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Opera revamps compression

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A new version of the Opera Mini Internet browser for Android now allow users to switch between different data compression methods, allowing them to optimise their data compression depending on the type of network they are on.

In the newest version of Opera Mini mobile browser for Android, users can switch between two different data compression modes: High and Extreme. With these two modes, they can optimize their data compression for different network conditions.

The new High-compression mode compresses web-pages without affecting the page display, making it the perfect mode for surfing the web on 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi networks.

The Extreme-compression mode compresses web-pages extensively, giving users a very high-speed internet experience while using very little mobile data. This mode is ideal for when users are experiencing slow network conditions, or just want to make their data plans last longer. The Extreme-compression mode can affect the layout of the web-pages and was previously the only compression mode available in Opera Mini.

“Opera Mini has for a decade helped hundred of millions of users across the globe to access their favourite content on the internet no matter which mobile phone they had or how slow their data connection was. With the rise of better smartphones and better network conditions our users now want the option to have a less aggressive data compression mode so they can experience the full internet when network conditions allow for it,” says Christian Uribe, Product Manager of Opera Mini at Opera Software.

On Facebook for example, users can clearly see the difference between the two data compression modes. In High-compression mode, users experience the site with more dynamic content and video playback. In Extreme-compression mode, users get a faster experience, but with scaled-down images and a simpler interface with less dynamic content.

Opera aims to become the dominant browser in fast-growing emerging economies

Opera Mini’s update is an important milestone toward Opera’s goal of reaching 275 million Android users by the end of 2017.

“Only half of the mobile population in India is connected to 3G networks, while in Indonesia, more than half of all smartphone users experience network problems daily. And, people all over the world turn off their phones while traveling, due to fear of data-roaming costs. In each case, Opera Mini offers a better web experience,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software.  “We are continuously striving to improve user experience, lowering barriers to get online in all kinds of conditions.”

About the new Opera Mini for Android

In addition to the advanced compression technology, the latest Opera Mini includes the following features:

  • New and improved UI for saved pages and bookmarks
  • Better handling of bigger downloads in High-compression mode
  • Overhauled tab switch
  • Private-browsing mode
  • Options to customize the browser layout for more thumb-friendly surfing
  • A scalable interface with higher resolution for tablets and large phones
  • Updates to the Discover news feed to provide more of the latest content across the web
  • A data counter to show daily progress on data savings, helping users keep data costs under control

How it works

Opera Mini’s compression technology routes requested webpages through one of its data-saving servers. The server removes any extraneous page elements, shaves off image pixels a user won’t miss, diagnoses the state of the user’s connection and compresses any downloads. All this before sending the page back to the user’s device. Opera Mini allows users to do more on the web while getting the most out of their data plans.

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Bring your network with you

At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.

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In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.

Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.

“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.

The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.

Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.

“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.

He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”

By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.

The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.

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Kaspersky moves to Switzerland

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.

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This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.

Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world

The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.

Relocation of customer data storage and processing

By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

Establishment of the first Transparency Center

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.

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