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Opera Unite is a Hail Mary 260

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the go-long-opera dept.
snydeq writes "Rather than view it as a game-changer, Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister sees Opera Unite as a Hail Mary bid for Opera to stay in the game. After all, in an era when even vending machines have Web servers on them, a Web server on the Web browser isn't really that groundbreaking. What Opera is attempting is to 'reintermediate' the Internet — 'directly linking people's personal computers together' by making them sign up for an account on Opera's servers and ensuring all of their exchanges pass through Opera's servers first. 'That's an effective way to get around technical difficulties like NAT firewalls, but more important, it makes Opera the intermediary in your social interactions — not Facebook, not MySpace, but Opera,' McAllister writes. In other words, Opera hopes to use social networking as a Trojan horse to put traditional apps back in charge."
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Opera Unite is a Hail Mary

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  • by 1sockchuck (826398) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:22AM (#28374543) Homepage
    Data Center Knowledge [datacenterknowledge.com] has a roundup that looks at some of the problems with this approach, including security issues related to running a server on a desktop app and bandwidth consumption. If your browser-hosted site gets busy, you think your ISP won't notice?
    • by improfane (855034) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:25AM (#28374585) Journal

      In the UK, they begin capping your connections.

      When ISPs start capping to the level of poor performance, I presume that Opera will use its already implemented BitTorrent implementation to keeps files downloaded by your friends distributed amongst them.

      It seems Opera is well designed for this sort of thing. Imagine chatting over IRC with your firends using a build-in IRC daemon - with each friend being a split in the server. It's ingenius.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by improfane (855034)

        Although not my spelling of the word ingenious.

      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:40AM (#28374799) Journal
        If this works, it will be pulling us out of a hole that was dug over many years. The ISPs who use IPV4 dynamic IPs were sabotaging the network. The DNS organizations who decided to make having an entry in the registry something that costs an unreasonable amount of money were sabotaging the network. Microsofts decision to cripple the web server on every consumer version of their OS ever released were sabotaging the network. The cloud computing initiatives are ALL about sabotaging the network. So are the social networking sites.

        It's a cynical view to say that Opera are attempting to set themselves up as intermediaries so they can leverage that control. It might be true. But it is also true that the network was designed to work the way Opera Unite is pushing it to work, and it doesn't because the organizations who were originally entrusted with the task screwed everything up and are already leveraging that control. If everything wasn't already so screwed up in the first place, Opera's opportunity wouldn't exist.
        • by jc42 (318812)

          If this works, it will be pulling us out of a hole that was dug over many years. The ISPs who use IPV4 dynamic IPs ... The DNS organizations who decided to make having an entry in the registry something that costs an unreasonable amount of money ... Microsofts decision to cripple the web server on every consumer version of their OS ever released ... The cloud computing initiatives ... are sabotaging the network. So are the social networking sites.

          Right. And they're mostly doing this in an attempt to take

      • Can you imagine how horrible the netsplits would be?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        I bet they won't feel ingenious when the *.A.As come knocking at their door demanding they load down all their servers with "filter" software to make sure that Joe home users isn't sharing anything "owned" by them. In fact I am shocked the RIAA hasn't already sent them a nasty letter, they must not know about it yet.

        Any time you have a sharing ANYTHING that goes through a central server it is bad, because that gives the *.A.As a central target to sue. And with Opera in dead last they really can't afford a

        • by jp10558 (748604)

          As far as I know from postings of their public balance sheets (as they are on a stock exchange), they do make a profit. I can't figure out how they'd stay in business so long without making money...

          And I'm not seeing any reason that would change, even if this Opera Unite is a huge flop (and it might well be).

        • by A Friendly Troll (1017492) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:26PM (#28381799)

          Kinda sad, because during the days of IE5 Opera really had a chance to grab some market, but blew it with a pay browser and even worse ad supported. They never have been able how to make money with Opera. Oh well, maybe when they go under the next bunch that buys them will know how to make a profit.

          Opera is making tons of money. Their browser is on the Wii, their Mini browser is the most popular mobile browser, their browser is on airplanes, their browser (regular Mobile) is on millions of phones. They are not going under - they are making more money than ever.

          Also, like I said here [slashdot.org], Opera has above 30% and close to 40% market share in some countries.

          Finally, they are a Norwegian company. *AA won't come knocking at their door.

          Who the fuck modded you insightful for such trolling?!

    • by rs79 (71822)

      "Data Center Knowledge has a roundup that looks at some of the problems with this approach, including security issues related to running a server on a desktop app and bandwidth consumption. If your browser-hosted site gets busy, you think your ISP won't notice? "

      I don't think you understand what it's supposed to be used for. If you want to "host a web site" in the familiar sense, you rent some webspace on a server somewhere. This is for stuff other than that.

  • Bad summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by csartanis (863147) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:24AM (#28374567)

    The summary makes it sound like Opera is making a last ditch effort to stay relevant, which is clearly not the case. Opera has always been in a dominant position in mobile browser marketshare.

    Source [statcounter.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by prakslash (681585)
      Opera is is in trouble. .
      Its desktop share is less [w3schools.com] than even Chrome.
      As for the mobile market, it is being surpassed by iPhone.
      See the arstechnica analysis of misleading statcounter results here [arstechnica.com]
      • No its not. Opera has never been number 1 in browsers and Chrome has Google's advertising, Firefox has the community, and both IE and Safari are pre-installed. The iPhone is a one-browser, one-phone, phone, when eventually a new smartphone takes over, Opera's mobile market will rebound.
        • by Karlt1 (231423)

          No its not. Opera has never been number 1 in browsers and Chrome has Google's advertising, Firefox has the community, and both IE and Safari are pre-installed. The iPhone is a one-browser, one-phone, phone, when eventually a new smartphone takes over, Opera's mobile market will rebound.

          Mobile Safari is one browser one phone but the underpinnings - WebKit -- is the basis of the browsers of both Android based phones and Palm based phones.

          • Mobile Safari is one browser one phone but the underpinnings - WebKit -- is the basis of the browsers of both Android based phones and Palm based phones.

            And many Symbian phones too, notably ones from Nokia.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mehtajr (718558)

          Opera's made a very good living on their Mobile version, but I think they're in major trouble there now, thanks to WebKit. WebKit is a very good browser core, and it's free and open source (plus, it doesn't hurt that it lets mobile phone makers imitate Safari on the iPhone, since they're all based on the same core).

          Look at the players that have adopted WebKit-- Apple, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, and Google for Android. In two years, it's taken somewhere between 50%-60% of the mobile browser marketâ" about h

        • by Graymalkin (13732)

          With Nokia, Google, Palm, and Apple all backing WebKit based browsers it is highly unlikely that Opera is going to magically "rebound" in popularity if the iPhone's popularity wanes. WebKit is open source so it can live past the interests of any of its corporate backers and performs really well even in the mobile space. Opera's mobile browsers require all sorts of tricks to give the appearance of good performance. Opera is better than older versions of mobile IE and RIM's horrible browser but that's not say

          • by mrdoogee (1179081)

            I find that RIM's newer browser beats opera mini, and is comparable with opera mobile.

          • by Octorian (14086)

            Except even RIM's browser is improving. Sure, Opera was more functional (albeit slower, more cumbersome, and poorly integrated) on older BlackBerry devices, but that's changed.

            As of BlackBerry OS 4.6 and newer, the built-in browser is actually usable and capable, and Opera Mini no longer has a purpose on the phone.

            Of course most people's phones are running BB OS 4.2 (or 4.3). Many of them could upgrade to 4.5, which is improved a little. But you need the latest models to run 4.6 or newer.

        • It may be time to put this old lie to rest: There are more browsers available on the iPhone than just Safari. There are several browsers in the app store, none of which happen to be Opera. Yes, Safari is bundled, but there are probably more browsers available for the iPhone than any other mobile device.
      • Re:Bad summary (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mpapet (761907) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @11:16AM (#28375339) Homepage

        1. That was a horrible summary. Maybe the point is to generate some flamebait?
        2. Every case you give to justify Opera's weakness are free-ish. As in something else (not the browser) is generating the revenue. Opera has to generate revenue through their browser and they have managed to stay in business despite other companies giving away different browsers. That suggests Opera is delivering way more value than the other free browsers. Good for them.
        3. This idea will be copied because it is useful. It is a very long time in coming. It's a great feature that neither Apple or Microsoft can implement easily because they want their marriage to the media distributors to be a happy one.
        4. To borrow from another post, hopefully consumers will latch onto this one to see the one of the grander purposes built into the Internet. Many powerful parties (ex. media distributors) would like nothing more than to maintain a one-way sh!t pipe of the current, common Internet experience. Consumers deserve to have all of the features of the Internet available to them.

        No, I don't use Opera. I never particularly cared for it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by rivercity (1440545)
          "This idea will be copied because it is useful. It is a very long time in coming. It's a great feature that neither Apple or Microsoft can implement easily because they want their marriage to the media distributors to be a happy one." - Tonido did the same thing 3 months back. It sucks to be a small company :).
      • by sopssa (1498795)

        Opera is not in trouble, their marketshare has only growth aswell when people have got off IE. And even so, it varies A LOT by region. In CIS regions (Russia, Ukraine etc) Opera has 25-50% marketshare [opera.com], so in many of the countries it is actually the #1 browser, kicking both IE and FF far behind. And that is a huge amount of people using Opera.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Carewolf (581105)

        As for the mobile market, it is being surpassed by iPhone.

        Maybe in Apple branded phones, but on all other brands they are way ahead ;)

        Btw, non-Apple branded phones is more than 95% of the market even in the US, more than 99% of the market outside the US.

      • Re:Bad summary (Score:5, Informative)

        by demachina (71715) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @11:24AM (#28375453)

        "As for the mobile market, it is being surpassed by iPhone."

        Opera is being challenged by WebKit, not exactly the iPhone. WebKit is the browser in iPhone, Android and a number of other embedded platforms. WebKit was spun off Konquerer and is also the engined under Apple's Safari browser.

        WebKit is open source and free which is a key reason its a serious challenge to Opera in the embedded space. Opera browsers are free on the desktop but Opera in embedded applications is relatively expensive to license and closed source so its days are probably numbered in the one place it makes money. Maybe Opera can compete against it by offering better value in some areas to justify the price tag and the head aches of dealing with a proprietary closed source browser.... but in the long run.... I doubt it. Dealing with Opera in the embedded space has all the negatives you would expect from dealing with a closed source, proprietary, software company.

        • "WebKit is open source and free which is a key reason its a serious challenge to Opera in the embedded space."

          I agree about the "free" part, but no so much the open source part. Opera has managed to be the most standards-compliant browser despite being proprietary. It's the intent and skill of the developers that matter, not how many there are.

          • I agree about the "free" part, but no so much the open source part. Opera has managed to be the most standards-compliant browser despite being proprietary. It's the intent and skill of the developers that matter, not how many there are.

            Standards compliant and open source are two different things. Opera could make the best damn web browser for the mobile platform ever, but if a manufacturer who is making 1 million+ devices has to decide between Opera ($$$) or Webkit (free), which would they go with if both are standards complaint enough?

        • by drolli (522659)
          Well, webkit browsers and mobile opera browsers are pretty different. I have both on my Nokia (webkit based browser was preinstalled). Both are ok to use. I usually prefer opera mini for the lower amount of data and the 'image quality' setting, and webkit when it comes to more dynamic things (like forms etc).
        • by rs79 (71822)

          "WebKit is open source and free which is a key reason its a serious challenge to Opera in the embedded space. "

          Newsflash: not all open srouce stuff is any good, and while open source may be a good religion, to follow it blindly in defiance to facts doesn't do anybody any good.

          Case in point from last week: I had to back up a sysetm image from a scsi raid XP system. I tried 14 programs, 6 of which were open source. Only Norton Ghost worked. Do I care it's not open source? No. I needed a tool to get the job d

      • As for the mobile market, it is being surpassed by iPhone.

        More generally, it's being surpassed by the KHTML-based Webkit, not just on Safari/iPhone, but soon on Nokia's Qt as well.

        I'm kind of disappointed with where KDE has gone with v4, but even if it dies out, Webkit, DBUS, and LGPL Qt are all pretty amazing legacies.

      • by frission (676318)
        i wonder if those stats take into account the install base of opera on Wiis. http://my.opera.com/community/wii/features/ [opera.com] a lot of people got the browser for free, i think it's about $5 now (or however many wii points that is).
      • Opera is is in trouble. .

        No it is not. Ever heard of the Wii or the Nintendo DSi or the Nintendo DS Browser or Opera Mini? How about some little companies like: Motorola, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung or T-Mobile?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rs79 (71822)

        "Opera is is in trouble."

        Keep telling yourself that enough and eventually you'll believe it.

        This doesn't have to be a zero sum game. Opera doesn't have to lose for your favorite browser to win, and we all benefit from a rich array of alternative browsers. I don't want any browser, not even my favorite, be the "one true browser".

        Opera contines to grow just fine and innovate so that firefox has something to get good ideas from and is a nice companion to google.

        If only one of these browsers attains ubiquity,

    • Opera has always been in a dominant position in mobile browser marketshare.

      An interesting claim - got a citation?

      The one you provide shows it roughly tied with the Iphone and Nokia not far behind. It certainly does not show Opera as anything resembling 'dominant'. The bar graph [statcounter.com] version makes that even more starkly clear.

      • But you have to take that information with a grain of salt though. There is no Opera for iPhone, so all iPhone devices along with iPod touch devices are effectively excluded and I don't see Apple approving Opera for the iPhone anytime soon. Nokia has their browser pre-installed on their phones so it takes an active download to download Opera. So, yes, while Opera doesn't exactly dominate, they sure have a high marketshare considering the amount of work needed to install it and the amount of devices that don
        • But you have to take that information with a grain of salt though. There is no Opera for iPhone, so all iPhone devices along with iPod touch devices are effectively excluded and I don't see Apple approving Opera for the iPhone anytime soon.

          Why not? There are a lot of other browsers in the app store.

          • Because they all use WebKit for rendering, so effectively they are Safari with a different UI. Opera does not use WebKit.
    • Traditional apps back in charge
      That is my favorite part. Lets go back to tape and punch-cards. I think we have forgotten all the pain of the good old days of your PC full of crappy Apps. Sorry but these Web Applications independent on the web browser has made life so much easier for us. Windows users who's system isn't full of random crap. Linux/Unix/Mac users who have access to a slew of services that we wouldn't otherwise.

      We need lighter Browsers that are more standard compliment then heavy ones adding n

      • Yes, Linux/Unix/Mac users now have access to a slew of services (i.e. crappy Web Apps) that in the old days were only available as crappy desktop apps on Windows.

        Seriously, crappy apps will always be available regardless of technology.

      • by hkmwbz (531650)
        Opera happens to be one of the most standards compliant browsers, and the "traditional apps back in charge" thing is pure and utter nonsense. Opera wants you to use the web as much as possible, because when you do, you will likely search the web a lot, and when you do, they make money. So the whole article is based on a total misunderstanding. Opera wants people to browse the web, not use traditional apps. Which is why Unite can replace many traditional apps like chat clients, MSN/Skype for sending files, e
    • You need to talk a closer look at your source. Mobile Safari runs on both the iPhone AND the iPod Touch (which they've labelled as iTouch). Add those two together and you'll see Mobile Safari is comfortably ahead of Opera Mini.

      There does seem to be something interesting happening around the 7th of May on that graph though where there's rapid switch of a lot of users from the iPhone line to the Opera line. Given the ineptness of the categorising of that graph though, it seems it's most likely another goof o

    • by Ash Vince (602485)

      The summary makes it sound like Opera is making a last ditch effort to stay relevant, which is clearly not the case. Opera has always been in a dominant position in mobile browser marketshare.

      I am really surprised by that link, so thanks.

      Does anyone know why the Windows Mobile version of IE does not seem to appear on the list though? I find it very difficult to believe it lags behind Sony in the Other section. Although after discussing this in our office we did just find that both of us with Windows Mobile phones have installed Opera so maybe it is not that surprising.

  • This will be a blast of a tool for web developers. Imagine developing your work anywhere on your laptop, regardless of availability of internet connection.
    • Re:Web Developers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jellybob (597204) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:30AM (#28374645) Journal

      Yes, just imagine.

      It would be just like we had a copy of Apache installed on our laptop, but without having to lug a server around with us.

      Oh... wait... hang on a minute.

      • by fbjon (692006)
        Interesting advances in technology come when it's easy, not merely possible to do.
    • This will be a blast of a tool for web developers. Imagine developing your work anywhere on your laptop, regardless of availability of internet connection.

      Chances are, you aren't going to use the app you are working on in production with Opera's built in server, so why develop or test it using it, when you can just install whatever server you actually need to develop against on the laptop, instead?

      • by linguizic (806996)
        Does anyone even know if the opera server will support server side scripting of any sort? Without some sort of server side script support it would pretty much be useless for me to even build a proof of concept on. Especially not when I can easily install apache, mysql and php on my macbook.
  • by damburger (981828) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:32AM (#28374671)

    The main purpose to the servers that Unite can provide, is that they the most common type of computer connected to the Internet (one that does not have its own static IP, and cannot accept connections due to either a home router or a firewall) can act as servers. I've yet to find out much about the technical workings of Unite, but from what I can tell the main role Opera's servers perform is to allow the location of and the connection to a computer which would normally permit neither. Once a client has found and connected to a Unite user, does Opera still continue to act as an intermediary, in the same way a cloud service would?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:38AM (#28374763)

    I released an open source web browser called SupraBrowser [sourceforge.net] a while back. It has very similar characteristics to Opera Unite, in that it's designed to act as both a client and server at the same time (we called it a "servant") :).

    This was more of a research project, as in fact, it was designed as a research and collaboration system for financial services companies and is currently used heavily by several very large financial services companies. It's almost like a combination of Google Wave and Opera Unite, in that it's based on a secure real-time messaging layer (xmpp/jabber wasn't stable or mature enough when we started....if we were doing it over today we might use jabber, but we also had the need for a lot of queuing and persistence that jabber wouldn't have provided), where all communication is completely encrypted using 3DES and a zero knowledge authentication. It supports email, mailing lists, group posting boards, link sharing, workflow, and a bunch of other really innovative features.

    That said, I don't know how to manage an open source project and generate a community around our efforts other than posting to various blogs every once in a while when I see something related. Even still, its' frustrating because we actually went far down the road of trying to do kind of what Opera is doing, but without a middle man/trusted third party (hence the requirement for SRP Zero Knowledge auth). We want to build a personal cloud collaboration environment where data becomes user-centric and controlled, where other services federate from that single point of truth owned and controlled by the user.

    Given that it's a research project, there are also some very innovative ideas, and I have yet to see anyone implement tagging better or provide a better way to manage personal information. I have over 25,000 bookmarks and files that are all full-text indexed (on Lucene), and tagged so that I can easily get back to stuff and correlate it within my existing cloud of data.

    This I think is one of the real weak points of the open source model. If there is something very innovative, it generally requires sales and marketing to shove it down users' throats given their natural tendency to resist change. When the users are the developers are the users, the self selection process tends to restrict certain things. I can think of no other explanation for why releasing 4+ years of effort has been almost completely ignored. If someone can point out why the open source community has ignored SupraBrowser I would be all ears!

    If anyone has any ideas or feedback, please reach out to me! suprasphere ____ @ ___ gmail.com

    David

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, the first way to get users for a web-related tool is probably to have a frickin website, and no, the sourceforge project page does not count. You need a shiny website with explanation of what it is, screenshots, FAQ, tutorials, and so on.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tikkun (992269)

      That said, I don't know how to manage an open source project and generate a community around our efforts other than posting to various blogs every once in a while when I see something related.

      Some good pointers can be found in The Cathedral and the Bazaar [catb.org].

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      I released an open source web browser called SupraBrowser a while back. It has very similar characteristics to Opera Unite, in that it's designed to act as both a client and server at the same time (we called it a "servant") :).

      Actually, it's called a servent [wikipedia.org], and you hardly invented the term. :)

  • by Stumbles (602007)
    Yeah right. If Microsoft had done this first it would have been hailed as revolutionary.
    • >

      No. If Microsoft had done it, Microsoft and hundreds of paid employees, consultants, analysts and the like would have hailed it as *innovative*.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Opera has always tried to inovate, they have an excellent product, with lots of good features and I couldn't believe how fast the pages loaded in comparrison to firefox. Its the little things though that destroy its market share and preventing it from gaining more. In opera on my hardware middle click doesn't map to scrolling or even as any default middle button action. It never has in all the years it has been in development. I am always impressed then disappointed . I know if I wanted to I could probably
  • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:54AM (#28375019)

    The author may be right in the sense that Opera is attempting to find a way to distinguish their product from the competition, but I think he's missing a few points.

    There are many reasons why you might want to run a personal web server on your local machine. It can act as a proxy for example. Since it is fairly easy to program it with scripting languages it can do a lot of interesting things. Granted all that functionality could be built into the browser itself, but if you can tap into a lot of existing code and also create a more organized stack for this kind of thing it could be useful. You could do most of the things people use things like Greasemonkey for now, except probably better.

    It could be highly useful for web app developers. With some specialized tools designed to help with things like AJAX debugging it could represent a significant draw. This is maybe not a huge market for the bigger browsers, but if Opera can get a bit of penetration into the dev tools market this way it could provide them with a new revenue stream.

    It could be highly useful for collaborative web based applications which feature interactivity. For example it makes more sense to send a copy of every event the UI needs to process to a queue on the client side than to force repetitive performance-destroying polling across the net. Now the app need merely check a local queue using a local HTTP request, probably using AJAX. It could also be used to allow processing resources at the clients to be harnessed to do a lot of the work, possibly in parallel.

    This is not a new concept, but nobody has really rolled out a useful version of it before. There are going to be issues like NAT firewalls etc, but there are various ways to approach solving them. Afterall, people play online games all the time that require them to open ports, etc for bi-directional communications. All this is doing is extending that capability to the web.

    Personally I don't think it will catch on simply because Opera has too small a market share to make it worth people writing a lot of software that depends on it, but the concept itself is not bad. Perhaps Mozilla will experiment with this too, then it might go somewhere, finally.

    • by hkmwbz (531650)

      Personally I don't think it will catch on simply because Opera has too small a market share to make it worth people writing a lot of software that depends on it

      You are forgetting Opera's buddies (customers), major OEMs and operators. Just recently, Vodafone offerered tens of thousands of dollars in a compo to write the best widget for them. And their widget solution is basically Opera.

      Also, people will definitely write Unite apps. There are hundreds if not thousands of user made widgets at widgets.opera.

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:55AM (#28375027) Homepage
    Never again will opera, football, and computers come together so succinctly.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Never again will opera, football, computers and Catholicism come together so succinctly.
  • ...it takes you a full 30 seconds to realize a story on Slashdot isn't talking about "Opera" as in a theater production.

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @11:09AM (#28375243)

    ensuring all of their exchanges pass through Opera's servers first. 'That's an effective way to get around technical difficulties like NAT firewalls,

    Well, ever since broadband came in people could run home servers if they want - OS X comes with a built in web server and the world hasn't ended. Lots of NAS boxes today include click-and-drool webservers and you can get dynamic DNS if you don't have a fixed addresss.

    However - I've got a better idea: why don't they just store the stuff the users want to share on the central servers? I mean, hard disc space is about fsck all per megabyte these days, the servers can run 24/7, have a super-fast connection to teh interweb (not an ADSL line with lousy upload speed) and have the latest security patches applied daily by dusky, nubile virgins (well, 1 out of 3 ain't bad). Even if the server does get hacked then it doesn't affect the end user. Much better than leaving your PC on all the time, or having someone suddenly trying to download a video when you're in the middle of a networked deathmatch...

    Then there would be loads of material on the servers, so people would actually want to visit them. Hey, they could even attach comments and stuff to people's photos, videos, news articles and things to say whether they liked them.

    You could call it MyCRT, FlipR, ArseBook or ColonPling or something...

    Should I patent this, perhaps?

    • by fbjon (692006)
      I don't think that's the point. This ArseBook of yours would be controlled from a central place, just like every other site out there. That makes a star-shaped network between people that will crash and burn with the core, instead of a spontaneous and arbitrary one.
    • by Synn (6288)

      However - I've got a better idea: why don't they just store the stuff the users want to share on the central servers? I mean, hard disc space is about fsck all per megabyte these days,

      It's not practical. Say I want to access my home PC files while at work, I'd have to upload everything all the time to that central server. Gigs and gigs of music, movies, whatever. It'd take days to upload and I'd have to resync it all the time.

    • Sir, my updates are always applied by a virgin! His name is Tony and he lives in his mother's basement. However is neither nubile nor dusky.
  • by johnnysaucepn (1263108) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @11:11AM (#28375257)
    Yep, I'll bet that a profitable browser company that continues to expand and make more money year after year is definitely in trouble. People have been predicting the death of Opera Software for over a decade now, and yet they're still making huge waves in the internet market. When will people start to realise that you don't need to be the most popular product on the market to be successful? The browser market is absolutely huge, remember. Even 1% of the entire market is millions of satisfied users. The only thing that matters is that open standards are implemented, then we all win.
  • why?

    because we are nowhere near an endgame on internet-related innovation

    the whole field has a long way to go before the technology is mature, and opera could capitalize on all sorts of missteps by competitors, and has plenty of chance to change the game itself. of course this observation also applies to all other game players, and some that don't even exist yet

    if the internet were railroads, the year is 1840, and we're still arguing about track gauge and still using steam engines

    lots of history yet to be w

  • I saw someone talking about this recently and said it would be a good way to get around things like net filters and help with the spread of information (like with the current mess happening in Iran).

    I mean, that is until they all start blocking Operaunite.com, right?

  • by AmigaHeretic (991368) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @11:37AM (#28375669) Journal
    Is this Slashdot? Is this the Slashdot that use to have every user complaining about having their files and information being held in "The Cloud"? The place where people use to complain about the security and privacy of their pictures if they were on Flickr,their Email and their Docs if they were all located on Googles servers??

    What happen to all the 'get of my lawn' types that said, "I'll never put my information in the 'Cloud'. They can take my physical hard drives when they pry them from my cold dead fingers!!"

    Now you are provided with (one of many) alternatives to have your files on YOUR computer AND the advantages of them being in the cloud (like you can access your files no matter what location your at and be able to share files with other people)

    This seems like a case of you can't please any of the people any of the time kinda thing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Well, part of the problem is that the term 'cloud' is somewhat nebulous at best.

      I'm pretty sure that the main issue with cloud computing is the loss of personal control of data, trusting in 'the man', etc.

  • I doubt a dsl line would support the traffic that would demand that security be implemented. That said Opera is not really a web browser anyways. Its a suit of tools like the article said that people tend to use online when they don't have to.
  • by ThiagoHP (910442) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @12:23PM (#28376415)

    I feel that most people here is Slashdot didn't get Opera Unite:

    • It's not meant to replace traditional webservers. It's meant for average joes to be able to quickly and easily run some ephemeral services from their own computer, specially file sharing. If I want to send some file to a friend, I need to upload it to some place (via e-mail. FTP, whatever). With Unite, I just turn on the file sharing service and give the URL to my friend. No uploading needed.
    • Bandwidth issues are mostly moot, as Unite services are not meant to replace traditional Web servers (unless you share loads of files with doeload-hungry friends, of course :))
    • Regarding security: people talk about this issue as if Unite was a full-blown Web server. It's is not Apache nor IIS (God forbid), it's just an environment where simple applications written in HTML, CSS and Javascript are run. So Unite is as secure as Opera's Javascript security, and Opera has a very good security record to date.
    • The whole environment is sandboxed. All file access is only allowed in folders chosen by the user, and only when it runs some service that needs file access. Unite provides a file storage for services date, but the service doesn't know where its data is located.
    • Opera does not run Unite by default. No services are run by default, just the ones started by the user.
    • The FAQ [opera.com]
    • address most issues people discusss here and elsewhere.

    • Unite supports UPnP, so the Opera proxy servers are only used when UPnP is disabled.
    • You can use your own domain server.

There are never any bugs you haven't found yet.

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