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Firefox 2 (Bon Echo) Beta 1

Mozilla releases a Firefox 2 beta intended for the general public. New are antiphishing controls and an automatic session restore feature, plus some enhancements to features seen in the previous alpha builds.

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Robert Vamosi
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Robert Vamosi

Former Editor

As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.

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After a slight pause in an ambitious schedule, the Mozilla Organization has released Firefox 2 beta 1, code-named Bon Echo. Like the previous Firefox 2 alpha builds, this beta is designed for developers and the technically adventurous. New in beta 1 are antiphishing controls and an automatic session-restore feature, plus some enhancements to features seen in the previous alpha builds. One caveat: While some popular Firefox extensions were tested with this beta build, not all extensions may work properly. For a complete look inside, see our Firefox 2 beta 1 slide show.

Antiphishing controls
New in Firefox 2 beta 1 is a built-in antiphishing control. Like Internet Explorer 7 beta 3, Firefox 2 beta 1 will check a Web site for signs that it is not legitimate. Unlike IE 7, which uses heuristics as well as a blocked list, Firefox 2 currently only uses an internal blocked list. But Firefox 2 goes further than IE 7 by also allowing you to change your antiphishing preference and use, say, Google's instead. As noted, be sure to read Google's privacy notice before continuing.

Session restore
Like Opera 9, Firefox 2 beta 1 now includes the ability to restore an active browsing session; however, Firefox's feature is automatic. If you're like me and you keep a number of tabs open at any given time, having your system crash or even taking time to reboot after an operating system update can result in lost productivity. Firefox 2 captures all open windows and tabs, the size of each window, and the scroll position, should you happen to be midway down a long document. It also captures the tab histories, cookies, and even typed-in text on individual pages. Upon reboot, Firefox 2 beta 1 gives you the option to restore the saved session or start from scratch.

Also new in his build are tweaks to RSS feed subscriptions, improved inline spell-checking, and enhancements to the built-in search engine manager. Missing are a few features we've either seen in previous builds or heard would be coming, such as Places, microsummaries of bookmarked sites, and the ability to restore a closed tab. For details on these and other features in Firefox 2, see our previous coverage.

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