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17 July 2012, 17:16

Firefox 14 introduces HTTPS search by default - Update

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Mozilla has announced the release of Firefox 14.0.1, the latest major stable release of the popular open source web browser. This update now uses secured search via Google's HTTPS interface by default, providing users with more security and privacy when searching the web. The browser's "Awesome Bar" has been fitted with an auto completion mechanism for URLs which tries to guess what site a user is trying to navigate to based on their browsing history.

Other improvements in Firefox 14 include full-screen support under Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and plugins can now be configured to only load when the user clicks on them. This opt-in activation feature for plugins has been under development on for a while and improves page load time as well as security. The developers have also changed the user interface of the site identity manager to prevent spoofing of secured connections; this uses favicons that look like the logo which the browser displays when a secure SSL connection has been detected to the site in question. These security improvements had been detailed with the release of previous beta versions of Firefox 14.

Another new feature that will help web game developers who use Firefox as a delivery platform is the browser's support for the Pointer Lock API. This gives developers the ability to better control the mouse interaction with the browser which is especially needed for first-person shooter games. The new release also includes several bug fixes, some of which apparently caused the version number of the browser to be bumped so that version 14.0 was never actually released.

More details on the changes in the new version can be found in the release notes or the official announcement blog post. At the time of writing, Mozilla has not yet released any information on the security fixes in the latest release. Firefox 14.0.1 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the project's site. Firefox source and binaries are released under the Mozilla Public Licence 2.0 . For further information, consult the MPL 2.0 FAQ or navigate to about:license when running Firefox 14.

Version 14 of Firefox for Android was released last month and includes its own host of improvements and bug fixes.

Update 18-07-12: Mozilla has now detailed all of the security fixes – some of which are rated as "Critical" – in Firefox 14.0.1 and in the recent updates to the Thunderbird email client and SeaMonkey internet suite.


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