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Comment I wonder how this applies to Google Photos (Score 5, Interesting) 58

It lets you search your own photos by person using facial recognition to group photos of the same person together, but it's pretty clear up-front that's what it's doing. Of course, that's up-front to the person *taking* the pictures, not to the person *in* the pictures, so it might run into the same issue with the Illinois law.

Comment Re:Bugs? (Score 1) 294

The prefetching is also currently disabled on stable builds, and is limited to DNS prefetching, as far as I can tell.

I was wondering if it might be DNS prefetching. That's a whole other animal than actual HTTP requests, and I thought Firefox and Chrome already did it.

Comment Are they actually seeing HTTP requests or just DNS (Score 1) 294

The OP mentions iftop & resource monitor. I wonder if they're seeing the results of DNS Prefetching? That's something Firefox and Chrome have been doing forever. It doesn't hit the webserver, just resolves the domain name to an IP address in case you hit a link.

Or are they only looking at the new tab page? According to the docs they linked to, the speculative connect API is only used in a few spots in the Firefox UI, not on random webpages.

Comment Re:Bugs? (Score 5, Informative) 294

According to the docs, this doesn't fire on just any random website's links, only in specific parts of the Firefox UI:

To improve the loading speed, Firefox will open predictive connections to sites when the user hovers their mouse over thumbnails on the New Tab Page or the user starts to search in the Search Bar, or in the search field on the Home or the New Tab Page. In case the user follows through with the action, the page can begin loading faster since some of the work was already started in advance.

That's fortunate, because firing it on any website's hover link would reach that nightmare scenario pretty quickly.

Link prefetcing on websites only happens if the site explicitly marks the link for prefetch. (Example use case: prefetch page 2 of an article from page 1.) Firefox & Chrome have done this for years.

Comment Re:Plot line (Score 2) 238

Who's to say the super-computer or robot can't be the good guy? Or the hero's ally? Conflict has two sides, and technology could just as easily be placed on either. If movies place it more often on the bad side, that says something about, if not culture in general, at least the culture of people making movies.

Comment Phone requirement (Score 1) 471

"They want to be able to ignore the notifications every 5 seconds that someone posted a new tweet or your grandma sent you a hilarious forward. "

IMO it's better to cut down on the notifications in the first place. I only get audio notifications on my phone for a few classes of messages, and the rest are silent. I can imagine using a later generation of smartwatch to filter those even further so that the ones that are most important - let's say a text from someone I'm trying to meet at a crowded event, or an appointment reminder -- notify me in a way that's harder to miss than a beep in a noisy room or a buzz while I'm walking.

Comment Re:But the ONE thing I want... (Score 1) 141

Do you actually need that question *every* time, or do you just want to build a list of sites that are allowed to persist cookies and let the rest drop off at the end of your browsing session?

Chrome doesn't have the ask-every-time option, but you can set it to only keep cookies until you close your browser, then add exceptions for the sites you want to persist. It's a bit clunkier to build up the list, but unless you're adding to it frequently, once you have the list it'll just stay out of your way and work.

Comment Re:lobbying is bullshit (Score 2) 65

Problem is, if Google doesn't spend the money, then the other companies that are spending the money are going to be heard, not Google.

Exactly. One of the big things to come out of the fight against SOPA was the realization that Silicon Valley needed to step up the lobbying if they were going to avoid being stepped on by Hollywood's lobbying.

Comment Re:Can someone please explain ... (Score 3, Informative) 658

California has a bi-annual smog inspection. Smog inspections have been shown to be very effective at reducing smog.

Hybrids and electric cars are exempt though, along with several other alternative fuels, really old cars (older than 1975 and still running), and new cars less than six years old. So CA only gets the data on older cars that are using the "usual" amount of gas.

If California were to implement the plan that Oregon is looking at, they wouldn't be able to use the smog inspections, because the segment they want to add is the same segment that's exempt from inspections.

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