Feeds

Opera tells dev build where you are

Apes Firefox geolocation

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Following in the footsteps of Mozilla and the latest Firefox beta, Opera Software has released a developer build of its Norwegian web browser that knows where you are.

The new Opera "technology preview" includes the W3C's Geolocation API, a way for websites to request your physical location - and for you to give it. If you think that's a good idea.

The idea is that web apps will use this API spec to provide you information specific to your particular place on the planet. A restaurant review site could instantly serve up a list of nearby coffee shops. A weather site could provide the local forecast.

This fall, Mozilla rolled the API into a Firefox add-on dubbed Geode, and it's now part of the new Firefox 3.1 beta, released earlier this month.

Like Mozilla's, Opera's API taps into a positioning system from an outfit called Skyhook Wireless. Skyhook's Loki service maps your location using GPS, WiFi signals, or cell phone towers.

Lars Erik Bolstad, Opera's VP of core technology, is also the chair of the W3C's Geolocation working group. He tells The Reg that Opera plans to include the W3C's API in the shipping version of its browser "before the end of the year."

The API has yet to be standardized, but Bolstad has no doubts it will be. His working group is backed by Google and Microsoft as well as Mozilla and Opera. Per usual, Apple is no where to be found.

The new Opera technology preview - available here - lets developers get a head start on their geolocation apps. But it's also a way for Opera to test the privacy features so important to this sort of API.

"It's important to have the right protection mechanisms in place to protect the potential abuse of this information - location information is sensitive information," Bolstad says. "The intention of this labs release is to experiment with the user interface that exposes this functionality."

With the current build, the browser will only collect geolocation information if the user explicitly gives approval. Mozilla has rolled similar protections into the Firefox beta ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.