Opera finances improve despite fierce competition

Arguably, Opera Software has tougher competition now than at any point since the scrappy Norwegian company released its first browser in 1995.

Microsoft is aggressively developing Internet Explorer again. Firefox and Safari are widely used, and Chrome is ascendant. iOS and Android smartphones come with their own mobile browsers.

Despite that, Opera yesterday reported financial results with a healthy dose of good news. The recipe of Lars Boilesen, who took over as chief executive in early 2010, seems to be working.

Revenue for the second quarter of 2011 increased 29 percent from $31 million a year ago to $40 million. … Read more

Can any browser be considered 'safe'?

Judging from the headlines appearing this week on tech Web sites, you'd guess anyone using a browser other than Internet Explorer was a fool.

After all, IE version 9 scored a whopping 99.2 percent in NSS Labs' worldwide test (PDF) of the ability of top browsers to detect socially engineered malware. IE 8 wasn't far behind at 96 percent--the difference attributed by NSS Labs to the Application Reputation component added to IE 9's SmartScreen technology.

By comparison, the four other browsers tested were veritable social-malware sieves: Google Chrome 12 had a 13.2-percent detection rate, Firefox … Read more

Just how stupid are IE users?

Editors' note: The study written about below now appears to be bogus, according to the BBC. Please see our new story here.

When scientists attempt to correlate numbers, it's best to open a nice Casa Nuestra Tinto Classico and pour yourself a large glass.

Only then can you really savor the conclusions that can so easily be reached when one lot of numbers goes on a blind date with another.

Take this fascinating new study from a Canadian psychometric consulting company called AptiQuant. Appearing to have no relationship with the cosmetics of Mary Quant, these people still seem able … Read more

Opera 11.50 earns Web apps powers

Web apps made a tepid splash with the public when they debuted in Google Chrome last year, but that hasn't stopped other developers like Opera from joining the club. Also known as in-browser apps, Opera 11.50 for Windows (download), Mac (download), and Linux (download), released today, now offers Web apps in the form of Speed Dial extensions.

Web apps are special sites written in HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript that allow developers to treat the browser as the coding platform. What this means for the end user is that you can run games like Angry Birds, get real-time weather … Read more

New Opera beta tightens password security

Secure password synchronization, Speed Dial extensions, and an easier way to get Opera's developer's builds graduated from alpha to beta today, as the Norwegian browser maker upgraded its latest alpha to beta status. Opera 11.50 beta 1 (download for Windows, Mac, and Linux) adds the long-missing password syncing to Opera's syncing component, Opera Link, along another long-missing feature: the ability to customize the new tab landing page layout known as Speed Dial with extensions.

Opera revealed in a blog post at the beginning of May a simplified take on how the password security works. Basically, Opera … Read more

The 404 829: Where money is the root of all evil (podcast)

Say what you want about Vin Diesel's current choice of movie roles, but we have to give the guy credit for his performance in "Boiler Room." One of Jeff's friends found a peculiar flyer referencing the movie at a job fair at Rutgers University, so we spend the first few minutes of today's show chatting about that, then move onto the strange phenomenon of Opera Software receiving e-mails from Oprah fans who can't spell her name right.

We're also excited about today's Google press conference, where it announced a new mobile payment system featuring NFC technology. Stay tuned for more!

The 404 Digest for Episode 829

Oprah e-mails sent to the Opera browser company. Tricked! Botox mom was lying all along! Google Press conference-- Google Wallet. Obama says hi on someone's phone. Stormy video voice mail from Rich in Cleveland.

Episode 829 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Hands-on look at Opera Mini 6 for iPhone and iPad

Opera Mini 6 (universal) was released earlier today for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, bringing this version of the alternative browser to iOS devices for the first time. We have had a chance to put the slimmed-down browser through its paces and think it offers several features that users will like. With the right tweaks, it may even become the favorite over Apple's Safari--if people are willing to give it a try.

The clean, elegant interface hides multiple useful features, with only five buttons to choose from, along with the address bar and search box. The main Opera menu … Read more

Opera Mini 6 comes to iPhone and iPad

This morning, Opera announced the release of Opera Mini 6 for Apple's iOS devices, including iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad 2. Known for being an alternative Web browser with innovative features, Opera Mini 6 boasts faster page load times than other browsers even when on slower or crowded networks, thanks to compression and its proxy browser technology.

Available for the first time on iOS devices, Opera Mini 6 features an updated design optimized for iOS; smooth pinch-to-zoom and two-finger panning; support for the iPhone 4 Retina Display, iPad, and iPad 2 devices; sharing via Facebook, Twitter, and Opera's … Read more

Opera Next makes it easier to get 'dev'

A significant update to the Opera browser's Speed Dial feature launched today in Opera 11.50 alpha (download), along with Opera Next, which includes a mechanism that makes it easier for Opera fans to automatically download under-construction builds of the browser. Opera Next will install separately and alongside the "stable" release of Opera, sporting a silver Opera logo much like Google Chrome Canary is visually distinct from the other versions of Chrome with its all-yellow icon.

The new version of Speed Dial introduces support for Speed Dial-specific extensions. Originally developed by Opera, and now in use in … Read more

IE9 passes Opera in browser usage

Microsoft's browser continues to lose share of worldwide usage, but its new IE9 version managed to gain enough usage that new statistics show it surpassing one smaller rival, Opera.

Internet Explorer 9 accounted for 2.41 percent of browser usage in April, its first full month on the market, according to Net Applications. Opera accounted for 2.14 percent. And IE overall dropped from 55.9 percent in March to 55.1 percent in April.

Two browsers, Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari, outpaced the overall growth in Web usage. Chrome rose from 11.6 percent to 11.… Read more