Here is an archive of news stories that we have presented in the past:
TRAINS for the newly-electrified route between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street are set to be built by Hitachi after the firm was named as preferred bidder by Abellio, which will take over the ScotRail franchise next year.
Transport Scotland decided to award the franchise to Abellio two days ago, ousting FirstGroup after a decade. The new contract will start on 1 April.
The fleet of 234 AT200 vehicles, formed into 70 sets, will be built at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. It is due to enter service from 2017.
Hitachi Rail Europe’s chief operating officer Andy Barr said: “We are delighted that Abellio has selected Hitachi Rail Europe as preferred bidder to supply rolling stock as well as long-term maintenance of our electric trains. This is great news, as it is the first contract for our recently launched commuter train. These trains will be built at Hitachi’s new Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in Newton Aycliffe, complementing the delivery of the Class 800 and 801 trains for the Intercity Express Programme, boosting jobs and growth in the North East.”
The 160km/h fleet will consist of 46 three-car and 24 four-car trains, and it will also be used on the lines to Dunblane, Stirling and Alloa.
Reaction to the franchise decision has continued to come in. An Abellio spokesman said the company was ‘delighted’ to have won the franchise, and added: “The new fleet proposal was a major feature in our winning bid, and we look forward now to continuing the negotiations with our preferred supplier, Hitachi.”
However, RMT general secretary Mick Cash condemned the award as ‘scandalous’. He said: “There is no question that this whole franchising process could and should have been halted, pending the ratification of the post referendum devolution settlement, instead of rushing headlong into a deal that will deny the Scottish people ownership and control of their railways for many years to come.
“Scotland could have taken control of its own railways, instead they have opted to go Dutch, meaning that profits will be sucked out of the system to underpin investment and fares in Holland. It is a disgraceful and shameful betrayal.”
Sure, Photoshop is coming to Linux via Creative Cloud streaming, but that’s more of a happy accident than anything
By Chris Hoffman | PC World | 16 October 14
Linux users have recently been celebrating the arrival of an official Photoshop for Linux– yup, once Adobe’s Photoshop-streaming-via-Creative-Cloud is out of beta for Chrome, Linux users will be able to use Photoshop in an official way.
But Adobe hasn’t suddenly fallen in love with Linux. In fact, whatever support they provide for Linux seems purely coincidental. Adobe has been going out of their way to kill their consumer Linux software in the past few years: Reader, Flash, and AIR for Linux have all been axed.
Adobe Reader has never been the nicest PDF reader for Linux. It’s always been behind Windows and Mac. But Adobe did provide an official PDF reader for Linux. It was long stuck on version 9, while Windows and Mac are up to version 11. But as a reddit user noticed a few weeks ago, Adobe Reader for Linux is no longer available for download from Adobe’s website. This isn’t a surprise, as they’re no longer officially supporting Reader for Linux–it almost certainly has security vulnerabilities that will never be patched.
As a normal Linux user, you probably don’t care too much. Linux distributions include good, integrated PDF viewers like Evince for GNOME and Okular for KDE. Chrome and Firefox have their own PDF viewers. Adobe Reader is clunky and not as nice to use, so you may have never used it.
But Adobe Reader is sadly still necessary. It supports “extended forms” that are often used to fill out government documents in PDF form, and no open-source PDF reader for Linux supports those. It also offers other features like animations and embedded 3D models. Yes, all this complexity leads to security problems in a document format that was originally supposed to be simple. But if you need to fill out government documents in PDF form, you probably can’t do it on Linux anymore. There’s simply no alternative to Adobe Reader here.
Adobe transitioned to maintenance mode for the standard Linux Flash player plug-in back in 2012. If you’re using Firefox on Windows or Mac, you have Flash Player version 15. If you’re using Firefox on Linux, you have version 11.2. Thankfully, Adobe is still providing security updates to this old version for five years, so users have until 2017 before the plug-in is completely unusable. Some Flash content does require a more modern version of the Flash player, however–it’s completely unusable in Firefox and most other browsers on Linux.
Linux users do have an option here. The Linux version of Chrome comes with an up-to-date Flash plug-in that uses the Pepper plug-in API. Mozilla has no intention of supporting this new plug-in standard in Firefox. Chrome is your only option for an up-to-date Flash plug-in on Linux–although you can manually hunt down and install the Pepper plug-in for Chromium and Opera. Chrome is based on the open-source Chromium code and so is the latest version of Opera for Linux.
Chrome on Windows and Mac also provide a Pepper-based Flash player. However, for Windows and Mac, Adobe is still releasing modern versions of Flash for NPAPI (Netscape Plugin API) browsers like Firefox and Safari.
Adobe also ended Linux support for Adobe AIR with version 2.6 back in 2011. Adobe AIR is a runtime for building “rich internet applications” and deploying them as desktop apps. At this point, you might be thinking “Who cares? Flash has performed terribly on Linux anyway and I don’t want those AIR apps on my desktop.” And you’d be more or less right. Linux users didn’t really want Adobe AIR apps, and Adobe didn’t want to support AIR on Linux anymore.
But this decision is still affecting game developers today. It really hurts the selection of Linux games on Steam and elsewhere. Any games programmed with Adobe AIR will run just fine on Windows and Mac OS X, but the developer probably won’t be able to port those games to Linux. You may not even know it was Adobe AIR’s fault–you’ll just see a game that only supports Windows and Mac in Steam and pass over it.
For old Adobe AIR games on Steam, the lack of development on the runtime is causing problems. As the developer of Incredipede put it:
“Incredipede uses Adobe AIR and Stage3d for graphics card support. Adobe has not written graphics card support into the Linux version of AIR so the game can only run with software rendering which is much slower. To compensate I have to turn off a lot of the fancy graphics.”
And, as the developer of Bardbarian explained when asked if they could add Linux support:
“Unfortunately not 🙁 We really wish we could, but this is built with Adobe AIR, which does not support Linux.”
Adobe AIR games are even causing problems for Valve’s SteamOS.
Yes, you’ll be able to run Photoshop on Linux and the latest version of Flash is still on Linux if you use Google Chrome. But, when looking at Adobe’s gradual axing of all their consumer Linux software, this feels like an accident. If not for Chrome, Linux users would have nothing.
This is especially sad because it’s not the software itself that matters. It’s all those PDFs with extended forms, websites using Flash, and games written in Adobe AIR that are becoming increasingly unusable on Linux. Adobe’s platforms–PDF, Flash, and AIR–are no longer the cross-platform tools they were originally promised to be.
Petards, the AIM quoted developer of advanced security and surveillance systems, announces that it has signed a framework agreement (the “Agreement”) to supply Siemens Sector Infrastructure and Cities, Rail Systems Division (“Siemens”) with Petards train related products and services.
The Agreement is for an initial five year term renewable annually thereafter and covers the world-wide Siemens business whose portfolio comprises the entire Siemens rail vehicle business ranging from locomotives, commuter, regional, intercity and high-speed trains, metros, light rail vehicles and automated people movers to passenger coaches for inter-city rail service and electric bus systems for cities as well as related services and maintenance. Petards has also secured its first order under the Agreement to supply Siemens with Petards eyeTrain on-board digital CCTV systems for the new super high-speed Velaro type trains Siemens are building for the Turkish State Railway who have announced plans to procure up to a further 90 high speed trains in the future.
The equipment to be supplied will provide CCTV coverage of the internal saloon areas, the drivers cab as well as “day/night” track monitoring. Petards systems will also provide the trains with Driver Only Operation (DOO) capability.
The order, worth in excess of £1.5 million, will be fulfilled and supported from Petards facility in Gateshead. Engineering activities have already commenced and equipment deliveries are expected to commence in the second half of 2014 and to be completed by the end of 2015.
Commenting on the award, Petards Chairman Raschid Abdullah said “We are delighted to have entered into this framework agreement with Siemens which is another major milestone in our strategic relationship with Siemens.
The order for the Velaro high speed trains is the second significant project that Petards has been awarded by Siemens, following on from the award of the Thameslink Project and positions the Company well in this growing sector.”