Opera buys app-store developer Handster

Norwegian browser and mobile services outfit Opera has bought up specialist US-based programming house Handster Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Opera used available cash stores to buy a company it said on Monday offers an entire "platform" for mobile application stores, a key capability as Opera moves into fully integrated mobile services from online browser ware.

“This gives us more control of the mobile business and will allow us to give our users and (mobile network) operators a better user experience,” company finance director Erik Carson Harrell told

Opera’s shares in Oslo fell nearly 2 percent on the news.

Handster is based in Northbrook, Illinois but has operations in Odessa, Ukraine. The company now accesses “the world’s largest independent Android content library” along with mobile operator services, device manufacturers and application stores around the world. The company’s offerings include an app store platform, content management, developer tools, and financial settlement services.

The Handster platform supports Google Android, Java, Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, netbook and tablet applications. Customers include device manufacturers such as MTS, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei and LG.

“Handster could not have found a better suitor,” company founder and chief executive Victor Shaburov said in a statement

“The combination of our platform, along with Opera’s position in the market, will make a big impact on the mobile ecosystem, benefiting developers, publishers, operators and handset manufacturers around the world.”

Shaburov will move to San Mateo, California, USA, to join Opera’s “mobile consumer and publisher” management team.

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Norwegians want futuristic vacuum train between Oslo and Copenhagen

Norway’s climate-friendly Green party wants American innovator Elon Musk’s Hyperloop transport concept to be up and running between two Scandinavian capitals within 20 years.

Norwegians want futuristic vacuum train between Oslo and Copenhagen
A 3D rendering of a concept monorail tunnel train. Photo: lookaround/Depositphotos

At its annual conference in the city of Lillehammer Saturday, the party received strong support for the proposal to introduce the futuristic train, reports newspaper Dagbladet.

Green Party member Per Espen Stoknes told the newspaper that the introduction of the environmentally-friendly transportation would create value.

“A network will be established between the major cities, and we don’t want to miss out,” he said.

A Hyperloop connection between Oslo and Copenhagen is still some way off, with the transport form still only at the design stage. But the Green party has hopes that the train, which will be tested in Dubai in the near future with a view to opening a connection in the United Arab Emirates in 2020, will provide a link between Oslo and Copenhagen by 2037.

The technology, which was developed by American investor and businessman Elon Musk – the man behind the Tesla car – is based on the principle of a train cabin travelling at the speed of sound through an airtight tube, saving both time and energy.

According to calculations, a Hyperloop could travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco – a distance of 560km – in 35 minutes, at an average speed of 970 kilometres per hour.

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“Other parties have not thus far shown any interest in this area. When they see that this is reality and not just green fantasy, and that it is based on scale and looking at overheads before profit, I think they will jump on the bandwagon,” Stoknes said.

The distance between Oslo and Copenhagen – as the crow flies – is around 480 kilometres. A Hyperloop trip between the two cities at 970 km/h would take somewhere around 29 minutes.