Skin fixes, Unite, and then some
By Petter Nilsen. Friday, 5. February 2010, 13:39:22
We also have a new feature for you.
WARNING: This is a development snapshot: it contains the latest changes, but may also have severe known issues, including crashes and data loss situations. In fact, it may not work at all.
The return of Geolocation
Last year, we introduced Geolocation API support in a labs build on Opera Labs. Since then, much has changed. We're now using the Google Location Services as the backend and we no longer need to use a separate executable to scrape wifi data on Windows XP. We're happy to release the first desktop release with this feature as standard.
What is geolocation?
Location specific services on the web is not new. Many web sites offer localized services based on your IP address such as "Find a Friend in [your city]". IP address location is typically very inaccurate and cannot be used for more advanced location services.
With the W3C Geolocation API, this changes as the browser is able to provide much more accurate location data to a web site using the additional wifi data from the surrounding wifi endpoints. This will allow for services such as Flickr's World Map for finding geolocation tagged images close to your location (use "Find my location") or example services such as on HTML 5 demos site.
How do I turn it on?
The first time you go to a Web site that requests geolocation information, Google Location Services' terms and conditions are presented. If you agree to them, the service is activated,
After that, every time a Web site requests geolocation information, Opera tells you, and gives you a choice: to send your location data, or not to send it.
If you at first reject Google Location Services' terms and conditions, but later change your mind, open opera:config, search for "Enable Geolocation", check the checkbox, and save the settings.
How do I turn it off?
You can reject Google Location Services' terms and conditions. Alternatively, open opera:config, search for "Enable Geolocation", uncheck the checkbox, and save the settings.
How does geolocation work? How well does it work?
It depends on the device, and its way of connecting to the Internet.
If the device is a desktop computer, without any wireless connections, the Internet address (IP address) is used to determine the device's location, and the measurement is rather crude.
To determine the location of a laptop or other wireless device, Opera may in addition send the following data from nearby Wi-Fi access points:
- MAC address (uniquely identifies the hardware)
- signal strength (tells how far away it is)
A database of known Wi-Fi access points, together with measured signal strength, makes it possible to give rather precise location information.
The success of this method depends largely on the concentration of known access points.
How do I know that a Web page is using location data?
When you first go to a Web page that uses location data, Opera tells you, and you decide whether or not to send the data. Thereafter, a pin appears in the address field connected with that page. Clicking on the pin opens a site preferences dialog where you can change the geolocation setting to one of three values: "Yes", "No", and "Ask me".
How is my privacy protected?
Every time a Web site requests your location data, Opera tells you, and asks your permission to send it.
With your permission, Opera passes the location data to Google Location Services, and sends an estimated latitude and longitude to the Web site.
Opera does not save location data, nor are any cookies generated. Every time your location is requested, Opera redetermines the location data.
We are still working on streamlining the user interface for geolocation. Your privacy is important to us so we are trying to make sure that you will get a clear and understandable message when a web sites wants to request your location.
Opera's Privacy Statement
- Geolocation is currently only available on Windows
- The geolocation user interface is still work in progress (you have to reload the page after accepting the ToS)
- Unite applications can not be installed (Content-disposition: Filename bug)
- No styling for error pages and internal pages
- Crash on exit after loading Flash (Unix only)
- The content blocker toolbars appears in the previous tab when opening a new private tab
- Added geolocation
- Opera Unite should be working again
- Spell checking should be working again
- Skin updates
- Full IPv6 support on Windows
Added the Geolocation feature
- Carakan work
- Numerous bugfixes
- Stability work
- DSK-275280 (EV Certificate holder not displayed in UI)
- DSK-248276 (International fonts don't work)
- DSK-276060 (Links opened in new tabs don't inherit tab settings (images, zoom))
- DSK-277529 (Opera crashes on exit)
- DSK-277043 (Textarea inputs text as placeholder text)
- DSK-277680 (Save to Download folder causes a crash)
- DSK-273980 (Middle-click in Bookmarks panel/manager doesn't open bookmark)
- DSK-275002 (Going back before a page has finished loading might take you two steps back)
- DSK-275369 (issue of CJK font fallback of characters on UI widgets)
- DSK-277663 (Opera freezes when saving images)
- DSK-274182 (Crash on first run in bookmarks import)
- DSK-276642 (Show in panel and personal bar is not recognized in Link)
- DSK-272832 ("Bookmark link" no longer works)
- DSK-274691 (After canceling IE bookmarks import dialog, the dialog cannot be invoked again)
- DSK-276283 (Doesn't remember the last opened folder in "Manage Bookmark")
- DSK-275988 (Opera creates both bookmarks.adr and bookmarks.ini file on first start
- Work on bookmarks Import and Export
- Return of the crash feedback page
- DSK-277198 (Tabbing in chat message box crashes Opera)
- DSK-274378 (Chat won't scroll down automatically)
- DSK-272701 (Opera won't start on Windows NT 4.0)
- DSK-277057 (Crash when dragging last tab from one window to another)
And Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore.