Mozilla updates to Firefox 8, disables add-ons

New browser adds Twitter search for desktops


Mozilla has released the new build of its Firefox browser and, as promised, it’s cracking down on third-party add-ons.

The new build, which comes six weeks after Firefox 7, will switch off third-party add-ons by default and display a start screen after loading to ask users to enable or disable the features they want. The move was promised in August and trialed in the Firefox Aurora pre-beta before being rolled out further.

“Sometimes you download third-party software and are surprised to discover that an add-on has also installed itself in your browser without asking permission,” the company said on its blog. "At Mozilla, we think you should be in control."

One third-party function has, however, been more tightly integrated into Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux: Twitter support. English, Portuguese, Slovenian, and Japanese versions of the browser will be able to search Twitter user names and hashtags via the browser’s search engine box, with more languages coming shortly.

Other changes in the browser include support for Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) within WebGL, letting users download approved textures for manipulation within the browser. HTML5 support has also been boosted to allow menus to be easily customized with markup language.

Android users have also got an update, albeit a much smaller one. The biggest add-on is the Firefox Master Password, which stores all login details securely – or creates a single point of failure depending on your viewpoint. Support for HTML5 web applications has also been improved.

Mozilla is obviously hoping the new build will counter the growing threat from Google's Chrome, and the add-on block may go some way towards solving persistent reports of slow loading and memory problems, as well as issues with third parties putting out buggy code. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022