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Softpedia News / Web / Internet Life



Published: Sun, 24 Sep 2017 12:17:08 +0000

Last Build Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2017 12:17:08 +0000

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Vivaldi 1.13 Development Kicks Off with a Bunch of Bug Fixes and Improvements

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:10:00 +0000

You'd think that with the release of Vivaldi 1.12 stable the development would take at least a week off before starting to work on the next version. Wrong! Vivaldi 1.13 development was kicked off just one day later. That's right, Vivaldi Snapshot 1.13.966.3 is out as the first development milestone towards Vivaldi 1.13, the next stable release of the Chromium-based web browser designed with the power user in mind. Following the great feedback received from users after the release of Vivaldi 1.12, the team already fixed a bunch of regressions and issues. "Following the release of Vivaldi 1.12, we’re rolling out the first snapshot for 1.13. We loved getting all the feedback from you on yesterday’s stable release. Thanks to all your great input, we’re already well underway with some important fixes," said Maria Popova, ...



Chromium Will Soon Let You Browse the Web in VR with a Daydream View Headset

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:07:00 +0000

Chromium evangelist François Beaufort posted today on his Google+ profile information regarding the VR (Virtual Reality) capabilities of the open-source web browser, which is the base of Chrome OS and Google Chrome. It would appear that the Chromium team is working on a set of new virtual reality features for the web browser, which means that more VR goodies are coming to popular Chromium-based web browsers like Opera, Vivaldi, and Google Chrome. While the Chromium team is currently working on the possible of browsing the Web in VR with Google's Daydream View headset, it looks like you can already give VR a try on the latest Google Chrome 61 build released earlier today for GNU/Linux, Mac and Windows. "Users can give this a try today by navigating to any site in Chrome and then simply putting the phone into their Da...



Vivaldi 1.12 Web Browser Debuts with Highly Requested Features, Improvements

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:35:00 +0000

Vivaldi, the Chromium-based web browser designed with the power user in mind, has been recently updated to version 1.12, a release that introduces highly requested features and a whole lot of under-the-hood improvements. There are three big new features implemented in Vivaldi 1.12. The first is a built-in Image Properties feature that works when you right-click on an image on the Web, showing you a bunch of useful information, such as camera model, depth of field, ISO sensitivity, focal length, exposure, histogram, time and date, and white balance. "Photography and design experts will appreciate instant access to the multi-channel histogram and raw data. Bloggers can easily get the dimensions of the image. Photo enthusiasts can use this new feature as a tool to learn more about their hobby," says Henrik Helmers, designer at Vivaldi. More powerful Downloads panel, website saturation controls The second biggest feature of Vivaldi 1.12 is a revamped...



Opera Is World's First Web Browser to Support 360-Degree Videos in VR Headsets

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:36:00 +0000

The newest Opera developer version that launched today for Linux, Mac, and Windows computers comes built-in with a VR 360 player feature that makes the Chromium-based web browser the first to support 360-degree videos in VR headsets. Engineered to be compatible with popular virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, the new VR 360 player is enabled by default and automatically detects an installed VR headset that supports Valve's OpenVR SDK and API. Of course, this means that the feature supports other OpenVR capable devices. "When a user browses to a video, a button above the video (next to Opera’s video pop out button) labeled ‘Watch in VR’ will appear. One simple click will engulf the viewer into the 360-degree world offered by the video," explains Andrzej Czarnecki, Product Manager at Opera. Opera says that they created VR playback directly into their web ...



Google Chrome to Mute Autoplay Videos Starting January 2018

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 07:07:00 +0000

Google is finally recognizing that websites which play multimedia content without the user’s approval are annoying, and it will deal with it by muting said content and by giving users the power to stop it in the Chrome browser. It’s true that not everyone has this kind of annoying content, but the ones that do display it should already know that it’s wrong. Unfortunately, it often happens that this behavior is tolerated by users because the site might also provide other valuable information. So, each time when we hear something playing in the background we have to go tab hunting, trying to figure out what’s the source of the sound. It’s even a bigger problem when a user opens multiple tabs from the same source, which means getting multiple players starting at once. Putting the power in the hands of users There are various ways that Google can deal with this, but they have to consider both the users and the websites that host the videos. Every tim...



New Copyright Laws in European Union to Sabotage User's Freedom, Says Mozilla

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 07:15:00 +0000

The copyright laws are about to change in the European Union, and the plan is to bring them up to date, but Mozilla says it will significantly impact the freedom of Internet users. The European Union does have copyright laws, but they are outdated and not designed for this age. For the most part, the legislation is taken care of by the member states, but that also means they don’t have the same power. On the other hand, regulating copyright laws is always going to be a tricky problem, and someone will get upset, be it the copyright holders or the people that want to make use of protected material. Mozilla says that freedom and openness is threatened The Mozilla Organization is a US-based non-profit, and some people might think that their stance might be a strange one, but this is not the first time when the organization took a position on laws that could limit online access to users. A new proposal is going before the European Parliament Committ...



Opera 49 to Introduce New Private Mode on Linux & Windows, Easier Configuration

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 19:11:00 +0000

Opera Software released a new developer build of their Chromium-based Opera web browser, versioned 49.0.2705.0, which introduces a new private mode and an all-in-one panel to ease the configuration of Opera's most essential features. Opera 49 still lays in the developer channel and it's been recently rebased on the Chromium 62.0.3188.4 open-source web browser. The latest build, Opera 49.0.2705.0, introduces a bunch of goodies that should come in handy for newcomers and veteran Opera users alike. The first of these, is a new private mode that's now available on both Linux and Windows systems. "Our original appearance for private browsing was a bit harsh to our users’ eyes because of the very dark background colo...



Twitter Finally Rolls Out Night Mode Feature to Linux, Windows and Mac Users

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 20:30:00 +0000

Twitter announced today that it managed to implement the Night Mode feature to the desktop version of its social networking service, available on all Linux and Windows PCs, as well as Macs. The long-anticipated Night Mode feature is ready to conquer your desktop, help stop eye strain, and help you fall asleep after a long night of twittering. The feature is currently rolling out to the desktop version of twitter.com and should be supported on all modern web browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera. iOS and Android users were able to enjoy the Night Mode feature on their devices for more than a year now, but it took a while to arrive on our Macs, Linux, and Windows PCs. By design, the Night Mode feature restricts blue light emanating from your display by changing its hue when you're working at night, but on the desktop it will only change the look of twitter.com from white to black. Here's how to enable Night Mode on twitter.com



Twitter Bans User for Posting a Death Threat… Against a Mosquito

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 07:42:00 +0000

Twitter is ignoring all the calls to ban US President Donald Trump for repeatedly violating the terms of service, but instead, it doesn’t have a problem to block an account of a regular user who posted death threats against a mosquito. Twitter user @DaydreamMatcha discovered that his account was blocked by the service shortly after posting what he originally thought could be an amusing message for his followers: “Bastard! Do you enjoy biting me all over while I'm trying to relax and watch TV? Die? (Actually, you're already dead),” he posted referring to a mosquito in his room. The user also posted a photo with the mosquito squashed on the floor. But as it turns out, Twitter doesn’t allow any kind of threats to be posted on the service, so the @Dayd...



Google Shuts Down the Internet in Japan… by Mistake

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 10:08:00 +0000

Google accidentally toggled the Internet switch to off in Japan last Friday, with customers of the biggest ISPs in the country unable to connect to the web for several hours. Google’s big oops moment took place after the company broke down a Border Gateway Protocol (also referred to as BGP) with a configuration error causing false announced peer prefixes sent to Verizon. This in turn caused Internet providers like NTT Communications and KDDI Corp. to be left without an Internet connection, with the luckiest of customers “only” experiencing a terribly slow connection. NTT’s Internet service, called OCN, is being used by nearly 7.7 million home users and 480,000 companies and is the largest in Japan. Google: Sorry, fixed! Google admitted the mistake in a statement issued to Japanese media, explaining that it corrected the bad configuration in just 8 minutes. The outage, however, lasted for several hours, and was first experienced at 12:22 PM local ...



Former CIA Agent Wants to Buy Twitter and Ban Trump: It’s Time to Shut Him Down

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 07:12:00 +0000

Donald Trump could soon be forced to start posting his nonsense on Weibo if a GoFundMe campaign turns successful and helps an organization called GlobalZero raise $1 billion. What the org wants to do is buy a hefty Twitter share and then use the stakeholder power to ban Donald Trump, thus making sure that the service no longer ignores “growing calls to enforce their own community standards and delete Trump’s account.” The more unexpected piece of information is that the campaign was started by a former CIA agent called Valerie Wilson, who backs the campaign and wants Donald Trump out from Twitter. At the time of posting this article, the campaign has already raised $58,000, so there’s still a long way to go to reach the $1 billion threshold, if this ever happens. Twitter is Donald Trump’s “biggest megaphone” GlobalZero explains that by using Twitter, Donald Trump “damage the country and put peopl...



Vivaldi 1.11 Enhances Reader Mode, Lets Users Adjust Mouse Gesture Sensitivity

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 07:01:01 +0000

Vivaldi Technologies are releasing today the Vivaldi 1.11 web browser with several advanced accessibility features, a brand-new application icon, an advanced Reader Mode, and adjustable mouse gesture sensitivity. Vivaldi 1.11's development kicked off two months ago, on June 19, 2017, with a configuration panel for the Reader Mode allowing users to adjust the settings without having to navigate away from the current web page they're reading. Among the things that can be modified via the new configuration panel, we can mention the font type and size of the text, the background's style (light, dark, or system default theme), the width of the column, as well as the line height. "We at Vivaldi strive to make the Internet accessible for all by building a browser that adapts to the user," says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO at Vivaldi Technologies. "Catering for individual requirements is at the heart of our efforts." Adjustable mouse gesture sensitivity, simplified tur...



Opera 47 Web Browser Smooths Video Playback, Lets Users Export Their Bookmarks

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:41:00 +0000

Opera Software on Wednesday promoted the Opera 47 web browser to the stable channel for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. Based on the Chromium 60 open-source web browser, Opera 47 is now ready to conquer your Linux, Mac, or Windows desktop with its numerous enhancements and new features, starting with the ability to export all of your bookmarks to a single HTML file that you can import on another Opera instance, or a different web browser. "This stable build provides a choice of exporting all of your bookmarks. Everything from your Speed Dial, bookmarks bar and other folders are neatly listed in a single HTML file. Additionally, the bookmarks pop up – seen when adding a new bookmark or Speed Dial entry – received some fixes to bugs experienced earlier," said Krystian Kolondra, EVP Desktop at Opera Softwa...



Firefox 55 Is the First Windows Desktop Browser to Support VR Experiences

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:44:00 +0000

Mozilla officially unveiled today the Firefox 55.0 web browser for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows, bringing numerous performance improvements, along with new technologies. We already reported the other day on the availability for download of the Firefox 55.0 web browser if you wanted to install it on your favorite OS ahead of the official announcement, which gives us a glimpse of the new features Mozilla included in this major release. Prominent new features of Firefox 55.0 include support for WebVR, making it the first Firefox version to support VR (virtual reality) experiences, but only on Windows. WebVR lets you use various virtual reality devices with the Web for a richer, more modern an...



Adobe Should Open-Source Flash Player, Petition Requires

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:20:00 +0000

Adobe recently announced that it would be killing off Flash Player by the end of 2020, and tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, and Google revealed plans to migrate to alternative solutions and ensure a smooth transition for all users. But not everyone seems to be ready to let Flash Player go, especially given the impact it could have on the browsing experience, as millions of websites out there are believed to be using Flash content that would become obsolete once Adobe pulls the plug on its software. A petition published on GitHub by developer Juha Lindstedt calls for Adobe to open-source Flash Player, explaining that otherwise “future generations can’t access the past and games, experiments, and websites would be forgotten.” 3,500 votes and counting The petition goes on to explain that open-sourcing Flash...



Google: HTML is Faster, Safer, and More Power Efficient Than Adobe's Flash

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 23:40:00 +0000

After Adobe's big announcement this morning that they plan to end support for Flash in late 2020, Google Chrome's Anthony Laforge published a blog article asking Flash developers to start transitioning to HTML. For a long time, Google shipped its Chrome web browser built-in with Flash support, but it now looks like Chrome will slowly start blocking Flash content, require explicit permission from users, until upstream support is terminated three years from now, at the end of 2020. Google, like anyone else on this planet, believe HTML is faster, safer, and more power efficient than Flash, without a doubt. "Flash helped make the web a rich, dynamic experience, and shaped the modern set of web standards. We recognize that any transition can have challenges, but we will continue to work closely with Adob...



Opera Web Browser Now Has a Screen Capture Utility, Too, and It's Called "Snap"

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 22:58:00 +0000

Following the latest trends of implementing a built-in screenshot utility into a web browser product, Opera Software on Monday announced that it added a new screen capture tool to the latest Opera developer release. Opera developer 48.0.2664.0 appears to be the first version of the popular and free web browser to add a new camera icon to the sidebar, making easier for users to snap an image of the coolest parts, or even an entire web page. Opera is the third web browser we know to offer a screenshot utility, after Vivaldi and Firefox. "Clicking it will open an adjustable frame on the web page, and hitting "Capture" will snap the screenshot," explains Maciej Kocemba, Product Manager, Opera for computers. "If capturing only a portion of the page is not enough, you can quickly snap the entire visible page by selecting "Capture Full Site." Opera has named the new screen capture utility as "Snap," and users will be able to use it with a single mouse click, as well as t...



Google Chrome 60 Hits Stable Channel with 40 Security Fixes, Many Improvements

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 21:06:00 +0000

Google on Tuesday promoted the Chrome 60 web browser to the stable channel for all supported platforms, including Windows, macOS, and GNU/Linux, adding numerous security fixes and various improvements. Initially pushed to the Beta channel earlier today, the Google Chrome 60.0.3112.78 update was seeded to the stable channel a few hours later, and it's now the most advanced stable version of the popular, cross-platform web browser. Users are recommended to update to Chrome 60.0.3112.78 immediately after reading this article. As for the major improvements that Google implemented in this major update, we can mention that the Payment Request API is now supported, on the Android platform, it's now possible to use the VP9 open and royalty-free video coding format with the MP4 (ISO BMFF) container, and there's a new VP9 string format available. Starting in Chrome 60, Google has deprecated the use of a custom fetch() function for accessing stored passwords, in an attempt t...



Google Wants to Simplify Its 2-Step Verification Process By Using Phone Prompts

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 01:09:00 +0000

After launching last week their new Backup and Sync app for Macs and Windows PCs, Google now announced that it wants to simplify and strengthen the 2-step verification process for users' accounts. Starting this week, Google will send invitations to users who opted in for the 2-step verification method with SMS (Short Message Service) to try a new, simplified, and more secure Google prompt the next time they sign into their accounts. Instead of receiving an SMS, users can preview the new Google prompt sign in flow, which they can leave it enabled by default or return to the SMS-based one. "Overall, this is being done because SMS text message verifications and one-time codes are more susceptible to phishing attempts by attackers," said Google. "By relying on account authentication instead of SMS, administrators can be sure that thei...



Google's Backup and Sync App Is Here, Works with Google Drive and Google Photos

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 21:25:00 +0000

After it teased us last month with a Backup and Sync app that promised to keep our computers in full sync at all times, Google today officially launched the application for Mac and Windows PCs. Being a revamped version of the Google Drive app, Backup and Sync has a few extra powers to make sure your most important files are kept safe, no matter what happens with your computer. Additionally, Backup and Sync can be used to synchronize your data across multiple computers, and it also replaces the Google Photos desktop uploader. "You probably keep your most important files and photos in different places—your computer, your phone, various SD cards, and that digital camera you use from time to time. It can be a challenge to keep all these things safe, backed up, and organized, so today we’re introducing Backup and Sync," says Aakash Sa...



Facebook Makes It Easier for iOS & Android Users to Find Wi-Fi Hotspots Anywhere

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 21:21:00 +0000

Facebook announced that it had expanded its "Find Wi-Fi" feature for both the iOS and Android versions of their mobile application to the rest of the world, allowing anyone to find Wi-Fi hotspots much easier and without using a third-party app. Facebook's "Find Wi-Fi" feature was previously tested in a limited number of countries during the past year or so, but it looks like it became so popular that it's been recently expanded globally to over 2 billion active monthly users, with which the company bragged last week. Facebook is now the largest social app on both iOS and Android, and, because of this, it now offers a new built-in functionality that should help people who live in areas where cellular data is very rare, as well as those who are always on-the-go and they need Internet connections to work. This is good news, because there's no need to have a third-party app installed that could do this. "Find Wi-Fi helps you locate available Wi-Fi hot spots nearby tha...



Mozilla Rolls Out First Firefox 54 Point Release to Fix Netflix Issue on Linux

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 16:53:00 +0000

More than two weeks after Mozilla unveiled Firefox 54 as the first branch of the web browser to use multiple operating system processes for web page content, we now see the availability of the first point release. Mozilla Firefox 54.0.1 was first offered to the stable release channel users on June 29, 2017, and, according to the official release notes, it fixes a Netflix issues for users of Linux-based operating systems, addresses a PDF printing issue, and resolves multiple tab-related issues that have been reported from Firefox 54.0. Among these, we can mention display problems with the tab title and the opening of a new tab, an issue when multiple tabs were opened, as well as a tab display issue that could occur when downloading files. If y...



Vivaldi 1.11 to Bring Back 32-bit Linux Builds, Add New Speed Dial Options

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 23:34:00 +0000

Maria Popova of Vivaldi Technologies is today reporting on the progress made on the upcoming Vivaldi 1.11 web browser, after their annual meet-up in Magnolia. First off, we'd like to remind the reader that Vivaldi Technologies is finally working on sync functionality for their Chromium-based web browser, which will be implemented in a future release to allow users to sync passwords, settings, bookmarks, tabs, and other information across multiple computers where Vivaldi is installed. Based on Chromium 59.0.3071.112, Vivaldi Snapshot 1.11.890.4 is the third in the development cycle of Vivaldi 1.11, and besides fixing various regressions and other issues that users reported since the last snapshot, it adds a new option that lets users hide the actions on the Speed Dial thumbnails that appear when hovering over them w...



Brace Yourselves, Sync Is Coming to Vivaldi Web Browser, Based on Chromium Sync

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 01:18:00 +0000

We've got word from Vivaldi Technologies that they are planning to bring Sync support to their Chromium-based web browser, and they're showing you the code live on July 5, 2017. Based on the Chromium Sync functionality that Google uses on its Chrome web browser for a long time now, Vivaldi Sync is the most requested feature of the web browser targeted at power users, promising to finally allow you to synchronize your settings. passwords, bookmarks, and notes across multiple PCs where Vivaldi is installed. "Vivaldi Sync is based on the Chromium Sync code with some modification and uses the same protocol. The data to be synced is encrypted, then sent to our server from which it can be requested from other Vivaldi instances from the same user," reveals Vivaldi for Softpedia News. "Some merging then takes place to ensure that everything remains consistent." Vivaldi Sync will be similar to the sync functionality of other web browsers Vivaldi said that...



Google Revamps Google News for Readability, Adds Dedicated 'Fact Check' Block

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 23:17:00 +0000

To make Google News easier to navigate and more accessible to everyone, Google today announced that it redesigned the desktop website to give users more control over what they read, with various perspectives over a wide range of news, and a dedicated "Fact Check" block. The new Google News design focuses on readability by adopting a card format for news to make it easier to browser and identify the related articles of a story, a new layout that shows the publisher's name and article's labels while keeping the view unchanged on the page as you explore similar topics. Google says that it dedicated the left navigation column to all the sections that you customize in your Google's account settings, so you can have faster access to the news you want to read. But they didn't stop there, as a new navigation bar for "Headlines," "Local" and ...



Google Fined Record $2.7 Billion in EU Case Started by Microsoft - Update

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 10:07:00 +0000

The European Union has issued a record fine against Google in a case that started in 2010 after rival Microsoft complained the search company was violating competition rules with its search engine. Google has been fined €2.4bn ($2.7bn; £2.1bn) after the EU ruled that Google used its dominant position in the market to display its own shopping links at the top of search engine results, with the company given 90 days to also make changes that would stop the anti-competitive practices. Google can also issue an appeal, but the company needs to comply with the requirements in the next 3 months, or otherwise face additional penalties. The Mountain View-based company has been accused by Microsoft and other companies that it was favoring its own products, sometimes paid links from registered sellers, to appear above all the other results when users search for common keywords. Microsoft’s Scroogled Even though these results are marked as sponsored, someti...



Opera 48 Hits Dev Channel Built on Chromium 60, Supports Converting of Fractions

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 18:10:00 +0000

After unleashing Opera 46 last week as the new stable and most advanced version of the popular web browser, Opera Software today promoted Opera 48 to the developer channel. Earlier today, the Opera 48.0.2636.0 build replaced last week's Opera 47.0.2628.0 developer update in the Dev channel, adding various small enhancements and numerous bug fixes. Among the new improvements, we can mention that the unit converted of the search pop-up tool now supports converting of fractions. "The unit converter can now recognise an array of Unicode subscript and superscript forms, such ½ ft, 1⁄4 mi or even ³⁄₄₇ gal. You will notice, too, that imperial volume labels, such as gal (gallons) or mpg (miles per gallon), are now visible," says Maciej Kocemba in today's release announcement. Now based on Chromium 60.0.3112.20 Besides expanding the unit converter, today’s first Opera 48 developer build al...



Opera 46 Browser Introduces Support for Animated PNG Files, Focuses on Stability

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:25:00 +0000

Opera Software, through Krystian Kolondra, was proud to announce the first release of their Chromium-based Opera web browser after the introduction of the Reborn initiative to revamp the entire user experience. Opera 46 was promoted to the stable channel, based on the open-source Chromium 59 web browser, and it comes with a bunch of quality improvements to the user interface, various usability enhancements, as well as some new functionality. But it also focuses on stability by fixing memory leaks, crashes and glitches. "In the last months we dedicated even more time to achieve greater stability of Opera," says Krystian Kolondra in the release announcement. "So far the focus on quality has given a generous 35% reduction in crashes per user, making the latest Opera browsers the very best in terms of stability." Here's what's new in Opera 46



Google Maps Is Unreliable, Indian Government Says

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:01:00 +0000

Google Maps is currently the world’s number one mapping service and is being accessed by billions of users every day, but as far as the Indian government is concerned, this solution is unreliable and unapproved. India's mapping and survey organization Survey of India (SoI) explained at a recent event that the Indian government considers Google Maps to be an unapproved and not authenticated service which officials themselves do not use, though they admitted that Google’s solution could be good for users looking for points of interests. Surveyor General of India Swarna Subba Rao questions Google Maps’ accuracy, pointing out that those who are looking for high accuracy are recommended to stick with the Survey of India maps. “If you talk about the authentication, the Google Maps is not authenticated. It hasn't been produced by the government, so they aren't authenticated,” Rao was quoted as saying by the



Firefox Focus for Android Promises to Block Annoying Ads, Protect Users' Privacy

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:12:00 +0000

Mozilla announced today that the Firefox Focus web browser that the Open Source company launched last year for iPhone and iPad devices is now also available for Android. Designed from the ground up to be simple, fast, and always private, the Firefox Focus mobile app for Android doesn't feature tabs and it's free of any visual clutter that might get in your way when surfing the Internet from your mobile device. It comes built-in with an ad blocker that promises to block annoying ads. "Firefox Focus allows you to browse the web without being followed by tracking ads which are notoriously known for slowing down your mobile experience. Why do we block these ad trackers? Because they not only track your behavior without your knowledge, they also slow down the web on your mobile device," says Mozilla. Highlights of Firefox Focus for ...