Earlier this year we launched our first set of experiments for Test Pilot, a program designed to give you access to experimental Firefox features that are in the early stages of development. We’ve been delighted to see so many of you participating in the experiments and providing feedback, which ultimately, will help us determine which features end up in Firefox for all to enjoy.
Since our launch, we’ve been hard at work on new innovations, and today we’re excited to announce the release of three new Test Pilot experiments. These features will help you share and manage screenshots; keep streaming video front and center; and protect your online privacy.
What Are The New Experiments?
Keep your favorite entertainment front and center. Min Vid plays your videos in a small window on top of your other tabs so you can continue to watch while answering email, reading the news or, yes, even while you work. Min Vid currently supports videos hosted by YouTube and Vimeo.
The print screen button doesn’t always cut it. The Page Shot feature lets you take, find and share screenshots with just a few clicks by creating a link for easy sharing. You’ll also be able to search for your screenshots by their title, and even the text captured in the image, so you can find them when you need them.
We’ve had Tracking Protection in Private Browsing for a while, but now you can block trackers that follow you across the web by default. Turn it on, and browse free and breathe easy. This experiment will help us understand where Tracking Protection breaks the web so that we can improve it for all Firefox users.
How do I get started?
Test Pilot experiments are currently available in English only. To activate Test Pilot and help us build the future of Firefox, visit testpilot.firefox.com.
As you’re experimenting with new features within Test Pilot, you might find some bugs, or lose some of the polish from the general Firefox release, so Test Pilot allows you to easily enable or disable features at any time.
Your feedback will help us determine what ultimately ends up in Firefox – we’re looking forward to your thoughts!
The EU’s proposed copyright reform keeps in place retrograde laws that make many normal online creative acts illegal. The same restrictive laws will stifle innovation and hurt technology businesses. Let’s fix it. Sign Mozilla’s petition, watch and share videos, and snap a rebellious selfie
Earlier this month, the EU Commission released their proposal for a reformed copyright framework. In response, we are asking everyone reading this post to take a rebellious selfie and send that doctored snapshot to EU Parliament. Seem ridiculous? So is an outdated law that bans taking and sharing selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower at night in Paris, or in front of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen.
Of course, no one is actually going to jail for subversive selfies. But the technical illegality of such a basic online act underscores the grave shortcomings in the EU’s latest proposal on copyright reform. As Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon-Thayer noted in her last post on the proposed reform, it “thoroughly misses the goal to deliver a modern reform that would unlock creativity and innovation.” It doesn’t, for instance, include needed exceptions for panorama, parody, or remixing, nor does it include a clause that would allow noncommercial transformations of works (like remixes, or mashups) or a flexible user clause like an open norm, or fair dealing.
Translation? Making memes and gifs will remain an illicit act.
And that’s just the start. Exceptions for text and data mining are limited to public institutions. This could stifle startups looking to online data to build innovative businesses. Then there is the dangerous “neighbouring right,” similar to the ancillary copyright laws we’ve seen in Spain and Germany (which have been clear failures, respectively). This misguided part of the reform would allow online publishers to copyright “press publications” for up to 20 years, with retroactive effect. The vague wording makes it unclear exactly to whom and for whom this new exclusive right would apply.
Finally, another unclear provision would require any internet service that provides access to “large amounts” of works to users to broker agreements with rightsholders for the use of, and protection of, their works. This could include the use of “effective content recognition technologies” — which imply universal monitoring and strict filtering technologies that identify and/or remove copyrighted content.
These proposals, if adopted as they are, would deal a blow to EU startups, to independent coders, creators, and artists, and to the health of the internet as a driver for economic growth and innovation.
We’re not advocating plagiarism or piracy. Creators must be treated fairly, including proper remuneration, for their creations and works. Mozilla wants to improve copyright for everyone, so individuals are not discouraged from creating and innovating.
Mozilla isn’t alone in our objections: Over 50,000 individuals have signed our petition and demanded modern copyright laws that foster creativity, innovation, and opportunity online.
We have our work cut out for us. As the European Parliament revises the proposal this fall, we need a movement — a collection of passionate internet users who demand better, modern laws. Today, Mozilla is launching a public education campaign to support that movement.
Mozilla has created an app to highlight the absurdity of some of Europe’s outdated copyright laws. Try Post Crimes: Take a selfie in front of European landmarks that can be technically unlawful to photograph — like the Eiffel Tower’s night-time light display, or the Little Mermaid in Denmark — due to restrictive copyright laws.
Then, send your selfie as a postcard to your Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Show European policymakers how outdated copyright laws are, and encourage them to forge a more future-looking and innovation-friendly copyright reform.
We’ve also created three short videos that outline the need for reform. They’re educational, playful, and a little bit weird — just like the internet. But they explore a serious issue: The harmful effect outdated and restrictive copyright laws have on our creativity and the open internet. We hope you’ll watch them and share them with others.
We need your help standing up for better copyright laws. When you sign the petition, snap a selfie, or share our videos, you’re supporting creativity, innovation and opportunity online — for everyone.
With the change of the season, we’ve worked hard to release a new version of Firefox that delivers the best possible experience across desktop and Android.
Expanding Multiprocess Support
Last month, we began rolling out the most significant update in our history, adding multiprocess capabilities to Firefox on desktop, which means Firefox is more responsive and less likely to freeze. In fact, our initial tests show a 400% improvement in overall responsiveness.
Our first phase of the rollout included users without add-ons. In this release, we’re expanding support for a small initial set of compatible add-ons as we move toward a multiprocess experience for all Firefox users in 2017.
Desktop Improvement to Reader Mode
This update also brings two improvements to Reader Mode. This feature strips away clutter like buttons, ads and background images, and changes the page’s text size, contrast and layout for better readability. Now we’re adding the option for the text to be read aloud, which means Reader Mode will narrate your favorite articles, allowing you to listen and browse freely without any interruptions.
We also expanded the ability to customize in Reader Mode so you can adjust the text and fonts, as well as the voice. Additionally, if you’re a night owl like some of us, you can read in the dark by changing the theme from light to dark.
Offline Page Viewing on Android
On Android, we’re now making it possible to access some previously viewed pages when you’re offline or have an unstable connection. This means you can interact with much of your previously viewed content when you don’t have a connection. The feature works with many pages, though it is dependent on your specific device specs. Give it a try by opening Firefox while your phone is in airplane mode.
We’re continuing to work on updates and new features that make your Firefox experience even better. Download the latest Firefox for desktop and Android and let us know what you think.