Feeds

Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies

You can try turning them off and on again

Security for virtualized datacentres

The Mozilla Foundation's controversial plan to bring ads into the Firefox browser has commenced, with new nightlies of the Firefox browser now including the Directory Tiles feature that users hated in its last implementation.

Directory Tiles have now morphed into “Sponsored Tiles”, the distinction being that the former are unpaid and are placed at Mozilla's discretion. The latter are offered in exchange for coin.

As the Foundation explains in an FAQ, it is possible to turn off the Sponsored Tiles, but only if you turn off all Tiles. Doing so means opening a new tab in the browser will not result in any Tiles appearing, which means you'll be deprived of the browser's ability to turn your most-visited sites into nice, big, easy-to-access shortcuts. Alternatively, you can view in "Classic" mode, which only shows unenhanced history tiles.

For now Sponsored Tiles appear only in US English nightly builds of Firefox. But the Foundation promises “ Localized versions of tiles will be rolled out over time.”

For now, Mozilla is giving away Tiles, picking sites it thinks users will appreciate. Once sponsors sponsor Sponsored Tiles, they'll be marked as having been paid for.

Mozilla's 'Tiles' ad format

Oi! Mozilla? How about a Tile for El Reg?

The full version of Firefox, meanwhile, has gained a new security feature called “domain pinning”. As explained by lead privacy engineer Monica Chew “Pinning allows site operators to specify which certificate authorities (CAs) issue valid certificates for them, rather than accepting any one of the hundreds of built-in root certificates that ship with Firefox.”

“Pinning helps protect users from man-in-the-middle-attacks and rogue certificate authorities,” Chew argues. Which is right. But the feature can also create problems. Site operators need to be aware of it, which can make for extra work. There's also the potential for Firefox to get things wrong. Chew warns that new WiFi connections, for example, might create transient pinning problems as certification chains break.

There's plenty of potential for these two new features to embroil Mozilla in controversy: let the click games begin! ®

New hybrid storage solutions

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.