I too was getting frustrated with Firefox. Daily restarts, things slowing down, etc. So I decided to learn a bit more about how to troubleshoot FF.
My first problem was having to shutdown and restart Firefox every time I wanted to enable or disable an Addon. Addons are EXTREMELY useful to me, both as a web surfer and a web developer. Firebug, Web Dev tools, mouse gestures, undo close tab, session savers... they all improve my web surfing experience.
So I learned about Profiles, and how to run multiple instances of Firefox SIMULTANEOUSLY each with different Profiles. This way I can run ALL the addons I want in one profile, a known-stable set of addons for daily surfing, and a set of addons for when I need to be doing web development. The fact that I can run all three simultaneously with the --no-remote flag makes this fabulous.
I took out the Firebug addon, as well as a few others, and Firefox 3.1b2 and now b3 have been much more solid and speedy than before.
The other useful thing about Firefox is the Session Manager Addon. Instead of having 4 windows each with 15 tabs open, I keep one or two Auto-Save Sessions. What does that mean? It means, I can have context-based sessions, and quickly switch between them. It even saves the text I've typed into the comment box on Slashdot but haven't submitted when I switch sessions. It means I can have a personal surfing session, a consulting session (individual sessions for each client even!), a work session, and even other specialized sessions. And I don't have to save when switching -- just choose a new session, and your current session is saved and stored away, and your new session is opened exactly where you left it 5 minutes or 5 weeks ago.
Between Profiles and Session Manager (and 1Password, but that's mac only), Firefox allows me to surf quickly, do complex tasks, and work efficiently. That is why FF is my primary browser. Sure Chrome is super-fast, and so is Safari 4, which I do use in addition to FF for simple surfing. But at the end of the day, the powerful addons are what make Firefox rock.
Looks like Sprint claimed to have deployed extra capacity. Just not enough:
" To handle the increased traffic, Sprint is planning to deploy resources usually reserved for hurricanes: COWs and COLTs.
The acronyms stand for Cell On Wheels and Cell On Light Truck. The vehicles use satellite and microwave technology and act as mobile cell towers. They are typically deployed to disaster sites when towers get knocked out.
For the inauguration, Sprint says it will increase calling capacity. A COLT will be able to handle about 1,500 extra callers, though only 60 calls can go through simultaneously.
On Tuesday, Sprint technicians added 30 percent more capacity to one site on top of the World Health Organization building in downtown Washington."
60 simultaneous calls?!? Weak! 1.5 million people, let's guess 200,000 Sprint customers. Sprint would have needed 134 COLTs to handle the extra customers. I'm guessing they didn't.
Untrue -- Government officials and emergency personnel have a special code they can use to dial numbers on their cell phone, giving them priority access to the cell towers.
Dial *272 and then the number you want to call. If your phone is flagged as allowed to use WPS, then your call will be accepted and given priority over all other calls. I believe there are differing levels of access, so a local volunteer fireman might have a lower priority than say Secretary of State Clinton.
I too was about 250m from the Washington Monument, and trying and failing on the Sprint network. I had full bars, but was only able to send 3 text messages between my 10am arrival and 2pm departure. Most got rejected with Network Busy.
Calls and data never worked during that period while on the Mall.
A friend who had Verizon did not have any trouble making calls or texting.
On NANOG, a Verizon employee described that they spent 6 months planning capacity and rolling out COW's (Cell On Wheels) and had gotten either microwave or fiber connections to each COW to handle the traffic.
My Sprint phone works fine, most of the time. Though I live in Northern VA where my neighborhood seems to have bad service, even according to their coverage map.
"Spock, did you see the looks on their faces?" "Yes, Captain, a sort of vacant contentment."