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Firefox 63 Arrives With Enhanced Tracking Protection, Search Shortcuts, and Picture-in-Picture on Android

SlashDot - 2 hours 14 min ago
Mozilla today launched Firefox 63 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The release brings Enhanced Tracking Protection, performance improvements on Windows and macOS, search shortcuts, and Picture-In-Picture on Android. From a report: Firefox 63 for the desktop is available for download now on Firefox.com, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play. According to Mozilla, Firefox has about 300 million active users. In other words, it's a major platform that web developers must consider. Firefox 63 for desktop brings support for Enhanced Tracking Protection. [...] Firefox 63's Enhanced Tracking Protection blocks cookies and storage access from third-party trackers, which Mozilla says targets the problem of cross-site tracking without breaking sites and impacting revenue streams like the original Tracking Protection. It does this by preventing known trackers from setting third-party cookies -- the primary method of tracking across sites -- but still gives you the option to block all known trackers (under Firefox Options/Preferences). [...] Search shortcuts essentially pins sites like Google and Amazon on the new tab page. When you click or tap them, you're redirected to Firefox's awesome bar, which automatically fills the corresponding keyword (@google or @amazon in this case) for the search engine. This way, you can type your query, hit enter, and get your search results without having to first load the Google or Amazon homepage. [...] The only major new feature for this Firefox for Android release is a picture-in-picture mode (Android Oreo and up). This means that if you're watching a video in full-screen, when you switch away from Firefox it will move the video into a small floating window, which you can tap to return to the full video player.

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White House Wants To Borrow Tech Workers From Google and Amazon, Says Report

SlashDot - 3 hours 24 min ago
"According to CNET, TechCrunch and others, the Trump administration reportedly wants tech giants to make it easy for workers to take leaves of absence to help the government modernize," writes Slashdot reader kimanaw. From a report: White House officials on Monday planned to meet with tech giants including Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM, to discuss ways to make it easier for employees to take leaves of absence to help with government projects, according to The Washington Post. The administration reportedly hopes tech industry workers will be able to help modernize state and federal agencies and tackle challenges such as upgrading the veterans' health care system. Attracting tech talent may prove difficult for the Trump administration, which hasn't always seen eye to eye with Silicon Valley on issues such as the president's ban on travel from predominantly Muslim countries. However, White House officials believe tech workers are willing to "put politics aside." "This event on Monday is not just about our efforts, it's about our successor, and their successor after that," said one unnamed official, according to the Post. The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.

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Mozilla Is Reportedly Going To Sell VPN Subscriptions Within Firefox

SlashDot - 6 hours 24 min ago
Mozilla is reportedly preparing to offer a VPN service for Firefox users to help protect them when surfing the web. According to Trusted Reviews, Mozilla has partnered with the ProtonVPN service, "with a new notification piping-up when the browser detects an unsecured connection, or in a scenario when VPN might be preferable to users." From the report: However, it appears Firefox users will have to pay for the privilege. Austrian site Soeren-hentzschel reports the premium VPN service will be $10 a month, which is what ProtonVPN charges its users. Users will receive a "Firefox Recommends" pop-up when browsing an unsecured wireless network. The pop-up says the VPN service will provide a "private and secure' internet connection. According to the reports, a subset of Firefox 62 users in the United States will begin receiving the pop-up from today. Mozilla will reportedly get a cut of any subscription fee handed over by users to access the VPN service. MSPowerUser points out that this will be the first advertised service that costs money for Firefox users.

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