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MacEdition Pro News : November 5, 2001: Painting, shredding, vengeance

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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Always start your painting on a new Canvas

Deneba Software, makers of the affordable yet powerful vector-based graphics program Canvas, has shipped Version 8 for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9.

From Deneba’s press release:

Miami, FL – October 12, 2001 – Deneba Software, creator of the award-winning Deneba Canvas, announced today the release of Canvas 8 Professional Edition for Mac OS X. Canvas blends proven technologies with new leading-edge features, into a unique cross-platform, precision illustration application that integrates photo editing, page layout, presentation, and Web graphics capabilities into one seamless application.

Canvas 8 for OS X, also compatible with Mac OS 9 and above, contains hundreds of enhancements and new features including vector and raster Sequence recording and support for AppleScript, ColorSync, and QuickTime. The new version also contains customizable Web image slicing as well as direct Flash and PDF export capabilities and much more.

[...]

Key features and technologies of interest to Web-centric users include a manual Image Slicer that is also fully integrated into Canvas’ enhanced, automated HTML export capabilities. This allows optimized sliced images to be saved as a set of interlocking images with a matching HTML table, or as a part of a fully formatted HTML page exported directly from Canvas.

Direct support for Flash™ (SWF) is now standard in Canvas 8 for OS X. Entire multi-page documents can be saved in this efficient file format. Canvas 8 also contains an updated PDF™ export filter which supports full data stream compression, direct embedding of PostScript® and TrueType™ fonts, hypertext links, transitions, and much more.

Canvas 8 Professional Edition for Mac OS X has an estimated street price of US$399.95. Registered owners of competitive graphics products can purchase Canvas 8 for US$249.95. Educational and corporate discounts are also available.

Registered users of Canvas 7 for Macintosh can upgrade to Canvas 8 for Mac OS X for only US$129.95, while owners of previous versions may upgrade for US$169.95. Copies of Canvas 7 for Macintosh (excluding educational, promotional, and network licenses) purchased between March 31, 2001 and October 31, 2001 may qualify for free upgrades. These special upgrade prices are valid through December 31, 2001.

“Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not after you...”

If you’re worried about your Internet privacy or have concerns that your activities online are being monitored, your fears are well founded. Between charming innovations like Echelon and some of the new laws being passed to protect freedom one has to wonder who knows what about you, and why. And that’s before even considering the everyday commercial spambots and other personal-information-for-fun-and-profit ventures that are on the Net.

Fear not, the folks at Mireth Technology may have something to reduce the intrusions of the latter. From their press release:

Vancouver, Canada, October 18, 2001 – The Mireth Technology Corporation has released version 2.0 of the NetShred – the internet privacy utility. NetShred is a software utility that securely deletes files you created when using the internet. Each time it is run, NetShred shreds web browser cache, browser history files and email trash. It supports several web browsers and email applications, and can be run either manually or automatically (when you quit from your browser or email application, or when you shutdown your computer.) NetShred also supports Netscape profiles and will find cache files that are not in the default location.

Version 2.0 provides support for Eudora 5.0 and a new setup application which provides an improved configuration interface.

NetShred is available in English for Macintosh.

For more information please see: http://www.mireth.com/NS.html

Of course this isn’t a magic wand, but it is a good start in reducing both the amount of demographic pilfering and unwanted spam that results from simply using the Internet.

Opera strikes back!

That was the actual title of the missive from Opera Software that landed in our mailbox – no additional goofy title necessary. Opera strikes back, you ask? Who struck it first and with what? Well, it turns out in this case that the “Evil Empire” is none other than Microsoft’s MSN Web portal.

According to Microsoft, Opera users were barred from accessing the portal because – wait for it – Opera “didn’t support the latest standards.” Even assuming that Opera is not fully W3C standards-compliant (which it is), this assertion is quite a thigh-slapper given the ability of clapped-out non-compliant browsers such as Netscape 4 to access the site.

However, this access problem has been quickly resolved as the folks from Opera note in their “pull no punches” media release:

OSLO, Norway – Oct. 26, 2001 – Opera Software ASA today welcomed Microsoft’s quick backtracking on denying millions of Opera users access to their main Web portal, MSN. Microsoft’s abrupt change of mind came after hostile reactions were reported in the media from many Opera users who had tried to access the site.

Microsoft claimed that Opera users were denied entry because the Opera browser “doesn’t support the latest XHTML standard” according to Bob Visse, MSN’s director of marketing.

“Opera’s XHTML standard is of the highest quality,” says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software ASA. “In fact, Opera is internationally acclaimed and renowned for its strict compliance with all international Internet standards. Maybe Microsoft should take a look at its lack of respect for the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) international Internet standards before bad-mouthing others.”

[...]

The irony of Microsoft’s claim to standards-support is complete when you check the MSN.com site for compliance with the XHTML standard. Anyone can go to the W3C’s standards validation service at http://validator.w3.org/and type in www.msn.com. The document returned demonstrates clearly that not a single document on their site adheres to W3C specifications, and many of their documents do not use XHTML at all, e.g. http://careers.msn.com/.

This is not the first time Microsoft has tried to deny Opera users entry. Before, Microsoft has tried to keep Opera users out from its IIS-servers by excluding Opera from the browsercap.ini set-up files. That would exclude Opera users from any Web sites running on Microsoft’s server solutions.

At the risk of MacEdition’s ProNews section gaining a reputation for attempting ad-hoc analysis of company press releases, we must note some concern about one sentence in the release:

Opera Software sees Microsoft’s latest behavior as a sign of their acknowledgement of Opera as a valid threat to its dominance.

This could well be correct, but we will simply note that the last company that loudly proclaimed it was a threat to Microsoft was, uh, Netscape. And look what happened to it.

[Ed. Note: As is usually the case when Microsoft tries to end-run the public, the company has come off looking additionally cheesy when it backed off the stance and become more open, according to The Register, UK. In addition, look for more information from CNet by way of The Register. Why is it that people still put up with this crap from Microsoft?]

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at http://old.macedition.com/news/. Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to pronewsnotes@macedition.com.

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