Phoning Firefox: Browser now makes Web calls

Boosts speeds of specially-optimized JavaScript for faster in-browser games and apps

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Like Mozilla, Google claims that Native Client code runs almost as fast inside the browser as the original did outside.

Both Mozilla and Google have highlighted JavaScript-written games as a key target for their native code projects.

"Developers [now] have a low-cost solution to bring high-performance games and applications to the Web with technologies like JavaScript, Emscripten and WebGL," Mozilla wrote on its top-tier company blog announcing Firefox 22. WebGL is another open-source extension to JavaScript; it allows developers to render interactive 3-D graphics content.

Firefox for Android was also updated Tuesday to improve WebGL rendering -- a similar enhancement landed in Firefox 22 on the desktop -- and to guarantee that smaller-sized tablets displayed the browser's full interface.

Along with the usual slate of new features and improvements, Firefox 22 also patched 17 vulnerabilities, seven rated critical, Mozilla's highest threat ranking. Six others were labeled "high," three were marked "moderate" and one was tagged as "low."

One of the critical bugs was reported by Nils, the second consecutive Firefox update contribution by the German researcher. Nils is a noted vulnerability researcher, and was on a two-man team that won $100,000 in March for hacking Chrome at the Pwn2Own contest.

Also patched was yet another vulnerability in the Mozilla Maintenance Service on Windows, which powers the browser's silent updates. Mozilla patched different bugs in the same service in both April (Firefox 20) and May (Firefox 21).

Security researcher Abhishek Arya, a Google engineer better known as "Inferno," was credited with reporting three memory corruption flaws. Inferno and others on Google's security team have reported scores of vulnerabilities to Mozilla based on their "fuzzer" stress testing.

Windows, Mac and Linux editions of Firefox 22 can be downloaded manually from Mozilla's site, while already installed copies will upgrade automatically. Users of Firefox for Android can retrieve the update from the Google Play store.

The next version of Firefox is to ship August 6.

This article, Phoning Firefox: Browser now makes Web calls, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at  @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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