In a strange turn of events, Mozilla, the team behind projects such as Firefox and Thunderbird, is putting a serious effort into what will be known as the Firefox Mobile OS, an HTML5-based operating system that will run on a variety of phones.
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Once top dog next to Internet Explorer, Firefox has increasingly been losing its grasp on the desktop browsing experience, and consequently been spending more time paying attention to the possibilties of mobile. Firefox is already available for Android, and now it looks like it might come to iOS as well, but not as a mere port of the browser many of us have abandoned in favor of Chrome: it’s rebuilt for the ground up with iPad browsing in mind.
The Flashback malware which was found to be infecting over 650,000 Macs at its peak was earning its creators up to $10,000 a day, according to security specialists Symantec. The OSX.Flashback.K trojan, which is believed to be the largest Mac infection to date, is designed to steal page views and advertising revenue from Google.
Apple has said that its working on a tool to end the notorious Flashback botnet once and for all, but there’s still the remotest chance you could get infected. Keep in mind that only around 600,000 Macs have fallen prey to Flashback, and that number is a tiny fraction of the millions of Mac users around the world. Most of the machines that have been infected already are centralized in North America.
Your Mac is completely up to date and you’ve already checked to see if you’re infected by the Flashback trojan. If everything is squared away and you’re not infected already, here’s how to ensure there is zero chance you’ll get infected while you wait for Apple to save the day.
If you’re still rocking the red panda as your default browser, great news. Following the new rapid release cycle that saw Firefox leap from version 4 to version 7 in just six months, Firefox has made another evolutionary leap today with the official release of Firefox 8.
When Mozilla finally releases Firefox 4.0 for OS X, Mac users might notice that browsing has gotten quite a bit snappier for them, as it now looks as if hardware acceleration may, at long last, be coming to Firefox for the Mac.
It’s far from certain, though. The next beta of Firefox 4.0, b7, is the last before feature freeze kicks in on the latest version of the popular alternative browser… and Mozilla’s OS X software engineers have just decided to try to sneak it in.
How soon the bloom fades from the fruit. Apple’s controversial distribution method for delivering Safari 3.1 to Windows users is inciting flames of discontent among customers and critics alike, who now accuse the company of unfair practices. The problem stems from Apple’s iTunes Software Update client for Windows, which some claim dupes users into downloading the latest version of Safari by leaving the install option checked by default, whether the browser was previously installed or not, which users then mistake to be a necessary update rather than an option.
Not surprisingly, rivals are jumping on the Safari-gate bandwagon like hungry wolves feeding on a wounded fawn, with angry words flung like cannon balls. Mozilla Chief John Lilly has gone on the offensive, alleging that Apple’s software delivery method “borders on malware distribution practices. What Apple is doing now with their Apple Software Update on Windows is wrong.”
Harsh words. Next will come the accusation that Apple illegally ties its browser with the operating system. Sorry, Microsoft beat them to it.