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Archive for October, 2008

Adobe Systems announced late on Tuesday that it has begun shipping Creative Suite 4, the latest edition of its bundle of professional graphics and media applications.

The launch, which Adobe described as the largest in the company’s history, includes updated versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, OnLocation, and Encore. Four different flavors of the suite are available, with prices ranging from $1,699 to $2,499.

Adobe continues to improve integration among the applications. After Effects, for example, can import Photoshop 3D layers and export content directly into Flash.

Options for working with high-definition video and mobile content expand too, with support for the latest formats, as well as for making Adobe AIR applications.

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If you feel that Windows starts too slowly most days, Microsoft is considering an option that could help.

The company is surveying select users on whether an “instant on” feature, which would rush a usable desktop to your screen in just seconds, is something they’d like included with Windows.

“The concept is called ‘Instant On.’ Instant On takes your computer from being completely powered down or turned off to being usable for a few specific activities in a very short amount of time,”

“The Instant On experience is different from “Full Windows” because it limits what activities you can do and what applications you can have access to,” the survey states.

Faster boot times are clearly a priority for Microsoft and could be included in Windows 7, the next planned release of the operating system.

“For Windows 7, a top goal is to significantly increase the number of systems that experience very good boot times. In the lab, a very good system is one that boots in under 15 seconds,” engineer Michael Fortin said

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NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft has discovered evidence of past water at its Martian landing site and spotted falling snow for the first time, scientists reported Monday.

With summer waning, less sunlight is reaching the spacecraft’s solar panels on Mars.

Soil experiments revealed the presence of two minerals known to be formed in liquid water. Scientists identified the minerals as calcium carbonate, found in limestone and chalk, and sheet silicate.

But exactly how that happened remains a mystery.

“It’s really kind of all up in the air,” said William Boynton, a mission scientist at the University of Arizona at Tucson.

A laser aboard the Phoenix recently detected snow falling from clouds more than two miles above its home in the northern arctic plains. The snow disappeared before reaching the ground. hoenix landed in the Martian arctic plains in May on a three-month mission to study whether the environment could be friendly to microbial life. One of its biggest discoveries so far is confirming the presence of ice on the planet.

Scientists long suspected frozen water was buried in the northern plains based on measurements from an orbiting spacecraft. The lander also found that the soil was slightly alkaline and contained important nutrients and minerals.

Scientists think there could have been standing water at the site in the past or the ice could have melted and interacted with the minerals.

 

Mars today is frigid and dry with no sign of water on the surface, but researchers believe the planet once was warmer and wetter.

NASA extended the three-month mission through the end of the year if Phoenix can survive that long. With summer waning, less sunlight is reaching the spacecraft’s solar panels.

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