Linux Product Insider: Penumbra: Black Plague for Linux

This week we feature Paradox Interactive's Penumbra: Black Plague, SnapLogic 2.0 Data Integration Framework, ASUS Lamborghini VX3 Laptop, Octopz Online Collaboration Software, Neuros and Texas Instruments Open Internet Television Platform and Ixonos Mobile Television Reception Solution.

Here this week's Linux product news:

Paradox Interactive's Penumbra: Black Plague for Linux and Mac
I wish I had more announcements like this...the game developer Paradox Interactive and the 2-man Swedish developer team, Frictional Games, have released Linux and Mac versions of its popular game Penumbra: Black Plague. As of this writing, a demo version is available; a full version will be ready the week of April 29th. The Penumbra series, which includes the new Penumbra: Black Plague and its prequel Penumbra: Overture, is a first person adventure game which focuses on story, immersion and puzzles. Instead of using violence to progress the player has to use his/her wits to guide Philip on his quest to unravel the past. Paradox says that Penumbra "is very different from other adventure games." The games feature a 3D engine that utilizes cutting edge technology, and it has an advanced physics system which creates a newe level of environmental interaction. The player can open drawers, pull levers, pick up objects and more using natural mouse movements creating a highly interactive and dynamic game world. The next game in the series, Penumbra: Requiem, is due out in summer 2008, and will also offer a Linux version.

SnapLogic 2.0 Data Integration Framework
Under the paradigm "Really Simple Integration", the firm SnapLogic has released SnapLogic 2.0, the new edition of its open source data integration framework. Offered in two editions, a GPL'd Community Edition and a commercial Enterprise Edition, SnapLogic enables enterprises to quickly and easily make data from databases, SaaS applications, SOA Web services, and other common data sources. The Really Simple Integration paradigm allows knowledge workers to use familiar tools, such as Web browsers, Google, and Excel, to discover, consume, transform, and publish enterprise data, creating a virtuous cycle of self-service data access and distribution. Key new features include SnapLogic Server (Linux, Windows), indexable metadata, an HTML page reader SnapLogic Component, support for SnapLogic Components written in Java and Python, command-line-selectable output formats (HTML, XML, JSON) and an updated SnapLogic Designer for designing, inspecting, and running SnapLogic Pipelines

ASUS Lamborghini VX3 Laptop
If you can afford a Lamborghini, then the ASUS Lamborghini VX3 Laptop will seem like buying a candy bar. This $3300 luxury machine, says ASUS, "redefines lifestyle for fashion in technology." The latest addition to the ASUS-Lamborghini VX series family is a design combination of luxury, portability and high performance. Weighing in a 3.6 lbs, the VX3 offers a 12.1-inch WXGA display, a sapphire crystal camera lens, hand-made leather palm rest, a titanium alloy hinge, an authentic Lamborghini painted cover with the famous Lamborghini logo, a 320 GB hard drive, 4 GB RAM and the latest Intel Centrino processor (currently
Intel Core2 Duo T9300).

Octopz Online Collaboration Software
While many online service providers snub Linux users and reduce their market potential, the online collaboration tool Octopz actively courts them. Provided you have a browser with Flash (on Linux you need Firefox), Octopz allows collaboration on a wide range of documents, such as audio, video, Flash, animations, images, PDFs and Office files. Despite the Linux support, however, Octopz does not support many of the files we commonly use on our platform, e.g. files, Ogg Vorbis, etc. The new version adds features such as support for fully interactive 3D content, real-time co-creation via the built-in text editor, increased integration with complementary applications and Web services (e.g. Flickr, Yahoo! Maps), and a flexible new pricing option. The new 3D capability supports true 3D polygonal models, such that users of Maya, 3ds Max and XSI can upload and share their content using Octopz.

Ixonos Mobile Television Reception Solution
In a move to help device manufacturers to create novel mobile services of interest to large consumer audiences, Ixonos has developed a television reception solution for its Linux-based mobile platform. The solution enables reception of, among others, DVB-T and DVB-H transmissions and can also repeat them over a local area network. The video player used for TV reception is also the multimedia player for the entire platform and is based on the open-source MPlayer. Ixonos claims to be among the first companies to bing DVB-H reception to a Linux-based smartphone. The latest H.264 and AAC technologies are used as video and audio codecs.

Neuros' and Texas Instruments Bounty Program for Open Internet Television Platform
Keeping on the TV theme, the firms Neuros (of Neuros OSD fame) and Texas Instruments have announced a collaboration to create a complete Linux-based open source platform for set-top boxes, i.e. the Open Internet Television Platform, including a bounty program. There will be a complete reference design distribution, as well as a consumer branded device (from Neuros) that's available directly at retail to consumers. The ultimate goal is an open platform that will allow developers of all levels to contribute and port applications, ideally requiring only Web tools via browser. The companies call their effort a "set-top box version of the efforts behind the mobile phone software like Android, Maemo, and Mobile Ubuntu." They also add that "open electronics will allow 3rd party participation in way not before seen outside of PCs." Bounties to build and optimize this new platform are modeled after those like Neuros’ previous efforts and the Google Summer of Code Program and will be rolled out over the following six months.

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