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A bit of Today’s Technology News

Booking Fees are being Dropped

Buying airfare online continues to get cheaper.

Web travel sites Orbitz and Travelocity have followed Expedia in forgoing booking fees they had charged for domestic and international flights.

On Monday, Orbitz announced that it had permanently done away with the fees, which range from $7 to $12, and Travelocity said it would continue to waive the fees.

The slumping economy has forced vacationers and business travelers to stick closer to home this year.

iTunes 8.2 Preps for new iPhone Firmware

Earlier today, Apple updated iTunes to get it ready for the anticipated iPhone firmware upgrade to version 3.0. The company also updated its QuickTime video player.

iTunes 8.2, for Windows and Mac, makes the program ready for the iPhone and iPod Touch operating system upgrade by pushing out changes made to recent pre-release versions of iTunes that had been only available to iPhone developers. It also includes one security fix.

Quicktime 7.6.2, for Windows and Mac, contains several security fixes, including patches for holes that could have been exploited to run arbitrary code by maliciously-created PSD, JP2, and some movie files.

Mozilla Testing Near-Final Firefox 3.5

Mozilla is close to releasing of its near-final version of Firefox 3.5, but the updated browser wasn’t quite ready in time for a planned day of widespread testing.

Earlier this month, Mozilla set Friday to be Firefox 3.5 RC1 Test Day. But RC1, the first release candidate designed to be more stable than the earlier Firefox beta versions, wasn’t finished for the occasion.

“Even though RC1 hasn’t been released yet, the test day will still go on with the latest nightlies (nightly builds of Firefox based on the latest source code) which are practically RC1 minus some minor uplifts,” said Aakash Desai of Mozilla’s quality assurance team on Thursday. Mozilla has set up the Litmus program to encourage broad testing of its software.

RC1 is expected in a few weeks, spokeswoman Melissa Shapiro said Friday, though one developer told CNET News he hoped it would arrive in less than two.

The new version of Firefox began as version 3.1, a modest update. But a gradually expanding feature list led Mozilla to rename it 3.5 and release it months later than had been planned initially. In the meantime, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8, Apple released a beta of Safari 4, and Google has released a rolling series of upgrades to its new Chrome browser.

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