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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.

  • Darkerson
    Mildly more interesting and useful than the new apple sim card holder/ejector thingie patent.
    Reply
  • mpdugas
    A solution to a non-existent problem.
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    scary name for a patent
    Reply
  • Hellbound
    The Tabinator
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • trumpeter1994
    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".
    Yea I can see that really annoying to me on a secondary monitor If I have something open and I'm just using it for reference as opposed to messing with it.
    Reply
  • azraa
    Totally agree with doucheveloper
    Reply
  • smuggl3r
    The idea of the patent is stupid. Leave my tabs alone!
    Reply
  • in_the_loop
    mpdugasA solution to a non-existent problem.
    I disagree.
    Chrome use an insane amount of memory when you have a lot of tabs open.
    Remember that each tab gets its own process and dedicated memory (whcih also makes Chrome more stable since it is the only thing crashing)
    It is very easy to exceed 2 GB of memory usage with many tabs open i chrome (especially withy youtube sessions with multiple tabs).
    On a laptop with 2-3 Gigs of memory that is making it crawl really slowly.
    In fact, it is the reason for me not using chrome at all on my laptop and ujse firefox instead.

    (I use Chrome on my desktop though which has plenty of memory).

    And there are plugins that adress this problem so there is a demand for it, but these plug-ins work very poorly, so it is a good thing that google is adressing this!

    They wouldn't do it if it wasn't needed, and it is, since the plugs works so poorly and many still use computers with too little memory in them!
    Reply
  • cTs Corvette
    in_the_loopI disagree. Chrome use an insane amount of memory when you have a lot of tabs open.
    Then the solution would be "don't open so many tabs." There's this cool feature built into the tabs in Chrome, maybe you've never noticed it, but each open tab has an "x" on the right side of it. If you click it, the tab closes.

    Personally, I think they should call it the "Tab Nanny" instead. "Tab assassin" sounds like something cool instead of something to pacify the people who are too lazy to click an x.
    Reply