Mozilla has announced Firefox 3.1 beta 2, and with it comes three significant changes.

Private browsing mode. Private browsing leaves no records of history or temporary Internet files, so you can safely browse the web without a friend or family member knowing where you've been. This feature is already available in Safari and Google Chrome, and it will be available in Internet Explorer 8.

Tracemonkey. Firefox 3.1 beta 2 is powered by Tracemonkey, its javascript engine. The most notable enhancement here is faster loading times on web pages.

New web standards. The new beta has taken into account several new web standards, such as the World Wide Web Consortium (w3c)'s Geolocation JavaScript API, which allows a web page to query a browser's location for use in maps or other location-specific features.

To download Firefox 3.1 beta 2, go to www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html.

Firefox is an open-source web browser created by Mozilla, which also created the Thunderbird email platform. Firefox currently holds approximately 21 percent of the browser market share. To learn more about Firefox, visit www.mozilla.com.

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Firefox 3: A Long Time Coming and Worth the Wait