LJ Archive

New Products

James Gray

Issue #260, December 2015

Bitwig GmbH's Bitwig Studio

Bitwig Studio is Bitwig GmbH's software solution for empowering music enthusiasts to realize their musical ideas at every stage of production. Available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, the updated Bitwig Studio 1.3 most prominently features complete multi-touch functionality for quick identification of gestures for the most unique and intuitive workflow ever. With multi-touch, users control multiple faders, knobs and device displays at the same time. Other innovations in v1.3 include a radial menu for quick access to multiple actions, an integrated keyboard that includes independent X/Y axis controls for each finger and a new e-cowbell—because when you've got a fever, the only cure is...more cowbell!


Red Hat Software Collections

In order to provide developers with ready access to applications needing software components in order to utilize their newest features, Red Hat maintains Red Hat Software Collections. This Red Hat offering, now at version 2.1, is a package of essential open-source Web development tools, dynamic languages, databases and a variety of development and performance management tools. The content is either more recent than equivalent versions included in the base Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) system or is new to RHEL. Red Hat Software Collections 2.1 includes Red Hat Developer Toolset 4, which has the latest stable open-source C and C++ compilers and dev tools. For developers following the rapid development and deployment cycles inherent to Linux containers, many of the most popular Red Hat Software Collections also have been made available as Dockerfiles and/or Docker-formatted container images via the Red Hat Customer Portal.


Jedox 6

With the new Jedox 6, vendor Jedox says it has managed to distill the essence of its unified business intelligence (BI) and planning platform, accelerate it and make it easier to use. Jedox is a unified planning, analysis and reporting platform that empowers decision-makers from finance, sales, purchasing and marketing to work smarter, streamline business collaboration and make insight-based decisions with confidence. Jedox 6 improves the BI platform by including connectors for Salesforce, SAP HANA, Hadoop and the Qlik social collaboration platform, as well as by providing a completely new mobile experience. Meanwhile, speed, enterprise scalability and usability are enhanced due to the new integrated Dynamic Data Engine. The improved mobile experience stems in large part from the integration of the newly acquired Reboard mobile BI platform. Because Jedox 6 is available as SaaS and on-premise, it completely supports companies transitioning to the cloud.


Varnish Software's Varnish Cache

Headlining the innovations in the new Varnish Cache 4.1 open-source HTTP engine are improved security and proxy support. These advances enhance the recently added streaming architecture, which cuts down delivery times for larger objects and decreases latency when accessing content through cache hierarchies. A noteworthy new security feature is support for different kinds of privilege separation methods, collectively described as jails. On the topic of proxy protocol support, version 4.1 provides socket support for PROXY protocol connections, whereby PROXY defines a short preamble on the TCP connection where typically an SSL/TLS terminating proxy can signal the real client address. Varnish Software notes that more than 2.2 million Web sites use its HTTP accelerator, including 14% of the top global 10,000 sites.


New Spaces AG's Gravit.io

The Principality of Liechtenstein may have fewer people than the pueblo of Bountiful, Utah, but it can boast innovations like New Spaces AG's Gravit.io, “the world's first Web-based pixel design tool”. Gravit offers features that will allow anyone—from beginner to professional—to start designing free of charge. Examples include a company logo, Facebook timeline or graphics for a Web site. The site has basic features that cater to those who are unfamiliar with design software as well as advanced features that a professional would be happy to use for everyday work. This new version 2.0 makes it easier for users to create, edit and manage their designs, and it includes additions like the professional Bezigon Pen and more than two dozen photo filter options. Gravit's developers say that its creation is unlike other design software and services in that it is more than a pixel design tool. It also is a cloud-based design platform that allows users to design, share their work and interact with other designers and community members as part of their regular workflow.



The new version 7.5 is the latest rendition of FreeFileSync, a free and open-source utility that synchronizes files and folders for “all modern versions” of Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. FreeFileSync is designed to save users' time setting up and running backup and sync jobs while enjoying useful visual input along the way. The software has been optimized for both CPU and file I/O performance, enabling it to scan a hard drive with hundreds of thousands of files in seconds. The fail-safe file copy design includes multiple strategies to prevent data corruption if the synchronization process is interrupted. The latest version 7.5 now supports the SFTP protocol, adding the unique benefit of eliminating the tedious and error-prone task of manually identifying files that have changed on the source computer and moving them to the target computer. Another new feature is the detection of moved files on the source computer, even for targets with no file-id support or with unstable file-id support. Finally, enhanced media transfer protocol (MTP) support makes it even easier for users to synchronize files and folders between their PCs and their other MTP devices.


Neverware's CloudReady

Helping schools extend the life of their hardware is one key objective of Neverware and its Google-supported CloudReady OS, which turns almost any existing PC or Mac into a fully functional Chromebook. The new free version of CloudReady has been certified by Neverware on nearly 200 computer models and can be used on hundreds of others. Automatic updates are included, and simple installation occurs from a USB thumb drive. Because CloudReady is based on the same code that powers Chromebooks, it offers complete and secure integration with Google Apps and other Google services. A previously released paid version of CloudReady also exists, adding a complement of dedicated support and integration with Google's device management console. Neverware says that numerous school districts have expressed satisfaction that CloudReady has appreciably increased their device-to-student ratios.


Simon Monk's The Maker's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (No Starch Press)

Author, hardware hacker and zombie anthropologist Simon Monk wants to know where his fellow makers will be when the zombie apocalypse hits. Trapping yourself in the basement? Roasting the family pet? Beheading re-animated neighbors? “No way!” offers Monk. With his guidance, you'll be building fortresses, setting traps and hoarding supplies, because you, savvy survivor, have snatched up your copy of The Maker's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse before it's too late. Subtitled Defend Your Base with Simple Circuits, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi, this indispensable guide to survival after Z-day will teach apprentice zombie anthropologists how to generate their own electricity, salvage parts, craft essential electronics and out-survive the undead. Readers will learn myriad survival skills. They will take charge of their environment—for example, by powering zombie defense devices with car batteries, bicycle generators and solar power. They will escape imminent danger—for example, by repurposing old disposable cameras for zombie-distracting flashbangs. And they will communicate with other survivors—for example by passing silent messages with two-way vibration walkie-talkies. Survival of the zombie apocalypse calls for these and many more essential, life-saving measures.


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