Google Patents a Tab Assassin

The USPTO just granted the company a "tab assassin" patent, which sounds more dramatic than it really is, but is designed to help users manage their open tabs.

According to the patent, which was filed in September 2011, the tab assassin would automatically shut down tabs that fall below a certain tab usage threshold. That threshold can be  defined via "a period of time or an amount of activity". If a predefined or user-activity adjusted threshold is met, the tab assassin would automatically remove the tab. However, the patent also covers a "stored tab repository [that] may store information about the automatically removed tabs so that the removed tabs can be restored."

The activity level may be rather difficult to determine, since some tabs may simply be running in the background as part of a standard workspace. Google's idea to figure out whether a tab is significant or not includes the "viewing time of a tab", and comparing the "viewing time of each tab with a tab viewing threshold time and pass the tabs that have times that do not exceed the threshold to [the] tab assassin or removal." The system would also allow the user to set a period of time over which a tab would not be killed.

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33 comments
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    Top Comments
  • mpdugas
    A solution to a non-existent problem.
    35
  • Anonymous
    As a software developer myself, I'm dissapointed in Google for patenting something so stupid, trivial and obvious and thereby contributing to the litigation stupidity that's ruining the software industry... but then again it's probably necessary to patent dirt, air and water when your competition includes Microsoft and Apple, so I'll still give Google a pass for all that they contribute to open source.
    22
  • Hellbound
    The Tabinator
    19
  • Other Comments
  • Darkerson
    Mildly more interesting and useful than the new apple sim card holder/ejector thingie patent.
    17
  • mpdugas
    A solution to a non-existent problem.
    35
  • EzioAs
    scary name for a patent
    11