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Firefox consuming wildly inordinate amount of CPU

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http://askubuntu.com – I've got a Firefox process with nothing in it but the Google home page (the "search" page, not the "homey" home page with news etc.) and this site. I've killed it and restarted it multiple times. It's burning massive amounts of CPU cycles doing ... what? I notice that Firefox, over time, leaks memory terribly and uses more and more CPU, but not anything close to this much. What is it doing? At present it's the primary process loading down the system, and that's new behavior. Eating memory and getting bloated is usually something that makes it sluggish. Now it's just hogging resources and spi (HowTos)