Firefox 3.6.2 Candidate Fixes Critical Security Vulnerability

Mozilla-Firefox-3.6.2-Security-Vulnerability Mozilla is preparing to release Firefox 3.6.2, which will address a critical security vulnerability present in Firefox 3.6. The vulnerability in question, was reported by security researcher Evgeny Legerov last month. However, his initial reluctance to directly communicate with Mozilla prolonged the development time for the patch.

The vulnerability has been rated by Secunia as highly critical and can by exploited by hackers to execute arbitrary code on the user’s system. It is not known if there are any in-the-wild exploits for this vulnerability.

Firefox 3.6.2 is scheduled to be released on March 30. Until then, security conscious users can download a nightly build from Mozilla’s FTP server. Firefox 3.7 Alpha 3 (or newer), as well as older versions of Firefox (pre 3.6 releases) are also not affected.

Hotmail Watcher: Firefox Add-on For New Email Notification

There are a number of browser and desktop based notifiers for Gmail but not many for Hotmail or Yahoo! email services. Hotmail Watcher changes that. It is a Firefox add-on that notifies you of new email in your Hotmail Inbox without leaving your current page.

Once you install it from here, you can configure it to check your email at your desired intervals which can be between   5 minutes and 4 hours. If you don’t like the automated checking of your inbox, there is an option to manually check it whenever you want. When Hotmail Watcher does find some new email in your inbox, it can notify you through a sound alert, display alert and/or a blink alert. As you can see, there are a number of customizations that can be done to suit your needs. The tool does not ask you for your Hotmail username and password but rather works based on cookies set by Hotmail. That means, after installing the add-on you will have to login to your Hotmail Inbox once.

Hotmail WatcherHotmail Notifier

We have seen a number of notifiers for Gmail but very few for Hotmail. However, for a person like me who is an active Gmail but a passive Hotmail user, this tool is much better than going to the Hotmail Inbox every time to see if there’s new mail.

The add-on can be installed here. [Via ghacks]

Firefox 3.6 Now The Most Used Browser By Mozilla

Late last week, Mozilla started pushing update alerts to Firefox 3.5 users to upgrade their browsers to Firefox 3.6, looks like those alerts have borne some fruits, because Firefox 3.6 is now the most used Mozilla browser according to the recent stats.

Firefox 3.6 Most Used Browser

As of today, Firefox 3.6 is used by 43% of users as compared to 23% before the push. According to the Mozilla metrics team, around 75 million users made the switch to Firefox 3.6 since the past week.

As of today, almost 186 million people have downloaded Firefox 3.6 since it’s release on January 21st 2010, which is definitely a huge number, however, this is bound to grow in the next few weeks, when more users upgrade to FF 3.6.


Another interesting fact is that Firefox 3.6 has had the most early adoption trends as opposed to Firefox 3.5 and Firefox 3, this is most likely because Firefox 3.5 has had a lot of problems and crashes, and FF 3.6 provides a much more stable version of the browser.

Close Tab Most Popular Firefox Button, Popular Firefox Menu Items

Mozilla Labs has released a new test result which was used to find the most popular Firefox menu buttons, according to the initial findings, Close Tab is the most popular button used in Firefox, followed by New Tab, Bookmark Item, Back and Reload.

Mozilla Firefox Popular Buttons

However, according to further in-depth analysis it was found that most people used keyboard Shortcuts to close tabs and the mouse more often to bookmark items and copy paste content. You will also find a screenshot of menu usage, grouped by the menus in Firefox, in the screenshot below.

Most Popular Firefox Menu Items

An interesting thing that I could see in the data presented is that the New Tab operation is pretty less as compared to the close tab action, which suggests that users are either clicking on links on website, or using their bookmarks to open almost 50% of the tabs they are browsing.

More details on the most popular Firefox menu buttons and their usage can be found at Mozilla Labs.

Browser Saturday: Browser Security Woes, Firefox Account Manager, Opera Mini for Android and More

Welcome to another edition of Browser Saturday – the weekly roundup of all major browser related news. Without further ado let us get started.

Internet Explorer

This was a particularly rough week for Internet Explorer users. Early in the week, Microsoft released a security advisory warning users about a critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6 and 7, which could result in the execution of malicious code. Soon, multiple security product vendors confirmed that the vulnerability was indeed being exploited by hackers to attack unsuspecting users. To make matters worse Israeli researcher Moshe Ben Abu published the exploit code. Check out our original article to learn more about this issue.

Microsoft also tweaked the browser ballot screen – which has already given a boost to alternate browsers, to remove any inherent bias.


Rock-Your-FirefoxMozilla publically launched RockYourFirefox – a central repository for users looking to enhance their browsing experience. RockYourFirefox would regularly feature some of the best Firefox extensions along with reviews, feedback and insights from Firefox users around the web.

However, the most exciting development of the week was the announcement of Mozilla Account Manager. It is a new Mozilla Labs project, which aims to make managing accounts on different websites simpler by allowing users to sign-in/sign-out from the toolbar itself. Check out our in-depth coverage to get an idea about this possibly revolutionary product.

Mozilla also started pushing Firefox 3.6 more proactively to users, while continuing impressive work on the latest development builds.


This was a comparatively quiet week for Google Chrome. The most significant development was Google deciding to do away with the unique client ID present in all installations of the browser. In the future, Chrome will be getting rid of the unique identifier after the first automatic update check.

Although there weren’t a lot of new stuff from Google, there were plenty of new extensions. If you are a cricket fan, go ahead and install the IPL on YouTube extension for Chrome to get lives scores, commentary and match reminders.


OperaOpera Software had a fairly dramatic week thanks to all the hoopla about the malformed Content-Length header security issue. The initial proof of concept code turned out to be non-exploitable. However, a modified scenario presented by Secunia was (at least theoretically) revealed to be a security risk.

However, things were not all gloomy for Opera. Carakan JavaScript engine continued its impressive showing – it proved itself to be not only the fastest but also the best behaved.

Meanwhile, Opera Software kept churning out releases for various platforms. UNIX and MAC users received new 10.50 snapshots while Windows users got a chance to try out a 10.51 build. Opera Mini 5 beta for Android was also released this week.


Apple pushed through as many as 16 security updates for Safari, ahead of the Pwn2Own hacking contest.

Mozilla Account Manager May Simplify Online Identity Management [Concepts]

Online Identity Mozilla ConceptsBeing an early adopter of technology, I usually sign up for beta services as soon as they are released. Now, with that I have hundreds of accounts I need to remember and keep track of. Most browsers make this easier by providing an option to remember username and passwords, however, it still leaves a lot to be desired.

Mozilla Account Manager Concepts

Mozilla is working on a new concept called “Account Manager” which will dramatically simplify how users connect to websites. The initial prototype of the concept integrates into Firefox and allows users to sign in and sign out of websites from the toolbar.

Mozilla Account Manager

The basic concept behind account manager is to allow users to simplify the process of signing in and out of your web accounts. Once you install the add-on you will see a key sign next to the location bar. Clicking on which will show you an option to connect to the current site.

Mozilla Account Manager Connect

Clicking on connect will sign you into the account for the current site. You can also use the same key button to sign out of the account from the current site. The current add-on is in just a prototype so don’t expect it to work very well. More details follow below.

What Is Account Manager?

According to the Mozilla Wiki, here is what the Account Manager Project aims to produce:

  • A protocol definition that sites can use to define their account-and-session management features in a format a web browser can understand
  • An implementation of this protocol as a Firefox add-on.

The goal is to help users manage the process of “connecting” to a site, in a way that allows us to use secure browser chrome, and supports multiple authentication mechanisms.

The account manager is an evolution of the Firefox password manager and the Weave identity components (OpenID + auto-login). It will help users manage logins and profile information for each site, and it will automate currently manual tasks such as signing up for sites, generating passwords, etc. The first prototype will have support for “traditional” login methods (example., form + cookie), but it will also have some support for OpenID/federated logins.

Account Manager Standards

Mozilla is basically creating a new standard called “HTTP Extensions for Account Management and Session Identification” for websites, which will lay down the specifications on how this unified Account Manager will work. There is an early draft for the concept available here.

Websites which follow the specifications in the draft will automatically allow Account Manager to manage them.

Trying Out Account Manager

Account Manager is just a prototype right now and only works with a select few sites, including Google, Yahoo and . If you want to give the account manager a shot, head over to this page to download it.

Account Manager requires that you have the passwords stored in the password manager for it to work.

Does Your Browser Behave? Find Out With Sputnik JavaScript Conformance Test Suite

You are probably familiar with the Acid3 test, which checks how well certain selected aspects of web standards (especially those related to the Document Object Model and JavaScript) are implemented by a browser. Now, the Chromium development team has released a similar benchmarking utility which can check how well a browser’s JavaScript engine behaves. The test runner is based on the Sputnik JavaScript conformance test suite which was launched last year.

Sputnik comprises of more than 5000 tests and touches all aspects of the JavaScript language defined in the third edition of the ECMA-262 specification. The results of the test are quite interesting. As expected, none of the browsers managed a perfect score. Opera 10.50 was the best performer with 78 failures, while Internet Explorer 8 was the worst performer with 463 failures. Safari 4, Chrome 4 and Firefox 3.6 recorded 159, 218 and 259 failures respectively.


Sputnik test itself is still in its infancy and will undoubtedly continue to evolve and mature with time. However, a standard test suite like this will definitely help browser manufacturers discover bugs and inconsistencies. Let us hope that browser manufacturers like Microsoft and Mozilla will take this test seriously and help in the evolution of a truly Open Web.

Rock Your Firefox

On March 10th 2010, Mozilla announced the launch of Rock Your Firefox. Rock Your Firefox is a place where Firefox users can customize their web experience and learn about cool new add-ons.
The release note says,

We are excited to launch Rock Your Firefox today as a place where Firefox users can learn how to customize their Web experience and discover cool new add-ons.

There are thousands of Firefox Add-ons to choose from and hundreds of millions of people worldwide have already downloaded nearly 2 billion add-ons.

At Rock Your Firefox, we can also find reviews and feedback from users who are using add-ons and this will provide us with different ways to customize our browsing experience. Seemingly new add-ons will be listed on the website every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The first add-on to make it to the site is Yoono.  It is featured on the homepage right now. Only one Monday has passed since the launch and a new add-on is expected this Wednesday. The site includes heavy details on the featured add-ons and on how to use them. This gives add-on developers a good exposure and users an insight into their favorite add-ons.

Rock Your Firefox is just another initiative from Mozilla to promote everything Firefox. With a concept this good, it is sure to be a hit.

Use Foobar to Combine Firefox Address and Search Boxes

Google Chrome has become one of the most widely used web browsers within a short span of time. One of its many user-friendly features is that the address box also doubles as a search box. For those of us who unfailingly type in a search command into the address bar of a browser by mistake, this feature is nothing short of a life-saver!   However, all the Firefox loyalists out there needn’t feel left out. With Foobar safely installed, you can now have the benefit of integrating Firefox’s address and search boxes, combining them into one functional box!

Once you install this add-on, every time you type in anything other than a valid URL, (an address having HTTP, FTP or ABOUT), your address bar functions like a search box and you are also given a list of possible choices to select from. Typing in a recognized address, on the other hand, takes you directly to that page. Very handy, right?

Moreover, when using the address box for searches, you also get to choose the search engine to be used. The featured search engines include Google, Yahoo, Amazon and Wikipedia among others. Thus, you experience great flexibility along with dual functionality!

Foobar has the capacity to easily become one of those extensions that you grow so used to that you take them for granted. It is simple, yet rather appealing in its effectiveness. I would highly recommend it to all Firefox users!

How to Add a Right Click Search Menu to Firefox

ff-logo Would you like to be able to highlight words on a page and choose the search engine or a site to look them up? This can be done in most web browsers, but it may not be a built-in feature.

A while back, I told you How to Add a Right Click Search Menu to Internet Explorer.   Now I’ll tell you how to add this to Firefox. Here’s what it looks like:


As you can see above, the word RSSis highlighted on the page. A right click on the highlighted word, brings up the context menu(or right click menu).

To add the Search formenu item, we’ll need to install an addon to Firefox. There are a few addons which add this type of function, but I like the SmartSearch addon.

Do you see all of the search engines listed in that menu? Those won’t be there when you use this addon the first time. You have to add them yourself. It’s easy to do, and the beauty of this is that you can add only the sites you like to search. Nobody will be giving you a pre-made list that they think you’ll like.

Here’s how to add a site to the Search formenu after SmartSearch is installed. I’m going to use as an example.

Go to

When you see the search box, right click on it and choose Add a Keyword for this Search.


Next, you’ll need to fill out the name of the search and add your own short keywordfor it (as shown). You can see that I’ve chosen the two letters DLas the keyword.


Notice that the Folder says Bookmarks Menu. You are actually better off creating a new folder for all of your searches. I chose to call my folder quicksearch.

After saving, you’ll have a new search in your right click Search formenu.

There’s an additional benefit. Since you have a keywordon the bookmark, you can search from your address bar using that keyword. If you want to search for browsersat, just type dl browsers  into the address bar and the results from will quickly fill your page.

Here’s where to install SmartSearchfor Firefox.

Be sure to check out some of the other cool Firefox addons we’ve talked about in the past.

Happy searching!