New Firefox beta even faster than FF3

From CNET Mozilla fans can now play with the anticipated speedier JavaScript engine in the first beta for Firefox 3.1, as well as explore improvements to the Smart Location Bar and a slick interface for hotkey tab switching. Now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users, the new JavaScript engine, called TraceMonkey, is not turned on by default.

To activate it, type "about:config" into the Smart Bar, then type "javascript.options.jit.content" into the filter. Double-click on the preference listed to change the boolean setting from "false" to "true." Close the window and you should notice an immediate improvement to the JavaScript rendering speed.

Don't take my word for it, though. Using the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark test, Firefox 3.1 beta 1 completed the test in 2787.6 milliseconds--about twice as fast as the current stable release, Firefox 3.0.3, which clocked in at 5446.6 ms.

Using CTRL+Tab to jump between open tabs now has graphic overlay, much like the Windows Vista ALT+Tab program switcher. The Geode geolocator plug-in has been rolled into FF3.1. The Geode drop-down worked for me, but it wasn't always able to find my location.

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