Adobe pushes deeper in SaaS space with new Photoshop.com service

Adobe today launched Photoshop Elements 7 and Premiere Elements 7 for Windows as two new more affordable ways to edit pictures and videos with a touch of Photoshop and Premiere. But the real news is that Adobe is ready to get consumers used to the fact that buying a software is only half the story. What you really want is to buy a service and renew it every year. The question is: Will you bite? 

IE8 adds “over-the-shoulder” privacy features

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 is due within a few days and will not only bring bug fixes, but a range of new security features that are likely to lift the browser above Firefox, but also represents a new level of complexity how the security of a browser has to be managed by a user. At the core of Microsoft’s security ideas is the term “InPrivate”, which is designed to either block an “over-the-shoulder-view” when browsing or reveal what is happening in the background.

Divx releases H.264 encoder alpha

DivX is joining the high-definition era: Following its first H.264 decoder, the company today announced the alpha version of its first H.264 encoder. The software is part of what eventually will become Divx 7 and beta testers are invited to try out what the company has come up with so far.

Photosynth fans overload capacity

Top 10 celebrities for Microsoft’s Windows Vista campaign

Opinion – Microsoft has a tough time these days. First we complain that they don’t react to Apple’s mean and insulting Mac vs. Vista commercials and then nobody appears to like Microsoft’s choice for a spokesperson, Jerry Seinfeld (we do agree that this is a strange choice.) But we do not want to simply criticize Microsoft – criticism always should offer solutions and this is exactly what we wanted to do. Here are our top 10 choices for Microsoft’s anti-Apple campaign.

Nvidia CUDA 2.0 delivers Photoshop plug-in acceleration

Nvidia today released the second generation of CUDA, the company’s C-based programming environment that enables developers to tap into GPUs to accelerate their applications. There are several new features included, most interestingly a Photoshop plug-in example that provides guidelines how to design plug-ins that run on the GPU.

Microsoft’s Photosynth pimps 3D picture puzzles

Photosynth has been one of Microsoft most creative consumer projects in some time. Developed by the company in collaboration with scientists from the Graphics and Imaging Lab (GRAIL) at the University of Washington, the technology – previously also known “Photo Tourism” - uses a number of pictures to create a sketch of a three-dimensional landscape filled with high-resolution images: Upload your pictures and you could end up with a dramatic 3D world. Conceivably, Photosynth could easily be imagined to be one evolutionary step above Google’s Street View Maps feature.

Copy and paste for the iPhone now available, not from Apple

If you think about it, it is somewhat surprising that Apple has not yet managed to add the good old copy and paste feature to its iPhone software. Help comes from the developer community with a free framework that provides copy and paste features on a system-wide level. At least three developers are already implementing the feature in their applications, one of them being a WordPress blogging tool, and several others are apparently in the queue.

Apple promises ‘to turn this around’ and gives away two more months of free MobileMe service

Apple today said it will give away two additional months of free MobileMe service to both paid and free trial account users, on top of previously announced free service extensions. Users who had to deal with MobileMe’s rocky launch and its service outages are compensated with a total of 90 days of free service worth $24.75.

Windows 7 = Vista SE?

Opinion – Ok, so we adjusted our hopes that Windows 7 will not become that revolutionary operating system we hoped it would be. But the ongoing flow of news suggests that we should downgrade our expectations even further, as Microsoft’s recently updated server roadmap indicates that there will not be a Windows 7 server, suggesting that Windows 7 indeed will not be what Microsoft would call a major operating system release. Sounds to me like Windows 98 SE all over again.

Nvidia demonstrates interactive real-time ray-tracer

Ray-tracing is one of the big topics gamers and graphics enthusiasts should pay special attention to these days. AMD already demonstrated Transformers and Ruby Ray-traced demos using pre-rendered and real-time rendered voxels, Intel is busy working on its own ray-tracer, and now we are seeing much more obvious ray-tracing material from Nvidia as well.

Microsoft to unveil Windows 7 features next month

There is no denying that the initial news about Windows 7, Vista’s successor, weren’t especially great for Microsoft. Vista is by far not as successful as Microsoft would have hoped and Windows 7 will have to carry the company until a completely new operating system, speculated to be code-named Midori, will be available. So, will Windows 7 be another Vista? Will it lag behind OS X Snow Leopard? Is multi-touch UI really as great as Microsoft claims it will be?

Microsoft: Digital software distribution to surpass retail sales

David Gosen, vice president of strategic marketing for the Xbox and Xbox Live in Europe, threw a big one over the crowd that was listening to his speech at Microsoft UK Gamefest developer event: "There is no question digital will overtake physical. It happened in music and it will happen to our industry."

Yahoo unleashes Fire Eagle – and a potential privacy nightmare

Yahoo introduced a new open location-based services (LBS) platform called Fire Eagle that helps users publish their current location to the Web, while giving them the ability to control how and where their location data is shared. Geodata are shared with authorized applications on the Internet, mobile and desktop applications. It is easily the best LBS approach we have seen so, and easily the front door to a privacy nightmare scenario for people who do not fully understand the concept of online privacy and its implications.

Google turns the iPhone into a universal translation device

Google's online translation service is one of the most valuable free translation tools available today. However, it did not work very well on mobile platforms until recently, forcing travelers to bring their pocket translators along. That scenario, however, could change with a Google Translate version that is optimized for the iPhone.

I am Rich: Apple’s AppStore has no room for software that just looks pretty

This one does not come unexpected. An application that poked fun at the fact how much money people are shelling out for their iPhone and the wealth that the AppStore has created for some developers was yanked by Apple early Thursday: The $1000 “I am Rich” application that got famous through thousands of media articles published around the web is no longer available.

Microsoft releases SQL Server 2008

AMD ditches Close-To-Metal, focuses on DX11 and OpenCL

Considering the big news coming out of Intel this week (Larrabee) and the expected big News from Nvidia within the next two weeks (x86 CUDA), AMD is under pressure to match its rivals: AMD is making substantial changes to its GPGPU software strategy and announced at its GPG CTO Technology Day that it will ditch its Close-To-Metal platform and switch to OpenCL.  

IBM leaves Redmond, pitches Microsoft-free desktops

IBM prepares a big rollout of its Lotus Symphony office suite and what better marketing to support the launch than an anti-Microsoft pitch? IBM said it has “joined forces” with big Linux distribution providers, such as Canonical and Novell, to deliver “Microsoft-free personal computing choices“ by 2009. There are always reasons why you should love to hate Microsoft, apparently.

Apple preps fifth Leopard update with more than 80 patches

Apple has begun to more aggressively update its Mac OS X operating system and is now patching the operating system with regular minor security updates and incremental updates pretty much one a month. The fifth update for Leopard was handed to developers last week and will be making its way as Mac OS X 10.5.5 to end-users soon.