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By: Karen Blenker

Abstract: Daily news summary for 23 November 1999. By Karen Blenkner.

It's not your imagination...

...it's the latest release of ImagN' that is speeding up the project. New from Pegasus Software is version 4 of this high-speed image viewing and printing component for programmers using Delphi and C++. ImagN's background-processing capability let  the tool retrieve database, intranet, and Internet files quickly. The new release includes smoothing, improved anti-aliasing, JPEG thumbnails, transparencies, rotation, zooming, cropping, rubber-banding, and the ability to copy images to the windows clipboard.

There's also an annotation and redlining engine that lets users add annotations to any image, including DXF and DWG files. Annotations are displayed in layers, with the option to password protect each layer separately. Users can add annotations to the image or save them separately; unwanted annotations can be deleted.

ImagN' v. 4 is available as a DLL (with VCL wrapper components for Borland Delphi and Borland C++Builder) and as ActiveX controls. A trial version is available for download.

No rationing of software engineering solutions

There's no shortage of new development products recently released by Rational Software Corp. Included in Rational's latest batch of offerings:

  • Rational Purify 6.5, a run-time error-checking tool that automatically identifies run-time errors in code, including components. Purify analyzes executables without rebuild and allows users to control the level of error-checking per code module. Purify 6.5 also has default message filtering that gives greater visibility to critical errors.
  • Rational PureCoverage 6.5 lets users compare data from multiple runs using a new diff capability, automatically identifying untested code. 
  • Rational Quantify 6.5 is a performance profiling tool that pinpoints performance problem areas, analyzes executables, and profiles all parts of an application, including components.

Each package retails for US$750, including a year of support.

Nokia pairs up with Macromedia on visual WML

Wireless Internet content is one step closer with a recently announced liaison between Finnish cell-phone manufacturer Nokia and Macromedia, developer of Dreamweaver Web authoring software. The agreement calls for the creation of what is said to be the first visual WML authoring solution for handsets. 

WML objects provide a visual interface for creating Internet content, allowing users to build new WML decks and cards, modify text, insert images, and more. Dreamweaver's objects adhere to version 1.1 of the Wireless Application Protocol, a worldwide standard for wireless devices.

Cable bitten off

The wait is over: Wireless mobile phone headsets are here. Ericsson has unveiled its Bluetooth Headset, which connects to a mobile phone by radio link. Weighing less than one ounce, the headset uses Bluetooth technology to connect to the phone, which can be up to 30 feet away. Inbound calls are answered by simply pressing a key on the headset. Outbound calling uses the same key coupled with voice-recognition technology.

The Bluetooth Headset will be available by mid-2000 and is expected to retail at US$500.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard introduced by Ericsson, IBM, Nokia, Intel, and Toshiba. Bluetooth technology uses short-range radio signals to connect devices such as mobile phones, mobile computers, and handheld devices. Since its launch, over 1,100 companies have joined the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, including Motorola, Sony, 3Com, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Lucent Technologies, and Dell.

Houston-to-Chicago party pooper

As a precaution against any unforeseen Y2K problems, the second-largest refined-products pipeline in the U.S. is shutting down over the New Year's holiday. Eight oil companies that compose Explorer Pipeline Co. have just announced plans to idle their entire Houston-to-Chicago oil products pipeline system for 20 hours, beginning New Year's Eve. The companies pump up to 700,000 barrels of gasoline and distillates each day.


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