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Apr 23
Photoshop goes into the cloud with new version of Adobe Creative Suite

Photoshop CS6The latest version of Adobe’s professional editing programs, called Creative Suite 6, will be available as a download for monthly subscribers to the new Creative Cloud service. It will allow users to store files online and synchronise files across machines, including tablets.

Subscribers to Creative Cloud will be able to download the software onto two computers. This move may be seen as an attempt by Adobe to combat piracy. After all Photoshop is one of the most-pirated programs in the world, and Adobe will hope a monthly subscription is more attractive than paying hundreds of pounds outright, following the success of subscription services such as Spotify and Netflix.

A subscription to Creative Cloud will cost £38.11 (ex VAT) per month, or £22.23 for users of current editions of Creative Suite, as long as users sign up for a year.

Stand-alone packages will cost up to £2,223 (ex VAT) depending on the range of programs.

Source: Telegraph

Sep 21
Flash 11 and AIR 3 get a release date

flash playerAdobe will release major updates to its Flash Player and AIR products in early October, the company said on Tuesday.

Flash Player 11 comes with a new architecture for hardware-accelerated graphics rendering. Previously codenamed ‘Molehill’, it now has the official moniker of Stage 3D.

The new version of Flash Player also has a new lightweight framework for 2D graphics and animations, dubbed ‘Starling’.

Developers wanting to publish Flash apps for Flash-unfriendly platforms such as iOS will be able to do so by packaging them in AIR 3, the latest iteration of Adobe’s cross-platform runtime.

Stage 3D allows for rendering performance that is 1,000 times faster than that achievable on Flash Player 10 — unless the customer is using “mom’s old PC with Windows XP”, in which case it is only two to 10 times faster, according to Flash Player product manager Tom Nguyen. “It enables new classes of console-quality games and immersive apps… Stage 3D enables content that efficiently animate millions of objects on screen, smoothly rendered at 60 frames per second,” Nguyen wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “The result is fluid, cinematic app and game experiences.”

Nguyen outlined a new 3D framework called Proscenium, which Adobe will soon make available through Adobe Labs. “Proscenium will allow developers using Flash Builder to rapidly prototype experiences focused on simple content interaction and display, whether for simple games, visualisation, or high-quality rendering of small object collections,” he said.

Flash Player 11 includes full native support for 64-bit browsers, while AIR 3 supports native extensions that allow AIR-packaged apps to use a device’s sensors and near-field communications (NFC) features. AIR 3 also makes it possible to have in-app payments and use multiple screens.

Crucially, AIR 3 is the first version to let developers to package their apps so that users do not have to download AIR before installing the app itself on an Android, Windows or Mac OS X machine.

Source: ZDNet

Aug 16
Adobe unveils beta of ‘easy’ web design tool

Adobe MuseAdobe has released the public beta of a website design tool that, for now, goes under the codename ‘Muse’.

Muse, which operates using Adobe’s cross-platform AIR runtime, was made available on Monday 15 August. Unlike the same company’s more complex Dreamweaver CS5.5, Muse is targeted at graphic designers who want to design and publish websites without needing coding skills.

In a statement, Adobe said the tool used the latest web standards, such as HTML 5 and CSS3, and provided “innovative frameworks for adding navigation, widgets and HTML to include advanced interactivity on a site”.

The ability to build websites as easily as laying out a page in InDesign is one of the most popular requests from our design customers, Adobe’s design and web product chief Lea Hickman said in the statement.

Muse provides many customisable site features, including widgets such as navigation menus, and interactive elements such as slideshows and remote rollovers. It allows for master page layouts and site-wide properties, as well as sitemaps that can be quickly changed.

Other signs that Muse is aimed at graphic designers include automatic image optimisation for .psd and .png files when the site is published, and the ability to switch between ‘web-safe’ fonts and display fonts that are automatically converted to images. One notable feature of the tool is the ability to create Adobe-hosted trial sites where the designer can test their creation. These can then be converted to paid-for Adobe-hosted sites, sent to clients or exported for FTP to other hosting providers.

Muse also allows ’round-trip editing’ so images edited in Photoshop or Fireworks will be automatically reflected in the webpage layout.

Source: ZDNet

Jul 18
Adobe picks up e-signature firm EchoSign

adobe logoAdobe has bought the electronic signature company EchoSign, the software giant said on Monday.

In a statement, Adobe said it would incorporate EchoSign’s one-click e-signature automation technology into its document exchange services platform.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“By adding electronic signature capabilities to Adobe’s document exchange services platform, we will be addressing the need to provide better customer experiences by significantly reducing the time, cost and complexity associated with having a document signed,” Adobe Acrobat chief Kevin Lynch said in the statement.

EchoSign’s technology automates the e-signature process, from the request for signature to the subsequent form distribution or execution. The service is subscription-based and comes with APIs to incorporate it into companies’ document management systems.

In the statement, EchoSign chief executive Jason Lemkin said the combination of his firm’s technology and Adobe’s market reach would help e-signatures “soon become the common way for people to sign documents”.

Adobe said it will integrate the technology into its SendNow, FormsCentral and CreatePDF products.

Source: ZDNet

Jun 24
Adobe Edge

Adobe EdgeWith its attempt to grow beyond Flash, Adobe Systems has begun showing off a design tool called Edge that lets designers animate Web page elements using standard Web technology.

The tool gives a graphical user interface to Web design to automate programming that otherwise would require more technical knowledge of HTML5, the next-generation version of Hypertext Markup Language now under development, and CSS, the Cascading Style Sheets standard for formatting and now some animated transitions.

With it, designers can drop images or Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) elements onto a canvas that’s connected to an animation timeline. Animations can be built by dragging those elements around or manually editing properties, and those animation actions can be copied, pasted, and scaled as needs change.

Using JavaScript specific actions can be linked to the structure of a Web page, so for example different sections of a Web page can be set to fade in at different times to give a “pre-roll” effect.

Adobe said Edge dovetails with other Web design tools, letting such effects be added after other designers or Web programmers create Web page layouts and elements.

The software, which includes a built-in WebKit browser engine for displaying the work under way, will be available for viewing on the Adobe Labs site.

Source CNET

Jun 20
Adobe adds iOS & PlayBook support to Flash Builder

Adobe Flash BuilderDevelopers can now use the Adobe Flash Builder platform to develop applications for iOS devices, such as the iPad and iPhone, as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

Support for the devices – which was announced in April – in Flash Builder 4.5.1 allows developers to create apps for a variety of popular devices and platforms without needing to recode large amounts of the software.

“The reaction from developers to the new mobile capabilities in Flash Builder 4.5 and the Flex 4.5 framework has been absolutely fantastic,” Ed Rowe, vice president of developer tooling at Adobe, said in a statement on Monday. “They are amazed by how easy it is to create great mobile apps for Android devices, BlackBerry PlayBook, iPhone and iPad.”

Support for building apps for Android devices has been present since the release of Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 in April. The platform also allows the creation of web and desktop apps, as well as mobile. Apps created using the tools can then be distributed directly via the Android Market, Apple App Store and BlackBerry App World.

Adobe Flash Builder 4.5.1 can be downloaded as a stand-alone product or as part of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium or Master Collections.

Source: ZDNet

Jun 16
Adobe pushes out automatic updates for Adobe Reader

acrobat readerAdobe is pushing users to adopt automatic updates for Adobe Reader on Windows, in the hope of stemming the tide of security attacks related to people using older versions of the PDF-reading software.

The software maker introduced a default setting for automatic updates on Tuesday, releasing the feature alongside its quarterly patch bulletin on Tuesday. Automatic updates apply fixes to Adobe Reader in the background while people are using their PCs.

“With today’s update, we are entering the next phase in the roll-out by turning the automatic update option on by default for all Adobe Reader users on Windows,” Adobe wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

With the move, the software maker is getting more aggressive about pushing its updates out to users, many of whom stay with older versions of Adobe Reader even though these have security flaws. The widely used software has frequently been the target of hackers, and the company has released three out-of-band security fixes for vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader since its March quarterly advisory.

The next time the Adobe updater detects that fixes are available, it will present Windows users with a dialog box suggesting they turn on automatic background updates. People can also decline to use the feature.

Source: ZDNet

Jun 15
Microsoft and Adobe put out software fixes

microsoft office entranceMicrosoft released 16 security bulletins on Tuesday fixing a total of 34 holes, including critical holes in Windows, SMB Client and Internet Explorer.

Nine of Microsoft’s bulletins are rated “critical” and the remainder are rated “important.

There are four “critical-level” updates that Microsoft said in a blog post should be addressed first.

They are:

  • MS11-042, which fixes vulnerabilities in the distributed file system that affects all versions of Windows.
  • MS11-043, which closes a hole in SMB Client on Windows.
  • MS11-050, which is a cumulative bulletin resolving 11 bugs in Internet Explorer.
  • MS11-052, which fixes a vulnerability in the Microsoft implementation of Vector Markup Language and affects Windows and Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8.

Affected software includes Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, Office XP, 2003, 2007, 2010, Office 2004 and 2008 for Mac, SQL Server 2005 and 2008, Silverlight 4, Visual Studio 2005, 2008 and 2010, and Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 Client.

Microsoft also gave an update to a change it made in Windows in February. Disabling Autorun in order to make using USB thumb drives safer appears to be having an affect, Microsoft said. As of May, infections detected by the Malicious Software Removal Tool per scanned computer declined by 59 percent on Windows XP machines and by 74 percent on Windows Vista machines compared with the 2010 infection rates on those platforms. (The updated Autorun settings were built in by default on Windows 7.)

Not to be left out of this patching frenzy Adobe’s quarterly security bulletins fixed a hole in Flash Player that was reportedly being targeted in attacks. It also produced fixes for it’s Shockwave Player and Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat.

Adobe said it will now offer users the opportunity to turn automatic update on by default.

Source CNET

Jun 7
Adobe’s Web design work lands in the WebKit browser

adobe css archesAdobe has begun putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to improving Web page design.

Today, the first bit of Adobe-written code landed in the WebKit browser engine project, an early step to try to bring magazine-style layouts to Web pages using an extension to today’s CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) technology. Adobe calls the technology CSS Regions.

The move begins fulfilling a plan Adobe announced in May to build the technology into WebKit and – if the company can persuade others to embrace it furthers Adobe’s ambition to standardize the advanced CSS layout mechanism.

WebKit is the browser engine within Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, among others, but inclusion in the software doesn’t guarantee those browsers will adopt it. Google, however, is helping shepherd the technology, so it seems likely at least Chrome will get it, and inclusion in the main WebKit code base makes it easy for others to do so.

CSS (particularly the present CSS3 version under development) is a major frontier for more sophisticated Web pages. Recent CSS advances include downloadable fonts and animations that can move elements around a Web page, and hardware acceleration arriving in browsers is making its use faster and less battery-taxing.

Adobe’s move is notable given how important a competing technology, its own Flash Player, is to the company. Adobe argues it’s a toolmaker that offers multiple tools, but the WebKit work signifies a more active role in Web technology. The WebKit contribution shows it’s putting a priority on improving Web publishing’s foundations.

For those who don’t want to wait for all the patches to be approved in WebKit, Adobe makes a custom version of WebKit available on Adobe Labs for those who want to try CSS Regions and its close cousin, CSS Exclusions.

Source: ZDNet

May 3
Adobe releases Creative Suite 5.5

Web Premium CS5.5Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, the latest package of the company’s graphics, video and web tools, has just gone on sale.

Creative Suite 5.5 (CS5.5) includes updated functionality for creating HTML 5 and Flash apps, and makes it possible to write for Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and Apple iOS devices.

The most fully-featured version of CS5.5 is the Master Collection, which is available for £2,303 excluding VAT. CS5.5 Design Premium and CS5.5 Production Premium both require an outlay of £1,509, and CS5.5 Web Premium costs £1,429.

This is also the first version of CS that is available on a subscription basis. Subcription customers can pay on an 12-month basis, at a discount, or month-by-month. For example, the Web Premium package will cost £108 per month on a rolling basis, or £72 per month on a one-year deal.

Souce: ZDNet

Feb 24
Adobe patches critical hole in Download Manager

reader_icon_specialAdobe issued a fix on Tuesday for a critical vulnerability in its Download Manager program that could be used by an attacker to download malware onto a user’s PC.

People who downloaded Adobe Reader for Windows from Adobe’s Reader download site or Flash Player for Windows from Adobe’s Flash Player site prior to the release of the security bulletin on Tuesday are vulnerable, the company said.

The issue is resolved for any new downloads of Reader and Flash Player from those sites. Download Manager is a tool that helps users efficiently download files from web servers. It is used one time per session and is deleted when the computer is restarted. However, Adobe recommends users verify that a potentially vulnerable version of the Adobe Download Manager is no longer installed on their machine,” said the security bulletin.

Check to see if you’ve got a vulnerability by seeing whether the C:\Program Files\NOS\ folder and its contents (NOS files) are present on your computer. If they are, Adobe recommends running the ‘services.msc‘ prompt and making sure that ‘getPlus(R) Helper‘ is not in the list of services. If it is, it should be removed.

Source: ZDNet

Dec 18
Firefox and Adobe lead list of buggiest software

customerdata.jpgFirefox was the application that had the most reported vulnerabilities this year, while holes in Adobe software more than tripled from a year ago, according to statistics compiled by Qualys, a vulnerability management provider.

Qualys tallied 102 vulnerabilities that were found in Firefox this year, up from 90 last year. The numbers are based on running totals in the National Vulnerability Database.

However, the high number of Firefox vulnerabilities does not necessarily mean the Web browser actually has the most bugs; it just means it has the most reported holes. Because the software is open source, all holes are publicly disclosed, whereas proprietary software makers, like Adobe and Microsoft, typically only publicly disclose holes that were found by researchers outside the company, and not ones discovered internally, Qualys Chief Technology Officer Wolfgang Kandek said late on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Adobe took the second-place spot from Microsoft this year. The number of vulnerabilities in Adobe programs rose from 14 last year to 45 this year, while those in Microsoft software dropped from 44 to 41, according to Qualys. Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and Microsoft Office together had 30 vulnerabilities.

   

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