Madama Butterfly to flutter in 3D

If you can't make it to London this summer, you can fake it with a 3D virtual visit to the Royal Opera House's production of "Madama Butterfly."

RealD, the 3D technology developer, will team up with one of opera's greatest venues and production companies to film the Puccini masterpiece in 3D for release in RealD 3D-equipped theaters.

The obvious challenge here is to get a decent-size moviegoing audience to care about the technology-rich extravaganza.

Don't shoot the singing-telegram messenger, but the truth is the average moviegoer isn't going to rush out to two-plus hours of opera regardless of how legitimately cool the technology that captures it. If they find opera stuffy and pretentious under normal entertainment circumstances, the advanced filming techniques will only render that tedium in unsurpassed depth and detail. … Read more

Faster Turbo in updated Opera

The latest stable version of Opera 11 debuts today with a faster Turbo, an expanded Speed Dial, and some plug-in tweaks. Opera 11.10 for Windows (download), Mac (download), and Linux (download), also makes a handful of other changes to the browser, notably adding in more HTML5 support, mail client improvements, an updated rendering engine, and better battery management on laptops.

The changes to Opera Turbo and Speed Dial are the most apparent changes in Opera 11.10. The Norwegian company says that Turbo is four times faster than before, and Opera spokesman Thomas Ford said that those speed improvements … Read more

Why browsers differ on Web sites' safety

For all the tens of billions of dollars a year spent on Internet security a year, on everything from antivirus software to intrusion prevention, there's one component that's vital but remains obscure: which Web sites browsers decide to trust.

Each of the major browser makers has compiled a different list of who possesses the master keys to Web authentication--namely, who can be trusted to issue the secure digital certificates to create encrypted channels--and each has different procedures for approval. A closed lock icon typically appears in a browser and an "https://" connection is displayed when a … Read more

Hands on Opera Mobile 11, Opera Mini 6

Opera announced last week that it would launch two new mobile browsers at CTIA--Opera Mobile 11 and Opera Mini 6--but when it came to new and enhanced features, it mostly kept quiet.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on a preview build before the show, and can share a lot more about what's in store for Opera on mobile phones and tablets.

Starting with the interface, the Opera browser gets a little bump in sophistication on an already graphically rich display. Opera loyalists will note some subtle changes--Opera has shaved off the title bar … Read more

Still no Google Instant for Opera browser fans

In September, Google said it hoped to bring its then-new Google Instant search feature to users of the Opera browser "shortly." A half-year later, there's still no sign of it.

Google still is working on it, though.

"We've encountered some technical barriers that are temporarily preventing us from making Instant available for Opera," Google said in a statement yesterday. "It's difficult for us to estimate when we will overcome these barriers, but we want to bring Instant to as many browsers, platforms and regions as possible."

It's not clear exactly … Read more

Opera Mobile 11 and Opera Mini 6 coming at CTIA

If you can't get enough of the Opera browser on mobile, there's good news on the horizon. Opera Mini 6 and Opera Mobile 11, both updates to the current fare of alternative browsers, will debut next week at CTIA in Orlando.

Of course, we'll be there to give you the hands-on review.

Opera isn't saying much about what the new features will hold, except that there will also be a version optimized for tablets. In fact, they'll be showing a build of the new Opera Mini running on the iPhone and iPad. The new versions … Read more

Opera coaxes coders to embrace Web fonts

Opera Software, a browser maker with considerable sway among Web developers, is trying to get them to embrace WOFF, the Web Open Font Format that looks like the best chance so far that refined typography will come to the Web.

WOFF originated at Mozilla after a collaboration with type designers, with Microsoft and Opera sponsoring its standardization at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), so it's no surprise that Opera is on board with the project. Opera 11.10, still in testing, adds support for WOFF.

Firefox, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9, and Google's Chrome already support WOFF, … Read more

Opera launches mobile app store

Opera announced today the opening of its own mobile app store.

The new online Opera Mobile store is offering both paid and free apps designed for a variety of phones, including those running Java, Symbian, BlackBerry, Android, and Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS. The company launched the new store with help from mobile app marketplace Appia, which provided the storefront e-commerce technology.

Opera is specifically looking to reach users of its own mobile browser by setting up the store's mobile Web site as a Speed Dial link. Opening the site on a mobile device prompts users to either select … Read more

Mefeedia: HTML5-compatible video on the rise

The debate between using Adobe Flash or HTML5 for online videos could be winding down, but the war among different video formats is heating up.

A whopping 63 percent of all videos on the Web are now HTML5-compatible, compared to only 10 percent just a year ago, according to video-sharing site Mefeedia. Instead of relying solely on Flash to display their videos, many more Web sites are adopting video formats that can run directly in HTML5-compatible browsers.

The majority of the sites uncovered by Mefeedia are using H.264, the most common video format since it's also compatible for … Read more

Opera: Full cross-platform hardware acceleration coming

Hardware acceleration has become the holy grail of browser development in the past year, as the technology to increase browser performance by tapping graphics cards to help with Web site rendering has advanced from the theoretical to the practical. Despite Opera being a longtime developer and advocate of hardware acceleration standards, and the first major browser maker to demonstrate hardware acceleration in use, no publicly released version of Opera included the technology--until today.

Opera 11.50 (direct download) is a rough alpha, unstable, not for daily use, and limited to Windows computers, but it does have hardware acceleration. This means … Read more