Adobe this week anounced two open-source initiatives designed to help media companies and publishers build better Flash applications.
The first is the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF), which paves the way for more sophisticated media players to run Adobe Flash content. Formerly known as Strobe, the OSMF offers advanced playback and navigation controls, as well as plug-ins for advertising and tracking. It can also work with any kind of Flash content.
The other open-source project is the Text Layout Framework (TLF), which will help developers add advanced typography and font layouts to their Flash applications. When combined with the new text engine in Flash Player 10, TLF makes possible vertical and bidirectional text, flowing text around images, and multiple language support.
As Microsoft's Silverlight continues to gain traction and HTML 5 adding another dimension to the Web 2.0 war, don't be surprised to see an even bigger push from Adobe in expanding upon Flash's capabilities.
Get Robert Stack on the phone! In what could be the greatest tech unsolved mystery since the disappearance of Intel’s Tejas, someone has kidnapped Premiere Elements 5.0 and 6.0!
Just kidding. There’s no crime here unless you believe that it’s flat-out wrong for Adobe to jump from version 4.0 to version 7.0 just to ensure that Premiere Elements matches version numbers with Photoshop Elements 7.0.
One thing we hoped for that’s definitely not present: three full upgrades’ worth of new features and improvements. Adobe continues to use its dumbed-down interface, which we initially viewed with disgust. Oddly enough, the more we’ve used it, the more forgiving we’ve become; we’ve grown quite fond of the newb-friendly front end, despite the fact that it’s basically unchanged. The menus and titling in the consumer video editor continue to be top-notch, as well.
Much has been made recently over HTML 5, the next major revision of the web's core language and what some refer to as the second coming of the web. But will HTML 5 be the the death knell for rich Internet application (RIA) technologies like Adobe's Flash? Not happening, says Adobe.
"I think the challenge for HTML 5 will continue to be how do you get a consistent display of HTML 5 across browsers. And when you think about when the rollout plans that are currently being talked about, they feel like it might be a decade before HTML 5 sees standardization across the number of browsers that are going to be out there," Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said during a quarterly financial call.
Not only does Adobe feel HTML 5 is a decade away from having any kind of real impact, but Adobe says HTML 5 will benefit Flash, just as "Silverlight's launch helped to boost the popularity of Flash." According to Adobe, the recent publicity surrounding HTML 5 brings RIA technologies to the forefront of everyone's mind, putting Adobe's Flash in a position to "deliver on those heightened expectations."
In October of this year, Adobe will release a beta version of its Flash Player 10 for mobiles, Adobe CEO Shantanu Naraye told investors. Supported OSes will include Google's Android, Nokia Symbian, Palm Web OS, and Windows Mobile powered devices.
"We are bringing Flash Player 10 to smartphone class devices to enable the latest web browsing experiences," Naraye said. "Multiple partners have already received early version of this release and we expect to release a beta version for developers at our Max conference in October."
As it currently stands, only Flash light can be found running on some platforms, a result of engineering challenges for high performance Flash and issues of control, VentureBeat says. To get that high performance, Flash needs to run in the lower layers of the OS or phone, something Android, Palm WeOS, Winmo, and Symbian are open to, but the same can't be said for RIM's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone.
This week, Adobe converted its Acrobat.com online service, introduced last year, from beta to production status, and rolled out two extra-cost upgrades while continuing to offer a free version. All versions of Acrobat.com include Adobe's Buzzword online word processing, but other features differ:
The free version can create up to five PDF files, allows up to 100 downloads per file, supports web conferences for up to three users, and provides tech support through moderated forums.
For $14.99/month or $149/year, you can upgrade to Premium Basic, which enables users to create up to 10 PDF files per month with unlimited downloads, web conferences for up to five users, and premium one-on-one phone chat tech support. Upgrade by July 16 to a one-year subscription, and save $15.
Upgrade to Premium Plus, the high-end service, for $39/month or $390/year, and get unlimited PDF creation and downloads, web conferences for up to 20 users, and premium one-on-one phone chat tech support. Upgrade by July 16 to a one-year subscription, and save $50.
There are also a couple of new goodies at Acrobat.com Labs for all Acrobat.com users. To learn more, join us after the jump.
June 9th saw a rare 'double-header' in security updates: Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday was joined by Adobe's quarterly security updates for Acrobat and Adobe Reader. How big was this month's 10-update Patch Tuesday? According to a Microsoft spokesperson quoted by Cnet, the 31 vulnerabilities covered by updates are "the most since Microsoft started releasing updates on a regular schedule of the second Tuesday of every month in October 2003."
Users of Windows 2000 SP4 through Windows Vista SP2 (and holdouts still running Windows 7 Beta), Microsoft Office 2000, 2003, or 2007; Microsoft Office for MacOS 2004 and 2008, Microsoft Works 8.5 and 9, and IE5.01 through IE8 users have some work to do before heading off on vacation, as do users of Adobe Reader and Acrobat 7.x, 8.x and 9.x. To find out what's being changed - and why - join us after the break.
Netbook owners are all too familiar with the perils of watching any type of processor hungry HD video on our tiny beloved machines. But, thanks to a recent announcement by Adobe, those days are coming to a close (sort of).
The announcement, which came in two parts (from Nvidia and Broadcom) promises full hardware acceleration for Flash video, mostly by means of upgrades to Adobe’s plugin. This upgrade will guarantee smooth playback of HD flash video.
Sadly, most current-gen netbook owners won’t get to see any of these advances, because in order to put them to use you’ll need to have a machine based on Nvidia’s Tegra solution, or an Atom powered netbook with Broadcom’s Crystal HD video accelerator addon.
This advance will be making its way to consumers in the first half of 2010.
Following in Microsoft's footsteps with its monthly 'Patch Tuesday' approach to system security, Adobe said it will stick to a quarterly release schedule for security updates of its own.
"Based on feedback from our customers, who have processes and resources geared toward Microsoft’s “Patch Tuesday” security updates, we will make Adobe’s quarterly patches available on the same days. (Although our 3/10/09 and 5/12/09 security patches landed on Patch Tuesday, the timing was coincidental. In both cases, we shipped the patches as soon as we finished testing them.)," Brad Arkin, Adobe director of product security and privacy, wrote in a blog post.
In March, Adobe released a patch that fixed a critical vulnerability in Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat 9 that would have allowed an attacker to gain complete control of victim's PC. According to Arkin, this security hole led to the company's decision to implement scheduled security updates.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure your Adobe reader has checked for, and downloaded the latest updates. Adobe has finally released a patch for the zero day scripting vulnerability in its PDF software. The patch for version 9 hit the net a bit earlier than expected, but not a moment too soon to combat this now critically exploited weakness which has been in the wild now since December 2008. The patches for Version 7 & 8 are still planned for March 18th and users of this version would be advised to either upgrade to 9.1 or consider Foxit Reader.
The news was posted by Adobe blogger David Lenoe. "Today, we posted the Adobe Reader 9.1 and Acrobat 9.1 update, which resolves the recent JBIG2 security issue (CVE-2009-0658), including the 'no-click' variant of the vulnerability." "We encourage all Adobe Reader users to download and install the free Adobe Reader 9.1."
For those that haven’t been following the details of the exploit, the vulnerability is a result of an array indexing error in the processing of JBIG2 streams. Hackers have found a way to corrupt arbitrary memory using the PDF format and take control of compromised systems. The lesson learned here if we didn’t know it already, don’t take candy, or PDF’s from strangers.
Ouch! It's been a bad week for Adobe Acrobat and Reader users, DailyTech's Jason Mick reports. Some visitors to eweek.com viewed PDF-based ads that attempted to redirect readers to malicious websites and then tried to download Bloodhound.Exploit.213. This vulnerability affects only Acrobat and Reader 8.12 and earlier and was patched back in November with version 8.13, but not everyone's gotten around to updating their Adobe products yet. eWeek's pulled the offending ads, and Adobe was already offering a fix - and that's the good news.
The bad news? There's an even more serious flaw on the loose that targets all versions of Acrobat and Reader, including version 9.0. There are no updates yet (the update for version 9 is expected by March 11, but version 7 and 8 users must wait a bit longer). So, what can you do in the meantime? Lots of MaximumPC readers recommend the free Foxit Reader, but if you must use Adobe, join us after the jump for workarounds that can protect you in the meantime.