The snow on Wednesday was melting fast, the temperature was in the fifties, and the motorcycle ride was nice. Seemed almost like Spring, until I landed the next morning in blowing snow in Oslo, Norway. The snow has been continuous for the past two days but it does not seem to slow the Norwegians down even a little. I have seen kids on skis going up hill and senior citizens navigating the streets using ski poles instead of walkers. Where I am staying in Holmenkollen, near the famous Olympic ski jump, the hotel is full of kids ready to participate in a national ski competition this weekend. While they are flying down the slopes tomorrow, I will be flying to Copenhagen and then on to Newark, New Jersey and home.
The purpose of the trip was to visit with Opera Software ASA where I am a board member. Opera has a lot of exciting things going on. Just this week they announced that it will deliver the Web to Nintendo Dual Screen users. The Opera browser will be sold as a DS card (think of it as a game cartridge). Users simply insert the card into the Wi-Fi enabled Nintendo DS, connect to a network, and begin browsing on two screens. In the U.S. most people don’t browse on any handheld screens and now the Japanese are doing it on two screens!
Potentially even more profound is that Opera Software and Freedom Media just announced the world’s first mobile AJAX application using Opera as a "platform". In a nutshell AJAX is a set of Internet standards that allow the creation of applications that act and feel as though they are desktop applications, but they are actually web pages residing on a server somewhere on the Internet. After the web page is loaded, it quietly works behind the scenes to deliver data to the web page so that rather than "re-loading" a web page, the content of the page is changed in front of your eyes. Opera calls this new kind of application "Opera Widgets". This is the beginning of something big. What is profound about Opera widgets is that since they "live" on a web server, you can access them from anywhere — your PC, Mac, Linux setop box, game console, PDA, or your mobile phone. Stay tuned.
It is now Saturday morning and still snowing. If I thought the hotel was crowded with young people, it was nothing compared to the airport. Seems that every family in Norway is on their way to somewhere for a winter break. I asked one young man where he was headed and he said Florida. He was ready for a break from one of the world’s great winter wonderlands. SAS hosed downed the wings really well before we took off in the snow.