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Archive for January, 2006

Google Search breaks Internet Explorer, not Opera and Firefox

January 25, 2006 2 comments

Google added an ad for Google Desktop (see screenshot below) on the bottom of the first result page of a search. The problem is that the ad is layered above the “Next” button, in Internet Explorer (IE), which makes it impossible to go the page 2 of the search results.

In Opera and Firefox, however, it works fine. How ironic.

Google ad for Google Desktop

Update (1/26/2006): The problem has been fixed. Google said in an e-mail statement: “Earlier today we learned of a technical glitch in a Google Desktop product promotion that may have affected a small percentage of users’ ability to click through to subsequent pages of search results. We worked quickly to fix the issue, which has now been resolved.”

Categories: Compatibility

Switch browsers, and get a better shopping deal

January 24, 2006 26 comments

It appears that eMusic is giving visitors to its site a different deal based on the user’s browser.

For example, if you visit the eMusic site with an Opera browser, you will get an offer for 25 free songs. While Internet Explorer (IE) users get an offer for 50 free songs and Firefox users get an offer for 90 songs for 99 cents (See screenshots below).

This is a first for me. I don’t recall ever seeing sites give different discounts depending on the browser you’re using.

Have we reached a new low with browser sniffing?

25 free songs to Opera users
25 free songs to Opera users

50 free songs to Internet Explorer (IE) users
50 free songs to Internet Explorer (IE) users

90 songs for 99 cents to Firefox users
90 songs for 99 cents to Firefox users

Update (1/25/06 9:34 AM): Based on the comments to this post, it appears that the particular deal you get is entirely random and not based on the browser you use. Read the comments for more info.

Categories: Uncategorized

Opera CEO joins World Economic Forum

January 24, 2006 5 comments

Opera’s founder and CEO Jon von Tetzchner is among the 735 chief executives that were invited to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos that is set to start on Wednesday.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization formed to help improve the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

von Tetzchner blogged about his forum appearance and how it fits in with Opera’s vision on the forum’s blog.

In early 2005, von Tetzchner joined Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin among others when he was chosen to be a member of the World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leaders”.

Categories: Uncategorized

Opera Mini Released

January 24, 2006 5 comments

Opera today released its new baby, Opera Mini, worldwide. Today’s global launch follows the trials of Opera Mini in the Nordics and in Germany during the fall of 2005, which resulted in a user base of over one million people.

Opera Mini is a new kind of web browser for virtually all mobile phones and devices. Opera Mini was designed to enable the web on mobile phones that would normally be incapable of running a Web browser. Instead of requiring the phone to process Web pages, Opera Mini uses a remote server to pre-process the page before sending it to the phone, which makes it perfect for phones with very low resources, or low bandwidth connections.

In the first few months of its trial launch, Opera Mini was downloaded and used on more than 450,000 unique mobile phones. Approximately 1,000,000 pages were being downloaded per day through Opera’s servers.

Pages are reformatted and compressed by Opera’s servers before being sent to the phone, so they only use about one fifth of their normal amount of traffic. Opera Mini will store the cache, history, cookies, and passwords for pages you visit on the your service provider’s server, which may raise some privacy concerns.

Opera Mini’s start page features a Google search box, as a result of its agreement with Google earlier this month, where Google will be the default search partner for the mobile browsers: Opera Mobile and Opera Mini. Under the one-year deal Opera will make Google Search a major part of the browser’s home screen.

Opera Mini runs on all phones that support Java, which most already do. It is estimated that there are more than 700 million Java enabled mobile phones in the market.

Installing Opera Mini is as simple as downloading a ringtone or a game. You simply send an SMS or direct your phone’s WAP browser to http://mini.opera.com.

Opera faces a challenge with the launch of Opera Mini, the major reason being that mobile web access is still a novelty, and people don’t know how it is possible to surf the full Web on their phones.

Opera spokesman Eskil Sivertsen acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead for Opera, telling Opera Watch “in essence, we’re suggesting you do something with your phone that most people have never thought about, let alone thought possible.” “The challenge is to get as many people as possible to try Mini, because we know that when they do they usually love it.”

Opera is not planning on spending millions of dollars on an advertising campaign, which will make its efforts to get Opera Mini into the mass market that much more difficult.


Download Opera Mini via: SMS (Text message) | mini.opera.com

Categories: Opera Mini

Google now compresses pages for Opera as well

January 23, 2006 4 comments

Google is now compressing webpages it sends to the Opera browser, making these pages load faster.

Until now Google sent Opera the regular uncompressed pages, which slowed down the loading of these pages, while other browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox got (gzip) compressed pages.


Thanks Hallvord

Categories: Uncategorized

Opera considering entering the IP telephony market

January 18, 2006 6 comments

Opera is considering a potential entry into the Voice Over IP (VoIP) market. Rolf Assev, Opera’s vice president for marketing and sales, told the Dagens Næringsliv, a Norwegian newspaper, that they are looking into options for implementing some kind of a VoIP telephony into the browser.

The article seems to make the suggestion that Opera will be challenging Skype, the largest free peer-to-peer VoIP network. However, an Opera official told me that Opera has no plans to compete directly against Skype, but wouldn’t elaborate further.

Opera already has an Instant Messaging capability in the browser, through the Private Messages (PM) in its IRC client, so adding voice would be a sensible extension. Implementing an Opera phone would be a logical step for Opera, since it likes to refer to the Opera browser as an “Internet Suite”, which already includes a mail client, a full RSS reader, Newsgroup reader, IRC client, BitTorrent support (soon), and of course the browser itself.

I’m working on trying to obtain more details from Opera; I will post updates as soon as I get them.


Thanks to Dan1el for the heads up and translation.

Categories: Uncategorized

Opera browser for Pocket PC finally released

January 18, 2006 3 comments

A beta version of the Opera browser for the Pocket PC has finally been released today.

Based on Opera’s latest core code, Opera 8.5 for Windows Mobile Pocket PC (PPC) includes Opera’s rendering technology that dynamically reformats Web pages to fit the width of any screen size without the need for the horizontal scrollbar. It also supports all major Web standards, including CSS2, DOM 2 and JavaScript.

Today’s release has been much anticipated, as this is the first publicly released Opera browser for the Pocket PC.

This version runs on Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0.

Download link

Categories: Uncategorized