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Opera cuts staff in WebKit-related restructuring

Retooling its browser with the WebKit engine isn't the only big change at Opera Software. The Norwegian company also cut its staff significantly in the last quarter of 2012.

According to the company's fourth-quarter financial results (PDF), the company had 777 employees at the end of 2011 and 931 at the end of 2012. But that figure includes 91 "employees associated with the organizational restructuring."

Moving to WebKit and dropping its in-house Presto browser engine. means Opera is cooperating with Google, Apple, and others using the open-source WebKit software, and that means the company could get … Read more

Opera buying Skyfire for mobile-video technology

Opera Software is acquiring Skyfire Labs and its technology for squeezing video onto congested mobile-phone networks in a deal worth up to $155 million, the Norwegian browser maker said tonight.

Opera, the fifth-ranked browser maker in terms of global usage, gets paid for adapting its browser for mobile network operators and for driving searches to sites like Yandex and Google. It's been gradually expanding its business into domains such as advertising, though, and the Skyfire deal adds a new dimension to its business selling technology to operators.

"Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots," said … Read more

What is the 'Soap Opera Effect'?

Do movies look weird on your new TV? Does everything have a hyper-real, ultra-smooth motion to it? Are you sure something is happening with the TV's image you don't like, but you can't figure out what?

Chances are, what you're seeing is called the "Soap Opera Effect," as descriptive a moniker as we get in tech, in that this feature makes everything on your TV look like a cheap soap opera.

Here's what it is, what it does, and how to turn it off.… Read more

JavaScript expert: WebKit, get your bug-ridden house in order

It was a good day for the WebKit browser engine yesterday when Opera Software adopted it in place of its in-house Presto. But yesterday's developments also became an opportunity for a high-profile JavaScript programmer to lodge criticisms about WebKit.

"Each release of Chrome or Safari generates excitement about new bleeding-edge features; nobody seems to worry about the stuff that's already (still!) broken," complained Dave Methvin, president of the jQuery foundation and a member of the core programming team that builds the widely used Web programming tool, in a blog post.

"jQuery Core has more lines … Read more

Web world bemoans loss of Opera independence

It might have been a smart strategic move for Opera Software to move to the WebKit browser engine and scrap its own Presto, but some think it's a step backward for the development of the Web overall.

"A switch to Webkit might benefit Opera. It's just not going to benefit the open Web," Mozilla's Robert O'Callahan said today in comments on his blog about Opera's Presto change-o. "This will strengthen the WebKit mobile monoculture and make it even harder for us to promote Web standards over 'coding to Webkit.'"

Browser engines … Read more

Opera embraces WebKit in browser brain transplant

Opera Software, an independent voice in the browser market since the 1990s, will dramatically change its strategy this year by adopting the WebKit browser engine used by Safari and Chrome.

The Norwegian company announced the move today and said it will show off the first fruits of the work with a WebKit-based version of its Android browser at the Mobile World Congress show in less than two weeks. But the company will move to WebKit for its desktop browser, too.

A browser engine processes the Web page instructions written in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS then renders the results on screens. … Read more

How we test Web browsers

The Web browser is the most-used kind of software in the world, having become the de facto way that people access the Internet. Today, virtually all computing tasks can be completed in the browser.

Testing browsers can veer from incredibly complex to shockingly simple, depending on what you're looking for and why. At CNET, we prefer a holistic approach to browser benchmarking, looking at a combination of tests that benchmark general browser behavior, as well as several "real-world" tests that look at browser performance in common scenarios.

Note about mobile testing: We are still finalizing our standards … Read more

Add expiration dates for shared Google Drive folders

It's easy to forget you've shared a folder from Google Drive with someone. There are visual indicators that show a folder is shared, but if you're busy working, or don't spend a lot of time logged into Google Drive, you may not notice them.

When you come across a situation where you want to limit the amount of time that your folder remains shared, there's a script that can help you add an expiration date to the sharing status. The way it works is by creating a duplicate of what you originally shared (minus the … Read more

Use MagicScroll Web Reader for a better reading experience

Do you love reading articles online, but find yourself losing your spot often? The developer of MagicScroll Web Reader, Richard Wallis, proposes that the problem isn't social media and other computer distractions -- it's the way you scroll through large blocks of text online.

To combat the issue of scrolling and making your eyes search for where you left off, Wallis wrote a browser bookmarklet that changes normal scrolling to page-turning style. This means that instead of scrolling down a really long page, you can flip through it, just like you would do with a book.

Here's … Read more

Opera to sing WebKit's tune on mobile -- report

The Opera Browser will be rebuilding its mobile browsers using WebKit and a new interface that nearly entirely ditches the traditional browser buttons called Opera Ice, according to a leaked video acquired by Pocket-Lint.com.

Ice is not Opera's first dalliance with WebKit, as its current iOS offerings are also built with the WebKit engine. However, the current iOS Opera runs its server-side compression with Opera's Presto engine. It's not clear that that will continue with Ice, which apparently will debut at Mobile World Congress in February.

The video shows off Opera Ice, a browser that looks … Read more