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 However, by the end of 2016 Mozilla plans on removing support for the very outdated NPAPI plugins (except Flash) from Win32 and Win64 versions of Firefox.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."  

Firefox 43.0.1 Released

Mozilla has released a minor update to the current Firefox 43 branch with Firefox 43.0.1 on December 18th. This is part 1 of 2 for the fix of Bug 1079858. This bug has to do with Microsoft deprecating the use of the SHA1 Authenicode signatures for Windows singing on January 1st, 2016. Mozilla is moving to use SHA2 signature algorithms and the purpose of this patch is to simply inform the updater and maintenance service of the new SHA2 certificate issuer. Part 2 which will be released with Firefox 43.0.2 likely in the next week will Use SHA-2 to sign Windows binaries, and switch the stub installer to expect that. Warning: Windows XP SP2 or older users will no longer be able to get Firefox updates or run anything newer than Firefox 43 as Windows XP SP2 does NOT support SHA2 (or newer) signature algorithms. Windows XP SP3 and newer users will still be able to run newer versions of Firefox. Important: User who do not update to Firefox 43.0.1 and the future 43.0.2 may encounter difficulties (UAC Prompts or Windows blocking the updater service) installing upcoming version of Firefox via Mozilla Release Notes.

Firefox Users Can Now Watch Netflix HTML5 Video on Windows

"Netflix announced today that their HTML5 video player now supports Firefox on Windows Vista and later using Adobe’s new Primetime CDM (Content Decryption Module). This means Netflix fans can watch their favorite shows on Firefox without installing NPAPI plugins. ..."

Source: The Mozilla Blog
 Firefox Users Can Now Watch Netflix HTML5 Video on Windows

Firefox 43 Released

Mozilla released the next major update for Firefox on December 15th with Firefox 43. New features in this release included:
  • Private Browsing with Tracking Protection offers choice of blocking additional trackers
  • Improved API support for m4v video playback
  • Firefox 64-bit for Windows is now available via the Firefox download page
  • Users can choose search suggestions from the Awesome Bar
  • On-screen keyboard displayed on selecting input field on devices running Windows 8 or greater
  • Firefox Health Report has switched to use the same data collection mechanism as telemetry
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 site. IMPORTANT: Windows 64-Bit users who want to use the new 64-Bit Windows version of Firefox will need to manually download and install the 64-Bit version of Firefox from here. The next planned update is Firefox 44 due for release in late January 2016.

Modify Firefox settings on the Web

"Firefox Profilemaker is an online tool that enables you to make configuration changes to Firefox by exporting those changes either to a Firefox profile or saving them as a prefs.js file instead for existing profiles.
"The idea is very similar to that of ConfigFox, a third-party program for Firefox that provides you with options to configure security, privacy and other Firefox settings which in turn is based on our privacy and security settings listing for the browser.
"The online tool walks you through seven configuration pages, each listing a distinct set of features and options to either enable or disable it. ..."
Source: gHacks Tech News
 Firefox Profilemaker: modify Firefox settings on the Web

Mitchel Baker: Thunderbird Update

Note: While this post mostly pertains to Mozilla's other project, Thunderbird I still felt it was important to post this here as to remind people that while Thunderbird is very different from Firefox, they are still both 'interconnected' within the Mozilla Foundation in regards to technical resources. Mitchel Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation has posted an update on her blog about Thunderbird. She assures us that Mozilla is not 'dropping' Thunderbird. But, at the same time it is no longer effective for Thunderbird and Firefox to share the same technical infrastructure.
Firefox and Thunderbird have diverging needs. Firefox needs to move at the speed of the Web, and needs to bring the things we love about the Web into the world of mobile, social, data and the cloud. That’s a fiercely competitive setting with high consequences. We need to be laser-focused if we want to move these parts of online life towards the traits of individual user centrality and control, openness, interoperability and a level playing field. Thunderbird is a valuable and respected open source project, with different parameters. In my message on Monday I noted that planning for the future should be based on the need to plan for a future where the technical infrastructure of Firefox and Thunderbird are separate.
However, there could be a time where Thunderbird moves away from Mozilla.
I also noted that we should look at whether Mozilla remains the best organizational and legal home for Thunderbird. This is a separate question from the technical infrastructure. This question is much more wide open. I don’t know what the answer will be. It could be that Mozilla remains the best home, based on history, affiliation and shared community. It could also be that a home geared to open source projects of Thunderbird’s size and scope is better suited. I can imagine either being the case. We have decided to separate the technical infrastructure and to explore what is best for Thunderbird and for the Mozilla project as a whole.
via Lizard Wrangling

Mozilla Dumps Tile Advertising Experiment

"It's no secret Mozilla has been toying with ideas to monetise Firefox, with one experiment including advertisement-filled home page tiles. After trialling the feature for a while, Mozilla has decided to give it the axe. ..."
Source: Lifehacker Australia
 Mozilla Dumps Tile Advertising Experiment From Firefox