When Microsoft announced that it wanted to use hardware based acceleration for its next flavor of Internet Explorer, the tech mags were quick to praise the outfit for being jolly clever.
However it turns out that the world + dog is doing the same thing and it is not particularly clever or original. Mozilla has been on the blower to us saying that it is planning to do the same with Firefox. Already its developers have posted a prototype demonstrating the ability to take advantage of Direct2D and DirectWrite.
Firefox has a CPU usage issue and, consequently, can cause overheating problems in some laptops, particularly ultraportables. That's what I've found over the last couple of years.
But don't take my word for it. This is documented on a Mozilla support page entitled "Firefox consumes a lot of CPU resources." The page states: "At times, Firefox may require significant CPU [central processing unit] resources in order to download, process, and display Web content." And forum postings like this one about a Dell Netbook are not uncommon: "Mini9 would get way too hot."
Birthdays in the world of tech normally aren't that big of a deal for most folks. We tend to feel as much nostalgia toward hardware, software and services as we do toward flu shots and oil changes for the car. But even if you don't use Firefox -- and by the numbers, that's over 60% of you -- it's difficult to underestimate this once-upstart browser's impact on the way we experience the Internet, and how our software is developed in the first place.
Replacing monopoly with choice
Mozilla late on Friday released the first beta of Firefox 3.6, a minor upgrade slated to wrap up later this year.
Mozilla's Thunderbird team has been working on software called Raindrop that aims to unify communications channels such as e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter into a single interface with enough built-in smarts to separate the important messages from the routine. "E-mail used to house the bulk of the conversations that took place on the internet, but that's no longer the case today.
Microsoft has updated the advisory for MS09-054, a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer, to describe its impact on Firefox users. The first version failed to mention any impact, leading to what may have been an overreaction on Mozilla's part.
An entry on Microsoft's Security Research & Defense blog goes into the matter further. The bottom line: Firefox users should apply MS09-054, even though it's labeled as an update for IE.
The upcoming version 3.6 of Firefox will be able to tell if you're listing to starboard--and pass that information along to applications running in the browser.
That's because the browser will be able to detect the orientation of laptops and mobile devices equipped with accelerometers that can tell which way is down. The reason for the work: Web applications running in the browser will be able to use the information, useful for labyrinth-type games with virtual marbles rolling around boards, and any number of other gaming situations.
Mozilla executives today took shots at Google for pitching its Chrome Frame plug-in as a solution to Internet Explorer's poor performance, with one arguing that Google's move will result in "browser soup."
The Mozilla reaction puts the company that builds Firefox on the same side of the debate as rival Microsoft, which has also blasted Google over the plug-in.
The Mozilla team just released two new security updates for its popular web browser, Firefox 3.5.3 and Firefox 3.014. The updates are now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users and fix several security issues as well as stability issues.
Specifically, the new update for Firefox 3.5x fixes crashes with evidence pointing to memory corruption. The team presumes that with enough effort, at least some of these bugs could be exploited to run arbitrary code.
Additionally, the default Windows font used to render the location-bar and other text fields was improperly displaying certain Unicode characters with tall line-height. An attacker could use this vulnerability to prevent a user from seeing the URL of a malicious site.
There are other security concerns addressed which can be found in the Security Advisories release notes.
Firefox 3.0.14 and Firefox 3.5.3 can be downloaded here.
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