Here are some reports from yesterday’s news.

Invensys System Platform 4.0

Invensys Operations Management continues its build out of incorporating additional products into its ArchestrA services platform. The company notes this is part of its strategy to empower a wide range of production workers with easy-to-use visualization, reporting and intelligence tools. Wonderware System Platform 4.0 release upgrade includes new tiered historian capabilities, designed to simplify data time-stamping, information aggregation, retrieval and reporting, along with improved information security and disaster recovery across distributed operations. The platform historian is also available as a standalone offering, Wonderware Historian 10.0. The Information Server 4.0 component of the platform now provides the experience and performance of real-time ArchestrA graphics for web visualization, supporting a wide range of production workers with more functional and effective KPI reports and HMI graphics. Using the company’s open platform, customer’s graphical configuration efforts can be easily reused and managed across their manufacturing enterprises, as both Wonderware InTouch HMI graphics and inside their web applications.

NEMA Receives Grant for Grid Vid

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced yesterday that the Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) for a grant to produce a series of short educational videos on power grid operations and Smart Grid installation and use. $247,360 in Recovery Act funding has been designated for the project.

NEMA’s “Vids for Grids: New Media for the New Energy Workforce” is one of 54 Smart Grid workforce training programs being funded. In collaboration with George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, and member manufacturers, NEMA will produce a series of short videos that demonstrate Smart Grid equipment, explain electrical engineering concepts, and portray careers in electrical manufacturing. Upon completion, the videos will be available to the public.

The project, the only one funded in Virginia and the only one awarded to a non-profit association, will demonstrate a best practice in integrating new media into engineering core curricula.

NEMA member partners in the Vids for Grids project include Beacon Power, Cooper Power Systems, Eaton Corporation, Elster Metering, Hubbell Incorporated, Leviton, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Rockwell Automation, Southwire Company, Thomas & Betts, and The Valley Group (a Nexans Company). Video services will be provided by Metro Productions.

Adobe Releases Photoshop for Creative Suite 5

Adobe Systems Inc. announced Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended software on April 12. I saw a demo of this before the release, and the tools do look to be amazing. The software has greater intelligence and awareness of the content within images, allowing for complex and “magical” manipulation in just a few clicks. Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended delivers everything in Photoshop CS5, as well as advanced tools for 3-D which address the unique needs of the video, Web, medical, manufacturing and engineering industries.

Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended will be available as stand-alone applications or key components of the Adobe Creative Suite 5 family.

Now a native 64-bit application on both Mac and Windows, Photoshop CS5 delivers superior tools and creative control so users can perform advanced image manipulations and compositing with ease. Revolutionary image intelligence behind Content-Aware Fill magically removes any image detail or object, examines the surroundings and seamlessly fills in the space left behind. Lighting, tone and noise of the surrounding area match perfectly, looking as if the removed content never existed. New Refine Edge makes nearly-impossible image selections possible. This innovative technology precisely detects and masks the trickiest types of edges, such as hair and foliage, while eliminating background color contamination.

For photographers, Photoshop CS5 now offers next-generation high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities. When combining multiple exposures into a single HDR image, Photoshop CS5 preserves the full tonal range of a scene with unprecedented speed and accuracy. The new HDR Pro offers exceptional ghost artifact removal and greater tone mapping and adjustment control. With HDR toning, users can emulate the striking look of an HDR image with any single-exposure image.

Photoshop CS5 provides tools that maximize users’ creative impact. New painting capabilities include a Mixer Brush that blends an infinite combination of colors onto a single paintbrush tip, and Bristle Tips that offer lifelike brush strokes. Puppet Warp gives users the power to precisely reposition or warp any image element, such as straightening a bent arm in a photo or manipulating the landscape to generate a new perspective.

In addition, more than 30 features and enhancements requested directly by the Photoshop community have been added to this release, including automatic image straightening, rule-of-thirds crop tool, color picker and the ability to save 16-bit images as JPEGs. The goal of this engineering effort was to address seemingly minor enhancements that directly impact everyday workflow, but aren’t always at the top of the development list for a new release. A new customizable Adobe Mini Bridge panel is also available directly in the software for faster file browsing and management.

Taking 3D and Motion to the Next Level Photoshop CS5 Extended includes everything in Photoshop CS5 plus tools for editing 3D and motion-based content. With new Adobe Repoussé technology, users can easily create 3D logos and artwork from any text layer, shape or mask, as well as twist, rotate and extrude designs for different looks. To mirror the realism and appearance of 3D objects, a new materials library offers a breadth of rich options, including chrome, glass and cork. Users can also enhance the appearance of 3D objects by quickly creating shadows with the new shadow catcher. For motion content, tools including paint, text and clone can be used directly over multiple frames of a video sequence with ease using single-key shortcuts.

Pricing and Availability Adobe Photoshop CS5 and CS5 Extended are scheduled to ship within 30 days with availability through Adobe Authorized Resellers, the Adobe Store and Adobe Direct Sales. Estimated street price for Adobe Photoshop CS5 is US$699 and US$999 for Photoshop CS5 Extended. Upgrade pricing and volume licensing are available.

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