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back to article Novarra offers to infest mobile data on laptops too

Novarra, the company providing the technology that inserts Vodafone's branding into Vodafone Live sessions and which has just relaunched US Cellular's mobile internet service, is expanding its capabilities into laptop browsing. Novarra Vision is a software package that optimises content on its way to a mobile browser, requiring …

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Stop

Infest is a good word. To begin with...

"To users Novarra grabs content and compresses it for mobile browsing - reducing colour depth, removing unsupported plug-in data and that kind of thing, based on the device being used and resulting in faster mobile browsing. To network operators Novarra allows them to stick a branded "navigation" bar on every page, and show adverts while pages are being loaded, as well as reducing the bandwidth used."

To users, Novarra hijacks your request, fiddles with the content - regardless of whether the original author (or you) wants them to, resulting in a false impression of what the original page author intended.

To network operators, they can take the web page that you carefully constructed for your audience, cause it to be reformatted and then add their own adverts.

This is breaching the basic principle of copyright. No permission is being sought to do this from the site authors and *if* end users are getting a choice, it's unclear and heavily biased towards letting the network operators do as they please.

What this article is missing is what Novarra is does for web page authors, especially those creating mobile sites. As far as those publishers are concerned, they are ignored. Recognised standards (such as HTTP headers, like User-Agent) are not passed through correctly, so you can't adapt content yourself. There is no control over what adverts and other pollution are added to your pages.

This has been going on too long and these bastards are getting away with it because the only people who understand what they're doing are being ignored.

Let's have some more articles on this revealing the details. In the end, it's as bad as Phorm.

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Thanks

For reminding me not to use anything related to Vodafone.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

"Especially those creating mobile sites"

Nobody then. Lets face it, if people had actually created mobile versions of their sites, the service wouldn't actually exist, let alone be required by the majority of mobile web users.

And when I say "Mobile" I don't mean the recent trend of creating verions of sites tailored to the iPhone. (Way to go, BTW. wait for a browser capable of displaying regular pages flawlessly, then redesign your site.)

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Paris Hilton

WTF, faster browsing ???? O_o

wait, am i getting this right ?? novarra takes out content (compresses) then injects branding (adds content) and adds targeted advertising, presumably using flash crap and javascript and pages load quicker on mobile, beeeeeeeeeeeeejeeeeeeeeeezus its a furkin miracle O_O

FFS can somebody explain to me how that works then in words of one sylable or less, cos i must be a right dumb furker, it dont make any sense to me whatsofurkinever !!!! :O)

paris cos she likes 'value added' insertions O_o

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Coat

Look a bit deeper. . .

Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 11th February 2009 15:10 GMT

"To users, Novarra hijacks your request, fiddles with the content - regardless of whether the original author (or you) wants them to, resulting in a false impression of what the original page author intended."

"To users Novarra grabs content and compresses it for mobile browsing - reducing colour depth, removing unsupported plug-in data and that kind of thing, based on the device being used and resulting in faster mobile browsing."

These things are one and the same, its just the perspective. lusers generally experience exactly what they need, just quicker. Yes if you are a developer it can be frustrating and in some circumstances pages are rendered totally inaccurately. But I believe like Vodafone most other operators who use Novarra kit offer unfettered access either by using a different APN or a user option to turn the rendering off (on handsets). On my VF Sony Ericsson device it's at the bottom of the page under: Web Tools > Web Preferences.

And I don't think they get away with it because developers are ignored by them, plenty of 3rd parties and partners have customised solutions with operators (think FaceBook, MySpace eBay etc.). I think it's because the majority of websites do work sufficiently and sites with more specific requirements or smaller audiences: you run with some tweaking or if you can't your site/idea isn't ready for widespread handset deployment.

It's easy for some people to forget that a wireless network operator has to deal with the radio network, so yes they can make a decision that cuts traffic from the IP to radio networks to reduce the bandwidth required, if such a measure would be needed. Wireless is not the same as fixed so an operator could argue they need to do this to ensure the availability of services.

Mines the one with dirty big telco monies in the pocket

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Paris Hilton

Re: WTF, faster browsing ???? O_o

BBC - 97 pictures in one load. Dilbert - 173. Reduce to 16 colours and make each 4-8 times smaller and here you go... Way faster even if you stick an advert or two.

Actually, the picture part is something Vodafone has been running all along on their 3G service. If it was not for it, the utter tripe that is 3G would not have been tolerable. This way it can be just about tolerated for the 30-40 minutes of work or browsing one has to do on a train. Pictures look horrid, but it actually loads in reasonable amount of time. None the less, after 50 mins you start dreaming of WiFi.

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