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Passing Notes on the Fridge

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Around the house, you may use your fridge as a common message board. You may slip a quick note on there with a magnet, telling your significant other that you’ll be late for dinner. The Fridge service with Opera Unite works in fundamentally the same way.

The virtual fridge of Opera Unite can be populated with a number of virtual sticky notes, each of which comes with a date-stamp and a signature. When you post a note on the fridge, you have the ability to sign your name and provide an email address. Strangely, they have “Teusday” as a typo. Someone should fix that.

It’s up to you whether you want your fridge to only accept notes from you or from anyone. Think of it as a private bulletin board.

Photo Album for Everyone

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Want to share your vacation pictures without having to upload to a third-party service like Flickr? Opera Unite can do that too. One of the available services is known simply as Photo Sharing and it works in much the same way as the Media Player that I described earlier.

The pictures can be organized in a series of albums and visitors to the online photo album will be able to see an array of thumbnails. Clicking on each individual picture brings up the full-size photo. As with the Media Player, the speed of this process will depend on the speed of the Internet connection of the hosting computer.

A New Way to Share on the Web

Easily the most critical feature to Opera Unite is that you do not need to upload any of your content to a third-party server or service in order to share said content with your friends, family, and associates. Everything is served directly from your computer, since it is acting as the server. This is both the greatest strength and weakness of the Opera Unite technology.

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When you work with a hosting company or a popular online service like YouTube, you can expect a certain level of speed and reliability thanks to their millions of dollars in infrastructure. This same speed is oftentimes not within reach for a regular home computer. Also, depending on where you access your files, the service may degrade (sometimes severely) depending on how well connected your service provider at home is.

Although this service has some clear benefits, there can also be some increased security risks. For example, since you are granting access to the files on your computer, there is always the risk of someone else getting access to them without you knowing. On the bright side, you can “hide” your computer from search engine spiders so that your content does not get indexed. There are also features in the interface that can restrict access. Only time will tell though if this is enough security.

We do have to realize that Opera Unite truly is the first of its kind, making it easier than ever for the average person to share their content online without having to deal with multiple accounts and various online services. As Opera Unite continues to grow, more services will be added too.

Opera Unite really is reinventing the way that we share music, files, pictures, and thoughts online. Whether the rest of the ‘net adopts this server-free philosophy remains to be seen.

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