Firefox 44 Released

Mozilla released the next major update for Firefox on January 26th with Firefox 44. New features in this release included:

  • Improved warning pages for certificate errors and untrusted connections
  • Enable H.264 if system decoder is available
  • Enable WebM/VP9 video support on systems that don’t support MP4/H.264
  • In the animation-inspector timeline, lightning bolt icon next to animations running on the compositor thread
  • Support the brotli compression format via HTTPS content-encoding
  • Screenshot commands allow user choice of pixel ratio in Developer Tools
  • Firefox Can Now Get Push Notifications From Your Favorite Sites

There were some fixes and other items in this release which can be viewed via the Release Notes.

Depending on the user’s update settings, users should be prompted to install the new version or can do so sooner via the in-browser update (Help > About Firefox) or can manually download and install Firefox via getfirefox.com site.

The next planned update is Firefox 45 due for release on March 8, 2016.

Mozilla to Adjust 2016 Firefox Release Schedule

Mozilla has announced they are tweaking the Firefox release schedule for 2016. They still plan on pushing out the same amount of releases per year, just the timing between releases is going to fluctuate between 6 to 8 weeks.

Four years ago Mozilla moved to a fixed-schedule release model, otherwise known as theTrain Model, in which we released Firefox every six weeks to get features and updates to users faster and move at the speed of the Web. We studied the process carefully and learned a lot. We have also identified additional areas for improvement and it’s time we iterate again.

2016 Firefox Release Schedule

2016-01-26 – Firefox 44
2016-03-08 – Firefox 45, ESR 45 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-04-19 – Firefox 46 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-06-07 – Firefox 47 (7 weeks cycle)
2016-08-02 – Firefox 48 (8 weeks cycle)
2016-09-13 – Firefox 49 (6 weeks cycle)
2016-11-08 – Firefox 50 (8 weeks cycle)
2016-12-13 – Firefox 50.0.1 (6 week cycle, release for critical fixes as needed)
2017-01-24 – Firefox 51 (6 weeks from prior release)

Oracle will soon lay the Java browser plug-in to rest

"Now that Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari stopped or will soon stop supporting NPAPI web plug-ins*, Oracle thought it best to accept the Java plug-in's fate and let it go. The company has announced that it will be deprecated in the next version of Java to come out on September 22nd before being removed entirely by another future release ..."
Source: Engadget
More  Oracle will soon lay the Java browser plug-in to rest

Add-ons for a Better YouTube Experience

"From blocked videos to annoying ads, there are many things about YouTube we don't like. These restrictions and distractions only dampen the amazing experience that the video-sharing website is meant to provide. If you are a Firefox user, however, you won't have to worry about such things. Firefox offers a variety of add-ons that let you fix pretty much any annoyance that YouTube has. Furthermore, they also let you download videos right to your desktop so that you can watch them whenever you want, even without a connection.
"So, without much ado, here are some of the best Firefox add-ons that help you have a better YouTube experience. ..."
Source: TechSource
 Best Firefox Add-ons for a Better YouTube Experience

Using extensions in Firefox

Looks like I got caught assuming again.

I've been using FF for a long time and the primary reason has been the extensions/add-ons therefore everyone uses it for that reason.

Gizmo's posted a how-to for the add-ons today and caused me to rethink that assumption.

"... Counting the number of Firefox installations from which the foundation receives this anonymously submitted data, Mozilla staff estimates that around two in five users don't have add-ons installed on their Firefox browser. ..."
Source: Softpedia
 Mozilla: 40 Percent of Firefox Users Don't Have Add-Ons Installed
"Firefox has tons of useful add-ons that can make your browsing safer, use less bandwidth, grab screenshots.... you name it, there's probably an add-on for it. If you're not familiar with Firefox or you use Firefox but aren't sure how to use add-ons, this great step-by-step article tells you how to find, install and manage add-ons. ..."
Source: Gizmo's Freeware
 How to Use Firefox Add-ons

The Ghacks user.js Firefox privacy and security list

"... The newest version of it, featuring hundreds of advanced preferences for Firefox, has been released today. The latest version of the preferences list contains 298 different preferences for Firefox, and it is growing with every release. ..."
Source: gHacks Tech News
 The Ghacks user.js Firefox privacy and security list has been updated

Sneaky Adware

"The two PUPs are Shell&Services and Mintcast 3.0.1. These are browser add-ons for Firefox, Chrome, and IE, and are generally installed without the user's consent, packaged with other software.
"These two come with a newer variant of the Mintcast adware, which, besides injecting ads inside the user's browser while navigating legitimate websites, also secretly turns off Safe Browsing support in Firefox. ..."
Source: Softpedia
More  Adware Sneakily Turns Off Firefox Safe Browsing

HTML5 Netflix now supports Firefox

As we reported earlier, on December 17th NetFlix has started offering HTML5 videos for Firefox users. While this not a big deal for the Win32 users as they could still use Silverlight with Firefox, this is not the case for the Firefox Win64 users. The newly released Win64 Firefox browser does not support NPAPI plugins (except Flash). Note: Silverlight is planned on being supported with the upcoming Win64 version of Firefox 44. However, by the end of 2016 Mozilla plans on removing support for the very outdated NPAPI plugins (except Flash) from Win32 and Win64 versions of Firefox. Google Chrome ended support earlier this year and Microsoft's new Edge (Windows 10) browser also does not support NPAPI plugins. via The Mozilla Blog

Add-on Signing now Active in Firefox 43

One feature Mozilla, seems to have conveniently left out of the release notes for Firefox 43 is add-on/extension signing is now active and being enforced. Users can no longer install unsigned add-ons and there is no longer a mechanism to override this. Mozilla claims "(add-on signing) will make the block-list and other malware prevention measures more effective."