Opera BrowserSorry for the misleading title, it’s sort of an homage to CNET’s recent coverage of Firefox.*

Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner, excited by the response to Opera 8.0, promised to swim from Norway to the US if Opera 8.0 managed 1 million downloads in 4 days. (By comparison, Firefox 1.0 managed 1 million in less than a day, and hit 2.5 million by the end of day 2.

Well, they did it, and von Tetzchner has donned a wet suit.

Tetzchner entered the “freezing Oslo fjord” on Monday and started swimming toward the United States, the company said. Opera’s public relations manager, Eskil Sivertsen, is rowing an inflatable boat alongside Tetzchner “as an act of guilt after making the CEO’s statement public,” according to the Opera Web site.

Full details, photos, and a map are at Opera.com/swim. [archive.org]

Update two days later, the swim was cut short.

*Things like “Mozilla flaws could allow attacks, data access” which didn’t just bury but actually omitted the fact that a fixed version had been released three days earlier, and that the disclosure was made as part of the release. The second-to-last sentence, “All versions of Mozilla Suite prior to version 1.7.7 and all versions of Firefox prior to 1.0.3 are vulnerable.” sort of hints at it, if you know that these are the newest versions, and if you don’t misread it as “through” instead of “prior to.” And the original article on the Opera swim promise misstated the Firefox download numbers using one of the preview releases instead of the big launch, claiming it took 5 days to reach 1 million. They’ve “corrected” it to “within days,” which is technically true—but wouldn’t “in less than a day” be more accurate and better convey the contrast? Compare this to other articles from last week like “Apple patches iSync flaw” and “RealNetworks fixes ‘highly critical’ flaw” and you have to wonder whether there’s a misinformation campaign some editorial bias involved.

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