Opera Software today released version 8.50 of their great browser, and with this release they’ve the removed ad-banners and licensing fee, effectively making Opera a free browser! That’s free as in free beer, not as in free speech by the way… Still, for those who have wanted to use Opera full time but have been put off by the ads there’s now no excuse! Go ahead and download it!

Opera - feel free

Opera – Feel Free

Apparently they are doing this to increase their user base over time, and while they will lose quite a bit of revenue from doing this, they hope to gain it back in the long run from increased use and building of their brand. I’m not too sure how clever this is economically though, since my opinion is that that Opera will remain a browser for the more technically adept, while casual computer users are often put off just by the sheer amount of options and the small number of complex sites who don’t work.

But – I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Opera in the future and that the number of people using opera will grow with this bold move.

Opera Software are celebrating their 10th anniversary today… and they’re having a big party where they also are giving away free licenses for their browser as long as the party lasts! While you’re there you can have a look at the milestones page for a rundown of company history, and also see how the browsers look has changed over the years.

MultiTorg Opera (v1.0)

MultiTorg Opera (v1.0)

I’ve used the Opera browser since version 5, which came out in 2000, and been a registered user since 2001. In my opinion Opera surpasses every other browser I’ve tried in terms of speed, usability and customization options, and now there’s no way I’m using anything else for browsing the internet.

Happy Birthday Opera – and all the very best wishes for the next ten years 🙂

Opera Software today released the Opera web browser version 8.0. I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time, since the first beta version was announced in late 2004.

Opera 8 released!

Opera 8 released!

Major improvements include:

  • Voice support using XHTML+Voice. I’m probably not going to use this feature much myself, but I’m sure there are many people who would love to play with it.
  • Support for the XmlHttpRequest object, which means that Google’s Gmail service is now (almost) fully supported. This feature has been quite important to me, and now I’m finally able to use Opera for GMail.
  • Improved standards support, including support for Scalable Vector Graphics, which is pretty cool.
  • New and improved security measures, with a special “security bar” to better detect spoofing attacks.

Full list of improvements are available in the changelog as usual.

Since I actually bought a license for Opera (7.2) in September ’03, I can use it to register the new version as well which is great news to me. And it sure seems that demand for the new version is high, since the Opera website has been down for most of the day because of all the traffic…

A parent’s primer to computer slang – unintentionally hilarious guide from Microsoft to help parents Understand how your kids communicate online to help protect them. Ah, those crazy kids today and their on-line lingo.

  • Numbers are often used as letters. The term “leet” could be written as “1337,” with “1” replacing the letter L, “3” posing as a backwards letter E, and “7” resembling the letter T. “0” (zero) will typically replace the letter “O”.
  • pwn“: A typo-deliberate version of own, a slang term that means to dominate. This could also be spelled “0\/\/n3d” or “pwn3d,” among other variations. Online video game bullies or “griefers” often use this term.
  • kewl“: A common derivation of “cool.”
Jeremy from Pure Pwnage

Jeremy from Pure Pwnage

Pure Pwnage gives a inside look at the world of the Pro Gamer. This Canadian documentary shows that it’s not all about pwning n00bs – there’s also the need to practice your über-micro, the conflict between RTS and FPS, and even … girls!

This very funny gamer parody is available for download from the above site and features a lot of classic moments of recognition for those who are, or have at one time been involved in the practice of online gaming.

“You can take a n00b to water but you can’t make a n00b drink” – Teh Pwnerer

I was recently given an invite from a friend to test the new web-based email service from Google; GMail . Among its main features are 1 Gigabyte (1000 Megabyte) storage space with advanced searching and indexing of all your email, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity. The new service has also received a bit of criticism over accessibility and privacy concerns, so I was keen on finding out what all the fuzz was about.

Trouble is, the excellent Opera is my main browser of choice, which is not supported by Gmail. I soon found out that logging in using Opera was a no-no; I just get a blank screen after typing in my username and password. However, I had no trouble using it in Mozilla or Internet Explorer though, and it looks very nice and fast. On the other hand, having to open another browser just to check email is too much of a hassle, so I doubt my account will be used much until this is fixed.

Before GMail goes public, which is probably soon, I hope they are able to get their act together and start supporting common web standards so it can work with other browsers as well. Apparently they have plans of making a plain HTML version, so I keep my fingers crossed …

Here’s an interesting article from New Scientist about RSS; Google considers instant delivery service:

Internet search giant Google may be considering a popular web publishing format called RSS for some of its services, a leaked internal email has revealed.

This could be very good news – I imagine having access to Google News or a customized search as an RSS or Atom feed, which would be a great resource! And no matter which standard they eventually settle on, my favourite reader FeedDemon will still be able to read it, as it has support for both.

By the way, there’s also a new free RSS aggregator available from Norwegian firm Intellicom. While not as advanced as FeedDemon, it comes with the most common Norwegian news sites already configured, and is a good introduction to the world of RSS.

Here’s a great animation from the French designer team Melon Dezign; this time they’ve taken on The Beatles’ “Come Together” in a wonderfully psychedelic flash version. Warning; a huge download, it clocks in at a little over 8MB … but still highly recommended if you wait it out!

These guys have been making demos and animations for a long time, I remember them from the Commodore Amiga demo scene in the 90s, where they made some excellent stuff. They’ve also made a similar animation for another Beatles song; I Feel Fine, from a couple of years back.

Opera Software today released the latest version of their excellent web browser, Opera 7.50. I’ve used Opera as my primary browser for several years, and completely love it. It works for almost all sites I visit, it has an indispensable pop-up blocker, easy tabbed browsing, cookie manager, and tons of other technical advantages over other browsers.

The security of Opera is also excellent, especially compared to that huge security hole, Internet Explorer. The latest version is a major leap forward in usability and features, with an improved user interface, an RSS reader, IRC chat client, and lots of other improvements – have a look at the Change Log for the full list.

Download it today – I promise it will change your experience browsing the web, for ever!