Feeds

Opera embraces Google's open source JPEG killer

GPEG speeds Turbo engine

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.