Tagged With mozilla

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It has been revealed that a marketing stunt has left many Firefox users thinking their computers had been hacked. An add-on, called “Looking Glass 1.0.3", has been officially installed with recent builds of Firefox. It's an AR game that lets people play along using clues from the hit TV show Mr Robot. But it's also a warning to software developers to not let marketing teams get too cute.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Browser vendors have made massive strides with JavaScript performance. Google kicked things off with its V8 engine, but since then, the likes of Mozilla and Microsoft have come back with snappy virtual machines of their own. But JavaScript can only take you so far. The next step is WebAssembly (wasm), which supports compilation from C/C++ and near-native performance in the browser. Both Chrome and Firefox now have wasm enabled by default.

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Browsers now come with all manner of developer tools for debugging websites, inspecting code and even making live changes. HTML, CSS and XML are easily interpreted and presented in human-readable form, but just-as-important formats such as JSON still come out as a wall of monospaced text. Soon that won't be the case for Firefox.

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Building extensible software is a tricky business. On one hand, you want your platform to be as customisable as possible, while on the other you want the flexibility to update APIs to make them faster, more secure and feature-rich. These aims aren't always compatible, as we're now discovering with Mozilla and the fundamental changes it's making to Firefox's add-on infrastructure.

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Firefox could get an injection of super extra privacy should tests of an enhanced Private Browsing mode prove successful. Currently incorporated in a "pre-beta" version of the browser, the new mode will go a step further by shutting down page elements that might be snooping on your activities.