18/04/2013

Artrage 4 hits the streets

Artrage has released version 4 of its painting program, available for both Apple's MacOS X and Microsoft's Windows 8.

If it's run on on a Surface Pro tablet it makes full use of the touch capabilities and of course it fully uses pen systems on non-touch systems.

The package is easy to use (even for a non artist) and it doesn't take much time to get used to the various controls and painting techniques such as smearing and blending of oil paints and watercolours that flow into each other.

There's also nice features such as stencils (which can be painted on, but the paint only applies to the empty spaces on the stencil) and stickers that are just stuck onto a painting.

A nice feature is tracing where an image is loaded as the background - but not as part of the image being painted - and then it can be traced. When it's saved, it's only the tracing and not the original image, though the same process could be achieved using layers.

Artrage also fully supports Wacom features available with some of their stylus' such as Pressure, Tilt, Barrel Rotation, and the Airbrush Wheel.

It's available for $49.90 from the Artrage Store. There is also a version available for Apple's iPhone/iPad.

Opensignal launches iPhone app

Opensignal the company behind Opensignal Coverage Maps has released an iPhone app available on the iTunes store.

The Android app (available in Google Play) has been around for some time and the iPhone app is unfortunately a poor cousin in terms of functionality due to the limitations of Apple's restrictions in iOS.

The iPhone app is more of a WiFi locator app, though it does have access to Opensignal's coverage data as a map overlay. This is pulled from Opensignal rather than being able to read any information (apart from signal strength and connected network) from iOS itself.

In order to better coverage data, users will still have to download the Android app and use that to map WiFi and cellular signals which are directly exposed in the underlying operating system.

Opensignal could release a Blackberry app as much of the underlying network is also exposed, though whether they will do this is as yet unknown.

HP Leaps ahead

HP has collaborated with Leap Motion to being Leap's 3D motion control to HP workstations.

Initially HP will bundle Leap Motion's Controller with their workstations and in future embed the controller hardware and software within the workstations.

Leap Motion have just announced the availability of their Software Development Kit (SDK) which will allow 3rd parties to add motion control to their applications.

Initially motion control will used to control the operating system itself, though apps will be available through Leap Motion's Airspace app store.

The stand-alone Leap Motion controller (which is attached to a PC/Mac through USB) is available for pre-order from Leap Motion for $79.99 (plus shipping).

RFEL announces HALO for video processing applications

RFEL Ltd a UK company has announced it's HALO video processing system based on FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) designed for military and counter terrorism use.

The HALO system is offered in a ruggedised enclosure, board only OEM unit and system on module unit for value add systems integrators. As the system uses FPGAs, new functionality can be added to the module at anytime. HALO supports the following video features: -

  • Intelligent fusion of multi-modal imagery, such as from a visible and IR sensor.
  • Image stabilisation, even when the platform is subject to severe vibration, and when imagery is sparse in features or of low contrast.
  • Contrast enhancement to maintain high performance operation in marginal lighting conditions -- visible and IR.
  • Noise reduction for optimising operation in low ambient light and for ensuring robust image fusion.
  • Digital zoom, lens distortion correction, image overlay and support for compression standards.

It supports voltages from 4V to 27V DC.

Netflix dumps Silverlight

Netflix the video on demand service has dropped Microsoft's Silverlight in favour of using HTML5 vide extensions.

Though Microsoft have said they will support Silverlight until 2021, Netflix have been ready to migrate for a while and users can be unhappy with the browser extension that can be troublesome to install.

The video extensions Netflix will use are Media Source, Encrypted Media and Web Cryptography API which will be implemented in Google's Chrome browser and ARM based Chromebook and are likely to be native to other browsers soon. As the extensions are part of the W3C HTML5 specifications, users wont have to install any browser plug-ins to support them.