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January 6, 2014

Wikinews interviews on contributions to open-source: Opera

Wikinews interviews on contributions to open-source: Opera

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Monday, January 6, 2014 File:BRUCE LAWSON OPERA.png

Bruce Lawson.
Image: Bruce Lawson.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Wikinews interviewed Opera, a Norwegian software company, about its contributions to open-source, such as software. Questions discussed current workflow, dynamics of contributions, and background.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What caused your initial interest in open-source software?

Bruce Lawson: Opera has long been involved in open source software — we’ve often used open-source software, enhanced it and committed it back before including it in products. Opera began the specification that’s now called HTML5, bringing rich internet capabilities that were previously only available in proprietary plugins such as Flash and Silverlight into the open standard that is HTML.
Most recently, we’ve moved to using the open-source Blink rendering engine and have established a team dedicated to enhancing Blink and Chromium so that it’s better for everyone.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What is your current workflow regarding open-source contributions?

Bruce Lawson: Branch, commit, rinse and repeat.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What would you say had changed during your contributions to open-source projects throughout the years?

Bruce Lawson: The power and popularity of Github.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How would you describe the role of open-source software today?

Bruce Lawson: Open source or closed source are equally valid; the vital glue is open standards for data interchange so that a user isn’t locked into one vendor.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png What effort do you put into localisation of your products? both open and not?

Bruce Lawson: Opera is available in 54 different languages. So, a lot of effort!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Do you hire people for work remotely? How would you describe the dynamics of such trend over the years?

Bruce Lawson: No; we have offices in Norway, Poland, and Sweden but find it works best with everyone being physically close.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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February 5, 2013

Wikinews interviews DuckDuckGo, Opera, Mozilla, Wikimedia about DoNotTrack feature

Wikinews interviews DuckDuckGo, Opera, Mozilla, Wikimedia about DoNotTrack feature

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Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Following the introduction of a “Do Not Track” feature in modern browsers at the end of last year, Wikinews interviewed several companies and groups about the feature.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg
Image: Gabriel Weinberg.

DuckDuckGo logo
Image: Gabriel Weinberg.

DuckDuckGo office
Image: Gabriel Weinberg.

A crowdsourced search engine DuckDuckGo reviewed the feature and launched a whatisDNT microsite in December. The review involved checking answers to basic questions such as whether websites stop shaping a user profile based on users’ online actvitity or stop displaying targeted advertising. Wikinews interviewed DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg about the microsite launch and the DuckDuckGo opinion on the feature.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What prompted the launch of DuckDuckGo (I think it was around 2006?)?

Gabriel Weinberg: We launched on Sep 25, 2008, though I had been working on it for about a year prior. The initial motivation was to try a search engine with a different UI that did a better job of using more structured content (like from Wikipedia) and also more aggressively removed spam.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What does the DuckDuckGo Team use instead of Gmail?

GW: We do not have company mail accounts (beyond forwarding ones), so everyone uses what they want. I personally use outlook.com right now.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png When and how did DuckDuckGo start using Perl? What influenced this decision and language choice?

GW: We started out in Perl. I picked it up at MIT where it was prevalent in the late 90s, and pretty much never looked back. It worked really well for a project like this that is text heavy and can use a lot of existing helper (CPAN) libraries.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png How did you first hear about “DoNotTrack” feature?

GW: I do not remember, but it was a long time ago :). The Do Not Track concept was proposed many years ago.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png When did you launch http://whatisDNT.com/ ? Who worked on it? What researches, tests and studies did it involve?

GW: We launched the What Is Do Not Track micro-site on Dec 19, 2012, and various members of the DuckDuckGo Team worked on it (including myself). We had been following it closely for a while, and so have been up to date on everything that is going on with it. It honestly doesn’t take any tests to prove its ineffectiveness since companies like Google tell you straight up they don’t honor it.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png A search engine that does not track users sounds good. What do you recommend users to do to not be tracked by *other* websites, such as blogs with targeted ads in sidebar?

GW: It depends on the Web browser you are using for specifics, but for each major Web browser there are tools you can install (besides DuckDuckGo extensions) to protect you in various scenarios. Some of those that are available in multiple browsers are Ghostery, DoNotTrackMe, and HTTPS Everywhere. Those help protect you while not really changing your browsing experience. Other tools do more, but do impact your browsing experience, like Tor and NoScript.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What is your opinion of ad block tools such as AdBlockPlus and NoScript that ideally aim to block third-party js?

GW: I think they are effective at doing what they set out to do, and that is great if you are a consumer who wants that experience. However, they are not for everyone because they do degrade browsing ability, especially NoScript.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Do you think that DoNotTarget option should exist (if consistendly adhered to)?

GW: Absolutely. My main problem with the DoNotTrack setting right now is it is misleading. If you use a major Web browser, you have this Do Not Track setting within it, but it really does next to nothing. It is a false sense of security.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What do you see the ideal behaviour of companies when it comes to making a user’s profile? Would you like to ideally prohibit such activity entirely using legislative regulations in the long run?

GW: Yes, I think an analogy to the Do Not Call list is apt. Applying that analogy, if you were on a Do Not Track list then companies shouldn’t track you unless you explicitly ask them to, e.g. by logging in and consenting to Terms of Service. That will only happen via legislative means, however.

Opera

Flage Bratsberg, Product Counsel, Opera Software ASA

Wikinews also interviewed Haakon Flage Bratsberg, Product Counsel from Opera Software, the corporation behind Opera web browser.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Have you heard of “Do Not Track” feature support in modern browsers? What do you think about it?

Haakon Flage Bratsberg: Opera browser for desktop computers has built in support for Do Not Track since version 12, and Opera Software participates in the W3C Tracking Protection Working Group.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Given that not all companies respect this setting, do you feel its name misleading? Do you think it could better be named “Do Not Target” instead?

HFB: This is our major concern about the DNT functionality: Users can be given a false sense of security.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Do you think that all websites should respect DNT users’ preferences in the long run?

HFB: In general we think websites should comply with web standards, including the current proposal for DNT.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Would you ideally see the respect for DNT users’ preferences legally enforced?

HFB: There are obvious limitations to a pure self regulatory approach, but our hope is that self regulation will provide a sufficient good outcome in this case.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What do you see as an ideal solution to resolve the misleading situation with DoNotTrack that you acknowledged in your response to the second question?

HFB: First of all, I personally do not think the name of DoNotTrack is misleading. However, the challenge is to have a meaningful standard that users can still be aware of the risks of that may be involved without giving a false sense of security. For example “private mode” in your browser does not prevent that your internet access provider can still keep track of what websites you visit, websites can collect information about you and so on. It only removes the trace of the sites you visited in your “browser”. Similarly, the websites can by accident or intention to be set up in a way so they do not comply with the DNT signal. There is always a risk of rouge agents.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png How do you envision the “self regulatory” approach? How would it work?

HFB: Self regulation basically means that the different stakeholders without having a legal obligation to do so, comply with a set of rules, for example an industry technical specification as W3C tracking protection standards. My take is that DNT would be a success if all major stakeholders involved in the process would comply with the standards. It is more an open question to what extent compliance to the technical standard is sufficient to comply with applicable laws in its respective country, for instance, in EU, or in the USA.

Mozilla

Wikinews contacted the Mozilla press office and got replies on behalf of the Mozilla Corporation.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png When and why did you decide to start supporting the Do Not Track feature?

Mozilla: Mozilla introduced Do Not Track in the desktop Firefox browser in January 2011, and in June 2011 Firefox for Android became the first mobile browser to support Do Not Track.
M: We support Do Not Track because we believe it is crucial to put users in control of their online experience. Do Not Track is intended to give users choice and control in a persistent, accessible way without preventing the customization and valuable advertising that powers the Web economy. We are seeking ways to give users better insight and control into the ways their personal information is collected, used, stored and shared.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Do you think that all websites should respect DNT users’ preferences in the long run?

M: Mozilla is actively working with companies that have started to implement Do Not Track and with others who have committed to doing so. Ultimately, the goal is for all industry stakeholders to trust and respect the signal in the long run.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png The mobile Firefox attitude to DNT is …interesting! Thank you for the replies.

Wikimedia

Wikinews contacted the Wikimedia press office and got replies from Jay Walsh, senior director of communications at the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Have you heard of “Do Not Track” feature support in modern browsers? What do you think about it?

Portrait of Jay Walsh, 2008
Image: Lane Hartwell.

Jay Walsh: We’re familiar with this feature of browsers. This provides the user with the option to remove user tracking, including cookies. It disrupts a lot of the technology used by digital ad services to follow users across sites etc. For the most part any users of the Foundation’s projects would have no issues using the projects if they had Do Not Track enabled on their browser. The only issue they might have is in dismissing message banners on the projects (such as the fundraising banner) may not be completely predictable – banners may reappear after dismissing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Given that not all companies respect this setting, do you feel its name misleading? Do you think it could better be named “Do Not Target” instead?

JW: I’m not sure if you mean browser-making companies or web companies. Many users who activate this service are aware that by disabling user tracking they are effectively preventing ad or content targeting. We’re not a browser software organization, so it’s not a topic we spend a lot of time considering. However I think it’s safe to say that our community (who are very active, opensource and free knowledge advocates) would like the maximum amount of transparency and clarity in these kinds of features for users.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Do you think that all websites should respect DNT users’ preferences in the long run?

JW: That’s not really a question we’re in the best position to answer. Obviously we take this kind of thing pretty seriously. From a software development perspective we would never want to confuse or frustrate a user by side-stepping a feature like do not track. We’d like all websites to honor a web user’s preferences and desire for privacy of course. Obviously we’re all looking at an Internet that relies increasingly on tracking technology to support commercial goals.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png Would you ideally see the respect for DNT users’ preferences legally enforced?

JW: That would be a question for our legal counsel. But I’m sure it’s a topic we’d want to research in more detail before reflecting on, and given that we’re a non profit and we have pretty limited resources it’s not always possible for us to have legal opinions on all matters.



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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December 17, 2009

EU, Microsoft agree on browser ballot

EU, Microsoft agree on browser ballot – Wikinews, the free news source

EU, Microsoft agree on browser ballot

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

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The European Commission and Microsoft have finalised the proposal for a ‘browser ballot’ in Windows, following the Commission’s concern that Microsoft was unfairly using its operating system monopoly to gain control of the browser market.

The browser ballot will give Windows users an option of switching to one of twelve competing browsers when it is made available in an update to the new Windows 7, as well as Vista and XP.

Microsoft said in a statement that “today’s resolution follows years of intensive examination by the European Commission of competition in computer software. The measures approved today reflect multiple rounds of input from industry participants relating to competition in Web browser software and interoperability between various Microsoft products and competing products.”

The agreement on browser ballot, named the ‘choice screen,’ is to last five years, and its effectiveness is to be regularly monitored during this time. If successful, it could reduce Internet Explorer’s market share.

The complaint regarding the alleged browser monopoly was first brought by Opera Software in January 2009, and the idea of a browser ballot, and Microsoft first agreed to the idea back in July. Since then, the nature of the ballot has been discussed in detail, and now, finally, a conclusion has been reached.



Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 19, 2007

Web browser Firefox increases market share in Europe

Web browser Firefox increases market share in Europe

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Firefox share by continent  %
1. Oceania 28.9%
2. Europe 27.8%
3. North America 18.7%
4. South America 15.5%
5. Africa 14.7%
6. Asia 14.3%
source:XiTiMonitor

The French web survey provider XiTiMonitor reports that in their study conducted from Monday, July 2 to Sunday, July 8, 2007 on 95,827 websites, web browser Mozilla Firefox reached a 27.8% share in Europe, compared to 21.1% during the same period last year.

Firefox has its biggest market share in Slovenia and Finland where it amounts to 47.9% and 45.4%, respectively, while only 14.6% of people from the Netherlands and 15.2% of surfers in Denmark used Firefox in this survey. The share rose most in Ireland: from 24.9% to 38.6% (i.e. +13.7 points).

Microsoft’s web browser Internet Explorer remains the most used browser in Europe with a market share of 66.5%. Opera and Safari have a 3.5% and 1.7% share respectively, with other browsers at less than 1%.

Oceania remains the region with the highest usage of the freely licensed and open source software browser Firefox, with 28.9%. The continent with the strongest relative increase in market share is South America, where there is a 30% increase compared to last March. Numbers from the U.S. based company Net Applications Inc. last month showed a fall in Firefox’s share from 15.42% in April to 14.54%.

Sources

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September 20, 2005

Opera Internet browser goes ad-free

Filed under: Archived,Internet,Opera Software,Public domain articles — admin @ 5:00 am

Opera Internet browser goes ad-free – Wikinews, the free news source

Opera Internet browser goes ad-free

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Opera Software has ended the use of ads in the zero cost version of its Opera web browser. Opera is intended as closed source software, its license states that You shall not modify, translate, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Software or any part thereof or otherwise attempt to derive source code or create derivative works therefrom. [1]. Until now the program displayed an advertisement when being used, however the program had an option that would remove the advertisement in return for a fee. Company Officials expressed hope that this move would prompt more users to download the Opera browser and thus increase the company’s revenue from its search engine product.

Opera’s features compete directly with Mozilla Firefox, and include tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, integrated search, mouse gestures and voice control for various features. Its license does not compete with Mozilla Firefox, since Mozilla Firefox is free software, which can be freely modified and redistributed.

You can download Opera at the Opera website for Windows, Apple and Linux.

Opera is also offering torrents of the new release to ease the load on their servers.

Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 20, 2005

New version of Opera web browser released

New version of Opera web browser released

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 After several months in beta, Opera 8 for Windows and Linux was released yesterday. The Opera browser is considered by many to be fast, small and standards-compliant.

Håkon Wium Lie, the CTO of Opera Software said “The vast majority of Internet users have had to deal with a slow and insecure browser for too long. People are spending more time online, and with the increase in online fraud it is vital that they have a browser that is fast, secure and easy to use. That’s what we offer with Opera 8.” He described Opera 8 as a “major leap in browser innovation”.

This version included many new features including a new unique security feature, advanced page-resizing, tabbed browsing, and pop up blocking. Among the new features for Opera 8 is the support for voice; Opera can be both voice controlled and act as a screen reader.

Opera 8 for Windows is available in English, German, Dutch, and Polish, with more languages to soon follow. The Linux version is available in English, with more languages to follow. A beta version of Opera 8 for Mac (English) is also available.

A spyware-free, ad-supported version of Opera 8 is available free of charge. A small banner or text ad appears at the top of the screen. A version of Opera without ads is available for US$39 or US$20 for students.

Opera Software ASA is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. According to the company itself, it is an industry leader in the development of Web browser technology, particularly in smartphone, PDA, home media, and vertical markets.

Opera is cross platform with versions for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, BREW, QNX, TRON, FreeBSD, Solaris, and Mediahighway.

Opera 8 can be downloaded at Opera’s official website.

Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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