Opera has introduced Opera Unite (now dead). To me, this looks an awful lot like Google Wave, or at least a "lite" version of what that says it will be. However, there's an important difference: Google Wave, if and when it ever becomes real, will require a Wave Server. Opera Unite shares from your computer.
Well, sort of. Opera's servers access your content and share it with others. So it's not direct access to your computer... but really that technical difference hardly matters. As the developer docs (now long gone) explain:
So you are trusting that the developer of the sharing app didn't screw up? Opers says they have that covered: they "screen" all apps. Yeah, that's comforting.
OK, so if you are the trusting sort, this could be an easy way to share photos and files with friends and family without having to upload them to Facebook or some other server. The downside, of course, is that your computer has to be running and connected to the internet.
And that raises more questions of security. You can require a password to access your content, but does that really make you feel safe? Opera says that this is safe, but plenty of apps have been fully embarrassed after making similar claims. I may be a big worry-wart, but I'm not about to open up my computer like that.
It's apparently possible to really cast caution to the winds (from their FAQ):
Yeah - let's turn THAT on.
No, I think I'll pass on Opera Unite, at least for now. I wonder how long it will be before the first security patch?
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