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Image credit: JasonDoiy via Getty Images

Firefox silences annoying auto-play videos

It'll also prevent slow-loading ads from messing with your page position.

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JasonDoiy via Getty Images

As promised, Mozilla is about to make web videos decidedly less annoying. Its newly released Firefox 66 blocks auto-playing videos by default, preventing web ads or video sites from startling you when you're not ready (or willing) to watch. Some sites will still play the video regardless, Mozilla said, but will stay muted until you choose otherwise.

The new version also addresses another web quirk: slow-loading ads and images that yank you out of position on a page. Firefox now includes scroll anchoring that should keep you in place even as content pops in and potentially disrupts your reading.

Other improvements include multi-tab searching (including across other synced devices), searching in private browsing mode, clearer warnings for insecure pages and Windows Hello support for the password-free Web Authentication standard. Some of these additions aren't new to web browsers, but they might be welcome if you're looking for an alternative browser that respects your intentions... and your ears.

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