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Beta 5 also has new security and HTML5 audio features

New Firefox beta adds hardware accelerated graphics

Firefox has launched Firefox beta 5 for public download, adding hardware acceleration, HTML5 sound and boosted security features.

All of the next generation of browsers are expected to arrive with 3D graphics acceleration but Firefox has beaten rivals to the bunch with the new Direct2D accelerated beta version.

The new beta version also adds support to access sound data directly from the browser through HTML 5 which raises the possibility of applications which present audio visualisation to audio.

Security wise, the new beta adds support for "HTTP Strict Transport Security" or HSTS which provides a system whereby websites can insist that the browser uses an encrypted connection and furthermore ensures that the browser will not connect via any other means. The system has been designed to combat so-called "man in the middle" attacks.

"As always, Firefox 4 Beta testers will continue to receive automatic updates, so stay tuned for the next release in the coming weeks," wrote Mozilla spokesman Mike Beltzner on the Mozilla blog.

Those without the Firefox 4 beta can download it from this site or users of earlier versions need only select "check for updates" in the help menu.

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