Thursday, October 06, 2005

Technology Highlights --Week Ending 10/01

Privacyware, has integrated Computer Associates International, Inc.'s eTrust PestPatrol and eTrust AntiVirus technology with Privatefirewall 4.0. The integrated offering, dubbed the PC Security Suite, provides users with personal firewall and desktop protection software for under $50.

I'm always glad to see this type of offering – the more protection the merrier. I'm also glad to see that the costs seem to be coming down as well.

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IMSI, released IMSI PDF to Word, version 2.0, a tool that converts PDF files into Microsoft® Word and Rich Text Format (RTF) documents, allowing access to and editing of content from PDF files. The program recovers the text, graphics and formatting of the original PDF file without requiring installation of Adobe® Acrobat® or Microsoft Word. IMSI PDF to Word also generates PDF files from Microsoft Word documents. The product is licensed from VoyagerSoft of Redmond, Washington. No pricing was provided.

I'm a sucker for this type of tool, but leery of any company that announces a product but doesn't put the pricing in the press release. "How much is it," the prespect asked? "How much you got," the salesman countered.

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Sun Microsystems announced the availability of StarOffice™8 software, the latest version of the desktop productivity suite that competes with Microsoft Office. StarOffice 8 software claims to be the first commercial office suite using the Open Document Format for Office Applications, the OASIS open standard that makes sharing files easier. The product claims to be able to read and write files in the Microsoft Office format.

I often wonder how good their sales are outside of the rabid "I hate wintel" crowd. Superficially, it seems as though the only thing they have going for them is price – and they give it away to the educational organizations for free, which sure looks like an attempt to buy market share. Oh well, free is a very good price.

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Allume Systems released Aquazone Seven Seas Deluxe™ virtual aquarium that includes 40 different kinds of fish from goldfish, clown fish, jellyfish, sea turtles, a giant sunfish, and a shark, along with 20 different aquarium environments.

Sorry, I just don't get it.

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American Power Conversion announced an extension to its biometric password manager product line with a new PCMCIA personal fingerprint scanner that manages laptop users' login and password information. Based on fingerprint sensor technology, the product allows users to biometrically secure their laptop and eliminate the need to memorize logins and passwords. The product fits in the PCMCIA slot of a laptop computer, providing biometric authentication while traveling. With its ejector design, the sensor hides away inside the laptop until a user needs it to log onto applications or Web sites. The sensor ejects from the side of the laptop with a press of a finger.

Now this I get, and this I want. What a wonderful boon to travelers who always worry about laptop theft.

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