OPEN SOURCE OUTFIT Mozilla has updated its Firefox 4 beta with support for hardware graphics acceleration and audio visualisation support.
Mozzarella's Firebadger 4, slated for release in November, has now received hardware rendering support meaning that the browser can use DirectX 10 to improve rendering times. On hardware that supports it, Firefox 4 will use Direct2D to speed things up, though presumably Linux and Mac users will be left out in the cold.
The developers also showed off HTML5 audio visualisation techniques. Mozilla's Mike Beltzner explained, "With this new API, developers can read and write raw audio data within the browser, presenting audio information in completely new ways that could allow, for example, for people to visually experience a speech or a song through Firefox."
While hardware acceleration is undoubtedly the headline feature in this release, at least for Microsoft Windows users, the latest beta has numerous other features including HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). This essentially remembers which sites use secure connections and ensures that the browser connects using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. The aim of HSTS is to mitigate the potential for man in the middle attacks.
For those feeling adventurous, the latest Firefox 4 beta is available for download on Mozilla's website. The Firefox development team always craves feedback in its battle to rid the world of the Vole's Internet Exploder. µ