Download of the day: Firefox 3.5

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Firefox, the daily-driver of all four regular Horizons bloggers, got a big update today.

Version 3.5 sports JavaScript improvements that Mozilla says make it twice as fast as Firefox 3.0 and 10 times as fast as Firefox 2.0 on complex websites, and brings the open source browser up to speed with the rest of the pack.

The reviews have been glowing. Technologizer calls it the most well-rounded browser.

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User improvements are most prominent in tab and privacy management. Tab addicts will appreciate the improved switching and stability (read: fewer crashes). Conspiracy theorists will like the privacy mode. Activate it and the browser won't record any history, cookies, or files from the session. Also new is a "forget this site" feature good for scrubbing the browser of any trace of, say, the Rick Astley fanpage.

In addition to those features and a spiffy new icon, this latest version adds support for the HTML 5 web standard. For now, that doesn't mean much, but as Slate's Farhad Manjoo points out, Firefox's adoption of the technology provides a real boost to the next-generation Web. "Firefox 3.5 offers the best implementation of the standard – and because it's the second-most-popular Web browser in the world, the new release is sure to prompt Web designers to create pages tailored to the Web's new language. "In other words," he writes, "Firefox isn't just an upgrade for your computer; it could well prompt a re-engineering of the Web itself."

Hit the FAQ, official Mozilla blog post, and the video below for answers to all of your questions. And of course, download Firefox 3.5 here. It's fast, free, and available in 70 languages.

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