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This week in PDF: Foxit Reader security hole patched

May 29, 2008

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This week in PDF has seen a security and bug-fix update to a popular PDF viewer, the development of a technique for embedding 3D images into PDF documents and Xerox's adoption of the Adobe Print Engine.

First up, Foxit software has released an update to its Foxit PDF Reader. According to CNET's Michael Horowitz, the company confirmed on the phone that the minor update was a bug-fix release. It seems that one of the bugs fixed was the "highly critical" security vulnerability reported last week by Secunia. Since the vulnerability in question allows for the "execution of arbitrary code," users of the software are strongly encouraged to download the newest version from Foxit.com.

In other news, Thinkingaustralia.com reports that researchers at Melbourne's Swinburne University of Technology have developed a technique that involves embedding interactive 3D visualizations into PDF documents.

According to co-developer Christopher Fluke, an astronomer based at Swinburne's Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, "In the past, the way you would have shared a 3D model is that you would either have to make a movie of it - so you might rotate that with one particular set of views, or you would have to present it as a series of individual images. The problem there is that as the person creating those movies, or those images, you are making decisions about what you want the reader to see."

In collaboration with astronomer Dr David Barnes, Dr Fluke developed S2PLOT, a programming library that facilitates the presentation of research data in a 3D form. They have since extended the library to allow 3D models to be exported into an intermediate format that users can directly feed into PDF documents.Check out the original article for more information.

Last but not least, Xerox has announced that it will incorporate Adobe PDF Print Engine into its print server software. Using Adobe Print Engine, Xerox's FreeFlow Print Server will enable reliable PDF printing, supporting both complex designs and transparencies. The press release notes that:

Adobe PDF Print Engine enables workflow consistency and flexibility since it processes native PDF files without conversion to Adobe PostScript. Native PDF rendering improves end-to-end predictability and reliability of the entire print process and reduces delays and rework. It also uses JDF-based automation technologies, resulting in faster processing.

Xerox will demonstrate the new product at its stand during Drupa. More details can be found in the original press release.

That's it for this week. Watch this space!

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