Category: Software

Maxthon Partners with AMD to Offer Web Browser Optimized for Next Generation APU Chips

Maxthon, a cloud-based browser, today released a new version of its Windows browser that uses a revolutionary new microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), significantly reducing power consumption while offering superior video performance. AMD’s new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) leverages new technology to make transactions between the graphics processing unit (GPU) and the central processing unit (CPU) faster and more energy-efficient than ever before.

“New chip architecture like AMD’s APU product is a clear signpost to where we believe the Web technology is heading: more happening in the chip and the browser serving as more of an open standards operating system,” said Jeff Chen, founder and CEO of Maxthon. “We’re proud to collaborate with AMD on such an exciting step forward.”

The GPU handles the processing of rich media including graphics and video, while the CPU manages the heavy lifting of analytical and logic-based functions. Until now, communicating across these two units has depended on a serial data connection that processes millions of functions per second, often resulting in a sluggish and power-consuming Web experience.

The partnership allows Maxthon to optimize the Windows browser for lightning-quick interaction between the APU to speed up video and graphics rendering, particularly using HTML5 standards for which Maxthon is the global leader in support. Among other things, the Maxthon Cloud browser is using OpenCL for lightning quick HTML5 video post processing to offer richer, faster video.

“In the near future what we now know as TV will be mediated through a Web browser optimized for innovative technology like AMD’s APU processors,” said Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon International. “Among other things, that means the electronic ‘hearth’ of the TV in the family room will be freed to be available to any device connected to the Web running a browser like Maxthon.”

About Maxthon

Maxthon is an innovative software company that develops superior Web browsers that continue to set new standards for speed, security, simplicity and cloud features. It is available on the Windows, Android, iOS and Mac platforms. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Maxthon reaches a global community of users that tops more than 120,000,000 people each month in more than 150 countries.

Infinite Skills’ “Adobe Acrobat XI Security Tutorial” Targets Advanced Capabilities for Encryption and Authentication In Adobe’s PDF Creation Tool

Software training firm Infinite Skills Inc. last week introduced its “Adobe Acrobat XI Security Tutorial,” a condensed course targeted specifically toward using Acrobat XI to create and exchange information-sensitive digital documents.

Advanced security features have long been a feature that sets Acrobat apart from other digital document applications. Acrobat XI has capabilities for password protection and certificate encryption, digital signatures, and many other advanced security features that make it a one-stop solution for document management.

Infinite Skills’ “Adobe Acrobat XI Security,” covers all these features in a quick, easy-to-understand guide that will allow users to begin creating and transferring secure documents in just a few short hours.

Adobe Acrobat XI Security Video Training – DVD

Course author Michael Hoffman is a career photographer, artist, and trainer, with Adobe certifications in Acrobat and Photoshop. After beginning his career creating technical illustrations and photographs for electronic equipment manufacturers, he has continued to combine technology, photography and education in a productive career.

This brief, highly focused course, covers password and certificate encryption, creating a digital ID, how to sign a .pdf file, how to certify a .pdf file, and using Adobe’s EchoSign feature.

Other chapters include working with actions and creating custom actions, using security features in print situations, problem correction, and compatibility issues, along with several other specialized security features including options for automating repetitive tasks.

“Acrobat XI Professional is far more than just a tool for viewing .pdf files,” Hoffman explains. “It is an incredibly complex program, and its security features are part of a complete package that provides a seamless automated collaborative solution for almost any document management need.”

Free demo videos and a full list of course contents can be found on the Adobe Acrobat XI Security Tutorial training page of the InfiniteSkills website:

http://www.infiniteskills.com/training/advanced-adobe-acrobat-xi-training.html

InfiniteSkills offers its Adobe Acrobat XI Security Tutorial either as a DVD or a direct download from the company website at a retail price of $24.95. All InfiniteSkills titles and formats are compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems, and shipping is available around the globe. InfiniteSkills tutorials are supported by project files which correspond to examples in the videos.

About InfiniteSkills Inc.
A leader in the field of software training, InfiniteSkills strives to offer the highest quality training available at an affordable cost. InfiniteSkills tutorials are task-oriented instructional videos, teaching complex skills by providing hands-on examples, guiding users as they carry out critical objectives. InfiniteSkills offers a comprehensive range of software titles available as DVDs, digital downloads, and iPad editions, keeping with company aim of delivering professional training to customers anywhere they want to learn.

SkyDrive Windows 8.1, Download File Without Internet

Washington – After releasing a preview version of Windows 8.1 recently, Microsoft said that the final version will be released in August 2013. Windows 8.1 users will soon be able to access files on a Windows cloud-based storage service, SkyDrive, without having to connect to the Internet.
Microsoft announced that SkyDrive will be accompanied by support for offline access. Through SkyDrive service, users will be able to determine which files can be accessed without connecting to the Internet and then downloaded to the user’s device automatically.
Files that can be accessed offline will be easily identified when the user opens SkyDrive. In addition, Windows 8.1 users can also store files on SkyDrive in offline mode, which then can be directly uploaded when connected to the Internet network.
Tami Reller, Chief Financial Officer said the company’s Windows Windows 8.1 will be completed in August 2013. Reller did not say when the user can install updates to Windows 8.1. But, Reller showed several new features and functionality in Windows 8.1.
Windows 8.1 users will be looking for music that is integrated with Xbox Music and can share web pages into Xbox Music application to create playlists. Another breakthrough designed in Windows 8.1, namely, Miracast. This displays renewal HD video and audio from Wi-Fi to the other views, such as TV. And many more other renewal in Windows 8.1.

New Release, New Nexus 7 Already Earn 2 Update Software

Having announced a few days ago, 7 of the Google Nexus tablet could have ordered via the Play Store. Opening the pre-order was first announced via Twitter. Google Play Store opened bookings for the new Nexus 7 16GB and 32GB. Both are offered at a price of USD 229 and USD 269.
Almost simultaneously with the opening of pre-orders, it also gives Google Nexus 7, this new software update. There are 2 updates are given, with the first update will be automatically downloaded to the tablet when connected to the Internet for the first time during initial setup.
As for the second update will be downloaded automatically when the tablet is used several times. The update notification will appear when it’s finished downloading and is ready to be installed. So make sure that the type of connection used unlimited when activating new Nexus 7 so as not to run out of quota.

Crank Software Selects GrammaTech to Turn Up Software Quality and Security

GrammaTech, Inc., a leading software developer specializing in software assurance tools, today announced that Crank Software, Inc., an innovator of embedded graphical user interface (GUI) solutions, is using GrammaTech’s CodeSonar to advance the integrity of their code.

Crank Software’s products and services enable R&D teams and user interface (UI) designers to quickly and collaboratively develop rich, animated UIs for resource-constrained embedded devices. These embedded software solutions are used in safety-critical applications, such as animated global positioning systems, in-car graphical displays and user interfaces on factory floors, so software quality and security are paramount. To enhance these areas, the team at Crank is now using CodeSonar’s advanced static analysis capability to more efficiently find and fix quality and security issues within their code.

“We wanted an innovative, high-performance static analysis tool we could drop into our process and quickly see improvements,” explained Thomas Fletcher, VP of Research and Development at Crank Software. Now that Crank’s development teams have integrated CodeSonar into their production process, quantifiable results have reinforced their choice to adopt the powerful tool. “Issues are being caught and fixed very early in the coding process. I look at these as problems I won’t have to hassle with in QA, and most critically, calls to customers I will never have to make,” he said.

CodeSonar provides Crank’s team with a high quality solution that integrates well and allows Crank’s engineers to fix problems early in development, saving time. As a result, they’ve also improved their end product and Crank Software is now feeling better-positioned for the certifications it wants to achieve to drive greater adoption. As Fletcher explained, “We wanted a comprehensive tool to push the quality and security of our software forward. And we got exactly what we aimed for.”

For a more detailed look into Crank Software’s adoption of CodeSonar, view the case study.

About GrammaTech and CodeSonar:
GrammaTech’s static analysis tools are used worldwide by Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, startups and government agencies. The staff includes 15 PhD experts in static analysis and a superb engineering team, all focused on creating the most innovative and in-depth analysis algorithms. The company’s flagship product, CodeSonar, is a sophisticated static analysis tool that performs a whole-program, interprocedural analysis on C/C++, Java and binary code, identifying complex programming bugs that can result in serious reliability or security problems. More information about CodeSonar can be found on our website at

The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache(tm) Mesos(tm) as a Top-Level Project

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today that Apache Mesos has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP), signifying that the project’s community and products have been well-governed under the ASF’s meritocratic process and principles.

Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications, or frameworks. It can run multiple frameworks, including Apache Hadoop, MPI, Hypertable, Jenkins, Storm, and Spark, as well as other applications and custom frameworks.

“It was our goal all along to see Mesos become a kernel of the infrastructure stack of the future,” said Benjamin Hindman, Vice President of Apache Mesos. “The project’s graduation from the Apache Incubator is recognition that the software is mature and has brought together a diverse community to sustain it in the future.”

Initially created at the University of California at Berkeley’s AMPLab (the research center also responsible for the original development of Apache Spark) to manage resource sharing and isolation in data centers, Mesos acts as a layer of abstraction between applications and pools of servers. Mesos helps avoid the necessity of creating separate clusters to run individual frameworks and instead making it possible to optimize how jobs are executed across shared machines.

Whilst in the Apache Incubator, Mesos had four releases, and established an Open Source community according to The Apache Way of governance. Additional improvements to the project includes its flexibility to support several application framework languages, and scalability that has been production tested to thousands of nodes and simulated to tens of thousands of nodes and hundreds of frameworks.

Apache Mesos has proven to be reliable for use in production, and has already been adopted by several organizations for cluster management.

“Mesos is the cornerstone of our elastic compute infrastructure,” explained Chris Fry, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Twitter. “It’s how we build all our new services and is critical for Twitter’s continued success at scale … one of the primary keys to our data infrastructure efficiency.”

“We’re using Mesos to manage cluster resources for most of our data infrastructure,” said Brenden Matthews, Engineer at Airbnb and Apache Mesos Committer. “We run Chronos, Storm, and Hadoop on top of Mesos in order to process petabytes of data.” (Chronos is an Airbnb-developed Mesos framework as a replacement for cron, and an example of how custom frameworks can be developed on Mesos to leverage its resource sharing).

“Community support for Apache Mesos is encouraging, particularly as more companies assess how they manage their clusters and look for more efficiency,” added Hindman. “Now that we’ve graduated, we look forward to continuing to grow the number of Mesos adopters and fostering an ecosystem around the project.”

Availability and Oversight
As with all Apache products, Apache Mesos software is released under the Apache License v2.0, and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project’s day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases.

3-D Gun Printing: Here’s the Software That Stops It

New software has been developed that aims to restrict the manufacture of firearms that have been created using new 3-D technology.

The world’s first gun made using 3-D printing – called “The Liberator” – was successfully fired on May 6 in Austin, Texas. In just three days the blueprint created by startup Defense Distributed to produce the plastic gun had been downloaded around 100,000 times, according to Forbes Magazine.

Anti-gun campaigners have criticized the project, whilst lawmakers in different U.S. states have moved to pass new legislation to prohibit the manufacture, sale and use of the digitally made firearms. And now Danish startup Create It REAL has produced software that it says blocks users from printing guns in the first place.

“The likely buyers are 3-D printer manufacturers who want to minimize their liability risk and offer a firearm parental control feature to their customers,” Create It REAL’s CEO Jeremie Pierre Gay told CNBC.

“The feature creates a unique digital fingerprint of the firearm…the manufacturer could decide to block the print or to simply give a warning to the user of the potential danger.”

The software has taken a year to develop. The firm realized there was a gap in the market after surveying end users and 3D printer manufacturers. Gay told CNBC that his previous job working with Digital Rights Management (DRM) for technology firm Motorola served him well.

“[We realized] people are interested in the ability to put a lock on their firearms at home, the same should be possible on a 3D printer as a parental control feature. I would say that this feature is customer driven even if they did not know they wanted the feature when we asked,” he said.

“The possibility to make a firearm at home is not new, there are many plans on how to do it on Internet, the problem with 3-D printing is that it could become simply too easy, this feature makes it more complicated again.”

Cody Wilson, the man behind nonprofit Defense Distributed was skeptical that the product would actually be able to prohibit the printing of guns, which are produced as separate parts and then assembled. “The Liberator” is printed with hard plastic and fires a standard .380 caliber bullet. The only non-printed piece is a common hardware store nail which is used as its firing pin.

“Such software must walk a very fine line, of which I’ve no doubt it is incapable…It’s interesting PR to the uninitiated only,” the 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas told CNBC.

“‘The Liberator’ pistol is an assembly of over 17 parts, most of which individually would not set off a detection software unless the exact model was blacklisted. Think about it, springs, hammer, even the grip. These are not ‘guns’.”

‘Wild West’ Regulation

Both New York City and New York State have introduced legislation to curb the making of 3-D printed firearms or ban their use altogether and similar bills have been introduced in California. Linda Rosenthal, a New York State assembly member told CNBC that New York’s bill is currently sitting with the Codes Committee after the legislative session ended on June 21.

“I have all intentions of pursuing this legislation next session,” she told CNBC. “The controversy surrounding the passage of the SAFE ACT (the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act) will make passing any piece of gun-related legislation that much more difficult, but I think this is a very important issue that must be addressed before the technology becomes widely available.”

New York State should act as a leader to provide a national model for other states to follow, Rosenthal said, and welcomes the new software that she says is effectively the industry regulating its own behavior.

“It is important that industry and government partner with each other to address this issue. Neither acting alone will be able to accomplish enough to deter dangerous behavior….Given that no technology is foolproof, it is critical that the states have strong tools available to discourage wrongdoing and criminalize bad behavior,” she told CNBC.

“3D printing is a very new technology, and in terms of regulation, it is the Wild West out there.”

Despite the issues surrounding the manufacture of firearms, 3-D printing – creating three-dimensional solid objects from digital models – is gathering momentum and is transforming everything from medicine to home goods. Printers that once cost $30,000 now are priced closer to $1,000 and have the potential to rewrite the rules of global manufacturing.

The market for 3-D printing was estimated at about $1.7 billion in 2011 and could hit $6.5 billion by 2019, according to research firm Wohlers Associates.

Vectorform’s Toolbox For Windows 8 Is Great For Multi-Tasking

Based in Royal Oak, Michigan,Vectorform invents digital products and experiences with a focus on innovative mobile and emerging technology solutions. Vectorform partners with premier global brands including Microsoft MSFT +0.72%, Disney, Coca Cola, and Volkswagen to create the next iconic experience. Vectorform was founded in 1999 and now has over 100 employees across the globe with additional studios in Seattle, New York, Munich and Hyderabad.

Aside from designing experiences for clients, their elite team of artists, engineers, entrepreneurs and technologists has also developed a number of its own applications that have proven very successful.

 

“Vectorform has evolved from a digital agency to part think tank, part lab, and part studio,” stated Vectorform Director of Product Vision, Kevin Foreman.

One of Vectorform’s most popular applications is the ever-evolving Toolbox for Windows 8.  The free application has recorded over 850,000 downloads and is currently the number 1 productivity app available on the Windows Store. With Toolbox you can view and interact with up to six different tools at once, giving you the power and flexibility to customize your workspace for maximum productivity.

There are currently 12 tools available within Toolbox, including a Facebook FB -1.02% application, voice notes, real-time currency converter, web browser, and a Twitter client that was added just this past May. The Twitter application refreshes in real time so that you can view details of content without having to leave the timeline.

When asked why Vectorform was primarily focused on developing apps for the Windows 8 app store, Foreman said “Toolbox specifically was focused on Windows 8, and Toolbox may be ported to additional operating systems.  As a company, we’re focused on mobile and emerging technologies.  We’re platform agnostic.”

Foreman told me that they were one of the companies that had the Microsoft Surface table product a few years ago.  They created a 360-degree user interface where music chips could be dragged around and they used this application create the Vectorform Surface DJ.

Another major project for Vectorform involved the 2008 election where President Barack Obama faced off against John McCain.  Vectorform worked with MSNBC to create virtual charts of aggregated electoral votes used on air by anchor Chuck Todd.

Vectorform was able to take this campaign from concept to final product in 3 weeks.  Vectorform has a passion for creating great products and this is what keeps the company growing.

Leap Motion Controller, Great Hardware in Search of Great Software

By now, we all know what the future will be like; movies and TV shows have described it in detail. We know about the flying cars (thank you, “Blade Runner”), holograms (thank you, “Star Trek”) and robot butlers (thank you, “Jetsons”).

The Leap Motion Controller is a solution in search of a problem: its hardware is simple, but it needs a killer app.

So when will we really get those technologies? Probably on the 11th of “Don’t hold your breath.”

There is, however, one exception. As of this week, you can buy your own little piece of “Minority Report” and “Iron Man”: controlling your computer by making hand motions in the air.

The Internet has been buzzing about the much-delayed Leap Motion Controller ($80) since its first public demonstrations over a year ago. Imagine controlling on-screen objects just by reaching into empty space, just like Tom Cruise! Imagine gesture recognition just like Microsoft’s Kinect game controller, but on a much smaller, more precise scale! Imagine the future, plugged into a USB jack on the Mac or Windows PC you own today!

The Leap Motion sensor is beautiful, tiny and self-contained. If Wrigley’s ever comes out with a Juicy Fruit Designer Pack, it might look like this: a sleek, glass-and-aluminum slab (1.2 by 3 by 0.5 inches), with nonskid rubber on the bottom. A single USB cable (both a long one and a short one come in the box) stretches away to your computer; a light comes on when it’s working.

(Please note that Leap Motion has nothing to do with Leap Pad, the children’s toy. That gadget is educational in a completely different way.)

If you have a desktop computer, you put the sensor between your screen and keyboard. If it’s a laptop, you park it on the desk just in front of the keyboard. Soon, Leap says, you’ll be able to buy a PC from H.P. or Asus that has the sensor built right in.You download the Leap software, and presto: a somewhat buggy tutorial instructs you to insert your hands into the space — an invisible two-foot cube — that’s monitored by the Leap’s cameras and infrared sensors.

This device is like the Kinect in that it recognizes body parts in space. But not only is the Leap far smaller and less expensive, it’s also far more precise. According to the company, it can detect the precise positions of all 10 of your fingers simultaneously, with a spatial accuracy to a 100th of a millimeter — 200 times as accurate as the Kinect.

And remember, the Leap adds gesture recognition not to your TV, but to your computer. A machine that can run millions of different programs for all different purposes. Games, sure, but also office work. Creative work. Communication. Entertainment. Surely this little wonder is a very big deal.

Unfortunately, it’s not. The Leap’s hardware may be simple, attractive and coherent — but its software is scattershot, inconsistent and frustrating.

The first crushing disappointment is that no software recognizes your hand motions unless it’s been specially written, or adapted, for use by the Leap.

There are 75 such apps already on the Leap’s app store, Airspace; some are free, some cost a few dollars. Not all work on both Mac and Windows.

Most are games. In the best of them, you control the action in 3-D space, just as with the Kinect but without having to stand up. For example, Boom Ball ($5) is the classic Breakout game, where you try to knock out bricks by bouncing a ball against them — but your paddle is attached to your finger in vertical space.

In Disney’s clever Sugar Rush ($2), a spin off from the “Wreck-It Ralph” movie, you bake yourself a racing car shaped like a wedge of cake, and then steer it by holding both sides of an invisible steering wheel. When you play Dropchord ($3), you hold two index fingers out in space; you’re defining a line between them that you use to slice dots and avoid X’s. Cut the Rope is here, too (free).

There are some interesting music-making programs, which makes sense, since hand motions are generally associated with playing instruments. Air Harp ($1) is just what it sounds like. Chordion Conductor is a sweet-sounding arpeggiator (generates music from chords you select).

A few simple educational apps are available, like Molecules (rotate molecules on the screen; free), Cyber Science 3D (pull apart a skull; free) and Frog Dissection (you guessed it; $4).