Firefox 50 released

Also, Total War: Warhammer is coming to Linux, and an Android user’s month with the iPhone 7 Plus

Firefox 50 released
Credit: Rob Schultz

Firefox 50

Firefox has hit a new milestone in terms of releases: Version 50 is now available for download. Firefox 50 offers better startup times, download protection, and new keyboard shortcuts (among other features). You can see a full list of changes in the official Firefox 50 release notes.

Emil Protalinski reports on Firefox 50 for VentureBeat:

Mozilla today launched Firefox 50 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The new version, which was delayed by a week to improve startup times, also includes download protection for more executable file types and new keyboard shortcuts.

…Firefox 50 was supposed to launch on November 8 but was delayed to today after a developer discovered the browser’s SDK module system is “a performance disaster.” More specifically, addons were spending over four seconds in a specific function before doing any actual work. A few issues were behind the overall performance problem, and all were addressed to improve startup time.

Next, Firefox now has download protection for many more executable file types on Windows, Mac, and Linux. At the same time, the browser will reject stylesheets, images, or scripts if their type does not match the context in which the file is loaded. This is a big security improvement; while MIME sniffing (scanning the content of a file to detect the actual format and handle it appropriately) increases the speed of the web experience for most users, it’s a vector for attackers to exploit.

Firefox 50 also adds two new keyboard shortcut options. You can now set a preference to have Ctrl+Tab cycle through tabs in recently used order (as opposed to just the order in which they were opened). Meanwhile, Ctrl+Alt+R (command+alt+r on Mac) opens the page in Reader Mode.

More at VentureBeat

Linux redditors reacted to the release of Firefox 50 in a long thread:

Slacka123: Emoji is the the biggest feature. :(

As far as WebGL, they could make it 100% for all platforms by using mesa’s software renderer. This is what Chrome does with SwiftShader and it works great on my family’s ancient 10yr old PC. Its CPU is decent but the IGP is worthless. This is a real issue for old machines since some educational games require it. Fortunately Chrome had me covered.

Still not WebP image support. That’s the next big feature I’m looking forward to.

Chmodrw: What happened to that fingerprinting prevention technology that was supposed to make its way into Firefox? Read about it a while ago, but have not heard much since.

Zipristin: Not a very exciting release IMO.

Exec64: Still a silly version numbering scheme.

Panorambo: You gotta hand it to the Firefox project. It has seen all kinds of highs and lows, ever since Mozilla had decided to take upon Internet Explorer with a better (more standard compliant then, at least) browser. I have heard stories of people switching to and FROM Firefox since, on all kinds of reasons good and bad, but that a project of this size and complexity has thrived on the open source model, containing pretty much everything but your operating system in itself, that’s just for the history books if you ask me.

UglierThanMoe: How come no one is talking about the biggest and coolest change? Blue activity indicators! They look way better than the orange ones, although they also looked good.

Looksfamiliar: I’ve just ditched Firefox (and I’d used it almost since day one) because it crashes my system back to the login screen (killing the xserver I guess). It seems to be big images and/or video. Sometimes it kills opengl (then glxgears throws a segmentation fault when run). It’s very frustrating and I can’t find a fix.

My experiment with Chromium is going well. It uses lots of RAM but is speedy and stable in use. I’ve been using uBlock and now I have uMatrix in place of NoScript and I really like it.

BaggedMilkPony: Is there something about Firefox that makes it so popular with Linux users? I’ve seen it come up a few times on this sub.

Just a question from a Windows pleb that some time ago installed CentOS on my laptop for on the go use. I usually use Edge on my desktop. I find it loads pages faster than chrome without the “page unresponsive” error messages I get every few moments due to my internet being 15kbps DL.

F22Rapture: Because Mozilla is more trustworthy when it comes to privacy than Google is.

More at Reddit

Total War: Warhammer coming to Linux

Linux gamers have been enjoying a plethora of great titles over the last few years, thanks to renewed interest by developers in Linux as a gaming platform. Now Feral Interactive is getting ready to release Total War: Warhammer for Linux later this month.

Marius Nestor reports for Softpedia:

Feral Interactive, through Rajitha Ratnam, informs Softpedia today, November 15, 2016, that the UK-based video game publisher will launch the Linux port of Total War: Warhammer on Steam on November 22, 2016.

Developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega, Total War: Warhammer is a TBS (turn-based strategy) game that features real-time battles and tactics. The game is set in a world of legendary heroes, flying creatures, and giant monsters, and promises to offer users the same gameplay as in the rest of the Total War series.

Total War: Warhammer launched only for the Windows platform about five months ago, on the 24th of May, and it looks like it’s now coming to Linux, SteamOS, and Mac OS X operating systems as well. Feral Interactive already put together a minisite with the recommended system requirements and other useful information for potential buyers.

More at Softpedia

Here’s the official trailer for the game:

Android user spends a month with the iPhone 7 Plus

People have always compared Android phones and iPhones. But what happens when a dedicated Android user spend a month with the iPhone 7 Plus? Will he switch from Android to the iPhone 7 Plus?

Anshel Sag reports for Forbes:

It’s been a month since I got the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. Full disclosure, I have never owned an Apple product in my life. Okay, I had an iPod shuffle for about a week or two and ended up returning it. I had experiences with Apple computers as a child in a suburban elementary school but never owned an iPhone, iPad, MacBook or anything of the sort. I have been a lifetime Google Android user, and before that a Microsoft Windows Mobile user (yeah, I know). So, my first experience with an Apple product that I bought and used has been extremely interesting. That includes the utter shock and awe that came out of people’s mouths after I told them that I got an iPhone. I feel like a lot of the reasons why I never switched to Apple have gone away while others remain.

My primary purpose of buying an iPhone 7 Plus was Apple’s move towards a dual camera arrangement that promised to be the best camera, ever. In addition to that, the Apple A10 Fusion processor tickled the Android performance-obsessed side of me. For many years, I had observed Apple’s SoCs continually crush the competition in a multitude of benchmarks, and this proved to be Apple’s greatest leap in performance, especially with a 4-core arrangement. Apple also bumped the RAM from 2GB in the 6S Plus to 3GB in the iPhone 7 Plus, which should theoretically make multitasking even better and smoother on the iPhone.

In the end, I have enjoyed using the iPhone 7 Plus and am still using it as my primary device today. However, my commitment to things like Google Play Music and the Google app ecosystem still draw me back towards Android. This is the similar gravitation that you see many Apple users making after they’ve toyed with the idea of an Android device. The interesting part for me, however is that Apple when paired with Google services delivers a pretty good experience. I do lose some of my Google integration, but I gain other things as well.

I believe that I will continue to carry the iPhone 7 Plus as my secondary phone along with whatever Android device I am using as my primary at the time. The iPhone 7 Plus is by far the most attractive iPhone that I have ever seen Apple release that could cause Android users to switch. I believe that some users have already done so with the current market dynamics. Hopefully Apple finds new use cases for the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus and creates even more added value to the phone than it has already.

More at Forbes

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