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Reports keep trickling in of people having crashes with the latest official release of Firefox, as first mentioned here. I have no way of knowing whether this is signal or noise -- an actual trend, or merely random blips among FF's millions of users.

I do know that the latest Firefox beta, 3.5b4, has been running smoothly around the clock, at least for me. Available here. And as previously indicated, I will indeed try Opera when I get some "spare" time.

FWIW, this sociology of browsers from Marty Manley:

Am testing a site these days, so I keep 3 browsers open: IE, FF 3.0.1 and Chrome. In two days, I have had four hard FF crashes -- unheard of. FF also lost track of all saved passwords, although it recovered  (maybe thanks to Xmarks).

BTW, Chrome seems ever stronger. If this were college, IE would be the entitled rich kid who acts smart, but isn't, Firefox the impressive high achiever who is actually a bit lazy and dilettantish, and Chrome the kid who works nights to pay bills, is rock solid, and is steadily getting stronger and stronger.

Or, if you prefer, George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. As to Opera -- the garden variety A student of sound quality but without a compelling or differentiating architecture -- I think she makes a fine Secretary of State.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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