- why am I opted-in to a Studies program in Firefox's default state? (With no explicit information about what it is)
- what does app.normandy.enabled switch do and why is its default value is True and doesn't change to false when I explicitly state I don't want to be in the Studies program?
- why can't we see any xpi's installed by studies program unless we explicitly go to about:studies?
I don't say chromium is better, but I think we deserve an explanation regarding these points.
While these deserve an explanation, you should not wait to move.
Chrome is spyware that does web browsing. It's parent company also shows ads, all the time.
Chrome's auto update not only allows them to silently update or change your browser, it allows them to silently install other software on your computer.
Firefox is a browser. It can auto-update in a way that may be questionable, but it also has a lot of cranky devs looking over their shoulder to call them out years later because Mr. Robot may have been able to show them an ad. FF deserves to be called out on their mistakes, and need offer an explanation. But perspective!
Why would you not move now?
It's very privacy oriented, to such a degree that it actually breaks a lot of websites (but you can disable the shields easy).
There are forks that try to strip Google from it, but it is a mistake to assume that Chromium is somehow better than Chrome.
What other integrations, specifically please, does Chromium have with Google?
Aside: do Google serve the Firefox Newtab adverts, perhaps that "feature" was added for the extra money Firefox are getting from Google?
1. It uses Google DNS internally, bypassing system DNS.
2. First-run analytics to Google, new tab page analytics to Google.
3. Various built-in google services that phone home: Google Host Detector, Google URL Tracker, Google Cloud Messaging, Google Hotwording, Google Safe Browsing, WiveDine DRM, Google AutoFill, etc.
4. Update checks for all these components (the browser does not have update, but the rest does).
5. Countless accesses to Google, such as geo-location to find nearest Google server, ping probes for connectivity, etc. For a list of domains that are accessed by Chromium, see this regex used by the ungoogled-chromium project: https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium/blob/30969fddf...
More info at https://github.com/Eloston/ungoogled-chromium/tree/30969fddf....
I see no problem with neither Chrome nor Firefox defaulting to Google search and suggestions, as that is easily configurable for normal users. All of the above, however, is not.
This is not true. Firefox explicitly asks you the first time you start typing a search in the location bar whether to allow search suggestions. It is opt-in.
Firefox also allows you to keep the location/search bar separate so that you can have search suggestions without sending every URL you type to Google.
tl;dr : Choosing anything based on Chromium is giving the death sentence to the Web "democracy"
Moving to a Chromium based browser is letting more and more market share to a browser engine whose roadmap is fully determined by Google. The issue trackers of Chromium or Android projects clearly shows how much Google values its users'feedback about their most wanted features : Not At All.
These days it seems they are starting to feel the same about open standards... At first with WHATWG getting in the yard of W3C they tried to get more influence on the redaction of standards, now they don't even bother since they can force anything they want in a "de facto standard" as they are doing with AMP.
The next step is to obliterate any standardized feature they don't like. It can seems to be a frivolous issue but they are doing this right now to SVG-in-OpenType, a standard that is currently implemented in all major browsers except Chromium family (yes even Edge see https://www.colorfonts.wtf/#section4 but the switch to Chromium will probably end it). Here is what Google responds to the numerous people aking them to implement it : https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=306078...
Apparently a feature even the -probably small- team of Edge developers managed to implement is too complicated for Google chrome engineers ?!?
This will get more and more frequent as long they have more than 80% of browser marketshares.
So if you switch to ANY Chromium based browser, even if it's for privacy reasons, PLEASE keep in mind that you are working for the destruction of the web "democracy".
It's like price differentiation, I feel. FF is for people who want to avoid Google, but Google are paying to get privacy-infringement lite. Who knows what else besides being default search provider, and getting every search you type in through search suggestions, they're getting for their money?
>cranky devs looking over their shoulder to call them out years later because Mr. Robot may have been able to show them an ad //
Way to underplay things. Do Chrome change their UI (ie chrome) to ad advertising? Do they force add-ons on people that are unremovable in order to advertise a product? And then update, re-placing the advert into users chrome who've removed it? Do they blank out users home-screen settings in order to add advertising? (I think they did do that one?)
Chrome may be spyware, but default so is FF. And Mozilla have shown they're more than happy to mess around with their users browsers for advertising/promotions.
Aside: how is Chromium worse? Waterfox is looking like a good option.
I came here to mention exactly this. I don't mind the certificate issue (as long as there is a post mortem and they learn something from it).
I was wondering how my addons came back automatically (without me having to upgrade to 66.0.4) and I found out about this studies thing, which I never consented to. I feel violated. And the problem is, what browser am I supposed to use from now on? Lynx? Sigh
ETA: I am (was) a proud Firefox user since it was called Firebird, and changing browsers never crossed my mind before (even if Chrome felt faster some times). At this exact moment, I have zero trust on Mozilla, just like I have zero trust on Google (Chrome). Extremely frustrated and disappointed.
There's actually quite a few. This Wikipedia list  might not be the best curation, but it carries my point, somewhat. For example, I've really enjoyed the power-user browsers, like surf, luakit or uzbl.
I know you were expressing the fact that we're stuck between Firefox and Chromium, because they're the only browsers able to keep up with the rapidly moving web stack and provide a fluid user experience at the same time. My point is if you're willing to compromise on that, you actually have other choices.
Oh I do hope to see the day when there's a variety of browsers, all equally compatible with the day's web. Doesn't seem like we're moving in that direction though.
Personally, I tolerate Firefox, because I want some of the extensions, namely Dark Reader and ublock. Dark Reader doesn't really have alternatives, as far as I know, and I find that network level blocking isn't effective or ergonomic enough to replace something like ublock origin. If I solved these two problems, I'd jump ship to surf immediately.
Just to finish my rant; the other day I was experimenting with text browsers for rendering simple sites like thefreedictionary or HN. Their ability to do that is quite abysmal. I think that says a bit about the state of web's accessibility.
Yeah, exactly. I mean, not even EdgeHTML could keep up!
> surf, luakit or uzbl.
Thanks for the suggestions. I had never heard of any of those three, but they look awesome! The only extension I need is Vixen (or any Vimperator-like addon), and they all seem to be keyboard-first. The only browsers I had used before were Lynx and w3m, which were way too hardcore for me. I'll give a shot with luakit. Seems to be an ideal middle ground between functionality and privacy.
For me, it's the other way around.
They should have forseen the certificate issues and never implemented the system as it is, i.e. disabling addons that have been installed with a valid cert. At most there should be a warning. Addons are losing their configuration because of this and we have yet to see how they fix old FF versions. All of this indicates a total lack of foresight.
However, I see the value in having studies enabled and being able to test features and fixes with certain hardware configurations. Almost every software does it, because it's very useful. Maybe Mozilla, being an advocate for privacy, should be more transparent about it though.
- I had never heard of "Studies" before; which leads to
- I never agreed to be a part of Studies in the first place.
The docs says it must be opted in, so supposedly I have to give consent to it. I don't remember doing so. For all my life, I've always rejected any survey, opt-in request and similar stuff. I do admit there is a small, unlikely chance that I did opt-in. Maybe I misclicked it? Maybe I thought I was rejecting when I was actually agreeing to? Maybe someone else was using my computer and opted-in?
If this is indeed opt-in, and this unlikely scenario did happen, then I apologize for the rant. But I can't remember the prompt at all, and I would never consciously opt-in, hence the feeling of betrayal.
For the record: I now know what Studies are. I acknowledge that companies need to run A/B experiments in order to enhance their products. I just don't want to be opted-in by default.
No need to apologize. It's not really an opt-in if you are certain you would never opt in if you were aware of it, and somehow you accidentally "opted in" anyway.
I'm in the same boat, I would never opt in to any of this stuff. Now I had my "studies" setting turned off, so that's good. But when I looked at about:studies, it seems as though it had been on at some point in time (because it lists a plugin that it used for a study, or something). So I suppose that I actually opted out of this studies thing at some point, meaning it had been turned on without my consent either.
You can actually check what is sent, though there's no option to more finely disable studies requiring, say, cursor, keyboard or tab name monitoring. I haven't seen any such studies though.
As for browser code itself, it is open, go read the changelog. If you're extra paranoid, you can build it yourself. Study code is also fully readable.
How is software whose sole purpose is to send my information to a third party not spyware?
JS on any webpage can't do whatever it wants, since it's restrained to the webpage itself. otoh I'm sure this "studies" thing can change my browser configuration (including my certificates, making me vulnerable to MITM) and probably even execute any command with my current user privileges.
The difference between spyware and telemetry is intent - use of data - and anonymization measures.
If you don't trust the company making the browser with user studies (and their toggle), you probably shouldn't use their build - and you can disable study code completely on compile time.
If Mozilla decided to be evil like a certain Alphabet company, there is nothing to stop them but forking and writing another web browser.
It's pretty clear what they are worried about. That's not really arguing in good faith. And "intent" has nothing to do with it--also there is no singular intent from an organisation, if it goes wrong it's just stuff that happened but nobody to point a finger at whose intent it was.
Also, anonymization measures are a joke. It just shows an "intent" to anonymize. But when it turns out that the data is in fact easily de-anonymized somewhere between the browser and the aggregation unit, or in combination with the newest "opt in" monitoring feature, again no fingers to point and your only recourse is better having been safe than sorry.
(Which apparently played part in the Mr Robot idiocy: since it didn't collect any data, it was easy to get it through the process...)
I don't like lots of stuff Mozilla is doing, but I trust them more than the alternatives to actually do what they claim privacy-wise.
You can try Firefox from your distribution's repositories. eg. Debian disables this sort of things.
w3m is a pretty fun terminal based browser with modern enhancements
The fact that I still can't find that it's patched now tells me nothing good about the health of the ecosystem and who it is meant to serve. That should be all the reason you need to switch to Firefox, which admittedly also has huge warts but to my mind ones that aren't quite so egregious.
The companies Instart Manager (used by cnet, tomshardware, etc., see link) and Upmanager that are doing this workaround of ublock -- are they not able to attack other browsers, only Chromium? I guess one benefit of being the biggest advertising company is that people don't want to mess with Google's stuff in case they suffer financial repercussions.
This has nothing to do with ublock origin specifically, ublock origin's author just happens to have a band-aid for this exploit. Assuming I don't misunderstand what is happening, any other blocking plugin is vulnerable as well.
> people don't want to mess with Google's stuff
I don't understand what you're saying. Chromium is vulnerable and by extension, so is Chrome.
> You make it sound like it's a third-party RCE
I don't think I am. I said third-party code looks like first-party code, that is precisely what is happening.
It's third-party cookies, look like first-party cookies, isn't it? Whilst they are "code", that's misleading because it's not being executed; which is what makes it sound like an RCE.
Or did my brief scan pick up the wrong idea?
I believe so. To quote: "The purpose of Instart Logic technology is to disguise 3rd-party requests as 1st-party requests"
Edit: As an example you can read https://www.w3.org/Security/wiki/Same_Origin_Policy
Take a look at https://normandy.cdn.mozilla.net/api/v1/recipe/
Looking Glass is a collaboration between Mozilla and the makers of Mr. Robot to provide a shared world experience
Mozilla wants to know more about knowledge and opinions of news on the Web.
There are also links to what seems to be internal documentation.
It shocked me the interest and the infrastructure they have just for collecting information. This is not just a couple of developers trying to figure out what feature is used and/or studying bugs.
You can see how it's made here: https://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/gnuzilla.git/tree/makeicec...
Note that it looks like it disables sync, but that should still work, and you can add whatever addons you like.
EDIT it's up: https://archive.mozilla.org/pub/mobile/releases/66.0.4/
What it does is allow you to install add-ons not signed by mozilla. Essentially the same thing as installing software not originating from the iOS and/or Mac AppStore, or the Ubuntu/Fedora/etc distro repositories, or the Windows Store, or the Play Store.
The signing stuff might protect some less tech-savvy users from installing "You need this codec to play this porn video" malware add-ons, same as the other walled gardens I listed do too (tho most I listed have still a door in the wall that you can unlock and open yourself, unlike Firefox Desktop).
But that's it. It is a "seal of approval" scheme saying that mozilla reviewers decided something is secure enough and has an OK quality (and wasn't forced to remove by US laws/authorities courts yet), implemented using DRM. It reduces the chances that users will install something malicious by accident/incompetence.
If users still run their add-ons from AMO, then there is no difference. Unless a bad actor can either MITM AMO connections or compromise the AMO servers. At which point the users has a lot more problems already than potentially malicious browser add-ons.
I (somewhat) get it for the standard windows user who gives admin rights to everything, but I think this crowd is a bit more aware of what they install.
So far I have neither an update on ubuntu-desktop nor on android (with default package managers) so without this option I'm supposed to use the internet without adblock & umatrix? lol no thx
This is why quite a few of my add-ons were not disabled - they were installed with trust from another site and this intermediate certificate was never in chain.
You could even manually sign these add-ons you trust with custom imported CA key for your personal or corporare vetting.
Some sort of pinning mechanism would be nice though without having to rely on manual installs and signing.
It's a trade-off, you could end up with a version having a gaping security hole.
Come to think of it, why did my add-ons get disabled, given that they already had been checked against the signing key when they got installed? Why is this (literally, it seems) being checked constantly instead of only when something about the add-ons changes?
Had to install that .xpi from the previous HN thread on the subject.
Still getting 66.0.2... :-/ And yes, my addons were disabled on 66.0.2.
I know this was a mistake, but I can't help but be mad that their proprietary built in stuff effectively gets a free pass and special treatment and meanwhile I can't use RSS and all my containers were deleted (those didn't come back after the study was pushed either).
Doesn't solve your problems, though :/
I like Mozilla as a company, but I desperately wish there was an alternative sometimes. Anyways, sorry for the rant, I'm done (for now).
RSS aggregates updates to websites without needing to check them. Pocket takes an article you have open in your browser right now and saves a local offline copy on your phone. They’re apples and oranges. Apples and orangutangs, even.
This sounds a lot like pushing it as an alternative to RSS to me.
If I was not being generous, I’d think you were being intentionally obtuse to justify a preconceived opinion.
But whatever. I work on that very product.
(Disclaimer: I work for Mozilla but not on any functionality related to this)
Only difference is that I restarted the desktop Firefox and also enabled Shield studies to get the temporary fix. On the laptop I just upgraded to 66.0.4 and only then restarted it.
* containers.json is reset to default
* if you have any non-default containers, they are lost
* the underlying data is still in IndexDB (??) but isn't connected to the custom containers that were wiped out
* if you're clever and can read the IndexDB (or wherever the data is, it's moved a few times) then you could probably rebuild your containers.json file
I'll probably turn 'xpinstall.signatures.required' back to true though.
do I need to make this change?
is it in the about:config ?
'xpinstall.signatures.required = false
When a fix is fully rolled out (which should include Developer edition), then you won't need that (and probably should re-enable signature checking).
I first started using Firefox as my default when I unzipped a version of Phoenix off a CD which came with a computer magazine.
1. I accidentally saved the wrong password to a site. When I went to fix it, it said I needed to login to my Google account to change my stored password.
Wait, wat?! You are sending my passwords to Google, unencrypted, without telling me?!
Thai is not acceptable, aside from - What else are you sending?
1b. I see that it saves non password fields without my asking me to save them, and sending that to Google as well. Hmmmmm.
2. It has twice crashed and lost all my open tabs (yes, I have a tendency to keep many open tabs).
Also, for all I know, they are selling my bank account login. Research into the history of Vivaldi (semi fork of Opera) and its dev team left me unsatisfied who they are and that I can trust them.
It probably sends less data to Google than Chrome (which gets every single page, its contents, how long it was open, etc. but is hardly a contender if you want a browser and not just spyware.
I see that if you click the password icon the address bar and click the "Manage passwords" button it opens the default password settings page inherited from Chromium (vivaldi://settings/passwords) which includes a link to a support page for Google Chrome (https://support.google.com/chrome/?p=settings_password), but not all the information on that page is applicable to Vivaldi. In particular, Vivaldi doesn't use Google but rather its own account system for browser sync (which is optional, same as Firefox and Chrome).
That appears to be a bug, since that legacy Chromium password settings page isn't Vivaldi's normal password settings page (vivaldi://settings/privacy/). But it doesn't seem malicious.
Incidentally, the built-in password manager in Vivaldi (as well as in Chrome and other browsers based on Chromium) doesn't let you manually edit an existing password, whether or not you use an account to sync them. You can only update an entry by signing into a site with a new password and confirming the password change if the browser detects it, or deleting the old entry and saving a new one. A limitation compared to Firefox's password manager, though I do appreciate the native ability to generate random passwords in Chromium-based browsers. I hope Firefox and Chrome copy each other in those regards.
I haven't experienced any crashes with Vivaldi, though I don't use it as much as other browsers such as Firefox so perhaps I've just been luckier.
Vivaldi's background seems clear enough: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivaldi_(web_browser)
It was founded by Norwegian developers who left the original Opera (either due to switch from the old Opera browser to the new interface, or because the company was sold to Chinese investors). I do wish they were more open with the source code, but anyone who was comfortable with using the original Opera back in the day should be okay with Vivaldi. More so than the current Opera, I think, which I still see many people using due to brand recognition I assume.
I'm pretty happy with it, and I'm strongly considering staying with it even after firefox is fixed.
It's a trade off.
I assume (and hope) Firefox will eventually get their act together so I can go back to using it, but if not at least I don't have to jump ship to chrome.
This will grow increasingly challenging if the code bases diverge in order to keep old school add-ons working given that waterfox has virtually no man power.
In case of infection, restore from image.
edit: replaced spyware with control.
There are other actively maintained browsers with plenty of eyes on them and manpower behind them, many with vibrant plugin ecosystems, just use one of those.
I don't understand what "getting their act together" means here, when you're posting it on an announcement that the problem has already been fixed. Should Firefox proactively remove all security features that risk ever posing some modicum of inconvenience to users? Because that would be... all of them.
Essentially, I am arguing that Firefox should let you create your own signing key pair (which would be valid only on that single Firefox installation) and sign any add-on using it.
It's a large enough hoop that most users would not jump over it, not least because they would not know what they're doing, but it would be there for those who need it and relinquish the central point of failure that is the AMO.
The current situation is basically the Secure Boot fiasco all over again.
>not running your own ad network blocking DNS
Why even bother?
Edit: To be clear, at no point did I delete the add-ons I had installed.
> If add-ons that use Containers functionality (such as Multi-Account Containers and Facebook Container) were disabled as part of this problem, any lost site data or custom configurations for those add-ons will not be recovered by this release. Users may need to set them up and login again in about:addons (Bug 1549204).
> Themes may not be re-enabled. Users may need to re-enable them in about:addons (Bug 1549022).
> Home page or search settings customized by an add-on may be reset to defaults. Users may need to customize them again in about:preferences or about:addons
I don't know if there is a way to manually recover the settings you lost. It might be a good idea to check the related links in the release notes for more info.
I generally keep good backups of the non standard ~/.mozilla folder to compensate.
I think it was issue 339 on GitHub. They basically explain they won't add it to sync data because there is no containers on mobile.
I simply don't understand Mozilla anymore. The power users are also the unpaid evangelists/marketers. They seem determined to alienate this demographic while iOS'ifying Firefox for a general audience. Which is great and all until they realize they don't have a marketing budget to complete with Google and MSFT.
Makes you wonder how on earth their data sync is working with regards to mobile. Surely if it doesn't have the components to leverage the data it just wouldn't read it..?
They should be essentially syncing but not syncing any non default container data into mobile.
Basically they had some work to do on the server end I think.
So it looks as though a manual backup of that (or the whole profile, knowing its in there) at least will end that chore.
But you still lose the Container -> websites associations. The same page recommends: "An effective way of exporting and importing containers safely is using ffcontainers."
The page for that syncer is here: https://github.com/pierlauro/ffcontainers ... but it's on hiatus at this moment.
ffcontainers looks promising but couldn't get it to work (spaces in my path..) probably needs a bit of a clean up.
I wish they added more colour and icon support, there's open cases for it but they're not prioritised. If only I was a good enough developer..
This is the way code-signing on Windows works, and allows you to prove that code was signed by a valid certificate while it was in its validity date - so even once the certificate expires, the code will still run as long as the cryptographic timestamping signature is valid.
Preferences -> Privacy & Security -> Security -> Certificates -> View Certificates
Is there a way to report this without spending hours to register at Bugzilla and file a proper bug report?
No, not that I am aware of. In my own experience it actually took me longer to find alternative ways of bringing awareness to a bug I was having than it did to signup to Bugzilla and report it there.
If you're using an unsupported version, then it's probably safe to assume you won't get a fix.
It must be a nightmare for the Firefox team to have a minority group of quick-to-anger users that refuse to allow themselves to be taken into account by usage metrics, refuse to allow their browser to participate in studies, and then object loudly when decisions are made that discount them.
Mozilla didn't have to structure their addon system in such a way that their (in)actions could disable the addons of every Firefox user on the planet.
Mozilla did not have to abuse the studies mechanism (also on by default) to ship a workaround.
Mozilla did not have to disable the option that would let me work around this problem by myself (which is going to cause me no end of fun when I get into work tomorrow). If the Firefox team thinks their development concessions are a pain in the ass, try being directly accountable for the repercussions, in the "I will be fired if I don't fix this", not the "I will be talked mean about on the internet if I don't fix this" senses.
Mozilla didn't have to bundle junk like Pocket and the now-scuppered Hello, both of which could have just as easily been addons suggested on first run.
Mozilla didn't have to push promotional addons (the Mr Robot thing) without my express prior consent.
I grow exceedingly weary of this narrative that Firefox is above all reproach and criticism because they produce a web browser.
How about this instead; if Mozilla wishes for its users to respect them, they can start by respecting their users. That means no opt-out telemetry period, no paternalism about what I can and cannot install, or what options I can change, and so forth.
I am beyond sick of this shit. I would love nothing more than a true third option for browsers right now. Firefox hates its users, Chrome sees them as cattle - what's left? I have to use one of the two and take ridiculous steps to cover my own interests, because neither of these companies have them in mind.
How could Mozilla respect the needs of users who opt-out of Mozilla knowing they, and their needs, exist at all?
How could any creator of anything?
If you can't identify who your users are, you can't ask them questions, and you can't tell if they're "vocal 0.001%" or "vocal 40%" of your userbase — then what consideration could you give, as a software developer, for their needs?
You can refuse to change, and simply always offer the one thing you offer, and accept that you're the best option for a minority of users over time. You can continue developing to your own needs, and let them stay or go as they see fit. You can try to read the tea leaves of internet forum posts, but that comes with a huge penalty to significance. You can try new things and try to tell from the howls of outrage whether it's a wording error or a direction error or simply "change is bad, I hate you all".
Opting out is not free. Opting out comes at a price to you. Your needs will be less likely to be considered, and your solutions may change in ways that are not to your liking. You have every right to opt out, but is the price of that acceptable to you?
ps. If you can solve how to let users of something influence its creator in a fair and just manner, such that all users have equal influence, while opting out of being known to that creator to exist at all, you will be a billionaire within five years.
I'd ask for feedback, and when that feedback is given freely, even when unsolicited, I'd take it on board and act accordingly. I would ask if people want to participate in "telemetry" and "studies", not assume they do without affirmative prior consent.
Mozilla is breathtakingly bad at this. They're about as responsive to feedback as GNOME/Freedesktop.
I most certainly would not put spyware in the product and turn it on without asking first. I'd most certainly never get myself into a situation where an oversight can simultaneously break every copy of my software ever deployed.
This idea that you require all copies of your software to phone home to make effective development decisions is bunk. We got along just fine without that garbage for decades.
How about surveys or well, common sense?
I'm a tech oriented person who cares about privacy. I want software that is lightweight, configurable, with sensible defaults. For any features besides the basic functionality (in this case: browsing the web), I don't want to opt-out, I want to opt-in.
Privacy oriented means for me that the software I use doesn't send one bit of data that isn't necessary for its basic functionality. I use a "dumb phone" because of this. I never understood how anybody can think telemetry and privacy can co-exist.
I want a Firefox without Pocket, Send, Screenshot Tools, Sync, Clickz, any cloud based service. I only want a fast, lightweight browser that doesn't send any unnecessary data anywhere without me explicitly configuring it. That's a sensible default for me, really. Software used to be like that.
I'd also like to configure when my software looks for updates. My Linux distro let's me do that.
And it would be awesome if all other functionality (like Send/Sync/Pocket, etc.) is available via optional plugins, or in another "full-featured" version of Firefox. The deluxe edition or whatever.
I believe I'm not alone with these ideas about software. In discussions about Firefox these things always come up. There are github projects [1,2] with 1600 and 1200 stars about hardening Firefox. People care about privacy. It's not hard to find this part of the userbase.
The idea that you can't create software for your users without telemetry, is what leads Mozilla to disregard their privacy oriented users in the first place. It's depressing.
And even if I allowed telemetry on my system Mozilla wouldn't learn anything about what I wrote here. It's useless.
Telemetry doesn't tell you why users do anything. They would have to ask, which doesn't require telemetry. There used to be a form for submitting feedback.
> How could Mozilla respect the needs of users who opt-out of Mozilla knowing they, and their needs, exist at all?
Because of the values and principles that Mozilla used to share with its users, the principles that underpinned the first implemenation of Firefox Sync and were completely abandoned in the current implementation.
I trusted Mozilla because they didn't require our trust. They understood this principle and designed their systems in accordance with it.
They're burning half-a-billion a year of Google's money, they can afford to have an intern run filters to capture stories on HN, reddit, slashdot, ... amalgamate the main points and make them available as part of the user feedback.
Presumably many of the devs at Mozilla have been using it for the last 15 years too and also value a privacy-centric advertising-lite web.
This whole situation isn't ideal but it's absurd to me that people are upset about hotfixes for a bug that they found extremely inconvenient. Do you like the bug or not? The option to turn off the system they used for hotfixes is right there in the privacy settings and they even show you what it's currently being used for (and what it was used for in the past). Like it or not, as far as I know every major browser (maybe not Safari?) is doing the exact same thing except they're less transparent about it.
I have literally no idea how to identify what experiments and rollout flags are quietly turned on for my install of Chrome and not for other people because it's not documented anywhere. At least in Firefox the option is right there and so is info on what the option does.
"No opt-out telemetry" is a great idea that doesn't function in the real world. If you ship online-connected software with 1m+ users that doesn't have a way to deploy hotfixes or a killswitch for dangerous features or basic telemetry, that is incredible negligence because all it takes is a single bug or a single unanticipated act by a third party and you're DDoSing someone or causing other kinds of mayhem. I'm quite serious. This is why most vendors operating at Mozilla's scale have the same set of tools at their disposal, even if they don't tell you about it. You cannot deploy large-scale connected software in the real world without doing this. It's one thing to go 'Word shouldn't have any telemetry' (okay, sure) and another to go 'this app that connects to thousands of servers, is left open all the time, and runs remote code should not have any telemetry or automatic update mechanism'. The latter is naive on the level of 'just don't write any bugs and your software won't need updates'.
The right way to do this is to push a new release, which they've done. The absolutely wrong way to do this is to silently push a fix through a back door that's open by default and rightly shouldn't exist in the first place.
Yes, you can do things more efficiently when you ignore the rules and subvert reasonable expectations. Generally though, society takes a dim view of this.
>If you ship online-connected software with 1m+ users that doesn't have a way to deploy hotfixes ..
That way is checking for updates, and then asking me if I want to install them. Most software does this and it works fine. There are no privacy implications for hitting an API for a number and checking locally if it's higher than a number I have. All clean, all above-board.
That way is emphatically NOT playing like a sneak and making changes silently and remotely without asking me about it first. I don't care what you think your good reason is, you don't have the ethical/moral right to make changes on my property without that affirmative consent.
If what we see here is how you think Mozilla treats its users well, I'd hate to see what it would take to get you to agree they treat them badly.
I see nothing but naked contempt. YMMV.
If you see all instances of someone disagreeing with your ethical and logical judgements as naked contempt, then you will never be able to perceive anyone’s true motivations, in order to argue your case more persuasively and find out whether they understand your views.
Outrage has jumped the shark. Everyone disagrees about everything, which is hard enough to address without declaring “naked contempt” any time a choice is made that isn’t in your favor.
I personally found the issue trivial, my main addon is ublock origin. There was a workaround using about:debugging and installing UBO on there which worked so it's not like the fix was a long process.
Being committed to a single browser, if anyone was using firefox for as long as me, I can't fathom someone leaving their main browser over something like this. I haven't been using it for THAT long but what if Chrome did something like this too? Then they'd move to another browser that's not FF/Chrome?
Sticking with Firefox as an open competition to the browser monopoly is critical now more than ever before.
I think this fact cannot be emphasized enough. Or we'll have the 90s monopolized web again: "Optimized for Chrome" - not that there'd be a lack of websites already doing that as of now.
Short-lived bugs such as this one do not annoy me as much as the terrible performance of FF. It is not rare that FF uses 2 cores at full utilization all the time.
I always end up installing a new browser out of anger, but I _always_ come back to FF for its great features that I have become addicted to.
One thing Firefox ROCKS at is that they support extensions/addons on mobile!
Chrome won't add them on mobile because they don't want adblock there.
People will bitch for a few days then they'll get over it.
This is a shitty screwup but I'm not about to jump ship over it.
All it did was cement how much I despise Chrome's inability to sandbox it's network config.
Yay gotta close down all chrome instances to turn a proxy on and off.
Although that also means that firefox managed to piss off it's most loyal group of users. Again.
However, if you find each one in the store and (re-)install them - they work again and their data is back intact as expected.
Container support (with Containerise), a dedicated search bar to use with DDG bangs, and easy 'send tab to device' is what has me holding on today.
But I have to admit that Microsoft's eventual offering is pretty appealing, a Chromium-based browser with the advantages of Chrome's compatibility and Edge's conservative battery sipping. I'm one who has always liked and even preferred Microsoft's products and their integration on as objective of a basis as a human can muster. Even if it's in different aspects, I think they're going to probably have Edge become a package equally appealing to the things I love about Firefox. Edge/Safari are definitely where I'll go if Firefox really starts circling the drain, but having been on FF since it was Phoenix, it'll take more than this debacle.
So this fix is not complete.
Our efforts in getting Firefox users to install our extension has been in vain. "Luckily" we didn't have many users yet but imagine the amount of money this will cost bigger search engines like DDG, Qwant, etc.
People use extensions to change the default search engine in their browsers? I honestly thought only malware does that; regular people use the Settings menu.
The release notes will be published at this URL:
Which may or may not be true.
How does the 66.0.4 fix the problem exactly ?
The change basically just imports the new certificate into the database:
Ah, so that's why. Thanks.
What was the signing certificate validity period ?
Not Before: Apr 4 00:00:00 2015 GMT
Not After : Apr 4 00:00:00 2025 GMT
My extensions on FF have not stopped working but I hadn't restarted the browser in that interim
>They [the original Phoenix devs] believed the commercial requirements of Netscape's sponsorship and developer-driven feature creep compromised the utility of the Mozilla browser.
This is crazy, and I'm really disappointed with Mozilla. I'd leave firefox right now, but I don't want to contribute to the destruction of one of the last good pieces of software not owned by Google.
The fix is in 66.0.4.