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Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News

9 February 2004
Reported, written and edited by David Duberman
For editorial/subscription inquiries, send mailto:spectrum1@broadviewnet.net
Search the Spectrum archives at http://www.3dlinks.com/spectrum
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Today's Headlines (details below)

WEBMEISTER
--O'Reilly Releases "Java Servlet and JSP Cookbook"

IN THE INFOGROOVE
--Most Web Applications Not Secured Against Hacking

GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING
--Pinnacle Unveils Upgrades for Pinnacle Liquid Family
--Discreet Announces lustre Color Grading System Upgrade
--Media Machines Releases X3D Player, Authoring Tool
--Okino Supports 18 Major Native 3D CAD Importers
--ParallelGraphics Releases Offline Version of Outline3D
--Caligari Updates gameSpace

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
--GarageGames Releases Aerial Antics, 3D Mahjong
--AOL Releases 3D Online Game

HAPPENINGS
--Multimedia Retreat to Kick Off Media-Tech Consortium

F.Y.I.
--About Spectrum

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WEBMEISTER

O'Reilly Releases "Java Servlet and JSP Cookbook"</p>

The new "Java Servlet and JSP Cookbook" (O'Reilly, US $44.95) puts theory into practice with efficient solutions to real-world Web-related problems.

"The recipes are mainly designed for experienced developers who design, build, deploy, and revise Java-based Web applications," says author Bruce W. Perry. "This includes JSP, servlet, and JavaBeans developers. But it's also appropriate for experienced Web developers who are just learning Java and migrating from another Web programming platform, such as Active Server Pages (ASP), PHP, or Perl."

With hundreds of examples and thousands of lines of code, the "Java Servlet and JSP Cookbook" delivers tips and techniques for everyday use as well as solutions to Web application-development problems that developers can insert directly into their own app lications. The initial recipes are basic and will instruct new Java Web developers in the mechanics of servlets and JSPs (including packaging servlets and JSPs, writing the deployment descriptor, deploying servlets and JSPs, using Apache Ant, precompiling JSPs, and creating JSPs as XML documents).

With more than 230 recipes on a number of everyday Web technologies, using both Tomcat and BEA WebLogic as servlet containers, the collection covers: * working with sessions, filters, custom tags, and the JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library (JSTL)
* authenticating Web clients
* interacting with database and email servers
* reading and setting cookies
* uploading files from clients
* integrating JavaScript with servlets and JSPs
* embedding multimedia files (such as digital movies and music) in JSPs and servlets
* handling Web clients whose users speak different languages (internationalization)
* logging messages from servlets and JSPs
* dynamically including chunks of content, as in traditional server-side include (SSI) code
* using the Amazon and Google Web Services APIs from a servlet or JSP

The cookbook format allows developers to look up a solution to a specific problem. The recipes themselves incorporate new features associated with the Servlet 2.4 and JSP 2.0 specifications, including ServletRequestListeners, new JSTL 1.1 functions, the use of JSTL elements inside of template test, tag files, and the XML Schema-based deployment descriptor.

Chapter 17, "Embedding Multimedia in JSPs," is available online at: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/jsvltjspckbk/chapter/index.html

For more information about the book, see: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/jsvltjspckbk/

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IN THE INFOGROOVE

Most Web Applications Not Secured Against Hacking

WebCohort, Inc., a Web-application security firm, last week announced the results of four years of penetration testing on more than 250 Web applications including e-commerce, online banking, enterprise collaboration, and supply chain management sites.

The vulnerability assessments conducted by WebCohort's Application Defense Center (ADC) concluded that at least 92% of Web applications are vulnerable to some form of hacker attacks. The most common vulnerabilities were cross-site scripting (80%), SQL injection (62%) and parameter tampering (60%). While these types of hacking attacks are common, most enterprises have not adequately secured Web sites, applications and servers against them. Despite common use of defenses such as firewalls and intrusion dete ction or prevention systems, hackers can access valuable proprietary and customer data, shut-down Websites and servers, defraud businesses, and introduce serious legal liability without being stopped or, in many cases, even detected.

In 2001, Gartner Group reported that 75% of cyber attacks and Internet security violations are generated through Internet applications. Years later, Web applications have yet to be secured.

The Federal Trade Commission announced in January that Internet-related fraud was the reason for more than 500,000 of consumer complaints filed in 2003, with estimated consumer losses of $200 million in the U.S. alone. The total cost of Internet fraud is compounded by business losses, legislative, regulatory and law enforcement costs, and diminished consumer trust in the Internet throughout the world. Unsecured Web applications leave the back door wide open to Internet fraud and other forms of hacking attacks.

Definitions and descriptions of the attacks listed above are available at: http://Webcohort.com/Web_application_security/research/glossary/

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GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING

Pinnacle Unveils Upgrades for Pinnacle Liquid Family

Pinnacle Systems recently introduced Pinnacle Liquid 5.6, an update to the Liquid chrome video editing system and an upgrade to Liquid blue and Liquid silver video editing systems. Liquid 5.6 supports Liquid blue for multi-format broadcast environments, Liquid chrome for real-time post settings, and Liquid silver for MPEG-2 post editing. Features include:
* integrated DVD authoring -- create, preview and edit DVD/VCD/SVCD titles with motion menus, motion buttons and automatic links directly from the Liquid 5.6 timeline
* enhanced MPEG encoder -- faster and higher quality DVD encoding
* Rapid Capture -- streamlines capture by automatically stopping and starting digitization while jogging and shuttling through content
* edit while capturing
* mark used clips -- automatically identifies used clips to help avoid reuse and improve media management.
* track matte editor -- add moving keys to Liquid composites for a
* MXF support -- exchange MPEG files using MXF file format. Provides broadcasters with direct file format compatibility with Pinnacle's MediaStream servers.
* XSend to Wavelab -- seamlessly transfer clips and sequences to Pinnacle Steinberg Wavelab where they can be enhanced and edited

With Liquid 5.6, the entire Pinnacle Liquid family now runs on Windows XP. Liquid chrome 5.6 adds 1394/DV capture and playback as well as real-time slow-motion. Liquid chrome 5.6 also features a real-time frame buffer for video output from Pinnacle Commotion Pro, Adobe After Effects and Discreet combustion, as well as ASIO drivers for no-latency audio output from Pinnacle Steinberg Nuendo.

http://www.pinnaclesys.com/liquid

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Discreet Announces lustre Color Grading System Upgrade

Coming next month from Discreet is its lustre 2 system, the next version of its real-time color-grading system for digital media and digital intermediate (DI) workflows. Developed with partner Colorfront, lustre 2 introduces new capabilities to digital color correction by means of the GMask vector shape system, designed to simulate more realistically the way light interacts with objects. In the real world light does not illuminate objects uniformly but abruptly casts shadows in some areas while softly fad ing in others. GMasks offers colorists more accurate control of light and color when grading a digital image, compared to traditional methods that apply uniform fading in all directions.

The lustre 2 system will also feature a real-time, 3D color look-up-table (LUT) engine enabling filmmakers to manipulate digital images with greater precision than previously. These 3D LUTS can be used to visualize how a digital image will look when it is printed back to film and projected in a cinema. lustre 2's open engine allows integration of new color-management technologies, such as Kodak's monitor calibration and film-look preview system, and the ARRI Colour Management System (CMS).

To provide film studios and post-production facilities with more options and price points, lustre 2 will also be available in a variety of configurations. The lustre 2 system's scalable options include:
* the lustre Master Station for digital grading with combined data, HDTV and dual-link HSDL capabilities
* the lustre Command Station, a lower-cost digital grading solution available in either data-only, data/HDTV or data/HDTV/HSDL configurations
* the lustre Assistant Station, designed to support the Master and Command Stations by undertaking tasks that do not require the direct intervention or supervision of the colorist or director of photography
* lustre Background Render Nodes -- designed to accelerate the time to completion of complex look-creation and design tasks
* lustre Conform, with which post houses can conform and revise digital intermediates from standard EDLs and Change Lists

http://www.discreet.com/lustre

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Media Machines Releases X3D Player, Authoring Tool

Last week Tony Parisi's company Media Machines released version 1.1 of FLUX, a platform for developing real-time, network-aware 3D applications that is compliant with X3D, the new ISO standard for 3D graphics. Media Machines also announced that FLUX 1.1 will be bundled with Vizx3D, Virtock Technologies' X3D authoring tool for creating applications in areas including engineering, scientific visualization, education and entertainment.

FLUX features components for developing and deploying interactive real-time 3D content over the Web, including animations, virtual worlds, physical simulations, information spaces and advanced user interfaces. FLUX version 1.1 is a 3D player for Windows that is compliant with the Immersive Profile of Extensible 3D (X3D), the new ISO standard for 3D graphics developed by the Web3D Consortium (www.Web3.org).

X3D supports the development of 3D content and applications for Web and broadcast environments, in a compact format based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML). FLUX is being used in commercial and non-commercial settings for a range of applications that include engineering, scientific visualization, education and entertainment.

The ManyOne Network (www.manyone.net), an Internet-based information service that acquired Media Machines in 2003, is using FLUX to deploy photorealistic simulations of the physical world, including portals that represent Earth, the solar system and the stellar neighborhood of the nearest 100,000 stars. The ManyOne stellar simulation features interactive objects representing the stars and nearby galactic objects nearest to Earth, Web links information relating to those objects, and an ability to access on line databases that contain astronomical observations in real time. The ManyOne stellar simulation was demonstrated at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in Atlanta, GA earlier this year.

The FLUX technology suite includes the FLUX Engine, an extensible system for managing the low-level details of 3D graphics rendering and animation; FLUX Web Tools, a set of utilities for supporting Web applications, including X3D and VRML97 file readers and application programming interfaces (APIs); and the FLUX Player, a Web browser-hosted ActiveX control that loads FLUX scenes, provides user-level navigation features and connects to other Web page elements via XML/DOM scripting.

FLUX Version 1.1 is available for Windows and runs as an ActiveX control for use in Internet Explorer and as a component in other Windows applications. A plug-in for Netscape/Mozilla will be available sometime in March 2004. In the future, other operating systems will be supported. FLUX 1.1 is available at the Media Machines Web site (http://www.mediamachines.com).

Headquartered in Cincinnati, OH and founded in 1998 by Web3D expert Keith Victor, Vizx3D developer Virtock Technologies first came to prominence offering Spazz3D to the early VRML community. From 2000-2002 Virtock Technologies was part of the Eyematic Corporation working on Web3D technologies for corporate clients. In January 2003, Victor left Eyematic to focus again on Web3D tools, creating Vizx3D v.1.0.

http://www.vizx3d.com

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Okino Supports 18 Major Native 3D CAD Importers

Okino Computer Graphics, a provider of 3D data translation, rendering and data re-purposing software, last week announced final support for more than 18 major CAD file formats in its product lines. With the open availability of Okino's "PolyTrans" (and el der "NuGraf") version 4.1 products, users of Okino software now have access to 3D CAD import converters, directly accessible as native and direct importers within the NuGraf, PolyTrans, 3ds max or Maya user interfaces. These CAD importers are in addition to Okino's popular support of DCC/VisSim-based file formats and animation packages such as Lightwave, Softimage|XSI, Softimage|3D, 3ds max and Maya (via the native 'PolyTrans-for-MAX' and 'PolyTrans-for- Maya' native plug-in systems), and many more as out lined at http://www.okino.com/conv/filefrmt.htm . The list of CAD importers (most of them "solids based", BREP with crack free tessellation), includes:
* ACIS SAT V7
* Autodesk Inventor
* CATIA
* DWG/DXF
* Granite "G-plugs"
* IGES (PTC)
* IGES (Okino)
* Parasolids
* Pro/Engineer
* Pro/DESKTOP
* Rhino-3D/OpenNURBS
* Solid Edge
* Solid Works
* STEP
* VDA-FS

The importers are licensed in the optional "CAD/Pack" (US$245), "Granite/Pack" (US$395) and DATAKIT CATIA v4 (495 Euros) add-on licenses. Unigraphics and CATIA v5 files are handled via the Okino IGES importer (for trimmed surfaces), or the PTC IGES importer (for solids), without requiring a native importer.

In addition, the following additional CAD file formats are supported if the Okino "Granite/Pack" license is purchased. These add-on importers can be downloaded from the PTC WEB site at http://www.ptc.com/products/granite/gplugs.htm. A tutorial that describes how to install these special "gPlug" modules is available at http://www.okino.com/tutorials/gplugs_tutorial.htm. These importers are written by their respective companies.

Import CAD format file extensions:
* Alias .wire
* IronCAD .ics
* Raindrop Geomagic .wrp

CAD exporters are available for: DWG/DXF, IGES (NURBS only), SLP, STL and Rhino/OpenNURBS. Complete explanations and a multitude of pop-up "notes" for file format each can be viewed at http://www.okino.com/conv/filefrmt.htm (in addition to explanations for all VisSim and DCC based file formats, and 2D bitmap file formats).

http://www.okino.com

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ParallelGraphics Releases Offline Version of Outline3D

Last week ParallelGraphics released the offline version of Outline3D, its 3D interior design software.

The offline version of Outline3D is targeted at standalone PCs and laptops and is the latest member of the Outline3D family, which includes online ASP-services and client-server solutions for Internet/intranet.

With Outline3D the user can create a 2D plan of an interior, generate a 3D model with a mouse click, add furniture and finishings from a catalog or files stored on the local PC, get a specification of the interior, and export it in VRML format.

A small-sized VRML file can be published on the Web or delivered via email and then viewed by any standard VRML browser such as ParallelGraphics Cortona VRML Client (http://www.parallelgraphics.com/).

http://www.Outline3D.com

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Caligari Updates gameSpace

The new release of Caligari's $300 gameSpace, version 1.5, includes support for three game engines, additional game export formats and a variety of workflow-enhancing features. Caligari also announced availability of a level exporter, sold separately, which enables gameSpace to be used as a level creator and editor.

The three game engines are Blitz, Torque and 3D GameStudio A6, in addition to existing support for GameCreator's DarkBASIC. GameSpace also exports 3D models created to game formats including Unreal Tournament, Half-life, Quake 3 and DirectX. Additional game formats supported include Half Life SMD, Genesis 3D BDV, Genesis 3D MOT, Unreal/UT 3D, Serious Sam LWO/SCR, Serious Sam SKA, The Sims SKN, GameStudio A5 MDL, GenEdit 3dt exporter, and RAW.

A new level exporter, sold separately for $49.00, enables the export of an entire scene as a 3D game level, including geometry, textures and lights. In addition, the level exporter enables the import of textures from WAD files into the gameSpace texture library. All materials--image, color or procedural--are converted into MipMapped game image textures and exported in the correct format for each system.

Modeling, texture and animation capabilities in gameSpace are provided through an included game-optimized version of trueSpace 6.6. Modeling features include polygon modeling/point editing for in-game content and subdivision surfaces for producing high poly-count versions.

A high-quality rendering engine supports full rendering to any image size, with no watermarks, for production of promotional artwork, background images, beauty renders, 2D sprites, etc. Images can also be rendered using procedural shaders for texture creation. Finished textures can then be placed back onto 3D models with included texture-mapping tools.

Animation tools include IK and bones for control over joints. gameSpace also includes a non-linear editor for creating animation sequences.

http://www.caligari.com/gamespace ___________________________________

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY

GarageGames Releases Aerial Antics, 3D Mahjong

GarageGames last week launched Aerial Antics from Leadfoot Productions and 3D Mahjong from GameShapers, both for Windows-based PCs.

Aerial Antics puts players in the pilot's seat of a single-person jet pack where becoming the world's best aerial performer is the goal. The physics-based gameplay lets players control jet pack thrust as well as pitch and yaw. Aerial Antics spans five locales with 50 levels and different challenging scenarios.

Forcing the player to think in three dimensions, 3D Mahjong Solitaire introduces the use of elevated layouts, featuring spanning bridges and multiple layers. Using photorealistic artwork, real-time 3D effects, dynamic lighting and multi-layered audio, 3D Mahjong Solitaire also features 20 layouts, billions of unique games, classic as well as kids tile sets, and in-game hints.

Both are available at http://www.garagegames.com for $19.95 and have demo versions available for Windows based PCs.

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AOL Releases 3D Online Game

As recent research by AOL/Digital Marketing Services "reveals" that 65% of online teens play online games, the self-same AOL launched FireChild, a 3D online action game for the RED service, AOL's new service for teens. Created by developer Sarbakan, FireChild is described as a console-quality, story-driven online game that can be played using the AOL for Broadband service.

Firechild is a third-person action game in which players take on the role of Lona, a young girl who must fight against alien forces to find her missing brother Waken. Players guide Lona through 3D worlds from mystical temples to the pits of sewers. The game features five different episodes that each reveal new environments and unlock mysterious secrets to help Lona on her quest.

http://www.sarbakan.com ___________________________________

HAPPENINGS

Multimedia Retreat to Kick Off Media-Tech Consortium

Thinkers and executives in the news, entertainment and technology industries will gather March 10-12 in Newport Beach, California, for a retreat that will launch a new cross-sector network.

MediaMorphosis: A Multimedia Executive Retreat will include representatives of media and technology companies such as Qualcomm, Motorola, Intel, The BBC, The New York Times, MSNBC, Red Herring, Newsweek, PR Newswire, Knight Ridder, AOL, Nando Media, Gannett, Tribune Co. and Media General.

The event will feature conversations on the forces shaping the future of media, such as media strategy guru Jeffrey Rayport, tech investor/analyst Esther Dyson, culture watcher and "Smart Mobs" author Howard Rheingold, and CBS.MarketWatch founder and CEO Larry Kramer.

The retreat is part of a long-term effort by a not-for-profit think tank, The Media Center at the American Press Institute, to facilitate a media-technology conversation leading to alliances, strategies, and innovation in media. The retreat also marks the launch of The Media Center's New Directions Network, a consortium of companies and organizations with overlapping but as-yet-disconnected interests in the evolution of digital media.

Other retreat participants will include:
* ethnofuturist Katherine von Jan
* media columnist Dan Gillmor
* CNN Washington bureau chief David Bohrman
* Red Herring publisher and CEO Alex Vieux
* Tampa Tribune president Gil Thelen
* MSNBC.com editor-in-chief Dean Wright
* New York Times on the Web editor Leonard Apcar
* Motorola consumer solutions business/broadband sector VP John Burke
* Motorola uberMedia director Albert Lopez

MediaMorphosis is designed to break down institutional and cultural barriers among media, technology and academic researchers, and is built around a series of Socratic dialogs that will kick off a multi-industry conversation and network. The first session, designed by Fred Friendly Seminars (www.fredfriendly.com) and moderated by CNN's Jeff Greenfield, addresses the emergence of immediately responsive, highly interactive and interest-specific media and its effects on culture and society. The second sessio n, informed by cultural anthropologists, sociologists and researchers, examines the changing habits and behavior of young, mobile and media-centric audiences. And global executive strategies expert William Weiss, president of The Promar Group, leads the third dialog on the evolving media-business terrain. These sessions are interspersed with Thinking and Learning Moments that showcase some of the latest technology that will impact the future of communication and media.

The retreat takes place at the Four Seasons Newport Beach. The hotel registration deadline is Feb. 10. For more details and to register, visit http://www.mediacenter.org/04/MultimediaSummit

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F.Y.I.

About Spectrum

Spectrum is an independent news service published every Monday for the interactive media professional community by Motion Blur Media. Spectrum covers the tools and technologies used to create interactive multimedia applications and infrastructure for business, education, and entertainment; and the interactive media industry scene. We love to receive interactive media/online-development tools and end product for review.

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