Alas, due to all this being served from home computers, there are some obvious downsides. First, residential upload speeds are very slow. It appears that the future marches on at the speed of dialup. Second, when the computer is off, no one can access your Unite pages. Third, when the browser is closed, no one can access your Unite pages.
One of Opera's selling points on Unite is that it frees you from the tyranny of cloud computing; from other people holding your data hostage. In the real world, to even start Unite, you have to register with Opera to get a URL. It's a mandatory part of the unite process. This is apparently so they can show fancy 404 pages when your computer is off and use their servers as a proxy to your page. On the plus side, once the service is up you can just connect to your IP address and port 8840 and use it like you would any other IP. Services DO connect back to Opera to get lists of other users who are also using the service, however. Also, My Opera links are splattered all over the place. So close, yet so far.
A potentially scary side effect of the service might be if someone figures out how to exploit it with GeoLocation. This may be a plus for using Opera's proxy.
With all it's faults, you must admit that it's still pretty darn neat. Isn't this a step closer towards what Tim Berners-Lee was originally going for with the web?
So. There are some services which someone needs to write immediately.
- A wiki. Either Wiki on a Stick or TiddlyWiki would probably function decently as basses for this thing. Go go go!
- A Prologue2-like threaded microblogging/forum implementation
- A AbiCollab service. Just let the user post a list of documents and password protect each one.
So. It's not revolutionary, but it is a neat idea and an interesting implementation. Go mess with it.