After 9.5 versions of Photoshop (Windows wasn’t supported until PS 2.5) it’s easy to become jaded about Adobe’s stalwart photo editor. Fortunately, Photoshop CS5 gives us something to get worked up about all over again.
Packing more than 250 new features, Photoshop CS5 is an amazing upgrade capable of performing a wide range of tasks we’ve never seen before, while simultaneously simplifying the trademark tasks we’ve come to know and love.
Adobe on Tuesday posted a Security Bulletin alerting the public that it has identified a critical vulnerability in Adoble Flash Player 10.0.45.2 and earlier versions for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Solaris operating systems. A security flaw was also found in the authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows, Mac, and UNIX platforms.
"This vulnerability (CVE-2010-1297) could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system," Adobe said. "There are reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild against both Adobe Flash Player, and Adobe Reader and Acrobat."
That was one of 17 security vulnerabilities identified, the rest of which apply to Adobe Reader and Acrobat. All of these have been labeled as "critical" and run the gamut from memory corruption (could lead to code execution) to a social networking attack.
Steve Jobs, the proprietary pimp who refuses to back Adobe's Flash platform, isn't alone in his decision to get wholeheartedly behind HTML5. Joining him is Digital Playground, one of the major players in the adult film industry, which announced plans to kick Flash to the curb and get into bed with HTML5 as soon as desktop browsers fully sport the spec.
"We are waiting for browsers to catch up. As soon as they are ready, we will move everything to HTML5," said Ali Joone, founder and director of Digital Playground. While grateful for what Flash has delivered up to this point, Joone added that it was "just a matter of time" until Flash got pushed aside. "It's the next passing of the torch."
This latest development isn't without significant ironic undertones. Just over two months ago, Steve Jobs said that Apple has a "moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone." The way it's shaping up, however, it looks like folks who want porn will be able to get it on their iPad, too.
Should Adobe acknowledge the announcement, we fully suspect the software vendor to downplay the situation, but this could turn out to be a huge development. Let's not forget that despite HD-DVD winning over consumer support with lower-priced hardware, Blu-ray ended up winning the high-definition format war, a victory that in large part was won because of the backing of the adult film industry.
Google and Adobe are getting along swimmingly these days. In the mobile space, Android is the only platform that currently has full Flash support, and now Google's desktop browser has the Flash Player built in. The newest stable version of Chrome 5.0.376.86 has Adobe Flash by default. This feature was present in the beta and developer channels at various times recently, but now it is rolled out everywhere.
Many developers and consumers feel Flash is too resource intensive, and should be replaced by HTML5 standards. Interestingly, Google is one company pushing HTML5 quite hard. It seems they are willing to support multiple standards for the benefit of users who, like it or not, need to use Flash content from time to time.
Users who don't want the plug-in for whatever reason can disable it. Type about:plugins into the address bar and hit enter. From this page, you can turn off Flash, or any other plug-ins you don't want.
According to a bulletin from Adobe Labs, Adobe Systems has decided to halt the development of the Labs program of Flash Player 10 software for 64-bit flavors of Linux. Adobe insists this is only temporary, as well as necessary in order to making significant architectural changes and beef up security.
"We are fully committed to bringing native 64-bit Flash Player for the desktop by providing native support for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux 64-bit platforms in an upcoming major release of Flash Player," Adobe added. "We intend to provide more regular update information on our progress as we continue our work on 64-bit versions of Flash Player. Thank you for your continued help and support."
According to InfoWorld, an Adobe representative expressed the same sentiment, saying that the company is not killing development, and instead working to improve the underlying code for this version of the runtime.
Apple and Adobe have been trading verbal blows quite regularly, with both companies even accusing each other of being a “closed system” at an unwittingly hilarious point in their duel. But Apple’s resolute vow to never allow Flash on the iPhone and iPad means Adobe, whether it likes it or not, will have to concentrate on other mobile devices. And it does seem to have the blessings of nearly all other major players in the smartphone market.
But Adobe might just be counting its chickens too early, especially given its failures to bridge the vast gulf between desktop and mobile versions of the Flash players. It can’t really afford another failed attempt.
After months of betas and release candidates, the final version of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is available for download. We've been running the release candidate for a few months, but if you were holding back, now's the time to make the jump. Most of the improvements are not particularly user-facing. The one feature that people will notice is the addition of hardware acceleration of Flash content.
The hardware acceleration will use a computer's graphics processing abilities to more efficiently run Flash content, taking strain off the CPU. The Mac version of Flash 10.1 does not have hardware acceleration built in at this time. This capability is still being developed in the Gala Project. Apple just opened the necessary APIs a few weeks ago, so we expect a bit of a wait.
What we didn't get today is a final version of Flash 10.1 for Android. We don't know when that product will move out of beta and Adobe isn't giving any hints. Get it here. Do you feel like the new Flash is running better on your system?
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, first released as a public beta in October 2009 and now a stable shipping product, has been completely redesigned with a new performance architecture that better handles growing image libraries and an improved raw processing engine, Adobe announced on Tuesday.
"There have been over 600,000 downloads of the Lightroom 3 public beta, which has supplied us with a huge amount of valuable feedback from a passionate community of professional and advanced amateur photographers," said Kevin Connor, vice president of product management for Digital Imaging at Adobe. "The open dialog we have with our customers allows us to further improve Lightroom and provide the best tools they need to produce high-quality images. We’re happy to see that so many people are anxiously anticipating the final release, so they can start taking advantage of all the new features they had a hand in developing."
Adobe said the big emphasis on the rebuilt core was on improving speed and responsiveness. Images are said to load almost instantaneously, and efforts have been made to improve upon the import experience that it's now more intuitive. Lightroom 3 also now allows uses to import and manage DSLR video files, as well as use tethered shooting with select Nikon and Canon cameras.
Lightroom 3 is available now for $299, or $99 as a qualified upgrade.
Adobe released Photoshop Camera Raw 6.1 today, so you can carefully disect and manipulate every pixel on your 12 megapixel image. 6.1 brings "new lens correction functionality and adds raw file support for 10 new popular camera models for Photoshop CS5 customers," according to an Adobe rep.
Updated lens correction and chromatic aberration features will allow photographers to transform their images more than ever before, and the addition of customized lens profiles will allow users to utilize Adobes new Lens Profile Creator, which is available on Adobe Labs.
Newly supported Camera Models include the Canon EOS 550D, Kodak Z981, Leaf Aptus-II 8, Aptus-II 10, Mamiya DM40, Olympus E-Pl1, Olympus E-600, Panasonic G2, G10, and the Sony A450.
Apple would have you believe that Adobe's Flash platform just isn't an exciting development for mobile devices. In an open letter to anyone who would listen, Steve Jobs criticized the platform up and down in defense of shunning Flash from the iPhone/iPod/iPad experience. So what's Google's approach? The exact opposite.
It's expected that Google will go public with Android 2.2 during the opening keynote for the Google I/O conference tomorrow, and when it does, Flash integration will be one of the main points of interest. According to TechCrunch, Android users with smartphones eligible for the 2.2 update, such as the Nexus One, Droid, and soon enough the HTC Evo will see a link to an Adobe Mobile website immediately after the upgrade. The site will give users the option to "View Flash enabled websites" or "Get Adobe products," and if you select the former, you'll see a list of portals that work with Flash 10.1.
The site is already live, which you can view here and then compare to Apple's list of iPad-ready sites, which are ones that either don't use Flash or have incorporated HTML5 audio and video in addition to Flash.
With iPhone 4 OS just around the corner and Google backing Flash in a big way, it will be interesting to see how everything shakes out on the mobile battlefield.