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Firefox 4 After One Day

Firefox 4 for desktop launched yesterday and the reports says that within 24 hours of being announced it had been downloaded 7.1 million times. This is in addition to the more than 3 million people who were already running the release candidate that became the final version of Firefox 4. Firefox 4 is blazingly fast, cleverly intuitive to use, and for the first time, will be delivered consistently across desktops and mobile devices when Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo lands in the next couple of weeks.

Beyond the obvious, Firefox 4 more profoundly starts the redefinition of the “browser” – from a piece of code traditionally used to simply view, and link to static information, to a trusted environment we live our online lives in, and which we rely on to securely engage with information, applications, friends, colleagues and so much more.

As we do so much more online, we must expect so much more from our browser environment. We should expect it to know who we are, wherever we go. We should expect it to remember such simple things as history, passwords, open tabs, open applications – and remember those on our behalf, wherever we go online, on any device, and without the need to re-enter anything. We should expect it to move at human speed, while being completely customizable and yet so simple and intuitive, anyone can use it. We should expect it to enable us to live in the level of privacy and security WE choose to, everywhere WE go.

In short, we should expect our browser to answer to no one but us!

Mozilla is a community of nearly 50,000 contributors worldwide who come together to build a better Internet that is free, open and accessible to all. If you are one of the more than 400 million users of Firefox already, or if you are brand new to Firefox, welcome to 4, we hope you enjoy the freedom.

 

By

Gary Kovacs

Horde of security issues fixed in Safari 5.0.4

Safari logoApple has updated Safari on March 10, 2011, bringing the browser to version 5.0.4 for Windows and Mac. Although, as specified by the version number, this isn’t a major release that adds new features and functionality, it’s a highly recommended update because of the sheer number of security vulnerabilities that it fixes: 62. These vulnerabilities are detailed in a dedicated Apple knowledge base article. While Apple doesn’t assign severity levels to the vulnerabilities found in its software, thus making it harder to quickly grasp the importance of such problems, Naked Security reports that 57 of those 62 bugs can be exploited if the user simply visits a specially constructed website. So, in a word — update!

Safari 5.0.4 also brings a host of stability and compatibility improvements compared to its predecessors. Issues with stability when running multiple instances of plug-ins, compatibility with pages with image reflections and transition effects, printing with incorrect layouts, content display on pages with plug-ins, and the screen saver appearing while playing video in Safari, have all been fixed.

Safari 5.0.4 works on Mac OS X 10.5.8 or newer, as well as on Windows XP, Vista, or 7. The update has already been pushed through Apple’s Software Update mechanism. You can also just download Safari 5.0.4 directly from Apple’s website.

Tweet Button Bookmarklet

Last week, twitter announced an easy-to-install and lightweight Tweet Button that allows publishers to make it easy for users to share a link to their content on Twitter. Thousands of sites have implemented the Tweet Button already.

But what if you go to a site that doesn’t have a Tweet Button? Have no fear. Today, they’re making available a Tweet Button Bookmarklet that allows you to tweet a link with your own commentary from anywhere on the web. You just need to drag and drop the Bookmarklet into your browser’s bookmark bar.

Like the Tweet Button, it shortens links automatically. If there’s a Twitter account listed on the site, it also may suggest users to follow. To install the Bookmarklet, visit this page and drag the “Share on Twitter” link to your bookmark bar on any browser.

Google Ending Google Wave

Google will kill off Google Wave, they told in a blog post. It was a technically very inspiring web app which, however, arrived without any particular and clear use case. This caused not only interface usability problems (Wave was good at allowing you to do a lot of things at once, but it often wasn’t really good at anything in particular, e.g. plain chat when needed). It also caused social frictions as people were using the tool with different, colliding expectations.

Google now says that despite wins and numerous fans, “Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked.” They won’t continue develop Wave as a stand-alone tool, but keep on using and extending its technology in other products. Well, it looks like this product at least had a chance to proof or disproof itself. Other products, like Google’s 3D world Lively, were cancelled after just mere months.

Mozilla Launched Social Media Toolkit

Today Mozilla announced the launch of the Social Media Toolkit.

The Mozilla Social Media Toolkit is a set of tools that allows you to leverage social media to market Mozilla and Firefox in your region and beyond.  The toolkit contains everything you’ll need from best practices, tips and tricks, to design assets for both Facebook and Twitter.

Are you a Mozillian that has a community or localized Mozilla/Firefox social media account?  Or are you interested in setting one up?  Then this toolkit is for you!

Go check out the toolkit! together we can see an increase in the Mozilla social media space!

Dailing Faster With Google Voice on Android and Blackberry Devices

Google is always obsessed with speed. Their mantra is faster = better. This is true for their Google Voice mobile apps as well. When you want to make a call, your phone should connect you as quickly as possible, whether you’re calling via Google Voice or not.

Today they are launching an enhancement to the Google Voice mobile app on Android and Blackberry phones, which makes placing calls much faster. They call this feature “direct access numbers.” Here’s how it works:

Until today, the Google Voice app had to make a request to the Google Voice server every time you wanted to make a call to send us the phone number you wanted to dial. Then the call would be connected via a Google Voice access number. With direct access numbers, Google assign a unique phone number to every person you call. This means that they no longer need to use your data network to access the server each time you make a call, so calls will be placed much faster.

The updated Android app is available from Android Market starting today. For Blackberry users, you can download the app by visiting http://m.google.com/voice from your mobile device. You will need a valid Google Voice account to use the app, and at this time, Google Voice is available in the US only.

SDK For Yahoo! Messenger IM Released

This is a big day for Yahoo! Messenger. Yahoo! announced that they’ve opened up the Yahoo! Messenger platform for developers. This exciting SDK will allow developers to use the Yahoo! Messenger platform to create innovative new applications and services.

Yahoo! tried to make their SDK as simple to use as possible. They’ve exposed a new REST API for the Yahoo! Messenger platform — the same API that they use with thei own products. So they know that it’s rock solid. In fact, all you need is a little knowledge of HTTP and JSON and you’ll be up and running in no time, no matter what programming environment you’re using. The SDK contains all keys Yahoo! Messenger features that you’ve come to expect, including real-time presence, contact-list management, instant messaging, file transfers, and user-image management.

Please make sure you read the documentation that Yahoo! included. This document provides best practices, guidelines for using the service, Messenger logos (including our beloved Smiley), and test cases to make sure your application is working properly.

Finally, note that they’re rolling out the SDK in most of Asia, as well as India, initially. The reason we chose this region is the dynamic nature of instant messaging in this market. There are some crazy and wonderful things with Yahoo! Messenger coming out of this corner of the world.

For those of you in the rest of the world don’t worry; we have plans to roll out this program on a larger scale very soon.

Here’s a list of handy links:

Get Firefox Home on Your iPhone!

Firefox Home, a free application, is now available for download on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Firefox Home provides access to your Firefox desktop history, bookmarks and open tabs on your iPhone. Get up and go and have exactly what you are looking for on the Web on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Firefox Home uses your browser data, securely synced from Firefox on your desktop to the cloud, to let you search and browse quickly and efficiently. You can view the sites you want directly in Firefox Home, open them in Mobile Safari or share them with friends via email. Your Firefox data is private and only you have access to it.

Quick Start:

If you have Firefox Sync on your desktop, skip to step #3.

  1. Install Firefox Sync, a free add-on for Firefox, on your desktop.
  2. Restart Firefox and follow prompts to create an account with both a password and a secret phrase.
  3. Go the App Store on your iPhone and search for “Firefox Home” or install it directly from iTunes.
  4. Launch Firefox Home on your iPhone. You’ll be prompted to enter your Firefox Sync account info. Enter your username, password and Secret Phrase and tap “Done.”
  5. Enjoy!

More detailed set-up instructions are available, as well as a answers to frequently asked questions.

Firefox 4 Beta 1 Launched

Firefox 4 Beta 1 is now ready to download and test! This first version gives an early look at what’s planned for Firefox 4. Stay tuned, because there is more to come and mozilla plan to release new beta versions every two to three weeks. Your feedback is essential to help shape the product which is why they’re launching now to hear from you early in their development process.

Firefox 4 Beta 1 includes dozens of major features and improvements – by testing them early they’ll be able to respond to your feedback for future versions of Firefox. Once you download Firefox 4 Beta 1, you’re part of our beta program and will receive regular updates as more features launch.

If you are using a Windows PC, the most noticeable new feature will be the look of the browser. Mozilla moved the tabs to the top to make it easier to focus on the web content and easier to control the tools in your Web browser. Also, if you have Windows 7 or Windows Vista the Menu bar was replaced with a single Firefox button so you can get to the most used options with just one click. These changes will be coming soon for Mac and Linux.

There is a lot more to this beta than a facelift on Windows, including:

  • New Add-Ons Manager: gives you more space to manage your Add-Ons, Themes and Plugins. Customizing your browser has never been easier!
  • HD Video: Watch hardware-accelerated, super-smooth, HD-quality HTML5 video on YouTube using the new WebM format.
  • Privacy improvements: Mozilla always puts privacy first, and this latest beta fixes flaws in some Web standards that could expose your browser history.
  • Crash Protection: Experience uninterrupted browsing (now available on all platforms) – when a plugin crashes or freezes, you can resume browsing by simply refreshing the page.
  • Performance: We know that performance is important. In this version, we focused on improving responsiveness at start-up and during page loads. This is just the beginning for performance improvements in Firefox 4.

Web developers will be interested in some of the changes we’ve made under the hood:

  • HTML5 Parser: Run the best Web apps of today and tomorrow – if a user’s browser doesn’t support HTML5, they still won’t miss out on your content.
  • WebSockets: Build real-time, online interactions like gaming and chatting.
  • IndexedDB: Use structured storage in your Web applications to speed them up or provide offline support.
  • Web Console: Peek into dynamic websites with this experimental “Heads Up Display” analysis tool.
  • Simpler Add-On Development: Authors can create Add-Ons that don’t require a restart to install, develop their Add-Ons more quickly using the new powerful Jetpack SDK, and safely connect to existing libraries using js-ctypes.
  • For a full list of Web technologies supported by Firefox check out our “big chart o’ features.”

There will be much more to test in future beta releases and not everything that you see in this beta is guaranteed to be in Firefox 4. That’s why they need your feedback to help shape Firefox 4. To make it easier to give feedback, Firefox 4 Beta includes a new Feedback Add-On. Any time you run across something you like or don’t like, just click the Feedback button and tell them about it. The Add-On also includes Mozilla Labs’ Test Pilot , and will ask you to take part in anonymous studies. You can choose to opt-out of any or all studies by managing your settings in the Feedback button (no data will be sent to Mozilla without your permission).

Help build the best Firefox ever:

  • Download Firefox 4 Beta
  • Learn more about the features
  • Submit your feedback
  • FAQ
  • Get the detailed Release Notes

Mozilla want to thank the Mozilla community of nightly testers for the amazing feedback that helped shaped Firefox 4 Beta 1.

Yahoo Messenger API releasing in July

An update on the Yahoo! Messenger API: This is taking a little longer than Yahoo! think – Yahoo! have some last mile details to take care of but they are committed to launching the new Yahoo Messenger API very soon.

Let me say that they are really excited about the response and enthusiasm that they’ve received around the opening of the platform behind our popular Yahoo! Messenger service. The team is working hard to make sure that these new APIs meet your expectations, that they are as simple as possible, and that they contain all the key features you need to develop great applications and services.