Archive for February, 2005

Google Maps now compatible with Opera

February 25, 2005 2 comments

Google updated Google Maps today to make it work on the Opera browser. It used to work only with IE version 5.5 and up as well as Mozilla but not in Opera.

Perhaps the last paragraph in this post accomplished something.

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Opera fixes IDN spoofing in Opera 8.0 Beta 2

February 25, 2005 6 comments

Opera has introduced a fix for the IDN spoofing security vulnerability in its latest beta version. The new version, Opera 8.0 beta 2, was released today on its FTP directory. No official announcement from Opera yet.

The IDN Vulnerability
The vulnerability is caused due to an unintended result of the IDN (International Domain Name) implementation, which allows using international characters in domain names. As a result, scammers can buy domain names with international characters, and make it appear like popular and trusted websites. The exploit affected virtually all non-IE browsers, including Opera. See here an example of the exploit.

The fix
Opera has created a white list for safe top-level domain names which include .no, .jp, .de, .se, .kr, .tw, .cn, .at, .dk, .ch, and .li. Sites not in the white list will show the encoded domain (with the IDN characters) in the URL field. The list is updated automatically when Opera checks for a new version.

Opera is the first browser to offer a **fix** for this problem. To avoid this problem, Mozilla just disabled (by default) IDN support.

UPDATE (12:30 PM): Opera has just made an official announcement on the Opera 8.0 beta 2 release [download]. You can find the details of the changes here.

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Opera Software sees some growth in 2004

February 16, 2005 Comments off

With the recent awareness of alternative browsers, Opera has seen an increase in revenue of 43% in 2004 for PC and desktop related products. According to financial results released today, its desktop browser saw revenue clime to $5.2 million (USD) compared to $3.6 million (USD) in 2003.

In December, Opera released the beta version of Opera 8. The final version is expected to be launched within the next month.

Opera’s mobile phone market also got a big boost. The number of mobile phones sold that included the Opera browser, was 2.5 million in 3rd quarter ’04 compared to 173 thousand units in 3rd quarter ’03. During the first nine months of 2004, Opera was installed on 5.7 million phones compared to 0.64 million during the same period last year.

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Microsoft Caves to Internet Explorer Critics

February 15, 2005 5 comments

During his keynote address at the annual RSA Conference today, Bill Gates announced that Microsoft would ship the next version of Internet Explorer (IE) before the new Windows version, Longhorn, becomes available.

In announcing the plan, Gates acknowledged something that many outside the company had been arguing for some time, that the browser itself has become a security risk.

Dean Hachamovitch, who heads Microsoft’s IE team, said, “we listened to customers, analysts, and business partners. We heard a clear message: ‘Yes, XP SP2 makes the situation better. We want more, sooner. We want security on top of the compatibility and extensibility IE gives us, and we want it on XP. Microsoft, show us your commitment.'”

Though Microsoft is claiming the update is in response to “listening” to their customers, analysts attribute Microsoft’s change of heart to the recent success of Firefox and other alternative browsers.

The beta will be available to users with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

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Wanted @ Opera: COWGIRLS & COWBOYS

February 13, 2005 1 comment

Opera added to their homepage a wanted poster titled: “WANTED COWGIRLS & COWBOYS TO WORK AT OPERA”.

Opera has a list of jobs available ranging from Engineering to Sales and Marketing.

Take a look, you may be interested. While you’re at it, check out the top 10 reasons to work at Opera as well as the Opera workplace.

Disclaimer: Opera Watch doesn’t receive any referral commissions 😉

[Wanted Poster]

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Opera to Microsoft: Get real about interoperability, Mr. Gates

February 13, 2005 Comments off

Bill Gates recently wrote, in an executive email, about the importance of interoperability and how the IT industry must work harder to get different products working together.

In an open letter to Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Hakon Lie, CTO of Opera Software, wrote a few suggestions about what Microsoft might do to actually achieve it.

Read Hakon’s open letter here.

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Revealed: Sun Microsystems wanted to buy Opera

February 10, 2005 3 comments

Back in 1996 Sun Microsystems made an offer to buy Opera for about £9 million ($16.8 million US).

In response to an inquiry of whether Opera has been approached by other companies to purchase the company, an Opera spokesman told Opera Watch “we have been approached by major companies but Opera’s CEO, Jon von Tetzchner, has always declined the offers, no matter the dollar size, and maintained his commitment to offering the best Internet experience to everyone on any device.”

In 1996 the Opera browser was still at version 2.

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