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Opera’s free and innovative Web browser allows you to experience the web on your terms. Discover what over 20 million people have already experienced by downloading Opera’s fast and safe Internet browsers. Features include; Speed Dial: Your favourite sites are just one click away. Search Shortcuts: Type your queries directly into the address bar. Trash Can: Instantly reopen recently closed tabs. Opera Link: Opera Link lets you synchronize data of your choice online, or among different computers and devices. Sync your Speed Dial, Bookmarks, Custom Searches, History and Notes between your work and home computer; take your bookmarks with you on your phone. Feed Preview: Preview a Feed by clicking on the feed icon, and you will see it in clean and efficient multiple-column layout. This makes it easier to see a feed’s content before subscribing to it — or even bookmarking it — and to view what’s new in a page quickly, without distractions. New browser engine: We have made the fastest browser in the world even faster with superior support for Web standards. Opera is quicker to start, faster at loading Web pages and better at running your favorite Web applications. Share our passion for technology. Version 9.64 fixes an issue where specially crafted JPEG images ccould be used to execute arbitrary code. Also fixes an issue where plug-ins could be used to allow cross domain scripting, and adds version conditional fetching of certificate dependencies from an online repository.

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Opera (web browser)

Opera is a web browser and Internet suite developed by the Opera Software company. Opera handles common Internet-related tasks such as displaying web sites, sending and receiving e-mail messages, managing contacts, IRC online chatting, downloading files via BitTorrent, and reading web feeds. Opera is offered free of charge for personal computers and mobile phones, but for other devices it must be paid for.

Features of Opera include tabbed browsing, page zooming, mouse gestures, and an integrated download manager. Its security features include built-in phishing and malware protection, strong encryption when browsing secure web sites, and the ability to easily delete private data such as cookies and browsing history by simply clicking a button.

Opera runs on a variety of personal computer operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris.Though evaluations of Opera have been largely positive, Opera has captured only a fraction of the worldwide personal computer browser market.

Opera has a stronger market share on mobile devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, and personal digital assistants. Editions of Opera are available for devices using the Symbian and Windows Mobile operating systems, as well as Java ME-enabled devices. Approximately 40 million mobile phones have shipped with Opera pre-installed. Opera is the only commercial web browser available for the Nintendo DS and Wii gaming systems. Some television set-top boxes use Opera as well, and Adobe licensed Opera technology for use in the Adobe Creative Suite.

History

Opera began in 1994 as a research project at Telenor, the largest Norwegian telecommunications company. In 1995, it branched out into a separate company named Opera Software ASA.Opera was first released publicly with version 2.0 in 1996,[6] which only ran on Microsoft Windows. In an attempt to capitalize on the emerging market for Internet-connected handheld devices, a project to port Opera to mobile device platforms was started in 1998. Opera 4.0, released in 2000,included a new cross-platform core that facilitated creation of editions of Opera for multiple operating systems and platforms.

Up to this point, Opera was trialware and had to be purchased after the trial period ended. Version 5.0 (released in 2000) saw the end of this requirement. Instead, Opera became ad-sponsored, displaying advertisements to users who had not paid for it.Later versions of Opera gave the user the choice of seeing banner ads or targeted text advertisements from Google. With version 8.5 (released in 2005) the advertisements were removed entirely and primary financial support for the browser came through revenue from Google (which is by contract Opera’s default search engine).

Among the new features introduced in version 9.1 (released in 2006) was fraud protection using technology from GeoTrust, a digital certificate provider, and PhishTank, an organization that tracks known phishing web sites.[11] This feature was further improved and expanded in version 9.5, when GeoTrust was replaced with Netcraft, and malware protection from Haute Secure was added.

Also in 2006, editions of Opera were made and released for Nintendo’s DS and Wii gaming systems. Opera for the Wii, called the Internet Channel, was free to download from its release on 12 April 2007 until 30 June 2007. After that date, Wii users had to pay 500 Wii Points (about US$5) to download it.The Nintendo DS Browser is likewise not free; it is sold as a physical DS game cartridge.

Privacy and security

Opera has several security features visible to the end user. One is the option to delete private data, such as cookies, the browsing history, and the cache, with the click of a button. This lets users erase personal data after browsing from a shared computer.

When visiting a secure web site, Opera encrypts data using either SSL 3 or TLS,both of which are highly secure encryption protocols. It then adds information about the site’s security to the address bar. It will also check the web site that is being visited against blacklists for phishing and malware, and warn if it matches any of these lists. This behavior is enabled by default, but the user may opt to not make such checks automatically. If this check is disabled, the user can still check sites individually by opening a Page Info dialog.

The user can protect every saved password stored in Opera with a master password. This prevents malware from accessing those passwords unless the master password is known. To catch security flaws and other bugs before they are exploited or become a serious problem, the Opera Software company maintains a public web form where users can submit bug reports.[40] According to Secunia, a computer security service provider, the mean average of unpatched vulnerabilities in the last 365 days is 0.01. This stands in contrast to Firefox , Internet Explorer, and Safari.

In January 2007, Asa Dotzler of the competing Mozilla Corporation accused the Opera Software company of downplaying information about security vulnerabilities in Opera that were fixed in December 2006. Dotzler claimed that users were not clearly informed of security vulnerabilities present in the previous version of Opera, and thus they would not realize that they needed to upgrade to the latest version or risk being exploited.Opera responded to these accusations the next day.

Future development

Opera version 10, codenamed Peregrine (after the Peregrine Falcon),will have an improved user interface,increased web standards support, bug fixes, performance improvements, and new tools for web developers. An alpha version which scores 100 / 100 on the Acid3 standards compliance test was released on 3 December 2008.

A new JavaScript engine called Carakan, after the Javanese script, will be used in future Opera versions after Opera 10. According to Opera Software, Carakan is 2.5 times faster at the SunSpider benchmark than the Opera 10 alpha engine. Also in development are improvements to Opera’s vector graphics library, Vega, that enable it to be used for all of the browser’s rendering, allowing platform specific rendering code to be replaced with code for Vega. This will help Opera implement some advanced CSS3 properties, such as backgrounds and borders. The new version of Vega will also allow hardware acceleration with optional OpenGL and Direct3D backends.

Opera Turbo, a technology that compresses web pages on a remote server before sending them to the client, will be incorporated in future desktop versions of Opera.

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[Reviews]

Reviewed by: CNET Staff
Version reviewed: Opera 9.64
Opera 9.62 maintains the program’s tradition of striving for the fastest, smallest, and most full-featured browser available. Opera covers the basics with tabbed browsing, mouse-over previews, a customizable search bar, advanced bookmarking tools, and simple integration with e-mail and chat clients. Mouse-gesture support, keyboard shortcuts, and drag-and-drop functionality round out the essentials.

Opera’s extras push it to the top of the class. Integrated theme support previews themes from within the interface, and the new version sports a default redo that’s an attractive balance between “dark” and “light” themes. Opera’s desktop widgets can appear anywhere while Opera is running. The Wand utility combines autofill with saved passwords, and it’s hard to ignore the addition of torrent support and real-time fraud protection. The latest version includes reasonable anti-malware protection courtesy Haute Secure.

The expanded features in 9.62 should make any non-believer do a double-take. Opera Link enables Bookmarks, the Personal bar, Speed Dial, and Notes synchronization across all other Opera instances. Quick Find improves the search tool, allowing for full text searching from the address field, the history panel, and opera:historysearch. The Status bar has been restored as a default, the Wand now lets users confirm a successful login before saving credentials, and spatial navigation–similar to Opera Mini and the Wii browser–has been introduced.

The new version is faster, has multiple back-end changes to handle code better, and expands Opera Link synchronization. We think Opera has what it takes to unseat even the biggest-name browsers. You just need to hear it sing.

[Review Source]

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