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SciTech

Firefox aims to develop 'self-healing' browsers


Should users of Mozilla’s Firefox now be worried for their privacy, now that the browser can phone home with data on startup and run times as well as the number of crashes?
 
Johnathan Nightingale, Vice President of Firefox Engineering, said the "Firefox Health Report" feature starting in Firefox 21 logs basic data and gives the user the means to potentially fix problems with the browser.
 
"We’ve blogged before about how we’ve built the health report with privacy in mind and what our plans for it look like, but our long term hope for the feature goes well beyond the report you see today. As the health report uncovers patterns of problems in Firefox, we can build better support information for our users," Nightingale said in a blog post.
 
He said they aim to detect problems with the browser before they get out of hand, and the browser "can start healing itself."
 
While the health report is enabled by default in Firefox, Nightingale said users who want their privacy may disable data-sending.
 
They can do so from the report itself, or from the Firefox preferences window.
 
Self-healing
 
Nightingale said Firefox presently protects and heals itself by automatically blocking insecure and unstable plugins, and restoring tabs and content after crashes.
 
It also detects phishing and malware sites before they can attack.
 
Social sites
 
Meanwhile, Nightingale said Firefox got more social, with Social APIs for various social networks.
 
Aside from Facebook, Firefox now has support for Cliqz, Mixi and msnNOW.
 
"The new social providers in Firefox make it even easier for you to keep up with friends, family, news and events while you surf the Web. You can get real time updates about news activity, entertainment or your personal network while you browse the Web," he said.
 
Firefox for Android
 
Meanwhile, tech site The Next Web said the latest Firefox for Android comes with custom open-source fonts Charis and Open Sans.
 
"They will replace the default Android fonts for what Mozilla claims is 'a more visually appealing and clear reading experience on the Web,'” it said. — VC, GMA News
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