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BBC Adopts HTML 5, Mozilla Addresses Issues


It hasn’t exactly been a great year for Flash, as the platform has been steadily fading thanks to the growing popularity of HTML5. Flash development for mobile has been discontinued, and HTML5 adoption has been increasing as time goes on. Another HTML5 victory was claimed recently when the BBC, an organization known worldwide for its news reporting and shows, announced that it had officially adopted HTML5 for both the standard and mobile versions of its website.

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By: wubayou
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January 03, 2012

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It hasn’t exactly been a great year for Flash, as the platform has been steadily fading thanks to the growing popularity of HTML5. Flash development for mobile has been discontinued, and HTML5 adoption has been increasing as time goes on. Another HTML5 victory was claimed recently when the BBC, an organization known worldwide for its news reporting and shows, announced that it had officially adopted HTML5 for both the standard and mobile versions of its website.

The move towards HTML5 means that the BBC followers who use various browsers and increasingly popular platforms such as Android and iOS will get to enjoy its wide variety of video content.  It took some time for the BBC to finally make the transition to HTML5, as the company expressed concerns about how it would protect the widespread distribution of its proprietary content on the web in the absence of Flash’s DRM controls.  Rather than making the transformation in a single shot, the BBC ran a test program that instituted HTML5 solely on its site’s Health section.  Many criticized the company for its lethargic ways regarding HTML5 adoption, but those complaints should now come to an end with the latest news.  Desktop and notebook users will still see remnants of Flash video while visiting the site, despite the HTML5 shift.

Beyond its newest website transformation, the BBC has also performed other HTML5-friendly actions over the course of the year.  It began by launching iPlayer apps for its iPad and iPhone loyalists based in the United Kingdom.  Availability of the apps has now been extended to select Commonwealth countries for a monthly charge, and a US version is set to be released in the near future.

The BBC’s adoption of HTML5 should come as no surprise, as recent statistics posted in December 2011 from MeFeedia showed that approximately 80 percent of the video on the web is available for HTML5 playback.  Compare that to January 2010, when the number was just 10 percent and June 2011, when 69 percent of videos were HTML5-compatible.  MeFeedia used over 33,000 sources for its study, including such heavyweights as ABC, CBS, Hulu, and YouTube.  With many small and medium-sized sites are offering HTML5-supported video like their larger counterparts, the future of HTML5 looks to be quite bright.

For more on this topic, visit http://www.electronista.com/articles/11/12/20/video.content.now.available.all.platforms/

HTML5 Issues Addressed by Mozilla in Firefox 9

It did not take Mozilla long to release a software update for its recently released Firefox 9, the latest edition of its popular browsing alternative to Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.  In fact, the update to Firefox 9 that fixed six vulnerabilities came just one day after the browser’s official release went online on December 20.

Of the six vulnerabilities addressed by the Firefox 9 update, four were given the “critical” rating, one was listed as being of “high” importance, and another of “moderate” importance.  Two of the critical patches were aimed at fixing issues with HTML5 security that were reportedly creating problems not only in Firefox itself, but also in Thunderbird and SeaMonkey.  For those unfamiliar with the terms, Thunderbird is an email client, while SeaMonkey is an all-in-one internet application suite that gives users access to email, a web browser, a newsgroup and feed client, HTML editing, and IRC chat.  As described in the 2011-58 advisory, one of the bugs fixed by Mozilla sparked crashes by applications whenever OGG <video> elements were scaled to extreme sizes.  The other HTML5-related bug, described in the 2011-55 advisory, was identified as an out-of-bounds memory access flaw caused by Mozilla’s SVG implementation in applications.  Its detection was credited to HP Tipping Point’s Zero Day Initiative. 

Johannes Ullrich of the SANS Institute Internet Storm Center described the issues further: “One problem that was pointed out by various people is the fact that the addition of the <video> and <audio> tags requires the inclusion of respective file format parsers in the browser. These parsers have been known in the past to be the source of various security issues.”

Beyond the HTML5 highlights, another critical patch worth mentioning fixed a total of 23 bugs in the core browser engine.  Mozilla labeled the bugs as a potential risk for its web browser, but noted that since scripting is disabled, they posed no risk of being exploited in Thunderbird or SeaMonkey.  In its 2011-53 security advisory, Mozilla wrote, “Some of these bugs showed evidence of memory corruption under certain circumstances, and we presume that with enough effort at least some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code.”

As for its updating process, Mozilla still has not delivered its silent update feature in Firefox 9.  Silent updating is currently slated for inclusion with the release of Firefox 12 in April 2012.  Firefox 10 will reportedly be released on January 31, 2012 to coordinate with Mozilla’s new plan of updating its browser every six weeks.

For more on this topic, visit http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Mozilla-Fixes-HTML-5-Memory-Corruption-Bugs-in-Firefox-9-474271/
 


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