Random Juicy Tidbits

Update: Turns out that Google Secure Access uses PPTP, which is not really secure by itself (we dabbled in it before opting to drop VPN functionality and going for simple SMS authentication for our service launch two years ago). But they got around the "weak CHAP" issue by using one-time passwords retrieved from an SSL server, which is both elegant and (theoretically) cross-platform. See here for more.

Stuff I missed but which I got hints for in my inbox during dinner:

  • Opera is now free. Which is not really news, because they only did it for desktops. For mobiles, its still priced at Eur.29 (Series 60), which means that Opera has simply moved their main revenue stream to platforms where they have (slightly) more control over piracy, and their recent "lite" offering is another sign of their going for services and licensing rather than software. If you don't believe me, check out their Q2 Financial Statement and figure out the trend for yourself. Update: Looks like Google had a hand in it - I expect more Google Browser rumors to come out of this sooner or later...
  • There's a free plugin for Backup integration with Delicious Library. This one is really free, and is really news.
  • Intel Macs (the legal kind) are supposedly on track. Of course, the hints that they might ship earlier than June have (as yet) no substance whatsoever, but it's nice to see that the hype machine is still working.
  • Google Secure Access is a neat idea. Of course, it being Windows-only (and US-Centric) means that it's doubly irrelevant for me, and only serves as a reminder that there still isn't a version of Google Earth for Mac (which, like Mac OS X 10.4.3, is on my list of "stuff to install as soon as there is even a mere hint of it actually being available").
  • Via Michael Tsai, Entourage gets a significant update - still lots of stuff missing (Spotlight, for one), but it's nice to see it getting improvements.
  • Via Pedro Fonseca, someone went out and coded a mass-storage plugin for iTunes on Windows. Pretty damn predictable, if you ask me, since that's the ROKR's only interface with iTunes. Mac users can pick up SyncTunes and do the same for a couple of weeks now.
  • Via the spool: iTunes 5.0.1 is available in Software Update, fixing a few known bugs. At least Apple knows about them, that is...
  • Via Carlos Andrade, Optimus has decided (probably in desperation) to get new UMTS data service subscribers the hard way. Their Kanguru service plan gives you a 10GB limit for a Eur.30 monthly fee, plus "happy hours" from 1AM to 7AM without any traffic limits and no artificial distinctions between "national" and "international" traffic - a dumb idea initially implemented by NetCabo, and that has become a (sad) hallmark of the Portuguese broadband market.