Opera's browser is now available with chess baked in

47 points
1/20/1970
9 months ago
by alexrustic

Comments


qsort

What exactly makes "chess" baked in?

It sounds like they struck a deal with chess.com to put a bookmark that opens a regular web page. It's no more "baked in" than accessing the same website via Chrome or Safari.

By the way, check out lichess.org. Free, open source, no ads, interesting architecture, servers that don't crash, feature parity with chess.com.

9 months ago

22c

Opera has been doing this "custom version" thing for a little while as a kind of marketing tactic.

I've seen it with a few popular content creators getting their own "custom version" of Opera where it has an on-brand theme and links to their content directly baked into the browser download. Presumably there is some kind of customisation pass that thinly wraps the regular installation process.

I don't personally get the appeal but maybe big brands are more likely to feature the browser if it's customised (eg. live streaming a big chess.com game where the "official" tournament client is the Chess.com Opera Browser).

9 months ago

RockRobotRock

Opera GX's Twitter marketing is so insane...Probably to help push their games site: https://gx.games/

9 months ago

perihelions

- "It sounds like they struck a deal with chess.com"

Well yeah, it says that right in the first sentence ("exciting new partnership..."). It'd be unlawful if they didn't prominently disclose that this is a paid endorsement.

There's a diversity of both paid and free chess servers, and the paid ones don't hold any particular advantage today. This kind of ad (it *is* an ad) takes predatory advantage of people unaware of the internet chess landscape, to funnel them into handing over their wallet when it's completely unwarranted. (See e.g., lichess.org [0]).

And all this Opera stuff is baffling to me. Why would anyone choose to put advertisements in their browser, in any form? Ads don't inform you–as this example shows, they mislead and prey on you. The conventional defense of ads is they fill in information gaps: they tell you about services you want but didn't know were available, like an interesting restaurant on a nearby side street you've never visited. But it's so much more often the opposite: this ad convinces people to pay for a service they don't want and don't need. It takes advantage of information asymmetry, of the consumer's lack of familiarity with the product domain: it doesn't flatten that asymmetry, but exploits it.

It takes authentic humans, like me right here, to tell you "internet chess is free and you probably don't want to pay for it like all the ads tell you to". No commercial agent will do that.

[0] https://hn.algolia.com/?q=lichess

9 months ago

stevage

As a keen chess player, although I prefer lichess, there are definitely lots of features that chess.com has that it doesn't. Lots of interesting variants for a start, and some pretty cool analysis tools.

9 months ago

robertlagrant

The main thing chess.com has going for it is it's monetised, so it can sponsor more professional chess.

9 months ago

rmbyrro

I hear chess.com is better at combating cheaters. Hard to prove / disprove the claim. Anyways, I guess this is one reason for some people.

Sponsoring players and influencers certainly helps cementing their brand.

9 months ago

317070

> I hear chess.com is better at combating cheaters.

That contradicts what I have been hearing. And it makes total sense. Unlike on lichess, the incentives are wrong for chess.com to remove whale cheaters.

9 months ago

not1ofU

posted 5 days ago - chess podcast with: Fabiano Caruana and Cristian Chirila

Special guest - Vladimir Kramnik, who has being researching cheating in chess with stats, quite intersting / disturbing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng3lTBAi4Ps

9 months ago

rectang

Related,because it’s another human problem: lichess is way better than other free options I used to play (freechess.org, yahoo chess) at keeping comments under control.

9 months ago

woah

How do you bake a web browser in the first place?

9 months ago

imiric

It's a shame how far Opera has fallen. From industry leaders with a lightweight web browser with arguably the fastest rendering engine, and one of the earliest implementation of tabs, novel web experiences with Opera Unite, most compatible and fastest mobile web browser in the pre-smartphone era, to... a Chinese owned Chrome copycat with gimmicky features and practical irrelevance.

I'm surprised it's still alive, but I guess the advertising business model and these marketing deals are lucrative enough to keep it running.

9 months ago

josefresco

You know about Vivaldi* right?

https://vivaldi.com/download/

9 months ago

lbourdages

I barely even remember the non-gimmicky Opera. Seems like forever ago, they added a Bittorrent client to Opera, and I thought it was so incredibly dumb.

9 months ago

jeroenhd

I actually used Opera for a while because of its built in mail and torrent integration, but I uninstalled it the moment they switched to Chromium and got rid of everything that made them unique. It beat the download manager (remember those?) I used at the time.

Their bandwidth saving proxy was quite good when I needed to use it on shitty 3G back in the day.

9 months ago

ajdude

I was so heartbroken when they moved to chrome. That seemed like the beginning of the end

9 months ago

birracerveza

Between this and Opera GX's twitter, I guess they are going 200% in on memes. Maybe it's a valid strategy to give up on seriousness if you can't tackle mainstream competition head on...

I am not saying this to throw shade, it might legitimately be a good idea. Of course, attack surface, spyware, blah blah, but users don't care about that, sadly. Someone might install it just because it's le funny browser.

I'm expecting Opera's logo to change to doge any day now.

9 months ago

Cthulhu_

It works though, a younger generation is a big fan of Opera GX. In part because it's aimed / branded for GaMeRs, in part because it comes with a free VPN so they can get around parental controls.

9 months ago

bbarnett

And I imagine, data/info right into China's hands.

9 months ago

robin_reala

9 months ago

brettermeier

Given the fact that Opera is Malware that sends all your data directly to China, I really don't care about there goodies built in to trap people.

9 months ago

vb-8448

Is this really different from chrome sending data to google, edge to microsoft or safari to apple?

9 months ago

rg111

I use Firefox.

China requires all companies to hand them data whenever they want. In the West, there is at least a semblance of proper reason required for the law enforcement to demand your data.

I don't think that US government maintains a database of all the data of all the users of all US companies. But, for China, I would say, that is a non-zero amount of possibility.

Beyond usage data, there is telemetry in PC, and much more tracking is possible in android apps.

I had tracked Opera, Chrome, Brave, DDG, Bromite, and FF through both Tracker Control [0] and DDG's tracking monitoring in beta. Opera fairs much worse, and many shoddy, dark companies come up.

I am not a security specialist, but my advice would be to stay as far away from Chinese products as possible- in this case- Opera.

[0]: https://f-droid.org/en/packages/net.kollnig.missioncontrol.f...

9 months ago

LorenDB

Opera isn't even Chinese; they're from Norway: https://www.opera.com/about

9 months ago

esprehn

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_(company)

> In 2016, Opera was acquired by an investment group led by a Chinese consortium.

See also https://www.google.com/search?q=Beijing+Kunlun

9 months ago

tchbnl

Adding to that, the acquired company isn't even the original Opera Software. They divested of their browser, sold it to a Chinese consortium, and changed their name to Otello to focus on their ad business.

The new Opera likes to promote their Norwegian roots everywhere, but it is very much a Chinese business with an overseas office.

9 months ago

Alifatisk

So what’s up with everyone saying that is being sent to China? Is it just FUD?

9 months ago

brettermeier

Please inform yourself. It's bought by Chinese and is in their full control. That they program this shit in Norway doesn't matter. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_(company))

9 months ago

Alifatisk

Why would I inform myself? I asked the parent regarding this.

9 months ago

tcper

Agree

9 months ago

tored

Technically no, but perhaps legally, data protection laws in China is probably non-existant.

9 months ago

vb-8448

According to Court of Justice of the European Union(Schrems II verdict) even data protection laws in US are non-existant.

9 months ago

jeroenhd

The problem with the USA isn't actually the lack of data protection itself, that can be handled through contract law. The problem is the lack of protection from the US government through the PATRIOT ACT and its successors.

The laws themselves exist to a certain extent, but the government places itself above the law in ways that aren't acceptable inside the EU and the other states who implemented the GDPR.

This is because Europe is not part of the USA, which means the protections against tyrannical government interference don't apply; those protections only apply to Americans.

9 months ago

prmoustache

Your are only comparing it to the lowest common denominator.

9 months ago

henry2023

Chrome cares deeply about anonymity of data.

9 months ago

bsdooby

This Opera bashing. You are right: what exactly makes Opera less privacy friendly compared to the other browsers? Me wonders...

9 months ago

bbarnett

Yes.

(You expected detail, to further argue/troll with?)

9 months ago

vb-8448

I'm not trolling, I'm just wondering why people care some much when their data goes to China or Russia and not to US.

PS: I'm EU citizen and, according to the Schrems II verdict, US laws are absolutely inadequate when speaking about personal data and privacy.

9 months ago

bad_user

The “Schrems II verdict” does not say that US's data protections are “absolutely inadequate”, whatever that means. What it says is that US's protections are not equivalent, but guess what that says about China.

In any comparison of this sort, an often forgotten fact is that the US and EEA/EU countries are long-time allies, having a long tradition of mutual help and cooperation. Whereas China is led by genocidal, totalitarian, communist rulers.

Look, as an EU citizen, I was disappointed by Snowden's revelations, too. But there is no equivalence.

9 months ago

vb-8448

> What it says is that US's protections are not equivalent

It says that US intelligence agency can access data of any EU citizen without any authorization or control from the citizens or any EU authority.

More or less the same thing that Cina can do, the difference is that they have far fewer data.

> Look, as an EU citizen, I was disappointed by Snowden's revelations, too. But there is no equivalence.

Snowden was only the tip of the iceberg, what's happening nowadays with cloud/SaaS it's far more big and complex, and can only get worse.

9 months ago

bad_user

China is not governed by the "rule of law". If the CCP wants something, the CCP gets. In the US, the government can coerce US companies with handing over data, but they need a warrant, they have limits on what they can do with that data, and they can be sued. Ofc, the Obama administration infamously said that non-citizens have no rights, but that's not entirely true, as there are strong trade agreements between US and Europe, including the "Privacy Shield" attempt. And the US has the freedom of the press, once a news is out, it's out.

And for example the CCP has begun retaliating against foreigners and companies for speaking against China's interests. They also look more and more likely to aid Russia in their European aggression, possibly because they are looking to start an invasion on their own in Taiwan. This means that their espionage efforts in Europe and elsewhere are increasing, and the outcome of CCP's espionage, much like Russia's espionage, may have a direct effect on our well-being. At least until the Russian invasion isn't settled and until they don't back off from Taiwan.

China was also caught repeatedly for having engaged in industrial espionage at an unforseen scale. And no matter what other countries or companies did in the past, it's always best to focus on present dangers. Europe cannot afford to lose all its trade secrets to China, given the danger to its industries (e.g., auto). Organizations should think hard about allowing access to sensitive data from devices that also have TikTok installed.

People have a skewed perception of how WW2 happened. Its historical start date is almost arbitrary, because in truth WW2 started with isolated conflicts that only grew in intensity over time, slowly.

In times like these, it's best to stick with our allies. Also, countries like Germany should do well to diversify their imports, because otherwise the EU will suffer just like we suffered from the hiked energy prices. And then maybe the US won't be available to help like they did with LNG exports.

Again, there is no equivalence between US and China for Europeans. One is a working democracy under the rule of law and a long-time partner, the other is not.

PS: just to be clear, I'm mentioning countries, but I have nothing against their citizens. My country once was a totalitarian hell hole too, and I know fully well that in totalitarianism the state stops representing the "will of the people".

9 months ago

mrweasel

I'm not completely sure that Opera could send your data directly to China without employees in Norway making some noise about it, but it's absolutely a possibility and a risk.

It really does underscore one of big problems for China, no one trusts them. The CCP is an actual hindrance for Chinese companies as its involvement prevent them for growing trust in their products and brands. I suppose that's why Opera still uses a lot of mentions of Oslo and Norway on their website. It's better for the brand if people think it's Norwegian.

9 months ago

josefresco

Use Vivaldi which is Opera minus the Chinese spyware: https://vivaldi.com/download/

9 months ago

great_psy

Nice to see that the browser toolbars of early 2000s are making a comeback. Just as useless, and they steal even more of your data.

/s

9 months ago

nextlevelwizard

I guess you have to gimmicks when you have literally nothing to offer for the problem space

9 months ago

galangalalgol

I was hoping this was an easter egg. I remember those fondly. Having a "flight simulator" hidden in excel doesn't seem professional now, more room for security vulnerabilities blah blah. I think nostalgia for a time software didn't take itself that seriously is a large part of it.

9 months ago

have_faith

Am I reading it right that there's a custom build of the browser that only adds a shortcut to the sidebar?

9 months ago

maweki

Probably more like a custom installer with an extended default configuration.

9 months ago

roydivision

Good to see companies like this concentrating on the important things.

9 months ago

yyyk

Old Opera was something else entirely - the fastest browser available, with features which still don't entirely exist in modern browsers even with extensions, like mouse gestures. Then it switched engines and got sold to some Chinese company.

The modern reincarnation isn't called Opera, it's Vivaldi. I didn't use it because it was too slow (implementing the old Opera features on Chrome must have been difficult).

9 months ago

mrweasel

It's still a little sad that they discontinued the Presto based version of Opera. I used it pretty exclusively from around 2006 until the switch to Blink in 2013. I really liked the developer tools, the UI and speed. I can see why it couldn't continue, keeping up with Chrome must have been a huge financial burden with very little profit.

9 months ago

pluc

Ah yes, in the browser wars where everything is getting absorbed by Chromium, the end users really want reads notes fucking chess.

9 months ago

sergiomattei

Awesome! They can finally track and sell my ingenious chess strategies to the highest bidder.

9 months ago

pipo234

Hmm. Let's add some fringe functionality to extend our browser's attack surface. Will surely make 0.01% of our customers happy, while demonstrating our devs are committed and have their eye on the ball.

9 months ago

repelsteeltje

LOL. Why have a PM waste time doing market research if you can just scratch your own itch?

9 months ago

[deleted]
9 months ago

moomin

Meh, give me a Firefox extension connecting to lichess anyday.

9 months ago

tux1968

What functionality would you like from such an extension? Lichess is pretty full-featured already.

9 months ago

pjmlp

Really? As if that is something I want a browser for.

9 months ago

weedfroglozenge

Makes it easier to have an engine open behind :(

9 months ago

redder23

This is just a desperate move to gain some users because nobody is using Opera. I stick to Brave/Firefox

9 months ago

dobladov

I wish they focus more on gaining parity with other browsers in caniuse.com

9 months ago

pachico

Someone thought this was a good idea...

9 months ago

jiofj

Funny they've struck a deal to put ads in the browser and they tell you as if they were doing you a favour.

9 months ago