Firefox adding ads to new tab

Someday soon when you click on new tab in Firefox you’ll see – ads – they are to be called directory tiles – and they are targeted at new users or new Firefox installs. They will gradually morph into items of more interest to you (guess how they know that!). Well – all that empty real estate – wonder that no one did this sooner.

Mozilla to sell New Tab page ads in Firefox, Seth Rosenblatt, CNet (Feb 11)

“Paid advertisements are on their way to Mozilla Firefox’s New Tab page in an attempt to show more sites to first-time browser users.”

Called Directory Tiles, the initiative will use a combination of sponsored sites, popular sites based on geographic location, and Mozilla ecosystem items to fill in blank New Tab pages. Currently, the nine empty boxes on a new New Tab page fill in over time with sites culled from the user’s browsing history, frequently visited sites, and bookmarks.

Firefox’s Australis Makeover

Brace yourself, Firefox users – Mozilla is rolling out an entirely new look and set of features for the Firefox browser it has code named Australis. The good news is that Firefox will go mobile.

Firefox’s new interface is almost here by Seth Rosenblatt,l CNet (Feb 7)

No orange ball in the corner:

In its place, Mozilla has created a more graphics-friendly interface that looks similar across all platforms. The main menu on Windows, Mac, and Linux is hidden behind an Android-style “three horizontal lines” icon, with Settings options given big, touch-friendly, and easily identifiable icons. The curve angles on desktop Firefox tabs look similar, if not identical, to the curve on Firefox for Android, further reinforcing the unified look.

Nice little video to introduce the new interface. Think I’ll have to give up the menu bar.

Firefox to block plugins too.

Another blow to plugins – this time from Firefox. All plugins except Flash will be deactivated – that includes Java. If you want to use it, you have to activate it.

Firefox to deactivate most plug-ins by default by Stephen Shankland, CNET (Sept 25)

“Plug-ins are now a legacy technology,” said Benjamin Smedberg, Mozilla’s engineering manager for stability and plug-ins, in a blog post Tuesday. “Plug-ins used to be an important tool for prototyping and implementing new features, such as video and animation. As browsers have advanced, this kind of feature development can occur directly within the browser using technologies such as WebGL, WebSockets, WebRTC, and asm.js.

Use Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar

Mozilla has a short and very useful tutorial on using the Bookmarks toolbar for keeping frequently used bookmarks. Using this toolbar will save you time. Just add to it the sites you use most – and never hunt through bookmarks again or use up time at a search engine trying to recover the url.

Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar

Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar

Bookmarks Toolbar – Display your favorite websites at the top of the Firefox window, Mozilla (Sept)  – includes a video on the how-to.

Firefox Security

Eric Geier at PC World shows how to make Firefox secure especially if you want to use the password management feature and syncing.

Five steps to ultimate Firefox security (May 28)

Follow these five steps to lock down Firefox. Start with the essentials in the browser’s own settings, then choose some useful add-ons. Finally, keep track of your plug-ins so you can patch the inevitable security holes.

Firefox 22 will block 3rd party cookies

Good news for Firefox users – the next version of Firefox (Firefox 22) will block third-party cookies by default – just as Safari does today.

Firefox readies tougher stance on cookies, Seth Rosenblatt, CNet (Apr 10)

Other Firefox improvements include better memory management and faster load times on sites heavy with images; automatically word-wrapping plain-text files displayed in the browser; changes to make otherwise broken sites more compatible; and support for the HTML5 < time > and < time > elements.

Browser wars 2013


Decisions, decisions. This PC Mag review of the five main browsers gives Chrome a very slight edge over Firefox, the new Internet Explorer 10, something called Maxathon (all tied in second place), and Opera in last place.

Browser Wars: Chrome vs. IE10 vs. Firefox by Michael Muchmore, PC Magazine (March 8)

Maxathon is dubbed  a “cloud browser” because if syncs everything, and you “download” the web pages to the cloud rather than your computer.

If the idea of being able to take a screen capture of a webpage, download video, or switch to a dark view for night viewing appeals to you, give Maxthon a download.

The surprising news was how well IE10 scored. Windows 7 and 8 users may want to enjoy its speed (much better than IE9), its very fast start up time, and its reasonable compliance with html5 (whereas IE9 was poor).

Points in the article:

  • speed for  display
  • speed for startup – but differences won’t be noticeable
  • standard’s compliance -  Maxathon soars.
  • the appearance – depends on how minimalist you like it.
  • security and privacy -  IE did best on download protection
  • syncing – they all do it – across computers and mobile devices.
  • extensions – Firefox is still in the lead.

Firefox Search Bars

Firefox excels in providing searchers tools for search. These  articles show how to set up the tools.

Firefox Search Bar

Firefox Search Bar