Agfa Graphics, yesterday at the WAN-IFRA World Publishing Expo 2012 in Frankfurt, highlighted new technologies for newspaper publishers and printers, including :Arkitex Cloud, :Arkitex PressRegister, and VeriPress for :Arkitex
The :Arkitex Eversify technology can now be aimed at mobile publishing through cloud-based managed services. “We feel a strong concern amongst printers and publishers in the newspaper industry about business models for mobile applications," said Andy Grant, Global Director of Software, Agfa Graphics. “Building on our pre-media solutions for print, we can offer publishers a path to success for the new digital media as well.”
:Arkitex Cloud, according to Agfa, offers a complete prepress software and hardware solution in the cloud (Software as a Service) to minimize operational costs and IT infrastructure. :Arkitex Eversify is applied within this structure to automate the mobile publishing of content.
At the World Publishing Expo 2012, Agfa for the first time demonstrated :Arkitex PressRegister, which automatically corrects imaging data. The technology is designed to improve print quality on older presses suffering from mechanical mis-registration.
Agfa Graphics also highlighted VeriPress for :Arkitex, providing press-room proofing, as well as the recently introduced :Advantage N HS platesetters for high-volume newspaper printers. Both of these technologies were first announced at drupa 2012.
PTI Marketing Technologies, formerly known as Printable Technologies, today released version 8.0 of FusionPro VDP Suite.
The new release includes Mac OS X Lion support, HTML output, and list processing workflows along with a variety of updates and new features. The FusionPro VDP suite is comprised of three recently re-branded products, including: A desktop design and composition tool called FusionPro VDP Creator; a high-speed plug-and-play composition server called FusionPro VDP Producer; and a composition server called FusionPro Producer (API).
Using FusionPro VDP 8.0, service providers can now produce personalized HTML the same way they produce a variable data print piece, eliminating the need for advanced HTML programming. Designs can originate from programs such as Adobe InDesign or Quark, and the HTML can be used for static or personalized emails and micro-sites. The new list cleansing features offered in 8.0 allows users to execute NCOA and CASS processes online through an integration with Tec Mailing Solutions.
"The new features in FusionPro 8.0 provide such a tremendous value," said Coleman Kane, CEO of PTI. "The industry has changed and so have the needs of our service providers. FusionPro has diversified to include media types outside of print and improve on essential workflows that any provider can appreciate.”
Quark announced this week that its previous customers, going back to version 3, will be eligible for an upgrade to QuarkXPress 9 for US$349. The non-upgrade price is $849.
Likely targeting the recent release of Adobe Creative Suite 6, Gavin Drake, Vice President of Marketing at Quark says: “We release major versions of QuarkXPress about every two years and unlike many other vendors, provide free, feature-rich updates regularly within release cycles. Assuming a user upgrades on the two-year cycle, an upgrade price of $349 brings the cost of owning version 9 to as low as $14.50 per month – and users own the software once they’ve upgraded, which means no long-term financial commitments.”
Users with a valid, registered and activated serial number for any version of QuarkXPress is eligible for the offer. QuarkXPress 3 was first released in 1990.
Adobe Systems is providing a preview of what's to come in its popular Photoshop program with the release of a free beta. The final release is expected this summer.
“Photoshop CS6 will be a milestone release that pushes the boundaries of imaging innovation with incredible speed and performance,” said Winston Hendrickson, Vice President Products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. “We couldn’t wait to share this beta of Photoshop CS6 with our customers and are looking forward to hearing from them and seeing the ways they are incorporating the beta into their daily creative workflows.”
Most notable of the new features are Content-Aware Patch, which allows users to select and duplicate an area of the image to fill in another, and Content-Aware Move, which lets users select and move subjects in a photo, with CS6 filling in the missing background.
Photoshop CS6 for Mac requires a 64-bit operating system. This move follows Apple's decision to end 32-bit support in its latest OS X 10.7 Lion operating system. CS6 will also require a mulit-core computer (Core2Duo and above) on Apple machines.
For the PC version, Photoshop CS6 will run on single core CPUs on 32-bit systems, although Adobe has dropped official support for Windows Vista systems.
“We’re thrilled to see the response from customers, on both the Blurb and the Adobe side,” said Eileen Gittins, Founder and CEO, Blurb. “The Lightroom 4 integration has enabled us to reach a whole new set of professional and enthusiast photographers who are just now discovering Blurb for the first time. The feedback from this discriminating group has been consistent: they are blown away by the quality we offer.”
Quebec-based Dynagram is releasing a new imposition tool which will have a retail price of under $400.
Agfa Graphics has developed cloud-based production software specifically for newspaper companies, called :Arkitex Eversify, which will be available to publishers by mid-2012 in Europe, followed later by North America and the rest of the world.
“Publishers are in the content business. Just as Agfa Graphics has helped them get their content on plates and finally on paper, with :Arkitex Eversify we can convert their content to a mobile platform. E-media and print will coexist,” stated Jeff Cord of the newspaper software group at Agfa Graphics. “Our solution will allow newspapers to make money from e-media without having to make a large investment in technology and personnel.
“The beauty of :Arkitex Eversify is that there is no interruption to the everyday production process. It uses the newspaper’s existing methods for print production.”
Ricoh Americas has announced it will be demonstrating two new software products aimed at the production printing segment at Graph Expo next week.
Named TotalFlow MR and TotalFlow PM (for Make-Ready and Print Manager respectively), the software will help owners of Ricoh Pro printers increase productivity. Capabilities include print preparation, editing, numbering, watermarking, clean-up, finishing, job management, load balancing, archiving, search and reprinting.
"We are aggressively leveraging our product knowledge to develop software that takes full advantage of the industry's most advanced printing engine," said Tim Vellek, Vice President, Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Americas Corporation. "The software automates the processes that directly enhance the speed, ease, flexibility, accuracy and quality of the Ricoh production printing experience."
TotalFlow MR and TotalFlow PM will be available in late November.
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