UPDATE: Your Firefox extensions acting up could also be the problem. I’m checking this now and have removed several like “StumbleUpon, a custom toolbar, and a Video downloader. If this works I’ll try reinstalls to see if I can duplicate the problem but in meantime see this list of problems for extensions: Firefox Extension problems.
I should have listened to Mark Cuban some weeks ago when he noted the problems with Firefox. I’d been chalking up the slowdowns and surfing problems to a problem 512meg chip I’m in the process of replacing in the laptop, but it’s now clear the trouble is with Firefox. I just reinstalled the latest version 188.8.131.52 and still no luck – as a process Firefox quickly grows to absorbing 99% of my CPU capacity and everything slows to a crawl. I’m using IE for now until this shakes out or my new chip brings me to 1 meg RAM on this laptop which should be enough to compensate for the problem. I read somewhere that Firefox could be using all of my 512 meg as part of normal operations, and that his is *not* a firefox memory leak.
So, if you are experiencing the Firefox problems consider more memory or switching to IE!