Tag Archives: firefox

Firefox 35 released!

Nothing super drastic, except maybe the “Share” button which will help you quickly share whatever you browse currently via Twitter, facebook etc. It’s kinda cool feature even if the page you’re viewing doesn’t offer Share buttons. Check the changelog for more info.

Changelog:
https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/35.0beta/releasenotes/

You can already grab Firefox 35 through their FTP:
ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/35.0/win32/

Web browsers are sexist

I’m not gonna go full attack rant on this one like feminists do it for every little shit out there, it’s just an interesting observation while I was writing responses on this topic in my browser and decided to go and test all the other major browsers as well…

When talking gender equality issues, words like “misogyny” and “misandry” often come up. “Misogyny” means hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women, or prejudice against women, where “misandry” means hatred of men (funny how definition is a lot shorter for men). Definitions taken from dictionary.com

Now, here is the interesting observation that web browsers or shall I say dictionaries in them are sexist. They acknowledge the word “misogyny”, but they don’t do the same for “misandry”. They underline it with red and offer you correction. I’m using US English dictionaries. Lets see what they’ll offer me as correction for my “misspelling”…

Firefox 34.0.5
Nice job Firefox, offering me what is essentially a female name as correction for a word that defines hatred of men. Bravo you sexist bastards. 😀
FF_misandry

Chrome 39/Iron 39 and possibly every other Chrome based browser
Yup Chrome, you clearly did misaddress the spelling error…
CH_misandry

Opera 12.17 (Presto engine)
Opera, in a Scandinavian tradition went brave. So many things to choose from. Too bad they are all incorrect…
OP_misandry

Opera 26 (WebKit engine)
The latest Opera was a bit more conservative, omitting the “syndrome” option.
OPN_misandry

Yup, patriarchy is clearly working /sarcasm, if none of the browser dictionaries even acknowledges the word “misandry” as a correctly spelled word. And to take things further, not even WordPress dictionary acknowledges this word…

WordPress
What a misery…

WP_misandry

Feminism conspiracy I tell you that!

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Why are browser storing synced passwords locally?

The thing is, this is a massive security issue and I thought someone like Google would do it by now. After all, they have the server power to utilize password fetching on request every time user needs to login somewhere. But they still keep on insisting on idiotic local password storage. Why!?

I’ve had a security breach ages ago with Firefox where malware that I executed by mistake during testing pretty much just copied the local password storage file and submitted it to god knows where. And then I had to change passwords of every single service I was using at that time. Then I checked other browsers and they ALL do this stupid thing. So I was forced to move to LastPass.

And here is where I got the idea. LastPass offers 100% remote password storage if you enable it in its settings. Granted, you have to be connected to the internet in order to access and use your passwords, but then again, what good are all those passwords without internet connection if you can’t access the service in the first place? There are really very rare cases where you need to lookup password for a device that isn’t the one on which you’re looking up the passwords. I’ve had like 3 such scenarios in last 2 years or so where I needed passwords to be used on a smartphone.

So, this is how Lastpass always connected password storage and syncing works:

Visit webpage with login -> LastPass detects it -> sends query to their servers and returns the password for that page -> browser extension inserts the password into webpage -> You just have to click Log in button

Why is this a smarter method?

If you happen to have a security breach, all you have to do is to change the LastPass master password and all the remote passwords will be safe again. Because there is no way someone on the other end will manually check every single password one by one and abuse it the very moment it’s submitted to a remote location. And since LastPass also offers 2-step authentication (which is highly recommended!), it’s nearly impossible to steal your passwords. Someone would actually have to hack your computer (or rely on you installing RAT (Remote Access Tool) yourself via malware), install RAT and use your local browser to steal your passwords from within the browser LastPass extension by hand. A scenario which requires way too much work for anyone to bother with, knowing there might not even be any profitable “loot” when they do it.

Syncing is an integral part of every browser these days and if you use more than one device, you’re most likely using browser syncing. So you have same bookmarks, passwords and settings on all systems. If you use sync, passwords should be strictly remote. If you don’t use syncing, then browser should store passwords locally like they used to for the last 2 decades or so.

I know you can set a master password for local password storage, but it’s really annoying and if they steal your local password storage file and a crypt key, they can do the decryption locally using brute force. And then you again have to manually change all the passwords. It’s just pointless and stupid.

But remote storage and instant fetching of passwords would greatly boost security and make password stealing a massive pain in the ass for the criminals. Google can do it easier since they have all the resources, servers and 2-step authentication already in place, but I’m expecting Mozilla to do it as well. Because seeing how great it works in LastPass, I just can’t accept any excuses for not using such system.

For the time being, I highly recommend ditching all the existing browser password managers and usage of LastPass instead. It’s convenient, secure and after using it for several years, it works amazingly well with just 1 few hours long downtime when LastPass was experiencing some issues (that was like few months ago). 1 downtime incident in several years. It’s hardly inconvenient considering all the benefits. But when Google and Mozilla will do it, now that will be awesome.

Firefox 33 launched!

Some more news from the Firefox front. This time with some really important new performance features.

Two of them are OMTC or Off Main Thread Composition which gives Firefox ability to utilize more CPU threads more efficiently, providing faster webpage rendering and also a lot smoother interface behavior. The second improvement is for the JavaScript engine with faster and slimmer JS strings. There are other features but these two are the most important to me.

You can already grab Firefox 33 through their FTP:

ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/33.0/win32/

The way how Firefox 33 feels ultra snappy on a 4GHz quad is incredible, I can’t wait to test it on my low end laptop with AMD E-450 which is just a very low power dual core. Should be interesting…

avast! Online Security add-on for Firefox

Apparently avast! team has finally released a stand alone version of avast! Online Security plugin for Mozilla Firefox (for a while now, I just haven’t noticed it). I know I’m already using avast!, but didn’t like the add-on being tied to the antivirus instead of browser. It made add-ons syncing a bit of a pain. But not anymore. If you’re a Firefox user, clicky de click here:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/avast-online-security

And you can grab the add-on there even if you’re not actually using avast! Antivirus. It hasn’t been approved fully by Mozilla yet, but it’s made by avast! Software, so you can be sure it’s safe.

What does it do?

It checks webpages for phishing, it checks URL addresses for common typos and auto-corrects them. It also has a community based webpage rating system comprised of over 170 million users and also indicates that status inside search engines.

Additionally it can suggest you better offers and deals on certain webpages and also prevent tracking elements (those stupid Facebook buttons and other crap) from tracking you as you browse around. All this can of course be tweaked and adjusted in add-on settings.

Tweak Firefox 29 with some old goodies

Like I’ve said in the Australis Dilemis post few days ago, I don’t mind changes in GUI for as long as they are good ones. And I actually like the new Australis interface. Yes, it does look too much like Chrome and I don’t like that at all, but it’s still functional. However, I just had to get few of the old things back where they belong.

Move bookmark star back to URL bar…
If you hate the placement of the new quick bookmark star, fear no more! You can move it back into the URL bar again.

Star-Button In Urlbar add-on:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/starbuttoninurlbar

Sidebar auto show/hide…
Since moving star button back into URL bar removes the new combo star/bookmark button, I found this one as a nice alternative, which would be useful either way. You just move the mouse to the left side of the screen and bookmarks sidebar pops up. It’s really useful if you have bunch of Unsorted bookmarks that you access quite often.

Sidebar auto show/hide add-on:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/sidebar-auto-showhide

Move RSS feed button back to URL bar…
They’ve moved RSS feed button out of the URL bar long ago, but for those who missed that change and want the RSS button back in the URL bar, here is the add-on for that.

RSS icon in URL bar add-on:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/rss-icon-in-url-bar

Be able to close the last open tab…
This was also changed long ago, but for those who want it this way (better way imo), here is the add-on which also has few settings. It gives you ability to close the last open tab and instantly gets replaced by an empty one. Without this add-on, you have to manually open a new tab and close old one, because when only one tab is open, it doesn’t have the “X” button to close it. It will have it with this add-on.

Last Tab Close Button add-on:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/last-tab-close-button

This is it for now, the must have add-ons that I need to work comfortably with my browser. Though I wish Firefox left all this as an option instead of just removing them all together whether you like it or not. It sucks to install 5 extra new add-ons every time they decide to make radical changes to the GUI. It’s stupid and I’m shocked they haven’t learned anything from the mistakes Microsoft made with Windows 8 and they are now slowly patching it back to give users some of the Windows 7 menu features back, but still. Why complicate things and force users to use add-ons if there was no need for that. Make new changes and leave old as an optional setting. This way everyone wins.

Use browser as local PDF reader

Are you also tired of constantly updating and installing new PDF reader versions and you don’t need anything special, just the most basic PDF reader that can read and print PDF files and nothing (much) else?

I got this idea because I’m using Firefox which already uses integrated built-in PDF reader. In general it is meant to preview PDF files you encounter on webpages, but why not use it for PDF’s already on your local disk? Here is how you can do it…

Windows 8

Go to: Control Panel -> Programs -> Make a file type always open in a specific program

Scroll down and find the .pdf entry on the list. Doubled click it and select “More options”. Now select Firefox. If it’s not on the list, scroll all the way down and click “Look for another app on this PC”. Browse for firefox.exe file, usually located in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox”. “Current default” column should now say “Firefox”. If it’s not, double click it and select “Firefox” from the list.

Same “trick” can also be used with Google Chrome I guess, since it’s also using integrated PDF reader. Process should be exactly the same as for Firefox, except you have to use chrome.exe program instead of firefox.exe

Now, double click any PDF on your local disk and see if it opens in Firefox. It did when I tested it. No more wasting time updating my PDF readers, it will always get updated along with Firefox that I use all the time anyway. Win win! 🙂 Will post Windows 7 method as well when I get to my laptop with Win7 installed…

Windows 7

Weird enough, this trick doesn’t work in Windows 7. I’ve tried it and Firefox just asks to download the file. And if you set it to open the download automatically without asking, it starts to loop and it will keep on opening new tabs till computer melts down in a smelly pile of plastic and silicon. I don’t quite understand why this works in Win8, but not in Win7. It has to do something with the fact that Win8 comes with preinstalled PDF reader and Win7 doesn’t or something. And Firefox also behaves differently.

Get rid of the Firefox speed dial tab…

Ok, this speed dial thing on every new “empty” tab that you open was introduced some time ago in Firefox, but i still hate it and I don’t get it why the hell Mozilla doesn’t give us a simple checkbox for it in settings under “Tabs” menu. Not everyone like or want it (it’s a privacy concern for some). It’s a very badly done version of Opera Speed Dial and I hate it. So, if you also hate it, here is how you can get rid of it…

Type about:config into address bar and hit ENTER. Search for browser.newtab.url. Now modify its value from about:newtab into about:blank.

There, every time you’ll open a new tab, it will be empty (blank). It’s not an ideal solution and you’ll have to do it manually after every Firefox install but at least it works. Until Mozilla redesigns it properly…

FlashFox – flash enabled mobile browser

As you probably already know, Google and Adobe removed Adobe Flash Player from GooglePlay due to hamsters killing themselves over it or something. And because HTML5 was supposed to replace it, yet this still did not happen…

So, if you want to watch Flash videos or play Flash games on smartphone through its browser, tough luck. It’s not possible anymore. Until now! Well, it’s not that new, it’s just new to me…

FlashFox

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobi.browser.flashfox

It’s called FlashFox and is essentially a Firefox based browser with integrated and enabled Adobe Flash Player. I’ve tried it on flash enabled video sites and it actually works. All videos played smoothly on my Galaxy S2 so that’s pretty cool. And since it’s Firefox based, you can also use Firefox add-ons or even sync bookmarks and stuff to your desktop Firefox browser.

 

Mozilla Firefox 24 released!

Another smqaller update and don’t expect anything big for Firefox 25 either. 24 brings few smaller fixes where biggest one is performance improvement with the SVG tiling and resizing. Other than that, nothing drastic. Still a recommended update as always to improve security and kill bugs.

Changelog (may not be updated just yet):
http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/notes
https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/24.0/releasenotes/

Direct Early Download (EN-US):
http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/24.0/win32/en-US/Firefox%20Setup%2024.0.exe

Official download (may not be updated just yet):
http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/