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Mozilla

Firefox To Get Multi-Process Browsing 383

An anonymous reader writes with news that multi-process browsing will be coming to Firefox. The project is called Electrolysis, and the developers "have already assembled a prototype that renders a page in a separate process from the interface shell in which it is displayed." Mozilla's Benjamin Smedberg says they're currently "[sprinting] as fast as possible to get basic code working, running simple testcase plugins and content tabs in a separate process," after which they'll fix everything that breaks in the process. Further details of their plan are available on the Mozilla wiki, and a summary is up at TechFragments.
Privacy

BT Drops Phorm, Citing More Pressing Priorities 94

Tom DBA notes a story up at The Register that begins "BT has abandoned plans to roll out Phorm's controversial web monitoring and profiling system across its broadband network, claiming it needs to concentrate resources on network upgrades... BT's announcement comes a day before MPs and peers of the All Party Parliamentary Communications Group are due to begin an investigation of Internet privacy. Their intervention follows the EU's move to sue the UK government over its alleged failure... properly [to] implement European privacy laws with respect to the trials, drawing further bad publicity to the venture." We've discussed Phorm many times in the past.
Image

Railway Workers Get Daily Smile Scans Screenshot-sm 385

More than 500 workers at Japan's, Keihin Electric Express Railway, must have their faces scanned each morning to determine their optimum smile. The "smile scan" analyzes a smile based on facial characteristics, from lip curves and eye movements to wrinkles. After the program scans you, it produces a smile rating that ranges from zero to 100 depending on the estimated potential of your biggest smile. If your number is sufficient, you can go about your day grinning like a maniac. If your smile number is too low the computer will give you a message such as, "lift up your mouth corners" or "you still look too serious." Every morning employees receive a printout of their daily smile which they are expected to keep with them throughout the day.
Education

We Rent Movies, So Why Not Textbooks? 398

Hugh Pickens writes "Using Netflix as a business model, Osman Rashid and Aayush Phumbhra founded Chegg, shorthand for 'chicken and egg,' to gather books from sellers at the end of a semester and renting — or sometimes selling — them to other students at the start of a new one. Chegg began renting books in 2007, before it owned any, so when an order came in, its employees would surf the Web to find a cheap copy. They would buy the book using Rashid's American Express card and have it shipped to the student. Eventually, Chegg automated the system. 'People thought we were crazy,' Rashid said. Now, as Chegg prepares for its third academic year in the textbook rental business, the business is growing rapidly. Jim Safka, a former chief executive of Match.com and Ask.com who was recently recruited to run Chegg, said the company's revenue in 2008 was more than $10 million, and this year, Chegg surpassed that in January alone."
Media

Pirate Party Coming To Canada 394

An anonymous reader writes "After scoring a surprise electoral win in Sweden and getting high-profile support in Germany, The Pirate Party is coming to Canada. The party's goals are fairly simple. People should have the right to share and copy music, movies and virtually any material, as long as it is for personal use, not for profit. It opposes government and corporate monitoring of Internet activities, unless as part of a criminal investigation. It also wants to phase out patents."
Networking

Free Wi-Fi For the Residents of Venice, Italy 153

pmontra writes "The City of Venice, Italy, started to offer free Wi-Fi to residents (Google translation from the Italian source) on July 3 2009. Tourists and other visitors will pay 5 Euros a day for the service starting from September. The hot spots are connected to a ten thousand kilometer (6,250 mile) fiber optic LAN the City started deploying in the '90s. The first day of free Internet access has been celebrated with a digital treasure hunt in the channels of the lagoon city."
Books

Amazon Wants Patent For Inserting Ads Into Books 219

theodp writes "Three Amazon inventors set out to correct what they felt was a real problem: that 'out-of-print or rare books ... typically do not include advertisements ... the content is fixed and, therefore, has not been adapted to modern marketing.' Their solution is spelled out in newly-disclosed Amazon patent applications for On-Demand Generating E-Book Content with Advertising and Incorporating Advertising in On-Demand Generated Content. From the patent apps, here's what the future of reading may look like: 'For instance, if a restaurant is described on page 12, [then the advertising page], either on page 11 or page 13, may include advertisements about restaurants, wine, food, etc., which are related to restaurants and dining.' So, what would a delightfully-tacky-yet-unrefined Hooters ad do for your Hemingway experience?"
Mozilla

Firefox 3.5 Benchmarked, Close To Original Chrome 338

CNETNate writes "The tests prove it: It's the third-fastest browser in the world, and over twice as fast as Firefox 3. In terms of Javascript performance, Firefox 3.5's new rendering engine places it squarely above Opera 10's beta and Internet Explorers 7 and 8 (based on previous benchmarks), plus it's getting on for being almost as quick as the original version of Google Chrome. Also, the new location-awareness feature was testing in central London, and pinpointed yours truly to within a few hundred meters — easily enough for, say, a Starbucks Web site to tell you where your nearest Starbucks is."
The Courts

Minn. Supreme Court Upholds City's Right To Build Own Network 252

BcNexus writes with news from Minnesota that may have significance for cities around the US where municipal networks are either in place or planned: "Here's the latest development in a fight pitting a telecommunication company against government competition. The telco, TDS, took its fight all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court because it thought the city had no right to serve people's internet, voice and television needs with its own network, but has failed." Also from Minnesota today, BcNexus writes "The State of Minnesota was the first to blink and chose to avoid a court showdown when it dropped its attempt to block online gambling sites."

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