back to article Opera chief: history will silence Unite doubters

Undeterred by the media backlash against Opera Unite - the web-browser-meets-web-server contraption unveiled last month - Opera chief executive Jon von Tetzchner says that ten years on, the world will look back on its debut as a seminal moment in the history of the web. "Some people see Unite, and they understand. With others …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    WTH?

    "I don't think that would do very much for us," he explained. "The reason to do open source is for marketing purposes. But with the complexity of what we're dealing with, it's not a good idea.

    "Mozilla is more or less focusing on desktop browsers and that's complex enough. We are, at any given time, dealing with more than a hundred different deliveries, because we're not only doing desktops. We're doing mobile phones. We're doing set-top boxes. We're doing cars. We're doing game consoles. We're doing all these things. And handling that complexity is extremely hard. And I think that requires fairly good control over the piece of code."

    "Too Complex for Open Source" is he saying. That if they released the code for Opera. It would contain code for Opera Mobile and wherever else Opera is.

    Is he having a joke?

    You release those as seperate distributions.......

  2. Shades

    Hang on...

    does this Unite thing mean I (or more probably someone else) could write an app to mimic something like facebook (which maintains connections ("friends") with other Unite users) all while leaving my personal details, photos and such like on my machine far, far away from the filthy grabbing of user generated content that facebook and their ilk can do what the hell they like with once they've got their greedy little mits on it???

    If so... someone write a plugin for FireFox that does the same... Opera are a bunch of f*cking whingers!!!

  3. Mick F
    Thumb Down

    It's Opera

    no one cares

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the castro.

    "told The Reg this week during a sit-down in our San Francisco offices.", the 'offices' been a private booth at the Blue Oyster Bar.

  5. Martin 6 Silver badge

    @Hang on...

    Thats exactly the point, imagine your website with your data, controlled by and licenced to you.

  6. Thecowking
    Thumb Down

    It's so complex

    That half the time Unite doesn't work.

    The file server is so stable that someone once nearly managed to download a file from me, though I have to admit that the wheel re-inventing chat room doesn't crash quite so often.

  7. ElReg!comments!Pierre
    Welcome

    Not bad a product, but the Apache reference? Puh-leese

    Comparing that Unite thinggie with Apache is preposterous. Boa, thttpd or null httpd, more like. And even these comparisons would be quite a bit of a stretch. And if you are enough of a techie to successfully use a toaster, you shouldn't have too much of a problem with putting up a simple website using these. Now making it bulletproof is another problem, which is quite well addressed by Opera. On the other hand, they get to decide what you can or cannot put online...

    Also, the Unite stuff has this "all-in-one" scent bound to attract non-technical people. Every separate bit can be performed better (and more flexibly, more privately, etc.) by standalone apps, but I reckon Unite's services will be enough for most, and it's a one-step install... oh irony, wasn't that the main point in Opera's complaint against IE bundling? (OK, Opera is not quite the monopoly that MS is, but still... Apache should sue!)

  8. Annihilator Silver badge

    Subbing

    "But this kind of service will be very prevalent in the future... And if we sit town in ten years time, you'll say 'Yes, this was a big deal. Not everyone saw that in the beginning.'"

    Should be;

    "But this kind of service will be forgotten in the future... And if we sit down in ten years time, you'll read it in a nostalgic feature of 'top 10 whatever happened to' in a PC rag"

    Wake me up when the non-existent fad passes. I'd hit snooze but it'll be a whole 9 minutes before the alarm goes off which isn't long enough.

  9. jake Silver badge

    ::rolls eyes::

    "But if you're technical enough to do this from Apache or anything else, one, there's no problem with that, and two, you're probably not going to understand Unite anyway."

    1) Aw, gee, thanks for your permission. Idiot.

    2) In other words, techies with a clue grok that Unite is about marketing, not technology.

    As for their product being too complex to be FOSS, all I can say is that is probably why the BSD and Linux kernels work as poorly as they do, and on so few devices ... I'll leave it there.

    This guy really isn't trying to endear himself to the techie community, is he?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    'Complexity' means its crap code

    And Jon von Tetzchner knows it.

  11. James O'Brien
    FAIL

    Excuse me?

    "But if you're technical enough to do this from Apache or anything else, one, there's no problem with that, and two, you're probably not going to understand Unite anyway."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    *wipes the tears away from eyes and takes a breath*

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Not going to understand Unite even if your more then capable of setting up Apache.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    What a jack ass. And he wonders why not only do people shun Opera but they also think hes an asshat.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too complex for open source?

    In other words, the codebase is a GIGANTIC CLUSTERFUCK because it's full of silly cross-platform code that doesn't need to be there and they're afraid of the reaction.

  13. Si 1

    Open Source is for marketing purposes?

    No, it's for allowing more people to contribute back to your source code making a better product. Something that Opera isn't interested doing in as they're too busy complaining about the Internet Explorer logo.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Story of the internet

    "If so... someone write a plugin for FireFox that does the same... Opera are a bunch of f*cking whingers!!!"

    That's pretty much how the browser war works.

  15. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Megaphone

    re. Open source

    Whille I'm not sure of the complexity argument I see no good reason to open source their most valuable asset. Maing browsers is what they do for a living. And judging by the binary size and functionality code bloat isn't a problem.

    As for Unite I think he [Jon von Tetzchner] has a point: the real implications will take take time to manifest if ever. I think it is impressive that the individual user has complete control over their own data.

  16. barth

    I fully agree that Unite is revolutionary

    It's putting back your data where it belongs: on your PC.

    No more Facebook selling your photos to who knows whom. No more school superintendant or recruiter demanding you give them your login info. No more outage for millions when one server goes down.

    I'm sure Unite still needs a fair bit of tweaking and develoment. But having your own social website, with widgets, custom apps... is worth it.

    And remermber, Opera is not MS: their security is better. I wouldn't trust MS to do that, and Apple wouldn't do it anyway, since it doesn't help them sell any content. Unite is a true, old-school, user-driven thing.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I love the idea of this...

    still gonna try to build something with OpenBSD and Apache though

  18. Tristan Young
    FAIL

    Opera Unite

    I'm glad Opera is there to provide competition, but I've tried Opera, and I hate it. It's not the browser for me, and if given the choice between Opera or nothing, I'll take nothing every time.

  19. asdf
    FAIL

    what a fail

    Perhaps Opera has a good idea but I tend to agree with other posters its still Opera with its low single digit penetration so making big inroads is not going to be cake. Also Opera is not doing itself any favors by having this arrogant toolbag promote the "Next Big Thing". How you rollout something is almost as important as the technology itself and I have to give Opera a big fail on this so far. If I had to bet I would guess Opera won't be the next google five years from now.

  20. W

    @ jake

    "This guy really isn't trying to endear himself to the techie community, is he?"

    No. I don't think he is. I think that might be the point though.

    Looks like he's aiming to fall into the middle ground. Between the hassles of a geekalicious diy website or other homemade sharing solution at one end of the spectrum. And the hassles of posting your life on the web2.0 flickr/picasa/deviantart/youtube/vimeo/twitter/facebook/last.fm/myspace/delicious/digg/blogger/wordpress cloud at the other end of the spectrum.

    Unite seems to be pitched at those who _don't_ want to bone up on HTML, & Apache & NAS setups etc or _don't_ want to to 'go public' or 'social' or use p2p, but _do_ want to share photos, and files etc with family and real life friends.

    And after viewing the Unite vid clips on their site, I can see where he's coming from. It looks like a boss idea.

    Basically seems to boil down to being something that lets you easily turn portions of your PC into a remotely accesible NAS. And/or saves me faffing and uploading a bunch of photos to picasa/flickr. Instead I can just arrange MY files on MY machine as desired, set the folder to share, email the link to my folks.

    Simples. I plan to give it a whirl.

    But whether it turns out to be decent or not, Opera still come across as overly whiney in relation to this IE installation malarkey.

    The open source comments are plain odd. I understood open source to stand for transparency and a wider net of feedback into the development, rather than being about 'marketing'. Although, to be fair, it's their code and company and their perogative over what they do with it.

    Finally, to the overly snippy folk: why the hate? Opera is a capable browser and it's nice to have some options that don't come from MS or Google.

  21. jon 77

    oh dear god....

    Hey, I am a staunch opera fan, but,.... the chief is now sounding like an old war veteran, under the delusion that they are still in the war years, with a lot of power at their command....

    - not the full ticket, he seems to have lost it, the tiny share must have addled his brain into thinking he is the best ... " hey our market share recently increased by 50%!!!! "

    Sorry, that means it went from 2% to a massive 3%....

    and a lot of forum members are saying why can they not work on actually fixing the compatibility issues, not this unite that only a small percent will use....

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @zerofool2005

    No he isn't having a joke. being open source is just a marketing trick.

    If Firefox users benefit from it being open source, where is the forked version that doesn't have all the bloat, memory leaks and TerribleBar™? Why do so many people moan and moan and moan abouyt the changes to Firefox and wait for them to change things in future versions instead of changing it themselves and distributing those tweaked versions? People install and moan about Firefox and its featureset just the same as they do with IE. And just like IE they just sit there waiting for the mothership to fix things. I thought the whole point of Open source was that there was no mothership, that you didn't have to mindlessly follow the beat of one company's drum?

    Being open source means nothing to any normal person, it's just a marketing trick to motivate all the nerds who hold software up as a religious substitute into spreading the word for free.

    Open source - written by you, for you, for free, for money for us. Think of that fact the next time you count all the zeros in Mozilla Inc's CEO's salary.

    And as for the people moaning about the comparison between Unite and Apache, you're *exactly* the kind of person he's referring to in the article. You're such nerds that you can't fathom how anyone's grandmother couldn't open a CLI window and configure Apache. You are not the audience, now move along and stop *worrying* about Opera all the time...

  23. Charles Manning

    re: I fully agree that Unite is revolutionary

    So you have to keep your PC running just in case granny wants to show her friends some pictures of her grand kids? Apart from tree hugging power use concerns, that's a security nightmare. Ever running PCs make for nice bot farms. Nothing provides better security than encouraging people to turn off/disconnect their PCs when not in use.

    If you really think your photos etc are so valuable that FB is going to sell them then you're either a brilliant photographer (and should probably have a commercial website) or you're deluded.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    @ Anonymous Coward

    "You're such nerds that you can't fathom how anyone's grandmother couldn't open a CLI window and configure Apache"

    Don't the Windows builds of Apache have a GUI (i use lighttpd on *nix and abyssws on win so i wouldnt know)

  25. David 141

    Uptime?

    @Martin 6

    "Thats exactly the point, imagine your website with your data, controlled by and licenced to you."

    Yeah but it also has to be provided and maintained by me. I predict uptime of about 50%.

  26. jake Silver badge

    Two other thingies, pointed out by my wife.

    Let me preface this by stating that my wife isn't technically inclined. She's a horse trainer, and teaches riding. She's damn good at what she does, but views computers as black boxes that allow her to get her message across to a larger audience than she could otherwise reach.

    So ... I'll let her type it ...

    I don't want other people in my PCs. Nor does my ISP. The contract clearly states that I'm not allowed to run server software. That's the first point.

    On the bright side, my ISP has given me plenty of space to host my web site. Using FTP to upload files allows me to take advantage of their always-on servers. There are plenty of HTML authoring tools out there that allow people like me to write and up load web pages (my husband usually takes care of that, but I can and do make changes). Sharing pictures and or video this way is trivial, and a lot more friendly than sending them via email. With no third party needed. That's my second point.

    I see no reason to even try Unite.

    (That's probably the only time SWMBO'll ever post here ... She does read occasionally.)

  27. Unlimited
    FAIL

    "don't have to upload"

    "you can take a look right here on my home machine' and you don't have to upload"

    eh?

    1. Web server on your machine

    2. Moms machine requests a file on your machine

    3. ???

    4. File magically appears on Moms machine!

    If anything, this means that you have to "upload" the content over and over and over?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can already do this

    And I don't need Apache or Unite.

    TeamViewer, and I can control who comes onto my PC and what they see.

    Sorry Opera, well behind the times, nothing revolutionary, won't change the Web, that'll change long before Unite takes off.

    +do we not get into an anti-competition legal morass with this?

  29. shaunm
    Paris Hilton

    It's a cracking little tool

    I set up a system on release day to test it and have been using it ever since, it's a good simple peice of software that runs on a tiny Eee box with extremly low run cost and no down time to date. Why does everyone sound so scared of point and click software??

  30. Neil Alexander
    FAIL

    NAT Hell

    Unless Opera intend to tunnel traffic between every user and every other user, then this will make no significant impact in most of the world because it won't work in most of the world without port mapping. A lot of home routers still don't support UPnP/NAT-PMP, for christs sake.

    Get IPv6 out there, then we'll talk.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Millions of desktops?

    "... many questioned whether putting an addressable web server on millions of desktops was a recipe for security disaster."

    Surely some mistake... you meant hundreds, not millions, right?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thwanggggg!

    I've got no problem with a webserver for dummies. I reckon that's a reasonable idea......

    But did nobody tell them that the dummies are all behind ADSL.

  33. jake Silver badge

    @Unlimited

    You seem a trifle confused ...

    "Upload" means transferring files from a local[1] storage device (hopefully) under your control, to a remote[1] storage device not necessarily under your control.

    "Download" means transferring files from a remote[1] storage device not necessarily under your control to a local[1] storage device (hopefully) under your control.

    [1] "local" and "remote" are of arbitrary distance ... if you have to ask, please don't. Ta.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Ok I haven't tried it, but...

    One word.

    Orb.

    I can fire up a pc and share my audio, photos, films etc etc with absouloute ease, no need to stick a web server on my pc.

    So what's new?

    www.orb.com

  35. Tom 7 Silver badge

    @barth - I fully agree that Unite is revolutionary

    If you think that you'd be amazed what people can do with these computer thingies and a revolutionary new toy called the internet.

    I'd be a very rich man if I had the courage to try and sell what the internet provides as basic as some new invention. I can never work out if its pure ignorance or blind greed that makes these people think they can sell something thats 40 years old as new.

  36. Lutin

    Got to agree with AC@01:23

    The fact that firefox is open source means as little to about 99% of its end users as the fact that opera is closed does to 99% of its users.

    Firefox == open source == hardly anyone cares

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Marketing hype works!

    A pain in the **** is what it is! We have already had users at my place asking for Unite access through our firewalls, using very iffy business justifications. Hard enough to keep the plebs inside the network "wire" without this sort of thing stirring them up!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Re: "don't have to upload"

    You left out the "to a remote server" part:

    "you don't have to upload to a remote server"

    So no, the file doesn't magically appear on mom's machine. You just won't have to upload it to a server first.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Re: "I can already do this"

    Does TeamViewer require both parties to install a special client? With Unite, all you do is to send the other party a URL. Are you saying that TeamViewer will replace the web?

    Why would we get into an anti-competition legal morass? Is Opera a monopoly? Didn't think so. Bundling isn't illegal, you know. Abusing a dominant position in the market is.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    People are missing the point of the open-source comment

    I see a lot of whining about the comment about open-sourcing being for marketing purposes.

    He was obviously referring to OPERA open-sourcing the code. There would be no real purpose for THEM other than marketing. He didn't say that open-source as a concept is just marketing.

  41. Chris C

    Ah, yes, truly revolutionary

    "But if you're technical enough to do this from Apache or anything else, one, there's no problem with that, and two, you're probably not going to understand Unite anyway."

    So... If I'm smart enough to set up an Apache server, then I'm too dumb to "understand Unite anyway"? That sounds remarkably like Apple's marketing department.

    "What we're trying to do is take something that currently is very difficult and make it easy. We're tying to give you something that you can describe to your parents or even your grandparents. And I believe we've achieved that."

    So did Geocities. And look what happened to them. I'll just point out a couple of reasons this will spectacularly fail:

    1) Most ISPs (such as Comcast and Verizon) explicitly state in the Terms and Conditions that you are not allowed to run servers of any kind.

    2) Upstream speeds. Most ISPs provide people with relatively little upstream speed (1Mbps for Comcast cable, 128Kbps for Verizon DSL), so anything hosted on your system will be displayed to your visitor very slowly. This will be exacerbated when you have multiple people trying to request data from you simultaneously.

    3) VoIP. Go ahead and host your files on your own system, then wonder why your VoIP connection is choppy and poor quality.

    4) Always-on requirement. Most people don't leave their computers powered on all the time, so trying to connect to their "website" will be hit-and-miss. Some people may choose to leave their computers powered on all the time to combat this, but will probably change their minds once they realize the additional electric cost (and heat) this will cause.

    5) It failed before. People don't care where their files are stored as long as it's easy to make a "home on the web". And there have been many software apps and companies that made it easy for people (Geocities, Netscape, AOL, every ISP I've ever had, etc). The thing is, it's a gimmick. People stick with it for a while, then they lose interest. Then again, considering the global dumbing-down of people in the last 15 years, this point may be nullified.

  42. MarkOne
    FAIL

    @jon 77

    Opera Desktop is around 5% (2x that of Safari and 4x that of Chome), Opera Mobile has 95% of the mobile market, much better than Safari (iPhone), Nokia and Blackberry offerings (both Netfront I believe)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Upstream bandwidth?

    Personally, if Opera's willing to take on the ISPs and sort out some decent connection speeds, I'm all for it. However, I'm not too sure what happens then you try to take the A out of ADSL.

  44. Mark Rendle
    FAIL

    After the cloud?

    As in, *after* LTE or whatever provides LAN-speed access to the web everywhere, and all your clients are connected to all your data all the time? Yeah, I can see personal webservers coming in handy after everybody gets fed up with that.

  45. Robbie Bain
    Grenade

    Hypercard was awesome!

    I don't care much for his piece-of-crap web browser or its 'revolutionary' add-ons.

    But you don't dis Hypercard and get to walk away. That's just not on.

  46. Mayhem
    Go

    the point of Unite?

    "But if you're technical enough to do this from Apache or anything else, one, there's no problem with that, and two, you're probably not going to understand Unite anyway"

    I think what he's saying is that you probably won't understand the *point* of Unite anyway.

    Which is exactly what I'm seeing in the comments. Lets face it, this is a community of reasonably technically minded people. Not all of us regularly configure apache servers in our spare time, but I expect most could with a few minutes worth of effort reading the instructions. Now imagine talking your non-technical friends/family through the same process.

    The point of what he is proposing is taking the idea of a webserver and merging it into the browser experience, to abstract the complexities of setting up and securing a server away from the user.

    Its the same as Apple took the idea of a CD ripper and merged it with a browser, a shop and an interface for portable media players with iTunes. Prior to itunes, most techy types ripped their own music, and had no issues with doing it but I'm sure people remember the wild state of rippers, codecs, and lame vs xing vs iis et al. It worked, but it wasn't ever *simple*.

    After Apple saw the market and got involved, every man and their cat could rip and download music without actually knowing how they do it, they just click a button and its all done for them.

    That, combined with good marketing and a clever piece of hardware made them the dominant option for the masses.

    Its a very clever idea at heart, I'll be interested to see if it gets mass market interest.

  47. Mark Wills

    Hello 1995

    Welcome back Microsoft Personal Webserver. Where have you been all these years?

    Missed you, we did.

    Microsoft PWS and DynDNS.org - a marriage made in heaven!

  48. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re-inventing the web, like ActiveX did.

    So this Unite thingy makes stuff on my machine visible to Grandma with any serious complexity on my part or grandma's part. That would imply...

    1) that the average user gets to perform no significant review of which material is exposed,

    2) that the software bores its way through my NAT by itself,

    3) that it is all advertised to the whole world (dynamic DNS?),

    3) that it is all exposed to the whole world.

    Dropping item (1) would require serious effort on my part. Item (2) is probably beyond me because I'm a n00b, right? Dropping item (3) would require that Grandma find me. Dropping item 4 would require that Grandma authenticate herself.

    Step down ActiveX, Opera have just announced your replacement.

  49. Daniel 1

    I've got my doubts, but...

    This really does just look like a P2P mechanism, that the user explicitly takes ownership of. Plus, it is just hypertext, going in and out through port 80. I'm no big fan of P2P technology, but I'm in the minority in that respect. This looks a lot easier to monitor and, potentially, control than a lot of the P2P stuff people stick on their machines. How many home users download some torrenting application off a shareware site, and then just run it - never stopping to think what illegal porn, crack warez, Jihadist propoganda and God knows what else, they have flowing through their machines?

    Who wrote the torrenting application? "Who cares? Some Russian, I think." What is it actually doing? "Who cares? I get free movies and stuffz. It can't be evil, because its got a dorky name and an icon of a cartoon dog* - and it's P2P, and P2P is, like, Robin Hood, right? RobinHood never shot anyone in the back!"

    At least you could take Opera to court, if they borked your PC!

    *I'm not singling out any particular shareware torrenting application, here: substitute a "dog" icon, for a "frog", a "ginger moggy", a "piece of fruit", a "laughing pig on a Bicycle" or "Santa Claus" - depending on what shareware site you got the app from; whether the day of the week had 'T' in it, and how close to Christmas, it was at the time. I see them all - the laughing torrenting applications - sitting there on the desktop, grinning at me, whenever I'm called in to work out why some relative's PC has suddenly started acting strange.

  50. windywoo
    Thumb Up

    Sounds like a good idea.

    In a technically advanced country like Japan or the Scandinavian countries this will be good because they have broadband coming out their earholes with plenty of upload. In technical backwaters like the UK and US, broadband companies have been allowed to treat their customers with disdain, unreliable services crappy speeds.

    Lets hope there are more ideas like Unite so those fuckers at the ISPs are forced to stop crippling their services.

  51. Patrick O'Reilly

    @zerofool2005

    Opera works on so many platforms by using a standard "Core". If that core is open sourced under the GPL then all the other derivative "packages" that build on that core have to be open sourced too.

    I do perfer Opera to other browsers but would like it to be open source, however I can see why is isn't and will never be. It is first and foremost a commercial product, and it is also the only browser out there apart from IE that is a proprietary stack (ok, Netfront is an exception but it's pants). As we all know, business won't back an open sauce product unless they have someone to sue if it fails. Hence Nintendo choosing Opera from the Wii and DS, Sony Ericsson choosing Opera for their high end phones, Vodaphone and T-mobile choosing Opera Widgets as their cross device widget platform. Those company's could well have afforded to hire a few resources to hack an open source product into their devices but prefered to go the route where they could sue someone if it messed up. Hence Opera being the major player in a very ucrative market.

    Why should they give up that comfortable bed of money?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    My Ma says...

    If my Ma wants to send me photo's of her holidays in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, she usually just emails them to me.

    She doesn't like leaving her laptop running at night in case it catches fire and burns down her house.

    She's been a victim of online card fraud once and is now paranoid.

    Unite?

    Great idea if:

    1. Your computer is always on and your friends and families are too

    2. Your always online

    3. You've got Opera installed

    4. Your not worried about security

    See, there's a reason we have servers to serve content. When implemented correctly, they are secure, reliable and accessible 24/7.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Yay

    PS sorry it ain't techie enough for some of you....

  54. This post has been deleted by its author

  55. Shakje
    Stop

    People who are still complaining about security

    are just showing that they still have no idea of how Unite works. There isn't a security risk from running Unite, and the complaint that leaving your computer on is a security risk in itself is stupid, if you've got an infested PC, leaving your PC on isn't the problem.

    @Matt 89

    1. Nope, just as long as the two coincide at some point it's fine isn't it. What might be great is if there was a Skype style service written, so it would be as easy as talking about something in a conversation, hence knowing the files are available.

    2. Why do people even have connections that need to be told to go online anymore?

    3. Good point, work that out all by yourself?

    4. Already dealt with. RTFM.

    @Ken Hagan

    You clearly don't have a clue what you're talking about either. Well done.

    1) Well yes, they do, you choose which folders to share and then manage it just like any other folder.

    2), 3), 4) Since you haven't bothered reading a single word about how Unite works, I'll waste no further words explaining it to you.

    @Chris C

    1) Comcast? Verizon? UK site. Other than that, it's more like normal p2p than hosting a web server.

    2) Over a reasonably basic connection (with low upload) I can quite happily stream my music folder to my work PC and listen in decent quality, go figure.

    3) LoL. Close Opera, continue talking. Sorted. Of course, this only matters if lots of people are viewing content when you're in the middle of a conversation. That's by-the-by anyway, I don't understand how this can be a factor when you can use Ventrilo + not see any noticeable speed problems in gaming connections on a basic connection?

    4) Only a requirement if you know people who want to look at it every minute of the day.

    5) People lose interest because they can't be arsed uploading things from their PC to the web. This helps because putting the items on your PC (in the correct place) is the same as uploading it.

    @jake('s wife)

    No-one is actually on your PC, they're looking at folders that you specify. You maybe reasonably tech-savvy, but you admit that jake is the one who writes the web pages, and not everyone has that person to help them. Once again, there's no security risk, it's dead simple (far easier and simpler than having to mess around with FTP), and it's a really good idea.

    There needs to be less people being such spotty nerds in this comments section, it's depressing.

  56. Peter Mc Aulay
    Thumb Down

    This is so 1996

    "Microsoft Personal Web Server" with bells on.

  57. Chris C

    @Shakje

    1) Actually, theregister.co.uk is an international site. The fact that it is a .co.uk domain does not change that. If you really think this is a UK-only journal, then please explain the plethora of US-centric articles and US-based journalists. Incidentally, El Reg used to have a separate site (theregister.com) which omitted the UK-specific articles, but that has long been removed and theregister.com now redirects to theregister.co.uk. Also, since you're apparently too thick to understand it, I used Comcast and Verizon as examples of popular ISPs because many (if not most) ISPs have similar restraints, at least in the US, Canada, and Australia, from what I'm told.

    2) You can stream your music folder to your work PC and listen in decent quality? Gee, wow, you're right, I must be wrong. Your statement only serves to show that your connection can upload a fixed-rate audio stream to a single computer. That's quite different from answering simultaneous requests from multiple users, especially when such requests want the data as quickly as possible, not in a fixed-rate stream.

    3) Closing Opera (thus closing your web server) kind of defeats the purpose of having your own little web server, doesn't it? Also, thank you for showing superb ignorance by implying that this won't be a problem simply because you don't understand how it could be. Are you also one of those people who say that everyone who shows displeasure with Vista is obviously doing something wrong because it works for you?

    4) The always-powered-on requirement is a requirement unless you know exactly when people will want to access your site. That's quite different than "Only a requirement if you know people who want to look at it every minute of the day." If you don't know when people are going to try to access it, then you'll need to leave it up all the time. The method you imply, and really the only way I see this being of any use, is for you and your visitor to arrange a time for them to access the site.

    Lastly, you're a completely, ridiculously, absurdly moronic idiot for claiming there is no security risk. Any time you open a path for someone to access your computer, it *IS* a security risk. And yes, when people are accessing files on your computer, they *ARE* "on your PC". There are two words which have gained popularity over the past 15 years or so. They are "vulnerability" and "exploit". You might want to read up on them before dismissing something as having "no security risk". As the saying goes, the only secure computer is an unplugged (powered off) computer.

  58. Adam Starkey

    @Chris C

    > "But if you're technical enough to do this from Apache or anything else, one, there's no problem with that, and two, you're probably not going to understand Unite anyway."

    So... If I'm smart enough to set up an Apache server, then I'm too dumb to "understand Unite anyway"? That sounds remarkably like Apple's marketing department.

    Well since you missed the point, I'd have to suggest you might be. I can set up an Apache server, and FTP server, or an SSH server if I need one. My mother can't. If I want this kind of service on my home machine, I'll do it with tools I can control. If my mum wants to do this kind of thing on hers, I'll point her to Opera. If your world view is, I can do it the hard way, so these idiot tools serve no use, then yeah, you're not going to understand the point behind Unite.

    > "What we're trying to do is take something that currently is very difficult and make it easy. We're tying to give you something that you can describe to your parents or even your grandparents. And I believe we've achieved that."

    So did Geocities. And look what happened to them.

    Geocities did not make things easy. You still had to faff around uploading files, and more importantly, since all most people want to do is share photos, back in those days, you had to faff around scanning the images to be uploaded. Your analogy fails because we aren't in the 90s anymore. Digital cameras are ubiquitous, as are hard drives full of digital photos. The utility of a one-click 'share this folder with my friend in Germany' button should be pretty obvious even to the most self-righteous of geeks.

    >1) Most ISPs (such as Comcast and Verizon) explicitly state in the Terms and Conditions that you are not allowed to run servers of any kind.

    Oh well. That'll stop people from using Unite then.

    > 2) Upstream speeds. Most ISPs provide people with relatively little upstream speed (1Mbps for Comcast cable, 128Kbps for Verizon DSL),

    Yes, and people said that streamed video would never catch on because even ISDN wasn't fast enough to sustain a decent bit-rate.

    > so anything hosted on your system will be displayed to your visitor very slowly. This will be exacerbated when you have multiple people trying to request data from you simultaneously.

    I don't think the point is to be running an industrial grade server. I think the idea is that from time to time, friends and family can browse my photo album.

    > 3) VoIP. Go ahead and host your files on your own system, then wonder why your VoIP connection is choppy and poor quality.

    What? VoIP services are packet prioritized. I have VoIP alongside my Comcast cable service, and I can be maxing out my Internet access in both directions with no impact on my phone service. Unless you're talking about Skype of course, but that's hardly the same thing, and probably of very little concern to most users.

    >4) Always-on requirement. Most people don't leave their computers powered on all the time, so trying to connect to their "website" will be hit-and-miss. Some people may choose to leave their computers powered on all the time to combat this, but will probably change their minds once they realize the additional electric cost (and heat) this will cause.

    If you'd bothered to read the article you;d have noticed he's envisaging a time when all household appliances are always on. A Mac Mini uses about 20W today. Such a box would be more than capable of providing always on support for Opera, managing the household photo and media collection, as well as serving double duty as a backup server and even a set-top box. In a few years you could easily shave 5W of that total, halve the price of the unit, and imagine a world where such devices are starting to become basic consumer electronics. We're almost there already!

    > 5) It failed before. People don't care where their files are stored as long as it's easy to make a "home on the web".

    Exactly, and how much easier than Unite does it get?

    >. Then again, considering the global dumbing-down of people in the last 15 years, this point may be nullified.

    A very succinct example of why you don't get it.

  59. Paul RND*1000

    Too complex for open source?

    %s/complex/embarrassing, unmaintainable and spaghetti-like/g

    Precisely the same reasons why most of my code is closed-source, too. :) Just idle speculation on my part, obviously.

  60. jake Silver badge

    @Shakje

    "No-one is actually on your PC, they're looking at folders that you specify."

    So they DO have access to my PC, then? Do you see the problem yet?

    "You maybe reasonably tech-savvy, but you admit that jake is the one who writes the web pages, and not everyone has that person to help them."

    He's not helping me, you condescending prick. I can do it myself, if I want to. It's just that he's faster than I am (he started teaching HTML at Stanford in 1992, while I put up my first web page in 2004), and there are only so many hours in the day. It's called sharing the load.

    "Once again, there's no security risk,"

    Sorry, I don't believe it. All complex code has bugs. You are intentionally allowing outsiders to access files on your computer. You will get bit eventually.

    "it's dead simple (far easier and simpler than having to mess around with FTP)"

    FTP is considered hard? Odd. Jake taught me in about five minutes. I'm beginning to doubt that you have very much technical ability.

    "and it's a really good idea."

    If you say so. Enjoy the coolaid. By the way, have you checked with of your ISP to see if running server software at home is allowed by them?

    "There needs to be less people being such spotty nerds in this comments section, it's depressing."

    In my view, there need to be fewer condescending pricks in fora like this one. At least spotty nerds have clues about technology.

    -- jake's wife

  61. bangers
    Stop

    first I though u were a troll Shakje

    But as jakes wife said, you are just a condescending prick.

    How can you respond to the points everyone is making, like security, power on etc. by just sticking your head in the sand, cover your ears and sing "na na na na na na na na"

    you know and we don't etc...obfuscation by ignorance?

    I completely detest MS and their Browser market share, they achieved it through their monopolistic position, 10 of thousands of people lost their jobs and we received an inferior product IE&netscape.

    Same story with their media players, firewall, backup, DRM etc.etc.etc.

    They also own/control the gamer market, DirectX & the shitbox360, so gamers are pwned by MS as well.

    However this guy in opera, he just complains all the time, we cant do this, please give more help. And when he does actually create? something not new, but different..it's the best thing since sliced bread, and anyone technical cant understand it?

    you couldn't make this shit up

    And Shakje, stop behaving like you matter and no-one else does...Calm down....

    word of the day......empathy

  62. Shane Menshik
    FAIL

    ISP's will block - Opening up your Desktop is NOT smart!

    First up - Their little video on their site talks about getting out from servers who are controlled by others - well guess what - who is going to provide the reverse lookup and conduit to bypass the incoming port blocks by your isp? :)

    Second - there are many reasons SMART administrators use servers. Servers are (or should be) redundant, fail-over, have backups, and multiple drives in a raid to prevent data loss. Oh and fast outbound connections and security in place to lock down everything but the webserver.

    I can see a ton of Hackers right now grinning from ear to ear about this announcement.. imagine a virus like some of these worms that go in and send out masses amount of spam... Now they can use these viruses to infect all these nice little home web servers and flood the search engine bots with massive amounts of spam as well.

    The future is the cloud and moving data away from a single source of failure and into the datacenter where the infrastructure is in place to protect and server up that data to you anywhere in the world..

    Those people who think its a good idea because facebook or myspace won't have control over your data - well guess what - if your page is not password protected, your data will be available in google - if it is password protected there is still the possibility of a 0 day hack that comes out to access all of these nice little home based servers. It wont be long for us to all hear about this happening..

    If you want something to NOT be public - then take a computer disconnect it from the net, type up the information on that computer only, and then burry it in the foundation of a building you know will not be destroyed any-time soon. Even then some ailen in the future will find it and put it in one of their museums.

    Shane Menshik

    D2 GLOBAL INC

  63. Doc Spock
    Go

    What if....?

    What if Opera Unite _was_ running on a dedicated server? That is, you had an Internet-facing device (*not* a full-blown computer) that served up content from a connected hard-drive. And on that hard-drive you placed your photos etc that you wanted to share.

    Then we'd have the following:

    1. No personal files/folders/etc available to people accessing your shared files.

    2. No need to have your computer on all the time, only this mini-server. And as Michael McIntyre once pointed out, we don't mind the fridge being on all the time!

    OK, so it would require "setting up", but no more so than a digital set-top box (i.e. connect cables, plug in, turn on).

    And the Opera bloke did suggest that he sees such devices becoming commonplace in the near future.... (hell, just call it "<insert social networking web site here>@home" and punters will buy it)

  64. captain veg

    This is why

    Twitter, Facebook, Google and LiveJournal under attack

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/aug/06/facebook-twitter-google-attack

    No one's going to DDoS your browser.

    -A.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera It's like IE, but without the market share.

    There are loads of annoying Opera specific bugs. It's like IE, but without the market share.

    At which point you need to ask, is it worth fixing them??? I would say no...

  66. Roger Heathcote 1
    FAIL

    Water water everywhere

    "We're starting to see servers in various components, like routers and photo frames. But it's not co-ordinated. It's not working," von Tetzchner continued.

    Erm, well in a sense he's right... http://www.blackhat.com/presentations/bh-usa-09/BOJINOV/BHUSA09-Bojinov-EmbeddedMgmt-PAPER.pdf

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