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Opera is fully compatible with everything you could possibly wish to do on the Wmich websites. That includes as well as

However the biggest problems you will encounter using Opera is with gowmu - because of the way it "sniffs" for browsers. It is only rejecting Opera because it sees that it's not on its "approved" list of browsers. But once you get around that, everything works - which tells you that GoWMU is arbitrarily blocking Opera - basically sending it different (read: broken) code, so that things don't work the way they should. The same thing used to happen with, until Opera sued their ass off.

The way to get around this is to "spoof" your browser identification. You can do this by pressing F12 and changing from "ID as Opera" or "ID as IE" to "ID as Mozilla". When you tell them that you are Mozilla, they will send you the right code, and everything will work. The longer term workaround for this is to add a line to ua.ini - which is found in your profile directory (to find this on your computer, type opera:about in the address bar and look for "Opera Directory").

At the bottom of your ua.ini file, add this line: - that will allow Opera to ID as Mozilla just for that site - and that setting won't change when you adjust the global setting via F12.

If you don't want to keep getting that annoying page saying "your browser is not supported", just bookmark this url - (right click and "bookmark link"). If you go to GoWMU via that link, you'll never see that annoying page again.

The broader issue though, is that Western should support Opera - it is a fast, secure, easy to use browser, that will be gaining a great deal more market share in the coming months. In practical terms, if Western's tech support department doesn't want to start getting unnecessary calls about this, all they need to do is stop "sniffing" for Opera. Their developers can start by having a look here. While that is taking place, I'd be more than happy to help them develop a page on their tech support site that deals with Opera - including using M2 (Opera's mail client) to read e-mail. The content of this post is free to be redistributed, in part or in whole - as long as you link back to me and give me credit.

Can anyone say Fanboy?

Edit: it appears I should have done a bit more homework - (IDing as IE) actually works better - you don't have to use the workaround url.

For all the people still using FireBadger, the url to avoid the unsupported browser page will work for you as well. But if you move to Opera, you don't have to :).

Big Whoop.

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I'm supposed to be going to IKEA, but instead I'm here, struggling to think of something exciting to boggle about the new Opera community site. They're still going through some teething problems, so well, whatever. As is my wont, I will unleash a slew of complaints as things progress. In the Once and Again dialectic of Christy and Graham, my initial impression is more sizzle than steak. Which is not a bad thing, and is a corollary of the fact that the community was pretty far progressed already before the revamp - it is what it is.

I'm getting a bit worried that they are only really privileging the journals hosted on, which would be very very annoying. As of right now, I can't see somewhere to submit my feed. And OperaWatch is missing. It's just dawned on me that the fuckers might have just changed the name of Opera Journals and that's the new blogging site. We'll see.

I'm hungry and thing Dino's might provide some welcome relief.

I suspect they might be trying to do something "subtle" by making Opera the destination of bogglers in general, rather than just meta-opera-boggling. Interesting, but this was not what was expected. I really am very hungry.

I know I'm a bit of a downer, perhaps I should wait till after the victory lap?

I don't know when exactly the Opera Blogs interface will be revamped - but I get the feeling that a revamp is inevitable, and probably under way as we speak. I've expressed any number of opinions about how things should evolve, which I'm assuming have already been discussed and presented to the extent they should be.

What I haven't been clear about is that I think Opera Blogs needs to streamline the way it handles "news". It's to the credit of the Opera fan base, that so many people want to post news about Opera on their sites - however, it can tend to clutter up the Opera Blogs interface with many redundant links to the same story. My personal feeling is that the Blogs interface needs, above all, to be "useful". We need it to be a place that people who want to monitor Opera news/commentary can come and have an effortless experience in terms of reading about Opera, especially from the point of view of Opera users.

This is particularly important for people who will eventually write about Opera, the people who write about tech - for whom we need to make this place useful. At the same time, we should be a place for newer users, and future users, or people with "Opera-Envy", to find out more about the community and our favorite browser.

If you have a news story that no one else has written about, of course you should post it. But if your post isn't going to be more than a sentence or two about a page long article (perhaps quoting an extract), it should be filed under news rather than commentary. That gives more play for people who are more familiar with the intricacies of the situation to express more detailed opinions. Of course there is a benefit to post stories on Opera in as many sites as are willing to do so, so the redundancy is not necessarily a bad thing - just that in the Opera Blogs interface, this repetition should be kept to a minimum.

One of the features of the social bookmarks site, is that they show you who else is linking to the sites you link to. If Opera could do that for the news stories people post/comment on, it would go a long way towards presenting a convenient way of viewing different opinions on a given story. These would be ranked by the number of clicks a given post gets, a built in way of ensuring that the best commentary is ranked at the top, but also rewarding the people who "break" the story, perhaps using a bookmark feed like OperaWatch does. So the aggregator would have to parse for links, and rank the linking posts by the number of clicks they get - presenting a short summary/extract of the post etc.

So I imagine a threaded interface, much like Google News, where the most popular headline has the extract, but links to the other blogs that have the same link below. Not easy, but perhaps worth the effort.

Of course this would be voluntary - the aggregator could parse for the words "Opera News:" as the first letters of the headline/post, just as it does now for relevant posts using the word "Opera".

Posts that did not come under "Opera News", would go to another aggregator that can deal with people generally writing about Opera, BUT STILL PARSED FOR LINKS etc. That way, expanded commentary will appear twice - once on the non-News site, and again as part of the aggregated news links. That's where people can, besides presenting expanded commentary, express general opinions, ideas, tips/tricks, testimonials etc. Obviously, a post like this one would fall under the "non-News" category. Though obviously things posted under non-News might end up in news, in more ways than one, because other people link to it. Especially when important tutorials etc. come up.

So the feed for non-news would be pretty straightforward, but the news feed would send you to the page with the various story extracts ala Google News, or the linked story directly. You'd then monitor the commentary feed for expanded commentary - though on the news page the commentary would eventually show up. A rough idea, I'm sure people can easily come up with something better. The idea would be to be notified of a story only once, unless expanded commentary appears on the other feed. There could obviously also be a combined feed, though marked appropriately as news: or commentary:.

There are conscientious, serious-minded people, who think and look with a critical eye over what is put before them. And then there are Tin-Foil Hatted Crazies who make X-Files fans sound reasonable.

Opera is a great browser - backed by a great company that knows better than to get stuck in the muck from which you never fully extricate yourself. Opera supporters, like myself, do not need this kind of rabid rumour-mongering - supposedly on our behalf.

Bias is an accusation that has become debased by usage - and so often now it has become inaccurate as a description of the partisan hackery that can occur. The only reason people keep jumping up and down is because they fail to understand something fundamental about narrative, about writing. Any narrative, any story, by the nature of its construction, consciously or not, is laced with the context and person through which it is written. There is no absence of "bias" - just a failure to acknowledge the considered conclusion of your deliberation and opinion.

The media can write whatever they want - that's what they're there for. Calling all negative press "bad" and all positive press "good" is like saying chickens have too many feathers. I'm not saying the AP article was particularly well written or particularly honestly presented in any considered way - it is neither - but rending your garments about the tonnage of bad writing anywhere is about as useful as resisting the Borg (and I don't mean the cuddly Microsoft kind).

As for the blazingly astute insight that news gathering organisations have vested interests (tell me more of this "filthy lucre" you speak of) - if you want to have the psychological insight of a three-year-old, that's fine, just stay away from the man with the funny nose.

You might as well say the press have a bias against murderers and litterbugs.

It is only under protest that I even link to trash - and then only via Dan - though personally I think he should know better than to reprint tripe.

If you want something related (dirty, dirty, John), try the last teacup.

Seeing as there's no other Opera news of note today, I thought I should bring your attention to the certain knowledge that people still use more than one browser, for any number of reasons. And because of that, it's necessary to have the best tool for moving between browsers: Optool.

Martin's done a wonderful job, not just on polishing up Optool for the current release, but in re-designing his entire Optool site, which is now nice and spanky new.

Of course, Martin's also become a money-grubbing whore - no really - and is now demanding that you send him the official currency of Denmark - the foreign postcard. By which I mean that Optool is now Postcardware.

So go to the official Optool Site, in particular the Download Page. But get ready to fire up your brand new bittorrent engines, since it weighs in at a whopping 111kb.

If you were feeling particularly charitable, you could also have a gander at the Unofficial Optool Fora, where you can bitch and moan to your heart's content. After making sweet love to the Known Issues page, of course.

For a fuller description, and the changelog since 2.0a, word. From what I understand, 2.1 now also supports Netscape 8, though god only knows why.

Such gags. At everything.

The Weekend In Opera

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The reason, presumably, why so many news organisations do "features" on the weekend would be because there's literally no news. Though from the looks of it, still readers, simply unable to find fresh content. I'll probably have to endeavour to do more feature-like posts on the weekends then, since I've got to find a way to amuse myself. Hopefully idle people like me will do similar things, for all our collective amusement.

But yes, everyone is away from work, including journalists, and presumably most people who have lives decide that smurfing is something they tend to do at work to skive-off rather than anything else.

People like me, however, try their hardest to think up of story ideas about Opera, and what next to write about. Hence what I've posted in the last day or so. I actually write down ideas and go back to them when I run out of news being reported.

For better of worse, the ideas I've been having are often derived from the West Wing. One is to retell what occurs between Stackhouse and Bartlett, where Stackhouse relates being told by Josh a story about the tendency of new pilots. The other is about Josh and the civil rights lawyer up for confirmation as Asst. Att. General, Breckenridge I think - ie: Dixon from Alias; talking about the Pyramid on the back of the dollar bill.

In case you didn't know, Opera Composer has just been relaunched for Opera 8, so that if you are an ISP or company, you can distribute your own customised version of Opera. Basically it's a way for companies to provide their own skin for Opera, since that's the part of the process that allows for the most customisation. So you can have your own company's graphics showing up etc. If only to remind them that Big Brother sees all smurfing :).

Other fun things include the ability to activate the personal bar by default, and add certain links/urls to it. You could even provide your own custom bookmarks file, though for some reason that doesn't include an option to turn on the personal bar. Most fun of all, you can even rebrand the browser, such that people could now be going around smurfing with their own customised browser.

I suppose the point of Composer is more towards showing off what Opera can do rather than a be all and end all tool for companies. I'd assume that if your company wanted to populate its thousands of seats with Opera, Opera would step and customise it up the ying yang for you. So they're offering a limited version of what can be customised for the benefit of the small to medium sized business, that still likes to do things themselves, and know how.

Now my problem with that is that I'm sure companies that want to do it themselves would probably want quite a bit of control over the product that's sent to their workforce. Just one example would be the ability to customise the search.ini. I'm not saying that Opera should disregard its bottom line and not put the paid default searches there, I'm just saying that allowing people to insert, even as default perhaps, a search field to search their company's website etc.

I mean, I'm sure it can't be difficult. The last I checked, the Opera installers I downloaded are simply archives with the installation files inside, so if they could be edited in the archive, that would be a nice way of tweaking without giving away too much of Opera's intellectual property. Certainly a little documentation couldn't hurt. If you could just drag and drop customised .ini files, skins and setup files into a folder in the install archive, that would really be the bees-knees.

Though it's now occurred to me that why Opera might not do this is that it could be abused by people putting dodgy (ie: malicious) files in the installers - but they they could just as easily exploit browser flaws in the default bookmarks.

In the end though, I think at the very least, there might be options to enable the personal bar when you have a custom bookmarks file, simple things like that, that seem like inconsistencies within the Composer interface, would make companies think just a bit longer about how easy Opera makes it for them to switch. And really, it would project a much more robust and professional image for Opera to put forward to its potential big customers.

Basically what I'm saying is that if you can upload a opera.adr file to customise, and can upload a custom created skin, why not allow that functionality for any number of .ini files?

Considering AOL used to own Mozilla, this is all the more infuriating. Basically you need to ID as IE to get in. Something that wasn't exactly mentioned in the Inq's otherwise glowing review of the service. After signing up/in for the service, I appear unable to do anything complicated, like say read mail or change settings.

If you don't ID as IE, you get sent to the wonder that is their "supported software" list, which doesn't provide for any way to move forward with your registration.

This might be an annoyingly big deal, especially as Opera tries to break further into the US market, where AIM claims a large portion of the IM scene. Who would have thought someone could get it even more wrong that Microsoft? At least Hotmail works now, even if we can continue to ignore, because, well, it's rubbish. I started a thread. Since it's one of my pet peeves, I'll point out the knuckle-dragging idiocy, not to mention the hideous double standard, of the fact that sites insist that they are able to support SoFurry on the Mac, but can't get their act together for Opera - especially since their market shares aren't that dissimilar (and especially not if you consider the potential inaccuracies of how those stats are derived).

Edit: huh, it appears Proxomitron was at fault in blocking the page loading properly - but the blocking of non-IE-ID'd Opera is bad enough, and made worse by the fact that it might otherwise work (vaguely, it was crawling while I was trying it out). - now that it's not crawling quite as much, I was right above, reading/writing mail is too difficult for them to make work.

If you want an e-mail service that isn't stupid, and offers you free IMAP as well, check out the wonder that is Or get your own domain and hosting and offer other people the chance to get e-mail accounts.

Edit 2: I suppose I should make clear that personally I'm of the opinion that Webmail is for fuckwits. I take issue with browser sniffing here mainly on principle.

On close inspection, I can do enough in Opera so that I can use the address for IMAP, and they helpfully provide SMTP, which is nice. So really if you wanted to think of it that way, if you desire a free account, you'd go for GMail for pop3 and for IMAP. Theoretically you'd be able to use them without ever seeing the web interface except to sign up.

But at least GMail works in Opera. But GMail still functions on invitation only, whereas AIM. I can guarantee you your favoured account isn't taken up yet :).

Apparently security only applies to things that IE deigns to consider as flaws - so when a new way comes out to exploit design flaws in a browser that is many many years old, you just point to the sign on the door that says - bugs? patches? security? you do realise we're *Microsoft* right?

I mean, to be fair, just because a security firm says something is dangerous doesn't mean it is, but surely there can be no harm in helping out the people who buy your products? I can't see how Opera's way of handling the flaw is anything other than an enhancement of the browsing experience.

And as I've mentioned, if it's not a big deal to patch something, even if you/other people don't see it as a flaw, why not just do it as a gesture of good faith, as a concession to the public's (perhaps sometimes irrational) fears? I mean it's not as if IE is refusing to patch on principle to fend off the wages of paranoia.

And so there's a reason why it's worth it (yes, this is a Loreal ad) to use a browser that actually is in active development, rather than waiting for the vapourware that is the perpetually phantom IE 7 - which won't even begin to catch up with the features and agility of Opera.

Check the box, whoa-oh.

Apparently we all should fall on our knees and thank the Advertising Gods that we are allowed the *privilege* of having Flash, animated gifs, viagra ads etc. peddled to us on a daily basis. I'm shaking so hard I came in my pants.

I've done very extended spiels about my attitude towards ad-blocking, in particular, ad-blocking in Opera. Basically, despite the fact that I'm an unflinching supporter of rationalisation, ie things paying for themselves, I choose to block ads like they called my momma a ho.

If you want to block ads so aggressively your head will start spinning, have a look here. Opera certainly isn't going to help you out there.

So yes: Hey, cocksuckers - no one actually *likes* ads. Neither do I like you threatening me - view my ads or I'm going to take the InterWeb away. Pull the other one, you fucking moron.

Until I've lived in your apocalyptic world where newpapers (what are those anyway?) are $5 - following which the skies will open up and rain blood - you can bite my shiny metal ass. Kill all humans.

Advertisers really have to discover for themselves that they've got to stop annoying the fuck out of people long enough for them to give a flying fuck.

Between proxomitron and bittorrent, I haven't seen an ad for months.

I wonder whether they realise how absurd they can seem sometimes spouting the nonsense that they do.

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