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Opera 10.10 Released, Includes New "Unite" Tech 262

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the but-does-it-live-in-the-cloud dept.
Opera 10.10 has been released, and with it their new "Unite" technology, which allows users to share content directly between all of their own devices. Unite wraps both web browser and web server into a single package in an attempt to change the way users think about their browser. "'We promised Opera Unite would reinvent the Web,' said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera. 'What we are really doing is reinventing how we as consumers interact with the Web. By giving our devices the ability to serve content, we become equal citizens on the Web. In an age where we have ceded control of our personal data to third-parties, Opera Unite gives us the freedom to choose how we will share the data that belongs to us.'"
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Opera 10.10 Released, Includes New "Unite" Tech

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  • by PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:16PM (#30205390)
    It's great that Opera Software understands the power of P2P like sharing between people. I dont want to have everything on sites like Facebook just so people can see them.

    Let me give you an example.

    If you're cooking your own pizza, you have the choice on what to put in it. Make it a normal pizza or a pan pizza? Make it square or round? What toppings to put on it? Unite allows you bake your own pizza in the heart of your pc, and you can choose what to put on it. Want ham? Fine! Want pineapples? Fine! Want tuna? Fine! Want pepperoni? Fine! What would you have as a sauce? Barbeque sauce! The widgets you install and enable are your toppings and you choose what you want to have.

    What comes to the "from the but-does-it-live-in-the-cloud dept.", I personally dont want it to be in the cloud. Then I lose control over it. That would be like having a happening in your town square where everyone is ordered to bake their pizza. They bring it there, put it out and lose control over who eats it. Direct friend-to-friend model lets you control who eats your delicious pizza, or who even knows about it. And if that said pizza happens to be a bad one and it comes hunting you later, you can pull it off. Good luck trying to do that in the town square after people have ate your pizza already.

    So what I'm basically saying is that *I* should be the one controlling my content, not some other site or cloud service. Unite makes that easy for people.
    • by mjihad (686196) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:22PM (#30205456) Homepage

      So what I'm basically saying is that *I* should be the one controlling my content, not some other site or cloud service. Unite makes that easy for people.

      On the other hand, it means that content on Unite is ephemeral and subject to the vagaries of hosting everything on one's computer(such as the information only being available while the PC is powered on and Opera is running, not 24x7). Also, does the app data stored on a computer running Unite survive a reinstall, which tends to happen often on Windows machines?

      • by dave562 (969951) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:30PM (#30205536) Journal

        Or does Unite provide a way to find the content that other people have put up? I don't understand what market Opera is trying to target here. Anyone with the where-with-all to setup their own web server and the associated DNS host records and the like has probably already done so. The OP bashes on Facebook, but Facebook (and Myspace and whatever the other sites are) offers the person an ability to tell someone else, "Look me up on Facebook. My name is..." Does Unite offer the equivalent capability?

        It seems to me that the large majority of what people want to share online isn't their own content, but content that they come across. Facebook is the perfect example. It seems to be filled with links to YouTube, links to other webpages, and blogs and whatever else any particular person finds interesting and wants to share with their friends. Very rarely do the large majority of people want to share content that is uniquely theirs. The one big exception that I can think of is music. Myspace seems to have the lion's share of that market. And on the subject of music, who wants to eat the bandwidth costs of serving up music from their own computer when a site like Myspace, or YouTube or listentomymusicyo.com will do it for you, for free?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by FlyingBishop (1293238)

          Facebook and the like offer zero security. If you understand the risks of what happens on Facebook well enough to make an informed decision to put your stuff up there, you probably understand it well enough to throw up a quick web server.

          The social media have been a great equalizer in terms of access, but that's a double edged sword.

        • by mjihad (686196) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:51PM (#30205776) Homepage

          Or does Unite provide a way to find the content that other people have put up? I don't understand what market Opera is trying to target here. Anyone with the where-with-all to setup their own web server and the associated DNS host records and the like has probably already done so. The OP bashes on Facebook, but Facebook (and Myspace and whatever the other sites are) offers the person an ability to tell someone else, "Look me up on Facebook. My name is..." Does Unite offer the equivalent capability?

          I think the idea is more to host your own stuff, such as your pictures or some other small app like the Fridge notes [opera.com] without having to muck around with DNS and servers and pasting the link to your friends over IM. That way you can tell your friends to leave you at note at an URL like http://macbook-win7.jfim.operaunite.com/fridge/ [operaunite.com] instead of having to sign up for yet another service for only one simple app.

          It seems to me that the large majority of what people want to share online isn't their own content, but content that they come across. Facebook is the perfect example. It seems to be filled with links to YouTube, links to other webpages, and blogs and whatever else any particular person finds interesting and wants to share with their friends. Very rarely do the large majority of people want to share content that is uniquely theirs. The one big exception that I can think of is music. Myspace seems to have the lion's share of that market. And on the subject of music, who wants to eat the bandwidth costs of serving up music from their own computer when a site like Myspace, or YouTube or listentomymusicyo.com will do it for you, for free?

          I don't think the purpose is to replace any serious hosting proposal, it's more of a share with a handful of friends thing.

        • by hkmwbz (531650) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:21PM (#30206156) Journal
          Put simply, all those computers can talk to each other. And they can be made to do so extremely easily. If you can't imagine the possibilities of that, you need to think some more about it :)

          If you check out some of the Unite apps, it isn't even necessarily about sharing.

        • by Runaway1956 (1322357) * on Monday November 23, 2009 @07:20PM (#30207926) Homepage Journal

          The target market is the not-tech savvy home user. Grandma wants to see the newest pics of her grandchildren getting a bath, and styling the new clothes she sent to them. Momma ain't real tech savvy, but she can put those pics into a folder, then invite her mother (in-law) to view the folder via unite. Easey-peasey. There's no need to put those pics on MySpace, Facebook, or any other hosting site - they are private. In fact, putting naked baby cheeks on the web just MIGHT get someone arrested for child pornography - the laws are crazy in some places.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by dave562 (969951)

            That makes a lot of sense. It fills that niche for data that is too big or otherwise burdensome to share via email, but that you don't want to put on a site like Flickr, YouTube or the like.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:50PM (#30205762)

        On the other hand, it means that content on Unite is ephemeral and subject to the vagaries of hosting everything on one's computer

        You must be new here - TO THE ENTIRE INTARWEB - if you honestly think that every single shred of corporate-hosted content isn't already volatile and at risk of disappearing at any moment at the whim of somebody you don't even know.

        The Web has ALWAYS been volatile. That is both a strength and a weakness. Right now the Web is thoroughly capitalistic in nature; are we proposing to fully socialize it, to the point of demanding that everything "submitted" to the Web instantly becomes public domain and forcibly archived somewhere for all eternity?

        The lesson you should learn is that if something you see on the Web is important to you, don't count on it being there a year from now: save a copy for your own damned self. Nobody else can read your mind and know that it's important to you and thus feel obligated to keep it anchored in the exact same spot because you'd prefer it. Regarding whether we should change the ownership of information once it's been made thus public, that's a (ongoing) debate for another place and time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by macraig (621737)

          That was me, but Thunderbird isn't behaving quite the same way with /. RSS feeds these days and it doesn't recognize logins, so comments made inside the RSS feed wind up being anonymous. It used to be that hitting Reply would spawn the browser, but not so any more; I don't know whether it's Thunderbird or Slashdot to blame for the change. It's not as practical as before, but maybe that's a good thing if it causes me to keep my trap shut more often?

      • by tomhudson (43916)

        Check the documentation - your web browser is not really becoming a "web server" - your requests go through their proxy server at yourdevicename.yourusername.operaunite.com

        They've just wrapped xhmhttprequests (XHR) in their own custom javascript class, and provided a default proxy for it.

        http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/opera-unite-developer-primer-revisited/#conceptsproxy [opera.com]

      • Also, by freeing yourself from the "cloud" you free yourself from the protections a cloud service affords. You make your home machine a server, you become a conduit for malware, and open yourself up to being blocked.

        And I find that bit about "By giving our devices the ability to serve content, we become equal citizens on the Web." a bit disingenuous. You can only be "equal" if your upstream is symmetrical with your downstream.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by obarthelemy (160321)

          What protections does the cloud afford ?

          - Privacy ? uncheck.
          - ownership rights ? uncheck (woman's personal photo used in an add)
          - data security ? uncheck (see Sidekick)

          Any connexion to the Web is a conduit for malware: Bittorrent, IE... Because MS regularly makes a hash of things does not mean that any connexion is unsafe. Please, prove your point.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by obarthelemy (160321)

        My PC is powered and running 24x7.

        If you lose all your data everytime you reinstall Windows... I've got one trick to teach you.. it's a brand new concept, called partitions... And another one, called backups... bleeding edge stuff !

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      I'm confused, even though you made a pizza analogy (maybe there's a reason we stick with car metaphors). I from the summary and press release, I thought unite was mostly for sharing stuff between your devices, not with other people or as a social networking... thing... I was under the impression that there were plenty of, er, cloud services where you could put your files on the cloud and then share them with one person instead of everyone.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I'm confused, even though you made a pizza analogy (maybe there's a reason we stick with car metaphors).

        Ok, you drive a hundred miles, wrap your frozen pizza in tin foil (much like our hats) and put it on the exhaust manifold. The result is... PIZZA!

        (and no, I'm not PAG. I think he used to be BadAnalogyGuy but that's just an ignorant guess)

    • Congrats on birthing one of the worst analogies ever posted to slashdot.

    • by ErkDemon (1202789) on Monday November 23, 2009 @05:08PM (#30205982) Homepage
      Potential Killer Application: sharing family photos with family. Almost everyone has a digital camera these days, but almost nobody (apart from SlashDot readers) has their own home server. A lot of people still try to share photos by email.

      It'd be interesting to see how they're handling security, though. Damn, now I'm going to have to download it.

    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      Can someone please explain a pizza analogy in a car analogy??
  • Except in China? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@nOsPAm.gmail.com> on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:39PM (#30205624) Homepage Journal

    I love how all the computer companies have these new-age wonderful human mottos for their products, like "Unite", and then cut deals with dictators to try and make a couple of extra bucks.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hkmwbz (531650)
      Someone asked: "How does not having any kind of access to Opera Mobile/Google/etc helps the people in China, compared to having a censored version?"

      I haven't seen a response to that yet.

      What were Opera's alternatives?

      Refuse? They would be thrown in jail, and the Chinese office would be history.

      Pull out? How would that help anyone? It would just deprive the Chinese people of another way to access the web. The more ways to access the web, the more work for the government when they are trying to censor

      • by tjstork (137384)

        Refuse? They would be thrown in jail, and the Chinese office would be history.

        Yes, that's what is called doing the right thing.

      • Re:Except in China? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by klapaucjusz (1167407) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:56PM (#30205834) Homepage

        What were Opera's alternatives?

        They could have refused to do business in China, as long as the Chinese policy doesn't change.

        Just like IKEA have stopped doing business in Russia [nytimes.com], for slightly different reasons.

      • Stop it with your "logic." Pragmatism is for communists, you communist!
      • The more ways to access the web, the more work for the government when they are trying to censor it.

        Except when companies (like Opera -- and many many many others) graciously cooperate in neutering their products so that they can access China's markets, that makes the censors' jobs easier.

        These companies are complicit in China's censorship. On top of that, they're also providing a nice smokescreen for the Chinese government.

        To wit, the more interesting question you're not asking is why does China government allow their people to use Opera or Mozilla (or Microsoft or Cisco or IBM or Dell, etc.)? Why not

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hkmwbz (531650)

          Except when companies (like Opera -- and many many many others) graciously cooperate in neutering their products so that they can access China's markets, that makes the censors' jobs easier.

          They don't "graciously cooperate", they are forced to. And no, it does not make the censors' job easier. The more services, the more work to keep track of everything.

          These companies are complicit in China's censorship.

          No, they are forced to, and at the same time they are offering choice.

          Providing a censored version of

          • This is false. Because of actions like these, the Chinese become increasingly aware of what's going on, as do foreigners.

            You're defending this arrangement pretty strongly. Mind you, do you have a stake in it? I mean, I know a lot of companies and people make these kinds of claims and then trot out this line. I am leary of the conflict of interest. Are they really doing it to help the people of China, or are they really just helping themselves? I don't even think they see the difference.

          • The more services, the more work to keep track of everything.

            You keep saying this. Even though my reply explicitly rebuts it.

            More things = more to keep track of = requires more time and resources = more difficult to control.

            Joe the Censor has to watch all sorts of things. But, lucky for him, he knows that 90 percent of the things he monitors are made by his friends. He asked his friends to make changes to the things so that he doesn't have to worry that they might be used for something Joe doesn't like.

            Joe trusts his friends because he knows they know that if he finds out that they lied to him, he wont let them sell any more things at all! (Boy, it sure is nic

    • The PRC "government" aren't dictators, they're criminals. The legitimate government of China does not behave that way.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dyslexics of the world, untie!

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:49PM (#30205746) Homepage Journal

    It may sound silly and pointless to a lot of devs, but supporting things like border-radius and drop-shadow (even with the temporary vendor prefixes) would be nice.

    That's one area where Safari is way, WAY ahead of both Opera and Firefox.

  • by billwerth (1372959) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:49PM (#30205750)
    Not sure if this was mentioned anywhere, but this technology is sure to break many user's broadband service contracts. You are affectively running a web server, which isn't allowed under most plans. I wonder how this will be addressed?
    • by hkmwbz (531650)
      This web server is nothing like the web servers those contracts were written to cover. Unite can't handle a fraction of the traffic of a real web server. So basically it's a non-issue.
  • And for those of us who's ISP's Terms of Service inclue a line that boils down to "Thou shalt not run a web server on your home PC unless you pay for a buisness-class connection"... well, what then? Just... don't use Opera?

    • what then? Just... don't use Opera?

      Don't start Opera, open the Unite panel, login to your Opera account, and enable the web server. When you install a new copy of Opera and start it up it doesn't magically start serving up all of your content.

  • Unite makes a lot of sense to me:

    - I keep ownership of my data. No more finding my personal photo used in an add, like happened to that woman a while back.
    - I keep control of my data. No more entrusting it to some advertiser, their trainees, their subcontractors...
    - I can easily backup all of my data. See the Sidekick debacle.
    - Everything is in ONE location
    - I have relatively fine control over who can see what, and can change content and rights at any time.

    It currently is not very polished, though It IS ver

  • by shking (125052) <babulicm.cuug@ab@ca> on Monday November 23, 2009 @07:05PM (#30207730) Homepage
    Just tried it on a vm running Windows 98 and it works! Holy retro Batman! We don' need no steenkin IE 6

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