Mozilla "Push"es Firefox 44, Most Secure Linux Projects

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 27, 2016

Firefox 44 was released today with Mozilla touting new Push technology. Push allows websites to push content to users without their having to visit the site directly. Elsewhere, The Linux Homefront Project researched which Linux distributions take user security seriously and some of the results are surprising. Jack M. Germain reviewed Nelum OS and Neil Rickert shared his multi-boot techniques.

Firefox 44 was officially announced today with Mozilla touting their new Push features. Push "is similar to Web notifications, except now you can receive notifications for websites even when they're not loaded in a tab." Developer Dan Callahan described Push, "As long as your browser is running, it can receive notifications from websites, even without having that site open. This means you can close your email tab and still find out when a new message arrives. That's a huge win for memory usage, performance, and battery life."

Push Notifications on Ubuntu mimic local alerts, appear seamless

Fortunately, users can configure which websites can "push" content to your desktop. Callahan said, "Much like with geolocation or webcam access, Web Push requires explicit, revocable permission before a website can show notifications to a user." This is good since Push uses a central server as a go-between the originating site and your desktop. "Push notifications are opt-in, and you can revoke permission any time." Your browser/desktop doesn't connect to the server unless you've activated a "Push."

Some other new and improved features include:

* An improved warning pages for certificate errors and untrusted connections, H.264 availability
* WebM/VP9 video support
* Support for the new Brotli compression algorithm
* Fixed several memory crashes
* Support for unicode-range descriptor for webfonts
* Removed support for the RC4 decipher
* Delay of Add-on Signing requirement that troubled Fedora

Downloads of Firefox 44 are available from

Pavlo Rudyi today posted an analysis of several popular Linux distributions and their commitment to security. Criteria included SSL certificates for their websites and repositories, signing packages, and download checksums. He said most distributions sign their packages, but fall short on some or all the other bits. Only Arch and Red Hat's community offerings passed his tests.

Jack Germain said Nelum OS "is a light and fast live-installable Linux distribution family offering three separate releases. The distro is a brand-new entry to the land of Linux, with an unusual twist on what you usually see with a Linux release." Each release is based on a different Ubuntu version but all feature OpenBox window manager. He concluded, "The Nelum distro isn't your run-of-the-mill Linux offering. It's a no-nonsense distro that forgoes animation and graphical gimmickry. All three are fast."

In other news:

* KDE Ships Plasma 5.5.4, bugfix Release for January

* Linux multi-boot part 2

* Hands-On: Kali Linux Light (Xfce) and Mini