Did Firefox hop on board the Metaverse train?

Shaun
Dec 2, 2022
Firefox
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18

Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox web browser, bought Active Replica in November 2022. This Canadian company is currently working on a web-based metaverse. But, what does Mozilla intend to do with Active Replica’s projects?

Imo Udom, the SVP at Mozilla, claims that this acquisition will bolster Hubs, which is a virtual platform for collaboration. It lets users create 3D spaces easily, and others can join with just an URL without installing anything.

Hubs was launched in 2018, an experiment on social experiences back then. It has been continuously developed since then, and is compatible with the most well-known goggles like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. However, these devices are not mandatory; Hubs can also be used with desktop computers and smartphones.

What Udom announced is that the work of Active Replica will improve the experience, introduce new interactions and offer subscription tiers based on specific customer needs. He implies that the team in Active Replica is quite experienced in virtual-based products and services, and it will enhance what Mozilla’s currently working on with their expertise and a fresh look at things.

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Is Firefox joining the Metaverse

Top talent at Active Replica includes their founders, Jacob Ervin and Valerian Denis. Ervin is a software engineer who was also part of other startups like Metaio, Liminal AR, and Occipital. All of them dealt with Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality solutions. Denis worked in management for other VR-related companies like BackLight.

The Metaverse concept has had its ups and downs, with former Facebook and now Meta CEO Zuckerberg getting a lot of heat amidst some questionable decisions, such as changing the focus of the company towards virtual reality and the Metaverse.

In the case of Mozilla, this is not the first time they dabble in VR-related concepts. In February 2022, Firefox Reality was discontinued. It was meant to create a browser for AR and VR headsets.

Mozilla themselves have been careful not to look too eager in joining the Metaverse bandwagon. They claim that they help develop new tech such as WebVR and WebAR, but this is not a long-term objective of the organization.

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Comments

  1. Tom Hawack said on December 2, 2022 at 3:47 pm
    Reply

    Metaverse has nothing to do with metaphysics and is maybe only a “metavirtual” concept.

    Personally Mozilla can join th Metaverse as she likes it as long as I can be in the train without being obliged to chat in the Metaverse restaurant cabin (pref).

    “Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox web browser, bought Active Replica in November 2022.”
    With what money? (as moms say when they spot their kids with pockets filled with candies). I thought they were tight on the budget. I had in mind donating to the company but if the donation participates to such meta-virtual-daydream projects i’ll think again.

  2. DontBeEvil said on December 2, 2022 at 3:50 pm
    Reply

    Another metaverse concept that will go wrong. Mozilla used to be respected, but it is now considered a joke. What occurs when naive fools control your company.

  3. Aluminium said on December 2, 2022 at 8:04 pm
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    Remember 3D Blu-ray players?

  4. Jek Tono Porkins said on December 2, 2022 at 8:25 pm
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    But this is impossible to go wrong. Mozilla are a great company and haven’t done anything wrong and Firefox is a perfect browser that never had a bug or a vulnerability and scores 556/555 on HTML5 Test. Everything the holy saints at Mozilla do with Firefox is a good decision, that’s why Firefox is the most popular browser out there, and most importantly, it protects your privacy, doesn’t sell it to Google or the US government, every Mozilla employee has been equipped with a cyanide-pill so they can avoid torture if someone tries to force them to give up Firefox data to anyone.

  5. Mad Ignorant Heart said on December 3, 2022 at 12:12 am
    Reply

    @jek tono perkins

    > bug or a vulnerability

    Speaking of bugs and vulnerabilities, who is the record breaking browser in being the most insecure in 2022?

    Newsflash!

    Chrome is the most vulnerability ridden browser in 2022.
    https://atlasvpn.com/blog/google-chrome-is-the-most-vulnerability-ridden-browser-in-2022

    Firefox haters are an interesting class of people here. Google bad, bad, bad they preach, but still probably using browsers built on top of googles security disaster that is the Chromium codebase, that is literally a monopoly at this stage as far as browser codebases go and literally a record breaker for how many security problems it gets. Yeah so cool to use Brave and Vivaldi, so trendy, being free from GOOGLE. Awesome chromium sandbox. yeah ultra secure some people would have you believe, clueless people that fail to understand how insecure chromium-based browsers are and how poor googles record is for security and privacy.

    It must be mentioned that the metaverse has worse graphics than 128 bit gaming consoles. The nightmarish development of big tech attempting to augment reality into a WOKE UNIVERSE full of furries, pink hair and blue hair should really start to make people ask questions lol.

    What is happening to human society? lol.

    1. Iron Heart said on December 3, 2022 at 8:03 am
      Reply

      @Mad Ignorant Heart (yes, you are obviously mad at me, and ignorant too)

      Try proving that Firefox is more secure based on the actual code instead of just its irrelevancy – the latter is not actual security, just an irrelevant play with statistics. The fact is that Firefox lacks several exploit mitigations that Chromium does have. Hacking Firefox is even more trivial, you are lucky that no one cares to do so for 4% of all internet users.

    2. Jek Tono Porkins said on December 3, 2022 at 9:45 am
      Reply

      @Mad,

      That’s OK if Chrome has the most vulnerabilities. I don’t live in a bubble of delusion that Chrome is amazing and everything else is trash. No matter what browser I’ve used, IE, Firefox, Chrome, something else, I’ve never had problems with vulnerabilities, my problems arose from the browsers making changes to the UI, UX, direction, ideology that made me stop using some.

      1. Jek Tono Porkins said on December 3, 2022 at 10:04 am
        Reply

        Oh and I forgot, I would use a browser built on Gecko, if there were some worth using, sadly the only Firefox forks aren’t that much different. You have Waterfox, Librewolf and Pale Moon.

        Waterfox and Librewolf aren’t doing anything different from Firefox.

        The only difference between whether I use Firefox or Waterfox is the logo and the name.

        Librewolf is so tripping on privacy so much it won’t remember that I shut it down maximized and still opens in a window… to protect me from websites knowing my resolution.

        Pale Moon wants to live in the good old days when Firefox was good and customizable, OK that’s cool, but the browser is barely capable of handling the majority of websites people use on a daily basis. The only people that use Pale Moon as a main browser either have some old PCs running Windows XP or something or have modern PCs but are huffing so much copium, they think Pale Moon is as good as the rest.

        Chromium-based browsers on the other hand have much more variety and choice, there is Vivaldi, Opera, Brave, Cent, SRWare, Iridium and a lot more that are different and focus on different things. If Gecko-based browsers offered this kind of choice, I’d use one of them, but they don’t.

        Why aren’t there many Firefox forks? Is it because less people think Gecko is a good base for a browser? Is it because it offers less customization? Because from the history of Firefox forks form all the way back to Netscape and Flock, I don’t remember any single Firefox fork that was somehow drastically different from Firefox – never seen a groundbreakingly different UI/UX, never seen some new features or functionality, just the same old Firefox UI at the time with some kind of reskinned buttons and the same functionality as Firefox. Just a different name and a different icon.

        I’m not talking about preferences here, I’m talking about being rational and logical, there is nothing rational or logical in using Firefox or its forks unless you’re doing something very, very specific and only Firefox can do it for you. Even Tor, whose developers chose Firefox as a base, doesn’t really require Firefox, as Brave has built-in Tor mode that works just fine.

        So I see no reason to use Firefox nowadays, because it does nothing new or nothing better than the competition. What Firefox had in the past, doesn’t have anymore. It was an abundance of powerful add-ons and built-in customization. You could grab any UI element and drag it anywhere you wanted. Now Firefox deprecated their old extensions, OK, they say that this legacy code was pulling the browser backwards, but why did they reduce UI customization to a minimum where you can’t even remove some undesired buttons from the UI but also left some customization that they are slowly removing?

      2. Iron Heart said on December 3, 2022 at 11:52 am
        Reply

        @Jek Tono Porkins

        > SRWare

        …is spyware, with the dev laughing at his users:

        https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/iron.html

        > Even Tor, whose developers chose Firefox as a base, doesn’t really require Firefox, as Brave has built-in Tor mode that works just fine.

        Tor is based on Firefox for historical reasons because Tor predates Chromium. At the time when the Tor Browser Bundle was conceived, there was only Internet Explorer and Firefox, and Internet Explorer was closed source, leaving Firefox.

        Of course it is possible to create a Chromium-based Tor Browser, however, Chromium upstream are mainly Google developers and Google is unwilling to cooperate with the Tor Project, so whenever there is an issue, they would have to fix it themselves in their downstream fork with zero support from upstream. Also note that the Brave Tor mode can’t replace the Tor Browser Bundle as of now.

        > What Firefox had in the past, doesn’t have anymore.

        I mean, yeah. Firefox is a wannabe Chromium copy now with largely the same interface and sameish extensions, but with worse performance, worse security, and worse web compatibility. The people choosing it, do it for ideological reasons, because the almost completely Google-funded Mozilla is supposedly fighting the Google monopoly. Or so they say.

  6. Based Mozilla said on December 3, 2022 at 2:11 am
    Reply

    I for one support and use Firefox on everything. Firefox OS, Firefox Browser, Firefox ISP, Firefox Air, Firefox Focus (it helps me gain focus), Firefox Furry pictures, Firefox TOR BROWSER its so good, soo good i cannot even explain how it helps me escape the reality. I even started to call the guys in my work as Firefox #1, Firefox #2 and they now call me the Firefox #0!

  7. Sol Shine said on December 3, 2022 at 3:28 am
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    Remember the Failure of Second Life, 3D TV and the failed mass adoption of VR headsets?
    The recent news of Meta (Facebook) lack of progress with the Metaverse is another indication of problems with VR and 3D.

    Few people want to wear expensive heavy 3D goggles that isolate them from their direct surroudings for long periods, or use awkward controls to navigate a graphicly lower quality 3D space as a replacement for normal efficient daily tasks.

    Mozilla is ignoring all these signs and wasting money investing in this dubious tech.

    A better investment is to seperate Firefox content rendering and javascipt engines into a separate installable runtime engine. The browser can then be a much smaller program that uses the runtime and can be updated separately.
    Other programs like Thunderbird and others can use the same runtime.
    It would be a better alternative than Electron. Each program based on Electron carries their own Chromium code. This is a waste of ram and local storage.

    Mozilla can then developed a good SDK to use their runtime and sell support and develpement services, like Collabora does for LibreOffice.

    I do not like desktop programs based on web tech because they are slower and larger than normal programs made with C++ or Delphi.
    But if you do want to use web tech to make desktop programs due to the better layout flexibity, then do it in a more efficient way than how Electron does it.

    Thunderbird also needs to become a good alternative to Outlook in the corporate world.
    Selling support for Thunderbird would then be anoher way to make money.

  8. notanon said on December 3, 2022 at 5:33 am
    Reply

    This is why you never donate to Mozilla. You donate so Mozilla can make Firefox better, instead they waste money on buying a metaverse wannabe company.

    SMH

    Imagine buying a metaverse wannabe company in NOVEMBER 2022, AFTER Meta/Facebook had to “lays off” (translation = FIRED) 11,000+ employees because the Metaverse is a failure.

    Earlier, Meta gave up on their crypto, which died because no one cared.

    After watching Meta fail, Firefox doubles down on a metaverse wannabe company, because their woke, diversity-hired executives are virtue signalling morons.

    1. Sebas said on December 3, 2022 at 7:07 am
      Reply

      @notanon Woke 0.9 is over, people trash it. So the upcoming Wokefox 1.0 is working on it. non wokes will be blocked downloading it for a start.

    2. Iron Heart said on December 3, 2022 at 8:06 am
      Reply

      @notanon

      > This is why you never donate to Mozilla. You donate so Mozilla can make Firefox better, instead they waste money on buying a metaverse wannabe company.

      You can’t even donate to the development of Firefox. Firefox is developed by the Mozilla Corporation, and not the Mozilla Foundation.

      https://old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/a98gmi/donations_to_mozilla_foundation_are_not_used_for/

      You fell for their donations page lmao.

  9. Mad Ignorant Heart said on December 3, 2022 at 7:55 pm
    Reply

    @iron Heart
    > . Firefox is a wannabe Chromium copy now with largely the same interface and sameish extensions, but with worse performance, worse security

    Firefox is its own thing, its own style, its own features.

    Worse security?

    I am sorry but you are only making yourself look very stupid here. You will need more than some garbage obscure blog to prove your theory with your ridiculous preconceived notions about Firefox security, that blog you like is devoid of any “real world statistical data analysis research” like the research shown in the link below, which says chrome is the most vulnerability ridden browser.

    Chrome is the most vulnerability ridden browser in 2022.
    https://atlasvpn.com/blog/google-chrome-is-the-most-vulnerability-ridden-browser-in-2022

    There is a lot of research done on how bad chromium-based browsers are from a security standpoint. You ignore it lol.

    Keep your head up. Your argument has been utterly dismantled.

    You think posting that outdated blog you like, makes you look smart?

    Newsflash, it makes you look like a total clown! This “clown” tag is what you like to call us Firefox users/fans here, but in reality the only clown here is you. You may be able to talk down some other Firefox users/fans here who put you on mute, but i will always make you look ignorant, because that is what you are, and a lot of people already probably think that you deserve to be ridiculed here, because of some of the ideas you push about Firefox and because of how some users feel they have to make UBO filters for you specifically lol. In reality it is just a ridiculous quest to talk down Firefox as being some irrelevant browser used by nobody.

    Firefox has a far larger market share than your favorite browser, it is you that is irrelevant, your over inflated sense of importance here is quite pathetic. I must say though that dismanting your foolish arguments is a lot of fun.

    You promote the Brave browser a lot, but you are not convincing enough as to giving good reasons why anyone should use that instead of Firefox. As i mentioned previously, chromium-based browsers are not as secure as Firefox just by looking at statistics. And Brave can not spoof the screen size like Firefox can.

    You have an inferiority complex towards Firefox users i’m sure.

    1. Iron Heart said on December 3, 2022 at 9:01 pm
      Reply

      LOL, AtlasVPN, how could I not trust a site with such repute? Of course Chromium is the most hacked browser, this is not unknown and not unexpected, as it is also the most used browser, and thus the most attractive target. The numbers prove nothing except that it is often attacked. They do not demonstrate a lack of security.

      You can’t provide any evidence that Firefox does have advanced exploit mitigations, because such evidence does not exist, and this in turn is the case because said exploit mitigations don’t exist in Firefox. Why should Firefox be hard to hack? It has no sandboxing, no real site isolation, and those are only the most prominent flaws. None of its most attacked components is written in Rust, before you start with that particular bullshit claim again.

      > it makes you look like a total clown!

      And you aren’t a clown, for writing the same post, slightly rephrased, like 50 times, even though it is completely debunked? Yeah, sure.

      > Firefox users/fans here who put you on mute

      > Firefox and because of how some users feel they have to make UBO filters for you specifically lol

      Don’t care whether or not proven idiots block me.

      > Firefox as being some irrelevant browser used by nobody.

      Firefox indeed is irrelevant. Brave is Chromium, the base technology 80% of all Internet users browse with.

      > Firefox has a far larger market share than your favorite browser,

      It has declined for more than 10 years, while Brave is growing. Rest assured, at some point they will necessarily meet lol. I give it 2 years maximum.

      > You promote the Brave browser a lot, but you are not convincing enough as to giving good reasons why anyone should use that instead of Firefox.

      Better performance, better web compatibility, better security, better ootb privacy. Wins in all important fields. Hence growth.

      > As i mentioned previously, chromium-based browsers are not as secure as Firefox just by looking at statistics.

      Yeah of course they get hacked more nominally, nobody cares about Firefox and that includes hackers. This does not prove the security of the actual Firefox code, just its irrelevance. Firefox’s actual code is not very well secured.

      > And Brave can not spoof the screen size like Firefox can.

      LOL, spoofing this among other things means starting with a fixed sized window which is not acceptable for most people. Only the Tor Browser Bundle does that, not Firefox, and not LibreWolf. Why do you expect that Brave do it when Firefox does not do it either?

      Screen resolution is also a low importance vector as screen resolutions are not that varied. With a standard screen resolution and standard window size, I have enough people to hide in.

      > You have an inferiority complex towards Firefox users i’m sure.

      No, I am being attacked and also annoyed by them (including by your regurgitated comments, btw). Leave me alone, and I will gladly leave Firefox’s decaying corpse alone. Deal?

  10. Mad Ignorant Heart said on December 4, 2022 at 10:50 am
    Reply

    @Iron Heart

    It seems you have never heard of the VulDB vulnerability database, which the Atlasvpn team based their research on? You foolishly assumed that AtlasVPN had no research to go on? No base to begin with their research?

    VulDB vulnerability database, = *Number one vulnerability management and threat intelligence platform documenting and explaining vulnerabilities since 1970.

    Keep making yourself look stupid? Your choice not mine. It seems you did not read the link i posted, you think it was all just AtlasVPN where the research came from?

    Keep whining and defending googles abysmal security standrards for the chrome browser in the news reports on Ghacks reporting on all the vulnerabilities that Chrome gets.

    You are a google fan true and true my friend.

    Chrome is ultra secure right? You been reading clueless aidans blog again believing his BS about Chrome having good security? LMAO! You do not do your own research Iron Heart, you read random opinions off the web Lol.

    @Iron Heart post> Of course Chromium is the most hacked browser,

    Chrome is the most vulnerability ridden browser according to statistics. Chromium is a different browser, but it is the chromium codebase itself that makes chromium-based browsers like Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi so vulnerable. The chromium codebase is just a security mess plain and simple, you are denying those facts when statistics say otherwise, hell, ignore the statistics all you want, but i see no reason why people should not mention such statistics and start to feel alarmed.

    Iron Heart post > You can’t provide any evidence that Firefox does have advanced exploit mitigations

    Go educate yourself. You think no security testing exists for Firefox? It has no security according to your opinion? LMAO!

    Security Auditing Projects

    Testing of large browser features that span multiple releases (e.g. Web Payments)
    Testing of Firefox security components (e.g. Sandbox testing)
    Testing of areas of known weakness (e.g. components receiving frequent security issues through manual auditing, static analysis, instrumentation etc)
    https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security/Testing

    When users look for a full-featured browser to navigate the web, privacy and security are the top concern. Firefox recognizes this and offers some of the most advanced and highly customizable privacy and security features in a web browser.
    https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/firefox-privacy-and-security-features

    You are a delusional individual, it is also delusional of you to ignore the fact that Firefox being a FOSS browser, has a distinct advantage when compared to proprietary browsers like chrome, with the sense that the FOSS community can point out flaws in the Firefox browser and ask for them to be fixed.

    Also your talk about Chromes sandbox is retarded as hell, you are pretending like Mozilla Firefox has nothing similar?.

    Firefox 100.0.1

    *Firefox’s security sandbox now blocks access to the Win32k APIs for Content Processes on Windows

    Firefox 99.0 release

    *The Linux sandbox has been strengthened: processes exposed to web content no longer have access to the X Window system (X11)

    Firefox 102.0

    *Improved security by moving audio decoding into a separate process with stricter sandboxing, thus improving process isolation

    At this stage now in 2022 “Firefox has a good sandbox and site isolation security architecture”, but the fact remains that such features are not what really makes a browser truly secure, they are only features that offer enhanced security, with no guarantee for absolute security. Nothing really is truly 100% safe, human error exists, any security professional would tell you that, anyone worth their salt that is. Why do you think mozilla invented RUST? It is because it is used to make a browser more secure, mozilla are pioneers in browser security.

    Laugh all you want at a mozilla link, but you understand nothing about basic security features that exist in a popular modern secure web browser like Firefox. I doubt you even fully understand how HTTPS makes a browser secure or how even Javascript turned off makes a browser even more secure. A lot of the security problems exist in chrome because JS is run in the browser as it is on by default in chrome , like you want CONVENIENCE over security. You know nothing about good security. LMAO.

    @Iron Heart posted > Don’t care whether or not proven idiots block me.

    How nice of you to demonstrate your true thoughts towards us Firefox users/fans here on Ghacks? We are all idiots according to you? All idiots except you Iron Heart?

    Keep playing the victim whilst hurling around your insults? You are pathetic.

    @Iron Heart post > Firefox indeed is irrelevant.

    But here you are, on Ghacks consistently complaining about Firefox and implying its users are idiots?

    Again i say to you, it is your choice if you want to appear stupid. It is my choice, if i want to point out your stupidity.

    @Iron Heart post > Screen resolution is also a low importance vector as screen resolutions are not that varied. With a standard screen resolution and standard window size

    LMAO!

    There is no REAL standard window size and screen resolution size IN BROWSERS, you know nothing about anti-fingerprinting techniques, the fact remains that screen resolutions vary widely because of different monitor capabilities/resolutions, that is why reisistFingerprinting.letterboxing is a hidden pref in Firefox, it can be used to make users blend in more and appear less unique.

    I do not even care about it that much, but for anyone wanting such a feature, it does exist in Firefox but not in inferior browsers like Brave and vivaldi.

    @Iron Heart post > No, I am being attacked and also annoyed by them

    Ah, Iron Heart always playing the victim, but calling a whole bunch of Firefox users/fans idiots? Like below

    @Iron Heart post > Don’t care whether or not proven idiots block me.

    I do care, because i feel you are impeding their expression of speech by shouting over them. I am sure it is just not me that cares abouut your offensive attitude here either. You can not debate correctly, you also can never fully validate some of your arguments with reputable links with a name to them, you largely only post obscure blogs with “pseudonym attached as if we are to somehow not critique the BS you spread around here.

    @Iron Heart post > leave me alone, and I will gladly leave Firefox’s decaying corpse alone. Deal?

    This is a public discussion forum, people have the right to critique the material that you post. As i said i will not mute you or create a UBO filter for you like other Firefox users/fans do here , i enjoy making you look foolish because of some of the copious amounts of BS that you post which deserve to get a good critique due to misinformation being spread about Firefox.

    It is a decent browser and i as a user will critique the BS you spread about it.

    Now run along and come up with a better argument, i’ll wait lol.

  11. Liana said on December 5, 2022 at 4:15 am
    Reply

    thanks for info

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