

    • Re:Stop! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @02:20PM (#50857317)
      I dunno, an indicator for which tab is playing that stupid audio is something I can definitely use.
      • by RDW ( 41497 )

        Good Lord, is that the first useful addition to the core browser in the last 5 years? Looks like I'll be less well-informed about the world from now on, though: https://xkcd.com/1280/ [xkcd.com]

      • Not auto-playing audio or video is something that would be far more useful. Flash loaded via plug-in? Scan that shit on-the-fly for media APIs and replace its window with a permission button.

  • Windows 64bit stable (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The builds are available for anyone in the know. Just not yet directed from download page.

    Waiting on partner [mozilla.org] before it gets publicised.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @02:14PM (#50857237)
    Seriously, this is becoming a major problem. It's not even funny. If I go to cnn.com, it doesn't mean I want to WATCH cnn. If I wanted that, I'd turn on the fucking TV.
  • Timothy let is know:

    The new private browsing mode goes further than just not saving your browsing history (read: porn sites)

    Oh really?

    Don't tell your mom...

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @02:22PM (#50857339) Homepage
    https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/... [mozilla.org] release notes for the nerds.

    now if mozilla could only remove the targeted advertisement feature, the video chat, and firefox sync we'd be getting somewhere. Firefox used to have a code of ethics and 10 user rights, but those went right out the window once that sweet sweet Google cash started rolling in.
    • by njahnke ( 757694 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @02:31PM (#50857437) Homepage
      what's wrong with firefox sync? I find it pretty useful.
      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        I don't use it myself, but I have nothing against it in principle.

        However, it started out as an add-on; and it really should have stayed an add-on. It is not core functionality of a browser; so it shouldn't be bloating the browser.

        At least sync makes it so you can run your own sync server if you are so inclined; so its its 100x better than pocket which backs onto a 3rd party commercial service, but it still shouldn't' have been integrated.

      • what's wrong with firefox sync?

        It should be a plugin. I don't want it, don't need it, and it gets in my way because it's on by default. I've deactivated it on three systems this week alone.

        I find it pretty useful.

        That's exactly why it should be available to you as a plugin.

        Firefox was created because Mozilla (now seamonkey) was too bloated. The stated design philosophy of FF was that a browser should browse the web, and have no other features except as provided by way of rich plugin support.

        I don't run F

    • | but those went right out the window once that sweet sweet Google cash started rolling in.

      Correction, when all that sweet Google cash STOPPED rolling in.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Instead of linking to blogspam, why not link to the actual release notes?
    https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/42.0/releasenotes/

  • The tracking protection only appears to work in Private Windows. It should work by default if you want it to, with or without Private Windows. I have NO interest in being tracked regardless of mode unless I opt-in to such tracking. (can't imagine me doing that but I should control the option)

    • Haven't tried 42.0 yet, but the last few releases have tracking already and can be turned on through about:config.

      Just set privacy.trackingprotection.enabled and privacy.trackingprotection.pbmode.enabled to true.

      • Really, Mozilla? Copy a feature IE has had for years, ok, fine, good for you, have a cookie.

        Make it completely obscure how to use it in the common scenario (i.e. not launching in Private Browsing mode), though? That's just... Stupid. Ridiculously stupid.

  • That would be a more valuable feature to me. There are times when I start firefox and I know there is a tab that is going haywire but I can't figure out which one it is...
  • But unfortunately, it's not the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.

    Fight for your bitcoins! [coinbrawl.com]

  • (read: porn sites)

    Silly timothy, that's not how you use porn sites!

    Fight for your bitcoins! [coinbrawl.com]

  • Back to 'vi' and editing directly the config.xml.

  • Surprisingly fairly easy to use the new No Tracking windows.

    That given, I should warn you that your actual keyboard, mouse controller, and CPU GPU are all directly accessible by the NSA GCHQ CSES and all the other p3rvs.

  • Is there another browser that can be configured like FF with the Tree-Style tabs add-on? I've gotten so used to having the tabs along the left side of the browser, that I can't stand using a browser with them across the top. I tend to have a lot of windows open, 14 at the moment. And currently have 7 to 22 tabs open in each window. If I'm researching something, that number can go up more. When the number of tabs gets past 8 or so, it's too difficult to figure out what's in them if they are across the top.

    • Not that I'm aware of. The closest is, oddly, IE; it has "tab grouping" that color-codes tabs so you can tell which tabs were opened from which other tabs. Still only along the top, though, and it doesn't actually show the hierarchy.

      I'd really like to have tab trees in Pale Moon. At least Pale Moon supports switching tabs (Ctrl+Tab shortcut) in recently-used order... Firefox's default tab handling is shit (and not just for the location or lack of hierarchy).

    • I'm using Opera with the Simple Vertical Tabs extension and am pretty happy with it. Opera is actually a decent option if you have realized how wonderful vertical tabs are, but also need compatibility with existing Chrome-only extensions (Tabs Outliner, in my case) and are therefore prevented from using Firefox with Tree Style Tabs.

      Another option would be the Vivaldi browser, which supports vertical tabs natively. It just entered beta, so it still has some rough edges, but it does already look promising. Vi

  • I wonder how well the tracking protection really works.
    Just looking at the huge amounts of ways that your browser can be fingerprinted - https://wiki.mozilla.org/Finge... [mozilla.org] - it seems virtually impossible. To start with they already have your IP and there's about a dozen other standard parameters the uniquely identify you. Then there's some crazy shit, like checking system clock time skew.

    • It's less about preventing fingerprinting and more about preventing third-party requests. For example, browsing Slashdot with Slashdot's ads ostensibly disabled, there are still eight different third-party requests (not counting stuff I've whitelisted, like jquery and other necessary evils) that my browser has blocked. That's not counting requests that the responses to those blocked requests themselves would have generated, which is usually several times as many (page loads third-party scripts A, B, and C,

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