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Archive for January, 2007

Opera, on a wall near you

January 30, 2007 3 comments

Now you can find the Opera browser on computer wall pads too. Kocom, a Korean company, will use the Opera browser on its wall pads to display webpages (see picture below). The wall pads are used to display information and announcements – it will be done through webpages.

Not only does it use Opera to display webpages, it also uses the browser for the user interface (UI) design, meaning the display and menu options are really just a bunch webpages (behind the scenes), which means it could be updated as quickly and easily as a Web page.

 kocomwallpad-opera.jpg

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Categories: Uncategorized

What percentage of known security bugs in browsers are actually fixed?

January 30, 2007 15 comments

Well, if you’re using the Opera browser, then 100 percent of the reported security bugs/vulnerabilities were fixed. In fact, Opera is the only browser (among the big ones – Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox, and Safari) to have patched 100% of its known security bugs, according to Secunia, a site that tracks security vulnerabilities in various applications.

Ben Buchanan, on his blog, wrote about this a couple days ago. He compared the patch rate on security bugs in the four major browsers (IE, Opera, Firefox, and Safari).

Browser patches between Feb 2003 and Jan 2007:

  • IE6 – 67% patched (out of 110 reported bugs).
  • IE7 – 25% patched (out of 4 reported bugs).
  • Firefox 1 – 87% patched (out of 39 reported bugs).
  • Firefox 2 – 50% patched (out of 4 reported bugs).
  • Opera 8 – 100% patched (out of 15 reported bugs).
  • Opera 9 – 100% patched (out of 3 reported bugs).
  • Safari 1 – 93% patched (out of 15 reported bugs).
  • Safari 2 – 33% patched (out of 6 reported bugs).

Here are some snippets from the blog’s conclusion:

“Well, one clear thing is that Opera is the only vendor with a 100% patch record according to Secunia. Opera is also the only vendor that maintained its patch rate between versions – in fact you have to go back to Opera 6 to find an unpatched advisory (and there’s only one).”

“So at this time Opera wins the patch stakes. The argument can be made that Opera attracts fewer attacks due to small marketshare. That could be true – there’s no way to truly know, since malicious hackers aren’t polled – but when I’m doing my banking I don’t care if it’s true. I just care that my browser is secure; and Opera currently has the best record for fixing security issues.”

These results clearly show how Opera has its foot on security. The big question is, however, whether Opera users are updating their browsers with the newest security patches.

Most of the people who visit Opera Watch use the latest versions of Opera — some, like myself, even use the latest weekly builds of the browser. (If you haven’t noticed yet, you can see for yourself which browsers people use to comment on the blog posts here.) But obviously the Opera users who visit my blog don’t represent the typical Opera user. Most of the visitors here are tech savvy and stay updated with Opera news. What about the millions of other Opera users who don’t read Opera Watch? 🙂

Last year Opera added the functionality to the browser to alert the user of a newer available version (yes, Opera had it before Firefox did). This was a step in the right direction, but as I’ve mentioned many times before, there’s much more that needs to be done.

I would like to see an Update Manager in the browser (Read: Where is Opera’s Update Manager?), where it will automatically download and install (with the user’s consent) all updates, just like Microsoft does with Windows Update. Firefox already has this; I wish we would too.

It would make it much easier for non-savvy computer users to upgrade Opera. In addition to that, I bet many of you would have an easier time telling your non-techie friends to install Opera, if you knew the updates would be done automatically. This is something that has been bothering me for some time already.

Last year I installed Opera on my grandmother’s computer, she recently told me about the window that keeps on popping up every so often telling her an update to Opera is available. She always clicks “no” to the question of whether she should “manually” download the update. Had there been an option in Opera to auto-update, I would have done that for her – she wouldn’t even know that Opera is updating.

If you’re not using the latest version, what are you waiting for? Get the latest version of Opera. Now!

(Tip: To check whether you’re using the latest and greatest version of Opera, in the menu bar click on ‘Help’ and then click on “Check for updates”.)

Categories: Desktop, Security

Which browser scales images the best?

January 29, 2007 20 comments

Ryan from the CyberNet blog had an interesting post last week where he looked at how Opera, Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), Firefox 2, and Firefox 3 handle the scaling of images.

Read the test results for yourself. Here’s a snippet from the conclusion:

“The point that I wanted to make was that Firefox 3’s Cairo rendering engine will make more of a difference than you think, and that Opera also does a truly amazing job scaling images.”

I’m not sure if it’s just me (cause I’m biased toward my most favorite browser) or it’s a fact, but I’ve noticed so many times how Opera displays images with crispy clear edges, while IE (and sometimes Firefox) shows rough edges on certain images (use this image as an example). It always impressed me how good Opera’s image rendering engine is. I guess it’s gotta to be good, if the Opera browser needs to scale down images for small screens on mobile phones.

Categories: Uncategorized

Visit with Opera in New York City

January 28, 2007 8 comments

Do you live in the New York City / Northern New Jersey area? If so, come out and join us for some food and drinks this Tuesday evening (January 30th) in Manhattan.

I’ll be there along with Opera’s Chief Standards Officer Charles “Chaals” McCathieNevile, and I hope you’ll be there too.

If you’re an Opera user, no matter how much or little you know about the browser, this user group meeting can help you learn more about Opera, in addition to having the chance of meeting other people who share your passion.

This meetup is not exclusively for Opera browser users; Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox, Safari, Netscape, Flock, and Links browser users are welcome too. The more the merrier.

We will be meeting at the PS 450 lounge/bar in Manhattan’s Murray Hill. It’s easily accessible by subway train. I’ll be driving in from Passaic, New Jersey.

This get-together is listed on upcoming.org, an excellent site to find events in your neighborhood.

Time: 6:30PM to 8:30PM.
Location: The PS 450 lounge/bar. Located at 450 Park Avenue South Between 30th & 31st Streets (Map and directions here).
Transportation: By subway, take the 28th Street stop on the number 6 train and walk north for two blocks.

Bring your friends too, don’t come alone. Looking forward to seeing you there. 🙂

Categories: Opera Community

Some interesting Opera Mini facts

January 26, 2007 6 comments

Here are some facts you may find interesting about Opera Mini’s global usage:

  • Brunei Darussalam has the world’s greatest penetration of Opera Mini users per capita.
  • Sudan, the Maldives, Cote d’Ivoire and Bangladesh have the highest concentration of Opera Mini users per mobile phone.
  • If you are in the U.S., you most likely run Opera Mini on a Motorola RAZR V3, BlackBerry Pearl or BlackBerry 8700.
  • If you are in the U.K., you most likely run Opera Mini on a Sony Ericsson K800i, Sony Ericsson K750i or BlackBerry 8700.
  • If you are in Russia, you most likely run Opera Mini on a Sony Ericsson K750i, Nokia 6230i or Sony Ericsson K700i.
  • If you are in Germany, you most likely run Opera Mini on a Sony Ericsson K800i, Sony Ericsson K610i or Sony Ericsson P990i.

My 2 cents: The reason why Opera Mini is so popular in the states and countries mentioned above is probably due to the fact that these are poor areas (most, at least), and many can’t afford to buy a PC computer. Opera Mini is, for them, the main method for browsing the web.

Categories: Opera Mini

Opera Mini developer chat

January 26, 2007 Comments off

The first part of the Opera Mini developer chat was just posted on the Opera Mini team blog. Got any questions for the Opera Mini team? Post them here.

Categories: Opera Mini

Want an Opera wrist strap? Send Opera Mini a birthday greeting

January 26, 2007 3 comments

In occasion of Opera Mini’s first birthday, Opera is giving out Opera wrist straps to the first 1,000 people who submit a birthday greeting card (email).

Have an idea for an original birthday greeting card? Send it to Opera (birthday@opera.com)! Be it a couple words, image, song or a video. The top 5 submissions will be posted on the birthday page. Your email should include:

  • Your name
  • Full address
  • The greeting
Categories: Opera Mini