Software security courtesy of child labor

We couldn’t help but poke a little fun in the headline. This is [Alex Miller], a twelve year old who claimed a $3000 bounty from Mozilla. See, [Alex] is a self-taught security guru. When Mozilla upped the reward for discovering and reporting critical security flaws in their software he went to work searching for one. He estimates that he spent an hour and a half a day for ten days to find the hole. Fifteen hours of work for $3000? That’s pretty good!

Is it good or bad to pay for these kind of submissions? The real question: Is the bounty high enough to get blackhats to report vulnerabilities, rather than selling software that exploits them? Let us know what you think in the comments.

[via Zero Day]

Mozilla Fennec Alpha 3 for Windows Mobile released

fennec

Mozilla released the latest alpha version of their new mobile browser Fennec for Windows Mobile. It brings many new features and fixes, such as improved startup time and a caching system to help scrolling on a page. They have also added support for a wider range of screen resolutions, and for those of us running an HTC Touch Pro support for zoom via the directional pad has been included in this release. Being an alpha release, it’s still a bit on the buggy side, but is very a promising browser for mobile phones. The final release should give other browsers a run for their money.

Chrome and Firefox showing JavaScript improvements

With new betas for both Firefox and Chrome being released, CNET decided to find out how good their JavaScript performance was. Both browsers got a performance boost with Firefox slightly edging out Chrome. You have to turn on TraceMonkey, Firefox’s new Javascript engine in 3.1b1, to get the improvement. We never thought Google was that serious about building a new browser. They just want wanted Firefox to get their act together and suck less. It seems to be working.

[via Lifehacker]

Geode, Mozilla Labs’ location-based browser plug-in

Mozilla Labs has launched yet another new project, this one a location based plugin for Firefox. Geode will let users to take advantage of location data embedded within a web page. Like [MG Siegler] at VentureBeat, we wondered what the point of a location-based desktop browser was, since most cell phones are now GPS-enabled. TechCrunch and CNET’s Webware, cite the example of a user who is looking for a place to eat while out of town. Using Geode, his favorite restaurant review site would know automatically to display eating establishments in the locale he is visiting. As semantic information permeates more and more of the web, we’re certain that we’ll see many more uses for a tools like Geode. Geode’s uses Skyhook’s Loki technology, which determines position base on what WiFi access points it sees just like the Eye-Fi.

Ubiquity, a browser command line

During the last day the web has been abuzz about Mozilla Labs’ Ubiquity. It’s an addon for Firefox that can help you streamline how you get things done on the web. In the example above, they show constructing an email with a map and reviews using mostly keyboard driven input. The addon is quick to install and we think you’ll find it saving you a lot of time on tasks you’d normally hit the search box for. In the popup, you can do quick Wikipedia lookups, define words, translate, perform calculations, and many other operations. You can email a page to someone by just typing three words. The best part is: anyone can write a command that will expand Ubiquity’s function. Greasemonkey helped fix broken websites and we think Ubiquity will help make interactions between sites much easier. We can’t wait to see what clever uses people come up with.

Best Firefox 3 extensions


We generally try to limit the number of extensions we install for security, performance, and because we use a lot of different systems. That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of interesting addons out there and Mozilla has recently announced the winners of their Extend Firefox 3 Contest. Lifehacker has a full rundown of each of the winners. Nothing really stands out in our eyes (although we might try Last.fm’s toolbar).

The three extensions we always end up installing are Firebug, Greasemonkey, and Flashblock. What are yours?

Making art with Javascript

Mozilla coder [Aza] is connected to the past and the present: he wanted to celebrate the release of Firefox 3, but pines for the days when one could use small amounts of code to make compelling art. As a way of addressing both things, he has released ContextFree.js, a javascript port of [Chris Coyne]’s Context Free Art. Users can visit Algorithm Ink, where they can draw various compelling designs with just a few lines of script. ContextFree.js compiles the scripts and turns them into visually arresting geometric designs. Users can also browse through designs made by others, easily save them as JPGs, or even modify them by adding their own bits of code. What’s more, it’s not out of the question to use this to generate random images on a website, creating a unique visual experience for every single visitor. You all know what we want to see, though: JavaScript gurus working some real magic with this. Better yet, said gurus can play around with the core open-source code and make something truly their own on the most fundamental level. Definitely check out the video above to get an idea of how easy this is.

[via Waxy]