Firefox gets speedier tab switching, a new accessibility tool for developers and more

Mozilla today released version 61 of its Firefox browser. By now, it’s no secret that Firefox is back in contention as a serious competitor to Google’s Chrome browser and while the new release doesn’t offer any groundbreaking new features, all of the new improvements and tools in Firefox 61 are good examples for why Firefox is worth another try.
Two of the new features focus on speed, something Firefox was sorely lacking for a while but now offers plenty of.
The first of these is tab warming, which essentially makes switching between tabs faster because Firefox already preemptively starts loading a tab (after a small delay) when you are hovering over it. Once you do click on that tab, much of the rendering has already been done, so switching between tabs now feels faster.
The other new performance-related feature is ‘retained display lists.’ Whenever Firefox renders a page, it builds a display list


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Mozilla Releases Open Source Speech Recognition Model, Massive Voice Dataset

Mozilla’s VP of Technology Strategy, Sean White, writes:

I’m excited to announce the initial release of Mozilla’s open source speech recognition model that has an accuracy approaching what humans can perceive when listening to the same recordings… There are only a few commercial quality speech recognition services available, dominated by a small number of large companies. This reduces user choice and available features for startups, researchers or even larger companies that want to speech-enable their products and services. This is why we started DeepSpeech as an open source project. Together with a community of likeminded developers, companies and researchers, we have applied sophisticated machine learning techniques and a variety of innovations to build a speech-to-text engine that has a word error rate of just 6.5% on LibriSpeech’s test-clean dataset. vIn our initial release today, we have included pre-built packages for Python, NodeJS and a command-line binary that developers can use right


Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/iRM8DiAB5Mc/mozilla-releases-open-source-speech-recognition-model-massive-voice-dataset

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Firefox aims to win back Chrome users with its souped up Quantum browser

 The last half-decade hasn’t been great for Firefox marketshare. Chrome first overtook Mozilla’s browser back in late-2011 and now hovers above 60-percent, according to StatCounter numbers. But after a fair amount of struggles, Mozilla’s been undergoing an interesting sort of renaissance of late, and is banking on its new Quantum browser to bring bygone users back into the… Read More


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Mozilla Will Deprecate XUL Add-ons Before the End of 2017

Artem Tashkinov writes: Mozilla has published a plan of add-ons deprecation in future Firefox releases. Firefox 53 will run in multi process mode by default for all users with some exceptions. Most add ons will continue to function, however certain add ons have already ceased to function because they don’t expect multi user mode under the hood. Firefox 54-56 will introduce even more changes which will ultimately break even more addons. Firefox 57, which will be preliminarily released on the 28th of Novermber, 2017, will only run WebExtensions: which means no XUL (overlay) add ons, no bootstrapped extensions, no SDK extensions and no Embedded WebExtensions. In other words by this date the chromification of Firefox will have been completed. If you depend on XUL add ons your only choice past this date will be Pale Moon.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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Mozilla Has Stopped All Commercial Development On Firefox OS — Explains What It Plans To Do With Code Base

Mozilla announced last year that Firefox OS initiative of shipping phones with commercial partners did not bring the returns it sought. The company earlier this year hinted that it intends to shut the project. It is now sharing how it will deal with Firefox OS code base going forward. From their post: We would stop our efforts to build and ship smartphones through carrier partners and pivot our efforts with Firefox OS to explore opportunities for new use cases in the world of connected devices. Firefox OS was transitioned to a Tier 3 platform from the perspective of support by Mozilla’s Platform Engineering organization. That meant as of January 31, 2016 no Mozilla Platform Engineering resources would be engaged to provide ongoing support and all such work would be done by other contributors. For some period of time that work would be done by Mozillaâ(TM)s Connected Devices team. We had


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Microsoft gains support from Mozilla, EFF, Google and Apple in fight against US gagging orders

Microsoft is fighting the US Justice Department in an attempt to quash a law that prevents companies informing customers that the government is requesting their data. The technology giant has the backing of other tech companies as well as media outlets. Amazon, Apple, Google, Fox News, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mozilla are among those offering their support to Microsoft. The lawsuit says that blocking companies from keeping their customers informed is unconstitutional, and it comes at a time when tech companies in particular are keen to be as open and transparent as possible about government requests for data. Legal experts… [Continue Reading]


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Mozilla Is Building A ‘Recommender System For the Web’

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Venture Beat: Mozilla unveiled a new project called the Context Graph. In short, the company is looking to build “a better forward button” that helps you understand a topic, find alternative solutions to a problem, and in general allow browsers to offer useful information without demanding input. Context Graph is a “recommender system for the web” that is supposed to help the company develop an understanding of browser activity at scale. By tapping into what and how people are browsing, Mozilla hopes to unlock “the next generation of web discovery on the internet.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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Mozilla Is Building Context Graph, a ‘Recommender System For the Web’

Mozilla is looking into ways to build a “better forward button” that helps you understand a topic, and find alternative solutions to a problem. On Wednesday, Firefox-maker announced Context Graph, which in addition also allows browsers to offer useful information without demanding input. From a VentureBeat report: Context Graph is a “recommender system for the web” that is supposed to help the company develop an understanding of browser activity at scale. By tapping into what and how people are browsing, Mozilla hopes to unlock “the next generation of web discovery on the internet.” Another example is learning how to do something new, like bike repair. Context Graph should be able to help you learn bike repair based on the links others have navigated to when they attempted to learn the same thing. “This should work regardless of whom you’re connected to, because your social network shouldn’t be a prerequisite for


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Firefox 46 arrives, security and stability the order of the day for desktop users

Mozilla has released Firefox 46.0 FINAL, a relatively minor refresh of its desktop browser for Windows, Linux and Mac with no standout new features. Also released is Firefox for Android 46.0, which does at least include some noteworthy new features such as the ability to display previously cached pages offline and support for sync via Firefox Accounts. The desktop build contains just two new items, neither of which will set the pulses racing. The JavaScript Just In Time (JIT) compiler has been tweaked to tighten security of JavaScript code on web pages. Now code can be executable or writable, but… [Continue Reading]


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