Feeds

Opera embraces Google's open source JPEG killer

GPEG speeds Turbo engine

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Opera has released a new incarnation of its desktop browser – Opera 11.10, aka Barracuda – improving the speed of its Turbo traffic-compression service and expanding its SpeedDial interface to provide quick access to an unlimited number of your favorite sites.

If you use the latest version of SpeedDial, you're required to include a link to The Register. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, Barracuda includes a new version of Opera's Presto rendering engine (2.8.131, if you're scoring at home), and among other things, the engine offers support for WebP, the "lossy" image format open sourced by Google last year.

Thanks in part to the inclusion of WebP, Opera says, it has boosted the speed of Turbo while improving image quality. Turbo uses proxy servers to compress web pages before sending them down to the browser. In Opera's lab tests, the new Turbo provides 35 per cent smaller pages and is 15 per cent faster than the version included with Opera 11.

WebP is derived from VP8, the video codec Google acquired with its purchase of On2 Technologies last year and then open sourced as part of its new WebM media format. WebP is meant to replaced JPEG.

"Most of the common image formats on the web today were established over a decade ago and are based on technology from around that time. Some engineers at Google decided to figure out if there was a way to further compress lossy images like JPEG to make them load faster, while still preserving quality and resolution," Google said when releasing the format. "WebP ... promises to significantly reduce the byte size of photos on the web, allowing web sites to load faster than before."

Like JPEG, WebP uses lossy compression, tossing out small portions of the image as it works to save space. In essence, Google has applied techniques from VP8's video intra-frame coding to image coding.

According to Opera, the new Turbo also uses fewer, more efficient network connections and faster SSL connections.

With the new Opera 11.10 SpeedDial, you can set up a theoretically unlimited number of "dials", icons that link to the sites you visit most. SpeedDial appears every time you open a new tab. The new SpeedDial automatically adjusts the layout of icons to fit your screen, and if you like, you can manually adjust the layout as well. Opera shows it in action here:

Opera has also tweaked the browser so that if you visit a site that requires Flash, it can automatically download and install the Adobe plug-in in the background. You can download the new version of Opera here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.